Shuffle

The Pioneer Press and MPR report that the state of Minnesota is “selling” the former Bix warehouse – purchased in 2019 to serve as a “back up morgue” for the COVID thousands fatalities the state was predicting.

And since this is a government operation, you may be assured that when we say “selling“, we mean “shifting around the books, to further serve as a wealth transfer“:

The state purchased the refrigerated warehouse at 1415 L’Orient St. and the five acres of land it sits on from private ownership last year for nearly $5.48 million. Under pressure from St. Paul and Ramsey County officials opposed to the idea of warehousing bodies there, the state used the site instead as storage for personal protective equipment. On Tuesday, the board of the Port Authority will meet to vote on whether to purchase the site — which now sits vacant — from the state for $5.65 million, the property’s current appraised value and the purchase amount required under state statute.

Conservative social media or portraying this as a “boondoggle“. Nothing could be further than the truth.

Even if you ignore the conspiracy theory (launched and spread by me) that Ken Martin stored John Thompson there to keep them out of the public eye after the Hugo incident before the 2020 election, the morgue served its primary purpose; as a prop in setting an ominous backdrop for the public health security theater the state has been subjecting us to for the last 20 months.

Management Madness

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Two years ago, no one could work from home. Everyone had to come to the office so managers could supervise employees to ensure quality customer service and high productivity.

Last year no one could come to the office. Everyone had to work from home to protect employees from the deadliest virus ever known. Without management supervising us, productivity actually went up.

Starting in November, everyone must work from home, and everyone must come to the office, half and half. It’s a “hybrid” which sounds smart and trendy but actually combines the worst of both worlds. We’re doing it because . . . well, nobody really knows why, exactly. It just is. And since everyone is coming to the office but the deadly virus pandemic is still in effect, everyone must be vaccinated, even those who don’t want to work in the office, who are more productive working at home and who would prefer to continue working from home. Nope, must come to the office, must be vaccinated. And wear a mask plus move your desks six feet apart. But if we’re vaccinated and the vaccine protects us, why wear masks/social distance? If the vaccine doesn’t protect us (and masks/social distance weren’t safe enough to protect us last year), why are we back in the office instead of working from home?

Business magazines are asking what lessons we learned from Covid. Improvements in efficiency, distance working, employee satisfaction . . . no, none of them. We have learned no lessons and have no intention of learning any. It’s our way or the highway. Further proof that the whole thing was not a medical crisis, it was a political stunt.

Joe Doakes

If Dr. Fauci went on CNN and declared wearing aluminum foil Capri pants reduce the spread, I would expect edicts to follow shortly.

I Don’t Believe In Karma…

…but I believe what goes around, comes around.

Dr. Ana Navaro, celebrity physician of sorts, spends months wishing ghastly ill on the unvaccinated.

Dr. Ana Navaro on The View, last week:

Hope she gets better soon.

And yes, that means I am a better person than her.

Selective

A friend of the blog emails:

Everyone deserves Healthcare, Everyone must have health insurance. Unless we don’t like you.
I am seeing all the people who are cheering on Delta Airlines for raising the cost of insurance for the unvaccinated. These are mostly the same people who think everyone must have health insurance in the first place. But even beyond that, I see co-workers who used to complain about our company’s health insurance discount. The discount was given if you were a certain BMI, had low cholesterol, had low blood pressure. They complained because they thought it was so unfair to take all these things into account for their health insurance cost. (Things that actually do have some potential in higher costs for healthcare). But, here these people are now, saying the unvaccinated deserve higher premiums.
Maybe they do, maybe they don’t. I do believe in the vaccine myself and so I got it. And I encouraged my family to. And I talked with friends who were hesitant if they wanted to hear from me. And I trust that there will be shots for variants if we need them. But, that is my choice.
I just can’t go to the point of saying the unvaccinated deserve higher premiums more than others. In the hospital, there are plenty of patients who don’t follow medical advice. And we see them again and again. Sometimes we reach them at some point and sometimes we don’t. They suffer their consequences. And their medical bills likely are already higher, even if their premiums are the same. Forced compliance would not change anything. Forced vaccine compliance will not change anything, either, except tear all of us further apart.

It’s fascinating to me how quick DFLers go from “Healthcare is a right – full stop!” to “keep the anti-vaxxers out of the hospital”.

Things That Can Get You Banned From Facebook

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

America is a rich and spacious nation while India is a poor but populous nation.

One province that I’ve never heard of – Uttar Pradesh – has about 240 million people, roughly the size of the US if we leave out California, Texas and New York. They are now Covid-free. Seriously, their case rate is less than 1-in-a-million.

What’s the secret? Ivermectin.

Yes, yes, all the usual disclaimers: it’s Gateway Pundit which is unreliable. Here’s the report on MSN, which doesn’t mention Ivermectin but instead credits tracing, vaccination and curfews, all the things that don’t work anywhere else in the world but mysteriously worked in India.

I know what you’re thinking: the reports are clearly fabrications. Indians are ignorant savages incapable of counting correctly so the numbers are clearly wrong. They have religious objections to eating cattle so they’re obviously fanatics who can’t be trusted to tell the truth. Their medicine is so primitive they can’t tell if people are sick or not which is why the case count is so low.

But still . . . if they had bodies piled up in the streets rotting as flies swarmed around them, don’t you think somebody would notice? If nobody in the entire province has severe enough symptoms to be noticed, shouldn’t we ask why not? What do they know that we don’t know? What are they doing that we’re not doing?

I have a suspicion the US suffers from such overwhelming cultural imperialism that we can’t imagine – literally cannot make our minds imagine – that somebody else might have a better solution which does not involve the latest fad, the newest technology, the wokest thinking.

Instead, our cultural leaders tell us to pay no attention to all those healthy people over there. You, you’re going to DIE unless you do as we say. Because those healthy people are stupid, not smart like us. They must be. We’re Americans and they’re not. QED.

Joe Doakes

If there is anything this pandemic – or, really, the messaging response to this pandemic by our authorities and counter authorities Dash has taught me, it is “be relentlessly skeptical of everything and everybody“.

Still – as Joe says, if hospitals in Uttar Pradesh aren’t clogged with covid patients, and the only variable between their response and New York City’s actually is “the I drug“…

Innumeracy

According to the associated press, the Covid pandemic has tied a “grim milestones“: The death toll is even with that of the 1918 Spanish influenza:

The delta-fueled surge in new infections may have peaked, but U.S. deaths still are running at over 1,900 a day on average, the highest level since early March, and the country’s overall toll stood at close to 674,000 as of Monday morning, according to data collected by Johns Hopkins University, though the real number is believed to be higher.

Of course, if you are remotely numerate, you know the lede that got buried – in this case, down in paragraph seven:

The 1918-19 influenza pandemic killed an estimated 675,000 Americans in a U.S. population one-third the size of what it is today. It struck down 50 million victims globally at a time when the world had one-quarter as many people as it does now. Global deaths from COVID-19 now stand at more than 4.6 million.

But watching social media this past few days, it’s pretty clear – they’re not aiming the story at people with math or critical thinking skills.

Darn Those Science-Denying Trumpkins!

Vaccine mandates are on the hit list…

…of Black Lives Matter:

At a protest Monday in front of New York restaurant Carmine’s, Chivona Newsome, also a co-founder of the group, said of the vaccine mandates, “What is going to stop the Gestapo, I mean the NYPD, from rounding up black people, from snatching them off the train, off the bus?”

She further issued the threat that BLM was “putting this city on notice that your mandate will not be another racist social distance practice” and that “Black people are not going to stand by, or you will see another uprising .” She said vaccine verification “is not a free passport to racism.”

The catalyst for those remarks was an incident at Carmine’s last week wherein three black women from Texas were charged for assaulting a hostess at the restaurant, allegedly over a vaccine verification dispute and, as a lawyer for the women subsequently claimed, because the hostess, who is of Asian descent, used a racial slur.

And it doesn’t just seem to be just BLM:

Morning Consult found that Biden’s approval dropped a striking 12 points among black voters since September 8th, the day before the White House announced a comprehensive new COVID-19 mitigation plan that included a new OSHA rule, which, when drafted, will demand workplaces with 100 or more employees either require their workers to be vaccinated against COVID or submit to rigorous testing for the virus.

“President Joe Biden’s sweeping federal rules to mandate vaccines hasn’t hurt him with the overall electorate, but it appears to have spurred a weakening of his standing with one of the most reliable pieces of the Democratic Party’s coalition: Black voters,” Morning Consult noted.

Now – getting everyone to connect the dots from “unequal and racially-tone-deaf enforcement of arbitrary Covid regulations” to “unequal and racially tone-deaf policy” in general? That’s the challenge.

RIP, Property Rights?

A Massachusetts case on its way to the SCOTUS – and hoping to be the roughly 1% of cases granted a review – will have an immense impact on private property rights.

At issue in Desrosiers v. Baker is the legality of several COVID-19 lockdown orders issued throughout 2020 by Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker. The lockdown orders, which were some of the most draconian in the nation, generally banned all private assemblies that did not have a political or religious purpose after 9:30 p.m., no matter the size or location.

The orders imposed significantly stricter restrictions on assembly in “private residences” than on assembly in public settings. The orders encouraged “the public’s unselfish compliance,” and were enforceable variously by misdemeanor criminal penalties, civil fines, and court injunction. These penalties also applied to hosts who failed to cooperate with government requests for “lists of attendees at social gatherings.”

The Massachusetts lockdown orders even included a quasi-adultery ban, in effect at all hours, on assembly involving close physical contact by the un-cohabiting, instead of by the unmarried. Under the orders, “participants who [were] not members of the same household” had to keep six feet of distance from each other at all times. The orders warned that a “gathering shall violate this provision where, no matter the number of participants present, conditions or activities at the gathering are such that it is not reasonably possible for all participants to maintain this degree of separation.”

I’m not sure what I’m more worried about – a Roberts-led majority deciding there’s a prudential reason to allow government extraordinary powers in a state of emergency, or the near-violent reaction of Big Karen to having their power, and their reason for existence, struck down.

OK, definitely more worried about “a”.

I accept “B” as a foregone conclusion.

More, Faster

If the Feds (and the State of Minnesota’s) response to Covid were being driven by public health rather than politics (or, perhaps worse, a clumsiliy-politicized approach to public health), the “national conversation” would include a serious look into the effects of acquired immunity – the level of natural immunity that people who’ve had and recovered from Covid have.

There have been 40 million diagnosed cases of Covid in the US, and it seems inevitable that there are many millions more – some estimates say well over double. Let’s be (what else?) conservative and say “several million”.

The fact that this nation isn’t systematically testing for antibodies, and not only studying the effects of acquired immunity but publicizing the output of those studies, is to say the least troubling.

The fact that we apparently need a Senator to clue our “public health” apparatus into asking, and publicly discussing, this basic question should be enough to make anyone question the results the bureaucracy is actually looking for.

Armageddon Denied

Just a few weeks ago, COVID numbers from the Sturgis motorcycle rally and, we were breathlessly assured, “super spreader event“, turned out to be lower, per capita than any sample of over a half million people in the general population.

The numbers came out just in time to tamp down a bit of the excitement Minnesota is “Karen“ population was feeling at warning Minnesota, yet again, of impending doom over the state fair.

Which didn’t prevent Karen from Karening.

But all good things – I like the inflated feeling of self importance one gets from being a joyless Jeremiah – come to an end. The numbers from the state fair just aren’t that bad.

State officials say 228 confirmed COVID cases have been traced back to the State Fair as of Friday. For a little perspective, there were more than 1.3 million people in attendance.

During the period of the state fair, they were roughly 1400 new cases detected per day in Minnesota – a rate of 254 cases per day, per million Minnesotans.

228 cases over 10 days, across 1.3 million people, breaks down to a rate of about 180 cases per million per day.

In other words, assuming the math in my head is correct (Not to mention the numbers coming from the Minnesota Department of health), Minnesotans who went to the fair were almost a third safer than Minnesotans who didn’t.

Could we stop the hysteria over public events held outdoors, already?

Being Locked Down And Nothingness, Part II

As I pointed out yesterday, I didn’t have a lot of personal sturm und drang during the “lockdown”. Life changed, of course – but I don’t think I especially did.

I was listening to an NPR science show a few weeks back. It discussed new discoveries about the interconnectedness of pleasure and pain – literal pleasure and pain,, in this case, and their role in addiction.

Doing something pleasurable triggers a jolt of dopamine – which is pleasant, and makes you happy. Doesn’t matter what the pleasure impulse is – a small victory, a shot of bourbon, sex, a good TV show, it all triggers dopamine. Of course, there’s an inner pendulum of sorts – as the body experiences pleasure, it pushes back, so the pleasure is followed by nearly equal, nearly opposite pain. Sugar is followed by crash; Big victory is followed by “so, what’s next?”.

One of the article’s many points was that humans have more stimuli for dopamine now than ever before; 24/7 entertainment, smart phones, porn on demand, drugs from caffeine to Fentanyl and everything in between. Humans aren’t built for all the pleasure modern times presents them; eveolutionariliy, everyone in the world is a virtual Norwegian Bachelor Farmer, expecting an aescetic life.

And this past 19 months have stripped away a lot of the stimulation people used to get – and made some of the more transient ones, video games and cell phones and the like – old hat. Buzzes get old; to quote the great psychiatrist Axl Rose, “I used to do a little but a little didn’t do it, so a little got more and more”.

And “creatives”, I think, are much more addicted to more dopamine, more need for stimulus and variation, than most.

And those are the ones writing the extended laments of the misery of thjis past two years.

Checked And Balanced

A state district judge has thrown out a lawsuit by a group of parents Who were seeking an order requiring the governor to issue a state wide mask mandate and to reinstate the state of emergency.

Thankfully, the judge shot the request down:

“While this court is gravely concerned about the public health consequences of the failure of school districts to implement the guidance of the CDC and the Minnesota Department of Health regarding the use of masks for children, teachers, and staff in K-12 public schools,” the judge wrote in his ruling, “the judiciary cannot order a co-equal branch of government to exercise its discretionary, political judgment to implement a specific educational policy.”

In other words…

… (Mitch takes a deep breath)…

…the parents wanted a member of the judicial branch to compel the head of the executive branch do seize all of the authority of the legislative branch.

Sure, we have a public health crisis. We have an even bigger crisis in civics education in this state.

Out Hateful Racist President

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Black people make up 13.5% of the US population but only 10% of vaccinated people.

Executive Orders closing entertainment venues and employment opportunities to the unvaccinated, will have a disparate impact on Blacks.

Disparate Impact discrimination is a hateful and invidious form of racism.

The Usurper in the White House is a hateful racist. We must remove him from office at once, so Kamala can be elevated to cure the building of the taint of racial discrimination.

Republicans should introduce Articles of Impeachment based disparate impact racial discrimination. No, of course they won’t pass. But it’ll be fun hearing the explanation why the Hater in Chief should remain in office instead of allowing the First Black Woman President to heal the nation.

Joe Doakes

I suspect the next step would be a state of emergency…

Being Locked Down, And Nothingness, Part I

Back around the fall of 2020, in respect to the mewling avalanche of navel gazing in the media and among parts of my social circle about how 2020 was “the worst year ever”, I made two observations.

  1. Tell that to anyone alive in 1942, or 1916 (or the 1918 Influenza), 1861, or any of the various Bubonic Plagues. Those that didn’t hit you with a brick would laugh a bitter, condescending laugh.
  2. Worst ever? It wasn’t even the worst in my lifetime, from my perspective.

This last observation was a little controversial in some parts of my social circle – but among years in my life, 2020 might have cracked the bottom five, maybe. Just off the top of my head: 2008 was horrible, 2003 was a grueling slog of unemployment, 2000 involved all the fun and frolic of a divorce and 1988 was a hideous morass of depression.

So – 2020 was #5 on the *hit parade. At worst.

I posted that list on another, lesser social media platform than this blog. And it drew…

…well, some agreement, and a particularly harsh reaction from some parts of my social circle.

I’m not going to say 2020 was fun – it was terrible, and for reasons that went beyond Covid. And 2021, so far, is worse; more people in my life, speaking for myself, have died of Covid this year than last year. Again, neither year comes close to topping any of the years I listed above.

It’s heartening to see others making the observation:

No one can or should emerge from that world-historical shock without a heightened sense of life’s transience. It is the lockdown, the pause in “busy-ness”, that has been infused with more meaning than it can hold. What started as twee high jinks about banana bread became a sour reappraisal of modernity by its principal winners: the educated, the urban, the mobile. 

It is mortifyingly non-U, in fact, to say that I enter the post-lockdown world with no new angle on life. But there it is. I am going to go out as much as I did before, thanks. I am going to travel as much as the friction of new rules allows. If some urbanites crave an Arcadian life, I encourage them to find it in the obvious places instead of bending cities to their tastes. To the extent that I have changed at all, it is in the direction of more speed and zest: passing some of my forties in an Asian megacity is a goal now, as it never was before.

No doubt, my failure to have a Damascene lockdown reveals an impoverished imagination. But then which side is more bovinely stuck in its ways here? What stands out about the great odysseys of the soul I keep reading is their familiarity. Metropolitans have always been prone to credulous nature-worship. Families have always been prone to urban flight. Mid-life ennui has always been dressed up as some fault with the outside world. What is new is the respectability that such attitudes have acquired over the past year and a half. In other words, the lockdown hasn’t changed these people any more than it changed me. It just dignified existing impulses.

Read the whole thing.

But I think there was one other factor at work.

More tomorrow.

Statistical Rhetoric

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Article on vaccine hesitancy uses risk graph that shows what they want it to show to support their argument, not what it ought to show for me to make up my own mind. Odds of dying fully vaccinated are 1 in 137,000. Yeah, versus the odds of dying from what? Car accident? Hot air balloon crash? Carnival knife thrower? Who cares? In an article about vaccine hesitancy, the correct comparison is odds of dying while fully vaccinated versus odds of dying while not vaccinated. If you’re trying to convince me to get vaccinated, then show me the vast improvement in the odds resulting from the vaccine. Instead, the next graph shows just the opposite. Odds of NOT dying from Covid are the same as the ordinary flu, except for the elderly infirm.

I lack the math skills to convert the second chart into the first chart but I’m guessing that in a nation of 350 million people with only 650,000 deaths (and those are deaths counted using the phony numbers), my odds of dying from Covid while not vaccinated are only 1 in 538. Given most of the deaths are elderly infirm, my odds are actually better, maybe 1 in 1,000 about the same as drowning or a motorcycle accident, risks that I consider slight enough to ignore. And since I work mostly from home and rarely travel, my odds of meeting an Covid-infected person to catch the bug and die from it are even lower, just as my odds of dying from snake bite are much lower than the national average, which is lower than the global average.

I hate articles that use misleading graphs like that. They actually heighten my vaccine hesitancy.

Joe Doakes

My favorite example from the last week; the star Tribune breathlessly pointing out that 69 people had gotten infected with Covid at the Minnesota State fair.

Which turns out to be an infection rate per million roughly 1/4 that of the general population.

Do You Remember…

…20 years ago, right after 9/11, when some on the left said the overreaction to the terror attacks 20 years ago tomorrow would actually give the terrorists the win they wanted?

I can’t have been the only one thinking Joe Biden’s speech yesterday must have made Mohammed Atta smile in whatever part of the Great Beyond he’s in now.

The nuts and bolts of the speech, to the extent there were any? The “president” wants to use OSHA to enforce a vaccine mandate on companies with more than 100 employees – as if forcing a medication on employees (and the forced sharing of medical records, and the inevitable shielding of employers from liability when those records are inevitably. misused) is the same as safety shields in ripsaws. We’ll await future presidents using the same precedent to force inoculations against smoking, obesity, and, eventually and inevitably, barring some outbreak of sanity, ideas.

Also – not a single mention of natural immuinity. 50 mllion Americans are known to have been infected and recovered (myself included); that natural immunity is at least as effective as any pharmaceutical – but is being pointedly ignored.

It’s hard to honestly say what was the most concerning part of our “chief of state’s” speech yesterday. I’m not the only one to whom it sounded like a desperate muddle of authoritarian knee-jerks.

His little shot at the governors who are pushing back at his misbegotten authority – how he’s going to use the power of the Federal Government and the Presidency to show them who’s boss?

It sounds like he wants to crush the idea and practice of federalism; like separation of powers is the problem.

Much of it was peoples reactions to the “President”. For example, this weasel:

People on the left have a frightening propensity to see government as a “Parent”, rather than the custodian elected by the “Free Association of Equals” in the Declaration of Independence.

Of course, if you can’t get timeless wisdom from Joy Reid and Steve Schmidt of “The Lincoln Project”, where can you get it?

The scapegoating of the unvaccinated – who, notwithstanding the left’s propaganda machcine, are largely the young, the poor, and Black males from 20-40 years old – was perhaps the most chilling thing about the, er, “speech”.

Thing is, a real leader – I’m looking at you, Ron DeSantis – could get a lot of mileage out of something that’s been pushed to the sidelines throughout this pandemic – the truth. John Hayward has a draft of a part of the speech that could have been:

20 years after 9/11, we have government by decree, an out of control bureaucracy that governs more or less as it wishes unless and until someone musters the numbers or. money to try to clip it, a plutocrat sector that buys its own boutique version of freedom, and a population that’s being conditioned to accept a dystopian shredding of freedom as “the new normal”.

Adventures In Variantland

I haven’t written here recently (sorry, Mitch!), mostly because I did a fair amount of traveling in August. I attended my high school reunion in the wilds of Wisconsin, then a week later headed east to a family wedding in the Hocking Hills region of Ohio (highly recommended, by the way).

In the course of my travels, I spent time in six different states — Wisconsin, Iowa, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio. Given that the howling over the dread Delta Variant has been in full effect for much of the summer, I was particularly interested in what I would see in my travels. Were people paying attention to the renewed demands for masking and social distancing? Were the entreaties of the Powers That Be having any effect?

Not a chance.

My high school reunion had over 100 attendees, a good result for a class with 144 surviving members. Classmates returned to my Wisconsin home town from California, Washington state, Colorado, Maryland, and New York, among other places. One classmate arrived masked, but took his mask off about 15 minutes into the festivities. The venue was a local brewery with a beer hall and the entire event was indoors. My masked classmate was the only person I saw wearing a mask all weekend, outside of some of the staff at the hotel. Social distancing? Not much of that, either — as you would expect at a high school reunion, it was hugs galore.

The following week was the family wedding; we took a convoluted path so we could pick up our college-age daughter, who attends school in Missouri. We stopped in Waterloo, Iowa, for lunch — not a mask in sight. We got gas in Hannibal, Missouri — no masks at all. Our overnight hotel was in downstate Illinois — again, no masks or social distancing in sight, and a full buffet breakfast available. We stopped for lunch in Indiana — again, no masks anywhere. We gassed up again on the Indiana/Ohio border, in a town that looked like nothing had changed since 1978. No masks. We reached our destination — no masks at the hotel. We had an out-of-town guest reception — saw every face in the place.

The wedding the following day was wonderful — joyous, raucous, with an open bar and food trucks from Columbus for the meal. There were probably 250 people in attendance; not a soul was wearing a mask. It was an outdoor event, but if social distancing was a factor, no one seemed to realize it. Nothing changed on the return trip. No mask? No problem!

Over this past weekend, we attended the Great Minnesota Grease Together. Everyone had to mask up on the shuttle buses, but once we were at the fair, mask wearing was about 1%, even in the queues for a Sweet Martha bucket before leaving the fairgrounds.

We are reminded daily the Delta Variant is still in full swing, an implacable foe, with future variants lined up like planes in a holding pattern at O’Hare; Mu is coming next, and all the other letters of the Greek alphabet are getting ready to ravage the countryside, so many that we’re likely to run out of letters eventually. Presumably another naming convention waits in the wings — perhaps future variants can be named after Kentucky Derby winners (the “Seattle Slew Variant” perhaps), assuming we can independently verify that neither the horses nor their jockeys ever used Ivermectin. As anyone with a television or a smart phone knows, the hectoring and self-congratulatory moral tutelage continue unabated, all of it fact-checked, verified, or otherwise given the J.D. Power award and a MacArthur Foundation genius grant.

But you know what? Even after a summer of harangues and a phalanx of Tik-Tok Cassandras, people are doing as they please, at least here in flyover land. 

Yes, yes, everything I’m presenting here is anecdotal, but current behaviors are easy to observe and if a skeptic made a similar sojourn, the skeptic would see the same things. There will remain a cohort of those who follow every word and every directive from Drs. Fauci, Osterholm and their colleagues. Most readers of this feature likely see social media posts featuring our bien pensant  betters dutifully wearing their masks and keeping a yardstick or two between them as they struggle to take a selfie. And that’s fine — let your freak flags fly!

In the end, though, it’s highly likely the Safety Dance is over, unless our betters are willing to force compliance. What’s been happening in Australia has given me pause, but mandates and lockdowns will be difficult to enforce. And our betters know it.

Feeling Strangely Scientific

I caught this the other day.

So let me get this straight: a virus transmitted almost exclusively by being expectorated into the air by infected people coughing, is spread less by people who aren’t coughing as much?

What manner of sorcery is this?

Yet again, science seems to be bearing out my knee-jerk assumptions, by the way.

“Protection“

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

I was all set to buy tickets to see “A Christmas Carol” at the Guthrie this December. Oops, not going. Mask plus vaccine required.

Well, there’s about three hundred bucks back in my pocket. Too bad about the actors, stage hands, musicians, restaurant staff, bartenders and parking lot attendants who won’t be getting paid from my ticket price. Maybe some big corporate donors will pony up to take care of all the little people who are being protected into the poorhouse?

Joe Doakes

See how bad the state fair is doing this year? I’m going to go out on a short, sturdy limb and say the people saying home from the fair are largely “Karens“ from the metro area (domestic Karen’s, not the ones from Southeast Asia)

At least the fair caters to some people from out of state. The Guthrie is largely in Metro Orleans, which these days means largely a audience of Karens.

Whatever the feelings, or economics, of all of the Guthries workers, the Guthrie is definitely playing to its primary market.

The Guthrie will find donors to get by. Of course, those donations will be money that won’t go to some other place that direly needs it as well.

Cross-Cultural

Re draconian restrictions with a goal to “eradicate Covid with zero cases and fatalities”:

How long can this last? If it was up to the drunk-on-power politicians and bureaucrats who have found a winning electoral formula, health experts who have found relevance, and the deathly scared who have found a sense of safety (and, for some at least, the frisson of being a part of something big and important), the answer is “forever.” 

It was written about Australia, where celebrity bureaucrats, power-drunk petty authorities and Big Karen have teamed up to create a post-freedom state (which, honesty, I expected to see in the UK, France and Germany long before Australia).

But it applies to Minnesota as well. As we may well be finding out the hard way, when (as I suspect) Governor Walz spins up another “state of emergency”.

Armageddon Deferred: Karen Hardest Hit

For the second straight year, Big Media, serving as the exposed id of Big Karen, has predicted the Sturgis motorcycle rally was going to be a “super spreader”.

And as the event – and the attendant Covid surveillance – unrolled, I started getting the impression that most of the “news” coverage had been written in advance, with blanks let open to fill in the numbers that, one suspects, were expected to be in the thousands, at the very least.

So when the first take on numbers came out – in the low 100s, across 700,000 attendees – my first response was “that’s probably lower than the infection rate of 700,000 people in the general population”.

I was right:

Before its Aug. 6 opening, the Washington Post ominously warned: “Sturgis Motorcycle Rally revs up, drawing thousands and heightening delta super spreader fears”; CBS blared:“Sturgis motorcycle rally sparks fears of super spreader event.”

But like last August, the derisive press thankfully didn’t get their wish. Two weeks after the gathering with more than a half-million attendees concluded, fewer than 200 cases have been attributed to the event.

The Associated Press still breathlessly reported Sunday that “nearly 4,000 people have been newly diagnosed with COVID-19 in the state,” but later noted that “a South Dakota Department of Health spokesman declined to link the Sturgis rally to the rising virus surge, noting only 39 COVID-19 cases directly attributed to the rally.”

That such a small number of statewide cases came from Sturgis is a miracle and should have been the headline.

On Monday, the Los Angeles Times, whose writers likely could not find South Dakota on a map, claimed “scores of coronavirus cases recorded.” Scores? How many, and compared to what?

So, as always, what does that mean, per capita?

If numbers still matter to agenda seekers, the entire U.S. averaged 276 new COVID cases per 100,000 people over 10 days ending last week, while the Mount Rushmore State averaged only 156.

In the meantime, Florida’s vaccination rates for the elderly are far better than California and New York, and the fatality rate among a very dense, rather old population, is well down in the middle of the pack.

The Democrats and media (ptr) are going to have to count on their voters legendary lack of facility at critical thought.

And the slant in Covid coverage from the MSM is a sign that Big Left is genuinely worried about DeSantis, Noem and the movements they represent.

Hesitancy

Joe Doakes from Como park emails:

Man drops dead half an hour after receiving the ‘vaccine.’ Doctors are puzzled, no idea what killed him. Couldn’t have been the ‘vaccine’ because as everyone knows, the ‘vaccine’ is safe.

This is what causes ‘vaccine hesitancy.’ Obviously, the vaccine killed him. We know there are adverse reactions, side effects, there’s tons of reports from around the world. Say so. Just say, “It looks like one of the rare adverse reactions, one in a million, simply bad luck; but we won’t know for sure until the autopsy.” Doctors pretending it’s all a great mystery when it’s obviously not, casts doubt on their veracity if not their acumen.

It’s like police officers saying, “Yes, the bearded Arabic man was screaming ‘Allahu Akbar’ when he attacked the Jews with his machete, but the bearded man did not have an ISIS membership card in his wallet so it can’t be a case of Islamic terrorism. His motivation may never be known.” Nonsense, we all know what happened.

Pretending not to know what happened makes the authorities look incompetent.

Lying about what happened makes them look evil.

I was hesitant about taking a vaccine being recommended by incompetent people. I’m definitely not taking a vaccine being pushed by evil people.

Joe Doakes

When it comes to messaging the general population, about Covid or vaccines, both administrations have done a visible job messaging the public

“The authorities“ have done literally nothing right, that’s far.

The Ultimate “White Privilege”

Judging by the California Democrats at this fundraiser (which was dredging up money for, among many others, Angie Craig), that privilege is…:

…having a visible face.

These are the hamsters demanding mask mandates.

I’ll believe in the efficacy of masks when the people demanding I “believe” in masks act like they believe in masks.