Archives for category: A Journal of a Plague Year

Comparing the coronavirus daily mortality curves* of Sweden and these United States, which looks better, in its general shape? Sweden’s. It looks like the Nordic country has achieved her immunity — without lockdowns. If the country could have only better controlled its old-age home/nursing home crisis, the country’s curve would even look better.

Friends Olof and Rocco and Lee and I discussed some of the problems on a recent LocoFoco podcast:

Note that we ended on that key concept, herd immunity.

But what I really wonder about is this: the slope of the curve: we were told at the beginning that the reason for the “mitigation efforts” was to “flatten the curve,” to distribute the worst cases over a longer stretch of time; we were told that we could not really much change the bulk of cases within the curve, for if you flattened it too much, the curve would re-bulge worse next winter. Could the U.S. mitigation efforts have “flattened” the curve too well, now making it, well, concave, with the recent re-emergence of harsh cases?

There are many factors, though. For it looks like one problem with fatalities is that effective protocols for actually fighting ARDS — the worst extreme cases diagnosis of COVID-19 — have not been nationally implemented, because they would make Trump look good, one of the most effective treatments including HCQ, which the president had touted early.

Is it possible that Trump Derangement Syndrome is responsible for tens of thousands of needless deaths?


* Graphs from the European Union Times and worldometer.

You’re on, Costanza!

It seems like a nifty analogy to me. But the big differences between the two situations are several:

  1. if bombed, survival was, shall we say, not likely, but most people who catch the coronavirus weather through just fine;
  2. the more people who survive the virus, the less of an epidemic it is, since we reach the herd immunity threshold — but the more people bombed and survived had no similar salutary effect for the non-bombed;
  3. what if masks are more like venetian blinds at full open, and they would only diminish the risk by a little, thus giving people false confidence so they would be less likely to go into a shelter when the sirens skirl?
  4. while lights-out was good for manned bombing runs, it made no difference with V-2s — so what if SARS-CoV-2 is more like a V-2 than a bomber run?

There are probably many more, but I think this meets Mr. Alexander’s request for debate.

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Odd how I don’t promote my own podcast. I never put this up, for example:

LocoFoco #5 — from late March.

It is an expansion of a blog post here.

It is basically a rant on risk in a free society, in the context of the pandemic. This is still relevant.

The podcast is available on Apple, Google, Pocket Cast, Spotify and SoundCloud — click to LocoFoco.net. And it is available on YouTube as a Keynote presentation:

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Top left-to-right: Timo Virkkala & Rocco Lucente; Bottom: Olof Af Yggdrasil & Lee Waaks.

The 18th episode of the LocoFoco Netcast is up on LocoFoco.net and is crawling out to podcatchers:

It is also up in video form on Brighteon and on BitChute. Check them out!

For this episode of the LocoFoco Netcast, co-hosts Timo Virkkala and Lee Waaks query Rocco Lucente and Olof Af Yggdrasil about the nature of the pandemic and its panicky, political reactions.

The podcast, as always, can be found on LocoFoco.net, and with podcatchers such as Apple’s and Google’s, and Pocket Cast and Spotify.

The Atlantic, once an indispensable magazine, first went completely Trump Derangement Syndrome, and of course now carries water for the Pandemic Panic Totalitarians. Here is an email I just got from the ’zine:

COVID-19 deaths are on the rise once again. We debrief why that’s not at all surprising—and three other things we learned while covering the outbreak in recent days.
Four Things We Learned(SHUTTERSTOCK; PAUL SPELLA / THE ATLANTIC)

1. There is no mystery in the number of Americans dying of COVID-19This summer surge in deaths was entirely predictable by looking honestly at the case and hospitalization data that preceded it, Alexis C. Madrigal explains.

2. America needs to prepare for a double pandemicThis is what keeps our Science reporter Ed Yong up at night. “If America could underperform so badly against one rapidly spreading virus,” he asks, “how would it fare against two?”

3. We talked to Anthony Fauci. He called efforts by the White House to discredit him “bizarre.” But no, he hasn’t thought about resigning. “I just want to do my job,” he told our reporters. “I’m really good at it.”

4. The pandemic will force some to face their cognitive dissonance“When the facts clash with their preexisting convictions, some people would sooner jeopardize their health and everyone else’s than accept new information or admit to being wrong,” two social psychologists write.
It goes on from there, but you get the idea.

Let’s all take a moment to mourn the passing of Climate Change Catastrophism. 

For years polls have shown that the bulk of mankind rates this issue very low as a priority.

Now, when other issues emerge to better signal uprightness — like “wear the mask!” and “black lives matter!” — the lip service people gave to climate alarmism, without (of course) really understanding the ramifications of the prophets of doom, the repeated failures of their prophecies, and the infancy of “climate science,” no longer beckons much cultish behavior.

That behavior is reserved for pandemics and racism panics.

While it is just as true that the “science” behind official pandemic responses and patterns of policing are just as shoddy and deceptive as that behind “manmade global warming,” the new ones are new, and more closely and immediately affecting everyday life, so they have extra oomph.

Will Climate Change Catastrophism come back?

Well, it might, but not, I think, bigger and better and stronger. It will be weaker, flaccid. All the people who have become skeptical about the lockdowns and mask orders, and about how real crime stats in America apply to protest demands and riots and statue iconoclasm, will take their newfound skepticism and apply it against the garbage heap that is Anthropogenic Global Warming.

But I predict a new, better form of Climate Catastrophism could emerge, and should: the one that recognizes that the real global threat to civilization, humanity, and life on this planet is extra-terrestrial hits by asteroids, comets, and mass coronal mass ejections (from the Sun).

Maybe after people realize that hair-shirt-wearing religious posturing that serves to replace the doctrine of Original Sin with some secular analogue is an embarrassment to all mankind — or at least that small fraction of intelligent terrestrial life — we can deal with real threats in a rational way.

OK. Stop laughing.

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People are stupid.

OK, that is harsh.

Progressives are stupid.

Fixed.


So, what spurred my hasty judgment? This:

A petition to officially change the name of Ohio’s capital city of Columbus to “Flavortown” is nearing 20,000 as protests over police brutality and racism have begun to target statues of Christopher Columbus.

Peter Heck, “Almost 20,000 sign petition to change the name of Columbus, Ohio, to ‘Flavortown’,” DISRN, June 22, 2020.

You live in a town. It wasn’t named by you. You get along and do not allow yourself to get caught up in paranoid responses, like that of having gotten the ideological cooties from mere trivial symbolism. Or, contrariwise, you can be a hypersensitive, politically correct ninny, as the mayor of Cleveland most assuredly is:

Mayor Andrew Ginther ordered the removal of the iconic Columbus statue from City Hall last Thursday and commissioned the Columbus Art Commission to come up with a replacement that better embodies the spirit of the city.

“For many people in our community, the statue represents patriarchy, oppression and divisiveness,” Ginther said in a statement. “That does not represent our great city, and we will no longer live in the shadow of our ugly past.”

One need not be a thrall to the traditional American cult of Cristóbal Colón to regard all this as idiotic.

For one thing, the world — even Columbus, Ohio — faces real crises. To waste one minute on this kind of symbolism seems nuts.

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From the Davos speech by Trump in January:

The great scientific breakthroughs of the 20th century — from penicillin, to high-yield wheat, to modern transportation, and breakthrough vaccines — have lifted living standards and saved billions of lives around the world. And we’re continuing to work on things that you’ll be hearing about in the near future that, even today, sitting here right now, you wouldn’t believe it’s possible that we have found the answers. You’ll be hearing about it. But we have found answers to things that people said would not be possible — certainly not in a very short period of time.

But the wonders of the last century will pale in comparison to what today’s young innovators will achieve because they are doing things that nobody thought even feasible to begin. We continue to embrace technology, not to shun it. When people are free to innovate, millions will live longer, happier, healthier lives.

Donald J. Trump, President of the United States, from his address at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, January 22, 2020.

Then came the pandemic and its hysterical responses, and now the race riots and mob iconoclasm. What if Trump was talking about very specific things, things he knows to be developing in a technical pipeline but we do not — what if he is not just blowing smoke?

Remember that Biden also promised, not long ago, a cure for cancer?

What if major technological breakthroughs are on the brink, and the competing tribes in government are trying to leverage their positions to take credit for them?

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Among the monuments dishonored by “Black Lives Matter” mobs are those of Miguel de Cervantes, himself a slave for several years as well as a Spanish literary master, often said to be the inventor of the novel; John Greenleaf Whittier, America’s abolitionist poet; and Ulysses S. Grant, the general who ended the Civil War and thus materially ushered in the abolition of slavery.

That mobs are mad is a truism; that its participants are willfully stupid, obvious. But support for same among bystanders is worse than mad and stupid.

I’ll let you guess the word I think most apt here.

When, at the fall of the Iron Curtain and the end of the Soviet Socialist hegemony, the statuary of Stalin and Lenin were pulled down, I was jubilant, too. A tyranny and its iconography were being smashed. Great!

But a tyranny had fallen. The Soviet Union had not been a real republic. It was, indeed, an “evil empire.” In America, there are surely elements of evil in our empire, but it is not on the same order. And the empire has not fallen. The icons going down are being taken down by unruly mobs who bypass the rule of law to express their own feckless hegemony on our state and our culture. The empire is letting this happen. Why? Because it shows, I suspect, how secure it is to have all the ancient iconography pulled down yet it remain, barely shaken.

The current iconoclasm is probably best seen as an attack upon the idea of the republic, a rejection of its goodness and virtue and justice. While I am sympathetic with that general critique, the specific critique is insane, since you cannot claim that the bourgeois freedom of American society is evil “because of slavery” when slavery is obviously (and was recognized as) at odds with freedom.

Black Lives Matter is not subversive of The State. It is subversive of Liberty. The leftist idea is to use the mere existence of past slavery as a rationale to set up a completely different kind of socio-political order. Since most of these ninnies are promoting some form of socialism, those of us who identify socialism with slavery must express some alarm.

To get caught up in the peculiar arguments about “systemic racism” is irrelevant. For insurrection is no way to fight that.

For example, while I am more than willing to defend black lives from the depredations of the state, once the movement goes socialist, or engages in some vast doublethink Orwellianism of destroying ancient monuments, all I itch to do, then, is simply destroy the mobs. Bring in the guns and start shooting. Let the blood run at the wreckage of the statuary.

Is that the best way to handle the mobs? Probably not. Especially since what we are really dealing with is a ginned-up race war by the corporate media and the Democratic Party. Violence should probably be avoided.

The real problem is not the intransigent minority of African-American “protesters.” The real problem is the sick, cowardly, intellectually flabby support of same — and the rioters who follow so closely at their heels — by white “liberals.” Who are not of course liberal.

It is they who deserve the fate the mobs have directed merely towards the statuary.

I hope they do not get what they deserve, if for no other reason than I know these asshats, and I would likely be caught as collateral damage. But they might. For who knows where this will end?

If we are lucky, it will peter out as it becomes apparent that it was all fake and nonsense from the beginning.

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Some seemingly inexplicable events would, if understood, greatly increase our knowledge of the present epoch of crisis. The most obvious is “Why would Comedy Central hire a desperately unfunny comedian to replace Jon Stewart?”

Some might wonder, “Why did Jon Stewart leave The Daily Show?” One answer to that, related to my first question, too, is “Stewart had done the harm that the Archons had demanded he do.”

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