Thursday, December 31, 2020

Covid Survivor

 After all the hype, all the fear mongering, it was a little less than the dud we expected if we were among the symptomatic. Of course it COULD have killed us as we were REGULARLY reminded even though we very rarely turn on any media. Couple days of 102ish fever, a "tired week" ... not "bedridden" by any means, some strange taste effects. Nothing special but the hype. I've believed very little that is "settled truth" according to our "elites" for a LONG time. The Russia, Covid and "election" hoaxes haven't really changed anything for me ... just confirmed the flatline of "it's all a Davos / Deep State / MSM house of mirrors" that has increasingly been here for a few decades. 

The fake "election" finally convinced me to delete my Facebook account completely, and take another blessed step away from the fake "made for the sheeple" combination of media, government and corporate (but I repeat myself) "reality". We are told the number of "the deplorable beast", and it is 70 million ... but amazingly, more people than ever in history "voted" for a senile old coot and a woman who rose to "the top" with her ankles behind her ears. If you believe any of that, you likely think that fracking didn't lower gas prices. 

So much for "reality" in this vale of tears. As in every human age, this is another "age of faith" ... this time it is largely in the false god of government. 

My Covid summary was done in September, and there is really nothing to add. It remains "the flu", and AMAZINGLY (ha ha) it seems to have totally wiped out all other strains. Imagine that! An honest look at statistics shows that there never were any "excess deaths"

I've known that we are so manipulated by mass media that we have no idea of the extent of that manipulation for a long while. Fish don't realize they are wet. "We live in Ted Kennedy's world".

As often happens to me, an old pop song summarizes the unreality for me ... "I'm a Covid Survivor" ... but Marla is only my Homecoming Queen. 

The Modern Mind 

I agree with this summary from the linked: 

Unfortunately, for all the book's breadth, Watson's workmanlike approach has the feel of a handful of school assignments cobbled together from encyclopedia articles rather than of work drawn from years of thoughtful reflection and an intimate acquaintance with, and love of, ideas. (Mar. 9)

It is a book best thought of as a shallow encyclopedia that you could look into to find a tiny snippet of the thoughts of MANY thinkers of the 20th century.  As I got to towards the end and ran into thinkers that I was familiar with like Alan Bloom "The Closing Of the American Mind", I was struck with an old thought that I once had on "Consumer Reports" which I used to look at with relish. I realized that if I knew about something ... say cars, stereo, or computers, I TOTALLY disagreed with Consumer Reports! 

Why? Because CR was targeted at some "hypothetical average" ... NOT at the person who paid attention to the specifics of some product area. 

"Modern Mind" is kind of the same in that it assumes the standard of "science is the answer to life, the universe, and everything", "all is stuff (material)", religion is bunk, there is no such thing as "meaning, purpose, morality, etc" ... It does recognize that a most thinkers in the 20th century arrived at the conclusion that all that is true and that fact is damned depressing!

On page 772, it says "Evolution is the story of us all. Physics, chemistry, and biology are international in a way that literature, art, or religion can never be". 

Human mind blindness is the only true universal -- belief in evolution is not falsifiable, and therefore a religion, not science. Science can tell you how to build a nuke or a virus that kills all life -- it has nothing to say on if you "should". There is no should in science. 

So, the book is a reference to lots of "thought stuff", with a surprising amount of attention paid to art, poetry, and literature ... especially given it's conclusion that we just need to realize that we, and everything that "is", is just meaningless stuff. 

Monday, December 14, 2020

Dementia, "You Know, The Thing"!

Pretty much as soon as Trump took office (maybe before), the MSM was all over "Trump has dementia!". 

Naturally, even after he aced a mental acuity test, the test was declared invalid, and although the charges became more muted, they didn't go away. 

Anyone that believes in an "unbiased media" will likely not see any difference in the treatment of Biden  -- at least not until they want to replace him with Kamala. 

General Flynn, Hatred As "Justice"

I have no doubt that many on the left would find "the Cromwell treatment" to be too good for Trump. 

His action (Sullivan's) in this case has long been controversial and was expressly criticized by appellate judges. It is not, however, unprecedented. Some 360 years ago in England, the body of Oliver Cromwell was exhumed from Westminster Abbey and posthumously chained, thrown into a pit, and then decapitated. Cromwell’s head was put on display and not reburied until 1960. By that measure, Sullivan’s three-year treatment of Flynn seems like a virtual “rocket docket” of justice.

There is absolutely no excuse for the treatment of General Flynn other than blind primitive hatred.  

In Wokistan, that form of hatred is the new "justice". 

Anna Karenina, Tolstoy

The opening line is quite familiar: "Happy families are all alike, every unhappy family is unhappy in it's own way". 

The last line, less famous, is a thought from Levin (one of the main characters) who has experienced something of an epiphany ... "I shall still be unable to to understand with my reason why I pray, and I shall go on praying; but my life now, my whole life apart from anything that can happen to me, every minute of it is no more meaningless, as it was before, but has the positive meaning of goodness, which I have the power to put into it." 

From a Christian perspective, his epiphany fell a bit short -- and there are some lines in the book that would indicate that at one level "he" (Tolstoy)  does know that he actually doesn't have the "power" -- meaning/purpose is a gift from God. 

I made it through it! It is pretty much a romance novel writ large. An easy summary of the book would be "adultery often doesn't work out well". (like one participant "takes a shot" at killing himself, and the other is more successful -- trains are effective! I'm certain that modern "progressive" moralists would argue that it was the rigid social rules that caused the derailment, however "if it feels good do it" as a moral foundation doesn't seem to be working out that well either based on depression, suicide rates and addiction. 

One reason that the book is revered is the EXTENSIVE and DETAILED interior thoughts of the characters. Having read one romance novel early in my marriage, and realizing that the alleged interior of the female mind was not likely to be of use to me (other than realizing"it's hopeless") , it does seem that Tolstoy had some insight into this terra incognita. (note my ability to extrapolate a "rule" from a SINGLE "Danielle Steele" book read 35 years ago) 

At least for me, a good deal of a tug -- but then I've always known I'm an uncultured lout!

Thursday, December 10, 2020

Conspiracy, Leakers, Whistlebowers

The Democrat-Media complex definition of "conspiracy" is when a couple people say that some action the liberals don't like is being suggested from the right. Labels do matter! 

Hillary was quite vocal about the "Vast Right Wing Conspiracy" for years ... even post 2016. From the 2016 election on, we had various groups of people encouraging "faithless electors" to vote for Hillary even though they were pledged to Trump based on the results of the election. Not to mention 25th Amendment pushes, "Not my president", etc, etc. It was more than enough to make "conspiracy" and "crying wolf" everyday phenomenon. Trump being elected was a "crisis" for the left from day 1. 

This fall, "489 security leaders" claimed Trump was "unfit for office". Democrats started talking Impeachment in the summer of 2017 while the baseless Mueller witch hunt was in progress. Does "Crossfire Hurricane", started before Trump was even elected, and done in secret, rise to the level of "conspiracy"? I'm certain it would if the shoe was on the other foot. 

My understanding is that military officers still swear an oath to defend "the Constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic". In the era where Freedom of Religion can only get at 5-4 decision in the SCOTUS, do we really have a "constitution" at all? When massive voter fraud is ignored, and even attempts to ferret it out are criticized as "undemocratic", why would anyone not in league with the Democrat-MSM-Deep State "trust an election" again?  When your opponent doesn't accept the results of an election, you don't live in a "democracy", and certainly not a Republic for which we used to even stand. 

When the Democrat-Media-Deep State complex fights any attempt at voter ID or other ways to insure election integrity are fought tooth and nail. When the powers of the intelligence community and the "justice" department are used to attempt removal of the legitimately elected president -- when is the duty of the military to defend the Constitution against domestic enemies? 

At a minimum, anyone that calls themselves "america" needs to understand where the following quote comes from, why it was made, and what resulted from it. 

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

Six courageous states is a good start

Swalwell, Leaker vs Whistle Blower

The Democrat/MSM complex is highly skilled in "spin" ... from the subtle to the very obvious. 

Again, I can’t talk too much about the details of the case even though others may have violated their oath I’m not going to violate mine, but the Axios story made it absolutely clear that no information was ever shared, except, Jim, the people who did share classified information were the people who leaked this story. And to do that against a critic of the president, they may think that they’re going to silence me. They are not going to silence me but what they are going to do is they are going to make others think twice when they are asked to sit down and provide defensive information about people like this.

The Democrat/MSM complex is a lesson in mendacity. If this came out against a Republican, the "Whistleblower" would be a courageous saint"!

Imagine living in a country where supposed "law enforcement" organizations spy on political opponents and then attempt to prosecute them.

That is the "country" (lawless territory" that "live" (masked and locked down) in. 

Chuck Yeager Passes

The passing of a great man and pilot after a long life well lived. I loved his autobiography that I read and owned in paperback and I sincerely hope did not get "pruned" in our move from Rochester. 

Tuesday, December 8, 2020

VDH: The Scars of 2020

VDH is always good -- he has predicted this for a long time, as have I. Neither he nor I predicted it would be a largely fake "pandemic" (not the virus, but the response to the virus) that lit the fuse, but so it was. 

Well worth your time, my favorite paragraph: 

In other words, as is the case in former Third World countries, America’s criminal justice system became warped. Now there was good and bad looting, permissible and outlawed arson, correct and incorrect resisting of arrest, and quarantine-violating mass rallying and mass rallying that is exempt from lockdowns. Carving out a swath of autonomy for rioters and looters in downtown Seattle proved legal; had a row of restaurants and bars done the same to be allowed to serve the people, they would have been fined, closed, and likely jailed.

For the left, "They may be criminals, but they are OUR criminals"! 

After The Trust Is Gone

As I continue my reading of Anna Karenina, the issue of "trust" looms large. Prince Stepan "Stiva" Arkadyevich Oblonsky is the classic middle aged husband, tired of his wife, having an affair with a younger woman. Once the affair is discovered, the wife's (Princess Darya "Dolly" Alexandrovna Oblonskaya) trust in the marriage  is gone, but in the interest of the children, and her being convinced by others that "this is just how it is", the damaged marriage goes on. 

This is the outcome the Democrats are hoping the nation is willing to accept. Much like Hillary with Bill, even after years of known affairs, "other considerations" (power) demand the lie be continued. The 1960 election was handled this way ... the fraud was accepted as "the way things have to be". For Republicans, the acceptance of cheating is a mix of a desire for stability, greed for their investments, and of course wishful thinking that "maybe it isn't as bad as we know it is ... we still have a country". Accepting Original Sin, and the hope of God's intervention, makes us slow to anger. 

There is always a certain amount of fraud in human systems, as I blogged on in 2008 on the Madoff scandal in finance.   Galbraith called this "the Bezzle":

So, we have a crash, and when we have a crash, what John Kenneth Galbraith called "the Bezzle" comes out. Guys like Madoff (or Enron for that matter) and a whole bunch of others do GREAT as long as everything goes up. If things go down, the loss of the "shady billions" makes the bad situation worse much as it made the good situation SEEM better on the way up. The money Madoff "had" was double counted -- he claimed to have it, and all his investors thought they had it as well. Really, like the value of over inflated homes and stocks, it only existed as long as the confidence was there. That is why they call a lot of swindles "confidence games".

Now, the confidence is fast being unwound from the worldwide financial and business systems, and we have an incoming president that is a complete blank slate -- Bzero. Fed funds rate at zero, short term treasuries at zero -- how many zeros are we going to go for here?

In the world financial system, we "covered the Bezzle" with massive debt and largely hidden iflation, but that is a story for another day. 

Like the ongoing marital affair, or the Ponzi scheme, people "want to believe in what looks good to them". Even when it becomes obvious, even to themselves, they are afraid of what will happen if it "comes out", and they wishfully hope that will be "never".  In "Anna", Alexei Alexandrovich Karenin, Anna's husband is a great literary example of this -- ignoring the obvious, and then working hard to keep it from being known. 

Some of us lost confidence, or rather had complete confidence as Tolstoy did, that a core feature of humanity is wishful thinking coupled with our fallen mendacity, meaning we are always "flirting with disaster" on scales large and small. In this case, the future of our nation. 

So now we know. 

Republicans have been the witting and unwitting partners in the sham of American "elections" certainly since 1960, but really since long before -- Boss Tweed, Mayor Daley, and countless others. The faithless Democrats have maintained that "election fraud never happens" and fight  any attempts to insure that it didn't/doesn’t happen tooth and nail. In fact they continue to create new anenues for mail in “voting” to encourage it. The Bezzle is a core of their operation. Nobody really knows what will happen if/when the Beale comes out of the election system, but Democrats certainly fear what will happen, as they know it is there, and they know it is big. 

It desperately needs to be faced, even if that means a national divorce, war, a massive international crisis, or whatever "bad unknown". Like death, it is reality, and reality always wins. 

Monday, December 7, 2020

Ellen/Elliot Page, Victor Victoria

What struck me — and I think a lot of people — about actress Ellen Page’s announcement that she was now a man named Elliot was the po-faced self-seriousness with which the media accepted the lunacy. She’s a man, but she’s queer, but she’s with a woman, because she’s a lesbian, only she’s a man lesbian. Right-ho! Let’s get to work changing the credits on her old films because this is leftism, after all, and history itself has to be erased and rewritten to reflect the current nonsense.

Got that? A gay woman, married to a woman has decided she is a man.  

It reminds me of 1982's "Victor Victoria" ... a woman pretending to be a man pretending to be a woman. 

The decline and fall of the Roman Empire was really rather sane compared to our demise. 

Douthat does a more intellectual expose on our "Decadent Society" in his book, but Ellen/Elliot pretty much covers it ... if not. see pics below. The left is the "male" Pennsylvania health secretary, the right is Ellen/Elliott.

Thinking this is not serious? Increasingly. the trans folk are pushing to make "misgendering" a hate crime. How is that for serious? Consider that at least one site believes there are 33 genders.

So if the two above commit a crime, the left goes in with the girls and the right goes in with the guys. Hope "he" is tougher than "he" looks. 

Ah, the "woke" ... they are so intelligent that they can't figure out what bathroom to use. 

What Is Election Fraud Bringing ?

Is it the Apocalypse yet? "The Horror" is shocking and terrible, and it will be faced. 

The film is based on Joseph Conrad's "Heart of Darkness", a book form of what happens when the civilized meets the uncivilized. 

What really happens to man without the strictures of culture, order, religion, rules, morality?  Is it what Rousseau and Marx assert? "Heaven on Earth"? "The end of history"? No more wretched subjugation to civilization, God, morality - pure freedom and pure pleasure? The "triumph of the will"? 

That is what "the left" thinks they believe. The sad truth is that to the extent the left wins, the result is death, totalitarianism, power being the only coin of the realm, and "truth" doesn't get to speak at all until it defeats the "power" in battle. We are in that battle now. Ironically. we don't even really know our "left from our right"

We have been calling the darkness down since at least Roe. The small stack of tiny little inoculated arms hacked off referenced in the clip was enough to drive Colonel Kurtz to madness. Or was he enlightened to the reality of Vietnam? What price will be exacted for the killing of 60 million little lives at the twin altars of pleasure and convenience? 

As Lincoln said in his 2nd inaugural:

Yet, if God wills that it continue until all the wealth piled by the bondsman's two hundred and fifty years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn with the lash shall be paid by another drawn with the sword, as was said three thousand years ago, so still it must be said "the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether."

Is Colonel Kurtz  right that the civilized have no right to judge the elemental? Often times, when elemental self evident natural law arrives, much like "The Unforgiven", we may not like it that much.

We had a “Republic for which we stood”, now we have a Thugocracy. Will we stand?

“Good” Ideas Must Be Mandatory! Anna Karenina Today

The linked article is about mask shaming and its use to deny freedom of association. Trust me, at least in on strange mind, there is a relationship. 

The picture indicates to me that it is hard for a "normal male"  (evil in these "woke" times)  not to notice pretty women confident in their femininity. Are conservative women in general are more attractive? Kristi Noem comes to mind, but a glance at the winning Republican congresswomen this cycle seems to indicate something of a general rule.

Yes, I know there are many physically attractive leftist women, however it seems that often their physical attractiveness is overshadowed by their screeching demands for fealty to their political beliefs, which are  in direct opposition to their exploiting their physical beauty while declaring at least male appreciation of such to be sexist. The fake is inherently unattractive when exposed. 

I'm finally reading Anna Karenina. I read a lot, but very little fiction, and even less romance. Psychology, culture, and especially the interplay between our physical and spiritual nature, are however of significant interest, and in those areas, Anna just kept showing up as a "must read" - it is easy to see why. 

A paragraph that struck me is: 

Vronsky heard with pleasure this light-hearted prattle of a pretty woman, agreed with her, gave her half-joking counsel, and altogether dropped at once into the tone habitual to him in talking to such women. In his Petersburg world all people were divided into utterly opposed classes. One, the lower class, vulgar, stupid, and, above all, ridiculous people, who believe that one husband ought to live with the one wife whom he has lawfully married; that a girl should be innocent, a woman modest, and a man manly, self-controlled, and strong; that one ought to bring up one's children, earn one's bread, and pay one's debts; and various similar absurdities. This was the class of old-fashioned and ridiculous people. But there was another class of people, the real people. To this class they all belonged, and in it the great thing was to be elegant, generous, plucky, gay, to abandon oneself without a blush to every passion, and to laugh at everything else.

It appears that there is something like "human nature" that demands a class structure, and generally the pride/arrogance of the upper class.There can be the occasional just and moral king, but that is the exception.  There are similarities to the classes in Anna to the classes today. The lower class maps to at least the upper class imagination of the "deplorables". The upper class is much like today's "woke elite". The biggest difference is that the upper class  in 1878 Russia was not yet using the power of government to overtly oppress the lower class by removing their devotion to religion, morality, family and community, as the soon to come Communist party would quickly do. 

As I'm fond of saying as a computer scientist devoted to binary, "there are two classes, those who divide the world into two classes, and those who don't". 

In a more or less free and "natural" society people "sort" by a complex set of factors, some "good", some "bad" ... we won't go into that complexity here. The point is that it really isn't binary, there is lot more complexity than "two". 

As a culture shifts toward totalitarianism, it becomes more and more binary and the binary categories become  more and more mandatory -- as in the ideas that are declared to be "good" -- eg wearing/not wearing a mask, celebrating various sexual preferences, genders, etc, or not celebrating such, fealty to "The Party" (Democrat, globalist, woke, etc), or "deplorable", etc. 

The list goes on and becomes both more and more oppressive and foundational. Everything becomes political, and everything is mandatory -- thus in the mind of the oppressors, "good". 

"We are all in this together ... wear a mask".  


Friday, December 4, 2020

Does Starship Size Matter?

 Definitely worthy of being filed under complete waste of time -- better than watching MSM though! 

Thursday, December 3, 2020

Cancel Your Own Goddam Subscription

I returned to this book that  I had read but failed to review in 2014. I've always loved WFBs initials (same as mine) and have had to fight the sin of envy for his intellect, life experiences, friends (including Ronald Reagan, Art Buchwald, Charlton Heston, Tom Selleck and a host of others. 

As the linked review  points out, it is a good read. For me, it was a "wayback machine", igniting my first interest in conservative political thought as a counterpoint to the malaise of the Carter years. One of my early rather wordy blog entries here. (yes I used to be even MORE wordy, amazing though that seems). 

Mostly I just sat back and enjoyed the book for it's pleasure. I was struck by a great example of "fake thinking". On 232, Eric Alterman (still around as a professor at CUNY) proffers a completely fabricated supposed interchange between WFB and a "quivering college student" who asked "have you ever experienced" poverty? Alterman composed WFB's fictional reply: " Why yes, my yacht experienced an unfortunate shortage of stuffed goose recently between Nassau and the Bahamas". 

Buckleys reply is reason enough to read the book. For one thing, he doesn't know what "stuffed goose" tastes like ... if one is writing fiction as Alterman clearly was, it may as well have been Foie Gras!

Although fictional, I suspect the anecdote as likely been repeated so much that many, likely including Alterman believe it to be true. Somewhat like the fiction of Reagan sleeping staff meetings (why? He was the boss! Anybody that has experienced staff meetings knows that they are a great way to cure insomnia. When you are not the one in charge, you bear it best as you can. If you are ... "I just realized I need to be on an important call", we will take this up later". 

Reading the book caused me to hunt up
an old Firing Line ... both the book and the link are well worth your time. 

Ten Years For Ten Stitches

A young single female police officer gets 10 years for 10 ten stitches to a suspect because she "released her police dog early". The "incident" was 5 years previous, the FBI went after her after a WaPo article, and railroaded a conviction and ridiculously long sentence. 

Read it and weep. It is a testament to human courage that we have any police at all! 

Wednesday, December 2, 2020

Eschatological Conservatism

The article advocates "Progressive Conservatism". The difficulty with that name is that it includes the term "progressivism", which is the belief that everything is getting "better" without defining "better",  nor stating the assumed mechanism by which this will happen - more centralized bureaucratic government tends to be the default. 

Words and labels DO matter "National Socialism" sounds much better than "Nazism", and "Socialism" sounds a lot better than "Fascism", which is actually what we have today. The link concludes with a rather weak statement of what progressive conservatism would be.  

Historically, Republicans have been the party of vertical nationalism, and Democrats the party of horizontal nationalism. That kind of nationalism they left to the Democrats, to people like FDR. What was remarkable about the 2016 Republican victory was that, almost for the first time, a presidential candidate ran on a platform that united the two strands of nationalism. 

If that’s what makes the progressive conservative progressive, he is also a conservative who thinks that the government should suppress riots forcefully, that the police are owed our presumptive support, and that nothing good was ever born out of anarchy. He thinks that we’re self-deceived about our goodness and that a sense of justified anger too often serves to excuse crimes. 
Eschatology is the study of end times. In Christianity it is the second coming of Christ in power. The Mises institute defines Communist eschatology as: 
Communism was the great goal, the vision, the desideratum ($5 word for "what is desired), the ultimate end that would make the sufferings of mankind throughout history worthwhile. History was the history of suffering, of class struggle, of the exploitation of man by man. In the same way as the return of the Messiah, in Christian theology, will put an end to history and establish a new heaven and a new earth, so the establishment of communism would put an end to human history.

Well not really the "end of human history" in either case. For Christianity, it means judgement day, where every knee shall bow to Christ, and the "sheep and the goats" will be separated. The sheep to everlasting peace and joy with God, the goats to everlasting torment without God, 

The Marxist "utopia" has a distinct sulfur smell to those who enjoy freedom, diversity of thought, private property, etc. Marx wasn't much of detail guy, but most of the visions of Communist utopia include abolishing private property,  abolishing "individualism" (because everything and everybody us "flattened/equal"),  all property is owned and controlled  by "the collective", and "From each according to their ability, to each according to their needs"

Why? Because Marxist faith is that human nature is basically good and Capitalism and religion have corrupted it. Once Atheism and Communism reign, then people will just "do the right thing" ... people will work and produce without any reward other than work itself ... and nobody will be jealous, lazy, etc

Historically, the results have been the opposite -- crime, oppression, poverty, disease, despair, etc,  As Churchill said "Communism/Socialism the equal sharing of miseries". Naturally, the Communists/Socialists say "it has never been done right". 

This has certainly proven true in the USSR, Cuba, Venezuela, N Korea, etc. China is marketed as an "exception", but is false advertising ... it is Fascist.

Fascism is the cooperation the of centralized big business/government control that allows carefully controlled profit, with totalitarian political control. The danger of Fascism is that well managed Fascism "keeps the trains running on time" -- sure, some of the trains may be going to the Gulag or gas chamber, but since all the guns have been confiscated, and the government is ruthless (step out of line and they kill you AND your family!) -- resistance is futile. 

So what might my dream of "Eschatological Conservatism" be?  

For starters, it is RESISTANCE! Right now, the 70 million or so of us that voted for Trump are being assimilated into what so far is relatively soft Fascism. We are being told it is to be a "time of healing" (they mean HEELING s... however as the lockdowns, mask mandates, continued disparagement of Trump voters and encouragement to turn in your neighbors if they fail to comply (Minnesota) show quite clearly, that "soft Fascism" has an alarming tendency to get harder. 

Arm yourself: 

Stop doing what you are "mandated" to do. If not now, when? Today you may get some dirty looks for not wearing a mask, and some criticism for going to church, but you ought to be able to see now how fast your "freedom" can be drained away. Are you going to get on the boxcars "for your own good" when they order you to? You will really not have a choice if you have no weapons. Are you going to stand by as they restrict your freedom bit by bit, and sometimes as in 2020, by leaps and bounds?

Quit accepting their "elections". They never accepted the outcome of 2016. Is Sniffin Joe your president? What even is a "president" in this banana fake "republic"? Thank God we are living in a divided territory! "Wokeistan" only completely rules the large increasingly crime ridden "S**Tholes". Those of us in the Red States still have a choice to RESIST our "betters". The 2020 stolen election is a wake up call to the level of peril we are in. 

If we are going to resist however, we need a better name. I'm bad at that ... "The Allies"? It looks increasingly likely that we need a divorce rather than attempting to reconcile with Wokeistan. 

In any case, is not a time for "HEELING"! 2016 was our last opportunity to heal after 8 years of surviving BOistan. If the "Wokies" had desired actual healing, that would  have been a golden opportunity to seek a return to respect for the Constitution, religious liberty, family, life, etc.  That opportunity has been terribly wasted. Biden, the Deep State and the MSM are holding out fake olive branches now if we will only fold and bow to their "woke" views. 

It is time for a real awakening of the type that the Allies provided for the last more limited Fascist regime of Hitler. Power is the only coin of this realm -- take it, defend it, and be not afraid. 

Christianity, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights actually understood, respected and followed is our flawed objective -- far from perfection or "utopia", however hopeful for a future that is "better" in the sense of more free, more abundant, more cultured, more friendly, more civil and more unified in thankfulness for the blessing of being "one nation under God". 

We were headed there in 1950, we lost our way into the wilderness of despair in the sixties -- we know where to go, we just have a long road and a lot of work to get there. 

I'm no fan of Nietzsche, however he said one good thing ...

He who has a why to live for can bear almost any how.

Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Leonardo Da Vinci, Walter Isaacson

I generally like Isaacson's, biographies ... I've read enough of them; Einstein, Franklin, Jobs, "The Innovators" (my least favorite). The linked is a good summary of the book. 

I was struck by the "pseudo Christian morality" the elites "adhered to" in Leonardo's time. Pretty much all the rich and powerful men, including Popes and the rest of the Catholic hierarchy, had a mistress or two, and probably a similar number of illegitimate children. Much like Egypt, Greece, Rome, and England at the peak of its power, wealth and power were the coin of the realm - plebeian mores were for the plebes!

I suppose we ought take the fact that immorality is more egalitarian in our time? -- "everybody's" doing it. Based on the priests abuse of children, the Catholic church seems to be proof that "power corrupts" has not been repealed by "progress". 

It was also striking how devoted Isaacson is to the idea that if you are intelligent, you can't possibly have Christian faith. On page 512 we see: "In his will, Leonardo commended his soul to our Lord Almighty God, and to the glorious Virgin Mary" ... Which Isaacson immediate dismisses as a "literary flourish"', even though the page also says that Leonardo specified that his funeral should include three high masses and three low masses". 

Leonardo is clearly a mythic hero figure for Isaacson, and it is just too much to consider that with all his "heresy" -- he would be in good company with Luther on that! Any disagreement with Catholic dogma was heresy. 

On 487, "This is the heart of Leonardo's philosophy: the replication of the patterns of nature, from the cosmic to the human". 

One of themes of the book is that Leonardo had an insatiable and eclectic curiosity, and was just completely fascinated with eddies in water, curls in human hair, birds, anatomy, and  documenting his observations in notebooks (but not publishing). 

The book seems like an excellent introduction to art appreciation, and least for me ... who is sadly lacking in that area. It made me want to see the Mona Lisa more. More than I needed to know about sfumato and squaring the circle.  

Covid Rate Of Transmission (Rt)

The linked will take you to a chart that shows a computation for the rate of Covid transmission by state. In theory, if the Rt is below 1.0, the virus will stop spreading. The creators of the model are Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger,  the co-founders of Instagram. Tom Vladeck is a data scientist and owner of Gradient Metrics. 

I find it to be "interesting/useful" ... lots of caveats / discussion below.

The bars for each state are the 80% confidence interval for the model ... meaning there is an 80% chance that the actual number is in that range. So why can't they be more correct? Basically, the map/model is NEVER the "territory" that is what "model" means! 

If you choose to dig into more detail, the Faq gives that ... the basic fact is that like all models, reality may be different from reality. This is true of ALL models! The "proof" of model correctness is in the rear view mirror, but must people reporting on models often don't tell you that. The reaction to Covid was based on models ... "masks are not effective at all", "we are going to be shut down for 2 weeks to flatten the curve", "masks are effective to protect others, not you", "it doesn't spread outside", "masks provide significant protection for you", "it does spread outside", etc Draw your own conclusions on how good the models have been.

Why look at the model? Basically for the same reason you look at the weather forecast -- to give you a general idea of how future weather looks  TODAY ... the prediction  may  (and often is) be different tomorrow. Good models allow you to look back at how accurate they were in the past, and discuss a bit about updates to the model they have made, and some they would like to make. (this one does) 

Although many statisticians don't like to admit this, this is the reason there are "lies, damned lies, and statistics". Statements like "women are better drivers!" based on them having less accidents are ridiculous, but often made. A "better" statistic would  be per mile driven ... just using accident statistics would call a woman who never drives a good driver. 

Getting a good statistic is HARD (election predictions should be a clue here). It gets REALLY complicated, and moves into the area of art rather than science. "Correlation is not causality" is also key. Drowning is strongly correlated (meaning the graph curves look alike) with ice cream sales and high temps. Of course neither of them CAUSE drowning. 

The important factor here is that today statistics are often presented as "science" when they are in fact just mathematical TOOLS. Climate change is often portrayed as "settled science" of which there is no such thing. Science is by definition NEVER settled! If something is "Science", then it MUST be falsifiable -- the next experiment may show the "settled" to be wrong. This is doubly true for statistical models ... especially as they predict the future rather than look at the past.

So why is Rt a useful statistic? It is just "better" than number of cases which is essentially meaningless ... more cases resulting from more testing doesn't mean more people are getting it, it just means we are finding more. cases (this model attempts to account for that). We don't have good data on number of asymptomatic cases because we are not doing randomized testing. Assuming we are tracking asymptomatic cases (which I doubt), we MAY be able to get a better idea of how many people have had it but did not know it.  

Naturally, even THAT doesn't really help us that much, because the "experts" claim that you don't get "much" immunity if you have had it ... therefore you still have to take protective measures -- for a disease that we believe you will be asymptomatic of in at least 50% of cases ... although we of course don't KNOW that either! 

Socrates was the wisest man because he knew that he knew nothing

Monday, November 30, 2020

VDH: Chaos On Chaos

Not one of VDHs best in my opinion, but these are certainly pretty much "the worst of times" ... at least until they get worse, so perhaps this is the best that can be done. It is a worthy read as a more detailed description of the current chaos ... but then, can chaos really be "described"? 

Meanwhile Trump’s once-solid ranks may be in danger of fracturing. Half believe that not just his long-term legacy, but also his short-term utility in winning Georgia are endangered by unsubstantiated claims of a stolen “landslide” victory of a 70 percent majority and 400-some Electoral College votes. Of course, Trump supporters are furious over the weaponization of polling, and the violations of the voting laws of state legislatures that led to irregularities, controversies, and suspicious data, endemic with massive mail-in voting. But they are not assured that either episodic or systematic skullduggery automatically translates into a provable case that Trump won the election, much less won by historical proportions involving fraud of the sort never witnessed in past elections.

The other half is convinced of just such a “landslide” victory taken from Trump by computerized trickery and engineered through a vast coverup and conspiracy, again the greatest political scandal in American history.

I would have hoped that the latest 3+ generations of Americans steeped in media exaggeration would be more or less comfortable with Trump's over promising. Certainly Democrats back to FDR have generally received accolades beyond all reason  ... admittedly, they generally didn't have to self promote since the global media'/fascist complectx did it for them. Can't we be smart enough to see that? 

Really, a Nobel Prize when BO had hardly got into office? Fawning accocades of BO being "the one"? Spare me. 

Anyway, a confusing and chaotic column, just like our times. 

The Great Reset

A rather long article on what I've been talking about for a decade -- the increasingly overt close relationship with the Davos Elite, Global Corporatism, bureaucratic "DeepAdminisrative States, universities and media. They are just coming out of the closet now in the form of the "Great Reset". 

Remember "WEF", the "World Economic Forum" -- it is the public name for "The Great Reset". It isn't a conspiracy, if is fully out in the open, and as long as people are distracted, drugged, media manipulated, and generally comatose except for the "Fear Of the Day", nobody cares. (well maybe 70 million Trump voters do, but Voter Fraud). Why care if you truly are powerless? 

... because the Great Reset is, in essence, corporatist, not communist. The participation of companies of the type that Sixsmith mentions is, in reality, the participation of certain members of their senior management, using shareholder funds for purposes that have nothing to do with the bottom line and everything to do with the wielding of power within a system akin to a concert, with the state — if not necessarily the government — acting as the conductor.

No, it isn't communist, it is fascist! The term that may not be stated, so they call it "corporatist", which is incorrect, because the government bureaucracies, media, education, and increasingly judicial systems are part of it. 

The article is sadly so poorly written and obscure that it makes me look like a good writer. I've covered the message ... if you are looking to take a nap, I'd recommend it. 

The Voter Fraud Is Strong With This One

Well, it isn't "puzzling" to me. 

The only reason to fight voter ID tooth and nail as Democrats always have, is that you know you generally need it to win elections. It has been true since Reconstruction and Jim Crow, through Boss Tweed/Tammany Hall, Mayor Daley, etc. JFK was "elected" though voter fraud ... Joseph Kennedy was at least honest in this case: "Don't buy a single vote more than necessary. I'll be damned if I'm going to pay for a landslide". 

Certainly modern Democrats have lost any semblance of parsimony -- with their money or ours, but if we are paying ANY attention, we knew that already. This time they over achieved by millions. As Biden said. it was the greatest vote fraud organization in history! (so far)

Since the media has been mostly Democrat for a LONG time, and Americans (especially the hard working ones) have a strong aversion to the seedy, wasteful business of politics, most Americans don't want to look in that sewer. It is clear now that if they want to retain any illusion of "freedom" while they are masked and locked in their houses, they are going to have to jump in that sewer now. The toilets are backing up.

The article is WELL worth the read. A teaser ... 

Midwestern states Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin always swing in the same direction as Ohio and Iowa, their regional peers. Ohio likewise swings with Florida. Current tallies show that, outside of a few cities, the Rust Belt swung in Trump’s direction. Yet, Biden leads in Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin because of an apparent avalanche of black votes in Detroit, Philadelphia, and Milwaukee. Biden’s ‘winning’ margin was derived almost entirely from such voters in these cities, as coincidentally his black vote spiked only in exactly the locations necessary to secure victory. He did not receive comparable levels of support among comparable demographic groups in comparable states, which is highly unusual for the presidential victor.

Saturday, November 28, 2020

Book Burning Fires Often Spread

I’ve read most of these dangerous books, commentaries and excerpts on all. I’d add the Bible part of my daily reading. 

17but you shall devote them to complete destruction,a the Hittites and the Amorites, the Canaanites and the Perizzites, the Hivites and the Jebusites, as the LORD your God has commanded

To be completely "woke", statues and history itself need to be destroyed. The dogma of wokeness must be celebrated.  As the BLM signs say; "Silence is Violence" ... however we must be silent or censored on whatever our woke masters decide is the "dogma of the day". Ever changing, ever perfect -- as they are certain. They are indeed, "legends in their own minds". 

They only require a single thing to achieve their goals -- Power. Well, we aren't just going to let them walk away with that. Are we? 

Lynd Minnesota, Larvita McFarquhar, Civil Disobedience

My wife and I took the 2.5 hour journey to Lynd Minnesota to show support for Ms McFarquhar. By the time we left at 9:30 (the official start of the event), there were approaching 100 maskless people in a fairly large space in defiance of El Capitan Walz decrees that thou shalt stay cowering in your home lest thou surely die. 

Well maybe. I agree that I shall surely die. Will it be because of Covid due to taking this risk? Through the experiences that my wife and I have had in the last 5 years, I've decided that even my next breath is God's decision, not mine. What about others? I believe that no matter their beliefs, the length of their lives and the date of their departure are likewise not under their own authority. Every knee will bow before Christ, even that of der Fuhrer Walz. 

We used to live in a country that had a Constitution with a Bill Of Rights, of which the first amendment stated: 

Amendment I

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Today, freedom of religion can only get a 5-4 decision from a supposedly "conservative" SCOTUS, and the Woke are all in a tizzy because the court didn't "listen to the experts".  Praise God for Amy Coney Barrett! "The experts" have a long record of being certain and wrong. They were all certain that we were out of oil in the 1970s, and more recently that fracking could never make us energy independent. On a personal note, my faith in "experts" really went down after a top surgeon at Mayo screwed my radius and ulna together. So much for "measure twice, screw once"! 

We have been told many things about Corona -- no need to wear masks, they are not effective anyway; stay home for "a couple weeks to flatten the curve"; "we are all in this together" while the elite got their hair done, had big maskless parties, arbitrarily shut down small businesses while letting the big ones stay open;  etc; ... the list is so long it is very tedious. 

Freedom has never been free, easy, nor risk free.  Soldiers risk their lives and die to get and preserve it. Police likewise not only risk and die to preserve it, and also become the targets of abuse while they do it. Freedom requires people to make their own decisions and ALSO to allow others to do the same. Will either your or their decisions be "right"? 

We used to live in a fallen world where everyone had at least a basic understanding that the answer to that was most certainly NO! However, even in the Civil War, while we were in the process of killing 600K of our fellow Americans, there was understanding of the cost of freedom that is close to vanishing today. We still live in that fallen world, many just think that the "experts/elite" will "save us". 

The foundation that we once pretty much all agreed on was: 

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

We don't live in that place anymore, and even our supposed "leaders", think that they are endowed by "you know, the thing".  We have no foundation, and therefore we have a nation divided that will not stand. 

So we took a little trip, took a risk, and met some nice people. Talking to a retired 10 year military veteran proud that his discharge was signed by President Trump, and hearing a very stable and rational woman say that as she has been watching in horror as once sacred rights have been abandoned by so many, that she has needed to frequently pray to control her anger. 

We were once a nation that held phrases like "Give me liberty or give me death", and "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself" were held to be near sacred. 

Today? I suppose "Trust the science and the experts" would be the key article of faith for a majority of this territory that was once America. 

Friday, November 27, 2020

Darwin's Doubt

This is a book that doggedly works to put some meat on the challenges to the modern Darwinian dogma. We are at a point in history much like the time of Martin Luther, where the dogma of the Catholic church was crushing all other Christian thought. The "church", meaning the Catholic Church had all the power, and the keys to Heaven and Hell -- to question was to be a heretic, and eternally damned. 

Today, dogmatic Darwinism is the scientific religion -- a statement that is an oxymoron, as an any real scientist like Richard Feynman knows -- the core difference between science and religion is that actual science is NEVER "settled" ... it's "truth" is always conditional on the next piece of discovered knowledge. Whatever fails that test is religion,  not science. Much of modern "science" is religion, and one only needs to visit one of their "science" museums to attend a scientism worship service. 

 Starting in the "1950s" as more and more information about the actual mechanisms required for "evolution" to randomly create "more adaptive" phyla, rather than just modify through selection within the same phyla (meaning they could breed and reproduce) became more clear, some actual scientists began to doubt the Darwinian dogma. As in the time of Luther, the reaction of the Church of Darwin was to punish and excommunicate the heretics. 

Even as eminent a biologist as Stephen J Gould has declared that neo-Darwinism is effectively dead based on current genomic research. I cover a much easier to follow than this book introduction to why in here.

What "Doubt" covers is a whole lot of detail behind what are currently considered the odds of a SINGLE helpful inheritable mutation. What are those odd? From David Gelernter  (an eminent Yale computer scientist) ...   

The odds against blind Darwinian chance having turned up even one mutation with the potential to push evolution forward are 1040x(1/1077)—1040tries, where your odds of success each time are 1 in 1077 — which equals 1 in 1037. In practical terms, those odds are still zero. Zero odds of producing a single promising mutation in the whole history of life. 

To get to life AT ALL by randomness has not been reproduced in the lab, even by "stacking the deck" with what we believe to be the perfect "primordial soup. We can't get a SINGLE viable, let alone successfully reproducing cell. 

We can get all sorts of mutations in the lab by chemical or radiation exposure ... as we would expect, even when you cause millions of mutations, they nearly always kill the next generation, or produce offspring that are grotesque and anything but "improved / more adaptive". 

However, as unlikely as adaptive DNA mutations are, it turns out they are not the only operative factor ... there is "epigenetics" ... which at a high level means that Lamark had a point. Changes to the phenotype in one generation CAN be inherited. 

If you choose to undertake this book you will be introduced to lots of biology, genetics, genomics, geology, statistics, history, information theory, etc ... almost certainly, no matter how studied or intelligent you are, your eyes will glaze over at some point. 

... and of course it won't "prove" anything if you have already accepted the Darwinist faith. While Christianity promises a better life now, and eternal life hereafter, Darwinist faith only promises that life has no underlying meaning or purpose, and that when you die, that is it.  

My purpose in going to all this trouble is that modern "Wokeism" of which the Darwinist faith is a foundation, asserts that all who disagree need to be ridiculed, isolated, and punished in this short life. The results of this "Wokeism" so far are many despondent people choosing to end or effectively end their self understood as meaningless lives via suicide, drugs, distraction, or being motivated by hate and virtue signalling relative to those that question the Darwinist / Woke doctrine. 

The result of this is that we now live in a decadent, increasingly fascist world -- a new "Dark Age of Dogma". 

I recommend reading the suggested/linked intro post, as well as "Purpose And Desire" prior to taking on this book. It is a worthy book, roundly criticised by The Unholy Church of Darwin" as "creationist drivel" -- although other than asserting that one doesn't get complex entities without  some kind of plan/direction, it says nothing about God and in no way defends young earth creation.  

Why did the chicken cross the road? Perhaps it was because he wanted to ... rather than because it was predetermined materialistically since the Big Bang. 

Biden The "Palmist"

A "devout" Catholic that doesn't know the "P" in "Psalms" is silent. Why, I'm "certain" that this will create a covfefe  type media frenzy! Important coverage from the Atlantic of the terror of that misspelling of "coverage". Why, how are we even to know that he is sentient? He may be so delusional to think he is a legitimately "elected" el presidente of the banana republic of BOistan!

This must be covered! It sounds like as many as ONE thousand people may have seen his crucial Thanksgiving address. 

Perhaps he needs to contact a palmist? 

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Influencing Elections, MSM vs Russian Style

From the day Trump won in 2016, to April 18 of 2019 when the public saw the Mueller report, we were told by the MSM, Democrat / Deep State complex that the 2016 election was invalid because it was "influenced" by Trump / Russia "collusion". 

What was that "collusion" supposed to consist of? A very few false Facebook posts! 

Even though as far left a media source as the Washington Post now admits that for all the MASSIVE media coverage, there was no "there there". It really was a massive hoax perpetrated by the MSM/Democrat/Deep State, and they got caught -- without consequence. 

However, that fact is largely unknown to Americans. All the while though, there  really is MASSIVE misinformation influence in American elections. The media once at least claimed, and to a minimal degree attempted to be "unbiased". No longer. The MSM/Democrat/Deep State complex is a coordinated apparatus to advance the power of their collective  and suppress any who have differing opinions. 

While the MSM/Democrat/Deep State complex railed against the supposed but fake "Russian interference" that was never asserted to be anything more than some FB posts for years, they were and continue to be engaged in the most massive political influence campaign in history right before the eyes of what has to rank as the most complacent and ill informed populace in history! 

The link provides some documentation of how this works. 

The Denial Of Death, Earnst Becker

Like the NY Times reviewer, this was the 2nd time through the book for me, with the other being long ago. The book was published in 1973 when it was still permissible to claim homosexuality, gender dysphoria, coprophilia, pedophilia, and necrophilia as "perversions" rather than "identity".  Even in 1982, when the review was done, such a book was allowed to be published and used in college classes, as it was in my philosophy class.  Surprisingly,  it is still available on Kindle, and even hardcover on Amazon if you are willing to part with $621! How long before it is banned?

Becker knows that the problem of life is death, thus the necessity of  the  "causa-sui" (self caused) project. Most people try to deny death by distraction with work, pleasure, drugs, other nostrums and addictions. Some choose art or beauty. Page 33, "The ultimate horror for Swift was the fact that the sublime, the beautiful, and the divine are inextricable from basic animal functions."  

in one of Swift's poems, a man in love with a beautiful woman laments: 

No wonder how I lost my wits; 

Oh! Caelia, Caelia, Caelia shits!

Another common way of putting this regular reminder that we are physical beings with ugly smelly bodily functions is as Montaigne put it; "On the highest throne in the world, man sits on his ass". 

Mr. Becker asks us to be, or to try to be, heroic, and while this is a large order, it can be argued that we are constitutionally pointed in that direction. Also, it would seem that life is hardly worth all the anxiety, the frustration and the inevitable humiliation unless there is a hope of glory. Our movement toward glory may be a response to what Mr. Becker calls the "suction of infinity",  which I take to be a rather sophisticated substitute for the traditional notion of heaven.

So, somehow we need to deal with this most truly existential of problems.  Kierkegaard followed the Augustinian/Lutheran tradition said that education is facing up to this fact. Luther said, "I say die - taste death as though it were present". 

Becker is writing a secular supposedly "scientific" work, so he can't quote the bible, and I can: 

Romans 6:4-9:

Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.

5 For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:

6 Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.

7 For he that is dead is freed from sin.

8 Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him:

9 Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him.
"Science" denies the possibility of the metaphysical, which is why the book is a history of at best partial attempts to supposedly "deny" the stark fact of death. 

On 151, Becker says; "As philosophers have long noted, it is as though the heart of nature is pulsating in it's own joyful self-expansion". Indeed, J. Scott Turner has written a marvelous book on the reality of "nature pulsating in it's own joyful self-expansion" -- it is better known as LIFE! 

On page 198, we see Beckers summary of Kierkegaard's conclusion: "If neurosis is sin and not disease, than the only thing that can "cure" it is a world-view, some kind of affirmative collective ideology in which the person can perform the living drama of his acceptance as a creature". 

To put it more simply, we are BOTH saints(spiritual beings) and sinners (material beings). What we seek is transcendence -- once provided in the west by having and practicing Christian faith. Now tragically attempted by worshiping false gods of material possessions, wealth, political "wokeness", academic degrees, "science". etc 

On 215, we see; "A constant danger in science is that each gain risks abandoning ground that was once securely annexed. Nowhere is this more true than in the "role theories" of mental illness threaten to abandon the Freudian formulation based on bodily facts". 

"Bodily facts" = materialism. The assertion that everything, including us, is ONLY "stuff", the only thing to worship is the idea of "progress" -- it is getting "better" every day until ultimately the sun becomes a red giant and the earth becomes a cinder, or somehow we move to space and only cease to exist when the universe cools to absolute zero, or compresses to a mathematical point in the "big crunch". I have faith that if/when one of those things happen, I'll have no less time in heaven than the day I died. 

On 25, he paraphrases Kierkegaard and states; "faith is the hardest thing; he placed himself between belief and faith, unable to make the jump. The jump doesn't depend on man at all - there's the rub; faith is a matter of grace." 

Luther would agree. It is a GIFT from God through the fully human and fully God person of Jesus. 

For non-Christians, the book will ultimately be a disappointment. It is impossible for a human to succeed on their own to deny the fact of death. They can CLAIM that they are OK, but even in the case of Freud that results are bad -- irrational phobias, rage, mental illness,  addictions, etc  

The last sentence of this causa-sui(the search for immortality) project for a secularist is: "The most that any of us can seem to do is to fashion something - an object or ourselves and drop it into the confusion, make an offering of it, so to speak. to the life force". 

Order or chaos, God or the Devil. Choose you this day whom you will serve! It is the ultimate eternal "choice". 

Monday, November 23, 2020

Shapiro On "Unity"

My short answer to Biden's calls for "healing" is that he really means HEEL! 

If conservatives and Christians just roll over and celebrate abortion, transgender, gay "marriage", losing freedom of religion, destruction of the family, BLM, speech restrictions, loss of freedom of association, loss of the right to bear arms, ever expanding government, fake "elections", and one party rule -- then we will have "unity". At least for those that are not in the Gulag or dead. 

Ben's take ...

No, “unity” in the Biden formulation isn’t a recognition of what we have in common; it’s a demand that we silence ourselves in order to mirror Biden’s priorities. Unity, you see, can be achieved one of two ways: through recognition of the other, through a determination to understand those who think differently than we do; or through ideological domination. It’s rather obvious which pathway Democrats will choose. After all, social ostracization is one of their most powerful tools. Why disarm now?
So what is it that we have "in common? We breathe and bleed? 

When one tribe has lost respect for life, liberty and the pursuit of meaning (which requires a higher power that has created a purposeful universe), then what do we "agree" on outside of basic biological functions? 

Are we ONLY animals, "red in tooth and claw"? 

Horowitz Article

Little longish, well worth it ... pretty much 100% my thinking. Replacing "liberal" when referring to the left with "Fascist" or "Totalitarian" is important. 

Alito Federalist Speech

A great speech ... worth your time. 

Covid Corona Great Barrington Declaration

If you want to know about lockdowns, stated by experts, here you go (short). 

If you want to spend quite a bit of time learning about viruses in general, and Covid/Corona in particular, the video  is good. The short answer is "it's the flu, and we don't know why the world went crazy." 

Naturally, even though the guy speaking ( Dr Sucharit Bhakdi) has great credentials and awards, the world wide media elite has decided his motivation is "money/fame" for spreading "lies". So a 77 year old that has WAY more marbles ih his head than Joe Biden, suddenly decides to cancel his reputation and career for a few bucks? 

I had a nice conversation with a local plumber/sewer guy the other day about a county sewer inspector that had finally been encouraged to "move on" after a lot of complaints. He said she really knew the rules and wanted them applied 100% in all cases -- no grace. She asked him at one point: "Why do you care? You make even more money when the rules say you need a more expensive system?" 

He didn't answer her, but the answer was that he knows people are not made of money, and they can't afford $15K vs $6K ... he wants to put in what they have space for and WILL work ... he lives here, and he wants BOTH clean water and decent people that don't get pushed out because of ever increasing regulation. 

So you ask, what does this have to do with Corona? The answer is, "follow the money". When bureaucratic power rules, there is no concern for "collateral damage". Money and power become the only concerns. 

If you read this blog, you already know that my guess at the answers are: 

  1. A global "Davos elite" that combines, global corporations, global media, the UN, bureaucratic "woke" governments, universities, legal systems etc decided to "not waste an opportunity". 
  2. This power structure speaks with one voice, and it's prime objective is power/control. 
  3. The global health power structure (WHO) huge biotech corporations, etc saw an specific opportunity to flex their muscles ... think "military industrial complex", OPEC, the EU, Climate Change, etc.  Not to mention no doubt billions of dollars being made by people "in the know". Is this a "conspiracy"? No more than a stock market bubble or "fad" is a "conspiracy". 
  4. Of course, Trump ... he is a threat to those global structures. Why he has not met a bad "accident" is one of the worlds great mysteries in my mind. They didn't want a martyr ? 

Saturday, November 21, 2020

Covid Denial Fake News

One of the MANY things I find disconcerting about our time is the tendency to turn every disagreement into a strawman argument. 

Statement: "I think the response to Covid is excessive and damaging". 

Response:  "Oh, you are a crazy Covid DENIER!

As tribalism increases, this sort of strawman is more common, especially for Covid. 

The summary of the linked is that a nurse dealt with many patients gasping for breath and saying "it isn't real", "I thought this was a hoax" sort of things as they die. The MSM has widely spread this as part of the "tragedy" of Covid denial -- even Slate, not "right wing" in any sense, observes that this sort of thing is why media trust becoming non existent. 

I can imagine it is somewhat common for dying patients to say all sorts of things similar to this -- "I never believed this would happen to me", "I was so certain I'd beat this cancer", "I had faith the Lord would cure me", etc, etc, and often not very coherent for reasons I would think all would understand -- drugs, pain, extreme weakness ... I've never died and only have a sample of two that went peacefully under plenty of medication without gasping for breath. 

The best we can hope for is fairly quick with minimal pain and panic -- trying to make it worse than it is has very little benefit. If the news spent half the time on the tragedy of a young person dying in a car accident, maybe their screams as responders tried to cut their broken body from a mangled vehicle, interviewing the bereaved family, etc, hopefully we would just shut off the news, steel our level of denial, etc. No matter how careful you are, it CAN happen to you, just like Covid. 

I doubt there are any lung damaging conditions that make dying from essentially slow asphyxiation much fun -- lung cancer, pneumonia, tuberculosis, CPD ...

Why can't we get along? One reason is tribalism. It is prevalent in our time and pretty much all of us are guilty because "tit for tat" is a natural tendency. Pro-lifers often say "you must want to kill babies", which is equivalent to saying to a smoker "you must want to get cancer", or someone overweight "you must want to die of a heart attack". All have elements of truth, but such a statement is not going to help anything. 

We are not going to fix human nature, but understanding it and tribalism may help us be a tiny bit more civil. 

Super Covid Thanksgiving Memes - Power Line

So good it must be saved.

Thursday, November 19, 2020

Do Masks Work?

It has long been shown they have very little protection for YOU. 

In the end, there was no statistically significant difference between those who wore masks and those who did not when it came to being infected by COVID-19. Of those wearing masks, 1.8 percent caught COVID, compared to 2.1 percent of the control group. As a result, it seems that any effect masks have on preventing the spread of the disease in the community is small.

However, I fault the article for not saying anything about masks protecting OTHERS.  

Thus, one needs to look at the Rt rate, which is rate that the virus is spreading. You can do your own analysis quite easily ... the easy answer is that most of the states with mask mandates have WORSE Rt measures than those without. This is especially interesting for states like Minnesota that have larger cities. It seems that Iowa and Minnesota would be good comparisons due to relative population density -- perhaps one can throw out states like South Dakota with low density, which obviously helps slow spread.

So why is MN worse than Iowa?  

For some more detailed analysis, see this

The bottom line is that at least mask MANDATES don't seem to be effective. Naturally you can find "studies" that are all over the board. My experience is that the Minnesota people are being very compliant with wearing the masks. If they work to prevent the spread, they ought to work in Minnesota! 

Corona Forever At Home

Think that just because you have had Corona and recovered you are immune? 

Not according to the CDC -- you have to read down a bit under this link, it is the 3rd + after "transmission": 

CDC is aware of recent reports indicating that persons who were previously diagnosed with COVID-19 can be re-infected. These reports can understandably cause concern. The immune response, including duration of immunity, to SARS-CoV-2 infection is not yet understood. Based on what we know from other viruses, including common human coronaviruses, some reinfections are expected. Ongoing COVID-19 studies will help establish the frequency and severity of reinfection and who might be at higher risk for reinfection. At this time, whether you have had COVID-19 or not, the best ways to prevent infection are to wear a mask in public places, stay at least 6 feet away from other people, frequently wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, and avoid crowds and confined spaces.

Therefore, if you have faith in the CDC, we are on perpetual masking and social isolation.  

So how far are Corona mandates going? In Pennsylvania they are going into your home.  

Masks are now required indoors wherever people from different households are gathered — even if they are physically distant, the state health secretary, Dr. Rachel Levine, said Tuesday. The order applies to every indoor facility, including in private homes, but Levine acknowledged that officials are relying on voluntary compliance rather than on enforcement.

"Voluntary compliance" ... so far. In an increasing totalitarian state, the "experts" ideas are just so good they have to be made mandatory -- naturally for your own good! 

In Minnesota, the "Time to HEEL" includes ratting your neighbors out.  

Minneapolis encourages people to reach out to the non-emergency 311 line if they see questionable social distancing.

I know this is hard to remember now, but the old country called "America" was "the land of the free and the home of the brave"! We now live in a fascist state, "Wokeistan". Even gere in Emmetsburg Iowa, the sheriff showed up and prevented a land sale at a large facility with lots of room. 

The fact that number of cases is what is most reported (nearly exclusively) tells us there is an agenda. An honest scientist / statistician would report the rate of deaths if/when you get Corona. It is a very infectious virus, so the vast majority of us will get it. Of course 100% of us will die of something, and our chances of death rise dramatically by age. Sometimes in panic, we forget the obvious. 

Amazingly, finding death rate by age is quite hard. I wasted a lot of time this AM on what in a rational non-paniced nation would be the chief reported number. Here is data on that from this source

Some believe that the shift in infections from old to young is the primary explanation for the drop in mortality. A recent medRxiv preprint concluded that the relationship between infection fatality rate and age may be exponential. The researchers found that the age-specific infection fatality rate was extremely low among children and young adults, measuring 0.002% at age 10 and 0.1% at 25. However, the rate progressively increased with age, growing from 0.4% at 55 to around 15% at 85.

 As rational people know, it is a Henny Youngman world: "How is your wife? ... Compared to what"? Data without comparison / context IS useless ... "I lost 50 lbs", GREAT news for me. Very bad news for a 100lb woman. 

So let's compare the Corona death rate to flu: 

So at 50 to 64 years (a range I'm strangely interested in), the death rate for flu is 10.6 according to this chart, compared to previous Corona chart rate of .4 at 55. Yes, I wish the granularity was better, and I'm sure the rate goes up as one gets closer to 65, but it seems an interesting data point. 

 I find that suspiciously high, I understand that if you go 65+ with no upper bound, of course it is 100%, it would be for ANY disease or injury ... say a stubbed toe. There are lies, damned lies, and statistics! That does not mean they are "useless" it just means that like driving, you must pay attention! 

So let's look at more data. Here is flu 2010-2011: 

In my similarly age group of interest 50-64, we are looking at 10.1, which again seems really high to me ... however, I might not be completely objective here for some strange reason!

So I'm neither a doctor or a statistician, so NOT an "expert" (eg always certain, frequently wrong). My conclusions: 

  1. Unless you are quite old and/or have an underlying condition, Corona is a pretty mild flu. 
  2. The reporting on Corona is absolutely tragic. "Cases" is useless metric, even if you accept the accuracy of the various tests (which very suspect.  For the fast tests, flipping a coin seems to be close to the same accuracy. 
  3. The collateral damage from Corona is "large" in deaths, not just economics. 
  4. Panic and fear cause a LOT of bad things. 
    1. People rushing to the doctor because they are scared (who could blame them given the media/government reporting/reaction-- and the hospital is a dangerous place.  
    2. Health workers being uselessly quarantined -- don't treat at risk patients for "some time" after a diagnosis, otherwise if you feel well, you ARE well. As indicated above, the CDC says you are not "safe" even after you had it! Not that I believe the CDC, but many do
    3. Families, friends, communities being separated both physically and because of different views. We NEED to gather, for this level of risk, the "cure" is more damaging than the virus. 
    4. Panic causing worse symptoms -- as a panic attack sufferer, I can testify that panic is not conducive to breathing. 
I could ramble on of course. I would like to think that the panic was caused because a lot of old people died very quickly, and it tore through nursing homes at an alarming rate. For little things like death, people tend to personalize and project. "A plane crash killed a lot of people, therefore it is dangerous for me to fly". 

Like a stock market bubble (or crash), people quickly lapse into mania, "I've got to get IN right now no matter how expensive it is! Followed by "I've got to get OUT right now to stop my losses!" 

While I sincerely hope that these very human reasons are the cause of the panic, the timing is at best concerning relative to politics and mass control.  

For practicing Christians, at least the Confessional sort, we are admonished to not follow the crowd, but rather step back and attempt to take an eternal perspective. We are eternally free, no matter how totalitarian the state becomes. (John 8) 31 So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, 32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

Our time here is short, and we have faith that to live is Christ, and to die is gain. If you are a practicing even 90 year old Christian, fear not! Enjoy the holidays with the family as much as you can, and judge not. If this life is all one has, adherence to what is currently proffered as "undeniable science" belief in that is one of the main "virtues" one has. In that case, then fear, masks, isolation, etc are very understandable. Show grace, be gentle in stating your views. 

One of my current prayers is that more people will realize that our (or our government, "experts") to "control" anything, including our next breath is an illusion. You WILL believe in something -- choose wisely!