Friday, October 16, 2020

NYT: Experts Confident Pandemic To Be Over ‘Far Sooner’ Than Expected, Trump Efforts ‘Working With Remarkable Efficiency’

A new report from The New York Times indicates that experts have “genuine confidence” that the coronavirus pandemic will end “far sooner” than originally expected and that President Donald Trump’s Operation Warp Speed — the administration’s efforts to facilitate and accelerate the development, manufacturing, and distribution of vaccines, therapeutics, and diagnostics — has been “working with remarkable efficiency.”

The report, published on Monday, comes with just over three weeks left in the presidential race between Trump and Democrat presidential nominee Joe Biden.

“Events have moved faster than I thought possible. I have become cautiously optimistic,” New York Times science reporter Donald McNeil Jr. wrote. “Experts are saying, with genuine confidence, that the pandemic in the United States will be over far sooner than they expected, possibly by the middle of next year.”

The report noted that the U.S. was “faring much better than it did during the Spanish influenza,” which cost 675,000 Americans their lives, adding, “the country’s population at the time was 103 million, so that toll is equivalent to 2 million dead today.”

The report noted numerous positive developments that have come along the way as the U.S. battles the pandemic, ranging from the average age of those being infected being significantly younger now than at the start of the pandemic to nursing homes becoming better at protecting their patients.

“Sometime in the next three months, health experts say, the F.D.A. is likely to begin granting approval to vaccines now in the works,” the report said. “Despite the chaos in day-to-day politics and the fighting over issues like masks and lockdowns, Operation Warp Speed — the government’s agreement to subsidize vaccine companies’ clinical trials and manufacturing costs — appears to have been working with remarkable efficiency. It has put more than $11 billion into seven vaccine candidates, and the F.D.A. has said it will approve any one that is at least 50 percent effective at preventing infection or reducing its severity.”

The report notes that Operation Warp Speed’s chief scientific adviser, Moncef Slaoui, believes that some of the early vaccine candidates will be 75 to 90 percent effective and that at least two will have won approval by sometime in January.

“By then, Dr. Slaoui has estimated, the factories under contract will have produced enough vaccine for 30 to 40 million people, and then another 80 to 90 million people every month after that,” the report added. “Assuming nothing goes wrong, he said, there will be enough doses for all 330 million Americans to be vaccinated by next June.”

The report noted that the military is standing by to assist in the rapid distribution of any vaccines that become available and that skepticism and hesitation to taking a vaccine may quickly fade as people begin to weigh the relatively minuscule risks of a vaccine against the potential effects of contracting the virus, including “the prospect of being unable to return to work, having to home-school one’s children for years and not eating in a restaurant, flying on an airplane or watching a movie in a theater without the specter of anxiety.”


FACT CHECK: More People Delaying Health Care Over Costs Now Than Pre-Obamacare

A common myth being presented during the Amy Coney Barrett hearings is the notion that many Americans who couldn’t afford healthcare before the Affordable Care Act was passed and implemented suddenly could.

Unfortunately for the Democrats, the data suggests otherwise. According to a Gallup survey from December 2019, 33 percent of Americans say they or a family member put off treatment for a health condition because of the costs.

This number has remained virtually unchanged since Obamacare was passed. In fact, the number has averaged about 30 percent since 2006, which is significantly higher than it was back in 2001, when only 19 percent of Americans said they or a family member put off treatment for a health condition because of the cost.

Worse yet, Obamacare hasn’t improved the situation for those with pre-existing conditions. “Reports of delaying care for a serious condition due to costs are also up 13 points compared with last year among Americans who report they or another household member has a ‘pre-existing condition,'” Gallup reported. “At the same time, there has been virtually no change in the percentage of adults without pre-existing conditions in the household who delayed care for a serious health issue in the past year, currently 12% versus 11% in 2018.”

Gallup does urge some caution with regard to the four-point jump in those reporting delaying care over the previous survey. “Most of the recent increase in reports that family members are delaying treatment for serious conditions has occurred among self-identified Democrats,” explains Gallup. “This is up 12 points since 2018 among Democrats, compared with three- and five-point increases among Republicans and independents, respectively.”

The partisan gap in the responses to these questions is the largest in two decades. The reason for this, Gallup can’t say for sure. But seeing as Gallup reported there’s been no major change in health coverage, the sharp spike of self-identifying Democrats reporting delaying healthcare over costs is likely done for partisan reasons, as the survey occurred in the heat of a Democratic presidential primary.

But one thing that is clear: fewer people were delaying medical care over costs back in 2001, and Obamacare has done nothing to reduce the number of people delaying health care over costs. Nothing at all.


Handmaids of Bigotry

Well, they dusted off those colorful “Handmaid’s Tale” outfits that were so visible at Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court confirmation hearings in 2018.

Even before Amy Coney Barrett’s hearing on Monday before the Senate Judiciary Committee, the Democrats were being cheered on by permanently angry women (and maybe some men) dressed in red cloaks with white duckbills extending from their hoods.

This is the uniform of the oppressed women in Hulu’s serialization of Margaret Atwood’s dystopic, anti-Christian novel. If you thought atheist crusader Philip Pullman’s thinly disguised depiction of church authorities as evil in “The Golden Compass” book and movie were bad, Ms. Atwood runs circles around him. In her 1985 book and TV series, the polygamous men cite Bible verses and treat the women as sex slaves.

Braving the rain on Monday, the demonstrators held signs festooned with messages such as a giant NO! in rainbow colors over “Trump/Pence Must Go!”

This time around in the Senate star chamber, the Democrats who pretend to honor religious liberty while assailing nominees’ faith think they have a smoking gun. The word “handmaid.”

Mrs. Barrett and her husband have long been members of an ecumenical charismatic Christian group begun in 1971 called People of Praise, based in South Bend, Indiana, home to Notre Dame University and its law school, from which she graduated summa cum laude and taught constitutional law.

Women leaders in the group, including Mrs. Barrett, previously held the title of “handmaid,” which is derived from Jesus’s mother Mary’s own description of herself in Luke 1:38 as “the handmaid of the Lord.”

The group dropped that title in favor of “women’s leader” because “the meaning of this title has shifted dramatically in our culture in recent years,” a spokesman said.

Mrs. Barrett, 48, now serves on the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, to which she was nominated by President Trump in 2017. At that time, Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California said at a hearing that Mrs. Barrett’s religious beliefs worried her because “the dogma lives loudly within you.”

Wow. Talk about open religious bigotry. But it’s OK because the senator is a Democrat, and they get to do this sort of thing. It’s not as if the media would have a problem with it.

Here’s a front-page headline from last Wednesday’s Washington Post: “Barrett long active with insular Christian group: Community preached subservience for women, former members say.”

Ah, those “former members.” You can always dig up a dissident or two to make the point you want, unless you’re reporting on Black Lives Matter or the Democratic National Committee, which are pretty much the same thing.

As for People of Praise, here’s more from their own media statement provided to

“A majority of People of Praise members are Catholic, and yet the People of Praise is not a Catholic group. We aim to be a witness to the unity Jesus desires for all his followers. Our membership includes not only Catholics but Lutherans, Anglicans, Methodists, Pentecostals and nondenominational Christians. What we share is a common baptism, a commitment to love one another and our teachings, which we hold in common.

“Freedom of conscience is a key to our diversity. People of Praise members are always free to follow their consciences, as formed by the light of reason, experience and the teachings of their churches.”

As the Apostle Paul instructs, and many biblically sound churches teach, men are to be the spiritual leaders in the church and in their own households and they are to love their wives as they love themselves. This is considered scandalous by our cultural commissars.

In Ephesians 5:25, Paul writes: “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church, and gave Himself for her.” That means laying down your life if necessary. It’s why when things go bump in the night, the guy should be the one who goes downstairs with the baseball bat or the Sig Sauer.

Democrats are terrified of the attractive and articulate Mrs. Barrett, a mother of seven, just as they were threatened by Clarence Thomas, who destroyed their narrative that blacks belong on the leftist plantation.


Barrett Nomination Shows Trump Is Giving Power to Everyday Americans, Not Ivy League 'Elites'

President Trump was elected on a simple premise. For too long, the American and global elites had ignored the plight of the average American. Trump’s 2016 electoral victory was echoed in other nations with the Brexit vote and the “yellow jacket” protests in France. The president’s nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the U.S. Supreme Court shows that he continues to be committed to returning power to the forgotten people.

In her opening statement before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, Judge Barrett observed that she would be the only justice on the current court that did not attend Harvard or Yale. She defended the honor of her Alma Mater, Notre Dame Law School, and quipped that she might be able to teach the other justices something about football.

There is no question that Atlantic Coast Conference football, where Notre Dame now plays, is far superior to Ivy League football. The same cannot be said about the quality of legal education at Harvard or Yale compared to the many other fine law schools we have across the country. Excellent legal thought and scholarship are not restricted to Boston, Massachusetts or New Haven, Connecticut.

It is interesting to note, that the last four presidents before Donald Trump were all graduates from Yale or Harvard at some level. George W. Bush actually attended both, Yale undergraduate and Harvard Business school. The last two unsuccessful Democratic nominees for president, John Kerry and Hillary Clinton, were also Yale products. The last president before Trump who did not go to Harvard or Yale? Ronald Reagan.

Judge Barrett attended Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee for her undergraduate work and Notre Dame Law School in Indiana. It speaks volumes about Judge Barrett’s talent, abilities, and character that she was able to secure a spot as a clerk at the U.S. Supreme Court, under Justice Scalia, without a Yale or Harvard pedigree. It says even more about her that after the lofty heights of Washington, D.C. and the Supreme Court she decided to return to the heartland to continue her career and raise her family. In a time period where diversity is touted as a virtue, a Justice Barrett would bring diversity of thought and life experience to the Court.

This is not to say that Harvard and Yale are bad schools but thinking that they are the only excellent law schools is based more on snobbery than fact. The people who voted to place President Trump in office had grown tired of the bicoastal elites, who have more in common with the global elites than people in the heartland or as they call it “fly over country.” The elites promised that they knew better than the rest of us, and Americans watched as we lost our sovereignty and our jobs to countries overseas. The elites told us that America is not “exceptional.” The elites did not appear to put the interests of their fellow citizens above their own or those of the rest of the world.

That is why the nomination of Judge Barrett is so refreshing. She is an authentic wife, mother, and brilliant legal mind, straight from the heartland. By putting her forward, President Trump continues to demonstrate his affection for the forgotten people of our country and his disdain for the condescending elites.




Thursday, October 15, 2020

The One Metric That Has Decided Every Presidential Winner Since 1988...And Trump Has a Lock on It

Again, David Chapman and PollWatch are two good accounts that have been tracking the polling this cycle and cutting through the nonsense from the liberal media. There’s been a lot of funny business with the polling folks. Firms conducting polls around the same time but getting different results. We have shy Trump voters. We have youth vote interest tanking in this election cycle to levels not seen since 2000. Some polls have one million fewer young people voting this year. But somehow Biden is going to win by like 12 points. It’s unreliable to the nth degree. So, what Chapman did was compile a thread that cuts through a lot of the liberal media silliness out there. For starters, he nixes the idea that bad economies kill incumbents. Yes, that was the case for Bush 41, but historically the incumbent party is 12-11 when facing re-election during an economic downturn.

And speaking of incumbents, Chapman added, “no incumbent who has received at least 75% of the primary vote has lost re-election. Donald Trump received 94% of the primary vote, which is the 4th highest all-time. Higher than Eisenhower, Nixon, Clinton, and Obama.”

Oh, and it gets better.

“Three times in history America has faced a pandemic, recession, and civil unrest during an election year. The incumbent party is 3-0 in those elections,” wrote Chapman “What about polls? Well, polls are predicting Trump's win. The ABC poll shows Trump with a 19-point enthusiasm advantage.”

He noted that every candidate who held the edge in voter enthusiasm since 1988 has won the election.

During Amy Coney Barrett’s Supreme Court nomination hearing, we heard a lot about history and how it’s against the GOP in filling this SCOTUS vacancy left by the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Well, here’s some bad news for Biden. No one who served more than 15 years in the Senate has been elected president. Joe Biden has been there for nearly four decades.

It’s why Chapman added that by every historic metric and trend, Trump is the one on the path to winning this election.


No, Joe, There Was No Economic Boom Under Obama

There was no economic "boom" as Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are misremembering. This was an economy that skidded into a financial ditch and seemingly never pulled out of it and got back on the prosperity hot lanes until Donald Trump won the election in November 2016.

You can mark the real recovery -- an economic inflection point almost the day after that surprise election outcome.

Every liberal forecaster and most academic economists had guaranteed America that, if Trump were elected, the stock market would crash; workers would be flattened; and, as New York Times economist Paul Krugman famously predicted, the economy would "never" recover.

Instead, the Dow Jones Industrial Average soared by 257 points the morning after the election (that's some crash), and it rose for the next three years, as it has again over the last several months. A few days after that election, small-business optimism surged by its most considerable amount ever measured, going back many decades. Family incomes surged to record-high levels in 2017, 2018 and 2019 as deregulation and tax cuts fueled a powerful engine. In three years, ordinary people had made more income gains than in eight years under the Obama-Biden administration.

But now we are being told a fairy tale that the Obama economy was booming and Biden miraculously fixed it and Trump "blew it."

Here's the reality check. Under Barack Obama, the economy barely grew 2% -- rather pathetic for a "recovery." The people who made the preposterous bullish claims that Obama saved the economy are the ones who now say the Biden economic plan will gain millions of jobs.

In the last year of Obama's presidency, growth shrunk to 1.6%, and the concern was the possibility of another recession. That's some boom.

If the Obama recovery had been as rapid as the average recovery, we would have had at least $1 trillion more GDP by 2016. If we had experienced a Ronald Reagan-style recovery, the GDP would have been $2.5 trillion larger when Obama left office. It is almost equivalent to the size of the entire output of the state of California gone missing.

The first four years of the Obama presidency were abysmal. The Obama-Biden $800 billion stimulus plan left unemployment higher every year than their economists had predicted if we did nothing. What bailed out Obama, ironically enough, was the shale oil and gas revolution that added millions of jobs despite the Obama-Biden hatred of fossil fuels. Most of the employment growth came in Texas, Oklahoma and North Dakota. Meanwhile, most of the green energy subsidies went into failed and now-bankrupt companies such as Solyndra. And now Biden promises another $2 trillion for "clean energy" corporate welfare subsidies.

Throughout nearly all of the Biden-Obama presidency, roughly 1 out of 3 people in the United States rated the economy as "good" or "excellent." Most of the rest rated the economy "fair" or "poor." That number surged to about 65% rating the economy as "good" or "excellent" within a year of Trump's presidency.

People can debate Trump's handling of the virus and the mistakes that have been made. It now looks like under any scenario, except an airtight sequestering of those over the age of 75, smokers, diabetics and severely overweight people, we would have seen the same or worse results.

Now the question is which game plan gets the economy and employment back to normal as quickly as possible. Biden promises a $4 trillion tax hike on almost all U.S. businesses and investors. That's roughly 5% of everything we produce that gets snatched away in higher taxes. If you believe that this will get America back on the fast track, you probably believe Obama caused an economic boom.


Democide and the 2020 Election

Joseph Goebbels, Hitler’s trusted Minister of Propaganda and certainly no friend to democracy, stated, “It will always remain one of the best jokes of democracy, that it gives its deadly enemies the means by which to destroy it.” What Goebbels was pointing out was that a democracy, by its very nature, must give voice to its critics, whose real agendas may be cleverly disguised or not revealed at all, as well as to its proponents. John Keane in the Griffith Review reminds us of the often overlooked truth that democracies contain within themselves the very seeds needed to destroy them. Citizens of a democratic nation, by electing through democratic means individuals who clandestinely seek to institute other forms of government once in office, can actually become unwitting accessories in the murder of the democracy they love. Keane believes this thinking is confirmed by democracy's historical decline and the view that democracy may well be its own campfire on ice. When voting in the coming 2020 election, Americans should understand this. They must be wary of candidates who promise almost everything, before completing their ballots and voting for the democracy-destroying Harris-Biden ticket with among other prescriptions, killing the Senate filibuster and packing the Supreme Court.

Fears for the world's democracies are well founded. When Goebbels began mocking democracy as a form of government, he had just played a major role in bringing down the Weimar Republic. The Weimar Republic had been a noble attempt at creating a true democracy in Europe in the second decade of the 20th century. Attempts to create such a democratic form of government following World War I came during an especially challenging time for the defeated German nation. War reparations, massive national debt, and economic controls on targeted areas of production caused frequent civil unrest. Nonetheless, with financial assistance from the United States under the Dawes Plan, this fledgling attempt at democracy in Europe experienced some noticeable success from 1923-1929. The Great Depression, however, would soon spell doom to the new Republic. Hitler and Goebbels used the very democratic institutions and laws of the Republic to destroy it. In the midst of ubiquitous poverty, unemployment and social unrest during the Great Depression, Hitler and Goebbels discovered that the core tenets of a democracy would allow a path for them to legally come to power. The freedom given to a nation's citizens, when combined with certain extrinsic conditions, could quickly provide the tools to create revolution and wholesale government change.

As with the Weimar Republic, we are now facing the potential death of our American democracy. This, the oldest and most successful democracy in the world, has brought the highest standard of living and individual freedom to its citizens that the world has ever known.

With the election of Barack Obama in 2008, an unforeseen cancer to democracy in America, marginalized since WWII, began to reemerge and metastasize. The education domain and the Democrat Party took hard turns to the left and began supporting socialism and neo-Marxist causes. The mainstream media in the U.S. also aligned itself squarely with the liberal and left-leaning movement of the Democrat Party. No longer was the press free and objective; it became the propaganda arm of the Left, adopting a role similar to Goebbels’ propaganda machine in Germany.

Democrats and the MSM found a ready scapegoat in the non-politician president, Donald J. Trump, an easy target to vilify. Because of his strong opposition to the left, the Democrats were obsessed with removing him from office and moving the nation in a more socialistic direction.

Never before in the history of the United States has a president been attacked so viciously and resolutely by the opposing party in confederation with the MSM. Then came the big lie, in fact, two big lies. The first lie was that “Trump colluded with the Russians” to gain the presidency. After three years of unceasing attacks by the Democrat/MSM confederation, that lie was invalidated. Lee Smith now details how President Obama despotically used FBI and CIA executives to overthrow the Trump administration. Both dollar and opportunity costs to this nation are significant.

This was followed by the Chinese world pandemic and along with it, the opportunity for the second big lie—"it was all President Trump’s fault.” The pandemic offered a new opening for the left to push allegations of systematic racism with corresponding rioting and protests. Democrat and MSM hatred for President Trump blinds them to their position’s tyranny.

Again, Democrats/MSM pointed fingers at Trump, using the 2020 election to make their end run to replace this noble experiment in governance with the shiny new object of socialism masked by social justice recriminations and an occasional dose of neo-Marxism. The democratic processes that made this country so unique and its citizens so endowed, are now being used to kill it. As Mark Chou explains, "when incapable of redressing the political crises they have manufactured themselves, whether because of individual freedom, bureaucratic morass, or the sluggishness of democratic politics, the claim is, democracies can die by their own hand." We see an example of the democratic process being used against itself in the Portland Mayoral race. Sarah Innarone, a leader in the Portland Antifa movement and candidate for mayor, acknowledged: “Peaceful protests, in my opinion, might not necessarily be moving the conversation forward."

Democracy may quickly become only a faint echo in America just as it was in the Weimar Republic—the result of internal democide. What is democide you may ask? Chu concludes: “Democracy is a precarious thing. It’s precarity, more to the point, emanates from itself. Democracy is the very thing, if we take Goebbels seriously, that can bring democracy to its knees." Or as the Australian historian Robert Moss wrote in The Collapse of Democracy, “where else but in a democracy can the system be destroyed through its own institutions?” Although his book was written in 1977, it beckons poignantly from the past to America’s political situation today. The Wall Street Journal’s Gerard Baker identifies such MSM threats as, “a media ever more eager to peddle unsubstantiated information of the most negative sort in pursuit of an ideological agenda, and a political class feeding dishonesty to its own partisans—is the larger allegory of modern [and fragile] democracy on display.”



Biden questions "memory" of voters in poll who say they're better off now than four years ago (Fox News)

Biden forgets Mitt Romney's name (The Washington Free Beacon)

Biden talked of attending black church as a teen, but members don't recall it (The Washington Free Beacon)

Some Public Gatherings Are Better Than Others: Twenty-one arrested at DC protest on first day of Amy Coney Barrett hearings (Washington Examiner)

"Back the Blue" Blexit event in DC ends on mall with national anthem (The Daily Wire)

Patriot Post contributors Willie Richardson, Patrick Hampton, and Anthony Brian Logan attend DC Blexit rally (ABC 9 Chattanooga)

Columbus fans defy culture, coronavirus with holiday celebrations (The Washington Times)

Social Justice Warrior LeBron's Lakers win title — thousands of fans ignore virus restrictions, some violently target police (The Daily Wire)

Pelosi faces backlash after rejecting Trump's latest stimulus offer (Fox Business)

Gina Haspel blows off senators' demands to quit stonewalling Congress on Russiagate oversight (The Federalist)

The median household will pay more under Biden-Harris tax plan (National Review)

A farmer made a giant Biden-Harris sign out of hay bales, but it was set on fire the next day (The Washington Post)

Johnson & Johnson pauses coronavirus vaccine trials due to unexplained illness (Reuters)

Nevada man's COVID-19 reinfection, the first in the U.S., is "yellow caution light" about risk of coronavirus (USA Today)

U.S. forces conduct "targeted strikes" to slow Taliban advance (The Washington Times)

Meth bust at U.S.-Mexico border is second largest in history (Washington Examiner)

Policy: Beyond court packing: Here's how Dems plan to create a one-party state (Issues & Insights)

Policy: Why Americans Can't Just 'Listen to the Experts' (Real Clear Policy)




Wednesday, October 14, 2020

If We Don’t Fight Back Against Corona Fascism, It Will Never End

Scott Morefield

Unicoi County, Tennessee, is a dark-red county in a dark-red state. It’s a beautiful, mountainous place with low population density and an even lower probability of spotting a liberal. The place is as ‘conservative’ as anywhere in the country, yet its feckless mayor just extended a countywide face-covering mandate for yet another month. Though you could count the daily coronavirus cases throughout the entire county on one hand, if not a finger or two, reasons cited were - wait for it - ‘schools fully opening’ and ‘flu season.’

I’m only picking on Unicoi because I live nearby and nearly lost my cool when I heard those ‘reasons’ for the extension calmly cited by the radio news guy while I was driving last week. Their cases are so low they can’t even pretend it’s about the ‘rona anymore, so might as well ‘save some lives’ from the flu, right? In other words, there’s a growing set of people in this country who are so in love with their slave gags that they’re willing to mandate them literally forever because hey, ‘it could save a life!’ And this is a RED county, so it’s obviously going to be infinitely worse in Democratic-controlled areas where they’re often required outdoors anywhere outside the home.

Even if masks worked to stop the spread of a highly contagious respiratory virus and had zero negative effects either medically or psychologically, wearing them forever would be a ridiculous stretch. And yet, here we are, in a place where a 5-foot-tall 100-pound woman can literally get arrested for daring to remove her face burqa while sitting outside in the stands with her family at a high school football game in red-state Ohio. You’ve all seen the video by now and yes, I know the whole story. Still, it’s hard to stomach the optics of a giant police officer tasing and handcuffing a woman a third his size for such a ridiculous “offense.” I’m normally very pro-police, but I also think any law enforcement officer who enforces ANY coronavirus restrictions should seriously rethink their purpose. And what of the people sitting there calmly allowing it to happen? From what the woman shouted as she was being let away, she seemed to have had some sort of understanding that several attendees would commit their civil disobedience together, only to be left twisting in the wind, literally alone.

Indeed, what SHOULD happen in a situation like this? How long will people blindly follow these ridiculous, useless, and unconstitutional mandates? How long should we? What would have happened if everyone in that section of the stands had stood up, Spartacus-style, removed their masks and said “you’re going to have to take us too”? Here’s what happened in Spain last month when police tried to arrest a woman on the street, outside, for not wearing a mask. People chanted in support. Others tossed their COVID diapers off and pulled her away from their grasp. They didn’t attack police, but they didn’t allow them to enforce a tyrannical edict either. It was a beautiful sight to behold.

If this virus had a death rate most people should be seriously concerned about (it doesn’t), if temporary mask usage was really proven to permanently stop the spread of COVID-19 in a serious way (it’s not), if places like California, Peru, Columbia, Spain, and countless others that strictly implemented it immediately saw a serious, lasting decline in cases (they haven’t), then maybe the Mask Nazis would have a case. If masks worked, after all, their usage would only be TEMPORARY, right? So why are we now in month eight of this insanity? Why are places like Sweden, Norway, Denmark, the Netherlands, and even South Dakota NOT rolling in bodies now that they aren’t embracing universal, forced masking? The mask-cult never even attempts to answer those questions, of course. Their ‘answer’ is always some version of “mask up,” “masks work,” “masks have been proven to stop the spread of COVID-19,” and/or “it’s science!” Just simple Orwellian phrases for frightened, impressionable minds.

So, what does successful pushback against corona fascism actually look like? Obviously, getting and staying informed, then informing other people is critical (yes, this “Team Reality” Twitter list is a great place to start!). The more people who know the truth, the better chance we’ll have of beating this in the long-run. But on the ground, in our day-to-day lives, what should those of us who ‘know the deal’ on this actually do to push back? It depends on your own mindset, personality, and local and state government, of course, but personally, I think it’s time for a little bit of healthy civil disobedience.

No, I’m not talking about verbally harassing anyone or being overly confrontational, but I am talking about being a bit more brazen about walking into places while daring to breathe free air. Not all the time, and not in every situation (especially not on an airplane!), but when you do have a reasonable choice between muzzled and free, go with free if at all possible.

From a strategic perspective, where should this be done? Well, federalism and a few reasonably informed governors thankfully give us some opportunities to push on some lower-hanging fruit. If it’s possible to be noncompliant and still bear only social consequences (as opposed to fines or worse), then we should definitely do so, then keep pointing to the fact that the virus isn’t killing more people per capita in the low-compliance areas than the high-compliance ones.

To be completely transparent, I’m fortunate to live in a state without a statewide mandate and only a toothless local one. Still, indoor compliance is probably close to 75 percent. When I go maskless into a store or basically any indoor area, it’s always a little uncomfortable at first. I know I can be pretty bombastic here at Townhall, but in real life, I’m super easy to get along with and generally don’t like negative confrontation. Even knowing what I know, I still have to fight back against the innate desire to conform and simply go-along-to-get-along. But I know it’s important, so I make myself do it when I can. But it’s nice when we can lean on each other. When I see even one other person’s maskless face in a store, I’m always encouraged. In the same way that others are an encouragement to us, we can be an encouragement to them. If I feel this way, it’s likely others do as well when they see me.

Tougher, of course, are the states and places where mask-mandates are enforced with fines and/or compliance is pretty much 100 percent. Sadly, most places are like this, and while that belies the mask-cult’s contention that if “everyone just complied we’d beat the virus” (LOL), it also presents a problem for those of us bent on a little civil disobedience. If you are in this situation, you do what feels right for you. No judging! Maybe going maskless outside is a strong statement that’s reasonably low-risk. Maybe posting on social media, speaking facts to everyone you know, writing a letter to your local editor, or even writing and/or speaking to your local officials is the way to go. Keep pointing to comparisons between more-mask and less-mask areas because obvious truth is our best tool.

Indeed, we are living in an age where simply exposing your face is a revolutionary act. However, to take a cue from Gandhi, it’s time for us to BE the change we want to see. It’s time to simply refuse to comply with their nonsense. Yes, it will mean some uncomfortable moments. If things get worse, it could mean some financial and even legal ramifications for many. However, much worse are the consequences of living in a totalitarian, never-ending corona-fascist state and wearing a face diaper literally forever in a futile attempt to stop a highly transmissable respiratory virus with a .13 percent infection fatality rate.


The U.S. Economy Is Roaring Back

Over the last few months, we have witnessed the sharpest economic snapback in US history. While many are still out of work, the future looks increasingly promising for those seeking employment. One would think that we were still mired in the deepest throes of April’s COVID-19 crisis if you take heed of the media’s narrative in recent weeks. It is clear the Democrats and Joe Biden are making the pandemic their closing argument for the 2020 election. But why? The economy is a losing argument for the Left.

As of early this October, a majority of voters believe that Trump is best equipped to handle the economy. If the Gallup poll showing 56% of voters believing that they are better off today than they were four years ago is accurate, the Biden campaign is in big trouble. With the political circus dictating the daily narrative, it’s easy to lose track of just how much progress has been made on the economic revival since 2016, and more specifically, since this past spring’s pandemic-induced lows. When assessing the strength of the economy, it’s very useful to look at some of the raw data that gives insight into the global supply and demand dynamic.

The commodity market is a clear window into the cost of goods and the level of demand that exists. As the Coronavirus shut down economies all over the world, global goods demand collapsed. Most notably was the oil market, as energy fuels the economy as a whole. Supply was steady, but a massive collapse in activity that forms demand left producers with a supply glut. The supply/demand gap was so large that oil futures (commodities trade primarily in the futures market) actually went negative, a historic event.

Just 7 months later the market has not only stabilized, but also has rebounded significantly. Oil, itself, is up over 100% from levels seen this Spring. This is a sound indicator of the resumption of robust economic activity. We are now escaping from economic contraction and are closing in on expansion. As consumers travel more and demand comes back for finished goods, the oil market will continue to flourish. This is one of many reasons why the Third Quarter GDP measure, to be released at the end of October only days before the election, will show the most significant rise in US history. The commodities market isn’t limited to oil. There are other very useful economic gauges within the basic goods market.

One of the most important, in terms of assessing global activity, is copper. Copper is a basic material used throughout manufacturing. The copper market collapsed this Spring along with all other raw goods during the crisis. At its low, copper was trading down roughly 35%. As activity has roared back to life, copper has been on an absolute tear. As of this writing, copper is up over 50% above its COVID lows, and is, in fact, higher than the market was trading pre-COVID. That’s a very promising signal emanating from the commodity market.

Here in the United States, we have many indicators painting a picture of a resurgent economy that may already be in a boom despite a high unemployment rate. We have very good cause to remain optimistic. Most recently, the PMI services index, a measure of economic activity in the services sector(and ~70% of the US economy), registered at ~56. A PMI reading 50 represents flat activity, while any figure above 50 indicates growth. 56 is a reassuring figure and represents a substantial increase in the level of activity in a significant portion of our economy.

If there is one metric that reigns supreme over all other data points, it’s the level of employment. On this front, we have seen a surprising rate of recovery. Many suggested this past spring we wouldn’t see a recovery in employment for years and years. Some even suggested we were at the beginning of a decade-long depression. This couldn’t be further from the truth. At the nadir of the Coronavirus recession, the unemployment rate in the United States was a staggering 14.7%. The Payroll Protection Plan (PPP) undoubtedly saved the US labor market from total collapse. Now, unemployment has contracted to 7.9%. This is a remarkable rebound, considering the shape we were in just 6 months ago. This growth is the highest on record for the United States.

Across metrics and hard data, it’s clear the economy is surging its way back to prosperity. It was during Obama’s administration that our leaders suggested we were in a “new normal” in which unemployment was steady at 5% and that we would see sub-3% growth indefinitely. The Trump economy blew that assumption up, capped with the most prosperous year on record in 2019. It is on the strength of that growth that we have been able to power our way through a total economic shutdown.

Despite this gratifying recovery, it remains fragile. A Biden-Harris administration would usher in regulatory and tax policies that would cripple the economy‘s growth and send us backward in ways we can’t imagine. Having come so far in the face of a devastating pandemic, it would be tragic to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. Should such a political reversal of fortune transpire, those dire predictions of a long depression just may come true.



Barrett to praise Scalia in opening hearing statement, say court should not make policy (Fox News)

Democrats collude to accuse GOP of "court packing" ahead of Barrett hearings (Washington Examiner)

Hillary Clinton maintains 2016 election "was not on the level," and "we still don't know what really happened" (National Review)

Trump preparing new $1.8T coronavirus relief package, urges Congress to "go big" (Fox Business)

Dem group spends millions on Fake News Facebook stories in key districts (National Review)

One dead after leftist BLM-antifa groups clash with Patriot rally in Denver (The Federalist)

Planned Parenthood audit shows accusations of multiple incidents of racism (The Daily Wire)

Washington Post blames "systemic racism" for George Floyd robbing a Latino woman at gunpoint (Front Page Mag)

Security guard hired by local NBC News station charged with murder of right-wing protester (The Daily Wire)

Trump is no longer a COVID-19 "transmission risk," says the White House doctor (National Review)

Policy: How China is overtaking the U.S. with the world's No. 1 navy (The Daily Signal)

Policy: Nationalizing 5G is the wrong way for the U.S. to compete with China (The Daily Signal)




Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Coronavirus: WHO backflips on virus stance by condemning lockdowns

Trump vindicated

Dr. David Nabarro from the WHO appealed to world leaders yesterday, telling them to stop “using lockdowns as your primary control method” of the coronavirus.

He also claimed that the only thing lockdowns achieved was poverty – with no mention of the potential lives saved.

“Lockdowns just have one consequence that you must never ever belittle, and that is making poor people an awful lot poorer,” he said.

“We in the World Health Organisation do not advocate lockdowns as the primary means of control of this virus,” Dr Nabarro told The Spectator.

“The only time we believe a lockdown is justified is to buy you time to reorganise, regroup, rebalance your resources, protect your health workers who are exhausted, but by and large, we’d rather not do it.”

Dr Nabarro’s main criticism of lockdowns involved the global impact, explaining how poorer economies that had been indirectly affected.

“Just look at what’s happened to the tourism industry in the Caribbean, for example, or in the Pacific because people aren’t taking their holidays,” he said.

“Look what’s happened to smallholder farmers all over the world. … Look what’s happening to poverty levels. It seems that we may well have a doubling of world poverty by next year. We may well have at least a doubling of child malnutrition.”

Melbourne’s lockdown has been hailed as one of the strictest and longest in the world. In Spain’s lockdown in March, people weren’t allowed to leave the house unless it was to walk their pet. In China, authorities welded doors shut to stop people from leaving their homes. The WHO thinks these steps were largely unnecessary.

Instead, Dr Nabarro is advocating for a new approach to containing the virus.

“And so, we really do appeal to all world leaders: stop using lockdown as your primary control method. Develop better systems for doing it. Work together and learn from each other.”

His message is timely. In a world first, a number of health experts from all over the world came together calling for an end to coronavirus lockdowns earlier this week.

They created a petition, called the Great Barrington Declaration, which said that lockdowns were doing “irreparable damage.”

“As infectious disease epidemiologists and public health scientists, we have grave concerns about the damaging physical and mental health impacts of the prevailing COVID-19 policies, and recommend an approach we call Focused Protection,” read the petition. “Current lockdown policies are producing devastating effects on short and long-term public health.”

The petition has had 12,000 signatures so far.

It was authored by Sunetra Gupta of the University of Oxford, Jay Bhattacharya of Stanford University, and Martin Kulldorff of Harvard University.

When asked about the petition, Dr Nabarro had only good things to say. “Really important point by Professor Gupta,” he said.



The Election in Black and White

A response to Michelle Obama’s racist attack.

America is heading towards the abyss – whatever the outcome of the coming election. If Trump wins, we have a fighting chance to save our democracy as we know it. If he loses, the racial totalitarians will be in power and our fight will be a rearguard action based on the hope that when the American people get a full dose of governance by the party of hate they will gather their forces to defeat them.

Michelle Obama – to pick one among a myriad of examples to hand – has declared the coming election to be an election about racism. According to Michelle, Trump and his supporters are racists, and their helpless victims are people of color like her. In this delusional vision – typical of the racial messages coming from every benighted American who considers themselves “progressive” – Trump supporters are white nationalists who oppress people of color. Thus, in a recent message, Michelle Obama has urged undecided voters to, “’Think about all those folks like me and my ancestors,’” and then vote Democrat, “like your life depended on it.” Like her arrogant supporters she thinks that a reflection on the state of benighted black people provides a self-evident reason to condemn the half of America who would vote Republican. The Democrat electoral cause is a crusade against a racist president and the white supremacists and racists, who support him and are determined to attack the most vulnerable citizens among us and make their lives hellish.

Okay, Michelle, since you asked for it, here’s what I think about folks like you. You are worth $100 million, a lot more than most of the people who inhabit this country. In short, you are incredibly privileged. I won’t insult you the way you insult white people by calling this black skin privilege, though many Republicans voted for your husband because they wanted a black American to be president even though he was a Democrat.

Not only are you privileged and rich, but despite your cavalier contempt for our country and its achievements – you are one of the most admired women in America, however implausible and tragic that may be. As for your ancestors, black Africans enslaved every one of the unfortunate men and women who were sold at slave auctions to Europeans and shipped to the New World. There, the English had indeed established a slave system. But in 1776, the creators of this great country founded the first nation in human history – black or white – dedicated to the proposition that all human beings – black as well as white – are created equal, and that they are endowed by their Creator with a right to liberty that no government can take away.

Immediately on the creation of their new nation, they began ending slavery first in what rapidly became the Free States of the North, then in the vast territory incorporated under the Northwest Ordinance in 1787. Seventy-six years later – not the 400 your devious and malicious friends reflexively attribute to “American slavery” - the Emancipation Proclamation sounded the death knell of a hateful system. The costs of this world-shaking effort were 350,000 mainly white Union lives, and that of the noblest president with which this country has been blessed.

I won’t deal with the specifics of your paranoid view that only black people experience the frustrations of modern life, and only because they are black. But I will dredge up this unpleasant fact: Ninety-percent of interracial crimes in the United States – more than half a million in all - are committed by blacks against whites. Yet, this has not led to a wave of anti-black racism on the part of whites. On the contrary, there has never been a time when white Americans have more generously and openly and virtually unanimously embraced the idea that black lives matter, and proceeded to do what they could to help that minority of the black community that has fallen behind. Indeed, the president you slander as racist has done more for black people in his four years in office than your husband did in eight. It is time for a little humility Michelle and color-blindness, and for putting away the racist rhetoric you are hoping your party will use to get back in power.



President’s Coronavirus Spikes the Left's Trump Derangement Syndrome

"My heart goes out to Covid."

Last week, President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump tested positive for the coronavirus. Democrats quickly deployed their bullhorns.

“If President Trump can’t be out there on the campaign trail for the next two weeks, then he is going to rely on his surrogates and unfortunately, one of his surrogates is Vladimir Putin,” Sen. Chris Murphy told CNN. “So, unfortunately, you are likely going to see this campaign ramped up by Russia over the next few weeks to try to substitute for the president’s absence on the campaign trail.”

Senate minority leader Charles Schumer said the plan to hold hearings for President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett was unfeasible. Schumer also demanded isolation for Barrett and “anyone she was in contact with.”

Over in the House, Michigan Democrat Rashida Tlaib proclaimed that the president “only cares about himself and his life, NOT those around him or the people he took an oath to protect. Too many lives lost because of his deadly lies.” Last year, it might be recalled, Tlaib crowed, “We are going to impeach this motherfucker!”

Donald Trump “knows better than anyone he shouldn’t be president,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in 2016, and last year she derided “his own insecurity as an imposter.” After the president tested positive for the virus, Pelosi told reporters, “I have concerns about the test because obviously the tests that are happening at the White House are not as accurate as they should be.”

Stephanie Ruhle of MSNBC told the Speaker she was “second in line for the presidency” and asked whether the White House had contacted “contacted you about the continuity of government?” Pelosi responded “that is an ongoing- not with the White House but with the military, quite frankly, in terms of some officials in the government.”

Joy Reid of MSNBC, a former press aide for the Obama campaign, wondered if Trump, who “lies so much,” is faking his test “to get out of the debates?” Over on CNN, Don Lemon proclaimed the president’s “own dereliction” was to blame for his condition.

“So President Trump and the First Lady have COVID. Man, anyone else just in a really, inexplicably good mood this morning?” That was Emily Cassel, editor of City Pages, owned by the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. “I think I speak for everyone when I say that it would be insanely funny if he died of the coronavirus,” wrote Cassel, who found company in professional entertainers such as comedian Paul Tompkins.

“Wishing harm, sickness or death on someone, even a bad person, is petty & small,” Tompkins wrote, “BUT: it is genuinely & extremely funny that Trump got COVID. It’s objectively funny. He downplayed it & mishandled it & thousands of people died. Now he has it. It’s funny!”

Filmmaker Michael Moore (Sicko) was in a more reflective mood. “My thoughts and prayers, too, are with Covid-19,” Moore tweeted. Comedian Chris Rock took up the theme on Saturday Night Live.

“President Trump’s in the hospital from COVID and I just want to say my heart goes out to Covid,” said Rock, adding, “I think Joe Biden should be the last president ever. I mean, do we even need a president president?” Jim Carrey played Biden, who pauses Trump with a remote and says “Let’s bask in the Trumplessness,” which is not a new idea.

Back in 2017, comedian Kathy Griffin thought it was funny to posed with a mock severed head of Donald Trump. Last week, after Melania Trump’s positive test, Griffin wrote, “You may want to quarantine until after Christmas, sweetheart.” Comedian David Cross was “Sending thoughts and prayers out to Melania’s trainer,” and comic Whitney Cummings added, “I don’t get how Melania got it, she’s been social distancing from Trump since they got married.”

Actor Cary Elwes wondered “How fake is it now?” and Rob Reiner chimed in with “That damn hoax.” For Bette Midler, “Timing’s so interesting. I guess Trump’s quarantining will mean no rallies, and no more debates. Convenient.” And so on.

“Good Morning Britain” host Piers Morgan found it “interesting to see those who’ve spent the last few years screaming that Trump’s an uncaring, heartless empathy-devoid b*stard now spewing their gleeful joy that he & his wife have a deadly virus. They’re no better than the man they loathe.” In reality, the responses confirm Trump’s judgment that these are horrible people and sick people.

Trump Derangement Syndrome (TDS), spreading worldwide since 2016, has now spiked to a tertiary stage. Festering ignorance and malice produce cognitive dissonance and uncontrollable hatred, with no cure in sight. On the other hand, Dr. Qanta Ahmed expects President Trump’s “full and complete recovery” for three reasons.

“His disease was detected very early due to the frequent testing he receives,” Dr. Ahmed explained, “he has access to extraordinary medical care and experimental treatments as announced, including receiving the drug Regeneron; and apart from COVID-19, he has been reported to be in good overall health.”



For more blog postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, and Paralipomena (Occasionally updated), A Coral reef compendium and an IQ compendium. (Both updated as news items come in). GUN WATCH is now mainly put together by Dean Weingarten. I also put up occasional updates on my Personal blog and each day I gather together my most substantial current writings on THE PSYCHOLOGIST.

Email me here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here (Academic) or here (Personal). My annual picture page is here. Home page supplement


Monday, October 12, 2020

Covid-19 facts now clear – let’s shout them out

Comment from Australia

Recent polls that show a majority of Australians support tough restrictions aimed at curbing the spread of COVID-19 may well reflect public perceptions of the risks associated with the disease.

Those perceptions were formed when the disease first emerged, with the dramatic scenes in Wuhan and the agony of the passengers stranded on cruise ships giving them tangible form. As hospital systems struggled to cope, terrifying images of overrun intensive-care units made the estimates of devastating death rates all too salient.

The strong — indeed, unprecedented — reaction of governments, in Australia and overseas, can only have confirmed the public’s fears, transforming vague impressions into deeply held convictions.

It has, however, become increasingly clear that while COVID-19 is a highly contagious disease that can be extremely dangerous for the elderly and for patients with extensive comorbidities, it can be effectively managed. And it is also clear that as the management of the disease has improved, infection fatality rates — that is, the proportion of cases resulting in death — have fallen steeply.

So have the best estimates of the IFR, with Stanford University professor John Ioannidis, in a paper soon to be published by the World Health Organisation, pointing out that the initial studies focused mainly on the epicentres of the pandemic with the highest death tolls, rather than looking at the full range of countries the disease had affected.

Correcting for that bias, Ioannidis concludes that the global IFR from COVID-19 is 0.24 per cent, while that in countries such as Australia is as low as 0.1 per cent.

The contrast with the IFRs used in the modelling that informed our successive lockdowns could not be starker: those IFRs were at least three times Ioannidis’s global estimate, and exceeded his estimate for Australian conditions six times over, as did that used in the modelling Premier Daniel Andrews relied on to justify the most recent Victorian lockdown.

But although it is widely recognised that fatality rates are far lower than initially thought, public perceptions have remained frozen in time. That is, in some respects, unsurprising. Ever since systematic studies of public attitudes to risk began in the 1950s, researchers have found that new threats are judged to be far more menacing than those that are longstanding, regardless of underlying differences in probabilities of occurrence.

Moreover, the greater the extent to which risks are viewed as being incurred involuntarily, and as affecting large groups rather than single individuals, the more likely they will be considered more dangerous than they are.

All those biases have been compounded by today’s media environment. Already in the mid-1980s, Roger Kasperson and his colleagues stressed the “social amplification” of risk that occurs through the media’s focus on catastrophic outcomes at the expense of those instances of a phenomenon that are managed successfully. Now, as the media competes frantically for attention, that process magnifies perceived risks more surely and swiftly than ever.

It is, for instance, a fact that 92,000 Australians have died since the virus first hit our shores; but although COVID-19 accounts for only some 890 of those deaths, and for an even lower share of the total years of life lost, every new case leads the evening news, reinforcing its image as the grim reaper. One might have hoped that the experts would set the picture straight. Perhaps because they see their goal as being to frighten the public into compliance, they have, more often than not, done the opposite.

Never was that clearer than when Jeannette Young, Queensland’s Chief Health Officer, grievously misinterpreting a simulation undertaken at the University of Glasgow, claimed that “on average, people who died from COVID-19 lost 10 years of life”.

Since the average age of the disease’s victims in Australia is more than 85, Young’s claim implies that those lost to COVID-19 would otherwise have survived into their mid-90s, despite multiple comorbidities. In other words, were it not for the virus, they would have died a decade after their cohort’s modal age at death — a claim that taxes the credulity of the credulous.

In reality, the best and most recent study — undertaken by France’s National Institute of Demography, drawing on the actual outcomes of France’s first wave — finds that the vast majority of the virus’s victims were already close to the end of life.

Overall, the disease reduced French life expectancy by one-tenth of a year for women and two-tenths of a year for men, which, while by no means trivial, is a smaller reduction than influenza caused in 2008, 2012 and 2015.

None of that means that COVID-19 should be viewed as no more serious than the flu. On the contrary, until a vaccine or a cure become available, the case for prudence remains compelling, as does the need for effective control measures. There is, however, a vast difference between prudence, which rationally weighs likelihoods, and panic.

Getting that balance right is no easy task, with plenty of scope for error either way. But if exaggerated perceptions of the dangers have dominated, it is not merely because of human fallibility; rather, it is also because they accord so readily with the catastrophic zeitgeist of the age.

Fuelled by an apocalypse industry that feeds off the fear it spreads, every threat — from bushfires and droughts to viruses such as Zika — portends the end of life as we know it. With nature unleashing its final revenge on mankind, the moment one drama recedes, another rushes in to sustain the sense of impending doom.

The result is a world view in which the chasms that yawn beneath us are invariably deeper and more menacing than the peaks that beckon us are high and inviting. Lost — or at least badly damaged — is the axiom of progress, the assumption, dynamic in its self-evidence, that although there are terrible setbacks, detours and blind alleys, humanity ultimately moves forward, with Australia advancing more than most.

But no society can live by dread alone. And a society that stands quaking in the antechamber of its own extinction is condemned to a stagnation that no amount of stimulus spending can cure. Eternally “keeping a-hold of nurse, for fear of finding something worse”, it inevitably saps the ambition, aspiration and self-reliance on which sustained growth relies, replacing them with dependence and the desperate search for security. That, and not the staggering debt and unemployment the lockdowns have wreaked, is the greatest threat we face.

And that is why tackling the fearmongers is so important. The facts, as far as COVID-19 is concerned, are becoming clear; it’s time our governments and their advisers proclaimed them from the rooftops.



Another vindication of Sweden

It is forecast to have a much shallower recession than countries that went into full lockdown

Sweden, which refused to enforce a full lockdown, is constantly confounding its critics. Gloomy predictions of tens of thousands of deaths and overwhelmed hospitals due to Covid failed to materialise.

In recent weeks, Sweden has not experienced anything close to the rise in cases and hospitalisations that have befallen Britain, France and Spain. And now it’s clear the Swedish approach is also paying dividends economically.

A new forecast from Danske Bank expects Sweden to experience a much shallower recession than the major European economies and the US. It projects a fall in Swedish GDP of 3.3 per cent this year, compared to 4.3 per cent for the US, 5.8 per cent for the UK and a massive 8.3 per cent for the Eurozone. It also predicts higher growth in the Swedish economy next year compared to other Scandinavian countries.

This news makes difficult reading for the Sweden bashers, who argued that its less restrictive approach would prove just as economically damaging as full-on lockdown.

Back in July, an economist in the New York Times – a paper that has labelled Sweden a ‘pariah state’ over Covid – blasted Sweden’s approach as ‘a self-inflicted wound’ from which it had made ‘no economic gains’. ‘They literally gained nothing’, he gloated.

This analysis has not aged well. Sweden’s economy shrank at a lower rate between April and June than other countries, many of which adopted harsher Covid measures. And in August, it even achieved a budget surplus – something that is difficult in normal times, let alone during a global pandemic.

Sweden has managed to safeguard civil liberties and protect its economy more effectively than others, all while keeping Covid at manageable levels. It’s high time we took this lesson on board.



'Latinos for Trump' hold a massive anti-communist caravan in Miami

Thousands of Cubans, Venezuelans and other conservative Latinos convened in Miami to attend an 'Anti-Communist' caravan, flying flags of support for President Donald Trump.

The parade, called the 'Anti-Communist Caravan for Freedom and Democracy', convened at the Magic City Casino on Saturday morning.

Various reports estimate somewhere between 20,000 to 30,000 cars in attendance for the caravan.

Demonstrators had flags for Trump's reelection, along with Cuban flags and other country flags.

Several people sported huge blowups of Trump's face, waving signs that slammed the supposed increase of communist ideology in the country.

'Say no to socialism and communism,' one sign read while a number of posters expressed similar sentiments in Spanish.

A number of cars had passengers holding 'Latinos for Trumps' signs as they sped along. Several cars also had 'Thin Blue Line' flags, in support of law enforcement.

In some cases, vehicles appeared packed with people inside who were excited to take part in the festivities.

Because of mounting concerns that Biden's standing is slipping, the campaign has embarked on an urgent effort to try to shore up support among older voters, suburbanites and African Americans to try to make up for losses elsewhere.

Hispanic voters in Florida tend to be somewhat more Republican-leaning than Hispanic voters nationwide because of the state's Cuban American population, which Trump has acknowledged several times in his remarks.



Liberal Reporter Brutally Gashes Kamala Harris' Disastrous Debate Performance

Well, he’ll probably piss off the Left again, but that’s what he's done so well over the past three or so years. Liberal reporter Michael Tracey absolutely ripped into Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) and her debate performance Wednesday night. Tracey is no fan of Harris and said that she was an “awful” VP pick from the get-go. So are we shocked her debate performance was equally disastrous? It was a train wreck.

Harris came off unprepared on a host of issues, avoided the court-packing question, and seemed incapable of delivering a solid blow against Vice President Mike Pence, who was prepared and lethal. Vice President Pence did well mounting a defense of the Trump-Pence record, whereas Harris couldn’t land any of the zingers Pence quietly doled out like an assassin.

COVID was the highwater mark for Harris. She came off strong, but even that was torched when she peddled an anti-vaccine line regarding the coronavirus. These debates are about who we can trust should any situation arise when the president cannot perform their duties. Pence passed that test. Harris, not so much; you have to be more than just a machine that peddles talking points from MSNBC. That bubble landed her in trouble as there were a couple of points where she literally had nothing to say.

As Tracey noted, “Kamala was hyped as the ‘front-runner’ in the 2020 Dem primaries, flamed out in spectacular fashion partly due to her terrible debate performances, and only became VP nominee thanks to an extensive lobbying effort by the Dem professional and donor class.”

Indeed, the media did treat Harris as someone who was a solid candidate when Biden picked her as his running mate, despite her not lasting as long as Tom Steyer, Andrew Yang, Cory Booker, or Deval Patrick—and none of those guys had a shot at winning the nomination let alone this election. Her 2020 campaign was a mess. She had no message, no direction, and no plan. That was the rudderless circus act that was Kamala 2020. And let’s not forget that her presidential ambitions were shot out of the sky when Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) highlighted her top cop record, where she went heavily after the Black community. Harris is trying to be social justice warrior and top cop at the same time. Maybe there’s a way to thread that needle regarding selling that message or neutralizing the fallout, but we know that Harris doesn’t have the goods. She doesn’t.

Tracey also delivered more blows, calling Harris's answer on China “embarrassing.” Oh, and the Russian bounties story that the Left tried to weaponize against Trump as evidence he was a bad commander-in-chief was tossed around. It’s not corroborated. And that story died eons ago because it’s straight trash. The same way The Atlantic story about Trump denigrating our war dead is fake news. No one went on the record. No one. And that story died as well.



For more blog postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, and Paralipomena (Occasionally updated), A Coral reef compendium and an IQ compendium. (Both updated as news items come in). GUN WATCH is now mainly put together by Dean Weingarten. I also put up occasional updates on my Personal blog and each day I gather together my most substantial current writings on THE PSYCHOLOGIST.

Email me here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here (Academic) or here (Personal). My annual picture page is here. Home page supplement


Sunday, October 11, 2020

Service outage?

There are four of my blogs on which I cannot post at the moment. Since I can still post on this one, I suspect that they have been deiberately blocked by blogspot, who are a subsidiary of Google. Anybody who knows how to contact Google should do so and ask them what is going on. Meanwhile, I have a comprehensive backup site on wordpress where I post on the one site ALL my blogs for the day. It is a real one-stop shop. It is here:

The blogspot blogs that I cannot post to at the moment are:


UPDATE: I have found a way around the blockage. So my posts for today have gone up late -- but better late than never!

UPDATE 2: The problem seems to have been with Firefox -- but it has cleared now

Wildly, madly, the West is destroying itself

Suicidal Covid ‘public health’ policies and the Marxist Trojan horse of BLM zealotry are products of our perilous complacency. We may be tempting an implosion on a historical scale.


The widespread COVID-19 lockdowns and the increasingly venomous Black Lives Matter movement are both destabilising phenomena instigated by people suffering from a perilous complacency.

A surfeit of Western security, with no major wars and nearly uninterrupted prosperity for 75 years, has created an ahistorical under-appreciation for the fragility of order.

Perhaps the hyper-racialising of the West in the second half of this year will prove a temporary mania, at the end of which we’ll have fairer, more sensitive societies. But somehow I doubt it.

We don’t commonly characterise folks who want to altogether overturn the way a country works “systemically” as complacent. But I would argue that most of this year’s abundantly white, middle-class protesters embody the epitome of complacency. These are not people who expect to make any personal sacrifice to make the world a better place. To the contrary, by positioning themselves as “allies” on “the right side of history”, they expect to reap rewards, and to jettison older, purportedly prejudiced generations even more rapidly than younger generations do as a matter of course. BLM bandwagoners assume they can change everything while everything they fancy stays the same.

Weekend revolutionaries imagine they can bring an end to capitalism and still keep all the fruits of capitalism that they take for granted. They think they can install a neo-Marxist equality of outcome, boot out all the wicked old white guys like Tim Cook, and keep their iPhones, replete with regular OS updates. They imagine they can pack faculties and student bodies with minorities regardless of qualification and “decolonise” the curriculum to rid it of “white knowledge” and still have prospective employers regard their degrees from Harvard as meaningful commendations.

They want to undermine the means by which their parents earn a living yet still expect to crash back home when they’re low on cash, where they can always raid the refrigerator when feeling peckish.

Woke white activists want to demonise “whiteness” as the sole source of all evil, while mysteriously believing this does not entail demonising themselves. Apparently the joyful embrace of one’s own “fragility” grants the right to hector others while triggering a racial opt-out clause.

The same brand of white activist helped draft “open letters” to Princeton and Stanford, the Poetry Foundation, and a beleaguered liberal bookstore in Denver, to name a few. The signatories reliably demanded aggressive, instantaneous affirmative action, often well in excess of regional or national demographic proportions.

Yet if governments, schools and businesses embrace “anti-racism” as their sole prime directive, as opposed to producing a saleable product or performing a valuable service, competency is bound to decay at what was once these entities’ driving purpose: to provide for the common defence, to educate students for viable careers, to manufacture products that consumers want to buy.

Should most Western institutions and corporations devote their principal energies to “anti-racism”, China will clean up. As a result, “equality” zealots will level the playing field by making everybody poor. Forgive me for stating the self-evident, but advocates of wealth redistribution need wealth to redistribute.

Rioters are dependent on a functional society or they have nothing to disrupt. Hoodlums still assume that if they get thumped with a truncheon a well funded and skilfully staffed hospital will patch them up. Looters rely on a generous supply of operational businesses whose premises can be ransacked and which are chock-full of the fruits of capitalism like high-end trainers. Eager to acquire more free stuff, looters blithely expect these businesses to replace their windows and restock, the better to get ransacked again.

As with cake, this northern summer’s activists wanted to have their police and defund them, too.

We can take it as a given that none of these often well-off white protesters have any desire to live in truly lawless cities — where their phones are snatched on the street and their homes are repeatedly burgled. Where women are raped with impunity and petty grudges are settled with violent assault. Where everyone lives in fear of arbitrary injury or even death because this is a city without legal recourse.

By the time this summer’s failed utopian project nicknamed CHOP in Seattle had lived with no police presence for three weeks, four shootings had occurred within the zone’s mere six blocks, one of them fatal. With chastened, demoralised police forces embracing passivity as a means of self-protection, murders in Chicago, Minneapolis and New York have been soaring. Yet according to a core tenet of the BLM-inspired American medical students in White Coats for Black Lives, “Policing is incompatible with health.” You’ve got to be kidding me. Nothing is less healthy than being dead.

For all their demands for “systemic” transformation, 2020’s protesters don’t really want that much to change. They want to keep curating their playlists on Spotify and ordering oat milk from Amazon Fresh. They want Netflix to keep churning out new entertainment, through whatever nefarious corporate machinations, because they’ve already binged the fifth season of Ozark.

Thanks to horrible racist capitalism and centuries of oppression, their computers can communicate instantaneously with Minsk.

They not only have enough to eat but a range of dim sum in their local supermarket’s freezer, from shrimp to pork to vegan pumpkin. This past spring, you can be sure that these same young people got as consternated as everyone else when those supermarkets ran short of paper towels. Thanks to the police they detest, in many smaller cities these protesters still enjoy safe spaces — in the sense that safety used to mean, protection from physical harm.

Up to a point, dedication to racial equality — in countries that have never been less prejudiced — is laudable. But in a society that provides shelter, clean water and sustenance to the vast majority of its inhabitants, even in densely populated cities where otherwise we’d be slaughtering each other in packs, the opportunity to obsess fetishistically about microaggressions and unconscious bias is one more luxury born of the system they abhor. Even the right to demand curtailment of free speech requires the right to free speech.

In the US, I’m loath to histrionically predict a second civil war. Nevertheless, in Minneapolis, Portland, Seattle, DC, San Francisco, New York and Kenosha, arson­ists are literally and figuratively playing with fire. This northern summer has seen the most tumultuous civil unrest since the 1960s. Opposing sides in the culture war no longer seem to feel like citizens of the same country.

Few in the white majority feel any responsibility for slavery and many white Americans are themselves struggling to pay bills or unemployed; should the reparations movement be victorious, white resentment could be incendiary. And if a deadly confluence of logistical disarray and mutual distrust means there’s no clear winner after November’s presidential election, I foresee mayhem.

Centuries in the making, contemporary Western civilisation is so complex that it shouldn’t really work at all — but somehow, after a fashion, it does. In fact, on the whole we’ve never lived more comfortably, more peaceably or more justly. Yet shrill voices on the hard left preach that countries such as the US, the UK and Australia are a disgrace and should inspire only shame. Subjecting the fruits of one’s forebears’ toil to contempt signals not only complacency but ingratitude.

Nevertheless, I reserve my own contempt not primarily for callow protesters with no appreciation for how utterly dependent they are on social order to afford to dabble in disorder. Young people have always erred on the side of poorly thought through idealism and sanctimonious hot-headedness. In my own teens and 20s I wasn’t any different. Far more do I deplore the grown-ups: global leaders in 2020 who should know better.

With rare sane exceptions such as Sweden’s, Western governments have installed unprecedented lockdowns of their societies for month upon month, and continue to threaten the reimposition of economically catastrophic, near police-state condi­tions on their ostensibly “free” populations.

These governments are also guilty of an obscene complacency. Having done no cost-benefit analysis before pressing a giant pillow over the territories entrusted to their guidance, politicians have credulously assumed that civil liberties can always be magically restored (and that’s assuming these officials don’t come to rather fancy wielding unlimited power). There will always be more taxpayers. Treasuries can always “borrow” — meaning print — more money, and the currency will still retain its value.

The authorities’ capitulation to COVID hysteria — which set the emotional table for racial hysteria — has inflicted a scale of destruction that might, had anyone looked before they leapt, have been anticipated. Indeed, a 2006 paper by Thomas Inglesby, director of Johns Hopkins’ Bloomberg School of Public Health, predicted nearly every disastrous consequence of a theoretical lockdown that we can now verify in practice. This expert on epidemics wrote: “The negative consequences of large-scale quarantine are so extreme … that this mitigation measure should be eliminated from serious consideration.” Yet even poor countries have aped this clumsy protocol, which may kill millions from starvation.

Once lockdowns are finally eased, successfully terrified workforces refuse to venture out their front doors — especially in the UK, where two-thirds of employees are still working, or neglecting to work, from home. For some processes are far easier to set in train than to reverse. It’s not that difficult to frighten people. Un-frightening them is a bastard.

Small business has been ravaged by bankruptcy. Public transportation with minimal ridership is running unsustainable deficits and many systems will enter a death spiral of reduced services followed by even smaller riderships. Financial and commercial centres of great cities such as New York and London are hollowed out. Midtown Manhattan, Wall Street, the City of London, and Canary Wharf are ghost towns, as if commandeered by film crews for movies about the end of the world.

The West’s collective GDP looks like an apple that a St Bernard took a bite of. The performing arts, precious in and of themselves but also vital engines of tourist revenue, have been incinerated. Airlines are on their knees. Unem­ployment is headed to a scale not even seen in the Depression, and job losses are often as irreversible as fear. Swathes of restaurants, bars, hotels and nightclubs have closed for good. Tax bases have effectively been plunged into vats of acid as demand on the public purse has skyrocketed.

Widespread, simultaneous, long-lasting and often repeated international lockdowns may be unprecedented but COVID-19 is not. Asian flu in 1957 killed between one million and two million worldwide. Hong Kong flu in 1968 killed between one million and four million. During both pandemics, world leaders didn’t close so much as a newsagent. COVID deaths worldwide have killed just over one million — and owing to peculiar data collection whereby anyone with COVID necessarily died from COVID, Western coronavirus death counts may be inflated. The disproportionate re­sponse to one more disagreeable, albeit occasionally lethal, virus boggles the mind. There’s growing acknowledgment that lockdowns will cost many more lives than they saved, and that’s assuming they saved any lives, rather than simply dragging out inevitable fatalities over a longer period.

But my biggest worry isn’t the immediately devastating econom­ic losses and personal suffering that this copycat, kneejerk over-reaction has wrought. I’m worried about implosion on a more historic scale. Lockdowns have sped up the rate at which national debts are burgeoning. How tall can a house of cards rise before it topples? According to “Magic money tree” thinking, aka modern monetary theory, a government that controls its currency can print money to cover its expenses without limit. We can see why this theory is so popular: everything for nothing.

What’s wrong with this fairytale? It’s deeply counterintuitive, and never underestimate common sense. I can’t cite a single product that can be manufactured in infinite quantity and still retain its value. Flood the market with corn, and the price of corn plunges to below the cost of production. Our gut intelligence dictates that the logic of oversupply also pertains to money: the more you conjure from thin air, the less it will buy. As an ominous early warning, the US Federal Reserve announced last month that it would not be raising interest rates, even if inflation rose to above the Fed’s target. Stay tuned for more such cheerful news from the Bank of England and the European Central Bank.

The international monetary system is held together with rubber bands, bits of string and appeals to divinity. Because it’s in everyone’s interest to have confidence in this fragile kludgeocracy, we all determinedly have confidence in it. But frankly, ever since all money became fiat money — backed by nothing and therefore generated ad infinitum at no apparent cost — countries have competed with each other over whose currency could be more worthless. The race to the bottom is well under way. Me, I’m astonished that any currency in the world right now is worth anything at all. I’m positively impressed that the pound and the dollar continue to be accepted in exchange for genuinely valuable tangibles such as wheat and oil. But we have succumbed to complacency.

The insouciant assumption runs that because we’ve been getting away with murder for all this time, and so much rides on our continuing to get away with murder, we will therefore be able to get away with murder forever more. We can thus pile up national debts of over 100 per cent of GDP, even over 200 per cent, so why not three or four hundred per cent? A thousand? Isn’t the sky the limit? Yet all Ponzi schemes collapse. The only uncertainty is when.

I dread ever having to watch the civilisation that has nurtured me, and that has provided me such an exhilarating cultural inheritance, fall apart. I could not bear a real-life dystopia in which the Statue of Liberty is toppled and Parliament burns to the ground. In which libraries and online search results are strictly policed to serve a single, narrow, fanatical dogma (a process Facebook and YouTube have already begun).

Today’s hard leftists are eager to bulldoze their “systemically racist” societies into landfill but have no constructive replacement for what they would gleefully destroy. Their blind rampages go hand-in-hand with our idiotic COVID lockdowns. Both the Marxist Trojan horse of BLM zealotry and these suicidal, shortsighted “public health” policies eat away at everything in Western life that I treasure, from reading artful, ideologically unorthodox books to being able to buy a chicken.

Yet in protesters and politicians alike, I detect that deadly complacency, as if you can rock a boat as wildly as you want — all because it has stayed afloat so far.



Mitch McConnell is full-steam ahead on the Amy Coney Barrett nomination, though Senate Democrats are now calling for a pause over COVID concerns.

Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC) is appalled regarding why violent illegal aliens wanted by ICE are roaming free in his state.

Joe Biden offered his weak sauce reasoning for not calling on Democratic mayors to get a hold on the mayhem engulfing their cities.

One of the few voices of reason among Senate Democrats, Joe Manchin (D-WV), came out against packing the courts.

A new ad from the NRSC highlighted the attacks on Amy Coney Barrett’s Catholic faith from the Left.

The lawyers for Kyle Rittenhouse demand the Biden camp retract their awful smear of their client; Biden’s people said he was a white supremacist. He is not.

As California burns, their legislature is busy…drafting a bill on slave reparations.

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) triggered CNN’s Chris Cuomo when he brought up how his brother, NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo, pretty much killed a bunch of old people with his nursing home policy. Even CNN said that Andrew Cuomo’s nursing home policy was…problematic.

Joe Biden’s latest ad falls flat with religious voters.

A new poll shows much hasn’t changed regarding court-packing since FDR. The people are against it.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi thinks there shouldn’t be any more debates. Typical.

One liberal reporter noted white supremacy’s biggest ally, which should send the Left into a full froth tantrum.

We have Democrats rehash the ‘Trump didn’t denounce white supremacists’ lie again.

Biden said something disparaging about black women again.

And the vote-by-mail scheme got two more shots to the head when an NJ mail carrier was arrested for trashing ballots and mailboxes were broken into in Virginia.

October 12 marks the beginning of the hearings over the Supreme Court nominee Judge Amy Coney Barrett. It’s going to happen, even as Democrats become a bunch of cry babies over virtual hearings. It’s weak sauce.

For more blog postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, and Paralipomena (Occasionally updated), A Coral reef compendium and an IQ compendium. (Both updated as news items come in). GUN WATCH is now mainly put together by Dean Weingarten. I also put up occasional updates on my Personal blog and each day I gather together my most substantial current writings on THE PSYCHOLOGIST.

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