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

Tuesday, May 04, 2021

Hiroo Onada

Do you know who Hiroo Onoda was? If you're a COVID-19 catastrophist and therefore, a de facto member of the "Legion of Doom," it would be a good idea to find out. 

As a Legion of Doom member you have more than a few characteristics that conform to the following profile: 

  • You've been vaccinated, but in the extreme, you refuse to leave your house, except in the most pressing of emergencies. 
  • Even if you do venture out, you still wear your mask outside even after you've been vaccinated. 
  • You still insist that masks MUST be worn inside, even in large, open spaces. 
  • You glare at anyone who doesn't, thinking them uncaring and considerably less than woke about the ongoing dangers of the virus. 
  • You ostracize the unvaccinated, needlessly afraid they they might infect you. 
  • You demand that little children wear masks, even though there is not a shred of scientific evidence that justifies this cruel and unnecessary demand. 
  • You still think it's a good idea to keep schools closed, disregarding the educational and psychological harm that this insane policy has inflicted.
  • You still insist on 6-ft. social distancing, even as case counts fall and hospitalizations and deaths plummet. 
  • You fixate on "variants," on India, on Brazil, on new (and absurd) claims that herd immunity can't be achieved, using that fixation to increase your fear level.
  • You agree with Joe Biden that continuing to wear a mask after getting vaccinated is your "patriotic duty," even though study after study has demonstrated that a mask does little to stop the spread. 
  • You watch CNN panic porn for two or more hours every day and worse, believe what they say. 

And above all, you convince yourself that anyone who doesn't adopt your quasi-hysterical worldview just isn't "following the science."

You are Hiroo Onada—a Japanese soldier who "fought" in the jungles of the Philippine archipelago for 29 years after World War II ended. 

Our national leaders love to characterize our efforts against the virus as a "war." It's a reasonable metaphor, I suppose. But there are many scientific reasons (and copious real-world evidence) to believe that the "war" against COVID-19 was fought by blue "generals" who didn't have a clue, who used losing strategies that were ineffective and often counter-productive. And when a few red generals took another path, the blue team became apoplectic, suggesting that death and defeat would follow. 

But it didn't. In fact, it was the blue team that suffered more losses (both human and economic) as they insisted on their fear-driven strategies.

And now as the "war" winds down, as more and more people get vaccinated, as herd immunity becomes a reality, it's rather important for doomers to remember the story of Hiroo Onoda. It's time for them to leave their self-imposed jungle and go on with their lives. 

UPDATE:

Bari Weiss provides an interested comment for the "Hiroo Onodas" among us:

    If you don’t want to go to the dinner, don’t go. Let the rest of us enjoy ourselves.

    To my mind, one of the best essays written during this fiasco of a year was by Dr. Norman Doidge, who explained in Tablet what lockdown does to us psychologically. “Lockdown bequeaths us a map,” he wrote, “in which my little home, my apartment, my room, the world inside is good and safe; but the outside, is nothing but dangerous. It begins by physically enclosing us, but ends by mentally enclosing us. We may not be paranoid (because there truly is a virus out there), but we nonetheless start living as paranoids do. Lockdown forecloses unlockdown.”

    In other words, once we are stuck inside it is very hard to unstick ourselves. I’m trying to remind myself of this truth when I find myself wanting to berate friends who, fully vaccinated, look at me with crazy eyes when I suggest coming over for dinner. PTSD might be too strong a descriptor, but it’s not so far off either.

    So try to have empathy for friends like these, who are having a hard time unlocking lockdown. But also: it’s ok to ignore their judgment and not waste a moment second-guessing having dinner with other vaccinated friends.

Personally, I'm beginning to run out of empathy. Listening to crazy talk and observing even more crazy actions tends to do that. On the other hand, it's becoming increasing easy to follow Weiss's advice and simply ignore the insanity—except when it infringes on my right to live my life.

POSTSCRIPT:

And if you're a 'normal'—concerned about the virus but NOT consumed by fear or hysteria—who has decided to eschew masks and live your life with others in public and private places? Then what? 

It's not uncommon for a member of the Legion of Doom to confront you, virtue signaling all the way, to suggest that you're being "irresponsible" or "uncaring," or that "you're not following the science" or the (now discredited) CDC guidance or whatever.

Here's how you should respond to the catastrophist:

I fully support your right to isolate yourself, to avoid public places, and to limit contact with friends and family.

But your fear and hysteria does NOT give you the right to control my life, limit my freedoms, or suggest that I am somehow less moral or caring than you. 

'Nuff said.


Monday, May 03, 2021

Corrupt and Unjust

In a lengthy article, Glen Greenwald describes how progressives in NY and MA destroyed the political prospects of their own chosen primary candidates once unsubstantiated allegations of sexual harassment were leveled against them. No matter that there was no proof, that the timing of the allegations was highly suspect, that the accusers statements were misleading—leftist groups immediately repudiated the candidates because—'believe the woman.'

This vicious and irresponsible destruction of reputation has become common among the Left and has been used repeatedly as a political weapon. That might be a consequence of their repugnant attempt to destroy Supreme Court Justice Bret Kavanaugh—an attempt that almost succeeded and likely would have had Donald Trump not shown courage (that's the correct word) in not crumbling under the onslaught of provably false allegations leveled by the Democrats and their media hamsters. Subsequent book-length investigations (e.g., here and here) indicate that the primary accuser at that time, Chris Balsey-Ford, was a liar and a political opportunist with a malevolent agenda. 

It is ironic that recent 'me too' allegations have been Democrat on Democrat. And yet, there is hypocrisy there as well. Greenwald writes:

Needless to say, when the stakes are high enough, progressives kick this framework of presumed-guilt and Believe-Women to the curb. When Joe Biden was the presumptive nominee against Donald Trump, they quickly vilified his accuser Tara Reade as a mentally unwell liar — just as they did in the 1990s to the group of women who accused Bill Clinton of various levels of sexual impropriety, including rape. When something like the presidency is at stake, female accusers of key Democratic male leaders are to be mocked and destroyed, not believed.

That is because there is no discernible principle at play. It is only about power. Why was the highly educated Christine Blasey Ford to be believed with no evidence in her accusations against Brett Kavanaugh, and why is [progressive Mayoral candidate in NYC] Stringer’s accuser, political consultant Jean Kim, to be believed, but Reade was not, even though she had more evidence of contemporaneous complaints to support her allegations?

But the far more important point is that any culture that is willing to destroy reputations and lives based on totally unproven accusations is one that is inherently corrupt and unjust. [emphasis mine] The ability to destroy someone’s life with nothing more than an uncorroborated claim voiced more than eighteen years after the alleged incident is a power with which nobody should be trusted.

True that! 

UPDATE:

Far too many people who make up "the woke" are nothing more than humorless leftist bullies who view their mission as one that roots out every person, publication or video—literally every form of communication—that they and they alone perceive as a violation of their self-defined societal norms. Their warped fixation on what they think is racism, misogyny, sexual abuse, LBGTQ-phobia, xenophobia, privilege, white supremacy, etc., etc would be amusing if it weren't so dangerous and destructive. It makes one wonder whether their fixations are actually a form of psychological  projection.

They see white supremacist "signs" in innocent hand gestures. They see sexual abuse in an innocent or inadvertent touch. They see "racism" in the words of an African American man or woman who disagrees with their ideology. They see xenophobia in rational decisions to limit illegal immigration. They see misogyny in any criticism of a woman politician's questionable leftist policies. And they work hard to cancel the person or publication that they fixate on.

Barton Swaim comments on the woke's failed attempts to cancel bestselling author Jordan Peterson. He writes:

The cancelers’ strange fixations mean that apologizing to them is folly. Mr. Peterson hasn’t apologized or disavowed any previous statement. Now there’s a rule for his next book: Don’t apologize when you haven’t done anything wrong. 

Those who have been attacked by leftist bullies should adopt that position. When you've done nothing wrong, don't apologize. Instead, call out the bullies that want to destroy you. They're easy to ridicule because their positions are often indefensible, dishonest, counter-factual, illogical, and puerile. Maybe that's why they so badly need to destroy those who oppose them. They simply can't win a honest debate—and they know it.



 

Saturday, May 01, 2021

Ugliness

Some of the best thoughtful writing/commentary currently available can't be found in propaganda outlets like the NYT or WaPo. It's unavailable at tediously woke sources like The Atlantic or The New Yorker. And it certainly can't be found in Pravda-like, left-wing organs like CNN or MSNBC. Much of it has migrated to substack, where contributors on both the right and the left comment on today's culture and politics in ways that make the aforementioned media sources look like a third graders who look at the world like the uniformed children they are.

In an opinion piece, Paul Kingsnorth (subscription required) writes about the United States (and the West in general) and it's current political leadership, its dominating media, entertainment industry, academics, and even a growing number of its government bureaucrats. Why is it, he asks, that the current narrative tells us that we are "systemically racist," that "privilege" precludes any possibility for others to advance and succeed? Why is it that the woke tell us that we are irreparably broken and need an authoritarian socialist "reset" to continue as a nation? He writes:

Why is this happening and what is going on? Looked at through a wide lens, it is a deeply weird (not to mention WEIRD) phenomena. What sort of country is ashamed of itself? What people wants to be governed by a ruling class that holds it in contempt? What historical precedent is there for a lasting culture whose story-makers are embarrassed by their own ancestors? How can any culture continue into the future if it is teaching its children a deeply disturbing form of racialised self-loathing?

    Defenders of the current moment will usually respond that such accusations are hysterical. What is happening in the West, they say, is a long-overdue ‘reckoning’ with our culture’s past: the empires, the colonies, the imposition of our ways of life on the rest of the world. They’re not wrong about much of that history, however partially they tell the story. We know, or we should, that there were plenty of dark chapters in the Western past. If any culture takes to the high seas with cannons blazing and proceeds to paint half the world red (on the map and often on the ground), then at some point a reckoning will arrive. Actions have consequences. God is not mocked.

    But this is not a good enough explanation for what is now clearly a process of accelerating cultural disintegration. After all, plenty of other parts of the world – pretty much all of them in fact, humans being what they are – have dark pasts too, but you don’t see Russia’s cultural elites collapsing into spirals of performative shame over how Lenin and Stalin brutalised eastern Europe or killed millions of their own people (on the contrary, Uncle Joe is very popular there these days.) Japan’s murderous history in southeast Asia doesn’t seem to have led to a desire to dismantle its historic identity, and China is certainly not about to start apologising for the last four thousand years – count them – that it has been engaging in imperial expansion.

    No, something else is surely going on in the West, and especially in the Anglosphere, which can’t be explained purely by historical karma. Over the last few years, a new and still-coalescing ideology, which has been gathering steam in the post-modern catacombs of America for decades, has burst out onto the streets and into the studios, and is now coursing through the culture, overturning what was until recently uncontroversial or unquestioned. The energy around it is not that of the self-declared love and justice. It tastes of deconstruction, division, intolerance, hatred and rage. 

The ugly "deconstruction, division, intolerance, hatred and rage" is often masked by platitudes about "unity," fairness, and "equity," but just beneath the surface the ugliness remains. I'm not sure where this is going, but it's pretty obvious the destination won't be a good place.

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Origins

In April, 2020, just as the COVID-19 hysteria was reaching its early fever pitch, I posted a rather lengthy discussion of the origins of the virus. Based on existing evidence at that time, I argued that the virus escaped from the Wuhan Virology Lab in China—a facility that was linked to bioweapons research.

For reasons that were inexplicable, the mainstream media immediately labeled that notion as "conspiracy theory" and even more inexplicably—outright refused to do any serious investigation of the claims. I thought it was just Trump Derangement Syndrome, but now it appears that wasn't the entire reason.

In every crime drama police investigators use a large bulletin board to connect people involved with places and events. Lines connect all of these entities, helping investigators connect the dots.

 

Fast forward to late April, 2021. In a true blockbuster report, investigative journalist, Sharyl Attkisson, connects the dots associated with the origins of COVID-19 (read the whole thing). It's highly likely that despite hysterical claims of "conspiracy theory" by China, the Democrats, their trained hamsters in the media, and a number of scientists (included the media's COVID oracle, Anthony Fauci), the origins of the virus can in fact be traced to the Wuhan Virology Lab.

Attkisson writes: 

When the former head of the Centers for Disease Control, Dr. Robert Redfield, recently said Covid-19 likely leaked from a Chinese research lab, news headlines called it “shocking."

... That was followed by a flurry of media reports ridiculing the notion; insisting that Covid-19 probably jumped from bats to people through an unexplained, natural route. But there’s new information that hasn’t been widely reported. A sizable segment of the research community has formed the same opinion as Dr. Redfield: that Covid-19 leaked from experiments at the Wuhan Institute of Virology in China.

Jamie Metzl, World Health Organization International Advisory Committee on Human Genome Editing: “There are scientists all around the world who have told me that they believe the most likely origin of COVID-19, of the pandemic, is an accidental lab leak from the Wuhan Institute of Virology.”

... French virologist Luc Montagnier, a Nobel Prize recipient, arrived at the same conclusion a year ago. He says Covid-19’s genetics reveal “manipulation.” “Someone added sequences,” he said. “It’s the work of professionals, of molecular biologists…a very meticulous work.”

But it gets even worse. It appears that in the years before COVID-19 emerged, scientists and governmental organizations in the U.S. participated with the Wuhan lab in making (via genetic manipulation) SARS viruses more virulent:

Scientists from the U.S. and the Wuhan lab joined up on experiments that involved making bat coronavirus more infectious, to try to invent a vaccine.

It’s called “gain of function” research, and it’s controversial because it could create a lethal virus that escapes and causes a pandemic. So risky, the U.S. temporarily halted such studies in 2014.

But an exception was made. The “gain of function” research underway by the U.S. and Wuhan scientists was “reviewed and approved for continued study by [the National Institutes of Health.]” or “NIH.”

NIH didn’t only approve the research, it paid for it with six grants of tax dollars, including from the “National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases,” led by Dr. Anthony Fauci.

More taxpayer money from Fauci's institute and the U.S. Agency for International Development was funneled to the coronavirus research with China through EcoHealth Alliance, a New York based nonprofit led by Peter Daszak, a zoologist who specializes in viruses transmitted from animals to people.

Also working on the research, Ralph Baric at the University of North Carolina. His work centered on genetically manipulating coronavirus in part to allow for “rapid and rational development…[of]…vaccines and therapeutics.”

Fauci, Daszak and Baric call any implication that the Wuhan lab was involved "conspiracy theory" but refuse to answer any questions associated with the work that they clearly participated in.

Based on this reporting, it's understandable why the government is less than enthusiastic about transparency about the origins of COVID-19. 

On the other hand, the mainstream media, as if cementing its longstanding tradition of dishonesty and bias, seems to be perfectly willing to accept the fictional "wet market" origins story. 

At some level, the leaders of the Chinese Communist Party must be shaking their heads in amazement. Not only did the likely accidental release of a virus cause grievous harm to their adversaries around the world, but those same adversaries (the U.S. included) would prefer to bury the origins of the virus. 

UPDATE (5/03/2021):

It looks like the origin of COVID-19 has been known (or at least posited) for some time. ABC-News reports:

WASHINGTON (SBG) - A classified study of the origin of SARS-CoV-2 conducted a year ago by scientists at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, the Department of Energy’s premier biodefense research institution, concluded the novel coronavirus at the heart of the current pandemic may have originated in a laboratory in China, Sinclair has learned.

Researchers at Livermore’s “Z Division,” the lab’s intelligence unit, issued the report May 27, 2020, classified “Top Secret.” Its existence is previously undisclosed. The Z Division report assessed that both the lab-origin theory and the zoonotic theory were plausible and warranted further investigation. Sinclair has not reviewed the report but confirmed its contents through interviews with multiple sources who read it or were briefed on its contents.

In an email to Sinclair, a Livermore spokesperson confirmed the existence of the report but declined to provide additional information. “Because the report you are referring to is classified,” wrote Lynda Seaver, director of public affairs, “it would be inappropriate for our lab to discuss this.”

The ABC report goes on to repeat the same information about "gain in function" reported by Sharyll Attkisson in the body of this post. Thye report is "inconclusive" but it it quacks like duck ...

Of course, given the players and the current administration, we can expect absolutely no transparency coming from the government.

 



Monday, April 26, 2021

100 Days

During my hiatus, relatively little that has happened in the world of politics and the media has come as a welcome surprise. Sure, Trump is out and Biden is in, and yes, the predictable swing in media attitude (Biden, the Democrats, and their policy proposals are now praised and protected at all cost) has calmed the chaos that surrounded the past administration. A reduction in chaos is a good thing. 

It's clear that Biden's "honeymoon" period (usually 100 days) will last indefinitely or until his cognitive difficulties cause him to leave the office of the president.

In any event, here are a few observations on events during the first 100 days:

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

About 30 days into the Biden presidency, the editors of the Wall Street Journal took a look back at how a cognitively disabled swamp denizen, Joe Biden, could have beaten a sitting president who by any objective measure, had significant accomplishments that actually affected the lives of average citizens in a positive way. They concluded:

... as time passes and Mr. Trump blames everyone else for his defeat, [it becomes obvious] that 2020 was a winnable race. Mr. Trump had many accomplishments to tout, and voters recognized them. But Mr. Biden’s consistent campaign message of a return to a calmer, more unifying politics resonated with millions of voters who had tired of the constant Trump turmoil. 

I think that's about right, although there are other factors as well:  

  • the media was a significant contributor to that turmoil, doing everything possible over four years to demonize Trump and minimize his accomplishments; 
  • the media's bias/hatred of Trump and his continual combativeness in the face of that bias was exhausting for many voters, 
  • the serial hoaxes (created by the Democrats and their trained hamsters in the media)—the "fine people" hoax, the bleach hoax, Russian collusion hoax, the "find the fraud" hoax, and the "Insurrection" lies, along with dozens and dozens of fake news "bombshells," and 
  • the media's collective refusal to perform an in-depth investigation into the anomalous results of the vote, make a more thorough analysis of Trump's loss impossible. 

But even given all of that, the WSJ editors are correct—"Mr. Trump didn’t lose to Joe Biden. He lost to himself."

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

As February became March, Biden jettisoned many of his campaign promises, including his commitment of "unity." But that's par for the course for conventional swamp politicians. He is very carefully managed (the media is complicit in this) so that his cognitive difficulties are not quite so obvious. 

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

On the international scene, Biden and his foreign policy Team of 2s decided that capitulation to the Islamist regime in Iran is once again the right path forward. Barack Obama's strategy (if you can call it that) was wrong six years ago, and it's equally wrong now. In late February these two tweets emerged:



There's no surprise in Biden's actions, but is is worth asking why the Left is sympatico with the Mullahs. It's also worth asking why some progressives have adopted the truly delusional position that appeasement will somehow eliminate Iran's hegemonic threat. It's also pretty obvious that Biden is setting the stage for the collapse of the historic and promising Abraham Accords, because ... Trump.

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

The mainstream media just keeps getting worse, even though Trump is gone. The blatant dishonesty associated with the events of January 6th is best described by Glenn Greenwald, a left-leaning reporter who is one of the few remaining honest journalists on the national scene.

What took place at the Capitol on January 6 was undoubtedly a politically motivated riot. As such, it should not be controversial to regard it as a dangerous episode. Any time force or violence is introduced into what ought to be the peaceful resolution of political conflicts, it should be lamented and condemned.

But none of that justifies lying about what happened that day, especially by the news media. Condemning that riot does not allow, let alone require, echoing false claims in order to render the event more menacing and serious than it actually was. There is no circumstance or motive that justifies the dissemination of false claims by journalists. The more consequential the event, the less justified, and more harmful, serial journalistic falsehoods are.

Yet this is exactly what has happened, and continues to happen, since that riot almost seven weeks ago. And anyone who tries to correct these falsehoods is instantly attacked with the cynical accusation that if you want only truthful reporting about what happened, then you’re trying to “minimize” what happened and are likely an apologist for if not a full-fledged supporter of the protesters themselves.

Most Democrats and virtually all progressives fervently believe the media narrative that a right-wing "insurrection," led by shadowy Q-Anon groups is poised to terrorize America. Later in the 100 days, Glenn Greenwald again commented: 

This is how apocalyptic cult leaders always function. When the end of the world did not materialize on January 6, [NBC News' Ben] Collins insisted that January 20 was the day of the violent reckoning. When nothing happened on that day, he moved the Doomsday Date to March 4. The flock cannot remain in a state of confusion for too long about why the world has not ended as promised by the prophet, so a new date must quickly be provided with an explanation for why this is serious business this time ...

These dire warnings also, quite predictably, generated serious reactions. “House leaders on Wednesday abruptly moved a vote on policing legislation from Thursday to Wednesday night, so lawmakers could leave town,” said the Times. We learned that there would be further militarization of the Capitol and troop deployment in Washington indefinitely due to so-called “chatter.” NPR announced: “The House of Representatives has canceled its Thursday session after the U.S. Capitol Police said it is aware of a threat by an identified militia group to breach the Capitol complex that day.”

Do you know what happened on March 4 when it came to violence from right-wing extremists? The same thing that happened on January 20: absolutely nothing. There were no attempted attacks on the Capitol, state capitols, or any other government institution. There was violent crime registered that day in Washington D.C. but none of it was political violence by those whom media outlets warned posed such a grave danger that Congress has to be closed and militarization of Washington extended indefinitely.

Very few "journalists are asking why nothing happened and why these broadly publicized and unattributed "intelligence estimates" were so wrong.

National Guard troops and barbed wire remained in the Capitol throughout these 100 days even though there was no credible evidence that further violence of any magnitude was planned. None occurred.

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

At the same time, the NYT along with far too many Democrats and virtually all catastrophists seemed to want to prolong the year-long hysteria that accompanied COVID-19. In mid 2020, many of us noted that "herd immunity" was the ONLY way (short of a vaccine) to stop the virus. We argued (and have now been proven correct) that lockdowns, masks, school closures and the rest of what amount to meaningless gestures proposed by petty dictators who govern at the federal, state and city levels do little or nothing to stop the virus and even prolong its impact. In late February 2021, an opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal suggested that herd immunity would be achieved by April. Steven Green commented at that time: 

So why isn’t this [the notion that herd immunity will soon be achieved] being shouted from the rooftops? Why is the biggest story of the year practically buried on the op-ed page of a single newspaper?

Imagine if when the Empire of Japan surrendered to Allied forces in 1945, instead of throwing a big-ass party, and beginning the processes of demobilization, President Truman basically let the news slide while keeping 13 million Americans in uniform?

Crazy, right?

Why, it’s almost as though those in power are wedded to having a permanent crisis.

So Insanity Wrap will tell you again: COVID-19 cases are down 77% in the last six weeks. We’ll likely have herd immunity by April.

Let’s get back to work.

Of all the idiocy (much of it coming from the Biden administration) associated with COVID-19, possibly the most profound is the on-going attempt to keep people frightened, masked, and locked down.

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

Those who are regular readers in this space may recall that I sometimes provide a report on Venezuela, our hemisphere's ongoing socialist experiment. Such a report seems appropriate, given the behind-the-scenes efforts by the new Democrats to enact policies and programs that set the stage for even more socialist-style governance during Biden's first 100 days. Meanwhile, as their country's socialist policies cause Venezuela to collapse, we get this news from John Miltmore:

According to Bloomberg News, Venezuelan president Nicolás Maduro has quietly begun transferring state assets back into the hands of private owners in an effort to reverse the country's economic collapse.

“Saddled with hundreds of failed state companies in an economy barreling over a cliff, the Venezuelan government is abandoning socialist doctrine by offloading key enterprises to private investors, offering profit in exchange for a share of revenue or products,” write Caracas-based journalists Fabiola Zerpa and Nicolle Yapur.

The transfer, which was not announced publicly but was confirmed by “nine people with knowledge of the matter,” reportedly includes dozens of coffee processors, grain silos, and hotels that were confiscated as part of Venezuela's widespread nationalization that began under Chavez.

I wonder if Joe Biden is even aware of this and whether he's able to understand what it means?

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

About one-third of the way into Biden's first 100 days, his newspaper of record inadvertently reinforced the COVID-19 catastrophist narrative that have been the mainstay of most Democratic leaders for well over a year. This headline from the New York Times says it all:

"COVID-19 Update: The U.S. is Edging Toward Normal, Alarming Some Officials"

A perfect indicator of our inexorable decent into permanent hysteria—apparently a preferred state for some on the left.

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

James Freeman coined an interesting term that is an adjunct to the tedious virtue signalling that has become the norm during these first 100 days. The term, Signal-to-Actual-Virtue Ratio (SAVR), is a take-off on the engineering term 'signal-to-noise ratio,' and refers to the manner in which politicians (blue state governors come to mind) speak with fervor about everything from COVID-19 "caring" to "me-too" enforcement. Their actions, on the other hand, don't match up well with their words. Their SAVR is very, very high and that means that no thoughtful person should take them seriously.

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

As the march toward 100 days continued, pushback began in states that respected the rights of their citizens. COVID-19 restrictions were eliminated. Mandates for mask-wearing disappeared.

In a commentary entitled, "A Plague of Madness," Sarah Hoyt commented on the many, many catastrophists, who despite clear and repeatable scientific evidence that masks provide little if any actual defense against COVID-19, entered into a fervent defense of mask wearing by saying:  “What’s the big deal with wearing a mask. It keeps you from catching something that if you catch it will probably kill you.”

Hoyt writes:

Probably kill you ….WHAT THE ACTUAL HELL. You have something like 98% of chance of surviving it. [And if you're under 45 years of age, a 99.95 % chance of survival.]

HOW will it likely kill you? Unless you’re over 90, of course. And even then ...

In fact, the mask cosplay seems to be around for one reason only: to continue to keep people scared. [emphasis mine]  ...

I don’t care if you want to hide under your bed forever and wear five or six or even seventeen masks. It’s your business.

But the business of life is living. And to provide for life, humans need to work. Magical money from the government isn’t edible. And neither is that mask.

Go and hide if you wish. Let the rest of us go free.

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

Victor Davis Hansen comments on one aspect of the current culture that is accelerating as the Left takes over:

Peak wokeness is nearing ... because if it continued in its present incarnation, then the United States as we know would cease to exist—in the sense that 1692-93 Salem or 1793-94 Paris could not have continued apace without destroying society. Woke leftism exists to destroy and tear down, not to unite and build. It is not designed to play down and heal racial differences, but to accentuate and capitalize on them ...

Wokeness eventually would put an unsustainable economic strain on the system. Wokeness is siphoning off billions of dollars from a productive economy through a sort of value-subtracted tax. We are spending a great deal of labor and capital for merit to be replaced in college admissions, in hiring, in grants, in publication, in the selections of awards, and in movies and videos, in everything—as racial, ethnic, and sexual identity considerations replace meritocratic, literary, artistic, and technological criteria, rather than just augment, them. 

Wokeness is a "grift" designed to concentrate all power in the hands of a few who can ruin reputations, dictate learning, censor books, modify history, control or shutdown debate, and move our body politic ever-closer to totalitarianism. The real question is whether Hansen is correct: Is this current insanity sustainable?

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

Throughout the 100 days, Joe Biden and his catastrophist followers became apoplectic as states began loosening mask and lockdown restrictions, college students partied during spring break, bars and restaurants opened, sports arenas began to fill, and other life tired to return to normal. The hysterics maintained their mantra that "the science" was on their side—except it wasn't.

A refereed scientific study published in the prestigious journal, Nature, indicates that a "stay-at-home" strategy did little if anything to reduce COVID-19 deaths. The authors state:

"With our results, we were not able to explain if COVID-19 mortality is reduced by staying at home in ~ 98% of the comparisons after epidemiological weeks 9 to 34."

During the same time period, the CDC—you know, the government organization that tells us we MUST wear masks—did a study with the following conclusion:

"Daily case and death growth rates before implementation of mask mandates were not statistically different from the reference period [before masks were mandated]."

Gosh, that's pretty much what those of us who have questioned the wisdom of these draconian mandates have been saying since April, 2020 (e.g., here, here and here).

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  * 

About halfway into the 100 days, the Democrats—with significant virtue signalling and copious air cover provided by their trained hamsters in the media (who refuse to investigate and report on the details)—passed a $1.9 trillion "COVID Relief Bill." That's $1,900,000,000,000 to supposedly save the nation from the damage that the (mostly) Dems' insistence on lockdowns, school closures and general insanity and hysteria has wrought. 

The Democrats allocated 9% of the dollars to COVID mitigation and another 30% for checks to those who have lost income due to lockdowns and business closures in mostly blue states. Fair enough. But the other 61%? A grab bag of goodies for mismanaged blue states and cities, insolvent pension funds, and a variety of Dem constituencies that has virtually nothing to do with the pandemic.

In the words of Democrat strategist, Rahm Emanuel, "Never let a crisis go to waste."

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

As the one-year anniversary of the COVID lockdowns came and went, it became increasingly obvious that our political leaders, particularly governors in blue states, along with far too many public health "experts" (the sainted Dr. Anthony Fauci comes to mind), and of course, the main stream media, recommended horrendously bad lockdown policies that did far more harm than good. 

I expressed my concern about the collateral damage of lockdowns way back in March of 2020 and have remained adamantly opposed to them throughout our time of mass hysteria, a.k.a., the "COVID crisis." Julie Kelly was among a small minority who opposed the lockdowns. She suggests a not-so-subtle political motivation when she writes:

One year ago, I tweeted: “This is what the Left wants. They want people stripped of wealth, isolated, and terrified. They want sources of joy—church, sporting events, vacations, large social gatherings—eliminated. This is how they get control. And it’s far scarier than any virus.”

It was not a popular sentiment at the time.

My initial reaction to government-ordered lockdowns, promoted by politicians on both sides and President Trump, was in the slim minority to say the least. “Flattening the curve” required deep personal sacrifices, we were warned.

Anyone skeptical of the alleged effectiveness of lockdowns or concerned about the long-term consequences was condemned as a bloodless “grandma killer” or “greedy capitalist” defying science and lacking compassion.

But from the start, “the curve” was bogus stagecraft. As I explained last year, the curve the authorities presented to Americans wasn’t accurate. 
As we enter COVID year 2 with a president who told us this March that we might be able to have a limited family gatherings on July 4th, if we're good little sheep and wear our masks, it's worth suggesting that maybe we all should just say "no"—and reenter life right now (many of us already have). Some hysterics will remain in their basements, and that's their choice. But it's long past the time when their insane isolation, their anti-scientific dictates, and their abject fear should be accepted as a reason for the rest of us to give up control of our lives.

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

As the hundred days ground on, it's interesting that the corporate media has allowed one of the most salacious stories of the past 25 years to disappear down the memory hole.  Sure, the claims of Jeffrey Epstein's untimely "suicide" (if you believe that, you also believe that COVID lockdowns and school closings have been a great success) were bad enough, but there's a lot more to the story. Only problem is  ... I suspect it involves some very, very "important" people (many of whom are Dems) and therefore, it becomes very uninteresting to the media hacks, Here's one take from an actual professional:

By the way, why hasn't Ghislaine Maxwell been offered a plea bargain/immunity so she can reveal all of the details (including the people who committed crimes) of this scandal? And where are the tapes??

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

The kinder, gentler, unity-based atmosphere supposedly encouraged by Joe Biden hasn't seemed to change a biased and increasingly dishonest main stream media. About halfway into the 100 days, The Washington Post was forced to correct their false allegation that Donald Trump had urged the Georgia Secretary of State (a political enemy) to "find the fraud" within the Georgia election. Mark Hemingway summarizes this travesty in "journalism:"
In sum: The Washington Post anonymously printed fabricated quotes they knew were from a second-hand source in the office of a political enemy, couldn’t confirm the quotes with additional sourcing, still attributed them to the sitting president of the United States, used those quotes as a basis to speculate the president committed a crime, and the Democratic party would later repeatedly cite the bogus article when attempting to impeach Trump for “high crimes and misdemeanors.”

But wait! It gets much worse. Several other major media outlets — including NBC, ABC, USA Today, PBS, and CNN — “confirmed” the fabricated quotes from the Post’s anonymous source by, get this, citing their own anonymous sources.
It's apparent that anything you read in WaPo or the NYT should be viewed skeptically. These media outlets are no long news sources. They and dozens of other main stream media sites are propagandists and should be treated accordingly.

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

Over the past 13 months, many, many members of the public have become skeptical of the dictates of the public health community and the "experts" who act as their spokespeople. The Democrat-media complex has treated people like Anthony Fauci, M.D. as if he was the Oracle at Delphi. That's comically ironic, given that his recommendations (think: lockdowns or school closures) have been proven not only wrong, but have had catastrophic unintended consequences (e.g., significant increases in childhood depression); his dark predictions have been egregiously inaccurate (think: "we won't have a vaccine until the end of 2021"), and his seeming inability to think about the broader national picture (i.e., the impact of lockdowns on small businesses, the mood of the people), and the totalitarian tinge to his recommendations are very troubling for a public figure.

Finally, Fauci is being called out. In an epic confrontation, Senator Rand Paul, an M.D. himself, questioned Fauci's judgement and his continuing reliance on lockdowns and masks. Fauci did not fare well. Glenn Reynolds suggests that Fauci is among the many reasons that: (1) people have lost faith in public health authorities, and (2) that a minority continue to refuse the COVID vaccine. He isn't wrong.

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

The Biden Administration has faced many "challenges" during his first 100 days, but one "challenge" of their own making topped the list—the crisis at our southern border.  An op-ed by Ben Carson in in Newsweek states:

Though President Biden has refused to call it what it is, there is a crisis unfolding on our southern border. The U.S. is facing the biggest migrant surge it's seen in twenty years. Customs and Border Protection agents are overwhelmed, the Department of Homeland Security's surge force was activated, and now FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency which has been focused on the pandemic for over a year, has been asked to assist.

This isn't just a crisis; it's a national disaster. Worse, it's one that was entirely preventable.

The current surge of migrants at the border should come at no surprise, given President Biden's rush to reverse the Trump Administration's important border security policies on his first day in office, including reinstituting the "catch and release" policy that allows migrants into the U.S. after crossing the border illegally, and ending the Remain in Mexico policy that asked asylum seekers to wait for a hearing before entering the U.S.

What happened next was predictable: Biden's campaign rhetoric and his termination of Trump's strict border policies signaled to thousands that our borders are open ...

The dangerous migrant journey turned out to be no deterrent against the strong pull of potential U.S. citizenship, leading to what we are witnessing now: a humanitarian crisis on our southern border which has empowered cartels and human traffickers. The abuse faced by women and children is rampant.

An open borders policy (and that is essentially what Biden's handlers want) isn't tenable and results in human suffering at a massive scale. This is a classic example of James Freeman's new metric, the Signal-to-Actual-Virtue Ratio (SAVR). On it's face, the Left tells us they care, care, care about migrants, but in fact, by empowering the cartels and throwing children into harm's way on their journey north, the actual virtue associated with their claims is close to zero.

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  * 

In the final six weeks of the 100 days, social justice warriors and their propagandists in the media have created a convenient narrative that the white population is "anti-Asian." This evolved in the aftermath of a mass shooting in Atlanta in which Asian employees of massage parlors were killed by a mentally ill man. There has been no evidence that the deranged shooter was "anti-Asian."

There is, however, growing evidence that the narrative is being used to blunt any criticism of the Chinese Communist Party or (God forbid!) any suggestion that COVID-19 was inadvertently released by a Wuhan virology lab, or any evidence that the Chinese did not act properly in the early days of 2020, when COVID was constrained to China only. If you make any of these assertions, you are now a "white supremacist" who is "anti-Asian."

Ironically, the only anti-Asia sentiment that is obvious seems to be coming from the most woke of American institutions—elite Universities—who are fighting hard to maintain de facto Asian quotas for admissions.

Here's an instructive meme that emphasizes that point nicely:


*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

Even when his mind was clear (an increasingly rare event), Joe Biden loves to play the tough guy—a kid from the Scranton streets who would take people behind the woodshed when he needed to. For Biden and most Democrats, image is everything, and Biden likes the tough guy image.

As we moved past the mid-point in Biden's first 100 days, the Chinese decided that Biden's image needed a little dose of reality, and in their first meeting, they took Biden's foreign policy team behind the woodshed. The editors of the Wall Street Journal wrote:

In its first two months the Biden Administration has been strong in its rhetoric on all of this. Mr. Blinken and national security adviser Jake Sullivan orchestrated a series of well-done meetings with Indo-Pacific allies in advance of the Anchorage meeting. They also struck a deal on financing U.S. troop deployments in South Korea.

But the real challenge will be how well it responds to the aggressive designs of adversaries in Beijing, Moscow and Tehran. The hard men in these capitals recall how they were able to advance when Mr. Biden’s liberal internationalists were last in power under Mr. Obama. Russia grabbed Crimea, invaded eastern Ukraine and moved into Syria. China snatched islands for military bases in the South China Sea and stole U.S. secrets with impunity. Iran spread terrorism via proxy throughout the Middle East and fleeced John Kerry on the nuclear deal.
Biden's Team of 2s is frighteningly similar to Obama's foreign policy team—in attitude, in tone and in competence. The disastrous foreign policy that came out of the Obama era is very likely to be repeated by Biden.

As an aside, the Biden family's shady dealings with the Chinese are part of the public record, although a detailed understanding of just what happened (and what the Chinese might have on Joe Biden) is hazy because the trained hamsters in the mainstream media refuse to investigate and report to the public.

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

As things (very) slowly return to some semblance of normal, the COVID catastrophists are making last gasp (I hope) attempts to keep us frightened and hiding in our basements. They've launched three narratives:

1.  Large gatherings, like spring break are invariably "irresponsible" super-spreader events that will lead to a spike in COVID cases. No matter that the vast, vast majority of any cases that can be attributed to college partying are asymptomatic or non-clinical. And by the way, their vaunted "super-spreader" events (e.g., the Super Bowl) never seem to be as bad as predicted. 

2.  The "long tail" of COVID should have all us us terrified. Except, it's mostly B.S. Jeremy Devine provides a clear refutation of this catastrophist fantasy. 

3.  Vaccines won't protect us from "COVID variants," so it's important to continue ill-advised and intrusive mask wearing policies, lockdowns and the like. There's only one problem, it looks like vaccines do, in fact, protect us from variants.

The Covidiots will keep trying to sow fear, uncertainty, and doubt. It's important to pay no more attention to them than you would to a raving lunatic on a street corner.

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

The migrant crisis at the southern border, you know, the one that even the President of Mexico admits is the fault of early Biden-Harris (this new characterization is fascinating at many levels) administration policies is growing worse by the week.

And as it becomes more serious, it has taken some of the steam out of the media's ongoing dishonest and often hysterical coverage of COVID-19. Nonetheless, the catastrophist message continues at a slightly more muted level.

Kurt Schlichter writes:

It might not occur to you, because you are not a bizarre wierdo, but a lot of people really love the pandemic. Not just the little fascist gnome who changes his #science advice more often than a Wellesley girl changes her preferences during her sophomore year experimental phase, and not just the fascist pols who get off on exploiting their emergency powers to boss people around, but even some regular people. The masks, the paranoia, the constant talk about vaccines – some people love this stuff.

This is their Woodstock.

And they never want it to end.

I've had that same feeling for the past 10 months.  Here's a little more Covidiocy offered by Andreas Kluth at Bloomberg and related by The Blaze in late March:

"In the case of SARS-CoV-2 ... recent developments suggest that we may never achieve herd immunity," Kluth continued, shooting down the idea of herd immunity. "Even in the U.S., which leads most other countries in vaccinations and already had large outbreaks, won't get there."  

There's almost a "Yipee!" feel to his insane prognostications. It's B.S. and it's sick, and maybe, just maybe, there's an agenda underlying it all.

This tweet summarizes nicely:

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

More than halfway through his 100 days, Joe Biden's first "press conference" confirmed two things: (1) it provided a clear indication that Biden is cognitively disabled and generally unable to perform the duties his office demands , and (2) it was a very sad event for the country. Dominic Green comments:

Joe Biden is the face of the United States. But Joe Biden no longer looks like Joe Biden. And he no longer sounds like Joe Biden — especially in the long and excruciating silences when he forgets what he’s saying or fumbles for his cue cards.

The United States no longer looks like itself either. The sorry theatrical display of Biden’s first press conference is an accurate image of what has happened to American democracy. A carefully limited number of carefully selected journalists asked carefully vetted questions. A carefully chosen president read carefully written answers off his cue cards, and carefully avoided taking any questions from Fox or Newsmax.

The White House is no longer the home of democracy. It’s a reality TV series in a care home. Biden mused about how the country has lost its way, about how it used to be so much better, but he seemed fatalistically feeble, as if it was all too much and all too late, and he has already given up. As if the nation is in its twilight years.

‘We’ve got so much more to do,’ he said, as he continually does. But he also ad-libbed, ‘I’ve never been able to plan three-and-a-half, four years ahead.’

How funny. How sadly reflective of the senility of American democracy that he thought that was a smart answer. How shamefully embarrassing for the compliant, complicit media that not one of his questioners bothered to ask whether an inability to plan for the future was what the American people need in their president.

It isn't funny—at all.

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

If the first 100 days have taught us anything, is that the left-wing politics of the puppet masters who sit behind the Biden presidency rely on so-called "anti-racism" as a lever to destroy any opposition to their policies and ideas. For example, their obvious attempt to denigrate and then eliminate the filibuster (a long-standing senatorial rule that is intended to force compromise and bi-partisan legislation) is being justified by the implication that it is a product of the Jim Crow era (it is not) and therefore "racist."

In 2020, the Senate minority Democrats used the filibuster 327 times. Does that make them racists or just flaming hypocrites ... or maybe both? 

In a sweeping indictment (read the whole thing) of anti-racism racism, historian Victor Davis Hansen writes:

The Clintons, the Bidens, and the Obamas [along with Oprah and Harry/Meghan, among many, many others] can live guilt-free and in splendor on the metaphorical barricades, faced off against the less virtuous, Bible-thumping, racist losers who never got with it and learned to code or follow the fracking rigs. This morality offset credit is the racial equivalent of the climate activist John Kerry’s carbon-spewing private jet, so necessary to ferry him from one green conference to another.

Call it exemption, penance, indulgence, or any other variety of medieval quid pro quo, but the white elite’s virtue signaling is as easy to spot as it is pretentious, opportunistic, and hypocritical.

Just as deploring whiteness or confessing to “unearned” privilege exempts the concrete behavior of white elites, so too does it exempt elite blacks from addressing existential crises in the black community that transcend white racism.

When social justice warriors look at everything through a racial lens, when "whiteness" is characterized as privileged or worse, as an inherent evil, it's reasonable to ask whether the "anti-racists" exhibit just a little racism in their own right.

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

As the calendar turned to April, the immigration crisis at the border, already serious, worsened. The Biden administration tried desperately to blame it all on Trump, but with border crossings up by well over 200 percent, and unaccompanied children being housed in what the media used to call "cages" when Trump was president, Biden is faced with a full-blown catastrophe. Even worse, his Team of 2s is flailing, trying to balance a woke fantasy approach with the realities that are required to manage this debacle of their own making.

The media can't avoid mentioning the crisis but still attempts to look the other way. The administration has barred reporters from the border (yep, that's real transparency) and has assigned Kamala Harris to lead the Team of 2s. Border agents and law enforcement are overwhelmed and infuriated at a lack of leadership.

Jillian Kay Melchior reports on the reality of what's happening:

Cartels love the humanitarian crisis they’ve helped create. They monopolize the territory south of the border, and no migrant crosses without first paying up. “They help create the vulnerability and then they exploit it,” says Roy Villareal, a former U.S. Customs and Border Protection official who recently retired after serving as the chief patrol agent in Tucson, Ariz. Cartels strategically send hundreds of migrants across to ensure that Border Patrol and police are overwhelmed dealing with the humanitarian crisis. A few miles away they move guns, drugs and cash across the border. 

Like all good social justice warriors, Biden's puppet masters are real good at developing talking points, demonizing their opponents, and crying "racism" whenever they have an opportunity. As far as addressing actual problems, formulating effective solutions, and getting things done? Not so much. 

 *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

In a tour de force that should be read in its entirety, Angelo deCodevilla writes about the new American woke "oligarchy" and its increasing authoritarian threat. He begins by describing the oligarchy's long march through the institutions—the main stream media, academia, the arts and entertainment, publishing, large corporations, an anointed "expert" class, the government bureaucracy,  federal law enforcement and intelligence agencies, and even (to some extent) the military. He then identifies the power that the oligarchy has accumulated, decrying its outright attacks on and censorship of opposing ideas and opinions. deCodevilla comes to the conclusion that it cannot be defeated—that the only legitimate reaction of those who oppose it is an "American exodus."

He writes:

The oligarchy’s cancellation of ordinary working people—of those who actively participate in forms of organized religion, and are otherwise attached to the common norms and values that prevailed in America and shaped the civilization in and by which most of us live—signals an alienation deeper than that between citizens of different but friendly nations. Asking how this cultural chasm has come to be detracts from the hard task of understanding its depth and making the best of it. Like married couples who have lost or given up what had united them, trying to work through irreconcilable differences only drives Americans’ domestic quarrels toward more violence.

That is why going one’s own way, while paying no more attention to the woke than is absolutely necessary, should be the agenda of the country party, which in this case includes all of those who still feel an attachment to the ideals of republican citizenship that we once shared in common as Americans.

The "exodus" has already begun in states (e.g., Florida) where governors and legislators have decided to go their own way. Whether it's defying the irrational and anti-scientific COVID mandates handed down at the federal level, or holding soclal media companies liable (at the state level) for censoring opposing ideas or questioning woke orthodoxy, or strengthening state laws that help to guarantee free and fair elections, it appears that a split has begun. 

The split is undeniably regrettable, but it has become inevitable. To quote deCodevilla, "Ruling people by insulting and harming them is problematic, and not reversible."

 *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

It came as absolutely no surprise that Biden's leftist puppet masters have decided to raise taxes, thereby crushing the vibrant pre-COVID economy. They tell us that the "middle-class" will be spared, but that's a lie that all Dems tell. The editors of the Wall Street Journal explain: 

The great political fakery here is that corporate taxes merely fall on CEOs and rich shareholders. But as everyone knows, corporations don’t really pay taxes. They are vehicles for collecting taxes that are ultimately paid by some combination of customers in higher prices, workers in lower wages, and shareholders in lower returns on investment ...

In other words, Mr. Biden’s corporate tax increases will hit the middle class hard—in the value of their 401(k)s, the size of their pay packets, and what they pay for goods and services. This damage won’t show up immediately, especially as the economy booms as Covid eases this year, but the corrosive impact will compound in the coming years.

But don't worry. As long as the Dems tell use they care, care, care about the middle class, and as long as their trained hamsters in the media refuse to do the math and report on it, everything will be okay. Right?

 *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

As the weeks pass, the success of Florida vs. the COVID "doomers" (h/t: James Freeman) has been well-documented. Florida has been open (since June, 2020) to a far greater extent than almost any other large state, the economy is getting back to normal with low unemployment. you just get the feeling that people (who are out and about) are once again free. 

Rejecting the notion that lock downs, school closures, mandatory mask mandates, and other Covidiocy work (in fact, they do far, far more harm than good), FL GOP Gov. Ron DeSantis was a poster boy for solid leadership, grasp of real scientific data,  and common sense (even his  enemies occasionally admit this). Mollie Hemingway writes

The result is a state that hasn’t just tackled COVID, but has done so without destroying families or the economy that sustains them. The success has happened even though Florida has the second-oldest population in the country and COVID is known for hitting seniors far harder than other age groups.

Reacting to DeSantis' success, the Dems and their trained hamsters in the media have worked tirelessly to destroy him. 

The latest example is a 60-Minutes hit piece that is as dishonest as it is biased. In essense, a 60-Minutes hamster alleged "payoffs" associated with the use of the grocery chain Publix as a vaccine site. When Governor DeSantis provided facts (in a lengthy and detailed discussion) to show why that just isn't so, 60-Minutes conveniently edited out his video explanation almost in its entirety, leaving the purposeful impression that the false allegation was accurate. The 60-Minutes "reporter" also refused to interview others (including state Dems) who refuted her specious allegations.

For the left-leaning propaganda media, the narrative, no matter how dishonest, must prevail. CBS is but one of dozens of major media sources that have now adopted "resistance journalism." If they had any professionalism or journalistic integrity, they would be ashamed of their dishonesty and bias, but professionalism or journalistic integrity have been jettisoned in service of their pronounced leftist tilt.

 *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

As we listen to Joe Biden's bumbling attempts at wokeness (think, "Jim Crow" et al), it's worth considering an assessment of woke culture by Peter Savodnik. In an exceptional piece of writing Savodnik comments on the woke true believers and their enablers, their use of cancel culture as a weapon to suppress free speech, and their despicable attempts to destroy lives and livelihoods, all in the quest for power. 

We know who’s to blame for this surreality: the True Believers. The children of Park Slope and Echo Park with their graphic tattoos and nut allergies and an odd inability to form complete sentences. The neurotic, anxious twentysomethings who went to college to be told that “truth” is a white male construct, who seem devoid of poetry or irony, who believe mean words, words with which they disagree, are like ICBMs. Those whose lives are circumscribed by galactic reservoirs of ignorance — about the past, the culture, themselves, about why they believe what they know to be good and indisputable. Those who know only how to perform, and who rely on acronyms and slogans and logical fallacies when asked: how can you be sure of that?

But children are children. They can only be blamed so much.

The real wrongdoers are the Enablers. The so-called adults. The tech founders and college presidents and newspaper editors and museum directors and bank CEOs who pretend that the fight for “justice” is just. Who pretend that the “equity” crusade is about fairness and not about defending the grotesque inequality between those who have been trained to think correctly and those who have not.

The enablers don't have the courage or the integrity to say "no" even though, deep down, they know that's the proper response to much of the idiocy of the woke. They allow the "children" to dictate policy. They acquiesce because they're cowards, but also because they view themselves as the progressive elite, and to do that they must appear woke themselves.

 *  *  *  *  *  *  *  * 

Their object of extreme hatred has been gone from office for almost 100 days, and you'd think that an ascension of the virtuous 'Biden-Harris' administration would calm the vitriol, the political upheaval, and the chaos that exemplified the Left's reaction to the Trump years. I think a lot of people who preferred Joe Biden recognized that his ideas and policies, not to mention his mental capacity, were limited or even counterproductive, but they desperately wanted an end to the chaos. Surprise!

In some ways things have gotten worse, not better. 

Assuredly, the Left does not have a monopoly on bad ideas, but their recent effort to characterize our entire country as "systemically racist" and worse, to insist that race is the dominant factor in every public policy issue of the day, is particularly toxic. Election reform—racist! Using merit, rather than skin color as the criteria for positions of responsibility in both the public and private realms—racist! Maintaining the filibuster rule in the senate—racist! A rational discussion of the environment—racist! Infrastructure (no, this is not parody)—racist! Support for the police (particularly in urban environments where violent crime is increasing at unsustainable levels)—racist! And on ... and on.

In many ways, the U.K. has similar race-related issues as the USA. Turku Varadarajan comments on a report prepared by a U.K. Commission on Race and the reaction to it.

In July [of 2020]  the government of Prime Minister Boris Johnson responded [to racial strife] by impaneling the Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities. “We decided to step away from the heat and all that vitriol,” says its chairman, Tony Sewell, “and just take a cold look at the data on racism.” In doing so, “we examined ideas that weren’t to be questioned,” namely “the race industry’s articles of faith.” In its March 31 report, the commission concluded that while Britain isn’t yet “a post-racial society,” neither is it any longer a place where “the system” is “deliberately rigged against ethnic minorities.”

As a result, Mr. Sewell, who is black—only one of the 10 other commissioners is white—has come under blistering attack. It ranges from the achingly predictable (a profusion of “Uncle Tom” accusations on Twitter ) to the grotesque. A Cambridge professor of postcolonial studies likened Mr. Sewell to Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbels. A Labour member of Parliament suggested that he belonged in the Ku Klux Klan. Add in put-downs like “house Negro,” “token” and “race traitor,” and you have a picture of the liberal rage ignited by the commission’s refusal to endorse the belief that Britain is irremediably racist.

Mr. Sewell, 62, runs a charity that coaches black schoolchildren in science and math. “It’s a STEM pipeline program,” he says via Zoom from the study of his house in London. “It starts when they’re young and takes them up to university, using summer schools.” Thousands of black kids have been given a college opportunity they “didn’t have in the first place.” Yet he’s called an “Uncle Tom.”

He characterizes the abuse as “a sort of antiracism that borders on racism.” He also detects some desperation, “not only in black lobby groups but on the white left”: “they’re frightened of the report.” 

Of course they are. The report runs against the prevailing leftist narrative. It introduces facts and cogent arguments to refute the hysterical (and false) claims of the "race industry"  and at the same time, provides rational recommendations that just might help.

The sad thing is that a report like Sewell's would never be created in the USA. Why? Because the same conclusions would likely be forthcoming, and in the USA, the race industry's narrative is so strong that those conclusions would never see the light of day.

 *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

With two weeks left in the 100 days, the 'Biden-Harris' administration has decided to follow the lead of the previous administration and finally remove all of our troops from Afghanistan. Kudos on following a Trump policy that exhibited common sense as well as the clear recognition that another 20 years of presence in that war-torn and unstable country won't solve the problems that only the citizens of Afghanistan can solve ... and only if they collectively have the will to do so. 

Bad things will undoubtedly happen once we leave, Sharia law will be formally installed in parts of the country, women will be abused, subjugated and unschooled, the Afghan economy, already broken will crumble, and violence will continue. The group that will do all of that (and more)—the Taliban—is a Islamic extremist group. When chaos accelerates after we leave, I wonder when the propagandists throughout our media will mention that fact and ask what the Islamic world is doing to stop it?

 *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

Even though he was vaccinated just as his 100 days began. Even though numerous scientific papers indicate that the probability of outdoor transmission of COVID is very close to zero. Even though still other scientific papers indicate that mask wearing does little or no good to stop the transmission of the virus in any large indoor or outdoor space. Joe Biden wears his mask outdoors. That's comical, pathetic, and infuriating—all at the same time. It's also not a good look for a president of the United States, projecting a combination of frailty, fear, and weakness—all at the same time. But I'm sure all of the COVID doomers are kvelling at the sight of it.

The rest of us normals have moved on. Young people have restarted their lives—vaccinated or not. Older folks continue to put up with corporate, mandated mask requirements (e.g., in stores), but deep down, most recognize the idiocy of the mandates and feel foolish being forced to abide by them.

And pushback has begun.

78-year old Mick Jagger, member of arguably the greatest Rock & Roll band in history, decided he'd had enough and penned this song:


Henry Williams comments on Jagger's musical commentary:

Seeing Jagger raging against being ‘Bossed around by pricks’ and ‘football’s fake applause’ feels rather what it must have been like seeing Bertrand Russell on an anti-Vietnam War march. A mind so readily associated with a past era is suddenly transposed into the present, showing up our anaemic and relentlessly policed public discourse today. Dave Grohl also deserves a nod for playing the straight man and piling in on the drums and bass. ‘Don’t want to be your monkey wrench… I’d rather leave than suffer this.’

The majority of us normals are sick of being "bossed around by pricks" particularly when those "pricks" have been pushing authoritarian COVID policies that have stripped out freedoms and done far more damage than good. Kudos to Mick—it's about time.

* * * * * * * * *

Poor Joe Biden. It took him less than 100 days to lose public on COVID. Even as he assidulously wears masks outdoors (after being vaccinated!). His catastrophist house medical expert, Anthony Fauci, MD, tells us that we can't return to normal just yet (don't ask when because he won't answer). But the Democrats' house organ, The New York Times, has begun talking about "Irrational Covid Fears," noting that many, many Americans have moved on and many states have re-opened.

Comically, they ask why so many remain so fearful—a question that is an example of a massive failure of self-awareness. It was Biden's media that relied on fear, uncertainty and doubt (a.k.a. panic porn) to frighten predominantly blue checks and convince them that any questioning of their authoritarian COVID narrative was immoral and uncaring. Of course, increases in suicide, unnecessary deaths due to a lack of cancer screening, increases in depression, children losing a year of school, people's live and livelihoods in upheaval, and a dozen other negative consequences are perfectly moral... right?

The NYT proceeds to tell us that the chances of infection once vaccinated are very, very low. One in 11,000 to be exact. The risk of hospitalization and death do approach zero.

But they are not zero. And they will not be zero anytime in the foreseeable future. Victory over Covid will not involve its elimination. Victory will instead mean turning it into the sort of danger that plane crashes or shark attacks present — too small to be worth reordering our lives.

That's pretty much been the situation from the beginning, except for a specific cohort of senior citizens with co-morbidities. And yet, the NYT and many other left-leaning sources spent a year selling panic porn. 

The following quote might be germane here: “If you’re vaccinated, a mask is more of a symbol of solidarity than anything else.”

Yeah. Wearing a mask after being vaccinated does represent solidarity—with fear, with stupidity, with innumeracy, with a dollop of authoritarianism thrown in.

Postscript:

It's important to note that Dr. Fauci not withstanding, there are, and always have been, voices of reason with the medical community. Many of the physicians who are NOT doomers haven't been censored by the left-leaning media and have therefore not been given the national platform voice their objections to the catastrophist policies adopted by blue states and some within the federal government. In an article on "Covid Mania" Dr. Joseph A Lapado of the UCLA School of Medicine writes:

The pandemic has been devastating for many Americans, but policies grounded in Covid mania have compounded the harm and delayed a return to normal life. The challenges ahead require rational decision making that considers costs and benefits and keeps sight of the countless things in life that matter.

"Rational decision making" seems to have eluded government leadership in many blue states.

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Throughout the latter half of the 100 days, the racially-loaded, Eric Chauvin trial has been on-going. The trial concerns the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police and has been used as an indicator of "systemic racist" across the United States.

Left-leaning celebrities (e.g., Chelsea Handler) and politicians (e.g., Rep Maxine Waters) have decided that no trial is necessary and that summary justice should be applied. And if the justice isn't exactly what the Left demands, then rioting and violence are de rigueur.

Gerard Baker comments:

The Handler standard, or the Maxine maxim—the idea that we don’t really need a trial to know whether someone is guilty of a heinous crime—has always had its adherents. There have surely been miscarriages of justice—acquittals of guilty people and convictions of innocent ones—throughout history. The jury system is never perfect.

But what’s frighteningly new about our current climate is that the rejection of apparently unwelcome trial outcomes is now part of the dominant progressive critique of our longstanding political and civic order ...

So trials that produce the “wrong” verdict are not just miscarriages of justice. They are an indictment of the entire system.

The ascendancy of this new progressive radicalism adds a frightening element to the unease the nation feels this week as the jury deliberates in Minneapolis. By all accounts the trial of Mr. Chauvin has been rigorous, methodical and fair. The prosecution seemed to make a strong case that Mr. Floyd died at least in part as a result of the officer’s actions. The defense may have sowed some doubts about whether Mr. Chavin’s intent rose to the level of culpability required of the most serious charges.

But under our new rules, the jury’s verdict will be tolerated only if it goes the “right” way.

It did, but that doesn't mean that BLM and its leftist supporters won't riot (a.k.a. "mostly peaceful protests"), if the sentencing judge uses descretion next month. Coersion via the threat of violence is justified in the word of the Left. Just ask Maxine Waters.

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In many ways, these past 100 days have been the politics of transition. The ho-hum conflict that always occurs when one ideology replaces another. Trump undid Obama and now Biden is undoing Trump by channeling Obama 2.0 with an even more pronounced leftist tilt. The only problem is that Obama 2.0 is likely to be as uninspiring and ineffective as Obama 1.0. But ... whatever. 

On to the next 100 days ...