1.Saturday, I went on a retreat with our RCIA candidates (that’s Right of Christian Initiation for Adults, the 8 or 9 month process someone who is interested in getting (as needed) baptized, confirmed, confessed, and communicated into the Catholic Church goes through). Nice retreat house in the hills.
Of the 25 or so of us – the candidates, sponsors and team members – three wore masks. One stayed completely shields up the entire time. But two wore their masks on their chins. The entire 7.5 hours.
I can’t even. On the plus side, 80%+ of everybody was done with the masks. On the down side, even with the social pressure of being the only 3 people masked up in a group of nice folks, the three holdouts – and especially the two with the masks on their chins – just couldn’t let go.
2. Yesterday, my wife, who is a group leader, and I, a guest speaker, attended in a teen Confirmation prep class of about 100 kids. The meeting was outside in the lovely 70F sunshine. ALL the kids were masked up. My wife to her little group: you know, you’re outside, so you don’t need to wear the masks. Plus, you’re healthy kids, so it very unlikely to hurt you even if you catch it.
So, do the kids take off the masks? Nope. 100 young, healthy people sitting in the glorious sunshine – all masked up.
3. At daily Mass, since last June when the ‘outbreak’ ‘raged’ through Cape Cod killing no one and putting 4 people (out of a million plus visitors) in the hospital, my family was one of about 3 or 4 groups who had had enough and simply refused to mask back up on command of our cockroach overlords. Then, a few week’s back, the indoor masking order was lifted – as long as you were fully and officially jabbed. So, in a congregation full of very compliant and obedient people, almost all fully jabbed, do the masks come off? Several weeks into, and few old coots like me have done away with them – but we’re still around 90% face-diapered up.
4. When I go shopping – I have a route I take that includes up to 5 stores – I’m seeing masks everywhere. Costco for bulk items: 90% masked; local produce market and the local ‘health food’ (they have bulk high-gluten flour, fresh ground peanut butter, lots of bulk spices – things like that) maybe slightly less; Safeway, 90%. I haven’t been to the 2 ethnic specialty markets since the indoor masking mandate was lifted. The immigrants and 1st gen Americans who frequent those places are definitely a mixed bag: some barely complied under threat of getting tossed, but there’s probably 5 people who no doubt shower with their mask on for each scofflaw. I don’t know. Maybe I’ll get some more curry ingredients and gyoza skins, just to check it out.
Several people have made the obvious point: Brandon has a speech to give on Wednesday. People are fed up. Don’t be fooled: if ‘improving’ ‘numbers’ mattered, this would have been over at the end of April, 2020. So our cockroach overlords have ordered their brown-nosing courtesans to detach their lips from the hind quarters of their betters and switch to Narrative 2.0, or make the Great Pivot, or reprogram the NPCs, or whatever you want to call it. See? We fixed it! Nothing to see here, move along. As some wit put it: What’s the difference between conspiracy theory and established science? About 2 months. SNL can now run skits mocking the Masks Forever crowd; the NYT can now say that lockdowns did little, if any, good – positions that got you – me! – labeled a ‘terrorist’ about a month ago. Vaccines? Not very effective, and kinda dangerous – say that a couple months ago, and get fired. Now? Well, maybe they’re not so good – and you can hear it from the ‘real’ press.
But most important, the key message of Narrative 2.0: We’re just going to have to learn to live with the Coof, just like the flu. This is what I, and greater lights such as Brigg and Berenson, have been saying from very early on back in 2020. All the steps – lockups, masks, social distancing, and especially the jab, have made no material difference to the better, and caused immeasurable harm. What is happening now, what would have happened by the end of May 2020 in a rational world, is that whoever is going to get it, got it. Whoever was already dying, died. And the few otherwise healthy that really suffered from Covid are just the inevitable unlucky, like the kid who catches his death of cold, or the poor sucker whose flu descends into pneumonia. These things happen. They didn’t happen to a panic-inducing degree with the Coof. Sane people could have stayed home when not well, washed their hands, tried not to sneeze on people – and the results would have been the same or better, except $7 trillion or so worth of the economy would not now be in the hands of gigantic corporations, millions of small businesses would still exist, and the population in general would not be terrified out of their wits.
Herd immunity isn’t just a good idea – it’s the law.
Bottom line, based on the observation above: the NPC reprogramming has a long way to go. I expect about 70% of the people will eventually succumb to the unspoken peer pressure of being surrounded by unmasked people – when they are. Maybe 30% will be wearing a mask as they are placed in their caskets.
The real problem: those kids. We have terrified the shit (pardon my language, but it’s the word) out of an entire generation of small children and teens. The damage has been done. I don’t know how to heal them, or if it is even possible.
Nuremberg Trials. Anything less, and we have failed.
Still super-busy. On the plus side, feeling really good for the first time since the flu/coof/whatever it was back in January; if I’m honest, really for the first time in years. On the down side, I’ve got years’ worth of deferred work I need to get done, most especially home stuff to get the place ready to sell.
My brand new son-in-law and our daughter, married all of 6 weeks, came down to help out, and did about 90% of the work building this brick wall, part of the last Insane Everlasting Brick Project I’ve been working on for, what, 7 years now? Here’s it is, about 40-50% done:
That’s the full height of bricks; the lattice goes on top, with little brick towers in the gaps holding it up. It should be cute. Over the last couple years, a couple hours of brickwork, and I needed a full day to recover; now, one night seems to be enough to get over sore muscles, back, and knees. Trying to both get this done and not end up laid up.
The title above refers to what I was thinking earlier when looking online for houses to rent – there will be a gap between selling this house and buying the next, and we’d like to be close enough to where we plan to end up so that we can just drive over to look at property.
These modern subdivisions are cockroach motels. Big wood frame boxes that fill the lot, no yards to speak off. It looks like you could put you hand on the side of one house and touch your neighbor’s house. Sure, Brooklyn and Queens look like this, but land is scarce and populations high there. These are places in the Central Valley, more or less, where, setting aside the morality of turning prime farmland into suburbs, there is plenty of space. But the homes, at least those built in the last 20-30 years, are packed together with no outside space at all.
Is this part of the project? I would think – perhaps I am delusional – that many – most? – people like a little outside room. We Californians in particular live outside. The house we have now, built in the 1950s, is on an 1/6th of an acre lot – they put 2 or 3 houses on a lot that size today.
Instead of providing a small taste of space, of ownership of land, all you get now for your new home purchase dollars is a place to sleep and, maybe, park your car. To go outside means to share public space – nothing wrong with sharing, but also nothing wrong with having a little piece of land to call your own.
One part of the project, the takeover, the reduction of people to cattle to be managed, has long been the glorification of city people over country people. Many years ago, it became clear to me that this ‘country bumpkin’ crap was totally opposite the truth. In reality, a farmer was a small businessman, land owner, his own repair man and builder. While he cooperated with his neighbors and helped out and was helped out as needed, he worked for himself. Compare to the typical city dweller, who works for somebody else, lives in a box, and is dependent on a society that can completely do without him! The idea that such a life provides any particular wisdom superior to what the farmer must have to survive is – self-serving.
City slickers are trained from the cradle to hold rural populations in contempt. That farmer – a vanishing breed, I know, but there are still some – must be stupid, as he often believes and thinks differently than we city folks. He can be counted on to vote for the wrong people! He believes primitive things we city folks have long since abandoned!
Even back in the 50s, when our current house was built, many people seem to have viewed their suburban house as a surrogate farm of sorts. Outside, from lawns to gardens to a place to plant a tree, was theirs. Now? How can anyone consider the 6′ space between your house and the next, and the concrete slab that makes up the bulk of your back yard, as their land?
It seems we’re being herded by our cockroach overlords into cockroach motels, to be reduced even further into more manageable sheep. Put it this way: men will fight and die for their farms – concrete, real, farms that they, themselves, have worked. The kind of homeowner like me, who has put in thousands of hours making this place nice, might fight for it, too. Would anybody fight and die for 2300 Morning Glory Way, a project of MegaHomeBuilder Corp? Is it home, or just a nice place to sleep and store your stuff? What does this do to a man’s sense of self?
Years ago, read a sci-fi story where a high-end investment exec moved his family from place to place as needed, always to a development where all the rooms were laid exactly the same – no need to wonder where to put stuff or who gets what bedroom. Completely fungible ‘homes’. No roots went down, no feelings of loyalty to place ever grew. Is this the goal? Rootless people cocksure of their superiority? Threatened by any whose live highlight their slavery? Easily and eagerly managed?
Still need to look over the comments and reply – thanks for your patience, those who have inexplicably read my ramblings and even taken the time to comment on them, you’re the best – but, today, there’s a couple bits of covidiocy that need dissemination.
First off, the diligent William Briggs, who, like Socrates, deserves a pension from the polis for his ‘crimes’ rather than getting blacklisted for wrongthink, has analyzed a bit of nonsense masquerading as science – Science!, as we refer to such excretions around here. Chief points:
The study is obvious nonsense, if not fraud. (If it isn’t obvious to you, perhaps you don’t really get how science works. No shame in that, there are an infinite number of things worth learning and we are finite beings. The shame is when you can’t spot the obvious nonsense in the unlikely chance you even looked at it, yet claim to be ‘following the science’ or otherwise sneer at those who can and do understand it. Such behavior is loathsome.)
It’s from Harvard
it has been peer-reviewed
It presents no evidence. Instead, it presents model output as if it were evidence of anything beyond the existence of a model that produces output
It is, for now, politically useful
Let’s start with the title:
Model-Estimated Association Between Simulated US Elementary School–Related SARS-CoV-2 Transmission, Mitigation Interventions, and Vaccine Coverage Across Local Incidence Levels
The first two words tell us we are not dealing with the real world. Instead, we’re dealing with abstractions – “Models” and “Estimates”. These models and estimates come from somewhere, and it is tempting if one knows nothing about models, to suppose they come from somewhere other than the fancies of the model builders. As a man who worked models professionally for 25 years, I can tell you it works like this: you look at the world, take a guess, build a model that embodies that guess, then – and you can’t skip this part – you compare your model output to what actually happens in the real world. Then, you iterate, and if you’re good at it, the newer models output matches ever more closely with what really happens. Then you very carefully say: over the range of real-world observations our latest model was tested against, our outputs have proven useful.
Failing to perform this step of comparing the model’s output to the real world means the model is nothing but an expression of your prejudices expressed in fancy math. The output of such models is only evidence of hubris and ignorance. Or, increasingly, fraud.
This study nowhere compares model output to the real world. It should be obvious that, if you had the required real-world evidence, you would not need the model. You need to claim the model produces evidence precisely because that evidence does not exist! Or, because the evidence contradicts what you’d like to say.
Then, to kick the fantasy into magic flying unicorn land, we add the word “Simulated”. So, “researchers” didn’t research anything, in the sense that they did not go out into the real world and observe, note, or measure anything real, like, in this case, the spread or lack thereof, of the Coof in masked versus unmasked schools. Instead, they created a model. This model includes a “simulated US elementary school” – pause for a moment, and relish the fact that, while thousands upon thousands of elementary schools exist across America, our intrepid researchers are studying NONE of them. Instead, they are studying a simulation – something, again, that they made up.
This is a key example of why I rarely got past the abstracts of the various studies proposed to support the Coof Panic: with few exceptions, these frauds reveal themselves within a few sentences. Here, they reveal themselves two words into the study’s title! If the title was something like: “COVID Spread in Masked and Unmasked Schoolchildren in 400 American Schools” and then the first sentence of the abstract was something like: “Over a 6 month period and using now-current antigen tests of symptomatic children, we discovered that X% more children caught the Coof in 178 American elementary schools where masking was not required than in 222 schools where masking was required.” THEN I would be inclined to read the study, because – follow carefully here – it’s at least possible to find out something real using the implied methodology. If kids show us sick, and you then test them for COVID using antigen tests, it’s at least possible to say something not absurd on its face about the spread of this disease.
But when the very title of the piece precludes even the possibility that any science is being done, you can stop. Why go on? Using the approach here, it’s not even possible that the “researchers” could have come up with remotely scientific, which is to say, anything remotely requiring an honest man’s consent. In fact, this, this, thing requires an honest man to hoist the Jolly Rodgers and put a knife between his teeth, and take immediate remedial action, as it were.
Briggs, with his stronger stomach, actually read the damn thing. He came across these nuggets:
Anyway, there it is, bold as e-girl asking for donations, in “eMethods 2. Sources for Mitigation Ranges” (my emphasis below).
“Interventions in A, plus universal masking (a policy of masking all students and educators/staff): 60-80% assumed effectiveness.”
The interventions in A are “Simple ventilation and handwashing (open windows if present, portable air filters, maintain existing HVAC systems, and regular handwashing): 20-40% assumed effectiveness”.
Did you see the word assumed? Did you see it was used twice?
And did you see the conclusion? “Mitigation measures [such as masking] or vaccinations for students substantially reduced these modeled risks” of “in-school SARS-CoV-2 transmission.”
In other words, our Harvardites began by assuming masks work. They then ran a model which assumed masks work. The model said, as it was told to, masks work.
Assume your conclusions, and your “proof” “proves” them. Handy, that, especially when there’s grant money to be had and jobs not to be lost.
Next, I’ve been reading a daily newsletter called Coffee and COVID, which covers the Coof news as it happens. Jeff Childers, who appears to be the chief writer, is witty and trenchant. Once, back in about June of 2020, when it became blindingly obvious that no facts would be allowed to interfere with the desired panic, and that stating the obvious got you labelled a ‘terrorist’, I simply stopped reading the ‘news’. Anything I found out was through links and quotes from the bloggers I follow. With Coffee and COVID, I get a digest I can endure and even, sometimes, enjoy.
C&C uses the terms Narrative 2.0 and the Great Pivot to describe the current attempts of the Weasel in Chief and his sycophants and nerdlings to get out of the bed they made, now that it’s on fire. Crandew, another fine source of information and opinion re the Coof, tends toward an understandably dark take, one I don’t entirely reject nor embrace. Things can and probably will get ugly. The only dispute is over how ugly? And can we do anything about it? C&C takes a more hopeful approach.
So, nobody asked for it, but here goes: my take.
The idea that there are a small number of very wealthy people who want to a) cull the herd, b) control everything and 3) reduce those of us who remain to serfs, is only some sort of wacky conspiracy theory if you don’t read or laugh off what these people SAY and DO. When members of the World Economic Forum write books and articles and give speeches outlining exactly this – what, you think they’re kidding? That it’s all a big misunderstanding? So, I take it as a given that, just as Stalin and Hitler and Mao and Pol Pot existed and did the things they did, with the help and cooperation of many, many people, these men are perfectly capable of wanting to do all that and more, and getting legions of courtiers to follow them. That they say they’re bringing about some sort of Brave New World utopia is the whole point – in their eyes, nothing they do is going too far with such a noble goal. And of course, most if not all of these folks are raging sociopaths, so – all leashes have been slipped. There is nothing such people won’t do.
So, granted that there’s a Team Evil that wishes people like me dead, and that they between them hold the reins to the bit in the world’s economy and in almost all nations, what’s next? The image I just used, where a rider a fraction of the size and strength of a horse can make it do what he wants by means of a small piece of metal strategically placed in its mouth, is the key: All they needed to do is control the gatekeepers. With patience, gaining such control is childishly simple. You don’t go for the takeover directly, you seek to control the committees – hiring, promoting, firing, PR, steering. In business, you will meet some resistance, as there is always going to be some nut who imagines the business is guided by the need to make money; in government and non-profits, almost everybody is willing to hand over the boring and thankless committee work to whoever wants to do it. This surrendering of committees is slow death.
The schools, and especially the teacher’s unions, were taken over this way, starting in the 1920s and completed before 1980 at the latest. The unions in general fell. Ever wonder why so many jobs require a college degree, when essentially the same job used to be performed well by high school dropouts? In one of my first jobs, the older VP was a high school grad who had worked his way up, while all the younger hires, hired into essentially the same jobs the VP had done well enough to get repeatedly promoted, had college degrees. Why?
Why are most government jobs reserved for people with often insane college degrees? Who is on the hiring committees in both academia and the government? College grads? And, since 1980 at least, a college degree means first and foremost that the product has processed by the system. The product, with his degree, has learned that to fail to go along is to fail completely. He is a certified sheep. A Front Row kid, untethered from family, place, or any trace of morality – yet, as a duly certified ‘success’ he is incapable of imagining he is a stooge, a fraud, and empty suit. Behind the smug exterior, an unquenchable rage most often burns. If he didn’t take it out on us, he might explode. We are the enemy simply by being the proof of his insanity – especially when we are happier than he is.
One by one, over and over, every organization with any real power has fallen to the tools, sycophants, and useful idiots of the power mad.
We’ve seen the propaganda. We’ve seen the intimidation. We’ve seen the crushing of dissent. We’ve heard the bleating of the sheep. It’s a done deal, which is what Crandew and his worthy sources and readers see.
Yet – there are cracks. Sociopaths are happy dealing with the ambitious, who will do anything. As Machiavelli said in the Prince, when it is time for dirty deeds, a prince will never lack for men willing to do them. All powerful people are surrounded by ambitious wannabes trying to suck at the teat of power – and they will do anything to get the chance. Thus is has always been.
The problem is Highlander: there can be only one. Eventually, there needs to be a purge. Contrary to what people might think, revolutionary purges are not of enemies, essentially, but of supporters. The H-man gained power partly with the aid of the Brown Shirts, who beat up the commies and anybody else who opposed the Nazi. So, of course, a year after the Enabling Act passed (with the help of the Brown Shirts), their leadership was executed during the Night of the Long Knives. Hitler needed the support of the military, while the Brown Shirt leadership thought they were going to take over the military. So, despite their years of support and help getting Hitler into the position of dictator, they had to go – and they did. As did anyone who was too ambitious and capable in the eyes of the top levels of the Nazi leadership.
Same sort of thing happened in French Revolution and under Lenin in Russia. If you make revolutionary changes, where you are not just becoming the new king but are aiming to change society at its roots, you’re going to need to get rid of anybody with any ideas about maybe leading, especially if they have real-world success in a revolution.
Apply this to our cockroach overlords. At some point, they are going to need to sort out who is in charge for real. You look at obvious tools such as Biden, Newsom, and Trudeau, and it’s impossible to imagine they are anywhere near the inner circle of power. There are hard men, somewhere, within the structure; and for each of those probably 100 men who think they are hard men. There are people who are not nearly paranoid enough. Then there are the useful idiots by their thousands and tens of thousands.
It’s impossible these people can cooperate much longer. The lowlifes running states and health departments, who issue the orders under which people chaff, need to be assured they will survive politically if they keep doing idiot things. Can they be assured? The shift from propaganda to raw power will need to accelerate, because enough people are getting fed up with the propaganda to start making trouble. It’s important to remember that trouble to our cockroach middle management means only things that threaten them. We little people can get as mad as we want, just so long as management is assured nothing will come of it – for them.
The real fun begins when middle managers start getting hung out to dry. Say that reptile Trudeau gets driven from office, that enough people start making the connection between what’s going on in Ottawa and Nazis, such that his betters decide Little Castro is no longer worth protecting. (Not saying this is likely, but bear with me.) If this were to happen, every other tinhorn dictator wannabe – Newsom, Fauci, on down the line – starts taking notes: when (not if) will our cockroach overlords decide I’m expendable?
The psychology of courtiers is such that they can’t give up. Every one of them dreams of being king, works to make himself indispensable, and imagines Sir Richard Rich* is the goal. They don’t think they’ll end up like Wolsey, say, or any one of the French revolutionaries who were calling the shots one day, and having their heads suddenly removed the next. Or the endless stream of Russian revolutionaries marched off and shot if they made a single false move, or merely seemed in the way to someone above them. Nope, not them! They will be the one in one hundred that succeeds! Add in that these are the sort of people who enjoy the failure and sufferings of others – hell, that’s the major perk of the job – and watching the losers suffer and die not only doesn’t cause them to reexamine their life decisions, but gets them off.
Thus, when they see their peers going down, the only option is to try to position themselves to be the one in 100 who survives. History shows that strategy requires a lot of (sometimes literal) backstabbing and betrayal. Our cockroach overlords are playing a game, where they are trying to stay ahead of the next level of management, who would gladly knife them to get ahead themselves. And so on, down the line.
All this gets worse as our cockroach overlords succeed. Once the shift from propaganda to raw power gets far enough, they need less middle management and more Gestapo. The wannabes become at best a useless distraction. The cycle intensifies: as my peers get knifed, how do I stay alive? Who do I need to knife?
Now expand this to a world-wide situation. What seems to be happening is that the worst repression is in the richest countries, and especially in the outlying provinces. It’s brilliantly evil: a New Zealand, an Australia, a Canada are far, emotionally and geographically, from the centers of power, and have long traditions of doing things their own way. These are the kinds of places where real resistance might have the best chance of working. Therefore, they are the most brutally repressed. Control the colonies, as it were, and the homelands are secure.
But the risk to the takeover is very real: lose control anywhere in the First World, and there’s a real risk of resistance snowballing. Then things get ugly for our cockroach overlords, if people get the idea that insects can be crushed.
So are Canadians Saxons, a la Kipling? It appears some have been marched off to the gulags already, after the usual polite way of our neighbors to the north. But is that real? Solzhenitsyn has no kind words for those who allow themselves to be swept up without a fight, and even says they get what they deserve. Well? How is this going to work out?
Yet – I still imagine that the cockroaches in charge have overplayed their hands. Somewhere, hard men, many of them part of middle management, many more not, are piecing things together. Some are realizing their best options are to try to seize power or at least stop the current leaders; many more are seeing that the only light at the end of this tunnel is an oncoming train. The cockroach overlords have to keep all these people in line – while they purge them!
It could get really ugly, and I expect it to. But I can’t see how they can pull this off. Too many centrifugal forces are trying to pull it apart.
Those not into prayer can skip this.
Heavenly Father, hallowed be Your Name! All praise and glory be yours!
Please, we beg You, remember your promise of mercy, the promise You made to Abraham and his descendants forever. Do not judge us as our sins deserve; rather, for Your Name’s sake, for the sake of the Blood shed by your Son, and in the glory and power of Your Holy Spirit:
Forgive us yet again.
Send your angels to drive Satan and his minions from our midst, to bind them and cast them into Hell;
Grant us the grace to endure what we must, and to die to ourselves to live only for You.
Your will be done, in this and in all things.
*Rich clawed his way to very near the top by betraying Sir Thomas More to his death, then proceeded to serve both the Protestant royalty and Queen Mary, for example both destroying and restoring monasteries, torturing and executing both the slightly too Protestant and slightly too obviously Catholic trouble makers, until he, one of the richest men in Britain, died an old man. He was universally despised, but his heirs lived on in luxury for more than a century. THAT’S what middle management dreams of.
Jettisoning some stuff, to get in the groove for the upcoming move. Unfortunately, we’re not out at sea, where our jetsam won’t simply sink to the bottom and eventually get subducted to finally bet spewed forth from some volcano somewhere. Nope, just blogging.
First, thanks for the prayers and good wishes for my mother-in-law. The medical profession has determined that she has something like epilepsy – a tendency toward seizures. Evidently, old people who have had a number of strokes are at increased risk for seizures as well. They kept her in the hospital a couple nights to make sure they’ve got the seizures under control, and released her this afternoon. All the inspecting and testing shows some underlying issues of which we were unaware, but nothing unusual for an 84 year old. So, should be back to normal, such as it is, later today.
Second, I’ve not but glanced at the comments here for the last couple days. I’ll get around to commenting on the comments in the next couple days.
Third, that lovely rain year we were having back in 2021 screeched to a halt in 2022. After getting 80% of our local annual season average by the end of December, the 2nd average rainiest month – January – had no rain this year; the rainiest average month – February – is shaping up to have no rain as well. On average, we get over 1/3 of our seasonal rainfall over January and February, but to quote myself:
So, we can stop worrying about the drought for now? Well – no. Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for the rain and snow to just – stop. A near or completely dry month or two or three, even the peak months, happens regularly. It would be a little unusual if, after a very rainy first half of the season, we got a very dry second half – but hardly unprecedented.
And – that’s what’s happening this year. I’ve had to start watering the lawn, and lost a bunch of outdoor potted plants due to letting them dry out, because it’s been bone dry all of 2022 so far, and I don’t usually need to water them during the winter…
Last, our California politicians have lost what little minds they ever had, and, while most states have gotten onto the Narrative 2.0 bandwagon and are pumping the brakes on the insanity, we’re full speed ahead on Narrative 1.0: We’re All Gonna Die! State legislators are now attempting to pass laws to enforce vaccines from the womb on everybody by law. I don’t know why they don’t simply outlaw the virus directly, since they clearly believe they have unlimited and magical powers, now that 15 days to flatten the curve has lasted 2 years, and the cases and attributed deaths went up once nearly everybody was jabbed…
As long-term readers know, I rarely do this, but here goes:
Please say a prayer for my wife and her mom. My mother in law has lived with us for the last 4.5 years, after ending up in a nursing home after a series of health problems. She is 84. This morning at breakfast she had a stroke – sat there unresponsive, staring straight ahead for maybe 10 minutes while we called 911. Then she slowly began to speak and move. The medical techs who arrived minutes later did take her in to ER after looking her over – nice guys.
After an hour or so, the ER says she seems ok enough to go home, so my wife goes to get her. While they are getting her ready to leave, she has another similar episode. (Even though my wife ran into full-blown covidiocy with the gatekeepers – Unvaxxed! Unclean! Even though she’s had the damn Coof – the doctors called her in to talk. Some sanity and humanity remain.) The suspicion is post-stroke seizure. So it’s anti-seizure meds and a trip to the MRI. The first go-around this morning may also have been a seizure – she has had strokes in the past.
Anyway, we’ll see. In your prayers, please remember my wife and her siblings as well as her mom.
UPDATE: While giving her some anti-seizure meds, she had another one. Three incidents over maybe 4 hours.
MORE UPDATES: 4:27 p.m. – She’s had a total now of 4 seizures, and has been admitted to the hospital.
In April of 2020, when Coof “deaths” and “cases” fell dramatically and the result was not the lifting of the lockdowns but rather more restrictions, I stated that the restrictions would never voluntarily be lifted. Like the Joker said to Batman: “I can’t kill you, you’re too much fun!”
The mandates, lockups, masking, and most important, the terror are not only simply too much fun for our sociopathic cockroach overlords to ever give up, they’re far too useful. For something like 70% of the population, simply claiming that “we” all need to be terrified is enough to terrify them. For the other maybe 30%, who would like to see Nuremburg style trials for the crimes against humanity that the Coof fraud most certainly is, control is essential. Tiger by the tail.
When, back in April 2020, in the face of declining numbers and 7 months in advance of the elections, we were told that voting in person was simply too dangerous and told to switch to mail in ballots, the fix was in. No evidence, logic, or “science” was going to be allowed to shut down this power grab hiding behind the fauxdemic.
But, I’ve also pointed out that “pumping the brakes” is essential. To keep terror fatigue from simply boring people out of compliance, you need to keep mixing it up. So we get some periods where we can go outside, we can go outside without masks, we can go to the store, and even go to the store without masks, we can even (!) go to church, briefly even without masks! Lucky us!
Then, inevitably, the rollbacks were rolled back. The existing set of Just So stories were replaced with newer, shinier Just So stories. The “vaccines” were introduced, then found to be only partly effective, then less effective, then effectively useless. Then boosters are introduced. Lather, rinse, repeat. New ‘variants’. New ‘science’. It. Will. Never. End. Until we end it.
As mentioned in the last post, the sheer arbitrariness of it all is a feature, not a bug. Our ‘teachers’ are sorting us. Those who do exactly as told and parrot exactly what they hear – the Front Row Kids – get the gold stars, the pats on the heads. These children swallow the story they are fed about how all the bad stuff is the result of the bad students not doing as they are told. Simply raising questions or wanting to talk about costs and benefits or wanting to take a look at the evidence marks us as the bad kids, the Back Row kids doomed to our little, parochial lives. And we must be punished, because all the bad stuff is our fault! Teacher assures everyone it is our fault!
So, hurray for the truckers. Hurray for the easing of restrictions. There are some new signs of easing even here in California. More and more nations are saying, to some degree, to hell with this. Hurray.
But don’t gets your hopes up. The brakes are being pumped in anticipation of the State of the Union Address, and in light of polls that show that the fraud needed to retain control of a lot of Congressional seats in the next election cycle may be beyond the power of the local arms to execute, at least discretely.* Victory can be announced; credit can be taken. But listen (if you can stomach listening to such tripe) for the caveats: yes, the glorious leaders have won the epic battle against a bad cold the deadly virus! But – there is always a but – we can’t be sure! Further steps made be needed! And then, in a few month, by fall at the latest, some reason to abuse us further will magically appear, and we will be bad, bad, children if we fail to comply. We will need to be punished.
It’s not going to end until heads start rolling. Until the people who did this to us are put in jail or flee for their lives. If the truckers succeed in driving Trudeau from office, that would be a start. Short of that – it’s a game, a ploy. Don’t be fooled into complacency.
Or – the worse option – our cockroach overlords have cooked up a new panic, to be sprung on us as needed. Say, right after the elections, or in advance of the next set of elections. However they manage to pull it off, whether they pump the brakes for a few weeks or months or maybe even a year, they will never willingly give up the power they have seized – the power to terrify us into submission, to bully and threaten those who object, to rule without limits.
*or, perhaps, the stage is merely being set for claims of fraud – always accuse your enemy of what you are doing – against anyone who wins against a Dem candidate. I don’t know, this political inside baseball stuff makes my head hurt.
Making no claim any of this is original with me. Just putting some scattered thoughts together.
Among the many startling aspects of how people react to the lockups and mandates is how inured a seeming majority of people are to being bullied. I don’t recall where I was reading this, but I came a cross a discussion between a couple Europeans and Americans, comparing reactions to the tyranny. One of the Americans was saying that the typical American reaction was to ignore the rules as much as possible, which is largely possible outside major cities. The tension gets released when the non-cult members get away from the insanity, or live outside the major cities. They don’t feel the pressure as much, and what stress they do have is relieved by being around other sane people. That’s why, the argument went, there haven’t been massive truck convoy in America – yet.
I don’t know if this is true. What does seem to be true, and what would need to be true if this escape and release mechanism is really operative, is that Americans have an amazing threshold for toleration of being bullied, such that we would rather escape than confront the bully. Hell, I still mask up when I shop for groceries, because it’s simpler than having confrontations with the help and Karen every few minutes. Why do I do this? Why do I tolerate being bullied? This – the whole lockdown/maskup/jab mandates thing – is bullying.
Further, perhaps, we think of bullying as typified by the larger kid who take people’s lunch money. That guy is an amateur. You need to look at more sophisticated abusive relationships to really see fully developed bullying. Threats of withdrawn affection if you don’t do this one little thing for me. Gaslighting. Overstepping limits, and then accusing you of being the problem when you point it out. That’s what bullying looks like when it graduates from grade school. Compliance is rewarded, for a while, only to have the cycle repeated sooner rather than later. The victim is left both endlessly anxious and desperately defensive – you don’t understand! He really loves me! I am the problem, just as he says!
I assume we all know of situations like this, even if we haven’t been in any personally. Yet – what is the Coof lockups if not exactly this? We are being bullied by sociopaths. It’s not that they don’t care that we suffer – they get off on our suffering, that’s the emotional component of why they do it.
As Frank Herbert put it in Dune, “All governments suffer a recurring problem: Power attracts pathological personalities. It is not that power corrupts but that it is magnetic to the corruptible.” This needs to be taken further. According to Purnell’s Law, all bureaucracies will be run, not by people interested in the goals of the bureaucracy, but by people interested in the bureaucracy itself. This means that the selection mechanisms – hiring, firing, promotion – within any bureaucracy will be in the hands of those seeking, first, to protect their own power. Dominating the class of people obsessing over power are sociopaths.
Conclusion: over time, a bureaucracy of any size will be run by sociopaths for sociopathic reasons. Abusing as many people as possible is the ultimate power. Fauci is a prime example of this phenomenon, as are virtually everyone in this (and, sadly all) administrations.
But yet bullies generally fold once you push back hard. The more sophisticated the bully, the harder and longer you need push back. We are dealing with very experienced abusers here. They will order us about, tell us we are bad people if we don’t do as we are told, attempt to isolate us (classic abusive relationship stuff), stalk us, and finally threaten to hurt or kill us..
Well? That paradise on earth, or at least the ‘defeat’ of Covid, has not yet arrived CANNOT be because the people abusing us are now and were always LYING, mostly via half-truths and exaggeration, but rather, like the abused girlfriend, it’s all our fault. Maybe we’re not good enough for our abusers. Maybe we should be locked up, or even killed! It will all be our fault, if it comes to it.
This should sound familiar. Lockdowns, masks, censoring and propaganda to ensure we are isolated; constant drumbeat of lies to ensure we are terrorized; prompt and brutal dismissal of any dissent. And a drumbeat of how this failure is due to the unjabbed who must be causing the jabbed to get sick. Simple, plain English, obvious explanations must be banned in favor of the latest Just So story. By definition, at least, by any definition current before 2020, if you are ‘vaccinated’ and still get the disease, the vaccine didn’t work. But that is not allowed to be said, because the focus on the badness of the non-compliant must be maintained.
Question: how did we all get so inured to bullying so described, such that probably a good 70% of us just go along no matter what. How did we come to even try to put up with bullying, rather than fighting back at square one? How come I, who have never for a moment bought any of the Coof madness, still try to work around the rules rather than simply refusing?
In the off chance that a new reader has wandered in, here we go: We learned to tolerate bullying, to even accept it as normal and good, in school. Not the bullying of the big kid who wants your lunch money – that may or may not be tolerated by the ‘educators’ – but the bullying that is used to make us comply, on the one hand, and to create emotional cripples on the other.
John Taylor Gatto, who spent 30+ years as a public school teacher in New York, pointed out that the kids who are most unmanageable, who simply will not do what the school wants them to do, are those who have been unconditionally loved at home – a very small portion of students, it turns out. Such kids, unused to being simply bossed about, unused to demands being made on them with no regard paid to what they might want or what might be reasonable, do not respond well to schooling. The graded classroom model is nothing if not arbitrary. Grades segregated by age? Why? Performing to ‘grade level’? Double why? I have to raise my hand to get permission to go to the restroom? Why? I have to study what you tell me to study exactly when you tell me study it, and stop exactly when you tell me to stop? Why? Why can’t I just keep going if I’m interested, or do something else fi I’m not? Recess? Why? Why can’t I take a break when I need it? Why does a bell trump whatever I happen to be interested in at the moment?
The kid who simply misbehaves is nothing to compare to the kid who doesn’t accept the premise that doing whatever the local adult tells him to do is some sort of divine commandment to be accepted without question. Such a kid not only can calmly question his parents (who unconditionally love him, remember) and express displeasure without any withdrawal of affection, but is used to reasonable, affectionate compliance, not blind, arbitrary demands.
But that unconditionally loved child is rare. Most of us who have gone through graded classroom schooling – including me – have accepted all sorts of Just So stories to explain to ourselves our compliance with what is the fundamental irrationality of such schooling. A look at the educational experiences of extremely accomplished people through history show a dearth of anything resembling modern classroom schooling. Newton, Franklin, Jefferson, Edison, Abigail Adams – these are among the best educated and least schooled people you could hope to find. And people of great achievement, not merely having a great collection of degrees and certifications that got them a make-work positions
The purpose of compulsory schooling is to produce exactly the behavior we see among the Branch Covidians. The control is the essential part; all the reasons given for it are backfill and gaslighting. We humans have millennia of experience learning and teaching, none of which supports the idea that kids should be grouped by age, spoon-fed predigested and utterly context-free knowledge bits, forced to ‘learn’ at the same rate as others their age, forced to switch off of something a kid may or may not be interested onto a new subject every 45 minutes, forced to ask permission to get up and move around or go to the restroom, and so on.
And we’re all gaslighted. We are told that we need to do these things – we need to do as we’re told – for our own good! 6 years old and already know how to read? Tough! You’re sitting with the other 6 year olds and listening to the lessons until all of them either also learn how to read or get humiliated and shunted off to ‘special’ classes. You have no interest in math? Tough! You will be made to feel like an idiot and shamed into pretending to pay attention – for your own good!
You can fix cars, or make dresses, or write stories or any one of the million worthwhile things people do that give their lives meaning? Irrelevant! The schools hands out the gold stars and the diplomas and degrees. Comply, or be humiliated at best.
And thus, when the nice man in the lab coat tells you to avoid all your friends and family, wear a mask, take untested drugs, and to be very, very scared, we not only comply, but defend these orders with the vehemence of someone under threat of being excluded from the tribe, or labeled a terrorist, or otherwise marked for culling. We all rush in, eager to comply, to get that gold star, that pat on the head, that affirmation that we are OK.
The first King who played the game of King, of chess, was the Persian Pad-Shah Shapur II, who was taught it by his wazir who had invented it. The wazir was the better player, but the King was always the winner of the game.
The King obtained victory by the ingenious device of overturning the chessboard at a crucial point of the game and declaring himself winner. This showed an imagination of the sort the wazir did not have; and it is for this reason that Shapur was the King, and the wazir would never be anything but wazir.
The larger view, the seeing that a problem need not be confined to one narrow framework, is useful in many fields. It comes into the solution of certain puzzles and riddles where a narrow framework, implied but not stated, limits the ordinary mind and prevents solution by such. But the breaking out of the framework gives the answer to a mind with more scope.
Lafferty, The Fall of Rome, CH XI
I’m reminded of Musk’s rule: the best part is no part. The common mind, faced with an engineering problem, easily falls into perfecting whatever solution his predecessors came up with. Such an engineer, if he is skillful, ends with a wonderfully optimized widget. Musk’s point is to question the need for the widget before investing time perfecting it. And it seems to work well for him.
For us little people, we need to remember that we needn’t play the game by the rules defined by those who hate us.
For the past month, almost, I’ve been ill. Timing is very bad. First, I want to dump this house before the bubble bursts, then get something with land so I can grow food. I like growing things, and I like independence, and I like not starving. So: now the rush. Find a rental house in the area we want to live, sell this house, and then see what happens over the next year.
Stress levels are high, yet, except for the last couple days, my energy level has been low. Vicious cycle.
Yet, I’m not too worried. Here we go with the mysticism: When it comes right down to it, I’m not a believer, really, or a man of faith. I don’t ‘believe’ in God any more than I ‘believe’ in my wife and children, because I’ve had direct experience of Him. Not claiming any virtue here, far from it. Three or four things have happened to me in my life that might be called miracles or visions or, perhaps best, mystical experiences. I could sooner believe my wife is an illusion and that I live in the Matrix than doubt the existence and love of God.
Note the irony: I’d like to think myself as about as clear-headed a skeptic as you’re likely to come across. I’m the guy who reflexively doubts the study, the findings, the ‘evidence’ because I know, partly through bitter personal experience, how easy it is to fool people. To fool myself. Therefore, the first thing that comes to mind whenever I here anything surprising, let alone miraculous, is the million ways it could be wrong.
And to very clear, I don’t expect (and I don’t think God expects) anyone besides me to be convinced by my experiences. That’s just not the way it works. Further, I most emphatically reject any notion that having had these experiences makes me good or holy or any better than anyone else – far from it. Others can sin much more innocently, so to speak, than I. I have no excuse anymore, and haven’t for a decade or more now. May God have mercy on my soul!
Long preface. Here’s the thing: once in a while, I really pray. Not mumbling the words or going through the motions, which, if I’m honest, makes up 99.9%+ of my so-called prayer life. Once in a great while, the reality of my nothingness hits me, the overwhelming obligations I’m under as husband, father, grandfather, father-in-law, and friend. And my sinfulness – not checking items off on the ‘not-to-do-list’ (although there’s plenty of checkmarks on that list!) but feeling some small fraction of the weight of my lack of love and gratitude to God.
And I pray. Sometimes only for a few seconds before the world crowds in on me again and I lose focus. But in those moments, the clear, repeated message I get is: God has got this. He is working his will out right now. He will make everything come out gloriously well. Please note that there’s not the slightest hint that we – I, my loved ones, everyone – won’t have to suffer and be brave, maybe even die. Rather, that, apart from doing our best to surrender to God’s will, there’s nothing else to be done here, and forces much, much greater than us pitiful humans are fighting it out.
And we win, in the sense that the water boy on the victorious side in the battle can be said to have won. The important part is for us – for me – to remember we’re just water boys. What victory will look like is simply unimaginable for us.
I’ve come to suspect that what we’re seeing now IS God’s mercy. That, without His mercy – and the legions of angles who even now are surrounding and protecting us – things would be much, much worse.
In the mean time, some quotes and thoughts. Starting off with some Lewis, as this passage about a religious experience of Jane Studduck suggests to me that Lewis himself had had a similar experience. I don’t expect any two are exactly alike, but the experience itself is probably as well-captured as is possible:
Jane had gone into the garden to think…. Then, at one particular corner of the gooseberry patch, the change came.
What awaited her there was serious to the degree of sorrow and beyond. There was no form nor sound. The mould under the bushes, the moss on the path, and the little brick border were not visibly changed. But they were changed. A boundary had been crossed. She had come into a world, or into a Person, or into the presence of a Person. Something expectant, patient, inexorable, met her with no veil or protection between…
Words take too long. To be aware of all this and to know that it had already gone made one single experience. It was revealed only in its departure. The largest thing that had ever happened to her had, apparently, found room for itself in a moment of time too short to be called time at all. Her hand closed on nothing but a memory, and as it closed, without an instant’s pause, the voices of those who have not joy rose howling and chattering from every corner of her being.
But her defenses had been captured, and these counterattacks were unsuccessful.
A trial lawyer never calls a witness to the stand unless he is sure what that witness will say. Similarly, no large funders fund a study unless they are sure what that study will say.
It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it.
Paul says that we honor and dignify the less presentable parts of the body by clothing them. Those who insist on the dignity and deference they assume due them by virtue of their PhD or JD or M.Ed and so on are identifying thereby with certain parts of the body. Thus, it is understandable that we peons often call them by the vernacular terms for those body parts.
The king told him that for some years, ever since his queen’s death, he had been losing heart over the wickedness of his people. He had tried hard to make them good, but they got worse and worse. Evil teachers, unknown to him, had crept into the schools; there was a general decay of truth and right principle at least in the city; and as that set the example to the nation, it must spread.
George MacDonald, The Princess and Curdie – published in 1883!
Give G.K. the second-to-last word:
Now, when society is in a rather futile fuss about the subjection of women, will no one say how much every man owes to the tyranny and privilege of women, to the fact that they alone rule education until education becomes futile: for a boy is only sent to be taught at school when it is too late to teach him anything. The real thing has been done already, and thank God it is nearly always done by women.
Curses and Wonders is a collection of short stories by Mary Catelli, with whom I have interacted occasionally on the innerwebs. I think she recommended this book on MeWe, so I got it. Short & sweet: good collection, well worth the price. Check it out.
Eight stories set in a variety of closely-related fantasy worlds. I’m not a big fantasy reader, outside Tolkien and Lewis, so what I say needs to be understood in that light. Lewis’s Narnia, while having plenty of dark moments, is essentially a sunny land; Tolkien’s world is more true to our experiences – some demonstrations of beauty and truth always threatened by darkness, such that even the great triumph of Sam and Frodo is overshadowed by the passing of an age and the leaving of the elves. Kid’s stories versus grownup stories, I suppose.
Catelli’s world is dark in this same sense. The heroism of her heroes is a light shining in the darkness. But the light shines – she is no nihilist. In the first story, Dragon Slayer, her hero Baudouin must conquer not only the dragon, but the despair of the people it is preying on. Unlike a typical fairy tale, where the journey to find the dragon is usually covered in a few sentences so we can get to the glorious battle, most of this story is about the difficulties of getting to the dragon over the scorched and ravaged lands surrounding its lair. He cuts his hand on the ragged, glass-like rocks that had been melted by the dragon’s breath, and comes across the remains of some of his predecessors who have failed, most notably one knight who seems to have simply died trying to get to the dragon.
When he does find the dragon, he is already wounded and worn out. The actual battle is not anticlimactic, but in keeping with the journey, it’s not quite the glorious triumph one might expect.
The hero ‘wins’ – he kills the dragon and saves the people – but at tremendous cost. It’s not clear (to me, anyway) that he can possibly survive his wounds. But he wins. The moral universe here is complex and real – and Christian, in the ancient sense in which the Crucifixion is a triumph over and through humiliation and defeat.
These elements of a dark world where victory is costly permeate most of the stories. Finding the good people who will help you is a challenge, and they sometimes come from unexpected places.
All the stories are good, I enjoyed them all. In addition to Dragon Slayer, The Book of Bones and Fever and Snow stand out as very good stories.
Edith Hamilton’s Mythology, first published in 1942, was in the stacks here because my wife had had it assigned in high school. I picked it up because my knowledge and understanding of mythology is limited – a serious shortcoming for someone who wants to write. (I’ve got stacks of mythology books lying about now, some of which I’ve actually read!)
To Hamilton, a classics scholar and ‘educator’, mythology evidently meant Greek mythology, with some Roman and a taste of Norse mythology for flavor. She talks about a concept with which I was already familiar, perhaps through Lewis and Tolkien – that the Greek myths represent a cleaning up of older myths, such that the behavior of the gods and heroes became less offensive to the generally sunny outlook of the classic Greeks. This reshaping of ancient received myths by the classic Greeks eventually called the whole project of mythology into doubt. At one point, she quotes the Phaedrus, where Socrates is asked about the reality of the myth of Orithyia and Boreas*, and replies: “The wise are doubtful, and I would not be singular if I too doubted.”
For Hamilton, mythology is a part, an early part, of the Greek passion for understanding the world. It is a proto-science of sorts. As their understanding of the world grew, it was not so much the miraculous nature of the stories – signs and wonders happen all the time – but the poor behaviors of the gods that made myths unbelievable. The God discussed by Plato and Aristotle is none of the gods, who clearly remain too arbitrary, violent, lustful, and petty – and embarassing! – to be the capital ‘G’ God required for their philosophy.
The Romans have little to contribute except as sources for stories tacitly assumed to be Greek (I think) – at least, Hamilton doesn’t spend much ink on anything particularly Roman about anything other than the Aeneid.
The Norse myths, on the other hand, get much more attention for two reasons: they are a part of our modern American heritage – there are Norse and Germans among our ancestors, whose view of the world might be assumed to have been shaped, distantly, by these myths – and because Norse mythology is very dark in precisely the way the Greeks and Romans are not. The Norse gods are not all-powerful – Odin is no Zeus, and knows he will eventually die and all he loves and defended will die with him. The only virtue in such a dark, hopeless world is to die well.
Greeks seem offended by the idea that justice and love might be eternally frustrated, and so their myths tend to have more or less happy endings, or at least outcomes not totally offensive to our sense of justice. Even Oedipus ends up dying in peace; Prometheus gets rescued; Pandora gets hope. The Norse? Not so much. Is it fair that the giants win in the end, even as the great heroes and gods laugh as they are killed? Yet back in 1942, Hamilton felt obliged to include Norse mythology in all its darkness.
Finally, reading some more George MacDonald, this time The Princess and Curdie. I’m having that feeling, from page to page, that I must have read this before, followed by I’m sure I haven’t. Not sure what’s up with this.
Following on the adventure of The Princess and the Goblin, Curdie, a minor miner and hero of the first book, is summoned by the lady in the tower of the local castle, who is said to be the great great grandmother of Princess Irene, among other titles. He is given a unique superpower – he can tell simply by holding someone’s hand, what sort of creature they really are. He is sent on a quest to help the king, Irene’s father, and given for his companion a hideous wolf-like creature named Lina. At the lady’s instruction, he takes Lina’s paw into his hand, and knows instantly that she is human and good.
And sets out on his adventure. He runs into people and creatures both good and bad, and Lina saves him a number of times. They find, when they reach the king’s palace, that the people are ill-behaved, the city rotting, and Theodin King is under the spell of Grimma Wormtongue. Something like that. Adventures ensue.
This is an odder tale than The Princess and the Goblin, and not quite as satisfying – but very good.
*”Orithyia was the daughter of Erechtheus, an Athenian king. While playing near the Ilisus river, Boreas the North Wind kidnapped her, raped her, and made her his wife. Orithyia becomes deified in later accounts as the goddess of cold mountain winds, an apotheosis already present in Herodotus, who tells us that the Athenian navy offered sacrifices to both Boreas and Orithyia.”