A pandemic of looting

Comes the night.

This pandemic of civil violence is more widespread than anything seen during the Black Lives Matter movement of the Obama years, and it will likely have an even deadlier toll on law enforcement officers than the targeted assassinations we saw from 2014 onward. It’s worse this time because the country has absorbed another five years of academically inspired racial victimology. From Ta-Nehisi Coates to the New York Times’s 1619 project, the constant narrative about America’s endemic white supremacy and its deliberate destruction of the “black body” has been thoroughly injected into the political bloodstream.

Facts don’t matter to the academic victimology narrative. Far from destroying the black body, whites are the overwhelming target of interracial violence. Between 2012 and 2015, blacks committed 85.5 percent of all black-white interracial violent victimizations (excluding interracial homicide, which is also disproportionately black-on-white). That works out to 540,360 felonious assaults on whites. Whites committed 14.4 percent of all interracial violent victimization, or 91,470 felonious assaults on blacks. Blacks are less than 13 percent of the national population.

If white mobs were rampaging through black business districts, assaulting passersby and looting stores, we would have heard about it on the national news every night. But the black flash mob phenomenon is grudgingly covered, if at all, and only locally.

Anyone who is still shocked and surprised by that home truth ought to wake up at long last to what the media really is: the enemy.

The national media have been insisting on the theme of the allegedly brutal Minneapolis police department. They said nothing as black-on-white robberies rose in downtown Minneapolis late last year, along with savage assaults on passersby. Why are the Minneapolis police in black neighborhoods? Because that’s where violent crime is happening, including shootings of two-year-olds and lethal beatings of 75-year-olds. Just as during the Obama years, the discussion of the allegedly oppressive police is being conducted in the complete absence of any recognition of street crime and the breakdown of the black family that drives it.

Once the violence began, any effort to “understand” it should have stopped, since that understanding is inevitably exculpatory. The looters are not grieving over the stomach-churning arrest and death of George Floyd; they are having the time of their lives. You don’t protest or mourn a victim by stealing oxycontin, electronics, jewelry, and sneakers.

The great philosophers and poets of the West—from Aeschylus and Euripides, to Shakespeare, Hobbes, and the American Founders—understood the chaos and lust for power that lurk beneath civilization. Thanks to the magnificent infrastructure of the rule of law, we now take stability and social trust for granted. We assume that violence, once unleashed in the name of justice, can easily be put back in the bottle.

It cannot.

Lot of that unwarranted-assumption thing going around these days, it seems.

TINVOWOOT follies

I pray he’s wrong. I fear he’s right.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

We need to stay on the offensive.

But how do we win?

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

Sick society

“Govern me DADDY”?? Really? REALLY?!?

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

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

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

GovernMeDADDY.png


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

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

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

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

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

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

Nah, me neither.

Plenty of blame to go around

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It is so Ordered.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Oregon gov cancels Independence Day

The irony, it burns.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Another two-month free trial

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

On your feet or on your knees

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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…

Fear itself

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And we’ve fallen for it.

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

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

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

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

Land of the treed, home of the craven

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

sacramento-storm-troopers.jpg

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Daylight barking madness

Insanity, cowardice, or plain old stupidity?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And then came the coronavirus and everything changed.

Read the rest, if you have a strong stomach.

“The biggest shock since the Great Depression”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Damage: done.

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

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

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

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

Racist.

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

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

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

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

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

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




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

The New Normal: Safetyism

A nation of pussies.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

An idea whose time has surely come

And, unfortunately, probably gone.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

More, and worse:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Yet more, and yet worse:

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

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

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

This is scary, scary stuff, folks.

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

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

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

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

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

“The economy is not a machine”

And even if it was, with many machines shutting ’em down is a lot easier than cranking ’em back up again.

The coronavirus is having a profound impact on our economies. Faced with economic downturns, governments have traditionally attempted to spur employment and restore economic health by propping up aggregate demand. Scholars differ on the track record of these interventions, yet all agree that governments, by stimulating demand, aim to provoke productive activity. Today, though, rather than trying to stimulate activity in the wake of the pandemic, governments are aiming to stop it. And at this task, everyone must agree, governments are performing splendidly.

Once the coronavirus is under control, restarting the economy faces many obstacles—especially social distancing. If we continue to remain at arms’ length from one another, we will hamper our natural “propensity to truck, barter, and exchange,” identified by Adam Smith as a key source of economic growth.

An even bigger impediment to renewed economic vigor, however, is the theory and practice of mainstream macroeconomics. The brainchild of John Maynard Keynes, modern macroeconomics focuses exclusively on aggregates, especially aggregate demand, and GDP. The economy is modeled on what economist Arnold Kling calls “a GDP factory,” or perhaps a machine. This machine produces stuff (GDP) and does so at peak efficiency when properly fueled. The fuel is aggregate demand—total spending—and it’s the job of government to ensure that the supply of fuel into this machine remains adequate.

Even if government control of aggregate demand is necessary for an economy to function even tolerably well—and we aren’t sure that it is—such control is clearly not sufficient. If entrepreneurs can’t introduce new products, if businesses are denied access to low-cost supplies, and if prices are prevented from changing, the market process falters. It produces fewer of the goods and services that are the stuff of our prosperity. The same conclusion pertains if workers are prevented from showing up at farms, factories, and offices, in which case no amount of extra aggregate demand will cause markets to produce more. To stop people on the ground from producing is to stop the process by which people, cooperating in markets, generate prosperity.

Standard macroeconomic thinking is today especially counterproductive. By maintaining the fiction that the economy is a simple GDP machine that will always work as long as it is sufficiently fueled with aggregate demand, attention is diverted away from the problems introduced into the market process by government interventions, as well as by major disruptors, such as Covid-19. The myth is maintained that if government keeps pumping funds into consumers’ hands and businesses’ coffers, all will be okay.

In Europe, for example, attention is focused on devising ways for governments to increase their public debt, without paying higher interest on it. But how will entrepreneurs, workers, and consumers return to their normal activities? Imagining how the provision of some services will work in the future (will movie theaters survive?) is a fascinating intellectual exercise, but one with little practical utility. Solutions will be found by entrepreneurs through trial and error, the same way that progress has always happened. What we need is not more fuel pumped into the GDP machine but assurances that its internal processes aren’t blocked. Governments have purposefully stopped the economy. To get it moving again, we eventually must remove obstacles that keep individuals from participating in market processes, both as consumers and as specialized producers.

That will be the difficult part, since those obstacles have been gumming up the works since way before anybody every heard of the Shanghai sniffles, and are now firmly established and entrenched. Expect extremely stiff resistance from the hordes of paper-shuffling bureau-rats hired to perpetuate and expand them, too.

Tyranny, straight up

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

JustFollowingOrders.jpg


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And yet.

Update! Government is force.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Two sets of laws Part the Bazillionth

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

Yeah, well. About all that.

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

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

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

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

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

Because Islam, silly. Another report:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Clearly Christians are being singled out and persecuted.

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

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.

Bloated numbers

A New York affliction.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Unintended consequences

WHO COULD POSSIBLY HAVE FORESEEN

NEW YORK/LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Dwindling supplies of carbon dioxide from ethanol plants are sparking concern about shortages of beer, soda and seltzer water – essentials for many quarantined Americans.

Brewers and soft-drink makers use carbon dioxide, or CO2, for carbonation, which gives beer and soda fizz. Ethanol producers are a key provider of CO2 to the food industry, as they capture that gas as a byproduct of ethanol production and sell it in large quantities.

But ethanol, which is blended into the nation’s gasoline supply, has seen production fall sharply due to the drop in gasoline demand as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Gasoline demand is down by more than 30% in the United States.

Honestly, I’d greatly prefer that ethanol production end altogether myself. But that’s probably just me. I’m a heartless, uncaring bastard like that.

The lack of ethanol output is disrupting this highly specialized corner of the food industry, as 34 of the 45 U.S. ethanol plants that sell CO2 have idled or cut production, said Renewable Fuels Association Chief Executive Geoff Cooper.

In an April 7 letter to Vice President Mike Pence, the Compressed Gas Association (CGA) said production of CO2 had fallen about 20% and could be down by 50% by mid-April without relief, CGA CEO Rich Gottwald said in the letter. Meat producers are also feeling the pinch, as they use CO2 in processing, packaging, preservation and shipment.

But yeah, y’all politician and bureau-rat supergenii just go ahead on fucking with incomprehensibly complex shit. You got this, right?

I care not a whit about the beer, but must assure one and all that the day the CO2 shortage forces me to go without my ration of this is the day the killing spree begins.

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"America is at that awkward stage. It's too late to work within the system, but too early to shoot the bastards." – Claire Wolfe, 101 Things to Do 'Til the Revolution

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

"It is terrible to contemplate how few politicians are hanged." - GK Chesterton

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"Give me the media and I will make of any nation a herd of swine." - Joseph Goebbels

“I hope we once again have reminded people that man is not free unless government is limited. There’s a clear cause and effect here that is as neat and predictable as a law of physics: As government expands, liberty contracts.” - Ronald Reagan

"Ain't no misunderstanding this war. They want to rule us and aim to do it. We aim not to allow it. All there is to it." - NC Reed, from Parno's Peril

"I just want a government that fits in the box it originally came in." - Bill Whittle

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