November 24, 2020

More Salem than Thanksgiving: Coronavirus panic has set America back hundreds of years

Heather Mac Donald, The Spectator US, November 24, 2020 [excerpts]:

Nearly half the 102 occupants of the Mayflower died in their first year of settlement at Plymouth, sometimes at a rate of three a day. Such a mortality rate was predictable. The earlier outpost at Jamestown, founded in 1607, lost 66 of its original 104 settlers in its first nine months. ...

And yet the voyagers kept coming, driven by something beyond safetyism — religious zeal, ambition, passion for discovery, the desire for greater freedom. Those Americans who later spread across the continent, whether as solo explorers or in wagon trains, likewise eschewed a ‘stay safe’ philosophy.

Today, we are strangling American society in order to avoid a risk of death so infinitesimal — roughly 0.001 percent — for the majority of Americans that it would not have registered in any possible cost-benefit analysis governing both notable American endeavors and quotidian activities over the last four centuries. Our current Thanksgiving Day mantras — ‘Stay within your pod. Stay within your bubble. Stay within your household’ (in the words of a University of California, San Francisco, epidemiologist); don’t travel, don’t share food, don’t touch your family members or friends, speak only in hushed tones — make a mockery of the spirit that creates a country and sustains human life.

This present moment is less like that first Thanksgiving celebration and more like the Salem witch frenzy of 1692. To be sure, the coronavirus is real; witches were not. The virus has cost thousands of lives; witches did not. But the fear that has gripped much of the population over the last year, whipped up by sundry experts and authorities, is as disconnected from reason as that emblematic burst of hysteria in colonial Massachusetts and other such panics throughout medieval and early modern Europe. The shared features of all such contagious fear events include the following:

The belief in ubiquitous threat

Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti has advised Los Angelenos to ‘assume that everyone you encounter is infected’. Under even the most liberal assumptions of undetected community spread, however, only a small fraction of Los Angeles’s population would be infected and currently contagious.

As for the threat of death, most of the population faces none from the virus. The average age of coronavirus decedents is 80, which is four years higher than the average life expectancy for US males in 2018 and just a year under the average life expectancy of females. Most decedents have underlying co-morbities. Up to two-thirds of coronavirus casualties may have died of other causes by the end of 2020. Forty percent of US coronavirus deaths have occurred in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities. Sadly, death is already the fate of virtually all residents of such facilities, however much we may understandably try to defer it.

Scapegoats and stigma

Public officials have piled onto those intransigents who do not wear masks in the great outdoors, blaming them for the spread. Outdoor mask refuseniks have been screamed at and shamed by citizen enforcers of the outdoor mask dogma. The media imply false causal connections ... But there is no evidence for open-air transmission, absent highly unusual packed settings and prolonged contact. Transmission, per the CDC’s own contact tracing guidelines, requires a cumulative 15 minutes of close contact with an infected person, overwhelmingly in poorly ventilated, cramped indoor settings. In the outdoors, circulating air disperses any possible viral dose to the point of non-existence, even if most outdoor encounters were not too fleeting to be of concern.

People who have recovered from the virus are shunned as pariahs, despite their lack of infectious status.

Amulets and ritualistic gestures

The mask is believed to possess totemic power, even though there is little evidence that its use correlates inversely with community spread or that it protects wearers from infection. ...

Magical formulas and the arbitrary exercise of government power

Once hysteria takes over, any expectation that public officials will act according to reason is discarded. New York’s Mayor Bill de Blasio has long set a metric for re-closing the city’s schools: a three percent infection rate among the tested population. He arrived at the number in conjunction with the teacher’s union. How did the mayor and union come up with it? We don’t know. Is it related to anything real? By definition, no. The evidence is by now overwhelming that children have virtually no risk of dying from the virus, nor do they spread it to adults. A random sample of 16,000 students and staff in New York City schools yielded only 28 positive tests; none of those cases resulted in serious illness or death. The New York City school system, were it a free-standing community, would be among the nation’s safest places to reside. ...

Virginia requires that children from age two onwards wear masks. Such a practice, lacking any grounding in actual science, will likely have crippling psychological consequences.

The rising caseload and the oncoming Thanksgiving holiday have triggered a new explosion of arbitrary government dictates. Oregon’s governor is limiting social gatherings to no more than six people. How did she arrive at that number? By no known body of evidence. If it existed, presumably the six-person ceiling would be universal. But Yolo County, California (where Sacramento is located), has a 16-person cap on Thanksgiving and other gatherings, while Kentucky is limiting Thanksgiving to eight people from two different households. The state of California magnanimously allows a grand total of three households. Before celebrating such relative liberality, note that California requires that the lucky three social units (whose members must of course all be masked) disperse after two hours. That three-household, two-hour ceiling applies even if the gathering occurs in a public park, where the chance of transmission is at its lowest ebb.

Without any advance warning, Los Angeles County shut down all outdoor dining on November 23, signing the death warrant for thousands of restaurants and casting thousands of workers back into unemployment. Restaurant owners had invested thousands of dollars into outdoor heat lamps and other outdoor dining equipment; they will have to throw out thousands of dollars of food.

Los Angeles County has no evidence of any transmission among outdoor diners. It is reacting blindly to a rising case count, even though more than 72 percent of the new cases reported on November 21 were in the lowest risk category — people under 50 — and nearly half of the 34 county residents who died of COVID-19 on November 21 (per the usual over-inclusive count methodology) were over 80. Protecting those octogenarians does not require wholesale business destruction.

The experts are so confident in their fear-induced hold over the popular mind that they feel no compunction about self-contradiction. The CDC has acknowledged that there is little surface transmission of the virus. Yet it recommends that should someone be so rash as to attend a Thanksgiving gathering outside his home, he must bring his own food and utensils so as to avoid touching his host’s kitchenware. We are regressing further back along the civilizational path to medieval times, when everyone carried around his own spoon on his belt. At least those medieval trenchermen followed the environmentally sound practice of reusing their spoons. The CDC advises that all utensils and plates be thrown out after the Thanksgiving meal, showing yet again that environmentalism is usually just empty virtue-signaling.

The experts fear no rebellion over rules that destroy the very thing that they purport to regulate. Bringing your own meal to Thanksgiving and not even sharing it cancels the spirit of holiday. Thanksgiving becomes indistinguishable from those cheerless ‘family dinners’ where every teenager microwaves his own chosen frozen food and then slinks back with it to the privacy of his bedroom and smartphone.

Fetishes

Case counts have been the object of veneration for months, despite their near meaninglessness. The obsession with the case count is an implicit admission that the death rates have been a disappointment, for they are falling rather than increasing. Currently, infections among the young make up the lion’s share of new cases; in Ann Arbor, Michigan, for example, 61 percent of confirmed and probable cases are connected to the university there. Most of these cases among the young are asymptomatic: the infection is so mild that the infected person is unaware he even has it. These infections are being picked up thanks to mandatory testing in college and school settings. It is not just the young, however, that are frequently asymptomatic. Across the entire population, a whopping 40-45 percent of cases are initially unknown to their bearer before a test comes in positive.

A rising case count among the least at-risk population is not something to be feared, since it heralds the approach of herd immunity. Males in the 20-29 age bracket without underlying conditions have 99.9997 chance of surviving a coronavirus infection; females in that age bracket have a 99.9998 survival rate. ...

Yet since the start of the pandemic, the media and their bevy of public health sources have histrionically covered case counts, usually on an hourly basis, as if they signaled imminent doom. ...

And despite today’s raging headlines, the current crisis is still largely anticipatory. Los Angeles County’s director of public health, Barbara Ferrer, has been leaning heavily on the promise of future disaster. ‘This much of an increase in cases may very well result in tremendous suffering and tragic deaths down the road,’ she told the Los Angeles Times on November 12. For now, however, the number of hospitals that are severely burdened nationally is small; at least a quarter of all cases now being labeled as coronavirus hospitalizations in the daily media count were likely admitted for other problems and only retroactively classified as coronavirus cases following a positive test. California governor Gavin Newsom has put 94 percent of the states’ residents under another stay-at-home order. But only six percent of the state’s hospital beds are occupied by COVID-19 patients, up from four percent in early November.

Nationally, the case fatality rate and presumed infection fatality rate continue to drop.

Human sacrifice

Almost all the businesses being sacrificed on the altar of coronavirus fear are as innocent as the vestal virgins of old. The public health authorities have no idea what is driving the current spread. They have no hard evidence that outdoor or indoor restaurant meals are responsible; they certainly have no evidence that shopping is responsible. And yet millions of livelihoods are being destroyed in the exercise of inebriating, limitless power. ‘We don’t want you going into restaurants and sitting and eating outside, and we don’t want you going into retail establishments either,’ Los Angeles’s ubiquitous Barbara Ferrer pronounced recently. Ferrer has no basis for stigmatizing retail establishments.

The shaming of heretics and dissenters

Neuroradiologist Stanford scientist Scott Atlas and the physician scientists who signed the Great Barrington Declaration have been denounced for challenging the efficacy of economic lockdowns, school shutdowns, and outdoor mask requirements. Their heresies have been borne out by the evidence.

False agency

The director of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington, a major purveyor of pandemic panic, claimed in the Wall Street Journal that the pandemic was threatening ‘jobs and businesses’. It is not the pandemic that is threatening jobs and businesses, however; political decision-making is. COVID is also ascribed a power that it does not likely have. The New York Times has dedicated a special section to ‘those we’ve lost’ from COVID (ignoring the many more people we lose each day to cancer and heart disease). One alleged COVID casualty was a 101-year-old veteran. We are to believe that without COVID, he would have lived an indefinite number of further years.

An advanced civilization builds towards the future, as the Pilgrims and other New World settlers understood. It accumulates social and economic capital to be drawn on by individual discoverers and entrepreneurs for further progress. Now, however, we are cannibalizing our economic inheritance, in the fantastical belief that government transfer payments, generated from ever increased debt, can substitute for private economic activity. Our capital, now being recklessly destroyed by arbitrary government fiat, will take generations to rebuild. We take for granted everything that hard-won prosperity has provided us — well-functioning services (compared to Third World disorder), dependable maintenance, the luxury of choice. We will miss such prosperity when it follows the fate of those millions of businesses whose loss is causing despair, substance abuse, and suicide.

A mature civilization understands that risk is part of life and that there are higher purposes — even mere sociability — than avoiding death at all costs. No great venture can be accomplished if staying safe is life’s only guiding principle. Now, however, our elites mock courage and perseverance, explicitly repudiating the virtues that built this country. President Trump, upon leaving the hospital after a coronavirus infection, admonished the country to not ‘be afraid’ of the virus, in the Washington Post’s words, and to not ‘allow it to dominate’ our lives. That imminently reasonable exhortation, once expected in a leader, is still being denounced by public health experts and the media nearly two months later. If Americans do not repudiate this ethic of fear, future Thanksgivings will be even bleaker than this year’s.

November 9, 2020

Preventing IP leaks with a VPN and torrent client

There’s a good article from November 7, 2020, at vpnuniversity.com/learn/how-to-fix-every-vpn-ip-leak, though it doesn’t mention torrent client leaks. A good testing site is ipleak.net. It would be good practice to visit ipleak.net every time you use a VPN and before downloading a torrent.

To prevent your torrent client from revealing your home IP address as it tries to maximize your connections, you have to specifically bind it to the VPN network interface. With qbittorrent, for example, in Preferences > Advanced > “Network interface”, choose, on a Mac, e.g., utun1 or, if present, utun2. When your VPN is connected, select its network address in “Optional IP address to bind to” (just below “Network interface”). On the Mac, that address should be specified in System Preferences > Network > YourVPN.

It would be good practice to check this, i.e., open your torrent client, before downloading a torrent. Then test your setup at ipleak.net.

Other steps to prevent IP leaks while using a VPN:

1. Turn on your VPN’s kill switch, so that it will stop activity if the VPN disconnects. In PureVPN, e.g., this is in Preferences > Advanced options.

2. If your VPN is not using DNS servers from the virtual server it’s using – and instead using your ISP’s DNS servers, or even the DNS servers you’ve otherwise specified (although many ISPs force you to their own) – then you need a new VPN.

3. IPv6 leaks. The new IP address system (because IPv4 addresses ran out in 2011) is still rarely used outside of local networks. It can be disabled on the Mac in System Preferences > Network > WiFi > TCP/IP > “Configure IPv6” → Off. If ”Off” is not an available option, set it to ”Link-local only”, which will use it only on your local network. Or try the Terminal command “sudo networksetup ‑setv6off 'Wi‑Fi' ” (include the straight quotemarks around “Wi-Fi”) (or “Ethernet”) to turn it off completely. Disable IPv6 in Firefox at about:config > “network.dns.disableIPv6” → false (double-click).

4. WebRTC leaks. This is more a potential security vulnerability while you’re in your browser. It can be disabled, e.g., in Firefox at about:config > “media.peerconnection.enabled” → false (double-click).

As also suggested in a comment to the above-cited article, you can disable location requests, which could reveal your precise location. In Firefox Preferences > Privacy & Security > Permissions > Location, check “Block new requests asking to access your location”. And in about:config, set “geo.enabled” to false.

November 7, 2020

Tucker Carlson Tonight, November 6, 2020

Who exactly is Joe Biden, the man who may be our president come Jan. 20? The truth is, as of right now, we don’t really know.

We have no clue what Joe Biden actually thinks, or even if he’s capable of thinking. He hasn’t told us and no one’s made him tell us for a full year. In fact, it’s becoming clear, there is no Joe Biden. The man you may remember from the 1980s is gone.

What remains is a projection of sorts, a hologram designed to mimic the behavior of a non-threatening political candidate: “Relax, Joe Biden’s here. He smiles a lot. Everything’s fine.” That’s the message from the vapor candidate.

So who’s running the projector here? Well, the first thing you should know is that the people behind Joe Biden aren’t liberals. We’ve often incorrectly called them that. A liberal believes in the right of all Americans to speak freely, to make a living, to worship their God, to defend their own families, and to do all of that regardless of what political party they belong to or what race they happen to be born into or how far from midtown Manhattan they currently live.

A liberal believes in universal principles, fairly applied. And the funny thing is, all of that describes most of the 70 million people who just voted for Donald Trump this week. Most of them don’t want to hurt or control anyone. They have no interest in silencing the opposition on Facebook or anywhere else. They just want to live their lives in the country they were born in, and it doesn’t seem like a lot to ask. So by any traditional definition, they are liberal.

However, our language has become so politicized and so distorted that you would never know it. What you do know for certain is that the people behind Joe Biden are not like that at all. They don’t believe in dissent. “You think one thing? I think another. That’s OK.” No, that’s not them at all. They demand obedience to diversity, which is to say, legitimate differences between people is the last thing they want. These people seek absolute sameness, total uniformity. You’re happy with your corner coffee shop? They want to make you drink Starbucks every day from now until forever, no matter how it tastes. That’s the future.

Now, if these seem like corporate values to you, then you’re catching on to what’s happening. The Joe Biden for President campaign is a purely corporate enterprise. It’s the first one in American history to come this close to the presidency. If a multinational corporation decided to create a presidential candidate, he would be a former credit card shill from Wilmington, Del., and that’s exactly what they got. What’s good for Google is good for the Biden campaign and vice versa. We have never seen a more soulless project. They literally picked Kamala Harris as Biden’s running mate, someone who can’t even pronounce her own name. Not that it matters, because it’s purely an advertising gimmick.

We watched all of this come together in real time. We stood slack-jawed in total disbelief as a man with no discernible constituency of any kind rose to the very top of our political system, as if by magic. It’s possible in the end that Joe Biden himself never convinced a single voter of anything over the entire duration of the presidential campaign, but he didn’t have to. Joe Biden won the Democratic nomination because he wasn’t Bernie Sanders. He came to where he is today because he isn’t Donald Trump. It’s the shortest political story ever written.

Now, whatever you may think of Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders, they did it the traditional way. Each one of them had the support of actual voters. Living, breathing people loved them, believed in them, vested their hope in them, and, by the way, agreed with their ideas, which they articulated clearly. But corporate America hated them both. They couldn’t be controlled, particularly Donald Trump, whose complete unwillingness to submit made him the greatest possible threat. That’s why they hate Donald Trump, because he won’t obey.

It’s insulting to say that Joseph R. Biden won this election, if that is what comes to pass. The tech companies will have won. The big banks will have won. The government of China, the media establishment, the permanent bureaucracy, the billionaire class – they will have won, and not in the way that democracy promises. If a single person equaled a single vote, a coalition like that could never win anything. There aren’t enough of them.

But as a group, they have something that Donald Trump’s voters sadly do not have, and that is power. They have lots of power and they plan to wield that power, whether you like it or not. It’s all starting to look a lot like oligarchy at this point. The people who believe they should have been in charge all along now may actually be in charge.

So what does that mean for the rest of us? Will corporate America declare victory and back off? Can we speak freely again? Will they take the boot from our necks? Can we have America back now that the Great Orange Emergency has passed? Will the mandatory lying orders finally be lifted?

Those are the questions we’ll be paying attention to, since we plan to stay in this country. And one other thing while we’re at it, who’s excited to greet our new corporate overlords? Who plans to collaborate, particularly of those on the right side, the Republican side, the side that said it was defending you? Who’s happy about all of this? That seems worth keeping track of, just so we know who we’re dealing with here.

(via foxnews.com)

November 6, 2020

Donald Trump, Grand Rapids, Michigan, November 2, 2020

(excerpts)

(01:32:30)
We’ve had so many things that ... the witch hunt, I call it the witch hunt. And it turned out to be a phony witch hunt, and they should have known it the first day. They did know it the first day. But it’s the deep state, it’s whatever you want to call it, but it should have never happened. Think of it. They spied on our campaign. They got caught. They tried to take down a duly elected president of the United States. They got caught. And you know who knew all about it? Barack Hussein Obama and sleepy Joe Biden. They knew all about it. They knew all about it.

And then I watch the fake news back there, look at all of them. Look at all of the fake news, isn’t that nice. It’s a lot of fake news. Then I watch the fake news saying, “You know, his attitude is a very tough attitude. He’s not very nice, he’s a very nasty person.” No no. We’re defending ourselves, and we’re defending all of these people that voted for us.

And then what happens? It turns out to be that it was them that were guilty of all of these horrible crimes. Including the crime of treason, because when you try and take down a duly elected president, you know, it’s called treason. It’s big stuff. So we’re going to see how that all works out. ...

(02:04:28)
Every corrupt force in American life that betrayed you and hurt you is supporting Joe Biden. The failed establishment that started the disastrous foreign wars that hurt our country so badly and hurt our young people so badly, they support Sleepy Joe Biden. The career politicians that offshored your industries and decimated your factories and sent your jobs away, they support Biden. The open border lobbyists that killed our fellow citizens with illegal drugs and gangs and crime, they support Biden. The far left Democrats that ruined our public schools, depleted our inner cities, defunded our police, and demeaned your sacred faith and values, they support Biden. The anti-American radicals defaming our noble history, heritage, and heroes, they support Sleepy Joe Biden. Antifa, and the rioters, looters, Marxists, and left-wing extremists, they all support Biden.

This election comes down to a very simple choice. Do you want to be ruled by the corrupt and selfless political maniacs that you’re dealing with? Or do you want to be ruled by the American people? You’re supposed to be ruled by the American people. Do you want to be represented by a career politician who actually doesn’t like you, or by an outsider who will defend you like you have never been defended before? That’s what I’m doing. And it’s not easy, but there’s nothing I’ve ever enjoyed more in my life, because we are making so much progress. We have to now finish the progress. A vote for Biden is a vote to hand the keys of government over to people who don’t like you, don’t respect you, and who want to rob your children of their American dream. We have a great American dream. We’re not going to let it happen. We’re not going to let that happen. We’re going to keep our great American dream. A vote for Biden is a vote to give control of government over to the globalists, and communists, and socialists, and wealthy liberal hypocrites, and all of those that want to silence, censor, cancel, and punish you.

If you want your children to be safe, if you want your values to be honored, if you want your life to be treated with dignity and respect, then I am asking you to go to the poll tomorrow and vote, vote, vote. Remember what I said four years ago. I am your voice, and we will make America great again, and that’s what we’re doing. For the last four years, the depraved swamp has tried everything to stop me and to stop you, because they know I don’t answer to them. I answer to you. That’s why we’re here. That’s why we’re here. Together we will defeat the corrupt establishment. We will dethrone the failed political class, and we will drain the Washington swamp. And we will save that American dream. That beautiful, beautiful American dream. ...

This election is a choice between a deadly Biden lockdown or a safe vaccine that ends the pandemic and leads to the greatest economy in the history of the world. That’s where we’re going. We were there, and we’re going to get it back very quickly. And that’s going to bring our whole country together, because success brings it together, and it was happening. Before that plague came in, it was happening. People were calling me that you would least suspect, and it was all happening. And then we had to close it down and now build it up, and it’s building … It’s not a V. It’s a super V. It’s a super V. ...

Joe Biden is promising to delay the vaccine and turn America into a prison state. He’s looking you in the face and he’s locking you in your home while letting rioters, Antifa, the radical left, run down your streets, riot in your streets, burn down your stores, beat you over the head, and they’re allowed to do that. But you can’t go to your church. You can’t have dinner with your family, but you’re allowed to protest and riot. That’s why I call all of these protests, because we’re allowed to protest. You’re not allowed to meet and you’re not allowed to pray together, but you’re allowed to protest, so I call everything that we do a protest. The Biden lockdown will mean no school, no graduations, no weddings, no Thanksgivings, no Easters, no Christmas, no 4th of July, no future for the youth. Other than that, it’s actually quite good.

A vote for Sleepy Joe Biden is a vote for lockdowns, lay-offs, and misery. ...

(02:32:27)
We inherit the legacy of American patriots who gave their blood, sweat, and tears to defend our country, our families, and our freedom. We stand on the shoulders of American heroes who crossed the ocean, settled the continent, tamed the wilderness, laid down the railroads, raised up the great skyscrapers, won two world wars, defeated fascism and communism, and made America into the single greatest nation in the history of the world. And the best is yet to come. The best is yet to come.

Proud citizens like you, who helped build this country, together we will take back our country. We’re taking it back at a level that nobody has believed. We are taking it back and we are winning and we’re going to win tomorrow. We are returning power to you, the American people. With your help, your devotion and your drive, we are going to keep on working, we are going to keep on fighting, and we are going to keep on winning, winning, winning. We are one movement, one people, one family, and one glorious nation under God, and together with the incredible people of Michigan, we have made America powerful again. Our military, it’s never been like this. We have made America wealthy again. We have made America strong again. We have made America proud again. We have made America safe again, and we will make America great again. Thank you, Michigan. Go out and vote. Thank you very much. Thank you.

(via rev.com)

October 29, 2020

Reading the New York Times

A friend writes:

The Times can’t resist; their repulsive hubris is so great it can’t help but burst forth yet again: “A Biden landslide? Some Democrats can’t help whispering”. They really do assume Biden will win, and win big. Perhaps this horrific scenario will come true, who knows – but it seems incredible that people would actually prefer the violent, totalitarian Dems over Trump.

They actually want to go back to the horrific regime change wars, more unnecessary death and suffering and maimed vets and grieving families, all in the service of US corporate imperialism! Fawning over corrupt European technocrats, refusing to speak to dictators and bombing their countries. That’ll show ’em! Go back to fascistic trade deals that siphon ever more jobs away from Americans, import more lower-wage tech people from India etc, open the borders and let in the low-wage hordes who will undercut US workers and keep millions of them unemployed and homeless. Mandate what language is acceptable, what art we can view, what books we can read, what thoughts we may speak or publish. “Sensitivity reading” will be the order of the day, and all things we once treasured will be shredded, burned, or smashed or disappeared before our eyes.

Down with western culture, old white men statues, the founders of the country, the people who fought and died in the Civil War, smash them to smithereens, erase all history that offends and rewrite it to suit PC standards, and rewrite school curriculum to propagandize the students, up with all manner of ugly “woke” blobby “artpieces” and graffitied streets festooning our public spaces replete with angry POC screeds and proclamations. Truth and reconciliation tribunals, anyone? Apologize for the crime of being born white? Re-education? Reparations? Private property seized to be redistributed? Race war? Quotas everywhere; oh it will be delightful. All the serendipity, nuance, charm, innocence, and the freedom and possibility of life to be expunged in favor of the suffocating New Red Guard sterility and violence; an atmosphere of constant fear. Now we must follow orders! The new Stasi will also rule, the witch-hunters will run ever more amok as they’ll have been given what they’ll see as a mandate to crush and destroy the heretics.

Meanwhile, the Deep State/corporate/MIC/media machine will smoothly roll on after the inconvenient Trump hiccup has been vanquished, doing what it does while the masses brawl far below them. Perhaps some virulently “woke” Dems (or whatever they are) will eventually come to wonder what happened to the utopia they thought they were ushering in, after a “friend” turns them in to the viral ruling tribunal for voicing an incorrect thought, or possessing a “racist” book, or ... well, anything. Yet these people are shaking with pleasure at the thought of voting out Trump and opening the door to this Orwellian hellscape!

So, they are certain, just like last time around, that they have already won and are busy ordering the champagne and measuring the drapes. Being sociopaths, they have no capacity for shame or humility. They might win, who knows, but let us hope this particular nightmare is something we will be spared ...

Good comment from “ss, Boston”:

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/10/21/us/politics/biden-election-landslide.html#commentsContainer&permid=109724282

And a few days later:

As the below comment points out, it’s astonishing that Biden hasn’t been questioned on his vile record and on nothing that happened while he was VP. The Obama years were a disastrous mess by any measure – they bolstered the terrifying rise of al qaeda/isis to try to get rid of Assad, droned countless people to death including three Americans; one of them a child who was given a death sentence for not “having a better father” as one of Obama’s henchmen put it.

Obama’s Tuesday death lists. Obama/Biden left the middle east in smoking ruins, hundreds of thousands dead and displaced, set off the biggest refugee exodus since WW2, destroyed Libya the richest country in Africa (a major war crime) and their psychotic Sec of State Hillary Clinton laughed about Ghaddaffi’s torture and death. Libya is now a hellscape and slave-trading market. Heck of a job, Biden!! What say you now? Alas no one will never hear his response, as the corrupt media, ever-loyal vassals to power and the the Deep State, zealously avoid any of these sticky wickets/thorny thickets. What flavor ice cream, Mr Vice president??

What about their reckless and relentless acts of aggression against Russia? Their bloody interference in Ukraine and Honduras? How about Obama/Biden ignoring Russia’s warning about the terrorist Chechen brothers, and [thus] their culpability in the horrific attack at the Boston marathon? All seemingly forgotten ... as is their vicious war on whistleblowers, further tanking the US economy, giving the bankers prizes for destroying the global economy while turning its back on “Main st”. What about the “Catfood Commission”? Do Democrats really not recall any of this?! What about Obama leaving the unions in Wisconsin twisting in the wind – never spoke in their favor or went to stand by them. Obama opposing the “morning after pill” for teenagers. His accolades for the monstrous TPP. The perfect Davos-haunting servants to the technocrats, to corporations, shipping away jobs, blithely ignoring rural America, the opioid crisis, deaths of despair, the growing unrest, mass shootings.

And the grotesquely twisted Democrats actually long for these years to return – and return they will, with a vengeance, only this time with gov’t-sanctioned riots and Red Guard–style “re-education”, etc, to add to the glory of it all. That Biden has not been asked a single question about those eight years as VP is simply stunning. All is so creepily Orwellian&anbsp;...

Good comment from “Stephen Koffler, New York”:

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/10/27/opinion/hunter-biden-story-media.html#commentsContainer&permid=109823697

And the next day:

Edall’s piece is entitled “How far might Trump go?” Interesting how it never occurs to wonder “How far might the Democrats go?” Or, to be horrified by how far the Orwellian Dems have already gone in the past four years in their Red Guard totalitarianism, endless riots which they approvingly call “peaceful protests” or “reparations”, and their general trashing and smashing-up of the country.

An indication of how much further they will go is pieces like this (like all the other screeds and manifestos in The New Woke Times) which are ginning up even more fear, hate and hysteria and inciting the Dems to go to war against their fellow Americans if they don’t “win”. It was the Dems who petulantly refused to accept the results of the last election in which Trump won fair and square, and yet Edsall writes this?!

They dare to screech about Trump not conceding if he “loses”, when they, from day one of Trump’s election, have torn the country apart over one lost election? When Hillary Clinton told Biden to “never, ever concede”? Engaged in an attempted coup, impeached a president for no reason other than revenge for winning an election. What this country has been put through because of these psychopaths is unforgivable. But they’re not done yet, they’re just getting started. These, the smugly self-proclaimed “decent” people, crave a bloody war against those they see as somehow beneath them. How DARE those peasants ever win against their natural overlords?! They should “know their place” (as that egg-thrower shouted at the Jews for Trump caravan). The Dems have gone so far over the edge they’ve become terrorists, yet they are terrified of the Republicans and Trump supporters, or anyone who won’t do as they say?!

Here’s a rare good comment from “Sunny 4 Life, South Lancaster Ontario”:

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/10/28/opinion/trump-biden-election-scenarios.html#commentsContainer&permid=109840705

Rí na Sióg

Rí na Sióg

Aistriúchán le Eoin Mc Evoy ar ‘Der Erlkönig’ 
le Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Cé seo ar an gcapall chomh deireanach san oíche?
An t-athair is a mhac ag rás tríd an ngaoth.
Tá an gasúr go daingean go socair lena ucht
Coinníonn sé teolaí lena chroí é go docht.

A mhaicín, cad chuige a bhfolaíonn tú d’aghaidh?
A Dheaide, nach bhfeiceann tú an tsióg ar an gclaí?
An Rí atá ann lena ruball is a choróin!
A mhaicín, a thaisce, níl ann ach bréid cheo.

Nach dtiocfaidh tú liom, a bhuachaillín lách?
Go dté muid ag súgradh le chéile go lá
Tá bláthanna áille thíos cois na trá
Is éadaí mar ór i seomraí mo mháthar.

A Dheaide, a Dheaide, nach gcloiseann tú chugainn
Glór Rí na Sióg ’ mo mhealladh go ciúin?
Fan socair, bí socair, ná bac leis, a chroí,
Níl ann ach na duilleoga á mbreith ag an ngaoth.

A pháiste chaoin dhil, nach dtiocfá anois?
Tabharfaidh m’iníonacha an-aire duit
Déanfaidh siad rince na sí ag an ráth
Cealgfar a chodladh thú le suantraí bhreá.

A Dheaide, a Dheaide, nach bhfeiceann tú thall
Iníonacha an Rí i ndorchacht na gcrann!
A mhaicín, a thaisce, sea, feicim go glé
Seansaileacha liatha is iad geal faoin ré.

Meallann do chló mé, a bhuachaill, a shearc,
Is murar teacht ded’ dheoin é, imreoidh mé forneart!
A Dheaide, a Dheaide, anois braithim a lámh!
Tá Rí na Sióg dom ghortú, dom chrá!

Tagann scéin ar an athair is géaráionn ar a phráinn
Le gach cnead óna ghasúr ina lámha go fann,
Isteach leis sa chlós go fuascrach garbh,
Thíos ina bhaclainn bhí an gasúr marbh.

September 21, 2020

Systemic Racism is Antihuman Bullshit

The assertion of “systemic racism”* is nihilist. It denies both past and future progress.

It is also absurd. Systemic, or institutional, racism is in fact illegal. When institutions are in violation, there are systems in place to address it.

Prejudice (not just racial), of course, remains an inherent aspect of the human psyche — and therefore most people know to suppress it (along with many other things in one’s psyche) or otherwise keep it to themselves when it might adversely affect their interactions with others. This is as true for members of historically subordinate groups as it is for those of historically dominant groups. It is how free people engage with each other to keep society working: treating each other as equals with mutual respect, including in debate and criticism. Above all, we cannot fear each other.

The assertion of systemic racism is a con. Rather than combat prejudice, it exploits it. It follows the model of what it condemns: Instead of racially tarring the victims of economic and social disparities as responsible or deserving of their lot, it tars the entire race to which the historically dominant have generally belonged — all of it, even those who cannot be said to be economically or socially dominant in any way. To those now to blame, it tells them to hate and fear themselves. They are blamed for a past they had no part of, by people who are also long out of that past. It warns them that even their children must have the sin purged from them — before it can manifest itself! And the gullible agree.

And like the most cynical of cults — or totalitarian reeducation — after breaking the spirit of its recruits, and its captive audiences in companies and government offices, utterly infantilizing them, denying them their faculties of doubt and reason, it provides an illusion of meaning by urging them to recruit others (Take a knee! Raise your fist! Say their names!), forcing more institutions — that have, along with the society they reflect, for decades striven against racism and other prejudice — to deny their own experience, to deny reality, and declare, against all evidence, that they are racist. There is no longer any life to be lived except through “The Movement”.

Thus an industry that depends on racism perpetuates itself, by perpetuating — even reviving — racism. By making idiots of everyone it takes control of and those who seek to appease its black-and-white absolutes in any way.†

Asserting that racism is unavoidable is nihilist. It denies individual agency. It makes resolution impossible. There is instead an industry of academics and consultants bent on keeping it that way, on making civil society impossible. In thus reviving racism, it remains “the white man’s burden” to validate “people of color” by means of this industry’s sadomasochistic rites of self-abasement, and of course generous fees and pay-offs like a latter-day indulgence scheme.

This is no way to live. There is no way forward in it, no redemption possible. It not only denies historical progress, it also — by asserting that racism is unavoidably “systemic” even to being “unconscious” — makes future progress impossible.

It necessarily ends in coercion and destruction.

*Also “critical race theory” and “unconscious bias”.

No debate allowed: “An admin turned off commenting for this post.

Dear Putney community,
As a current resident of Westminster and a part of the Putney community for 30 years, I want to thank community members and the Putney Selectboard for the decision to paint a Black Lives Matter sign on the road in front of Putney Central School [and someone’s house — did anyone ask?].
The “BLM is racist” painted on Route 5 in Putney in July was a gut punch. Black Lives Matter was created by three Black women following the murder of an innocent black teenager whose white killer walks free. BLM arose out of the desperation, anguish, and anger of Black Americans, who repeatedly and disproportionately experience death and brutality at the hands of police, who are stopped, arrested, and sentenced at much higher rates than white people [
in roughly the same proportion as Their commission of violent crimes], whose health outcomes and life expectancy severely lag those of whites. It’s a call to all of us to face the racism embedded in our society and ourselves and to work to change it.
I do not want to stand by at this critical time in our town and nation. Please, let’s honestly [
sic] confront our nation’s racist history and present and take concrete steps to show that all Black lives matter. Painting this affirming mural is a first step. Seeing it every day will give me and others the inspiration and strength to advocate for a more just nation. I need that reminder every day to keep up the work of outing the racism that’s inherent in me, as a white person in a system that purports to uphold justice for all but fails to deliver it.
Thank you,
Evie Lovett

“Olaf Errwigge” commented elsewhere on Facebook:

That essay makes a lot of good points, but I just realized another aspect: the rhetorical dodge of the "loaded question", ie, one that has an assumption built into it so that it can't be answered without appearing guilty. "What are you doing to combat racism?" First, it reduces all of life and society's issues to one (and because of countervailing evidence, insisting that it's "hidden, unconscious, historical, systemic, etc"), and second, it implies that you need to do something about racism ("Silence is Violence!"). It is impossible to answer without completely accepting all the premises built into it.