Wednesday, October 21, 2020


If you leave, I won't cry
I won't waste one single day
But if you leave, don't look back
I'll be running the other way


I'm off Twitter (TWTR). While it has been a useful resource for news and info, TWTR's censoring policies and left leaning political antics are unacceptable to me.

I've joined Parler which certainly is a lot...quieter. Am also beginning to visit a couple of alternative news sites to stay updated on current events.

no position

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Why Now?

We better stop
Hey, what's that sound?
Everybody look what's going down

--Buffalo Springfield

Using the Ireland situation as context, Ivor Cummins presents data that reinforces the lunacy of lockdowns.

His primary question is one I've been wondering for weeks? Why the emphasis on lockdowns now?

The answer is almost surely political.

Monday, October 19, 2020

Twitter the Censor

I'm wide awake
And I can see the perfect sky is torn
You're a little late
I'm already torn

--Natalie Imbruglia

A few years back I quit Facebook in part due to FB's questionable practices regarding sharing of user data. I am now having similar thought regarding Twitter. Twitter, along with Facebook and Google, has been engaging in blatant censoring of speech that they do not agree with.

My dilemma is that Twitter has been a good source of news, info. But their blatant censoring practices conflict with my sense of liberty. And am I reinforcing Twitter's sense of legitimacy by continuing to patronize their site?

I will decide soon.

Sunday, October 18, 2020

Give God Everything

Balian of Ibelin: How much is Jerusalem worth?
Saladin: Nothing...everything!
--Kingdom of Heaven

In today's gospel (Matthew 22:15-21), Jesus is once again confronted by the Pharisees seeking to trick Him. Like today's intellectuals, the Pharisees sought to trap people in their words.

Approaching Jesus with Roman representatives in tow, the Pharisees asked Jesus opinion about the lawfulness of paying taxes to Caesar.

Jesus reprimanded them for being the hypocrites that they were, and then asked to see a Roman coin. "Whose image is this?" Christ asked. "Caesar's," they said.

"Then repay to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to God what belongs to God."

Today many people, modern day Pharisees assuredly, hold up this passage as proof that Jesus condoned taxation and statism.

No way. Christ understood the sticky situation that he was in and that he needed to choose his words carefully.

To His followers, Christs words are easily construed to mean this: Give nothing to the state that it does not rightfully own (which is very little, if anything). Give everything that you own to God.

Saturday, October 17, 2020


It's easy to deceive
It's easy to tease
But hard to get release

--Billy Idol

Nice article discussing mask mechanics in the context of virus protection. Simply mind-boggling how far we've veered from true science.

Article should serve as nice future reference.

Thursday, October 15, 2020

Is It Time?

"Their prophet says 'submit.' Jesus says 'decide.'"
--Sybilla (Kingdom of Heaven)

The Judge's 'what ifs' are centered around the idea of let the people decide. Free will.

But at the end, he asks a particularly interesting series of what ifs:

"What if when government tramples our rights, we alter or abolish it? What if the time to do that is coming? What if that time is here?"

I have been wondering that myself.

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Crimes Against Humanity

"This trial has shown that under the stress of a national crisis, men--even able and extraordinary men--can delude themselves into the commission of crimes and atrocities so vast and heinous as to stagger the imagination."
--Judge Dan Haywood (Judgment at Nuremberg)

The president's new health advisor is beginning to assert himself. Not only are lockdowns unconscionable and reckless,

they can be seen as crimes against humanity.

Let's hope that those crimes are properly litigated.

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Wear Mask, Get Virus

Soldier in gas mask: Are you ok, sir?
Roy Neary: Yeah, I'm fine. And the only gas around here is from you guys farting around!

--Close Encounters of the Third Kind

Study recently posted on CDC site reports that masks are not effective at preventing positive CV19 cases, even among those who consistently wear masks. The July study conducted in the US compared the reported habits of 154 patients who tested positive for CV19 to a control group of 160 non CV19 patients from the same health care facility.

Over 70% of the case patients tested positive despite reporting that they 'always' wore a mask in public. About the same percentage of control patients also reports that they always wore a mask in public.

An additional 14% of CV19 positive patients reported that they 'often' wore a mask in public, implying that about 85% of positive case patients wore masks all or most of the time.

Only 4% of the case positive patients reported that they 'never' wore a mask. As shown in the table above, the p-value associated with the difference in reported face mask use between CV positive patients and control group is insignificant (p = 0.86).

Relatively small sample at a single facility to be sure, but another brick in the wall of evidence against mask efficacy.

Unfortunately, most who favor superstition over science certainly will.

Monday, October 12, 2020

Ultimate Disruptor

"They've got a lotta trouble on that ship."
--Admiral Bates

During the CV19 shutdown this past spring, the local Reds TV affiliate replayed the great 1975 World Series vs the Red Sox. 

I was watching Game 5 with the Reds up 2-1 in the bottom of the 6th. Joe Morgan led off. Sox starter Reggie Cleveland got ahead on the count. Morgan, who had the best eye in the game, took a couple of close ones for balls--the last one on a 3-2 count that had both Cleveland and catcher Carlton Fisk complaining about a missed strike call.

Down at first, Morgan took his characteristic huge lead off the bag with his right foot far out of the sliding pit onto the astro turf carpet. Cleveland picked to first, again and again--a couple of times almost uncorking wild ones. Completely distracted, Cleveland served a fat one to next hitter Johnny Bench, who promptly lined a hit to right center field. Challenging RF Dwight Evans' cannon arm, Morgan rounded second and headed for third--which he took with a headfirst slide and a cloud of dust. Bench went to second on the throw.

Clearly rattled, Cleveland now looked in at Tony Perez, who had already homered earlier in the game. A couple pitches later, Perez deposited a Cleveland fastball into the seats in left centerfield, blowing the game open.

Watching the inning unfold, I was thinking one thing: that was consummate Joe Morgan. He could wreak havoc in so many ways. The ultimate disruptor. The true driving force of the Big Red Machine.

Joe Morgan passed away today at age 77. We'll miss you, Little Joe.

Sunday, October 11, 2020

WHOs Next

I'll move myself and my family aside
If we happen to be left half alive
I'll get all my papers and smile at the sky
Though I know that the hypnotized never lie

--The Who

After waffling back and forth over the past few months, the World Health Organization (WHO) appears to be taking firm stand against lockdowns. The organization's concern is the economic consequences of shutting production and trade.

Although excessive costs of lockdown should have been obvious from the get go, it is good to see this influential agency going public with something truthful for a change.

Who might be next?

Saturday, October 10, 2020

Faceless Dystopias

Now all I can do
Love what was once
So alive in you

--Billy Idol

Interesting article associating present day mask wearing with dystopian visions conveyed by Huxley, Orwell, et al over the past century. The defining characteristic of the dystopian literature, proposes the author, is "the eradication of all individuality." 

A lesser known dystopian writer, German Ernst Junger, suggested that the face mask aptly symbolized the mechanistic uniformity of new age society. He wrote in 1932 that masks, at that time being developed for various war, industrial, and sporting functions, would "come to take on functions that we can today hardly imagine."

The author suggests that "our readiness to obscure the face reflects the dehumanising tendencies that, for Junger, underlie the modern period."

Many of the authors thoughts resonate. It does appear, based on my personal observation, that there is a strong, negative correlation between affinity for individualism and propensity for mask wearing. 

Given the ubiquity of mask wearing today, what does this imply about present human capacity to stave off collectivist takeovers similar to those portrayed by dystopian fiction.

Friday, October 9, 2020

Cheesy Masks

Evey Hammond: Who are you?
V: Who? Who is but the form following the function of what, and what I am is a man in a mask.
Evey Hammod: Well, I can see that.
V: Of course you can. I'm not questioning your powers of observation. I'm merely remarking upon the paradox of asking a masked man who he is.
Evey Hammond: Oh...right.

--V for Vendetta

What's one hint that mask mandates are a complete charade? There are no specifications, no performance requirements for masks. 

A mask is a filter. Serious scientific analysis of mask efficacy would study important filtration variables such as mesh size and thickness to determine minimum standards necessary to capture the virus.

So...we have an oppressive regulatory regime in place yet no regulations about what constitutes a 'valid' mask?

People are beginning to push this folly toward completion. 

Wear some cheesecloth, or even coarser netting.

Not fine enough? Why not? Where are the standards and the studies that explain how the requirements were derived?

Thursday, October 8, 2020

Lockdown Harm

Feed the babies
Who don't have enough to eat
Shoe the children
With no shoes on their feet
House the people
Living in the streets
Oh, oh, there's a solution

--Steve Miller Band

No public health official in favor of lockdowns has an intelligent reply to this question: how much will lockdowns cost in terms of human life and suffering?

More folks are beginning to estimate this cost. John Ioannidis of Stanford has written a recent paper lists several possible causes of excess deaths from lockdown measures (Table 1). Note the lengthy time horizons associated with some of these CODs to materialize.

This article cites research by Scott Atlas and others estimating that lockdown deaths from cancer, heart disease, suicide, and other causes could easily add up to more life years lost than from CV19. Moreover, the associated recession could push more than 60 million people into extreme poverty worldwide (that number seems conservative.

A declaration about the hazards of lockdown written by several scientists is attracting worldwide support.

The axiom that people are coming to realize is this. Prosperity (which includes health) depends on production and voluntary trade. Anything that impedes this process makes heath worse, not better. 

Stated differently, lockdowns lead to less production and trade. Less production and trade lead to higher poverty. Higher poverty leads to lower health. 

Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Courting Michigan

"I'm just a humble country lawyer trying to do the best I can against this brilliant prosecutor from the city of Lansing."
--Paul Biegler (Anatomy of a Murder)

Add Michigan to the list of states taking judicial action to upend government by edict. Looking forward to more state legislatures getting back in session. When legislatures deliberate and discuss issues from various perspectives, then they more accurately represent the people than does a dictatorial governor.

Use the courts to get states back into the hands of legislatures. Into the hands of the people. Back to being a republic.

Tuesday, October 6, 2020

Siren of Satan

"There will be a day when you will wish that you had done a little evil to do a greater good."
--Sybilla (Kingdom of Heaven)

Difficult to tell if they are being genuine or not, but many pro-lockdowners are questioning what others are complaining about. Except for schools being shut, everything else is pretty much open, they argue.

This is statist mentality. Some of your freedoms still remain, so what's the beef?

The problem, of course is that any restriction on liberty, particularly when made by edict, is unacceptable to people endowed with inalienable rights to liberty.

"C'mon, don't be selfish. Surrender some of your freedom in the name of security. Permit a little evil for the greater good."

Those who know better shun this Siren of Satan, and refuse to make this trade.

Monday, October 5, 2020

Deep State of Public Health

You're in hiding
And you hold your meetings
I can hear you coming
I know what you're after
We're wise to you this time
We won't let you kill the laughter

--Red Rider

The deep state is commonly associated with military, security, and intelligence bureaus. There can be little doubt now that public health agencies should be added to the list of deep state operatives.

Similar to other deep state bureaus, public health officials are unelected governments bureaucrats that can pursue their own agendas with little fear of reprisal. They can retaliate against administrations that threaten their existence. Left unchecked, they can undermine liberty.

Hopefully the last few months have taught us to check the power of the deep state of public health.

Sunday, October 4, 2020

Parable of the Landowner

Balian of Ibelin: What becomes of us?
Imad: As you deserve. You reap what you sow. You have heard of this, no?

--Kingdom of Heaven

Today we ponder the Parable of the Landowner (Matthew 21:33-43)--perhaps the most jarring of all parables when the light switches on.

Meeting with political, religious, and intellectual elite, Jesus presents the following parable:

A landowner builds a vineyard and leases it to tenants. He then travels out of town. Because he is still away at harvest time, the landowner sends some servants to the vineyard to obtain his produce. Rather than paying what they owe, the tenants kill the servants.

The landowner then sends more servants, but the tenants kill them as well. 

Finally, the landowner sends his own son, reasoning that he will be respected and the tenants will turn over what is his. Instead, the tenants see this as an opportunity to expropriate the landowner's property by killing the one who was to inherit the vineyard. So they murdered the son.

Christ then turns to the elite and asks them what the landowner should do to those tenants upon his return to the vineyard. 

Paraphrasing their response: "He should kill every one of those sons of bitches and find new tenants who will be loyal and productive."

I wonder if the elitists stopped right there...and saw the light.

Saturday, October 3, 2020


Billy Chapel: Don't crowd me, Sam. I hate being crowded.
Vin Scully: So, one and two the count, and, whoops, Tuttle has really moved up on the plate. He's all over the plate right now.
Billy Chapel: Now you got the idea (in response to catcher's signal for up and in pitch).
Vin Scully: Uh-oh, down goes Tuttle! What a knockdown pitch that was! There's a message being delivered.

--For Love of the Game

The first World Series that I remember is the 1967 Fall Classic between the St Louis Cardinals and the Boston Red Sox. Cards pitcher Bob Gibson threw games 1, 4, and 7. He won all three, throwing complete games in each and giving up only one run in 27 inning pitches while striking out 26. He also added a home run at the plate on his way to being named the series MVP.

This was Gibson's second World Series MVP, btw. In 1964 he led the Cardinals to a seven game series win vs the Yankees. He started three games in that series as well--striking out 31 in 27 innings pitched.

In 1968 the Cardinals returned to face the Detroit Tigers in the World Series. There was Bob Gibson again, throwing three complete games while striking out 35. Unfortunately, the Cards lost game 7 when a fly ball was misplayed by centerfielder Curt Flood.

His lifetime World Series stats: 3 series, 9 games started, 8 complete games, 7-2 record, 81 innings pitched (9 game x 9 innings/game), 92 strikeouts, 1.89 ERA.

Gibson also pitched one of the first games I saw at Crosley Field. Gazing from behind Crosley's bulletproof backstop behind home plate, I marveled at Gibson as he spun like a top off the mound toward first base after his delivery.

As fierce a competitor that you'll ever see ('up and in' never a prob for him), Bob Gibson passed away yesterday at the age of 84.

RIP Gibby.

Friday, October 2, 2020

Coroner Report

"We are being detoured into the land of make-believe."
--Horatio Caine (CSI: Miami)

Milwaukee coroner suspects at least one fifth of CV19 deaths have been misclassified. Like Alex Berenson, I sense that is likely on the lower bound of error here.

Adds more to the notion of auditing death certificates to determine count accuracy.

Thursday, October 1, 2020

Old Decisions

Give me your answer
Fill in a form
Mine for evermore

--The Beatles

"We must protect the elderly." Nearly everyone assumes that rules must be enforced to limit old people's exposure to the virus.

But the older you are, the less time you have left. Do you really want to spend your remaining days isolated from those people that mean the most to you?

This is not the choice for regulators. It is a choice for the old and their loved ones.

Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Social Cost of Masks

I went back to the doctor
To get another shrink
I sit and tell him 'bout my weekend
But he never betrays what he thinks

--The Who

Thomas Massie notes another problem with masks. In addition to doing nothing from virus protection standpoint, masks impair social exchange. 

When faces are masked, we learn less about, and from, others.  Transaction costs increase. Social power declines.

That's what statists want.

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Ceremonial Compliance

It starts when you're always afraid
Step out of line
The man come and take you away

--Buffalo Springfield

Trevor Bauer rants about the inconsistencies associated with the so-called 'bubble' arranged by MLB for playoff games.

You're catching on, Trev. This isn't about so-called science or safety. It's about looking good and complying to institutional norms. 

"It's all for PR sake," he concludes.

Indeed. Ceremonial compliance in order to acquire or maintain legitimacy.

Monday, September 28, 2020


"Wreck it."
--Bobby Mack (For Love of the Game)

As Ron Paul notes, Soviet Communists often called dissidents who disputed party line norms 'wreckers.' Today's wreckers are those who question 'science' such as global warming and virus response

Wreckers are told to cease disputing the wisdom of 'experts' because the 'science has been settled.'

Wreckers know better than their 'betters.' Science is never settled. Those who claim otherwise are statists disguised as scientists. True scientists are always questioning in efforts to get closer to the truth.

When you are being told to be quiet because the science has been settled, then you know you're on the right track.

Be a wrecker.

Sunday, September 27, 2020

Agenda Driven

"I think we all understand your real motivation here, Vera."
--Howard Prescott (The Secret of My Success)

Posts like the one Tara Ross comments on reinforces the hypothesis that the motivation for synchronized lockdowns goes beyond merely fear and self-preservation.

Factions that believe in authoritarian rule to achieve various objectives ranging from degrowth to climate control see opportunity to restrain liberty.

Now that they have shown themselves how seizing power is possible, they want to use what they have learned to achieve long held agendas.

Saturday, September 26, 2020

We're In!

"You know what we get today, Brooks? We get to play BASEBALL!"
--Jimmy Morris (The Rookie)

Big shout out to the Cincinnati Reds on clinching a playoff birth last night. Left for dead a couple weeks back, the Reds strung together a big streak culminating last night with a dominating performance against the Minnesota Twins.

Now hoping we can win at least one of the final two games of the series to seal an above .500 season.

Friday, September 25, 2020

Litigate the Lockdowns

"The law must be engraved in our hearts and practiced every minute to the letter and spirit. It can't even exist unless we're willing to go down into the dust and blood and fight a battle every day of our lives to preserve it. For our neighbor as well as ourselves."
--Justice Michael Lightcap (The Talk of the Town)

A week or so back, a federal judge ruled Pennsylvania's lockdown order unconstitutional. Court cases are surfacing elsewhere.

This to me has been the intuitive approach since the beginning. Litigate the lockdowns, and the authoritarian case collapses.

Thursday, September 24, 2020

Superstition Over Science

We're making things I've never seen before
Behind bolted doors

--Oingo Bingo

In an Harvard Business Review article on the topic of evidence-based management, Pfeffer and Sutton (2006) cited research suggesting that the vast majority of medical decision are evidence-based. When I first read that claim years ago, I was skeptical of its validity. Unfortunately, the CV19 hysteria has substantiated it many times over.

How many policies recommended or enacted by health agencies over the past few months are grounded in conclusive evidence? Few. Masks, surface cleaning, handwashing, asymptomatic spread...

Superstition over science.


Pfeffer, J. & Sutton, R.I. (2006). Evidence-based management. Harvard Business Review, 84(1): 62-74.

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Misleading PCR

You fell and cried as our people were starving
Now you know that we blame you
You tried to walk on a trail we were carving
Now you know that we framed you

--The Who 

A retired Pfizer (PFE) scientist explains what these pages have already noted. Even a seemingly low 0.8% false positive rate creates misinformation when underlying infection prevalence is low.

He suggests that, in the UK, broad 'Pillar 2' testing using the PCR amplification methodology to diagnose cases has resulted in about 90% of official case counts to be false.

Moreover, he claims that PCR (i.e., polymerase chain reaction) techniques are better employed as laboratory research tools rather than for population disease screening. The large degree of amplification required to pick up a strand of viral genetic code is prone to significant error. In particular, PCR tests cannot distinguish between living virus and a short strand of RNA that broke into pieces some time back.

His analysis tells him that UK health officials have used faulty case counting using PCR tests that deliberately misled legislative bodies and the public.

The same is true for the US.

position in PFE

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Publisher vs Platform

I read the news today
Oh boy

--The Beatles

As noted here, Twitter claims that it is not a is a 'platform' company. It merely provides a platform for the work of others.

This is a bogus claim.

Twitter makes editorial decisions when it picks and chooses among content that is posted on its site in order to convey or suppress a point of view.

It is plainly a publisher.

Monday, September 21, 2020

Death Audits

"I need to finish."
--Christian Wolff (The Accountant)

Alex Berenson grabs a small sample of death certificates in Milwaukee to demonstrate the subjectivity of CV19-related death counts.

My sense is that the only way we'll get an accurate count of true CV19 deaths is to audit these death certificates for proper disposition.

The public health complex will resist this with all its might, of course.

Sunday, September 20, 2020

Vine and Whine

"Sure don't look none too prosperous."
--Tom Joad (The Grapes of Wrath)

When Christ speaks in parables, God's wisdom is revealed as if a brilliant light had just been switched on. He tells the story and, click, we suddenly see.

We have recounted several parables previously, including the Parable of the Talents, the Lost and Found Parables, and the Parable of the Rich Fool. In today's gospel, we are treated to the Parable of the Laborers in the Vineyard (Matthew 20:1-16).

Jesus tells us that the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who goes out at dawn to hire laborers for his vineyard. After agreeing with the workers on the wage to be paid at day's end, the landowner sets them to work in the fields.

Several times during the day, the landowner finds groups of people standing around town and not being productive. He tells them to go to his vineyard and work, and that at the end of the day he will pay them what is just.

At the end of the day, the landowner told the foreman to pay the laborers in reverse order starting with those workers who had arrived latest in the day. To their surprise, the late arrivers were paid a full day's wage. When they saw this, those who started working at the beginning of the day anticipated a bonus because they had arrived first and had worked more hours than the late arrivers. 

To their disappointment, however, they were also paid a full day's wage like the others. They complained to the landowner, whining that, although they had worked longer and harder than the late arrivers, they were paid the same daily wage. The landowner then replies,

"My friends, I am not cheating you. Did you not agree with me for the usual daily wage? Take what is yours and go. What if I wish to give this last one the same as you? Or am I not free to do as I wish with my own money? Are you envious because I am generous?" [emphasis mine]

Christ concludes, "Thus, the last will be first, and the first shall be last."

What do you see when the light switches on? I see God's message of helping idle people become productive late in life, the divine nature of contracts and property rights, the danger of envy and covetousness, and the chasm between earthly and heavenly notions of 'fairness.'

Saturday, September 19, 2020

Rogue State Sweden

Clarence Beeks: Let me would be from Austria. Am I right?
Ophelia: No, I am Inga from Sweden.

--Trading Places

In order for active agency in public health and politics to 'work', all jurisdictions must be on the same page. If one state breaks from the pack, then it makes poor decisions much more difficult to cover up.

During the CV19 situation, Sweden has been the rogue. It has refused to fall in line with the pandemic party line. No hard lockdowns, mask mandates, or other popular countermeasures.

First came pressure to conform. Then ridicule.

But now Sweden's results are visible to all--to the consternation of lockdown authoritarians worldwide. 

Friday, September 18, 2020

False Positives and Prevalence

Dark side's calling now
Nothing is real

--John Cafferty & the Beaver Brown Band

The false positive rate (FPR) of CV19 diagnostic tests is currently being quoted at about 0.8%. Pretty low, right? Not if current prevalence (i.e., infection rates) are also low.

An FPR of 0.8% means that, out of every 1000 people tested, eight will be indicated as having the virus who are actually infection free. If 1000 are tested and ten test positive, then only two are likely to actually be infected (10 positive tests - 8 false positives = 2 true positives). The already low unadjusted prevalence of 1% (10 positive cases/1000 tested) is actually 0.2% (2 true positives/1000 tested).

When prevalence is low, false positives comprise the majority of cases and skew indicated prevalence much higher than it really is.

Now, let's suppose that 1000 people are tested and 100 test positive. At a 0.8% FPR, then the number of true positives = 100 - 8 = 92. The unadjusted prevalence of 10% (100 positive cases/1000 tested) drops to 9.2% (92 true positives/1000 tested).

Even at lower FPRs, diagnostic tests can mislead if prevalence is low.

Thursday, September 17, 2020

Mask Hysteria Not New

"What happens to us in the future? Do we become assholes or something?
--Marty McFly (Back to the Future)

When we look back at it retrospectively, the CV19 pandemic may have spawned some of the most unintelligent and ill-advised public policies in history. Mandatory mask wearing seems the poster-child for the hysteria. Although both supporting theory and evidence are marginal at best, mask mandates have become centerpieces of public health countermeasures. 

However, mask hysteria is not a new phenomenon. During the 1918 Spanish flu epidemic, people similarly gravitated toward mask mandates...

Perhaps it shouldn't be surprising. People see a respiratory virus, and they believe that covering mouths will help--theory and evidence be damned. Or maybe its simply about virtue signaling--institutional pressure to conform for the 'common good.'

This time around, mask wearing includes a political element. Surveys suggest that the vast majority of Democrats regularly wear masks while far fewer Republicans do so.

Why should this be? Not sure, but it would be interesting to research whether similar political divisions regarding masks existed during the Spanish flu.

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

It's About Time

"Get on the wire. Tell them how to bring those sons of bitches down."
--General William Grey (Independence Day) 

A federal judge has ruled Pennsylvania's lockdown orders unconstitutional.

As Judge Nap observes, this is an 'it's about time' ruling. No emergency grants dictatorial powers to government officials at any level. There is not pandemic exception written into the Bill of Rights.

Let's hope similar rulings start surfacing in other juridictions.

Monday, September 14, 2020

Geographic Patterns

You take what you need
And you leave the rest
But they should never
Have taken the very best

--The Band

Another nice picture of seasonal/geographic virus pattern in the US. Northern latitude states toward the front, southern states toward the back.

The pattern is readily apparent. The mortality curve in northern states generally peaks earlier and at higher levels than in southern states.

The exception is Louisiana which, as noted previously, essentially imported the virus for Mardi Gras from outbreaks already in motion in northern states.

This empirical relationship should be at the forefront of public health officials and media reports.

But it isn't. Why not?

Sunday, September 13, 2020

Turn the Table

Tommy Williams: What's he in here for?
Ellis Boyd 'Red' Redding: Murder.
Tommy Williams: The hell you say!

--The Shawshank Redemption

With CV19 case counts clearly declining despite huge testing rates, lockdown enthusiasts are losing their main source of fear mongering. How will they keep their narrative going from here? The 'long haul' hysterics don't seem to be getting much traction. What keeps the panic alive?

I think they will try to convert excess deaths caused by lockdown to deaths caused by the virus. Mortality will surely increase due to lower standard of living from less production and trade, health procedures that were cancelled or delayed, and other causes.

Lockdowners might simply claim that those deaths are COVID caused--i.e., they wouldn't have happened if the virus didn't arise. Or they might claim that the deaths are being caused because relief packages were not large enough to support those damaged by 'essential' countermeasures.

As in the movies, the perps will try to turn the table and others for their crimes.

Saturday, September 12, 2020

Regulations as Restrictions

In violent times
You shouldn't have to sell your soul
In black and white
They really, really ought to know

--Tears for Fears

Professor Bylund notes that regulations are restrictions--i.e. they limit behavior. Regulations can either force people to a) restrain from engaging in behavior that they would otherwise do, or b) engage in behavior that they would not otherwise do.

Bylund suggests that people often confuse what regulations actually do with what they believe will be the ultimate outcomes associated with implementing regulations. For example, air pollution regulations do not 'clean the air.' They restrict behavior--in this case the emission of enumerated pollutants. 

However, these restrictions do not necessarily lead to cleaner air. Forcibly limiting the emission of a certain substance might result in increased emission of a less-cost effective pollutant.

We can easily apply this notion to the regulations bundled into CV19 lockdowns. Proponents view these regulations as reducing health system burdens and mortality. In reality, the restrictions imposed by lockdowns reduce economic production and trade as well as social interaction--all of which are far more likely to increase health system load and mortality in the long run.

Stated differently, lockdown regulations thought by some to lower costs are almost certain to explode them higher.

Friday, September 11, 2020

Two Holes

There seemed no way to make up
'Cause it seemed you mind was set
And the way you looked at me
It's a look I know I'll never forget
--Phil Collins

I was born nearly 19 years after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. In my younger years especially, the Day of Infamy and the war that followed seemed so distant. My visions of it are in black and white--shaped by the old war movies. Today, Pearl Harbor's most tangible artifact is the memorial above the remains of the USS Arizona.

Today marks 19 years since the 9/11 event. Most of those born today will undoubtedly look back on the day that changed my world similar to how I viewed the day that changed the world of my parents and grandparents. Static. Remote.

After all, the tangible remains available to them consist of two holes in the ground.

Thursday, September 10, 2020

Support Group

Sometimes in our lives we all have pain 
We all have sorrow
But if we are wise
We know that there's always tomorrow

--Bill Withers

Tech-led selloff finds major indexes sitting on their 50 day moving avgs.

Whether those levels serve as support will be first test of severity.

Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Same As It Ever Was

And you may ask yourself
Am I right, Am I wrong?
And you may say to yourself
My God! What have I done?
--Talking Heads

Although the latest example of surrendering freedom in the name of security seems unprecedented, it can be seen as the latest in a long train of capitulations and compromises.

Typically, people don't first vote on it. Instead, liberty is compromised, then people consent to it. Government expansion happens first. People adapt to and live with it second.

People trading God's precious gift for some earthly good. Same as it ever was.

Tuesday, September 8, 2020

Elderly Choice

I felt all flushed with fever
Embarrassed by the crowd
I felt he found my letters
And read each one out loud
--Roberta Flack

Even among those skeptical about lockdowns and other CV19 countermeasures, there has been broad agreement about staying away from the elderly--to keep them and other vulnerable groups isolated from exposure to the virus.
However, many elderly people are realizing that they do not want to waste their remaining time in isolation. They want to live.

No worldly policy can rightly dictate who gets to live a full life. We have all been equally endowed with that right by our creator.

Old age does not disqualify freedom of choice.

Monday, September 7, 2020

Over Reporting Deaths

In violent times
You shouldn't have to sell your soul
In black and white
They really, really ought to know
--Tears for Fears

Some people claim that CV19 death counts are accurate or in vastly under reported. Why, then, do we see the following practices?

1) With vs From. Counting deaths of people thought to have CV19 (either now or in the past) rather than deaths of people who die because of CV19.

2) Legacy Death Laundering. Looking at past records (possibly months ago) for deaths that can be attributed to CV19 and reporting their occurrence today.
Under reported? No way. These bogus practices tell us health officials, politicians, and their media lackeys are all working to over report CV19 deaths.

We have a classic agency problem.

Sunday, September 6, 2020

With vs From

Purple haze
All in my brain
Lately things
They don't seem the same
--Jimi Hendrix

Analysis of Swedish mortality data indicates that fatalities with CV19 assigned as direct COD are about 15% the 'official' country death count.
Stated differently, far more people die 'with' the virus than 'from' it--something that overt data manipulation really told us already.

Suspect that analysis of US data would indicate similar.

Saturday, September 5, 2020

Critical Race Theory

Dean Yeager: Your theories are the worst kind of popular tripe, your methods are sloppy, and your conclusions are highly questionable. You are a poor scientist, Dr Venkman.
Dr Peter Venkman: I see.

Critical race theory (CRT) is a collection of propositions related to the social justice movement--e.g., that so-called 'white privilege' and 'institutional racism' restrain upward mobility of black people. Calling this 'theory' is like putting lipstick on a pig. It is a rhetorical device meant to cast legitimacy on an amalgamation of popular tripe.

Not surprisingly, agencies under the Obama administration had been using taxpayer dollars to indoctrinate CRT on the masses. Thankfully, the Trump administration is ending this indoctrination program.
Government should not support 'training' of any type. The CRT situation demonstrates why.

Friday, September 4, 2020

Contextual Rot

"You're dead, son. Get yourself buried."
--J.J. Hunsecker (Sweet Smell of Success)

A classic practice of shyster journalism is to interview a target that you want to blacken, collect pages of conversation from him/her, and then cut and past small snippets out of the original context to fit your very different context.

Clay Travis demonstrates here. Out of 28 pages of interview quotes, the Washington Post writer hell bent on producing a hit piece selected 94 words to fit his narrative.
As Travis observes, many people don't have the resources to defend themselves against media ambush. Fortunately Travis does.
We're all fortunate, really, since Travis is willing to endure discomfort to expose contextual media rot.

Thursday, September 3, 2020

Atlas Strength

We know you've got to blame someone
For your own confusion
But we're on guard this time
Against your final solution
--Red Rider

President Trump's appointment of Dr Scott Atlas of the Stanford biomedicine group to his White House CV19 team strikes fear into the authoritarian lockdown crowd. Not surprisingly, the appointment has fostered smear pieces from the mainstream media aimed at discrediting Atlas.
It won't work.

If Atlas is able to wrestle the podium away from Anthony Fauci and broadly share his evidence-based approach with the American people, then the game is up for the lockdown crowd.

Let's hope that Atlas intends to flex his strength.

Wednesday, September 2, 2020

Needing Fear

Danny Costanzo: What's wrong with being careful?
Captain Logan: Careful gets you killed in this line of work. You think about getting shot and you get shot.
--Running Scared

There is a certain faction of the lockdown crowd that is fearful. They NEED to be fearful.

If they did not fear for their lives and that things are terrible, then they would need to admit that their view of the world was wrong.

The psychic pain of that specter is perceived as greater than the cost of their charade. So their psychosis persists.

Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Reset and Degrowth

"Now, if my calculations are correct, when this baby hits 88 miles per hour, you're going to see some serious shit!"
--Dr Emmett Brown (Back to the Future)

Building on yesterday's post of coordinated authoritarian policies meant to effect large-scale social change, we have this quote from a WEF bureaucrat:
It is easy to postulate that a degrowth mindset provides a unifying force among factions that require a 'reset' by the strong arm of government to advance their agendas.

Monday, August 31, 2020

Conspiring Thoughts

"A good conspiracy is unprovable. I mean, if you can prove it, it means they screwed up somewhere along the line."
--Jerry Fletcher (Conspiracy Theory)

Alex Berenson touches on a question that has been nagging me for months.
 Has the perverse behavior by public health and political actors across broad geographies been scripted, or has it resulted from unplanned cooperation among various factions that suddenly recognized common opportunity?

I used to think the latter. But the persistent, coordinated nature of the movement increasingly finds me seriously considering the former.

Sunday, August 30, 2020

Fill In the Blank

You must explain
Why this must be
Did you lie
When you spoke to me?
--The Clash

Follow Alex Berenson's train of thought here and fill in the blank. Public health agencies are classifying deaths as COVID caused by matching deaths with CV19 case records...
...but inaccuracy of the diagnostic tests overstate the true infection level...

...which means that the number of people who have truly died from CV19-related causes is ____ than officially reported.

Saturday, August 29, 2020

California Totalitarianism

Relax said the night man
We are programmed to receive
You can check out any time you like
But you can never leave

The governor of California has put out a new, completely arbitrary 'blueprint' that dictates (quite literally) which businesses can operate in the state.
All based on case counts. Why these thresholds? Why not focus on severity?
The California version of socialist totalitarianism.

Friday, August 28, 2020

Legislatures Stirring

"Splash four!"
--Lt Pete 'Maverick' Mitchell (Top Gun)

One of the biggest head scratchers during this pandemic has been the abandonment by state legislatures of their duty to represent the people through open discussion and debate of any proposed government-sponsored public health countermeasures. Instead, state legislatures have stepped back and permitted governors to rule with dictatorial power.

Perhaps things are changing. Colorado House leader is suing the governor over statewide mask order.

Better yet, Idaho House votes to end state emergency (which governor has used to justify discretionary rule) immediately.
Let's hope that a little stirring turns into some big splashing.

Thursday, August 27, 2020

Saturation Bias

Every single day
Every word you say
Every game you play
Every night you stay
I'll be watching you
--The Police

I wonder this myself. It seems the media has pulled out all stops on this one. No pretense of objectivity.
Perhaps the market for bias has become saturated.

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Lincoln and Tariffs

It was a shakedown cruise
And now we're sending out the news
There ain't no victory at sea
Unless it's mutiny
--Jay Ferguson

These pages have occasionally considered the myths surrounding Abraham Lincoln, often with the help of Professor Tom DiLorenzo. In this article, DiLorenzo discusses how Lincoln's position on tariffs helped vault him to the presidency.

By the 1850s, the world was largely moving away from mercantilist policy. Protective tariffs were being eliminated across Europe in favor of free trade. By 1857, the 15% average American tariff was the country's lowest import tax rate of the nineteenth century. The subsequent Confederate Constitution outlawed protectionist tariffs altogether.

Leaders in Northern states, however, were reluctant to surrender wealth gained from decades of cronyism afforded by the American System. They wanted to continue tariff protections as well as government funded 'internal improvement' projects. They also lusted for a central bank controlled by politicians similar to the Bank of England.

Lincoln was the ideal presidential candidate for the going institutionalization of the American System. He was a devout protectionist who, through his railroad industry connections, could wire himself into influential industrialists and media moguls in the North to get out the protectionist vote.

Two days before Lincoln's inauguration, his predecessor James Buchanan signed the Morrill Tariff bill into law which legally raised tariffs on some imports by 100%+ and hastened Southern secession proceedings.  The South, you see, had already borne the brunt of protective tariffs for many years. Being primarily agricultural producers, Southern states had to purchase manufactured goods either from the North (where protectionist tariffs permitted higher prices on domestic goods) or from producers abroad (whose goods were being taxed at exorbitant tariff rates). Consequently, Southern standard of living was being compromised whenever American tariffs were imposed on imported goods.

Lincoln would subsequently sign ten more tariff-increasing bills over the course of his presidency.

In his first inaugural address, Lincoln stated that it was his 'duty' to collect the newly implemented tariffs. He promised that, in one of the more thinly veiled threats uttered in presidential history, there would be no 'invasions' or 'bloodshed' as long as states dutifully collected the requisite tariff fees on imported goods. He subsequently imposed naval blockades on several Southern ports, including Charleston, to ensure tariff collection.

We know how that worked out.

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Real Super Spreader

I bet you're wonderin' how I knew
'Bout your plans to make me blue
--Marvin Gaye

Hard not to recognize truth in this.

The real super spreader of this virus has been the media.

Monday, August 24, 2020

False Case Counts

Yeah there's a storm on the loose
Sirens in my head
Wrapped up in silence
All circuits are dead
--Golden Earring

As predicted by some, lots of false positives showing up in pro sports CV19 testing. Of course, they have the resources to get more tests.
Everyday people, however, usually get just one test. And false positive or not, that record goes into the official case count data base.

How many case counts being reported are the result of testing error?

Reinforces the lunacy of using case counts to assess pandemic severity.

Sunday, August 23, 2020


And baby I'll rule, I'll rule, I'll rule, I'll rule
Let me live that fantasy

Suppose a viral epidemic hits a state ruled by a dictatorship. What would the dictatorship do in response?

Compare that to the measures taken by many states supposedly ruled by republican form of government.

What is the difference?

Saturday, August 22, 2020

Good Graphic

I've been looking so long at these pictures of you
That I almost believe that they're real
I've been living so long with my pictures of you
That I almost believe that the pictures
Are all I can feel
--The Cure

Nice graphic that visually compares case count (top series) vs severity count (bottom series).
Obvious question is why should policymakers be focused on case counts--particularly those based on diagnostic tests with considerable error?

Friday, August 21, 2020

Two Trillion

Come out of the things unsaid
And shoot an apple off my head

Apple (AAPL) becomes first $2 trillion stock. After the sell in March, AAPL has put on a trillion in market cap.
btw, $2T represents about 10% of annual US GDP pre-corona.

no position

Thursday, August 20, 2020

Zero Tolerance

Who would be the fool to take you
Be more than just kind
Step into a life of maybe
Love is hard to find
--Culture Club

On the back of a Red's announcer being quickly suspended (and perhaps worse) for language used when he thought he was off mike, I am once again reminded of the irony associate with so-called 'zero tolerance' policies for using words deemed 'offensive' by particular groups. The logic goes something like this:

Diversity is good.

Differences between groups should be tolerated.

However, if you use language about those groups that differs from ours...

...then that won't be tolerated.


Zero tolerance policy is juvenile folly.

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

The Real Sickness

"If you listen real close, you can hear them whisper their legacy to you. Go on...lean in. Listen. You hear it? Carpe...Hear it? Carpe...carpe diem. Seize the day, boys. Make your lives EXTRAORDINARY."
--John Keating (Dead Poets Society)

As Tom Woods observes, the real sickness out there is not a virus. It is "irrational, fact-free response."

Life has been gifted to use by God, along with the freedom to live it. No one else is entitled to your life.

If some people want to live locked in their homes until they die, then they are free to do so. But they are not entitled to strap others in with them.

Shed the sickness of irrationality. Choose reason and be free.

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

History is Rhyming

Then you say
Go slow
I fall behind
The second hand unwinds
--Cyndi Lauper

The Twitter analyst army continues to ask questions that the credentialed 'scientists' (and I do use that term loosely) should have already answered. e.g., "How does do CV19 patterns compare to past virus onsets?"

Comparisons to recent seasonal virus case counts in Germany. Answer: similar.
Comparison to 2003 SARS in US states. Answer: similar. Also SARS fits the latitude/seasonal pattern.
History is rhyming.

Monday, August 17, 2020

Lockdown Stringency Analysis

Neal Page: He says we're going the wrong way.
Del Griffith: Oh, he's drunk. How would he know where we're going?
--Planes, Trains & Automobiles

Although Twitter can devolve into a cesspool of negativity and ad hominem back biting, the CV19 situation has revealed that Twitter provide a platform for an army of analytical talent to share exceptional work. Here's another example, this one studying the relationship between lockdown stringency among EU nations and CV19 morbidity. I've pulled some of the graphics from the thread for viewing here.

First, the cumulative stringency index estimated for various EU countries. There are several stringency indexes floating around. All of them involve scales aim at rating the intensity of authoritarian measures implemented. This particular scale sums daily stringency ratings to get a cumulative total that can be applied against measures of dependent variables summed over the same time period.

Next, CV19 deaths/million population for each country. If lockdowns were 'working,' then one would expect a negative relationship between lockdowns and virus deaths. Here, not only is the relationship not negative, it is weakly positive, suggesting that more intense lockdowns result in more deaths. R-squared clocks in at 0.138, which not all that bad for a 'macro' study. This result echoes findings from other work discussed on these pages.

Finally, stringency vs change in GDP. Here we find a negative relationship as expected (i.e., the more stringent the lockdown, the larger the decline in GDP). Solid R2 of about 0.487.

Would be interesting to see this analysis applied to US states.

Sunday, August 16, 2020

Alles fur Sicherhiet

--Men Without Hats

"Be safe." Perhaps the most common salutation uttered over the past few months.
Not once have I heard, "Be free."

Yet, history suggests that those who trade vital freedom for a modicum of near term security are neither free nor safe in the long run.

Be free.