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

Friday, August 26, 2022


One of the world's four grand slam tennis events begins on Monday in New York City, and the world's most successful grand slam champion, Novac Djokovic, has been barred from entry. In an epic example of covidiocy, Djokovic's lack of COVID vaccination is the stated cause of his banishment, despite the fact that he has had COVID and therefore has immunity that is at least as significant as any vaccine would provide.

A wag on Twitter suggested that Djokovic travel to Mexico and cross our open southern border illegally, given that illegal immigrants are not required to have been vaccinated nor are they required to get vaccinated. Still more epic covidiocy.

Of course, many catastrophists are perfectly okay with normalizing insanity. They argue that Djokovic made his choice and must live by "the rules." Sorta like the rules that continue to ban children from some classrooms without a mask, even though actual science indicates that masking has virtually no impact on Covid transmission or acquisition. Yeah ... those rules.

Park MacDougald comments:

About the only rationale that Djokovic’s critics can come up with is that it’s his choice not to follow the rules like everyone else, which is true. But demanding that people follow arbitrary rules, just because they are the rules, breeds contempt for the rules and those who make and enforce them. “Because I said so” might be a good enough explanation for a recalcitrant toddler, but it is no way to govern a nominally free country. 

Unfortunately, the majority of people who remain catastrophists think no more clearly than a "recalcitrant toddler." 

There is something deeply disturbing about the authoritarian bent of some blue check politicians at city, state, and federal levels. It's almost as if they get off on their "emergency powers." The need to make an example of anyone who questions their "rules" in the hope that by persecuting a few, many will fall in line. 

Novac Djokovic implicitly questioned their rules, so he must be punished. Disgusting. 

UPDATE (08-28-2022):

The catastrophists that currently control government policy have done much to normalize insanity, or as Philip Howard wrote many years ago, they have fostered as era that celebrates "The Death of Common Sense." Vinay Prasad writes about the Djokovic ban this way:

Then, there are the absurd contradictions in our current rules. Unvaccinated American citizens can move freely in and out of the country without testing. Unvaccinated people can pack the stadium to watch this year’s U.S. Open, where face masks are optional. There is no vaccine or testing requirement to attend. Worst of all, Novak Djokovic competed in last year’s U.S. Open, where he made the finals before the travel rule barring his entry was in place.  

Joe Biden, who made the rule that blocks Djokovic, has received four Covid-19 vaccine doses. He has had Covid-19 twice, and taken at least 2 courses of Paxlovid. His wife, first lady Jill Biden, has also had four vaccine doses, also had Covid-19 twice. Yet, for some reason, their concern is the Novak Djokovics of the world.

Some view Djokovic’s struggle as self imposed—that he’s an arrogant athlete who thinks he’s exempt from the herd. In all honesty, If I were him, I would have gotten the vaccine in early 2021 (as I did), prior to having had Covid-19. But Djokovic is entitled to make his choices about his body, and public health cannot infringe upon those choices unless the intrusion is justified by a clear and overwhelming benefit to others. That standard is simply not met.
The irony in all of this is that many who celebrate or at least justify Djokovic's ban are that same people who vociferously (and correctly, in my view) argue for 'the right to choose.' But then again, consistency and logical thinking were never the strong suit of the catastrophists who allowed COVID-19 to destroy lives and livelihoods.

Tuesday, August 23, 2022

Dr. "Science"

Gushing praise for the Dr. Anthony Fauci (who announced he was retiring by year-end) pours in from those who fervently believe that the policies he championed "saved millions of lives."  Here are just a few of many examples:

Steny Hoyer: “Americans have come to know Dr. Anthony Fauci as a competent leader during the worst public-health crisis in our lifetimes. I want to join in thanking him for his decades of public service to our country as he prepares to step down at the end of this year.”

Kamala Harris: “Dr. Fauci is an incredible public servant whose decades of leadership in science and medicine saved countless lives across the world. Dr. Fauci’s work helped guide our nation through its most challenging public health crises, and I am grateful for his service.”

Dan Rather: “Dr. Fauci, thank you for your service. Please ignore the haters.”

Barack Obama: “I will always be grateful that we had a once-in-a-century public health leader to guide us through a once-in-a-century pandemic. Few people have touched more lives than Dr. Fauci – and I’m glad he’s not done yet.”

However, there is another point of view that rejects fantasy thinking and is grounded in reality. Steven green summarizes nicely: "If you’re looking for one man whose actions before and during the COVID-19 pandemic did the most to damage our health, our kids, our economy, and trust in our public institutions, look no further than the diminutive bureaucrat with delusions of grandeur: Celebrity medical spokesmodel Anthony “Doctor” Fauci." *

Blue politicians and their trained hamsters in the media have chosen to disregard the hard scientific data indicating that Fauci's prescription of lock downs and mandates, school closures and censorship did far more harm than good. In essence, Anthony Fauci violated the Hippocratic oath—"First, do no harm."

The editors of the Wall Street Journal summarize Fauci's reign accurately:

He [Fauci] and a passel of public-health experts used their authority to lobby for broad economic lockdowns that we now know were far more destructive than they needed to be. He also lobbied for mask and vaccine mandates that were far less protective than his assertions to the public. Dr. Fauci’s influence was all the greater because he had an echo chamber in the press corps and among public elites who disdained and ostracized dissenters.

A flagrant example was Dr. Fauci’s refusal even to consider that the novel coronavirus had originated in a lab at the Wuhan Institute of Virology in China. This may have been because the NIH had provided grant money to the nonprofit EcoHealth Alliance, which helped fund “gain of function” virus research at the Wuhan lab. In a semantic battle with Republicans, Dr. Fauci denied that the NIH funded such research. But his refusal even to consider the possibility that the virus started in a Wuhan lab showed that Dr. Fauci was as much a politician as a scientist.

Worse, Dr. Fauci smeared the few brave scientists who opposed blanket lockdowns and endorsed a strategy of “focused protection” on the elderly and those at high risk. This was the message of the Great Barrington Declaration [link added is mine] authors, and emails later surfaced showing that Dr. Fauci worked with others in government to deride that alternative so it never got a truly fair public hearing.

“There needs to be a quick and devastating published take down of its premises,” NIH Director Francis Collins wrote to Dr. Fauci. Their inability to abide criticism and dissent undermined the U.S. pandemic response.

“It’s easy to criticize, but they’re really criticizing science because I represent science. 

Okay then. 

One thing is certain—Dr. "Science" certainly has an ego the size of his catastrophic policy mistakes.

It's only fair to note that there was uncertainty at the very beginning of the pandemic, but at the same time, within 4 weeks, it was fairly obviously (from data coming out of Italy) that people under 40 were at vanishingly small risk of death and very low risk of hospitalization. Fauci and his catastrophist minions should have immediately recognized this and crafted polices to protect the elderly and sick, NOT close down the country. Instead, he proposed draconian measures that did little good and much harm—ruining lives and livelihoods in a variety of ways.

Anthony Fauci deserves little praise for his actions during the COVID pandemic. 

Good riddance.


*  The dunking on Fauci has begun to accelerate (all with good reason). John Tierney comments:

"Never in the history of the public-health profession has anyone been so richly rewarded for doing so much harm to the public’s health. Fauci violated the fundamental principles of science, but got away with it by deploying the skills honed during five decades in Washington: bureaucratic infighting, media manipulation and fearmongering."

Monday, August 22, 2022


In my last post, I discussed the Great Barrington Declaration (GBD) as it related to the irrational panic and insane governmental policy decisions (e.g., lockdowns, school closures, mask mandates, forced vaccinations, travel restrictions) that coincided with the COVID-19 pandemic from early 2020 to mid-2022 (some are still on-going). In that post I wrote:

When the Great Barrington Declaration was published, it was suppressed, censored and its authors demonized by Anthony Fauci and his media minions in the Fall of 2020. Ironically, the authors' proposed policies then are almost exactly reflected in what the CDC has published in its most recent edit of its COVID guidelines now. The Great Barrington authors were correct then (my comments about it can be found here), and the CDC was 2.5 years late. 

Every public health "expert," catastrophist politician, and media hack that fostered unnecessary fear that ruined lives and livelihoods, not to mention children's education, many adults' mental health, and a nation's economy owes us an apology. We won't ever get one.

The catastrophist narrative that accompanied COVID-19 has an analog in the apocalyptic narrative that accompanies the so-called climate change "emergency."  

In the climate emergency narrative, we encounter arguments that are strong on virtue signaling and weak on science; the claim that 'the science is settled;' the argument that those who ask questions are 'deniers;' computer models that are not only inaccurate, but tailored to yield a specific result, and of course, suspect and/or cherry picked data to support the narrative.

Let me be very clear—the climate is changing, always has, always will. There will always be mild variations in temperature, atmospheric gases and dozens of other climatic variables. Oceans will rise and fall, species will die off, droughts, hurricanes, floods, forest fires will happen—always have and always will. 

But it is nonsense to suggest that these things are a harbinger of an apocalypse, that we need to immediately make policy decisions to 'save the earth'—the shrill argument of teenagers on the spectrum who are applauded by scientifically illiterate adults with an ideological agenda.

Recently, something very similar to the GBD has been published concerning climate change. Called the World Climate Declaration, it is described by Leslie Eastman:

Perhaps it is time to consider if the World Climate Declaration, which has been signed by 1,200 climate scientists and related professionals, may be something to seriously consider, promote, and act on. In the document, these scientists affirm that there is “no climate emergency.”

The political fiction that humans cause most or all climate change and the claim that the science behind this notion is ‘settled’, has been dealt a savage blow by the publication of a ‘World Climate Declaration (WCD)’ signed by over 1,100 scientists and professionals. There is no climate emergency, say the authors, who are drawn from across the world and led by the Norwegian physics Nobel Prize laureate Professor Ivar Giaever. Climate science is said to have degenerated into a discussion based on beliefs, not on sound self-critical science.

The scale of the opposition to modern day ‘settled’ climate science is remarkable, given how difficult it is in academia to raise grants for any climate research that departs from the political orthodoxy. (A full list of the signatories is available here.) Another lead author of the declaration, Professor Richard Lindzen, has called the current climate narrative “absurd”, but acknowledged that trillions of dollars and the relentless propaganda from grant-dependent academics and agenda-driven journalists currently says it is not absurd. 

Particular ire in the WCD is reserved for climate models. To believe in the outcome of a climate model is to believe what the model makers have put in. Climate models are now central to today’s climate discussion and the scientists see this as a problem. “We should free ourselves from the naïve belief in immature climate models,” says the WCD. “In future, climate research must give significantly more emphasis to empirical science.”

There has been virtually no mainstream media coverage of the WCD, and it's likely that its signatories will be labeled as crackpots, deniers, and tools of the fossil fuel industry. It's also likely that the declaration will be shadow-banned and outright censored if it gains any traction. Sorta like what happened to the Great Barrington Declaration.

It's worth noting that the GBD has been proven correct, that its criticisms and policy recommendations were spot on, and that its authors have been vindicated. Sadly, this happened only after significant damage to lives and livelihoods was done. 

Its very likely that the WCD will also be proven correct, but only after significant damage to lives and livelihoods has been done.

Monday, August 15, 2022

I'm Sorry, Never Mind

When the Great Barrington Declaration  was published, it was suppressed, censored and its authors demonized by Anthony Fauci and his media minions in the Fall of 2020. Ironically, the authors' proposed policies then are almost exactly reflected in what the CDC has published in its most recent edit of its COVID guidelines now. The Great Barrington authors were correct then (my comments about it can be found here), and the CDC was 2.5 years late. 

Every public health "expert," catastrophist politician, and media hack that fostered unnecessary fear that ruined lives and livelihoods, not to mention children's education, many adults' mental health, and a nation's economy owes us an apology. We won't ever get one.

Jeffrey Tucker takes a harsh look at the CDC's most recent edit of its COVID guidelines:

What about mass testing?

Forget it: “All persons should seek testing for active infection when they are symptomatic or if they have a known or suspected exposure to someone with COVID-19.”


What about the magic of track and trace?

“CDC now recommends case investigation and contact tracing only in health care settings and certain high-risk congregate settings.”


What about the unvaccinated who were so demonized throughout the last year?

“CDC’s COVID-19 prevention recommendations no longer differentiate based on a person’s vaccination status because breakthrough infections occur, though they are generally mild, and persons who have had COVID-19 but are not vaccinated have some degree of protection against severe illness from their previous infection.”

Remember when 40% of the members of the black community in New York City who refused the jab were not allowed into restaurants, bars, libraries, museums, or theaters? Now, no one wants to talk about that.

Also, universities, colleges, the military, and so on – which still have mandates in place – do you hear this? Everything you have done to hate on people, dehumanize people, segregate people, humiliate others as unclean, fire people and destroy lives, now stands in disrepute.

Meanwhile, as of this writing, the blasted US government still will not allow unvaccinated travelers across its borders!

Not one word of the CDC’s turgid treatise was untrue back in the Spring of 2020. There was always “infection-induced immunity,” though Fauci and Co. constantly pretended otherwise. It was always a terrible idea to introduce “barriers to social, educational, and economic activity.” The vaccines never promised in their authorization to stop infection and spread, even though all official statements of the CDC claimed otherwise, repeatedly and often. . . .

The problem from the beginning was that there never was an exit strategy from the crazy lockdown/mandate idea. It was never the case that they would magically cause the bug to go away. The excuse that we would lock down in wait for a vaccine never made any sense.

People surely knew early on of the social, economic, and cultural devastation that would ensue.

If this entire debacle was solely about public health policy, it's likely that people like Fauci and his ilk would have been fired when he advocated the near insane and ineffective policies that were put into place. But much more was in play, and the result was as destructive as it was wrong.

UPDATE (08/21/2022):

A disheartening twitter thread, aptly labeled "Never Forget," containing photographs depicting the idiocy of government COVID mandates during 2020 and well into 2021, provides frightening images of how easily irrational fear, amplified by political opportunism, can lead to the normalization of insanity. 

There have been virtually no apologies from the catastrophists who rejected scientific data, ignored statistics, censored opposing viewpoints, and outright lied to the public about the dangers and risks associated with COVID-19.

Friday, August 12, 2022


Back at a time when the USSR and the USA were global superpowers, armed with thousands of megatons of nuclear weapons, a hot war was avoided because mutually assured destruction (M.A.D.) was ensured. If one side released their weapons, the other would assuredly respond, and both countries would be destroyed. 

An analogous situation has existed in American politics for generations. Forget civility or collegiality. Dems and the GOP dislike one another, but when one side is in power, it grudgingly follows prescribed precedent to avoid payback when the other is in power.

All of that is changing at warp speed. Driven by a white-hot hatred of Donald Trump, the Dems have jettisoned the long established version of political M.A.D. and decided to weaponize a willing bureaucracy against their opposition. Early indictments of key aides based on bad FISA warrants, a Russia collusion hoax, a two-year special prosecutor investigation, two failed impeachments (in the early 1990s, the GOP made a grave error in forgetting M.A.D. and impeached Bill Clinton—payback took almost 30 years, but came nonetheless), and finally, the J-6 investigation conducted over 18 months after Trump left office were all precedent setting. 

Cheered on by their rabid base and gleefully backed by their trained hamsters in the media, the Dems appear to have embraced the fantasy that their opposition will not opt for political payback when it gains power. It will, and the result will be very bad for the country.

Kim Strassel comments:

In descending on Mar-a-Lago, the department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation shifted the U.S. into the category of countries whose ruling parties use government power to investigate political rivals. No attorney general has ever signed off on a raid on a former president’s home, in what could be the groundwork for criminal charges.

Yet to read the left’s media scribes, Monday’s search was a ho-hum day in crime-fighting. The Beltway press circled the wagons around Attorney General Merrick Garland and primly parroted Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s piety that “no one is above the law.” “The Mar-a-Lago Raid Proves the U.S. Isn’t a Banana Republic,” pronounced the Atlantic, clearly worried readers might conclude the opposite. It is “bedrock principle” that those who “commit crimes” “must answer for them,” it lectured.

The GOP disputes this sanctimonious position by providing counter examples ad nauseum, but that really isn't the point. 

There's a reason for precedent. There's a reason to tread lightly when moving against the opposition. There's a reason to use judgement when considering criminal charges against an ex-president—whether it's Bill Clinton or Donald Trump. And that reason is PAYBACK.

Strassel continues:

Payback could come even sooner. Democrats set a new low with their Ukrainian impeachment circus, and a GOP House next year might be up for a reprise. Get ready for a few more select committees—perhaps excluding the minority party, as the Democrats effectively did with the Jan. 6 committee—to investigate Mr. Garland’s politicized department or Hunter Biden’s finances. Watch them subpoena sitting Democratic representatives, as the Jan. 6 committee did to Republicans. Reps. Adam Schiff, Ilhan Omar and Eric Swalwell may find themselves on the back bench with a new Republican majority eager to follow Mrs. Pelosi’s example and strip the opposing team’s members of committee assignments.

All this tit for tat will further undermine our institutions and polarize the nation—but such is the nature of retributive politics. Which is why the wholesale Democratic and media defense of this week’s events is so reckless. Both parties long understood that political restraint was less about civility than self-preservation. What goes around always comes around. What went around this week will come around hard. 

I'm not a big fan of Hillary who ran her charitable organization—the Clinton Initiative—like a criminal enterprise. I believe Biden was involved (at least indirectly) in influence peddling while vice president. I think Schiff, Omar, and Swalwell are despicable. But going after them, as satisfying as that might be emotionally, is wrong. 

But now that the Democrats have decided to ignore political M.A.D., that's what we're going to get—"further undermin[ing] our institutions and polariz[ing] the nation."

Friday, August 05, 2022


Since March of 2020, I have written many dozens of posts critical of the federal, state, and local government response to COVID-19. Economic lockdowns, business closures, mask mandates, school closures, overly severe vaccine mandates and an overriding sense of censorship and virtue signalling pervaded any discussion of alternative approaches to the virus. This authoritarian atmosphere, cheered by mainstream media and promoted by supposedly non-political government agencies, has now been proven to have done great and possibly irreparable harm to lives and livelihoods.

Leaders, particularly (but not solely) those with blue ideology, allowed a combination of fear, innumeracy, and scientific ignorance to define panicky and ineffective policies. They embraced authoritarian dictates and used the virus to gain political advantage. They succeeded in the short term, but sowed havoc that exists to this day.

Alex Washburne has posted a 20-part twitter thread that is well worth reading in its entirely. It begins:

Researchers and scientists who should have been heard were aggressively censored by the likes of bureaucrats such as Anthony Fauci, who worked behind the scenes to be sure they were marginalized. They were condemned as "deniers" and even "murderers" by know-nothing commentators and politicians. But through it all, the "deniers" were right—about the virology, the epidemiology, the societal affects, the negative impacts on children, the economic damage—all of it.

You'd think that the collection of catastrophists (in politics, in the bureaucracy, in the media) would have learned from all of this, but they have not. You think at least some would apologize, but they can not. You hope that if they remain in power (a frightening thought), they will take a less censorious approach, but they will not.

They have normalized insanity, convinced many that authoritarian policies are a good thing, and acted to censor those who disagree. All without shame, remorse, or culpability.

Thursday, August 04, 2022

Controlled Demolition

Prior to the 2020 presidential election, a dishonest, biased, and complicit mainstream media, along with social media companies (that banned discussion), and a broad array of deep state operators (ex-intelligence agency executives) worked to protect their choice for president by claiming that the Hunter Biden laptop and the broad influence peddling scandal it implied was "Russian disinformation." That canard has been proven to be totally false, and now even the pillars of leftist media (e.g., the NYT and WaPo) admit that the Hunter Biden laptop is real and that it raises "concerns."

That's an understatement.

In an in-depth analysis of the current state of the scandal, Just theFacts Daily reviews growing evidence that Joe Biden himself was deeply involved in Hunter's influence peddling, profited monetarily from it, and lied when he stated that he had no knowledge of Hunter's business dealings. Their analysis is too lengthy for this post (read the whole thing) but here's a summary:

The emails on Hunter Biden’s laptop, combined with Joe Biden’s own words and actions, prove beyond all doubt that:

  • The “ultimate purpose” of Hunter Biden’s multi-million deal with Burisma was to “close down” all criminal “cases/pursuits against” the firm’s owner [a shady Ukrainian oligarch named Nikolai Zlochevskyi].
  • In November 2015, Hunter agreed to get “high-ranking US officials” to visit Ukraine and persuade the nation’s leaders to end all investigations into the owner. Two “key targets” of this mission were the “President of Ukraine” and the “Prosecutor General.” [Burisma began making a series of payments totaling at least $3.3 million over the next 18 months to a Delaware corporation, which paid $708,312.40 directly to Hunter and $2.5 million to entities associated with Hunter.]
  • In December 2015, Joe Biden visited Ukraine and told its president and prime minister that he would withhold U.S. aid to their nation unless they fired the prosecutor general.

From the analysis: In December 2015, [Joe] Biden [pwhile VP of the United States] visited Ukraine and later recounted on video that he told Ukraine’s president and its prime minister on that trip that he would withhold a U.S. government “billion-dollar loan guarantee” unless they fired the “state prosecutor.” “If the prosecutor is not fired,” warned Biden, “you’re not getting the money.” Biden then added, “Well, son of a bitch, he got fired.”

However, that firing did not happen right away, and two months later on February 2, 2016, the chief prosecutor secured a court order to seize some properties of the oligarch who was paying Hunter, including his land, houses, and a Rolls-Royce Phantom.

Just two weeks after the court’s seizure order, the president of Ukraine forced the prosecutor to resign. White House phone logs show that Joe Biden talked to the president of Ukraine at least three times in the week surrounding the firing. The phone log for the last of these calls states, “The Vice President also commended President Poroshenko’s decision to replace Prosecutor General Shokin, which paves the way for needed reform of the prosecutorial service.”

Contrary to Biden’s claim that the prosecutor stood in the way of reform, the president of Ukraine complimented the prosecutor for implementing reforms that his predecessors had “been opposing for decades” and then listed the specific reforms. The president then said that he only asked the prosecutor to resign because he “failed to gain society’s trust.”

Those actions, which are complemented by a wealth of incriminating facts, align with textbook definitions of nepotism, bribery, extortion, and obstruction of justice.

The big question is where this goes from here, and the answer is ... probably nowhere of consequence. On the other hand, Joe Biden's presidency has been an unmitigated disaster, the Democrats have generally soured on him, and there may be reason to believe that the Hunter Biden scandal is a useful way to rid themselves of a failed president. The problem, of course, is the collateral damage that might cause—to the party and to 2024 presidential contenders.

What to do?

Jonathan Turley posits that the media and political elites might try to pull off a "controlled demolition" of Hunter. He writes:

I previously wrote a column on the one year anniversary of the Hunter Biden laptop story that marveled at the success of the Biden family in making the scandal vanish before that 2020 election. It was analogized to Houdini making his 10,000-pound elephant Jennie disappear in his act. With the help of the media, the Biden trick occurred live before an audience of millions.

The problem is the public can now see the elephant ...

It appears that President Biden is no longer seen as a political asset with most Democrats refusing to publicly support him in his promised reelection bid. Biden now  could endanger Democratic control of Congress. The question is how to drop Hunter (and even his father) without causing damage to the media, the Democrats, or others in Washington. It requires a controlled demolition.

The most important thing is to control the blast. By refusing to appoint a special counsel, Merrick Garland has effectively blocked the risk of a report on the extensive influence peddling, including the repeated references to President Biden. the “Big Guy” is discussed in emails as the potential recipient of a 10 percent cut on a deal with a Chinese energy firm as well as other benefits. Emails also refer to Hunter Biden paying portions of his father’s expenses and taxes. Recently, there was additional support showing that “the Big Guy” was indeed Joe Biden.

The problem is that embarrassing evidence is mounting by the day. That includes the recent disclosure new open influence peddling by Hunter, referencing access to his father. 

It will be fascinating to watch how the Hunter Biden story plays out. Influence peddling is common in Washington, but the blatant nature of the Biden scandal and a literal media coverup that lasted for one year are shocking, even to those who are otherwise cynical.

I don't expect much to come of this, not because criminal prosecutions for "nepotism, bribery, extortion, and obstruction of justice" aren't warranted, but because the deep state and media protect their own.