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

Friday, June 05, 2020

Yet Another "Mistake"

It's likely that you don't know who Alex Berenson is. He's a former New York Times reporter and author who, unlike the lazy, dishonest, and incompetent hamsters who populate the majority of what we call the main stream media, took the time to thoroughly research all of the early claims about COVID-19. Berenson parsed the data presented by hundreds of scientific studies and papers, looked at the virus information coming in from countries (e.g., China, Italy) and interviewed a wide variety of experts with differing opinions about COVID-19. 

In hundreds of serial tweets throughout April and May, Berenson carefully dissected the conventional wisdom, showing that much of what was claimed about COVID-19 didn't stand up to careful scrutiny. Using existing data and common sense, he showed that the virus was not nearly as deadly as first claimed, that it targeted an age cohort that was already sick and had a life expectancy that was limited to between 5 and 14 months, regardless of whether they contracted the virus or not, and that the complete shutdown of our economy (not to mention our schools) was a catastrophic decision that did little to ameliorate the long term effects of the virus.

He also coined the phrase, "Team Apocalypse," an appellation that is the best single description of the media dolts, the spineless politicians, and the arrogant "experts" who sowed mass hysteria while making really, really bad decisions that have gotten this country into enormous trouble—ruining lives and livelihoods along the way.

Because his writing and opinions didn't conform to the prevailing narrative, Berenson was invisible. He was labeled a 'virus denier' and as such, his voice never surfaced outside of Twitter and other social media.

In the last few weeks, Berenson put together a short e-book on COVID-19.  Here's what happened in Berenson's words:
The booklet was the first in a series of coronavirus pamphlets I plan to put out covering various aspects of the crisis. Readers of my Twitter feed encouraged me to compile information in a more comprehensive and easier-to-read format, and when I polled people on Twitter to ask if they would be willing to pay a nominal fee for such a pamphlet, the response was strong.

Originally I only planned to write one, but I had so much information I realized that the booklet would be an awkward length - longer than a magazine article but shorter than a book.  Also, doing so would take too long, and I wanted to put it out quickly. So I decided to split the booklet into pieces. Part 1 included an introduction and a discussion of death coding, death counts, and who is really dying from COVID, as well as a worst-case estimate of deaths with no mitigation efforts. It is about 6,500 words, and I planned to sell it for $2.99 as an ebook or $5.99 for a paperback. It is called "Unreported Truths about COVID-19 and Lockdowns: Part 1, Introduction and Death Counts and Estimates."

I created covers for both and uploaded the book. I had published Kindle Singles (Amazon's curated program for short Kindle pieces, which now focuses more on fiction from established writers), so I was relatively familiar with the drill. I briefly considered censorship but assumed I wouldn't have a problem because of my background, because anyone who reads the booklet will realize it is impeccably sourced, nary a conspiracy theory to be found, and frankly because Amazon shouldn't be censoring anything that doesn't explicitly help people commit criminal behavior ...

I didn't hear anything until this morning, when I found the note I posted to Twitter in my inbox [an excerpt:  "Your book doesn't comply with our guidelines.  As a result we are not offering your book for sale."]

Note that it does not offer any route to appeal. I have no idea if the decision was made by a person, an automated system, or a combination (i.e. the system flags anything with COVID-19 or coronavirus in the title and then a person decides on the content). I am considering my options, including making the booklet available on my Website and asking people to pay on an honor system, but that will not solve the problem of Amazon's censorship. Amazon dominates both the electronic and physical book markets, and if it denies its readers a chance to see my work, I will lose the chance to reach the people who most need to learn the truth - those who don't already know it.
After protests by the likes of Elon Musk, who correctly accused Amazon of ideologically-driven censorship—something that is becoming increasingly common in 'woke' companies like Google, Twitter, and the like—Amazon relented and published Berenson's book, saying that their ban had been due to a "mistake." Yeah, right, just a "mistake."

Have you ever noticed that every woke "mistake" that has been made of the last three years by members of the media and by tech companies, has always favored the progressive or hard-left narrative and worked to silence any opposition to that narrative. 

There is a dangerous (another word might be ominous) bent to all of this: Disagreement will not be tolerated—it will be silenced. Calm but dissenting voices will be excluded or shouted down. Information (e.g., facts, evidence, data) that conflicts with the woke narrative will be omitted or buried. People who argue against the narrative will be vilified or demonized. And of course, when those dangerous actions become too extreme and the perpetrators are caught, it's always just an innocent "mistake."

No it isn't. It's an indication that the woke can easily slide into a totalitarian mindset. They try to justify this by claiming that they "care" more than we do, and all they want is "their truth" to be heard. There's only one problem. "Their truth" is often divorced from reality. It's a "truth" that continues to lock down states (unless, of course, people violate woke social distancing mandates to participate in an approved protest), destroy lives, shutter businesses, precipitate unintended health outcomes—all because they are catastrophists. 

Needless to say, Amazon has been passive-aggressive in Berenson's case, not listing his COVID-19 book among the other books he has written, making it hard to find, if you only search his name.  

If you'd like to support his work and to get a comprehensive and truthful, non-catastrophist view of COVID-19, you can order his book, Unreported Truths About Covid-19 Lockdowns for the Kindle, at the link.