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?

Ride The Tiger

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Covid is over: you know it and so do I. Democrats want to frighten the public long enough to steal a few more seats through mail-in voting this Fall, but can they fool the headline-reading low-information voters that long? Maybe. Maybe Lesko Brandon can bribe the World Health Organization to continue the pandemic until right after the election. That would be ideal.

Even so, Covid rules must end someday. Democrats’ entire political appeal is grounded in the moral superiority of people being Special. You like to dress up and play sex games? You’re Special. Society should not only accept you, society should Celebrate you. What’s that, you’re so mentally unstable that you need to bring your emotional support hippopotamus on the bus? No problem; you’re Special. Other passengers should budge up to make room. You’re afraid your children might die of Covid from an unvaxxed person? Darn right, kids are Special; we’re going to mandate masks, social distance, vaccines and punish the non-compliant as long as it takes for everyone to be perfectly safe.

Democrats can’t suddenly tell all those Special people to grow up and get a life. It’d be political suicide.

And then there are the immune-compromised, the Type I diabetics, the asthmatics. Covid could kill you so that makes you Special? Yeah, you’re right, it does, that’s a legitimate complaint. But society needs to move on, needs to learn to live with Covid and not under perpetual mask-and-vaccine requirements. How can Democrats sell that to all the Special people who make up their base?

Maybe it won’t be as hard as I think. Cindy Sheehan had absolute moral authority until one day, she didn’t. The media dropped her faster than a Black school shooter. Maybe it’ll happen to all the Mask Karens?

Joe Doakes

My prediction: the Mascists, having just gone through a conflict that is The closest their generation and social class will get to storming Omaha B each or breaking the siege of Khe Sanh, Will resent the loss of the best two years of their lives, and the sudden disassociation with their bands of Karens. There will be a wave of what used to be called the “readjustment blues” back in the 1970s, but which has always attended people who come back from war.

Because that’s about how these people see themselves, and this situation.

If At FIrst, Second, Third Etc. You Don’t Succeed

I “joke” that Covid restrictions and states of emergency are on the ropes in states where Democrats are polling badly in the mid-terms.

I supposed that it’s a logical corollary that in states where Democrats don’t need to worry about mid-terrms, they don’t have to care.

Exhibit M:

Maybe it’s just to forestall refugees from Canada…

Mayor Carter/Frey’s Perilous Tightrope

On the one hand, official hypochondria along with privileged lawlessness is polling very badly for the DFL this fall. So the vaccine mandates (and the whole “public safety is a privilege” thing) have got to go.

On the other hand, if DFLers abandon hypochondria, the Karen vote (social, not ethnic) will rebel.

So the mayors chose the middle path: end the useless mandate, keep the useless masks.

Damage

After Vietnam, the “physically healthy but psychologically ravaged veteran became part of the American storybook.

Eventually, it turned a spotlight – or at least a flashlight – on the damage veterans of all wars had, but had never really talked about.

I bring that up to set the stage for what may become a far greater psychic plague: PCSD.

Post Covic Stress Syndrome.

Like this…er, person:

Verified: Not Parody

Now that “Science!” has intersected with politics – specifically, pre-mid-term polling – and “blue’ governments are dropping restrictions faster than Jacob Frey dropping fashion shoots, look for these veterans of the pestilence to feel just as traumatized and abandoned as John Rambo at the end of First Blood.

The Next Battle

David Strom, writing on Facebook, sums up what I’ve been wanting/trying to say for much of this past 23 months:

Follow the science is a bullshit phrase, not because science itself is bullshit, but because science at best can only provide input and data on what are not scientific questions.

Science is a branch of knowledge seeking. It is not equipped to provide answers to what are in fact judgment calls. Public policy is at its root about making judgement calls–weighing risks and rewards, costs and benefits, and of course balancing competing rights and goods.

And in fact, no actual scientist believes that the scientific method is, in and of itself, superior to the other methods of seeking knowledge: history, logic, math, philosophy, and so on . They’re all just different tools to similar ends.

Science can help us better understand risks and rewards (when done well, with good data, and the right questions), but it can’t help us weigh those and come up with a “right” answer. If you have ever had a difficult conversation with a doctor you understand this. Doctors give you information upon which you make medical decisions, but in the end they ask you what you want to do based upon your own set of values.

When somebody tells you to “follow the science” they aren’t just making claims about what the science say (and in many cases it isn’t clear), but also to accept their values about how to weigh the costs and benefits.

Consider this extreme example of how important values are in making judgements about behavior (not a public policy example):

Alex Honnold is the world’s best “free solo” climber, and is admired by millions for his skill and grace. He is also, by any measure that values survival above all else, utterly insane. This is true of extreme athletes in general.

Science can tell us nothing about whether what he is doing is admirable or is just off his rocker, but if you watch any interview of him he seems perfectly rational–he just values preservation of his own life as less important than the things he gets from performing his craft.

It’s no different for a ballet dancer or football player, who both sacrifice their body and endure horrible pain to create their art/sport. They balance the risks and rewards based upon their own judgement of what is important. And obviously the answers vary by what individuals value most.

I’m going to emphasize this next bit:

Public policy exists in that same realm, although on a different scale. And public policy in a pluralistic society means that decisions about such matters are made with an eye to balancing the judgments of millions of people and finding artful compromises that garner enough support to be maintained. It’s why we have elections.

“Follow the science” is nothing more than a bullshit way to tarnish the values of people who have different visions of the good society. Science doesn’t speak to values and morals. Ask Josef Mengele. Science is just one of several means to get knowledge. A useful way. But no scientist can use it to tell you whether Monet is a great artist or not.

And yet we have bred a generation and change that believes science…

…no, conclusions given by people in real or rhetorial lab coats = morality.

Some Conclusions “Science” Needs To Make

I’m not sure there’s scientific evidence of any of these – but if someone gave me a seven figure government grant, I’m sure I could come up with some.

School Kids “Walking Out Of Class” Is Not Spontaneous: Big Left must be trying to get people to the polls in nine months; the headlines are again full of stories of teenagers “walking out of school” to “protest” “causes”.

Amazingly, there were news cameras waiting right there as they walked out of school, carrying their professionally printed signs!

Those are some pretty motivated, well-funded, well-organized high school kids!

There are, of course, exceptions.

Mascists, Lockdown Fanboys/Fangirls Will Exhibit Deep Psychological Issues When Crisis Fades: The people hectoring you about your mask at Target are having the time of their lives right now. Feeling that they’re saving lives by badgering people about masks, virtue-signalling their vaxx status, and demanding we stay the locked-down course are living out their version of fighting an existential threat – sort of like their grandfathers landing on Utah Beach, only with DoorDash bringing them Oaxacan tacos, left “safely” on their doorsteps.

And like many of those veterans, when the crisis is over, so will end The Best Years Of Their Lives.

I”m picturing a movie in ten years about the readjustment blues and trauma that “veterans” of the pandemic will feel – sort of like Coming Home, only with DoorDash bringing Oaxacan tacos.