Friday, July 31, 2020

Dereliction of Duty

"I take it you don't care about the part you had in breaking one of the best men you'll ever know. As air exec you were in command here the moment Colonel Davenport left. You met that responsibility exactly how you met his need. You ran out on it."
--General Frank Savage (Twelve O'clock High)

I don't understand it, either. Why aren't state legislatures meeting to debate and decide what to do? Further, why aren't courts blocking authoritarian rule in each state?

Article 4, Section 4 of the Constitution guarantees that each state a republican form of government (a.k.a. 'the Guarantee Clause'). Currently, states are being ruled by dictators. And legislative and judicial branches have abdicated their responsibilities.

If legislatures do not meet and courts do not rule, then why isn't the federal government justified in intervening in state affairs such that representative government is re-established? Otherwise, the federal government is not upholding its constitutional mandate set forth by the Guarantee Clause.

Thus far it's been dereliction of duty all around.

Thursday, July 30, 2020

School Daze

We don't need to education
We don't need no thought control
--Pink Floyd

Yes, socialists are trying to destabilize the system. But some of their tactics are downright headscratching. One is the effort to defund police. Socialists need strong armed agents to enforce their agenda. They need to buy, not sell, police force.

The other is the effort to shut down schools--particularly public schools. Socialists seem to be focusing on the disruption that shutting schools will create chaos for children who need socialization with their peers as well as for working parents who depend on schools as a day care service.

What socialists don't seem to be factoring in is the possibility that many people will seek education alternatives. Homeschooling plus innovative perhaps tech driven ed alternatives might rise to meet demand and render the public school model obsolete.

If this were to happen, then socialists would lose a primary channel for indoctrinating young minds.

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Corona Quiz

Nathan Algren: I have questions.
Katsumoto: Questions come later.
--The Last Samurai

I've been dreaming of drawing up a ten question quiz on the CV19 situation. Infection and mortality rates, what studies currently say about how virus is transmitted, efficacy of PPE such as masks, etc. My sense is that the average score would be low, and that mistakes would be skewed toward answers that suggest people believe that the situation is worse than it is.

The results of the below survey confirm my suspicions. A thousand people surveyed across five countries were asked what percentage of their country's population had contracted the virus and how had died from it.

Results indicate that people are wildly overestimating number of infections by about 30x the official case counts in their countries. Deaths? 150x higher.

US respondents indicated that 20% (over 60 million) of the citizenry has been infected. That's 20x the CDC case count. To be fair, if we took results of the scattered seroprevalence studies into account, then these survey responses might not look so high.

Death estimates are a different story. US respondents estimate that 9% (nearly 30 million) of the population has died from CV19. That's 225x more than the surely  inflated CDC death count. For reference, the deadliest epidemic is US history associated with the 1918 Spanish flu sported a population fatality rate of less than 1%.

The above Tweet doesn't tell us much about the survey or the nature of the sample. But I wouldn't be surprised if my 10 question quiz, if ever administered, revealed similar levels of hysteria.

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Unsettled Masking

As deep as any ocean
As sweet as any harmony
But she blinded me with science
And failed me in biology
--Thomas Dolby

Very nice review of current state of mask research done in response to the tiresome claim that "the science is settled." The reasoning mind knows otherwise. Science is never settled.

When authorities trot out experts who claim that the 'science' about a particular topic is settled, the only thing that is truly certain is this: those authorities are preparing to take freedom by force.

Monday, July 27, 2020

Long Haul Hysterics

'Cause you gotta blame someone
For your own confusion
We're on guard this time
Against your final solution
--Red Rider

Where do the CV19 hysterics go next? We've had narratives of massive death, flatten the curve, wait for vaccine...

None of those are working. Deaths are obviously not spiking despite 'hot spot' spikes in cases that have obviously been inflated.

My bet is on the 'long haul' proposition: "We don't know the long term effects of CV19. Maybe people can get re-infected. Maybe there are side effects. Because there is so much we don't know, every must stay locked down."

Long haul hysterics focus on claims that can't be falsified--i.e., "You can't prove that people can't get re-infected down the road!"

Psychosis knows no bounds.

Sunday, July 26, 2020

Compelling Analysis

It happened one summer
It happened one time
It happened forever
For a short time
--The Motels

More analysis of seasonality pertaining to CV19.  Worldwide:

And US:

Very compelling.

Saturday, July 25, 2020

Disorderly High

We'll be fighting in the streets
With our children at our feet
And the morals that they worship
Will be gone
--The Who

Spot gold closed at an all time high yesterday at $1901/oz, exceeding the previous record set in 2011.

Hard to imagine a record close attracting less fanfare. Guess folks are distracted by all of the disorder around them.


position in gold

Friday, July 24, 2020

Playing The Plague

Confusion that never stops
Closing walls and ticking clocks

Part of the cognitive dissonance associated with Trump Derangement Syndrome is to believe that everything that is bad in the world since the 2016 election is due to the president and his administration. However, if everything is not bad in the world and people with TDS syndrome aren't experiencing it personally, then that creates another condition of cognitive dissonance that the mind must cope with.

This has driven many to equate the CV19 situation to The Plague. And then, in order to convince their minds that it is true, they are acting out what they would do in a Plague script. They shut themselves in. They watch infection and death counts. They wear themselves down physically and mentally.

To persuade their psyches that their dream is real, they play The Plague.

Thursday, July 23, 2020

Lockstep Lockdowns

General Bratchenko: What is a 'wolverine?'
Col Ernesto Bella: A small animal, like a badger, but terribly ferocious. It is also the name of the local sports collective.
--Red Dawn

A common goal of modern socialist movements, particularly those of Marxist strains, is to eliminate norms, customs, practices, laws, symbols, etc associated with freedom and liberty.

I increasingly sense that this is what is driving coordinated lockdown phenomena worldwide. Various socialist factions sense opportunity to advance their agendas by using 'public health and safety' as an excuse for dialing back institutions of a free society.

Because people are letting it happen, the socialists are emboldened to do more. In lockstep.

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Adding Factions

"Ah, smoking is not good for you, and it's been deemed that anything not good for you is bad. Hence, illegal. Alcohol, caffeine, contact sports, meat..."
--Lenina Huxley (Demolition Man)

Events over the past few months have revealed just how pervasive socialism has become. In the US, socialism has made great inroads via socialized medicine ("we need to flatten the curve to preserve health system capacity") and indoctrination of young minds via the education system.

Cultural Marxism. Watermelon socialism. Fascism. ESG. Degrowth.

And now, it seems, a new strain grounded in public health and wellness.

A great member of what I like to call the Flack Pack, Garet Garrett, once wrote a chapter entitled 'The Revolution Was,' suggesting that American Revolution had been replaced by a socialist revolution and that liberty, as originally conceived by our founding ancestors, was dead.

That was 65 years ago.

While I don't think it is dead, liberty is certainly under attack. And the attacking army keeps adding factions.

Tuesday, July 21, 2020


The shadow's high
On the darker side
Behind those doors
It's a wilder ride
--Glenn Frye

Silver shifting to hyperspace mode, up over $1 this am to $21/oz. Silver last touched this level briefly in early 2016.

Pretty looking chart although argument could certainly be made that upside pretty stretched in near term.

Not surprisingly, all silver proxies, including CEF, PAAS touching new highs.

positions in CEF, PAAS

Monday, July 20, 2020

What is a Case?

Jake Lo: You're a real case, Ryan.
Mace Ryan: Hundred and fifty proof, kid.
--Rapid Fire

Ron Paul reviews the corruption streaming from the CV19 database. He also discusses the proper definition of a 'case.'

Traditionally, a case meant that an individual displayed symptoms sufficient enough to be treated in a medical facility.

That is not what's going on now. Early on in the pandemic, a case became anyone who tested positive (using methodology that is subject to large testing error). More recently, a case became people associated with others who tested positive.

Suppose we wanted to revert back to the old definition. Would it be possible to reconstruct the data to obtain the true picture? Or is the corruption in the database irrerversible.

Hard not to imagine public health officials doing all they can to ensure that the true picture is unobtainable.

Sunday, July 19, 2020


"That's very neat."
--Sir Thomas More (A Man for All Seasons)

A convenient claim about wearing masks. Officials tell us that they can filter virus on the way out but not on the way in. No evidence provided, of course.

There is evidence to the contrary, however.

A clever argument nonetheless. You see, if a mask doesn't protect you from others but wearing a mask protects others from you, then what are you socially obligated to do?

Saturday, July 18, 2020

View to a Kill

Dance into the fire
That fatal kiss is all we need
Dance into the fire
To fatal sounds of broken dreams
--Duran Duran

To my knowledge, no jurisdiction that has administered a lockdown included an analysis of the costs and, in particular, healthcare problems that lockdown policy would create.

Not one. Worldwide.

This is truly mind-numbing.

Closing businesses, shutting people in their homes, frightening people from seeking routine medical treatment is certain to create healthcare problems down the road.


Why has this not been included in the calculus? Why has the mainstream media failed to ask this question repeatedly to keep policymakers' feet to the fire?

History will show that far more excess deaths will result from lockdowns than from the illness that lockdowns were proposed to prevent.

Friday, July 17, 2020


Through the hourglass I saw you
In time you slipped away
When the mirror crashed I called you
And turned to hear you say
If only for today
I am not afraid

The manipulation of CV19 data is truly breathtaking.

It's not just a US either.

It's overt.

Officials doing little to mask (!) the mischief.

This is a huge story...that mainstream media will never tell.

Thursday, July 16, 2020

Testing Error

To the heart and mind
Ignorance is kind
There's no comfort in the truth
Pain is all that you'll find

Instructive article on CV19 testing error. Any measurement system will have at least some Type I and Type II error. Type I error creates 'false positives' which, in the CV19 context, leads to the conclusion that people have the virus when they really don't. Type II errors, or 'false negatives,' leads to the conclusion that people aren't infected when they really are.

The author pulls an estimate from a recent article in the New England Journal of Medicine for the sensitivity of CV19 tests of about 70%. Sensitivity is the likelihood that a test will detect the disease. Why is the test only 70% sensitive? Part of the reason is that current methods test for only fragments of the virus rather than the complete virus. A test for parts is not as accurate as a test for the entire thing.

Suppose 100 people who actually have CV19 are evaluated with a test with 70% sensitivity. Only 70 infections will be detected. There will be false negatives with 30 people (i.e., they had the disease but the test didn't pick the infection up).

The author goes on to assume a specificity (i.e., the capacity of a test to correctly identify those without the disease of 70%). Thus, if 100 people without the disease are tested, 30 will be detected as being infected even thought they weren't.

It is easy to see the error of assuming that a positive test equates to a true infection. Yet, that is precisely what we are doing. He demonstrates the folly in this approach using current testing protocols of professional sports teams. If they are using a test that is no better than 70% sensitive and specific, then eventually all players will test positive--even if they are not truly infected. After quarantine, they could again falsely test positive.

The author's point is that tests with low sensitivity and specificity are not practically useful, especially at low virus prevalence. Given current state of the art, he suggests that diagnostic testing has done more harm than good due to the false alarms that it creates.

In his view, a better indicator are in the hospital--in ICUs specifically--because of a clinical diagnosis of pneumonia under the assumption that any case of viral pneumonia is coronavirus-related.

That measure would certainly make the virus look much less alarming--something many people do not want. For them, it would seem that the more testing error, the better.

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Chain of Mischief

Lt Col Matt Brennan: How do you want it, Willis? The easy way, or the hard way?
Leland Willis: I don't want any more tests. Understand, Brennan? No more tests!
Lt Col Matt Brennan: Ok, Willis...the hard way.
--Chain Lightning

If I was an investigative reporter, then I would be sniffing around for the prospects of collusion (corruption might be a better word) between federal, state, and local disease control agencies/health departments w.r.t. CV19 measurement (cases, deaths, etc). Sure feels like there is concerted effort to make the data appears as 'bad' as possible.

First step would be understanding who all participating agencies are and how they are connected. Once that hierarchy is established, next step would be determining how they interact with the clinics, hospitals, coroners offices, et al that collect CV19 related data.

What guidelines standards do the agencies put forth? What data do the agencies collect? How might the raw data be, um, adjusted by the agencies?

In short, what does the supply chain for CV19 information look like from end to end?

And how might agents in the chain engaged in mischief?

Tuesday, July 14, 2020


Such a human waste
You're eyes without a face
--Billy Idol

Have been waiting for stories to surface about the unhealthy problems people are encountering when they wear masks.

Then I remind myself that, if I'm expecting such coverage from the mainstream media, then I'll probably be waiting a while.

Monday, July 13, 2020

Cutting Thru the Fudge

Driving home this evening
I could've sworn we had it all worked out
You had this boy believing
Way beyond a shadow of a doubt
--Bryan Adams

Following up on our recent post on CV19 data manipulation (corruption), make sure you understand the extent to which public health officials are inflating the data. In mid June rules were relaxed on what 'counts' as a CV19 positive case. States were suddenly permitted to count up to 16 people who were found to be in contact with a positive case--with no confirmatory test required.

Four weeks later, we see a spike in CV19 attributed deaths.
Get it?

Meanwhile, a dedicated analyst slogged through the data and filed recent so-called 'backdated deaths' in the weeks that they actually occurred:

Where did that spike in deaths go?

Sunday, July 12, 2020

Eyes Wide Shut

"This is a pleasant fiction."
--Lucilla (Gladiator)

Ivor Cummings reviews a tiny fraction of the burgeoning body of empirical evidence that indicates that wearing masks is ineffective in preventing CV19 infection. He questions whether empirical evidence, the basis for science and reason, matters anymore.

Of course, evidence hasn't mattered much since this this fiasco began. In truth, evidence never matters to a group committed to an opposing narrative. Cognitive dissonance keep their eyes wide shut.

Saturday, July 11, 2020

Manipulation or Corruption?

I'm falling down a spiral
Destination unknown
Double crossed messenger
All alone
--Golden Earring

Although CV19 policy decisions should be evidence-based, what happens when central repositories of evidence, such as case counts, hospitalizations, and deaths, are being manipulated beyond recognition?

It is becoming impossible to make informed decisions when, for example, case counts include presumed or probable infections, all contacts traced to a person that has tested positive, and consecutive daily tests on the same person.

I am now hearing anecdotal evidence that here in our area, people who saw physicians and weren't tested are getting calls a couple of days later with notice of positive tests.

There can be little doubt that there is motivation to slant the data, to make the situation look worse than it is.

Manipulation may not be the correct word. Corruption may be more accurate.

Friday, July 10, 2020

Hierarchy of Evidence

As deep as any ocean
As sweet as any harmony
--Thomas Dolby

Good observations on just how un-scientifically based the CV19 policy response has been. The author is careful to point out the folly of modeling:

"Let's go back to the idea of Covid taking half a million lives: a figure produced by modeling. But how does modeling relate to 'the science' we've heard so much about? An important point--often overlooked--is that modeling is not science, for the simple reason that a prediction made by a scientist (using a model or not) is just opinion."

Let's say that again. Predictions made by a scientist are not science.

The author also observes expert opinion rest on the hierarchy of evidence.

That's right. The bottom wrung. On the same level as editorials.

Thursday, July 9, 2020

Disorderly Sponsorship

I must've dreamed a thousand dreams
Been haunted by a million screams
But I can hear the marching feet
They're moving into the street

Yesterday gold topped $1800 for the first time since 2011. Silver launching from coiled position as well. Reflected well by the chart of Pan American Silver (PAAS).

Pretty breakout from textbook cup and handle pattern.

As we've noted many times on these pages, precious metals are bets on disorder--whether than disorder be financial or social.

Given current events, it is easy to see why this bet is attracting sponsorship.

position in PAAS

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Overt Manipulation

"If this thing goes as deep, and reaches as high, as we think it does, then they'll do anything not to be exposed."
--Gray Grantham (The Pelican Brief)

Manipulation of CV19 data is no longer being done behind the scenes. Case counts, hospitalizations, and deaths are all being fudged out in the open.

It is simply beyond belief that an agency charged with 'disease control' does not come into an epidemic situation without a solid plan for collecting data in a manner that preserves integrity. Integrity is defined as accuracy (i.e., measures what you want it to measure) over time (i.e., frame of reference doesn't change).

None of that has happened here. Lack of standards. Changing methods. Definitions either unavailable or questionable.

At my former employer where I was in charge of maintaining the integrity of several corporate databases, I would surely have been fired for incompetence.

Sadly, I doubt that incompetence is the primary problem here.

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Takeover Assumptions

"How could it come to this? An army of rable...peasants. Everything will change. Everything HAS changed."
--Cornwallis (The Patriot)

There seems to be a view among statists in America that if they could just wrestle federal government control away from those with high preference for liberty, then they would permanently turn the country into a socialist authoritarian state. This grand vision of takeover is grounded in several questionable assumptions.

One is that liberty lovers would obediently bow to the strong arm of the state and surrender their freedom. This seems doubtful, given the history that surrounds the founding of this country. Research suggests that, at the time of the revolution, perhaps 1/3 of the colonists were willing to fight against the British. That minority fraction was still a large enough to spark a world-changing revolution. There will be resistance--armed if necessary. Authoritarians would have to put this resistance down.

Which brings us to another questionable assumption. Statists must believe that they can project enough government force to quell pushback to their policies. Will they be able to marshal enough strong armed agents, i.e., police, military, et al., to do so? Some agents of force will surely side with them, but others won't. Not only will some police and military refuse to enforce authoritarian policy, but many will cross over to fight for the cause of freedom.

Authoritarians also face the small problem of approximately 300 million guns currently in the hands of the citizenry. It should be no wonder why gun control (i.e., confiscation) is a perpetual priority of statists.

These takeover assumptions seem so questionable that it is difficult to imagine that statists haven't already come to realize the risk of being, as Jefferson famously wrote, 'thrown off.'

Perhaps they have. Which leads me to believe that they have an ace in the hole: outside help.

Monday, July 6, 2020

Lockdown Latitude

It was thirty days around the horn
The captain says it's thirty five more
The moon looks mean and the crew ain't stayin'
'There's gonna be some blood' is what they're all sayin'
--Jay Ferguson

Interesting regression analysis here. First graph is estimated change in social mobility over past week for each state (a proxy for relief of lockdown status) vs statewise % positive CV19 tests in past 7 days. No significant relationship between these two variables.

Next graph is state death rate (# deaths/state pop) vs statewise % positive tests in past 7 days. Slight negative relationship which would be much higher if asymptotic curve was fit to the data rather than straight line. What this is saying is that states with low total death rates are those with the highest recent positive tests.

Final graph is geographic latitude of state capitol vs % positive tests in past 7 days. Significant negative relationship with R2=.31. The farther south the state, the greater the recent increase in case count.

Last panel summarizes estimated statistical relationships from various combinations of independent variables on the % positive in past 7 days dependent variable. Increase in social mobility explains little or no variance in case count increases. The best combination is state death rate + state capitol latitude. Significant negative relationship. R2=.39. p-value very low.

A sampling of some of the outstanding analysis that has been surfacing on social media. Also disturbing that public health agencies and mainstream media demonstrate little aptitude for such quality work.

Sunday, July 5, 2020


"Back where I come from, we have universities--seats of great learning--where men go to become great thinkers. And when they come out, they think deep thoughts--and with no more brains than you have. But they have one thing you haven't got: a diploma."
--Wizard of Oz (The Wizard of Oz)

To enact his New Deal, FDR put together a team of academics. His so-called 'braintrust' was given the charge to plan and control the economy along with its societal trimmings.

This approach became known as technocracy--belief that a group of experts are all knowing. People should just sit back and let the technocrats run things.

No questions asked.

It seems like another wave of technocracy is splashing upon us.

Saturday, July 4, 2020

Conceived in Liberty

"So, here's to the men who did what was considered WRONG, in order to do what they knew was right...what they KNEW was right."
--Benjamin Franklin Gates (National Treasure)

Two hundred and forty four years ago today the document that changed the world was ratified. It declared that all people were endowed from birth with rights to life, liberty, and property that could not be justly rescinded by worldly government. When governments failed to secure those rights, then the people are justified in throwing off that government in favor of better designs.

The effect the declaration had then is the same effect that it has today. Authoritarians and those longing to be ruled by others fear these ideas and will do everything in their power to destroy them.

Thus, a nation conceived in liberty fights an ongoing revolution to hold onto an idea that remains radical.

Friday, July 3, 2020

Still Waiting

You take it on faith
You take it to the heart
The waiting is the hardest part
--Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers

The pattern continues. Case counts much higher. Death counts continue lower.

Relationship between measured infection and severity has clearly changed.

Perhaps if we wait just two more weeks...

Thursday, July 2, 2020


"Just remember, license never replace eye, ear, or brain."
--Miyagi (The Karate Kid)

A presents an argument to B. Rather than assessing the argument, B responds, "Show me your credentials to demonstrate why I should believe you."

B cannot think for himself. Instead, he relies on experts to do his thinking for him. He has agents that think for him. Thus, B can only judge the validity of an argument by the credentials of the presenter.

Credentialism. Believing that only those with the proper license can think and speak 'correctly.' A sure path to despotism and squalor.

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Vitamin D

Little darlin'
The smiles returning to the faces
Little darlin'
It seems like years since it's been here
--The Beatles

Interesting paper (full version here) indicating strong relationship between severe Vitamin D deficiency country-level CV19 mortality rates in Europe. Severe Vitamin D deficiency is defined as seroprevalence < 25 nmol/L. The researchers use 2019 Vitamin D European population data reported in a recent European medical journal.

These are high correlation coefficients and, as suggested by Graph 2, the relationship is strengthening with time.

Lends additional credence to the role of seasonality and geographic region in explaining viral effects.

btw, here is a fine video that reviews the science on Vitamin D and viral interactions.