The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Wednesday, July 01, 2020

Pseudo-Schizophrenic

To paraphrase a random tweet I noticed recently:
"Last week EVERYTHING was racist, this week EVERYONE'S gonna die [from CVID-19]."
In their never-ending effort to destabilize society, the Democrats' trained hamsters in the media have become pseudo-schizophrenic as they bounce from one hysterical and overblown narrative to the next. First, it was the coming COVID-19 apocalypse—a specter of millions dead demanding that we completely shut down the country, wrecking the economy and the lives and livelihoods of tens of millions. Then it was the "systemic racist" protests—the virus was instantaneously forgotten while thousands mingled in the streets. As people tired on 'protest porn,' the media did a quick pivot back to 'pandemic porn,' but a few challenges remained. Because the COVID-19 death rates were dropping like a stone, the hamsters had to find something else to use to convince the nation that the apocalypse was still the thing. So ... Covid cases!!!!

The hamsters' public health oracle, Dr. Anthony Fauci, gave them plenty of ammunition when he stated recently that we'll likely see "100,000 virus cases a day." Team Apocalypse could barely contain its glee. Shut it all down, they declared. No school, that's for certain, they predicted. Close all bars and beaches, they intoned. 

No matter that the great Fauci has been wrong at least as much as he's been on target. No matter that 100,000 case per day (on average) is about the low end of the 2009 swine flu H1N1 pandemic for which the CDC estimated that between 30 and 60 million people in the U.S. were infected, and and NOTHING was closed down—not schools, or beaches, or bars, or stores, or government facilities—NOTHING!

But Team Apocalypse will not be deterred. Their stated goal is "to save lives—even though the fatality rate for COVID-19 is around 0.36 percent, where the majority of deaths occur among those over 70. That's a statistic they hope no one will consider or that innumerate people won't understand that for every 1000 people who have clinical COVID-19 symptoms (never mind that another 350 to 500 have no symptoms at all), only about 4 will die and of those four, 3 will be 70+ years old. How about keeping things open, and focus our protective energies on the 70 and 80-somethings?  

But the real intent of Team Apocalypse is far more cynical and dangerous: To be certain that a feeling of chaos and discomfort pervades the land, while fervently hoping that will translate into a November vote that rids the country of a demonic Donald Trump. Of course, his replacement will be Joe Biden—a cognitively disabled swamp denizen who has assiduously avoided taking a position or making any substantive extemporaneous comment on just about anything that is of importance to the American people. Joe tells use he would handle the virus more effectively, but is kinda short on details. According to the Dems, epidemiology is all about feelings and tone anyway. But whatever.

So this week, as the media breathlessly tells us that COVID-19 cases are "surging," or "soaring" or "rocketing upward" or whatever term will amplify fear the most, they conveniently forget to tell us that: 
  • the average age of infection has dropped precipitously, and that as the age drops, so does the severity of symptoms and in the extreme, the likelihood of death (now at between 3-4 per 1000 confirmed clinical cases); 
  • the simple reality that early shelter-in-place/shutdown measures never claimed to eradicate the spread of the virus, only to slow its spread while hospitals prepared;
  • places with the most severe shut-down orders have still, even with the "surging" number of current cases, seen the most deaths (think: New York), the most hospitalizations (think: MA) and the most bad outcomes (think: the tri-state area in the northeast), and
  • deaths due to the virus are dropping precipitously nationally and even in places where cases are going up. 
Instead, Team Apocalypse keeps producing pieces like this one, published in WaPo. The article, characterized as "a seminal piece of COVID-19 hysteria" by Alex Berenson, one of the most thorough and honest journalists reporting on COVID-19 today, describes the travails of a 43-year old mother (note that the examples always use youngish people in an effort to frighten that demographic) who "recounted in a recent interview, [that] captures how even a mild case of Covid-19 can still be a harrowing ordeal."  Here's a brief snippet of the article, written by a "reporter" with the skills of a first-year intern at a high school newspaper: 
"The COVID-19 test was really scary. It was pouring rain, and there was this person approaching the car wearing full PPE. It really hit me in that moment: This is what a global pandemic is. There are sick people, this woman is testing covid-positive people all day long, and she's putting herself at risk. On every level, it suddenly felt really real. They give you this piece of paper when you leave the test that says, "Based on your history, we suspect that you are covid-positive."

"After the test, I pulled over, and I just started hysterically crying. I was so scared. How did this happen?"
Cutting to the chase, our heroine never had any serious or long-lasting symptoms, was never hospitalized, did have antibodies, and her husband tested negative. She never bothered to use Google or the CDC website to understand that in her age cohort, the chances of dying from the virus are just a little higher than the chances of getting hit by lightning. Lots of drama and catastrophist sharing of feelings, but a 'nothingburger.'

When you read the WaPo article, you begin to realize that Team Apocalypse is winning. There are LOTS of people out there like the 43-year old mother—sheltering in place and exhibiting signs of borderline hysteria—who won't emerge to live their lives until Team Apocalypse tells them it's okay to do so. 

And one thing is certain—at the very least, that won't be until after November 3rd. 

UPDATE:
-------------------
Because virtually all Democrats and their hard-left base are card-carrying members of Team Apocalypse, things like innocuous PPE masks and actions like social distancing have morphed into political symbols that allow the Dems to virtue signal in ways that we might characterize as unhinged a short 4 months ago. A very blue female acquaintance posted a picture of herself and three friends in an outdoor restaurant. Because they were about to eat, they had removed their masks and were smiling for the photo. Upon posting the photo to social media, they were inundated with hate comments from other very blue acquaintances who criticized them harshly for their public health crime. She removed the photo. 

I don't do social media, thinking it to be a toxic blend of unhinged posturing of questionable merit. But if I had posted the pic and gotten similar haters' condemnation, here's what I would have written in response:
I'm saddened that those of you who have exhibiting a near-hysterical response to COVID-19 have decided to try to dictate how I live my life. The obvious fact that you're living in abject fear of the virus, have decided to hide inside your homes, and furthermore cut off all face-to-face human contact is your decision, NOT mine. It's offensive to suggest that enjoying myself in an OUTDOOR setting with friends is somehow a public health 'crime.' And please, spare me the tired narrative that I'm endangering others. That's patent nonsense, and any person with even a shred of statistical or scientific knowledge would agree. The decision to cower in fear is up to you, but how dare you suggest that I've got to follow your unhinged example.
I would hope that responses like this will become more and more common as the months pass. But the Team Apocalypse narrative is powerful. David Harsanyi comments:
To this point, 71 percent more Americans have died in New York nursing homes than have died in the entire state of Florida, which not only has a larger population but a population that skews older. To this point, New York’s death rate has been ten times larger than Florida’s. So, naturally, American liberals are busy concocting a narrative that holds that the failures of the American response to coronavirus have been the fault of Trumpian nihilists in the Red States.

The “toxic imbecility” of Republicans is getting people killed, writes Max Boot. “Trumpism, not polarization, drives America’s disastrous coronavirus politics” says Ezra Klein. Some pundits who push this myth, Paul Krugman in particular, had even had the temerity to suggest that the country look to New York State for advice.

I don’t know what tomorrow will bring, but today it’s clear that NYC has been the key spreader of the infection nationally, and clear, too, that NYC was unable to flatten the curve.

Deaths per million:

New Jersey: 1,708.7
New York: 1,651.6
Connecticut: 1,212.2
Georgia: 264.2
Florida: 163.2
Texas: 86.1

There are numerous factors beyond our control that created this reality — perhaps the weather, or the population density, or centralized nature of the city, or whatever else researchers will uncover one day. There’s a reason why San Francisco recorded fewer than 50 coronavirus deaths and New York City has about 18,000, and it’s probably not the ideology of its mayors. But that works both ways around. There is simply no way that an open-minded person can arrive at the conclusion that red states bear some unique responsibility for this tragedy.
Nor can any rational person suggest that because Donald Trump refuses to wear a mask, he is somehow responsible for the current "surge" in cases. And yet, the trained hamsters insist that TX and FL are somehow the bad guys, even though deep blue states like NY, NJ, and CT have had about 10x the number of deaths from COVID-19.

The hamsters are quick to compare the U.S. to Europe, smugly suggesting that somehow we dropped the ball. Harsanyi blows up that narrative as well:
Deaths per million:
Belgium: 854.0
UK: 657.7
Spain: 606.9
Italy: 575.3
Sweden: 523.7
France: 445.5
U.S.: 397.8
At best, the narrative developed by Team Apocalypse is based on half-truths, but more often on outright lies created through omission of key context and data. Their contention that red states are the "spreader" is NOT supported by the data, nor is it supported by facts on the ground. But the haters who criticize a person for having a fun lunch at an outdoor restaurant believe it all—hook, line and sinker. What idiots!

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Statute of Limitiations

Is there a statute of limitations on history? I mean—honestly— is there some period of time—100 years, 250 years, 500 years, 1000 years—after which we decide that some place or event or person (people) did awful things, but we just have to move on. I'm not suggesting that we forget those awful things. Nope. Just that we don't obsess about names or places, entities or statues that are connected to events that happened in the distant past. There is little to be gained from meaningless gestures of outrage over things that happened hundreds of years ago. In fact, it detracts from current strategies that might actually improve some of the aggrieved communities.

Let me provide a few examples. Following the precedent established by social justice mobs in the United States, let's turn our focus to Italy. Social justice warriors might argue that the Roman colosseum is a monument to violence, slavery and cruelty. Almost 2,000 years ago, between 50,000 and 80,000 spectators watched weekly as slaves were torn apart by wild animals, mortal combat among enslaved gladiators was cheered, and other unspeakable competitions were common. 

Therefore, following the now established social justice precedent, should modern day Italian SJWs in Rome tear down what remains of the colosseum? After all, it's a "racist" reminder of the past, triggering psychic discomfort and rage among the woke. For that matter, the city of Rome itself, conjures images of an ancient empire that was "colonialist" to the extreme, promoted slavery of all kinds, and was otherwise not an exemplar of social justice.  Should modern day Italians rename "Rome" with a politically correct moniker? is 2000 years enough for the statute of limitation to kick in? I really don't know.

How about someone more contemporary—say, the marxist revolutionary Che Guevara? Guevara has been accused of murdering large numbers of innocents, and he was an active participant in a Cuban 'revolution' that confiscated the life's work of hundreds of thousands of Cubans, created a massive outward flow of migrants, reduced the freedom of millions of Cubans, and imprisoned or killed anyone with opposing views. 

I'll admit that none of Guevara's deeds would trouble the majority of today's social justice warriors in the least, but it certainly might trigger psychic discomfort and rage among many good people. Should those people therefore demand that the sale of Che tee shirts be banned, that movies about him be censored or withdrawn, or that any other memorialization of the man be "torn down" in an attempt to erase him from history? Seems perfectly reasonable, if we use the current social justice mob's precedent as a guide.

But back to the statute of limitations on history. Should we, like the Khmer Rouge or the Taliban destroy any historical reference that is troubling to some but NOT all of the people. For that matter, even if a person, an event, or a place is troubling to ALL of the people, should it be erased from history?

The woke would tell us "yes," that there is no statute of limitations when something causes them psychic discomfort and rage. That, of course, is madness, but "erasure" seems to be the insanity du jour.  After all, we're now living in Wonderland. Yet again, the Cheshire Cat smiles.


ADDENDUM:
----------------------
BTW, where are Joe Biden and the Democrats on all of this. William McGurn writes:
At the mildest, surely it would be informative to learn if the former senator from Delaware agrees with Wilmington’s recent decision to remove a statue of the state’s most famous son, Caesar Rodney, from downtown. Rodney is known in American history for riding 80 miles through a storm to get to Philadelphia in time to cast Delaware’s deciding vote for independence. His statue was removed because, like several other Founding Fathers, he owned slaves.

Notwithstanding calls for Mr. Biden to declare himself on the issue, he’s clearly betting that a press corps that managed to ignore a former Senate staffer’s charge of sexual assault for weeks won’t press him on the statues and the mayhem. No doubt he is betting correctly.

On paper, this should be an easy call. The Democratic voters, especially African-American voters, who made Mr. Biden their nominee did so on the belief they were going with the moderate. But Mr. Biden has been under relentless pressure to move left, and he’s obliged by flip-flopping on many positions that made him a moderate—from his support of the 1994 crime bill to his initial rejection of the Green New Deal.
I'm certain that Joe Biden himself is incapable of crafting a coherent response to McGurn's implied query, but his staffers along with other Dems can do it for him. Why the silence?

UPDATE-1:
-------------------
It looks like the Democratic party is finally addressing this issue, but not in the way many of us would like. Consider the following tweet:


John Gabriel comments:
One of the two major parties in the U.S. now publicly proclaims that George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, and Teddy Roosevelt are the moral equivalent of the Ku Klux Klan.

Has everybody lost their minds?

I know. Rhetorical question.

Perhaps Biden and Pelosi can hire the Taliban. They have experience removing monumental sculpture.
And if the Taliban demure from this idiocy, I'm sure the Dems might be able to find a few Khmer Rouge holdovers who might be willing to do the job.

UPDATE-2:
-------------------
For the social justice warriors whose insanity is driving the "erasure," there is no statute of limitations. All offensive places, people, and events MUST be erased, all offensive (to them) statutes MUST be torn down, all language must be cleansed of micro-aggressions, all speech must be moderated and controlled. Charles Lipson comments on the "rigid groupthink" that is the hallmark of social justice warriors:
What’s wrong with this rigid groupthink? First, it takes real problems, such as police misconduct or Confederate statues, and inflates them for political purposes. It vastly exaggerates their extent and gravity, mistakenly generalizes them (Ulysses Grant is not Stonewall Jackson), ignores significant progress in correcting old errors, calls any disagreement “racist,” and relies on intimidation and sometimes violence, not democratic procedures, to get their way. The loudest voices say America and its history are fundamentally evil, that its institutions need to be smashed so they can be reestablished on “socially just” foundations. The mob and their fellow travelers will determine what is just. Who gives them that right? This arrogation of power and attack on public order will not end well.
As Lipson correctly implies, pushback is coming.

Monday, June 29, 2020

Mailing It In

The Democrats are trying hard to convince the public that voting by mail in the time of COVID-19 is both smart, accurate, and fraud-free. Like everything that's going on as we move deeper and deeper into Wonderland, their arguments represent gaslighting taken to a new level. And then, we get this news from a Blue state:
Following accusations of widespread fraud, voter intimidation, and ballot theft in the May 12 municipal elections in Paterson, N.J., state Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal announced Thursday he is charging four men with voter fraud – including the vice president of the City Council and a candidate for that body.

With races still undecided, control of the council hangs in the balance. Paterson is New Jersey’s third largest city and the election will decide the fate of a municipal budget in excess of $300 million, in addition to hundreds of millions more in education spending and state aid.

In the City Council election, 16,747 vote-by-mail ballots were received, but only 13,557 votes were counted. More than 3,190 votes, 19% of the total ballots cast, were disqualified by the board of elections. Due to the pandemic, Paterson’s election was done through vote-by-mail. [emphasis added] Community organizations, such as the city’s NAACP chapter, are calling for the entire election to be invalidated.

Mail-in ballots have long been acknowledged by voting experts to be more susceptible to fraud and irregularities than in-person voting. This has raised concerns from President Trump and other Republicans about the integrity of national elections in November, which are expected to include a dramatic increase in mail-in ballots. If Paterson is any guide, it ought to concern Democrats as well.

Over 800 ballots in Paterson were invalidated for appearing in mailboxes improperly bundled together – including a one mailbox where hundreds of ballots were in a single packet. The bundles were turned over to law enforcement to investigate potential criminal activity related to the collection of the ballots.

The board of elections disqualified another 2,300 ballots after concluding that the signatures on them did not match the signatures on voter records.
Hmmm.  But Democrats keep telling us that there is no election fraud (except, of course, when GOP candidates win) and that mail-in ballots are pure as the wind-driven snow. 

They. Are. Not. Mail-in ballots are a voting mechanism that can be easily compromised. Votes can and will be harvested. Counterfeit ballots will inevitably appear. Signatures will be faked. This list is long.

We hear faux-panicked statements that COVID-19 is forcing the mail-in approach while Team Apocalypse keeps telling us that voters are gonna die if they show up in person. Yet, the same Team Apocalypse remained eerily silent when protesters flooded the streets earlier this month. Maybe the social justice crowd should have mailed it in instead. 

Sunday, June 28, 2020

Blue Governance

When the icons of the mainstream media (e.g., the NYT, WaPo and the alphabet networks) decided to join the #Resistance full-force in 2017, they jettisoned journalist ethics, objectivity, accuracy, and professionalism in their obsessive effort to destroy Donald Trump's presidency and defeat him in 2020. Their coverage has been well over 90 percent negative and even worse, when meaningful successes have occurred (e.g., record high employment and wages of African Americans) those stories have been relegated to the figurative back pages of reporting, if they're reported at all 

Never did the media icons think they would make fools of themselves, but they have. Their bias has eroded trust in their reporting and made much of the editorial opinion a laughing stock of incoherent and strident nonsense.

Nothing exemplifies that more than a recent story in Washington Post (WaPo). 

First, a little background. Donald Trump correctly points out that virtually all large cities with high crime statistics and racial strife have been governed by Democrats for many decades. He further asks why given the long term-blue governance in those cities, police reform has not been achieved, and black-on-black violent crime is still rampant. He's right, of course, and the criticism hits a nerve among Democrats. So rather than honestly exploring the issue, the hamsters have decided to imply that Trump is being dishonest.

Because the media icons (actually, they're the Dems' trained hamsters) will do anything to protect the narrative, even if it means beclowning themselves. WaPo ran an article entitiled, "Trump keeps claiming that the most dangerous cities in America are all run by Democrats. They aren’t." WaPo then produced the following graph to defend their position:


Note that blue governance is represented as blue bars in the histogram. I'd say it's overwhelmingly blue, wouldn't you? And the one (that's right, "1") city shown in red, Jacksonville FL? Well, here's the scoop on that (conveniently left out of the WaPo article because it further destroys the narrative):


The utter hypocrisy and dishonesty of the Democrats and their media hamsters is sometimes comical—and this is one of those times. The cub "reporters" and their hack editors who wrote the WaPo piece tried to spin the facts to make Trump look dishonest. Instead, they look monumentally stupid while making Trump's argument for him. 

Social justice warriors and African Americans who have adopted the "black lives matter" montra might be well-served by asking why it is that that Democrats, who have run urban centers for decades, have allowed crime to fester, police brutality to go unchecked, and overall urban decay to continue, all the while suggesting that it's the conservatives' fault. They might also ask why the one major city under Red governance after a century of Blue governance has seen a 40 percent reduction in crime after 14 years.

UPDATE:
----------------------
Glenn Reynolds writes about the Dems increasingly uneasy relationship with African American voters in 2020:
Do Black lives matter to Democrats? As Tim Alberta recently reported, a lot of Black voters think the answer is no. That may explain why the Democrats are blocking the GOP justice reform bill in the Senate: With Black voters already discouraged, Democrats don’t want them to get the idea that Republicans may have something to offer.

Alberta’s reporting, in Politico, is striking. At the invitation of a local African-American politico, he spent an afternoon with a bunch of middle-class Black voters outside Detroit. He found they were disappointed in the Democrats, thought nothing much had changed for them during the Obama presidency, and expected Trump to win even though they planned to vote for Biden themselves ...

Eric Benjamin [one of the voters] commented: “Biden’s a politician, same as the rest of them, same as Trump. But at least with Trump you know where he stands,” he said. “If we were sitting here, me and you, and you’re pretending we’re friends, but then behind my back, you act like you don’t even know me, that’s the worst. I’d much rather you just tell me to my face that we’re not friends. That’s Trump. I respect that. The Democrats always be acting like we’re friends.”

Even activists like Shaun King are noticing that “systemic racism” seems to happen mostly in Democratic-controlled cities and states: “Democrats, from top to bottom, are running the cities with the worst police brutality in America right now. We voted for them.”

So now comes President Donald Trump — who’s already successfully pushed a criminal-justice reform package, the First Step Act, with Kim Kardashian and Kanye West, and already issued an executive order limiting police chokeholds and other abusive behavior that won praise even from Van Jones — and the Democrats are terrified that he might deliver a major reform bill in Congress before the election, and they can’t have that. Better that nothing should happen than that Black voters might see Trump as performing where the Democrats — even when they controlled the White House and had a supermajority in Congress — never did.

In the words of Black Republican Senator Tim Scott of South Carolina: "They cannot allow this party to be seen as a party that reaches out to all communities in this nation.”
Democrats literally freaked out when Trump suggested that black voters give the GOP a try, stating, "What have you got to lose?" 

Indeed, what have they got to lose, given the dismal record that Dems bring to the table (and WaPo inadvertently documented) after all these years of 80-plus percent black votes for Dems.

Saturday, June 27, 2020

Wonderland--Part II

Yesterday, I wrote that we're now living in Wonderland—a place where logic and common sense have been jettisoned and replaced by a mob mentality that has given in to fear and hysteria. In Wonderland some of the general public, almost all of the media , and most of our politicians, along with public health "experts," seem to cite only bad information as long as it conforms to their narrative of events. They jettison hard facts and data that challenge the prevailing catastrophist narrative, avoid context at all cost, and otherwise work to ensure that people are afraid, uncertain of the future, and doubtful as we face an "apocalypse."

We have experienced pandemics in the past—some quite serious. Tens of thousand of people died, tens of millions were infected, and yet, the world didn't stop, life went on, schools stayed in session, businesses remained open, travel continued. The big question is: "Why?"  

I believe that the Alice in Wonderland reaction to COVID-19 has occurred for the following reasons:
  • A main stream media that is no longer professional or trustworthy and therefore creates a false narrative that draws in credulous viewers or readers;
  • Social media that amplifies the false narrative by at least one or two orders of magnitude, introducing still more false information and toxic ideas as a bonus;
  • A society that over the past few decades has worshiped at the alter of "safetyism"—a term coined by Jonathan Haidt and Greg Lukianoff in their book, The Coddling of the American Mind and defined this way:  “Safetyism refers to a culture or belief system in which safety has become a sacred value, which means that people are unwilling to make trade-offs demanded by other practical and moral concerns.”
  • The false belief (bolstered by so-called "experts") that forward-looking models are precise and to be trusted to the exclusion of common sense and past experience. Even worse, the continuing belief in those models' projections even after they have been proven to be grossly inaccurate;
  • Political leaders who are afraid to make any decision that might blow back on them (even if it's the right decision) and instead take the path that allows them to CYA;
  • A general public and its leaders who are innumerate—meaning they don't understand the meaning of graphs, the subtleties of statistics or the necessity of adapting strategies based on early projections once a growing body of data calls those strategies into question; 
  • Advisors to political leaders who suffer from tunnel-vision, unable or unwilling to consider the ramifications of their recommendations on other equally important aspects of society;
  • And finally, a strong political overlay that affects the manner in which the narrative is crafted and the decisions associated with the virus threat are made.
All of this has led us to Wonderland—a place where catastrophists flourish while the rest of us shake our heads in amazement.

Friday, June 26, 2020

Wonderland

In yesterday's post, I noted that we're living in the "crazy years"—many of us feel like Alice journeying through Wonderland. I used a quote from the book to emphasize this point:
Those who work hard to think critically, to sift through the fake news, the media hype, and now widespread corporate capitulation to the narrative, feel a lot like Alice in Chapter 6 of [Alice in Wonderland]:
“But I don’t want to go among mad people,” Alice remarked.
“Oh, you can’t help that,” said the Cat: “we’re all mad here. I’m mad. You’re mad.”
“How do you know I’m mad?” said Alice.
“You must be,” said the Cat, “or you wouldn’t have come here.” 
It is true ... we're here ... among mad people. 
Team Apocalypse can barely hide its glee as the Dems' trained hamsters in the media report a "surge" in COVID-19 cases, never bothering to mention that the death rate from the virus continues on a downward trend. 

They use terms like "skyrocketing hospitalizations" to engender the most fear and hysteria they can, never providing context that indicates that the vast majority of those who are hospitalized are very old (80+) and sick with other problems and yet, are now treated more quickly and effectively. 

They use their COVID-19 scoreboard and enthusiastically report that states are setting new "case records," never mentioning that the majority of "cases" are asymptomatic or sub-clinical and affect those in the 20 to 40 year old cohort. 

They use ominous words and music to imply that another wave of shutdowns is in the offing, never mentioning that the "experts" (e.g., Anthony Fauci, MD) who told us we had to "flatten the curve" in March, NEVER promised that we'd eliminate the virus or even reduce the long-term number of cases. 

They imply that states that opened early are seeing the most significant rise in cases, but fail to note that even now, New York State that stayed shutdown the longest, saw far more total "cases" and deaths than states that opened early—even now.

They disregard an ominous "new study in the Journal of the American Medical Association [that] finds that the number of adults reporting symptoms of serious psychological distress rose to 13.6% from 3.9% in the same time in 2018, with higher levels among the young (24%), low-income (19.3%), and Hispanics (18.3%)" (as reported in the Wall Street Journal).

The bottom line is this:
The latest CDC data show that those aged 65 and older account for 80% of all COVID-19 deaths in the U.S. But that age group makes up only 16% of the population... those under age 35 comprise 45% of the population.... [but] 0.8% of COVID-19 deaths.
So we try to protect 16% of the population by shutting down schools and colleges they don't attend, closing bars and restaurants they can choose not to frequent for their own safety, shuttering businesses that they no longer work at because the vast majority are retired, and otherwise wrecking the economy along with the lives and livelihoods of at least 45% of the population. BTW, the same 16% can be protected without the necessity of doing any of this, but nevermind.

Yep, we're living in Wonderland ... among "mad people."


Thursday, June 25, 2020

Mad People

For the Democrats' trained hamsters of the mainstream media, the narrative is everything. If a story dovetails with the narrative, it gets HEAVY emphasis—top-of-the-fold coverage in print media, A-block coverage on TV, and heavy play among the woke commentariat. The hamsters are currently promoting two narratives at once: 

1) our country is "systemically racist," and a collection of "brave and peaceful" protesters are at the forefront of fighting the good fight [with lots of words and gestures], and 

2) COVID-19 is an existential threat, and the numbers indicate that we must keep the country shut down, keep schools and business closed, [and therefore, ruin the lives and livelihoods of tens of millions of people].

It would be bad enough if the hamsters actually promoted these stories out of a true belief that their narrative is all there is to the story, but their actions are far more nefarious. They spin every story to make it fit a narrative for the sole purpose of achieving a political objective.

Take the "peaceful protesters" narrative. I wonder ... Are screaming protesters spewing spittle (potentially virus-laced) in the faces of black police officers "peaceful"? Are protesters who to pull down statue "peaceful"? Was it a "peaceful" homicide when someone killed a black 17-year old within the CHOP in Seattle? Were reports of rape, robbery, and other violence inside CHOP "peaceful?" How about the shakedowns and arson of businesses inside CHOP? "Peaceful," I'm sure. None of this fits the narrative, so the hamsters generally ignore it.

But wait ... what about the "noose" that was found in NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace's garage at Talladega? A primary example of "white supremacy" and "racism." Right?

David Marcus comments:
When it was announced this week that a noose was found in the garage of NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace, the only full-time black driver on the circuit, every reasonable person who has paid vague attention to the news for the past few years had the same reaction. We all immediately wondered if this was just another hoax like the Jussie Smollet situation. Everyone except CNN, who dove in like Greg Louganis and with similar results.

On Monday the “news” network had at least three interviews with black people associated with NASCAR decrying the abject racism of the incident. It was offered of proof of just how racist the United States still is. The white anchors all showed anguish and horror on their faces as if apologizing for all of white America. How could this happen in 2020?

On Tuesday, it became clear, and the FBI confirmed, that no noose was placed in the garage, and whatever NASCAR thought was a noose had actually been there for months. [No crime occurred, no criminal charges were to be filed, and there was no evidence whatsoever that Wallace was targeted by anyone.] So if we are asking the question “how could this happen in 2020?” the real subject of the inquiry could be how could CNN run with this story so aggressively when there was every reason in the world to question it.
If it was only CNN, we could dismiss this as an aberration promulgated by a bunch of media hacks who are about as ethical as Bernie Madoff. 

But, but, but ... the Wallace story fit the narrative so beautifully. It had to be true. Until it wasn't.

Sportswriter Jason Whitlock notes that the trained hamsters in the media aren't the only entities that can benefit from the narrative. He writes that within 24 hours of the Bubba Wallace fake controversy, video and photos surfaced from 2019 that "document[ed] that the garage at Talladega had a hanging pull rope [for the garage door] with a small noose big enough for a hand." There was no way that the person who tied the rope could have possibly known who would be using the garage 18 months later. Whitlock writes:
It’s mind blowing that NASCAR couldn’t deduce this Saturday night when a Bubba Wallace team member spotted the rope and labeled it proof of racial intimidation.

“Mind blowing” isn’t the right description. It’s impossible to believe it took the FBI to solve this mystery. There’s a level of willful ignorance that can only be reasonably explained by NASCAR’s desperation for relevance and traction at a time when all sports leagues and their television partners are hemorrhaging money. NASCAR leaned into the noose story because it was good for business, good TV. 

Anti-black racism is the preferred plotline of Netflix, CNN, Twitter,  Hollywood, ESPN, FOX Sports, MSNBC, professional athletes, The New York Times, The Washington Post and now every sports league looking for favorable coverage.

Go ahead, demonize NASCAR. Its history makes it an easy, worthy target. But willful ignorance is driving the decision-making of every sports league, including the NFL and the NBA. 

The Black Lives Matter movement has provoked nationwide chaos, violence and rioting across this country. The movement’s founders have publicly admitted the ideology driving BLM is Marxist.
We live in crazy times—riots over "systemic racism," apocalyptic predictions over a virus that is only marginally worse than the H3N2 pandemic of 1968-69 (when NOTHING was shut down), a media that is no longer trustworthy, and public and private sector leaders who have drunk the Kool-Aid. Crazy times are reminiscent of the through-the-looking-glass world of Alice in Wonderland. 

Those who work hard to think critically, to sift through the fake news, the media hype, and now widespread corporate capitulation to the narrative, feel a lot like Alice in Chapter 6 of that book:
“But I don’t want to go among mad people,” Alice remarked.
“Oh, you can’t help that,” said the Cat: “we’re all mad here. I’m mad. You’re mad.”
“How do you know I’m mad?” said Alice.
“You must be,” said the Cat, “or you wouldn’t have come here.” 
It is true ... we're here ... among mad people.