Countergaslight

Are you old enough to remember when our Expert Class (TM) sicced it’s PR machine, and Big Left’s army of howler monkeys, from Stephen Colbert down to its horde of demi-human twitterbots, on anyone who expressed even ambivalence about Ivermectin?

“Hahaha, he’s peddling horse medicine!” was about the level and extent of the discourse?

Are you that old?

If you’re a toddler, yes – you are.

If you’re older than a toddler, you remember the “expert” response – from the ridicule…

…to the regulators:

But never mind history; they’re trying to change that:


“Hey, it’s not our fault if you took all that gaslighting and all those insults seriously! We’re the FDA, maaaaan”.

Don’t get gaslit.

Nobody Could Have Known…

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Liberals call for Covid Amnesty.   They say Conservatives should forgive
Liberals for all the bad things resulting from government’s response to
Covid.  They say none of those bad things are Liberals’ fault because
They Didn’t Know.

Nonsense.  We knew when the Diamond Princess docked in February 2020
that Covid afflicted mostly old people with existing co-morbidities.  We
knew the death rate was 2% of those affected while the death rate of the
entire cruise ship population was 14 out of 3711 or .3%.   And that’s
using the phony numbers from counting all respiratory illness deaths as
Covid deaths.  Covid was never a threat to the population at large – it
was never more than a bad flu – and we knew it early on, which is why we
learned to elbow bump and wash our hands while singing the alphabet song.

Yes, but Liberals were forced to impose lockdowns, mask mandates and
school closings because all the best scientists said so.  If there were
alternatives, They Didn’t Know.

Nonsense.  The Great Barrington Declaration was signed in October 2020
by some of the worlds leading experts in epidemiology to codify in a
simple statement what medical and statistical experts had been saying
since the panic began.  Lockdowns, mask mandates, and school closings
were never the correct way to respond to the outbreak – traditional
responses were the correct way – and we knew it within a few months.

Yes, but those people were outliers, malcontents, reactionaries and
nay-sayers.  Liberals were forced to rely on government bureaucrats and
computer models because Liberals had no other source of information. 
Liberals were left with no choice but to implement lockdowns, mask
mandates and school closings to avoid the looming surge of infections
and resulting hospital overloads.

Nonsense.  Governor Walz announced his lockdown based on computer
modeling that was proven wrong within two months.  There was no surge
and hospitals were not overloaded but instead laid off staff for lack of
business, keeping beds open for Covid patients who never arrived.  The
models were worthless and we knew it long before school resumed.  Nurses
knew it too but danced in the hospital to prove how much smarter they
were than those of us watching.  They had time to dance.  They had no
patients.

Yes, but lockdowns, mask mandates and school closings were necessary to
prevent the virus from spreading until we had a safe and effective
vaccine, which was not generally available to the public until after
President Biden took office.  Liberals had no choice but to enact
temporary stopgap measures to keep the public safe.

Nonsense.  There was never any compelling evidence that lockdowns, mask
mandates or school closings prevented the virus from afflicting those it
targeted most – the elderly frail population – and considerable evidence
that warehousing sick elderly with healthy resulted in killing far more
of them. Controlling for age, existing illness, and quality of medical
care, there is very little difference in Covid mortality between states
like Minnesota (strict restrictions) and Florida (few restrictions). 
There is substantial difference in economic difference and, I suspect,
in education outcomes.

The blogger Sundance writing at Conservative Treehouse coined the phrase
“pretending not to know” to explain why Liberals keep doing things which
Conservatives can plainly see are wrong, but never expect to be held
accountable for the consequences.  That’s what’s happening with Covid
Amnesty.  Liberals are pretending they didn’t know so they shouldn’t be
held to account.

They knew.

And did it anyway.

And we’re never going to forgive the damage they’ve done.

Now, let’s talk about the election.

Joe Doakes

Forgiveness without atonement is meaningless.

And that’s what those asking for the “amnesty” are trying to sideslip.

No amnesty. As noted elsewhere, I’ll settle for a Truth and Reconciliation commission.

Whatever Happened To Monkeypox?

Via Zeynep Tufekci – One of the very few reporters who actually reported on Covid – the answer is “not much at all“.

Read the entire thread:

My theory as to whatever happened to it as a news story? The Democrats didn’t need it as a campaign wedge.

Unconditional Surrender

Emily Oster at The Atlantic wonders if we mightn’t just bury the hatchet about all that Covid overreaction; call a social mulligan; just mooooooove on:

We have to put these fights aside and declare a pandemic amnesty. We can leave out the willful purveyors of actual misinformation while forgiving the hard calls that people had no choice but to make with imperfect knowledge. Los Angeles County closed its beaches in summer 2020. Ex post facto, this makes no more sense than my family’s masked hiking trips. But we need to learn from our mistakes and then let them go. We need to forgive the attacks, too. Because I thought schools should reopen and argued that kids as a group were not at high risk, I was called a “teacher killer” and a “génocidaire.” It wasn’t pleasant, but feelings were high. And I certainly don’t need to dissect and rehash that time for the rest of my days.

David Strom – now writing for Hot Air – meets Dr. Oster halfway:

[Dr. Oster] has generally been a voice of reason on COVID policy, and even when I disagree I respect her. She supported policies I considered and consider appalling, yet she always shared her reasoning and her doubts. Plus she vigorously opposed the COVID excuse to destroy education, and that deserves great respect…Dr. Oster’s premise is simple and easy to grasp. And, under normal circumstances, one with which I could be sympathetic: during the initial phases of COVID people were making decisions in an environment dominated by near total ignorance of the seriousness of COVID, so we should forgive each other for the mistakes made by people and policymakers

But…:

Once data started rolling in and the true scope of its danger was known, COVID became a political cause for the Left, not a public health issue. Public policy and social behavior was no longer grounded in any connection to reality and became a political signifier, and every single awful consequence that has come from the use of COVID as a political cudgel to attack those of us who demanded a rational, measured response is entirely blameworthy. The people who did this must pay a price.

COVID fanatics deserve every single bit of the consequences that are coming for them, and far far more than they will suffer.

I might be inclined to agree with David’s premise – in March and April, maybe May of 2020, when we really didn’t know what was going on, and we didn’t know that Covid wasn’t going to be a demographic scythe mowing down vast swathes of the population? Sure.

Once we got to about June or July – when it was very clear to anyone who could read a graph that Governor Klink’s prediction of 20,000 dead in Minnesota by mid-July, best case, was off by more than an order of magnitude, and he set about concealing the code for the model that led to the prediction because “someone might use it to get different results than we got” (which is the polar opposite of “science”?

For everything that came after – the schools closed, the tsunami of mental health issues, the endless emergency declarations, the boarded-over basketball hoops and bans on selling garden supplies – you want “Amnesty?”

After this?

I’m going to start the negotiation with “military tribunals”.

For the many millions who couldn’t get their cancer, heart disease and other chronic, sometimes life-threatening conditions seen, diagnosed or treated?

Drumhead court-martials are too good.

For the bans on funerals? For the loved ones that died alone in hospitals and LTCs?

I’d be hard-pressed to deny those demanding a “purge night” their due, but this is a civil society.

For the huge advances in the power of the police and surveillance states? For the “emergency powers” seized, and held for well over a year, by tinpot piglets like Gretchen Whitmer and Tim “Klink” Walz?

Give me some heads on pikes – figuratively – and I I might, might, be persuaded to settle for a “Truth and Reconciliation Commission”, as long as it has the power to imprison people for a long time.

My mother suffered from Alzheimers. She and her husband – also very ill – were in a long-term care in Minot. Her husband died in March 2020. The “emergency” rules in Minnesota – and the carnage caused by Governor Klink and the Department of Health’s policies – meant it took seven months to move her to Minnesota. Seven months during which, alone in a nursing home, my mother declined even more alarmingly than she had before.

Amnesty?

I’m more inclined toward demanding unconditional surrender.

But it’s likely my vote next Tuesday is my only recourse.

Rot in (figurative, electoral) hell, Tim Walz, Peggy Flanagan, and anyone who votes for you.

Remember Back In The ’80s?

When pop culture went through a phase of giggling at videos of school kids “ducking and covering” to practice for nuclear attacks?

I have a hunch that people in the 2040s are going to do the same with video of some of today’s dimmer, more dissociative bulbs:

That is to say, if they stop winning all the elections.

Don’t Forget

It’s about six weeks until the election. And with polls showing Governor Klink seven points up on Scott Jensen, it’s time to remind minnesotans, with their famously short attention span‘s, about what this last couple of years have been like.

The Twin Cities media desperately wants to memoryhole this episode:

Governor Klink created a three class society:

  • “Essential“ workers – people whose stores and businesses had to be kept open at all costs; grocery stores, gas stations, pretty much any big box store, and the worlds largest candy store, in Jordan, which just happens to be owned by a big DFL campaign donor.
  • “Nonessential“ workers – people who worked at frivolous hustles like oncology clinics, cardiologists, and all manner of surgeons.
  • “The Laptop Class“ – everyone who could work at home, including most government union employees. and pretty much any big box store

But then, his administration added injury to insult. while you couldn’t visit your family in hospitals or nursing homes, or whole funerals if they passed, somehow the Klink administration made a “scientific“ exception for demonstrations and riots – which, according to the “party of science“, were actually good for health, since science.

The Twin Cities media is going to go out of its way not to remind you of any of this, or of the prosecutions of business that, desperate to stay solvent, defied the ham fisted and unscientific emergency orders.

Don’t let this go down the memory hole.

Truth And Reconciliation

To: Scott Jensen/Matt Birk

Please, please, please: if you happen to win the Governors race, promise to release the full, unredacted records from the state’s “Covid snitch line”

Because I want to find every single one of these backstabbing weasels.

People often would send in lists of “non-essential” businesses that remained open or weren’t strictly following masking requirements, according to files from the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA).

Another complaint reported on people for purchasing non-essential items at a convenience store in White Bear Lake. “Customers are coming and saying, ‘I’m bored and needed to get out of the house.’ They buy lottery tickets, a candy bar, a soda … those items are not ‘essential.’”

I was about to write“This might not be my better self speaking“.

But I think everybody’s better self wants a chunk out of these people, too.

Mask theater…literally!

The missus and I were thinking of taking in a play this weekend at one of the theaters listed below, but, we had no desire to spend the time wearing a mask so we nixed the idea. I was curious so I looked up the covid policies for a number of theaters around town. They’re free to do as they wish. I do wonder though how much business some of these are turning away. I can only assume they’re doing fine.

(This is not an exhaustive list of every theater in the Twin Cities. Also, some are not included here as I could not find any info on covid policies on their websites.)

Guthrie – Effective April 18, 2022, all audience members, regardless of age, must wear a mask that securely covers the nose and mouth (no bandanas, neck gaiters or face shields) when entering and inside the theater. Proof of vaccination is not required to see a performance at the Guthrie.

Ordway – Given the improvement in COVID-19 positivity rates and cases in our community, beginning on April 1 the Arts Partners will no longer require proof of vaccination or negative COVID test results in order to attend performances at the Ordway. Masks will also no longer be required, but will be welcomed and encouraged.

Children’s – As of April 23, 2022, to ensure the safety of our patrons, artists, and staff, Children’s Theatre Company will continue to require audiences to wear a mask in the theatre and lobby spaces. Masks must cover the mouth and nose and fit tightly to the face (no bandanas, face shields, or gaiters).  Proof of vaccination or a negative test is no longer required to attend a show at CTC.

Chanhassen – We highly recommend wearing a mask covering your nose and mouth when not eating or drinking.

Hennepin Theater Trust – Given the improvement in COVID-19 positivity rates and cases in our community, beginning on April 18, our theatres will no longer require proof of vaccination or negative COVID test results to attend performances at the historic Orpheum, State and Pantages theatres, The Hennepin and 824 Hennepin. Masks will also no longer be required but are welcomed and encouraged.

First Avenue – Effective Wednesday, June 1, 2022, concerts and events at First Avenue and associated venues will no longer require proof of a full course of COVID-19 vaccination, or proof of a negative COVID-19 test.

Park Square – Masks are required for theatre attendance except while eating or drinking. Proof of COVID-19 vaccination or negative test results are no longer required to attend performances.

Theater in the Round – Masks are always appreciated in our space, as the intimacy of our venue increases risk of transmission to other patrons and our artists, which could lead to illness and/or cancelled performances. TRP reserves the right to require masks for audiences and/or participants if requested by the cast and crew, guest artists, workshop instructors, volunteer supervisors, for specially designated performances

History – All audience, artists, and staff members will be masked regardless of vaccination status.

Old Log – We recommend the use of facial masks for all guests inside our theatre that are unvaccinated

Jungle – We have been in conversation with our theater colleagues in the Twin Cities area, and like many of them, the Jungle Theater will be requiring masks for audience members, as well as proof of vaccination or proof of negative Covid-19 test within 72 hours of showtime.

Yellow Tree – Along with many other performing arts venues across the state, we will now require Proof of Vaccination from all audience members (digitally on your phone, by email or paper). All audience members are also required to be masked inside regardless of vaccination status.

Illusion – Please note that you must provide proof of vaccination or a negative covid test conducted in the past 72 hours of the event you’re attending. You will be asked to present this with your ID when you enter the building. You must also wear a mask at all times inside the building.

Mixed Blood – All patrons, including children, attending Mixed Blood performances must either show proof of full vaccination against COVID-19 (at least 14 days have passed since the final dose), or proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken in the prior 72-hours. On-site testing will be available on a first come first served basis before every performance. All patrons, regardless of vaccination status, must always wear masks over their nose and mouth while inside the venue.

Junetwentieth

Goivernor Klink on Twitter over the weekend, commemorating Juneteenth:

“…work to dismantle unjust systems of oppression”

Like open-ended emergency powers that can be extended endlessly at the whim of a political party in power?

Like arbitrary authority that allows a governor to crush businesses at a whim, but spare the ones that donate to his campaign?

Those sorts of systems of oppression?

On it.

Results

The Pioneer Press, apparently knowing (what little is left of) its audience, says:

Now, I don’t pry into other peoples personal healthcare decisions, and I’m pretty merciless to any idiot who tries to yap about mine.

But it’s worth noting that Dr. Jensen, though not vaccinated, appears to have missed zero days of work or campaigning due to Covid.

In the meantime, the people who run this state – Lt. Governor Flanagan and her figurehead, the…uh, somewhat comorbid Tim Walz – have both had Covid and been off the job in the past couple years.

Correlation – especially with three data points – isn’t causation.

But it’s a better correlation than the one data point the PiPress ran with.

Life Is Art Is Life

Joe Doakes from Como park emails:

Still working from home (two weeks to flatten the curve, you know). Can’t log in today. My “remote authentication certificate” is not recognized.

Called the Computer Support phone number. Recorded message says they’re experiencing a problem with remote login software but will send updated information to affected users by email.

I am – literally – living in a Dilbert cartoon.

Joe Doakes

Dilbert has been running since 1989.

If it took you until 2022 to realize this, you’ve had a very good run indeed.

“Misinformation”

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

“Dr. Anastasia Maria Loupis on Twitter: “Out of 27 women that were accidentally pregnant during the vacc program. Outcome: 23 spontaneous abortions. 2 premature with neonatal death. 1 spontaneous abortion with neonatal death. 1 living baby Pfizer doc 5.3.6 page 12 “Safe and effective”” / Twitter”

How is it misleading to cite actual numbers from the original source?

Perhaps they use “misleading” to mean “leading people away from The Narrative,” which would be true but not the normal usage.

Silver lining: women won’t need coat hangers after Roe is overturned. Just vaxx your troubles away.

Joe Doakes

There’s always a silver lining, isn’t there?

But Don’t You Dare Say Thera A Class War

At the Met Gala, yet again:

Celebrities, showing their faces.

Hired help, still muzzled.

I’m not going to say that the upper crust feel that they are immune to Covid.

I am going to say that their version of “science” has convinced them that the invasion of Ukraine and the imminent repeal of Roe V. Wade has given them immunity.

Glad I could clear that up.

Chilling Effect?

Asking for voter ID is the next step toward a government run by the KKK.

Unless you’re actually a DFLer.

Then…:

To be a delegate at DFL State convention, you need:

May be an image of text

Photo ID, proof of vaccination, and qa negative test result?

The DFL does know that Black men are the least-vaccinated population in Minnesota, right?

It’s almost as if they’re trying to…

…keep black men from participating?

Bring On The Crow

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

The results of a two-year-long nation-wide experiment are conclusive. We nay-sayers were right all along: mask mandates do not stop the spread of Covid.

I’m ready to accept my apology. Let the crow-eating begin.

Joe Doakes

Just as many of us were saying two years ago; masks make useful personal infection control in relatively controlled environments. As a public health measure, they are about as useful as, well, not wearing a mask.

Stock Tip: Krugman, Strong Sell

Paul Krugman on the end of the mask cult:

My two cents? I suspect Krugman, and many maskaholics desperately want this to be true.

Part of it is Berg’s Seventh Law – they need to project their behavior onto others.

Part of it is the need on the cultural left that’s become apparent in the past two years to, at best, feel they are part of some larger struggle; they are part of a generation that’s had no Omaha Beach, no Great Depression, no Civil Rights Movement. This is it for them, and they’re milking it for all they got.

At worst? They feel their sense of petty control slipping from their grasp, and they are not about to go gently.

The Party Of #Science

So over the weekend, DFL representative Kelly Morrison, and other DFLers, ran a loooong series of tweets from her district (SD45, the far west ‘burbs) endorsing convention on Saturday.

Looks like a typical bunch of urban DFLers; masked up like bank robbers:

I mean, their healthcare decision, their business. I don’t tell them what to do, and they don’t tell me…

…oh, Right.

But then we move on. Her staff was certainly with the program…

…as was her (presumably) husband or significant other…

(I mean, I have no idea who he is, or about Ms. Morrison’s personal life).

But wait – apparently you go to the other corner of the building, and – apparently, the Russians have invaded, because Covid has vanished – or at least, the masks:

And then – people with masks shunted to the back of the shot?

And then, posing cheek-to-cheek with Congressman Phillips, with their masks scientifically dangling from the ears – perhaps waiting for word of Russian invasion?

Good thing the #science is so settled…

Lessons

Joe Doakes from Como park emails:

Three years ago, an employee who wanted to work remotely was routinely denied. All employees must come to the office. For the last two years, an employee who wanted to come to the office was routinely denied. All employees must work remotely. Today, the business magazines are full of articles on The Lessons of Covid. How can remote work increase employee satisfaction while trimming business cost? What has management learned?

Nothing. Management has decided all employees in our office are “hybrid” employees meaning we must come into the office AND we must work from home. Why? It’s the worst of both worlds. I waste expensive gas and contribute to global warming while commuting plus I maintain a home office at my expense to subsidize my employer’s operations. Why not one or the other?

Ahhhh, the true answer is revealed by the survey asking how many days per week I want to commute. The true answer is some people might be working remotely from Florida and allowing them to work remotely from out-of-state wouldn’t be fair. Oh? What about employees who live in Hudson? Prescott? Mason City? Where’s the cut-off line? There is no cut-off line. You just have to come in two days per week, which makes it uncomfortable enough to work from far away.

It’s not about productivity, morale, efficiency, or customer service. It’s about waaaaah, it’s not Fair, I don’t Get To, waaaaah! Lessons of Covid? We don’t need no stinking lessons, we’re management. We do what we want.

Joe Doakes

Some companies have painted themselves into corners; unable to find employees locally to replace people lost “the great resignation “, they recruited remotely, far and wide.

Hard to uncross that line.

The Last Karen On The Island Has Yet To Walk Out Of The Jungle

The St. Paul school board voted to keep masks on kids.

Bear in mind, the districts “Director of public health and wellness” recommended dropping the mandate:

“Effective 12:01 a.m. on March 28, that we move forward with the following changes: Masks are not required with low- to medium-community case rates in Ramsey County,” Langworthy said while presenting a slide with numbers.

One of the boards members responded (with emphasis added):

Concerned board members argued taking action, based on numbers that would be delivered with a delay, would be too late.

“If it was from the previous week’s data, we receive it the following Thursday and then we implement masks on Monday, we’d be implementing it from previous weeks’ data though, correct?” board member Chauntyll Allen said. “So, the surge would be happening, basically. It would already be happening — we wouldn’t have masks, we would find out about it on Thursday, and we would implement masks Monday — but from Tuesday or Wednesday the week before until Thursday, students would still be walking around without masks as the surge is existing.”

Ms. Allen has done an admirable, If inadvertent, job of illustrating Kevin Williamson’s thesis that politics is the least efficient possible way of getting anything that matters done.

As far as making public health decisions there anything but reflections of the current state of political logrolling?

You know where I’m going with this, right?

Coercion

A friend of the blog sends this piece, by a Twin Cities area public health nurse who, in a convoluted way, figured in my “Twenty Years Ago Today” series, way back when.

But unlike my seven year long series, the article has nothing to do with personal nostalgia; it’s about her experience with the “unintended“ consequences of our governments hamfisted, authoritarian Covid response.

It’s long, but it’s worth a read, and even more worth passing along.

Dispatches from Planet DFL

One minor shout-out to former Minnesapolis mayor R.T. Rybak; to date, he is the only DFL politician to come on the Northern Alliance. We had a great discussion. You don’t have to throw plates at each other to have a good debate.

But you can sure throw facts at each other:

I mean, if one has never worked in the private sector, one might think re-opening a long-closed restaurant is a matter of unlocking the doors, logging into the stove and getting avocado onto toast.

Not about getting food in stock, even without supply chain problems, or getting staff to come to a downtown that’s gotten very human-unfriendly, on top of expensive to park in and tangibly less pleasant to take the bus or train to, when employment options in much more amenable, affordable places are also available.

And there’s a real sense – at least, among people who pay attention to the DFL – that the current relaxation of Covid hypochondria is tied mostly to mid-term polling ,and when the “gnu” or “omega” variants come out in mid-November everything will get shut down in yet another frothing, unproductive, business-shredding panic, leaving those “Re-opened” restaurants giving their food away so it doesn’t rot in the freezer. Again.

He does realize his party caused this, right?