Jordan Peterson: Canada’s Crushing Covid Obsession

Jordan Peterson writes at National Post Open the damn country back up, before Canadians wreck something we can’t fix.  Excerpts in italics with my bolds.

The country is growing more authoritarian in response to fear

I am not accustomed to feeling particularly sympathetic for the travails of large, successful enterprises: banks, airlines, utilities and the like. I expect a certain standard of service, so that I can conduct my own affairs effectively, and am impatient when delays unnecessary in the normal course of things emerge. The letter from the bank stopped me and made me think, however. It wasn’t just the bank. It was also the airline. It was the empty shelves in the grocery store in northern Alberta. It was the daughter of the man I once worked for as a cook, back when I was a teenager. It was the shopkeepers and small business-people I have spoken with on this trip.

We are pushing to their breaking point the complex systems upon which we depend and which are miraculously effective and efficient in their often thankless operation.

Can you think of anything more unlikely than the fact that we can get instant trouble-free access to our money online, using systems that are virtually graft- and corruption-free? Just imagine how much work, trust and efficiency was and is necessary to make that a reality. Can you think of anything more unlikely than fast, reliable and inexpensive jet air travel, nationally and internationally, in absolute safety? Or the constant provision of almost every consumer good imaginable, in the midst of plentiful, varied and inexpensive food?

These systems are now shaking. We’re compromising them seriously with this unending and unpredictable stream of restrictions, lockdowns, regulations and curfews.

We’re also undermining our entire monetary system, with the provision of unending largesse from government coffers, to ease the stress of the COVID response. We’re playing with fire. We’ve demolished two Christmas seasons in a row. Life is short. These are rare occasions. We’re stopping kids from attending school. We’re sowing mistrust in our institutions in a seriously dangerous manner. We’re frightening people to make them comply. We’re producing bureaucratic institutions that hypothetically hold public health in the highest regard, but subordinating all our properly political institutions to that end, because we lack leadership, and rely on ultimately unreliable opinion polls to govern broadscale political policy. I’ve never seen breakdown in institutional trust on this scale before in my lifetime.

I was recently in Nashville, Tennessee. No lockdowns. No masks. No COVID regulations to speak of. People are going about their lives. Why can that be the case in Tennessee (and in other U.S. states, such as Florida) when there are curfews (curfews!) in Quebec, two years after the pandemic started, with a vaccination rate of nearly 80 per cent? When BC is still limiting social gatherings? When we are putting tremendous and unsustainable strain on all the complex systems that have served us so well, and made us so comfortable, in the midst of the troubles of our lives?

The cure has become worse than the disease.

I have spoken with senior advisors to provincial governments in Canada. There is no end game in sight. The idea that Canadian policy is or should be governed “by the science” is not only not true, it’s also not possible, as there is no simple pathway from the facts of science to the complexities of policy. We are deciding, by opinion poll, to live in fear, and to become increasingly authoritarian in response to that fear. That’s a danger, too, and it’s increasingly real. How long are we going to flail about, hiding behind our masks, afraid to send our children (who are in no danger more serious than risk of the flu) to school, charging university students full tuition for tenth-rate online “education,” pitting family member against family member over vaccine policy and, most seriously, compromising the great economic engine upon which our health also depends?

Until we decide not to.

There are no risk-free paths forward. There is only one risk, or another. Pick your poison: that’s the choice life often offers. I am weary of living under the increasingly authoritarian dictates of a polity hyper-concerned with one risk, and oblivious to all others. And things are shaking around us.

Enough, Canadians. Enough, Canadian politicos. Enough masks. Enough social gathering limitations. Enough restaurant closures. Enough undermining of social trust. Make the bloody vaccines available to those who want them. Quit using force to ensure compliance on the part of those who don’t. Some of the latter might be crazy but, by and large, they are no crazier than the rest of us.

Set a date. Open the damn country back up, before we wreck something we can’t fix.
Time for some courage. Let’s live again.

Voters, Beware Your State’s Secretary of State

While waiting for something to actually happen to expose the corrupt US election apparatus, here’s more insight into what is broken.  Jay Valentine explains at American Thinker When a State’s Secretary of State is in on Voter Fraud.  Excerpts in italics with my bold.

We coined the term “sovereign fraud” right here on American Thinker. At the time, it was a concept, until we started doing voter anomaly analysis for one large, Midwestern swing state.

We have now finished state 15, on the way to 30 or more; we can say with certainty that the Secretaries of State are unlikely to lead voter roll clean up. In many states, they thwart it with flagrant data tricks.

Let’s take you through our excellent adventure working with voter integrity groups across the country. You need to understand their dedication, resilience, and the odds they face when the reddest states’ Secretary of State is in on “it.”

“It” means they know their voter rolls are replete with phantoms, but they deny it, evade it, some hide it. Let’s go there.

Most people have downloaded a file. It’s easy.  Except if you live in a swing state on the southeast U.S. coast — and the file came from the Secretary of State’s office.  When you process the file, it contains about every way of screwing up your search capability.

For instance: it is supposed to be comma delimited but it isn’t. It has non-ASCII characters embedded. That means search engines will flail with no result. It has half quote marks which means there is no end of quote so it will not process. There are nonsensical control characters throughout the data set.

This is deliberate data sabotage, intended to make it almost impossible for citizens using traditional tools to parse the data paid for with their taxes.

This example is a Republican Secretary of State in effect saying: “well, if I have to give you the voter roll, here it is, now just try to search it!”

Unfortunately for this guy, our team uses Fractal Programming and while it set us back half a day, that data is cleaned and in the hands of citizens who want to get some answers. They will.

Let’s visit another eastern seaboard state.  These diligent citizens downloaded their Secretary of State data and innocently tried to process it.  Within minutes of loading the data, all the lights went on. Control characters throughout the data deliberately inserted to thwart conventional search.

This is an example of active data sabotage from the sovereign entity – Secretary of State – making it hard or impossible for citizens to see the voter rolls.

It gets better. We presented data anomalies to some Republican secretaries of state; they got to see their “voter data,” live and in person.  Be the fly on the wall.  The Secretary of State for a bright red Southern state is assembled with his entire team. Lawyers all over the place, us presenting.

First, we showed the 4,300 people over 100 years old on their rolls. Some were 121. Those were the kids. The really old ones were almost 2,000 years old, and there were a bunch of them – and they voted.

To my surprise, one of their guys got right in my face (a camera really, I was remote) and denied we had their rolls. He claimed only 300 people over 100. His face was crimson with anger. He had this roll of paper in his hand – maybe their scammy voter roll, who knows?

Tough being him because our team bought their voter registration roll for $30,000 and I had their data live, in his face. Did make an impression.

We then showed them the “girl’s ranch.” Here is a place in the woods for young ladies to get attention and care. Focus on “young” and “ladies.”

They said, no big deal, there were 45 people registered there. They knew the owner, it’s OK.

We swept right and showed the names of the “young ladies.” 15 were men. Then we swept further right and sorted by age. Most were 61 to 35. Some “young.” Some “ladies!”

How about the 21 active voters in the county jail in their largest city? You would think that made an impression? It did, but not enough to look into it.

For the first time the sleepy sinecure — the stepstone to Congressman, Senator, or Governor – the Secretary of State office is getting checked out.

And they do not like it.

They liked it even less when they learned two weeks later, their data was turned over to the canvassing teams in their deep red state now doing the job the Secretary of State refuses to do – clean up voter rolls – with technology that makes voter rolls transparent to citizens.

A Secretary of State may be all in on voter fraud. In deep-blue states, we found leftist groups with real-time electronic access to voter rolls able to enter voters – real or fake.

In deep-red states, we found 18 registered voters living in a house the size of a panel truck. We did not find one or two, we found hundreds, meaning there are thousands. The canvassing groups are outing them.

We found 23,000 people claiming the same phone number on their voter registration form – for over 30 years. Some extended family!

We found people registering from a UPS Box calling it an apartment.

Canvassers found absentee ballots, hundreds of them with the same phone number, delivered on the same day. We checked the address: it was a cognitive care facility where many of those voters were unable to remember their children’s names, let alone vote.

Welcome to ballot harvesting at enterprise scale.

Voter rolls are a mess – all of them.  That is why many Secretaries of State too often charge $30,000, $25,000, $5,000 for a single snapshot of the rolls – how many citizens can write that check?

One swing state deliberately uses multiple voter ID number sequences to thwart evaluation and insert voters without detection. In others, there are 40 years of built-up junk like people in UPS Boxes with their buds in the vacant lots, churches, and RV parks.

Anyone who thinks voter fraud is a Democrat party thing will be disappointed: voter roll fraud is a truly bipartisan enterprise.

Democrats are better at inserting phantom voters – particularly in large urban areas. The Republicans hold their own in deliberately salting voter rolls so citizens cannot easily find what their Democrat pals inserted.

The one constant is the Secretary of State’s office, whether Democrat or Republican, lies somewhere along the denial curve – from acquiescence to denial to outright instigation of sovereign voter fraud.

There is no way to guarantee free and fair elections until citizens receive 100% visibility to all voter rolls, without writing a $30,000 check, to keep these sovereign outlaws or lazies honest and active.

Jay Valentine led the team that built the eBay fraud detection engine and the TSA No-Fly List. Jay and his team are working with over 30 states cleaning up their voter rolls. Jay can be reached at Jay@ContingencySales.com

Climate & Covid Year in Review

Dave Barry provides at Miami Herald his usual droll witty take on events Dave Barry’s Year in Review: Wait, wasn’t 2021 supposed to be better than 2020?.  Some excerpts in italics along with my added comments and images.

Year in review 2021

Fortunately in 2021, we followed the Science, which decided that the coronavirus does not observe floor arrows. On the other hand, the Science could not make up its mind about masks, especially in restaurants. Should everybody in the restaurant wear them? Should only the staff wear them? Should people who are standing up wear them, but not people who are sitting down, which would seem to suggest that the virus can also enter our bodies via our butts? We still don’t know, and we can’t wait to find out what the Science will come up with for us next.

Anyway, our point is not that 2021 was massively better than 2020. Our point is that at least it was different. A variant, so to speak. And like any year, it had both highs and lows.

No, we take that back. It was pretty much all lows, as we will see when we review the key events of 2021, starting in…

January 2021

The spotlight now shifts to incoming President Joe Biden, who takes the oath of office in front of a festive throng of 25,000 National Guard troops. The national healing begins quickly as Americans, exhausted from years of division and strife, join together in exchanging memes of Bernie Sanders attending the inauguration wearing distinctive mittens and the facial expression of a man having his prostate examined by a hostile sea urchin.

Bjorn Lomborg:  Joe Biden will rejoin the Paris climate agreement soon after being inaugurated as president of the United States. Climate change, according to Biden, is “an existential threat” to the nation, and to combat it, he proposes to spend $500 billion each year on climate policies — the equivalent of $1,500 per person.

For Americans, President Barack Obama’s Paris promises carried a price tag of nearly $200 billion a year. But Biden has vowed to go much further, with a promise of net-zero by 2050. There is only one nation that has done an independent cost estimate of net-zero, namely New Zealand. The Kiwis found the average best-case cost is 16 percent of GDP, or a US cost of more than $5 trillion a year by mid-century.

These figures are unsustainable. Moreover, the US and other developed countries can achieve very little on their own. Imagine if Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development countries stopped all their emissions today and never bounced back. This would be utterly devastating economically yet would reduce global warming by the end of the century by less than 0.8 degrees.

There is a smarter way: investing a lot more in green-energy ­research and development. As Bill Gates says, “We’re short about two dozen great innovations” to fix climate. If we could innovate the price of green energy below fossil fuels, everyone would switch, eventually fixing climate change.

Joe Biden’s climate agenda is all about creating a crisis — not actually fixing one

February 2021

A massive ice storm blasts much of the nation, taking an especially brutal toll on Texas, where record-setting cold temperatures knock out power to large areas and wreak devastating havoc upon millions of cells in the brain of Sen. Ted Cruz, who, despite being (Just ask him!) the smartest person on the planet, decides this would be a good time to dash off to Cancun. Meanwhile the management of the Texas power grid is harshly criticized by members of Congress who could not personally reset a home circuit breaker without the help of at least four consultants and a pollster.

The Mars rover Perseverance collects scientific evidence proving that Mars is mostly dirt. AP

In the month’s most positive news, the NASA rover “Perseverance,” after traveling 293 million miles through space, lands safely on the surface of Mars. Technically it was supposed to land on Venus, but as a NASA spokesperson observes, “a planet is a planet.” The rover sends back breathtaking video revealing that Mars has an environment consisting — as scientists have long suspected — of dirt.

March 2021

Congressional Democrats pass the Biden administration’s COVID-19 relief package, which will cost $1.9 trillion, which the United States will pay for by selling baked goods to foreign nations. In a prime-time address after signing the bill, President Biden says there is “a good chance” that Americans will be able to gather together “by July the Fourth.” He does not specify which one.

Three hundred years ago, Vivaldi wrote “The Four Seasons.” It portrays the natural world, from birdsong to summer storms.  But the warming climate could radically alter the natural world by 2050, so a new version of “The Four Seasons” has been altered, too.

“We really wanted to walk that line between being too ridiculously catastrophic and kind of meaningfully changing this to make it sound what we think it might feel like to live in that time,” says Tim Devine of AKQA.

The design agency partnered with composers and scientists to develop an algorithm that translates projected environmental changes into musical changes. It allows them to create localized versions for any place where the piece is performed.

In the version played by Australia’s Sydney Symphony Orchestra, missing notes reflect declining bird populations, and the summer storm is more intense and prolonged.

April 2021

There is some welcome news on the COVID-19 front as the CDC declares that it is not necessary to wear a face mask “provided that you are fully vaccinated, and you are outdoors, and you are part of a small gathering, and everybody in this gathering has also been fully vaccinated, and all of you periodically, as a precaution, emit little whimpers of terror.” The CDC adds that “we, personally, plan to spend the next five to ten years locked in our bedroom.”

President Biden, in his first speech to Congress, promotes his infrastructure plan, which would cost $2.3 trillion, and his American Families plan, which would cost $1.8 trillion, with both plans to be funded by what the president describes as a “really big car wash.”

May 2021

The CDC further relaxes its COVID-19 guidelines in response to new scientific data showing that a lot of people have stopped paying attention to CDC guidelines. At this point these are the known facts about the pandemic in America:

— Many Americans have been vaccinated but continue to act as though they have not.

— Many other Americans have not been vaccinated but act as though they have.

— Many of those who got vaccinated hate Donald Trump, who considers the vaccines to be one of his greatest achievements.

— Many who refuse to get vaccinated love Donald Trump.

What do these facts tell us? They tell us that we, as a nation, are insane. But we knew that.

See Four Myths Drove Covid Madness

Myth: Sars-CV2 is a new virus and we have no defense.
Fact: Sars-CV2 has not been scientifically established as a virus.
Myth: Testing positive for Sars-CV2 makes you a disease case and a spreader.
Fact: PCR tests say nothing about you being ill or infectious.
Myth: Millions of people have died from Covid19.
Fact: Life expectancy is the same before and after Covid19.
Myth: Wearing masks prevents viral infection.
Fact: Evidence shows masks are symbolic, not effective.
June 2021

President Biden goes to Europe to participate in an important and historic photo opportunity with the other leaders of the G7 economic powers, which are Germany, Japan, the United Kingdom, the United States, Google, Facebook and Mattress Giant. In a formal joint statement issued after the meeting, the leaders declare that everybody had, quote, “a nice time.” Biden also meets with Queen Elizabeth II, who has met with every U.S. president since we started having them.

July 2021

COVID-19, which we thought was almost over — this is like the eighth or ninth time we have thought this — appears to be surging again in certain areas because of the “Delta Variant,” which gets its name from the fact that it is spread primarily by fraternities. The problem is that many Americans have declined to be vaccinated, despite the efforts of pro-vaccine voices to change the minds of the skeptics by informing them that they are stupid idiots, which is usually a persuasive argument. In response to the surge, the CDC issues new guidelines urging Americans to “do the opposite of whatever we said in our previous guidelines, not that anyone is paying attention.”

In the month’s most upbeat story, Richard Branson and Jeff Bezos pioneer a new era in billionaire leisure travel by going up in private suborbital spacecraft. The two flights are radically different: Branson’s takes off in New Mexico and returns to earth in New Mexico; whereas Bezos takes off in Texas and comes down in Texas. Space enthusiasts say these missions will pave the way toward a future in which ordinary people with millions of spare dollars will be able to travel from one part of a state to a completely different part of that state while wearing matching outfits.

Athletes in the scaled-back Tokyo Olympics compete in the two-person flag-wave event. Koji Ito AP

In Tokyo, the pandemic-delayed 2020 Olympic games (motto: “Later, Smaller, Sadder”) finally get underway with the majestic Nasal Swab of Nations. This is followed by the ceremonial lighting of the Olympic Torch, which for safety reasons is a small vanilla-scented bath candle that is immediately extinguished to prevent it from attracting crowds. Let the games begin!

August 2021

The U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan is similar to a soccer riot, but not as organized. Shekib Rahmani AP

American forces are withdrawn from Afghanistan, a country that, thanks to 20 years of our involvement, has been transformed — at a cost of many lives and more than $2 trillion — from a brutal, primitive undemocratic society into a brutal, primitive undemocratic society with a whole lot of abandoned American military hardware lying around. Most Americans agree that we have accomplished our mission, which is the same mission that the Russians had in Afghanistan before us, and the British had before them; namely, to get the hell out of Afghanistan.

The Biden administration, noting that the president has more than 140 years of experience reading Teleprompter statements about foreign policy, assures everyone that it has a Sound Exit Plan allowing for Every Possible Contingency, and insists that the withdrawal is going well. This assessment is confirmed by observers on the ground, particularly Jen Psaki, with the ground in her case being the White House Press Briefing Room. Observers who are actually in Kabul paint a somewhat darker picture of the withdrawal, more along the lines of what would have happened if the Hindenburg had crashed into the Titanic during a soccer riot.

Meanwhile global climate change continues to be a big concern as scientists release disturbing satellite images showing that the Antarctic ice sheet, for the first time in thousands of years, has developed a Dairy Queen.

September 2021

Massive leftist backlash against Ivermectin Explained

Treatment protocols with HCQ or Ivermectin + nutritional supplements fill the the need for early home treatment.

Connor Harris explains in his City Journal article Try a Dose of Skepticism.  Excerpts in italics with my bolds.

Ivermectin may or may not work against Covid-19, but media coverage of the drug has been sneering, inaccurate—and revealing.

“You are not a horse. You are not a cow. Seriously, y’all. Stop it,” read a recent viral tweet warning readers away from using a certain medication to treat Covid-19. The tone of affectedly folksy condescension would be expected from any of thousands of Twitter-addicted progressive journalists, but less so from the official account of the United States Food and Drug Administration. Perhaps even more surprising, the tweet linked to a warning advising readers not to take a drug, ivermectin, that has been used in humans for decades and is a standard Covid-19 treatment in much of the world.

The media’s recent reporting on ivermectin is a fitting sequel to their reporting on hydroxychloroquine near the beginning of the pandemic—but not, as received opinion would have it, because both are tales of red-state yokels duped into taking poisonous phony remedies. As in the earlier case, media coverage of ivermectin exemplifies how the liberal political class’s bias, and its confusion of respect for science with blind trust in a scientific establishment, impairs their skepticism and their capacity to appraise complex scientific questions.  See Why the Leftist Backlash Against Ivermectin

October 2021

Speaking of threats: American military and intelligence officials express concern over reports that China has tested a nuclear-capable hypersonic missile, although a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson states that it was “probably a bat.”

In other disturbing developments, Facebook suffers a worldwide outage lasting several harrowing hours, during which billions of people are forced to obtain all of their misinformation from Twitter. Later in the month Facebook Chief Execudroid Mark Zuckerberg announces that, to better reflect Facebook’s vision for the future, the parent company is changing its name to the Washington Redskins.

One of the year’s celebrity space travelers is William Shatner, 90, whose suborbital voyage lasts 10 minutes, including two bathroom breaks. Mario Tama TNS

But there is also inspiring news in October, provided by 90-year-old actor William Shatner, who boards a Blue Origin suborbital capsule and successfully travels from one part of Texas to another part of Texas in a subhistoric mission lasting 10 minutes, including two bathroom stops.

November 2021

Biden heads to Glasgow, a city located in Scotland or possibly Wales, to participate in COP26, a 190-nation conference on climate change attended by 30,000 political leaders, diplomats, bureaucrats, experts, spokespersons, observers, aides, minions, private-jet pilots and of course Leonardo DiCaprio. After an incalculable number of catered meals and lengthy impassioned speeches making the points that (1) the climate crisis is real, (2) this is an emergency, (3) the time for action is NOW, (4) we cannot afford to wait ONE DAY longer, and (5) WE ARE NOT KIDDING AROUND THIS IS SERIOUS DAMMIT, the participating nations hammer out a historic agreement declaring, in no uncertain terms, that they will definitely, no excuses this time, gather next year for another conference, which, in a clear indication of progress, will be named “COP27.” Take that, climate change!

On the economic front, the Biden administration, seeking to counteract the steep rise in gasoline prices, orders the Energy Department to release 50 million barrels of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. Within minutes a dozen towns in east Texas are flattened by an oil wave estimated to be 200 feet high. “Apparently,” states a red-faced department spokesperson, “you’re supposed to release the oil into a pipeline.”

Meanwhile, in response to a global shortage of maple syrup, the Quebec Maple Syrup Producers announce that they are releasing 50 million pounds of syrup from their strategic reserve. You probably think we are making this item up, but we are not.

As the month draws to a close, anxiety mounts worldwide over yet another coronavirus variant, called “omicron,” which we are pretty sure is also the name of one of the lesser villains in “Avengers: Endgame.” Everyone — government officials, medical authorities and the news media — assures the public that while the new variant is a cause for concern, there is no reason to panic because OHMIGOD THEY’RE BANNING TRAVEL FROM AFRICA THE STOCK MARKET IS CRASHING THE VACCINES MIGHT NOT WORK WE ARE ALL GOING TO DIE POSSIBLY AS SOON AS THE MONTH OF …

December 2021

… which begins with the nations of the world united in a heartwarming humanitarian effort to make sure that omicron stays in the other nations of the world. The U.S. government considers tough new restrictions on international travelers, including requiring their planes to circle the airport for seven days before landing, but eventually settles on a compromise under which the planes will be allowed to land, but the passengers must remain in the airport eating prepackaged kiosk sandwiches until, in the words of a CDC spokesperson, “all of their germs are dead.”

President Biden, in a reassuring address to the nation on his strategy for dealing with a potential winter coronavirus surge, urges Americans to “do what it says on the teleprompter.”

In a historic video summit, President Biden and President Putin discuss the issue of how the “mute” button works. Adam Schultz AP

Meanwhile the news media, performing their vital, constitutionally protected function of terrifying the public, run story after story documenting the relentless advance of omicron, with headlines like “First Omicron Case Reported in Japan,” “Omicron Now Reported In California,” “Omicron Heading Your Way,” “OMICRON IS IN YOUR ATTIC RIGHT NOW,” etc.

The big economic story continues to be inflation, which is the worst it has been for decades, with the hardest-hit victims being low-income consumers and major college-football programs, which are being forced to pay tens of millions of dollars to obtain the services of even mediocre head coaches. In another disturbing economic development, the Federal Reserve Board issues a formal statement admitting that it has no earthly idea what a “bitcoin” is, and it’s pretty sure nobody else does either.

Elsewhere abroad, the state-run Saudi Press Agency reports that a prestigious Saudi beauty pageant for camels, with $66 million in prize money, disqualified over 40 contestants because they received Botox injections, facelifts and other artificial touch-ups. We are not making this item up.

In sports, Major League Baseball’s collective bargaining agreement expires, raising the possibility of a work stoppage next season, not that anyone would notice, inasmuch as the average professional baseball game this season lasted as long as the gestation period of a yak, but with less action.

In holiday-season news, travel in the Midwest is snarled when the U.S. Department of Agriculture, seeking to alleviate a shortage of Christmas hams, releases 17 million head of pig from the Strategic Pork Reserve, blocking every major road into and out of Iowa and causing the region to smell, in the words of Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds, “even worse than usual.”

Finally, mercifully, the troubled year nears its conclusion. As the nation prepares to celebrate New Year’s Eve, the mood is subdued and thoughtful. People are still getting drunk and throwing up, but they’re doing this in a subdued and thoughtful manner. Because nobody knows what 2022 will bring. Will it suck as much as this year? Will it suck more? Or will it suck a LOT more? These appear to be our choices.

OK, so that’s not very hopeful. But don’t let it stop you from ringing in 2022 on a festive note. For one night, forget about the bad things. Be festive, party hard, and, in the words of Dr. Anthony Fauci, “lower your mask before you throw up.”

Two sides of the same coin.

 

Big Bullies Public Smash and Grab

Ben Garrison explains his image at zerohedge The Smash and Grab Big Government Criminals are Looting Our Country.  Excerpts in italics with my bolds and some added images.

We’ve all seen the recent crime sprees taking place in the Democrat-controlled big cities. Acting in concert, flash mobs showed up to smash glass counters, steal the jewelry inside, and then make a quick getaway.

They are nothing compared to the smash and grab criminals controlling our country.  I’ve drawn three here, but there are many more.

The corporate media, for example. They smash and remove the truth and leave lies behind.

Big Pharma is unaccountable and irresponsible. It claims to own science, but what they really own is greed. Pfizer rakes in over $200 million taxpayer dollars per day for their dangerous and ineffective injections. The corporate media does not say a word about those injured or dying from the so-called vaccines. They don’t mention that thousands who are fully vaccinated not only contract Covid, but also die from the Chinese bioweapon.

Big Government makes laws in order to grow their own power as well as to enrich themselves. The so-called “Patriot Act” is a good example. It had nothing to do with patriotism. It had everything to do with stealing our liberties. Big Guv does this as a matter of routine. It keeps taking until it encounters resistance. Unfortunately they rarely get much push back. Too many people still think Big Guv is on their side and out to do good things for citizens. Nope. Big Guv is more concerned in getting reelected and growing more wealthy as it starts new wars. The latest may be against Russia. Yes, Big Guv wants to use US Troops and even threaten global nuclear war in order to protect the borders of Ukraine. Meanwhile, our southern borders remain wide open.

The Federal Reserve is an expert smash and grabber. It steals by means of currency creation at the flip of a switch. It is spent by the top of the pyramid and those at the bottom pay the hidden tax by means of inflation. The IRS makes sure it finishes the job of wealth confiscation, thereby making the working class poorer.

The criminal government gets away with it because they own a monopoly on force. Try and resist and they will send armed functionaries to arrest you. Resist arrest and you could be murdered. Included in the government mob are Big Pharma and The Federal Reserve. The politicized FBI does as it pleases, too. The CIA has been rogue almost from the start.

They will all continue until they are stopped. They will only stop when there is nothing left to grab. When that happens we will have no freedom, no privacy, and no dignity. We will own nothing and live in a technocratic dictatorship unless the war mongers decide to destroy all life on Earth first by means of a nuclear war.

The time to push back against this tyranny is now.

Two sides of the same coin.

How Liars Figure Fake Covid News

Ted Noel, MD explains in his American Thinker article Multiple Logical Fallacies Elevate COVID Vaccines Over COVID Treatments.  Excerpts in italics with my bolds and added images.

Monday morning, as I did my morning bicycle ride (I live in a safe neighborhood), I listened to Breitbart News host Alex Marlowe interview John Nolte, another Breitbart personality about COVID vaccination hesitancy. By the end of the interview, they’d wandered through several logical fallacies that need to be exposed so people can accurately balance vaccines versus treatments.

Marlowe and Nolte quoted data purporting to show that Washington state counties that Trump won have much higher COVID death rates than counties that Biden won. Vaccination rates are blamed for the difference. Marlowe went on to declare that it’s been proven that Ivermectin is a “dewormer” and should be removed from the conversation. These factoids are so illogical for a so-called conservative outlet that we must have a short refresher.

Figures Don’t Lie, but Liars Can Figure

The key offender here is something called “relative risk.” If there’s a one in a million chance of something happening, that’s a minuscule absolute risk. If it goes up to two in a million, it’s still a minuscule absolute risk that you really won’t get bothered about. But that same difference can be presented as a 100% increase in risk or a doubling, which sounds really awful.

When it comes to COVID, the overall rate of death is in the tenths of a percent in the most vulnerable population. Headlines about Republicans killing off their voter base are simply scaremongering in the decimal points using relative instead of absolute risk. The real rate of death under age 50 for COVID is “indistinguishable from zero” according to the weekly British monitoring service.

Figures Don’t Lie, but Liars Can Figure (Part 2)

Let’s suppose that David Leonhardt is presenting accurate data from Washington State and that red counties are seeing excess deaths. Let’s discount the “overtesting” issue because it is likely the same in all areas. Let’s also assume that the “vaccines” do offer some degree of protection, even though data clearly shows that such protection fades rapidly, with new variants making them even less effective. So, what’s happening?

Here we’re seeing the Fallacy of the Excluded Middle. The loud voices refuse to accept that there’s an option beyond “vaxxed or not vaxxed.” In this case, Marlowe’s blithe “dewormer” comment shows that he’s committing a different logical fallacy, the Appeal to Authority. He has accepted the FDA’s false warning that “you are not a horse, etc.” so you should not take Ivermectin, an extremely safe drug with a wide range of antiviral effects.

Randomized controlled trials have proven that IVM reduces COVID deaths even better than the vaccine. The state of Uttar Pradesh in India used IVM to wipe out COVID for 241 million people. But those people in Washington’s red counties were ruled by Dark Lord Inslee, making IVM and HCQ unavailable. No medical discussion can be complete without these alternatives.

Liars Can Force You to Behave How They Want You to Behave

As I’ve noted, for you to exercise an option to seek alternative treatment, you must have a physician who is willing to prescribe such medication. But most of those doctors will refuse because, under the dictatorial rule of officials such as Governor Inslee, such prescribing is likely to get that doctor’s license to practice medicine revoked. With such a Sword of Damocles overhead, few prescribers will go near IVM or HCQ. That means they can talk vaxxed or not vaxxed as if those are the only possibilities.

Runny Nose Coronaviruses, Four in Circulation for Decades.

Omicron

This virus is mutating according to Muller’s Ratchet. That is, it’s getting easier to catch, and less likely to make you really sick or dead. It’s affecting young children more than earlier variants. Any benefit of the vaccine is unknown. At the same time, there’s no reason to suspect that IVM and HCQ would not be effective against it.

In other words, Omicron is just one step of COVID-19 becoming another variant of the common cold. Or it may have simply swapped some of its genetic sequence with a common cold virus. That might explain why it’s showing up all over the world at once.

Masks Don’t Help

I feel like I’m beating a dead horse here, but facts are facts. We have dozens of surveillance studies that show that the general public wearing masks has no effect on the transmission of airborne viruses. You either have an easy-to-breathe-through cloth diaper that doesn’t filter or an expensive disposable diaper that filters but that you breathe around. Neither one has any useful effect. A recent study supposedly shows that masks work, but it has so many (scientific) holes that it simply doesn’t hold water.

COVID is a Mild Disease (if you treat it!)

COVID is one of those mild diseases that sends sick people over the edge because they don’t need much of a shove. But for healthy people to die of it, they must be kept away from effective drugs like IVM and HCQ. Having prevented treatment, the Quixotic Quislings of Quarantine can then claim that COVID is far worse than it actually is.

With any of the proven protocols for those drugs, COVID is no worse than the flu. But the billions available in the COVID lottery are so large that it’s hard for anyone to remember that the task of a doctor is to treat the sick, not to keep them away from treatment because they didn’t get a shot that is less effective than the $8 India spent.

Parting Thoughts

The COVID pandemic is a man-caused disaster, and I’m not talking about how the bug was created. In the earliest days, we didn’t know how to treat it but within a couple of months effective HCQ protocols were available. Those protocols, though, contradicted the bureaucrats at NIH/CDC/LSD who were married to their own approach of lockdown, distance, and vaccinate – unless you are one of the elites. They were the smartest people in the room, and anyone who contradicted them was the spawn of the devil.

We have extremely effective protocols that anyone who gets sick should be able to use, but those bureaucrats can punish anyone who prescribes one of them. In short, we are in a concentration camp from sea to shining sea. America the Beautiful is now COVIDia the Rapacious. We are cannon fodder at the command of those who know nothing but do not care.

 

CV19 Lockdowns: High Pain/Gain Ratio

Douglas W. Allen published a study Covid-19 Lockdown Cost/Benefits: A Critical Assessment of the Literature in the International Journal of the Economics of Business. September 29, 2021. H/T Raymond  Excerpts in italics with my bolds and some added images

Abstract

An examination of over 100 Covid-19 studies reveals that many relied on false assumptions that over-estimated the benefits and under-estimated the costs of lockdown. The most recent research has shown that lockdowns have had, at best, a marginal effect on the number of Covid-19 deaths. Generally speaking, the ineffectiveness stemmed from individual changes in behavior: either non-compliance or behavior that mimicked lockdowns. The limited effectiveness of lockdowns explains why, after more than one year, the unconditional cumulative Covid-19 deaths per million is not negatively correlated with the stringency of lockdown across countries. Using a method proposed by Professor Bryan Caplan along with estimates of lockdown benefits based on the econometric evidence, I calculate a number of cost/benefit ratios of lockdowns in terms of life-years saved. Using a mid-point estimate for costs and benefits, the reasonable estimate for Canada is a cost/benefit ratio of 141. It is possible that lockdown will go down as one of the greatest peacetime policy failures in modern history.

Overview

The term ‘lockdown’ is used to generically refer to state actions that imposed various forms of non-pharmaceutical interventions. That is, it is used to include mandatory state-enforced closing of non-essential business, education, recreation, and spiritual facilities; mask and social distancing orders; stay-in-place orders; and restrictions on private social gatherings.

‘Lockdown’ does not refer to cases of ‘isolation,’ where a country was able to engage in an early and sufficient border closure that prevented trans-border transmission, followed by a mandated lockdown that eliminated the virus in the domestic population, which was then followed by perpetual isolation until the population is fully vaccinated. This strategy was adopted by a number of island countries like New Zealand.1 Here I will only consider lockdown as it took place in most of the world; that is, within a country where the virus became established.

The report begins with an examination of four critical assumptions often made within the context of estimating benefits and costs. Understanding these assumptions explains why early studies claimed that the benefits of lockdown were so high, and also explains why the predictions of those studies turned out to be false. Then I examine the major cost/benefit studies in roughly chronological order, and focus on the critical factor in these studies: distinguishing between mandated and voluntary changes in behavior. Preliminary work on the costs of lockdown is reviewed, and finally a simple cost/benefit methodology is used to generate several cost/benefit ratios of lockdown for my home country of Canada.

In no scenario does lockdown pass a cost/benefit test; indeed, the most reasonable estimates suggest that lockdown is a great policy disaster.

Discussion

Over the course of the Covid-19 pandemic, there has been no public evidence that governments around the world have considered both the benefit and cost sides of their policy decisions. To my knowledge, no government has provided any formal cost/benefit analysis of their actions. Indeed, the steady press conferences and news releases almost entirely focus on one single feature of the disease. Although the focus of government announcements has changed over the year, from ‘flattening the curve’, number of Covid-19 deaths, number of Covid19 cases, hospital capacity, and variant transmissions (especially the delta variant), there has seldom been any official mention of the costs of the actions taken to address these concerns.

The counterfactual number of cases/deaths

If lockdown reduces the transmission of the virus, the natural question to ask is ‘by how much?’ In other words, ‘but for the lockdown’ what would the level of infection/transmission/deaths be? What is the counterfactual to lockdowns?

Early in the pandemic the Neil Ferguson et al. (2020) model appeared to drive many lockdown decisions and was widely covered in the media. Figure 1 reproduces a key figure of that paper (Table 2, p. 8), and shows the results of various types of lockdown on occupied ICU beds. The symmetry, smoothness, and orderly appearance of the functions is a result of the mechanical nature of the model. This type of figure is found, in one form or another, in most papers based on a SIR model.

Figure 1. ICU predictions in ICL model.

In Figure 1 the black ‘do nothing’ line is the counterfactual, while the other lines are various types of lockdowns. The harsher the lockdown, the ‘flatter’ the case load, with the blue line being the strongest lockdown. The difference between the black line and another line is the benefit of that particular lockdown in terms of cases delayed. Clearly the exponential growth of the ‘do nothing’ counterfactual leads to enormous differences, and makes lockdown look better.

Given the prediction that lockdowns would lower deaths by one-half, the authors made a dramatic recommendation: ‘We therefore conclude that epidemic suppression is the only viable strategy at the current time. The social and economic effects of the measures which are needed to achieve this policy goal will be profound.’ (Ferguson et al. 2020, p. 16). In retrospect it is remarkable that such a conclusion was drawn. The authors recognized that the ‘social and economic effects’ would be ‘profound,’ and that the predictions were based on the ‘unlikely’ behavioral assumption that there would be no change to individual reactions to the virus. However, given the large counterfactual numbers, presumably they felt no lockdown cost could justify remaining open.

Problems with the ICL model were pointed out immediately:

i) the reproduction number (Rt) of 2.4 was too high;
ii) the assumed infection fatality rate (IFR) of 0.9% was too high and not age dependent;
iii) hospital capacity was assumed fixed and unchangeable; and
iv) individuals in the model were assumed to not change behavior in the face of a new virus.

All of these assumptions have the effect of over-estimating the counterfactual number of cases, transmissions, and deaths.

The exogenous behavior assumption

A major reason for the failure of SIR models to predict actual cases and deaths is because they assume no individual in the model ever changes behavior.9 The implication of ignoring individual responses to a viral threat are dramatic. Atkeson (2021) used a standard SIR model (with exogenous behavior) that included seasonal effects and the introduction of a more contagious variant in December 2020 to forecast daily U.S. deaths out to July 2023. The results of this standard model were typical: the model made apocalyptic predictions on deaths that were off by a factor of twelve by the summer of 2020. However, he then used the same model with a simple behavioral adjustment that allowed individuals to change behavior in light of the value of Rt. The new forecast of daily deaths based on this single addition completely changed the model’s predictive power. The model now tracked the actual progression of the daily deaths very closely.

The fact that individuals privately and voluntarily respond to risks has two important implications. First, it influences how any counterfactual outcome is understood with respect to the lockdown. When no voluntary response is assumed, models predict exponential caseloads and deaths without lockdowns. If lockdowns are imposed and cases coincidently fall, the actual number of cases is then compared to a counterfactual that never would have happened.11 Therefore, not accounting for rational, voluntary individual responses within a SIR model drastically over-states any benefit from lockdown.12

Second, any empirical work that considers only the total change in outcomes and does not attempt to separate the mandated effect from the voluntary effect, will necessarily attribute all of the change in outcome to the mandated lockdown. Once again, this will over-estimate the effect, and quite likely by an order of magnitude.

The assumed value of life

Economic value is based on the idea of maximum sacrifice. Thus, when it comes to the value of an individual’s life, this value is determined by the actual individual. In practice, what is measured is the marginal value to extend one’s life a little bit by reducing some type of harm, and then use this to determine a total value of life.

One problem with using the VSL for estimating the benefits of saving lives through lockdown is that it measures the total value of life based on a marginal value. Thus, using a VSL (which is based on observing ordinary people not at the point of death) as a measure of the value of a life of someone about to die, is likely to provide an over-estimate of the value of the life.

In many Covid-19 cost/benefit studies, however, there is another more serious problem with how the VSL is used. Namely, it is often assumed that

i) the VSL is independent of age, and
ii) that the VSL is equal to around $10,000,000.

Both of these claims are not true.

Figure 2. Age related estimates of VSL

To assume that the VSL is constant implies that individuals are indifferent between living one more day or eighty more years. Figure 2 shows more reasonable estimates, with the value of a child being seven times the value of an 85 year old. The VSL of $2,000,000 for an 85 year old is based on the assumption that life expectancy is still ten years. For someone who is 85, in poor health with multiple serious illnesses, the VSL would be much lower.

An issue with lockdown costs

It is common in cost/benefit studies to only use lost GDP as the measure for the cost of lockdown. That is, the reduced value of goods and services caused by lockdown is the only cost of the lockdown considered. For example, US GDP over 2020 fell by 3.5%. If 100% of the fall in GDP (approximately $770 billion) is attributed to the lockdown (that is, the virus directly had no effect on production), then compared to the presumed ‘22 trillion’ dollar savings in lives, lockdown seems like an excellent policy.

This type of comparison, however, is entirely inappropriate.

The VSL is based on the utility of life, and therefore, the costs of lockdown must also be based on the lost utility of lockdown. It has been understood from the very beginning of the pandemic that lockdown caused a broad range of costs through lost civil liberty, lost social contact, lost educational opportunities, lost medical preventions and procedures, increased domestic violence, increased anxiety and mental suffering, and increased deaths due to despair and inability to receive medical attention. If the value of lockdown is measured in utility, then the costs of lockdown must be measured in the same fashion. Excluding the value of lost non-market goods (goods not measured by GDP) grossly under-estimates the cost of lockdown.

Other Costs

Lost educational opportunities. Lost, delayed, or poor education leads to reduced human capital that has life long negative consequences.

Additional effects of school closures. Closing schools creates isolation for children, which is known to increase the risk of mental health conditions.

Increased deaths expected from unemployment. Life expectancy depends on wealth levels. McIntyre and Lee (2020) predict between 418–2114 excess suicides in Canada based on increased unemployment over the pandemic year. 

Increased deaths from overdoses and other deaths of despair. Lockdowns disrupt illegal drug channels, often resulting in a more contaminated drug supply. Lockdowns also increase human isolation, leading to increased depression and suicides.

Increased domestic violence. Chalfin et al. (2021) found that much of the increased domestic violence is related to increased alcohol which increased during lockdown.

Lost non-Covid-19 medical service. In the spring lockdown hospitals cancelled scheduled appointments for screenings and treatments (e.g. London et al. 2020; Garcia et al. 2020), this created fear among individuals who required emergency treatments. Woolf et al. (2020) estimate that in the U.S. about 1/3 of the excess deaths over 2020 are not Covid-19 deaths. 

The opportunity costs of lockdown are widespread across societies, and everyone has faced some type of lockdown consequence. These costs are often non-market and in the future, making them difficult for third parties to measure. They are also unevenly distributed onto the young and the poor who have been unable to mitigate the consequences of lockdown.

These characteristics contribute to the lack of attention given to them, and stand in sharp contrast to Covid-19 case loads and deaths that are measured, highly concentrated, and widely reported.

In light of the nature and measurement problems associated with the costs of lockdown, as of July 2021 no true, standard, cost benefit study has been conducted. All efforts have rested on assumptions and guesses of things not yet known. It will still take time for a systematic, ground-up, attempt to determine the total lost quality of life brought about by lockdown. Even though such studies do not exist, there is still weight to the economic logic that, with negligible benefits and obvious high costs, lockdown is an inefficient policy.

Four stylized facts about covid-19

Atkeson et al.’s (2020) paper ‘Four Stylized Facts About Covid-19’ was a watershed result that appeared six months into the pandemic. Using data from 23 countries and all U.S. states that had experienced at least 1000 cumulative deaths up to July 2020, it discovered important features of the progression of the virus across countries that cast serious doubt that any forms of lockdown had a significant large impact on transmission and death rates.

In particular, they found that across all of the jurisdictions there was an initial high variance in the daily death and transmission rates, but that this ended very rapidly. After 20–30 days of the 25th death the growth rate in deaths fell to close to zero, and the transmission rate hovered around one. Not only did Atkeson et al. find a dramatic drop and stability of the death and transmission rates, but the spread in these rates across jurisdictions was very narrow. That is, across all jurisdictions, after 20–30 days the virus reached a steady state where each infected person transmitted the virus to one other person, and the number of daily deaths from the virus became constant over time.

Atkeson et al. speculated on three reasons for their findings. First, unlike the assumptions made in the SIR models, individuals do not ignore risks, and when a virus enters a population people take mitigating or risky actions based on their own assessments of that risk. Second, again in contrast to the classic SIR model where individuals uniformly interact with each other, actual human networks are limited and this can limit the spread of the virus after a short period. Finally, like other pandemics, there may be natural forces associated with Covid-19 that explain the rapid move to a steady state death and transmission rate.

Voluntary versus mandated lockdown channels

There are, by my count, over twenty studies that distinguish between voluntary and mandated lockdown effects. Although they vary in terms of data, locations, methods, and authors, all of them find that mandated lockdowns have only marginal effects and that voluntary changes in behavior explain large parts of the changes in cases, transmissions, and deaths.

A reasonable conclusion to draw from the sum of lockdown findings on mortality is that a small reduction (benefit) cannot be ruled out for early and light levels of lockdown restrictions. There is almost no consistent evidence that strong levels of lockdown have a beneficial effect, and given the large levels of statistical noise in most studies, a zero (or even negative) effect cannot be ruled out. Maybe lockdowns have a marginal effect, but maybe they do not; a reasonable range of the decline in Covid-19 mortality is 0–20%.

An alternative cost/benefit methodology

Professor Caplan (2020) has suggested a thought experiment that provides a solution for the cost measurement issue. Rather than attempt to measure a long list of costs and add them up, Caplan proposes a method that exploits our willingness to pay to avoid the harms of lockdown. If lockdown imposed net costs of $1000 on a person, then that person would be willing to pay up to $1000 to avoid lockdown. Caplan, however, poses the matter in terms of time rather than dollars.

Professor Caplan’s thought experiment addresses the total costs of all covid prevention as perceived by each person living under it, and therefore is an appropriate utility based cost measure to hold up against the value of lives saved through lockdown: X is the number of months a person is willing to pay to avoid lockdowns, other things equal.

For any random individual, X could take on a wide range of values. For some this past year has been horrific, and perhaps they would have preferred it never happened. Perhaps they suffered violence or abuse that was fueled by frustration and alcohol while locked down during a long stay-at-home order. Or perhaps they lost a business, a major career opportunity, or struggled over a long period of unemployment and induced depression. For these people, X equals 12 — they would have paid 12 months of their life to have avoided this past year. Others might have been willing to pay even more.

For the vast majority of populations, Covid-19 was not a serious health risk. Lockdowns provided no benefits and only costs. Thus, for the vast majority, X likely takes on a value in the order of a few months.

As of March 2021 the pandemic had lasted one year, and by assumption the average Canadian had lost two months of normal life due to lockdown. The population of Canada is 37.7 million people, which means that 6,283,333 years of life were lost due to Canada’s lockdown policy. This number of years can be converted into ‘lives’ using average life expectancy.

The average age of reported Covid-19 deaths in Canada over the first year of the pandemic was 80. In Canada an average 80 year old has a life expectancy of 9.79 years. This means that the 6,283,333 million years of lost life is equivalent to the deaths of 643,513 80 year olds. As of March 22, 2021 Canada had a total of 22,716 deaths due to Covid-19 (or 222,389 lost years of life).

Conclusion

After more than a year of gathering aggregate data, a puzzle has emerged. Lockdowns were brought on with claims that they were effective and the only means of dealing with the pandemic. However, across many different jurisdictions this relationship does not hold when looking at the raw data.

A casual examination of lockdown intensity and the number of cumulative deaths attributed to Covid-19 across jurisdictions shows no obvious relationship. Indeed, often the least intensive locations had equal or better performance. For example, using the OurWorldInData stringency index (SI) as a measure of lockdown, Pakistan (SI: 50), Finland (SI: 52), and Bulgaria (SI: 50) had similar degrees of lockdown, but the cumulative deaths per million were 61, 141, and 1023. Peru (SI: 83) and the U.K. (SI: 78) had some of the most stringent lockdowns, but also experienced some of the largest cumulative deaths per million: 1475 and 1868.

These unconditional observation puzzles are resolved by the research done over the past year. The preconceived success of lockdowns was driven by theoretical models that were based on assumptions that were unrealistic and often false.

The lack of any clear and large lockdown effect is because there isn’t one to be found.

 

How Voter Fraud Is Revealed in 35 US States

Jay Valentine reports on the behind-the-scenes canvassing organizations documenting widespread fraud in the 2020 elections.  Surprisingly, even in states carried handily by Trump, there were large numbers of illegal ballots counted in state and local races.  His article at American Thinker is Meet the Technology That’s Uncovering 2020’s Voter Fraud.  Excerpts in italics with my bolds and images.

Were You a Phantom Voter?  Now You Can Find Out.

The search for phantom voters is over. Phantom voters are sitting next to you at the restaurant or standing next to you at the bank. They are your friend and neighbor. You may be a phantom and not know it.

Phantom voters, the definition, is morphing from fake voters hiding in UPS boxes to people who advanced computer models predict will not vote.

Don’t get me wrong — there are thousands of phantom voters living in churches, R.V. parks, cemeteries, homeless shelters, hotels, and virtual mailboxes. It’s just that there are as many, perhaps more, who live active, healthy, honest lives on voter rolls. They just don’t know they voted.

You’ve heard the stories, denied by the mainstream press and almost every secretary of state: “there is no significant voter fraud.” Why not say that? There is no way you can check.

Now there is.

After the 2020 election results stopped in the middle of night and vote trajectories magically changed when they fired up again, thousands of people, just like you, didn’t buy it. They formed armies of canvassers in 35 or more states. They did something that has not been done at scale in the history of the country: they started checking voter rolls.

They did more. They filed Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests at unprecedented levels. Secretary of state offices, once a murky sinecure, had to answer real questions about what was going on.

Here’s what popped out.

Leftists are different from you and me. Unlike us, they care that every vote is cast, and if you do not cast your vote, they will do it for you. And they did. At scale.

In one midwestern state, voter rolls costing tens of thousands of dollars were bought by a billionaire leftist every month for over a year. Why would someone buy a list that doesn’t change much?

Voter lists show people who move. They show people who never or seldom vote.

The white hat canvassing team built a query for one state: “voters who voted in 2020 who never voted before.” Guess what! 265,000.

In the same state, thousands of people came forward with stories that when they showed up to vote, they were told someone had voted for them. Get the picture?

In a southwestern state, in its second largest city, there was a 21-day daily tabulation of cast ballots. Once a ballot is cast, it should not be changed. Not here.

When the millions of cast votes across over 21 snapshots were compared, thousands of ballots had been altered. Some were minor alterations, like a slight name change. Others were more interesting — like when someone voted in person, but his vote was later changed by an absentee ballot.

It gets better.

Those FOIA requests are mining gold. Our midwestern state has documents showing that the state election organization gave online access to a leftist group for weeks during the voting. Citizens had to pay over $20,000 for one shapshot of the voter roll. Leftists could, and did, access it online throughout the process. For free.

And access it they did. Witness statements are being gathered, lots of them, that in the largest city, election officials were trading cell calls about how many votes were needed, and someone was then providing the phantoms to meet the quota.

They knew the names of the phantoms — they had direct access to who voted, who didn’t, and who was likely to never show up.

This is not exclusively a blue-state phenomenon.

In a deep red state, canvassers found more traditional phantoms.

There were the 21 people at the fraternity house. Nothing to see here — until they sorted them by age. All these kids were active voters, many voted, and their age range was from 115 to 57. Some frat house.

These red-state canvassers went deeper. They showed that the phantoms did not vote en masse in the 2020 presidential election. Phew! Feeling better. But wait. They vote in droves in state, county, municipal elections.

Aha — here was another interesting pattern, never seen before.

This deep red state that voted for Trump by double-digit margins did not call out its phantom army when it could not move the needle. When local, state elections were up, well, those people voted — even the 21 at the county jail and the 41 registered at the Recreation Commission.

In earlier American Thinker articles, we created the phrase “sovereign fraud.” That means your government is in on it.

As more than 35 state citizen organization now are using the most advanced search and big data technology to look into voter rolls, and cross-check them with churches, R.V. parks, fictitious street locations, they are concluding the office of secretary of state is corrupt, incompetent, or often both.

Let’s take incompetent.

In about every state, there are voters old enough to have fought in the Civil War, and they still vote. In one state, there are voters — a bunch of them older than Julius Caesar — the Roman guy.

States have voter rolls with multiple people using the same voter ID. When pressed, they have some screwy excuse that it’s a sequencing anomaly. At least one state adds every new voter to the end of its voter ID sequence, as one would expect. Except when it doesn’t. These people have numbers that skip by two and later ten, and they insert voters there, not at the end.

There are hundreds I have personally seen, thus thousands in every state — examples of 16 people, with different last names, living in that one-bedroom, 876-square-foot house. Really?

Let’s go to corrupt.

Secretaries of state, when pressed to cough up those voter rolls, after the confiscatory price is paid, change the data in such a way that it cannot be searched with traditional technology. Tough luck for them; our canvassing friends have search technology five generations ahead, so it gets done.

Canvassers in 35 or more states are digging, and the more they find, the more relentless they become. We are pleased to provide technology that runs a thousand times faster than anything available to any secretary of state or leftist voter fraud group.

These canvassing organizations are the Minutemen of this generation. They come from every background, organize with no central leadership. They blindly figured out how phantom voting was happening, and they are forcing states to audit their voter rolls.

They aren’t blind anymore. They are organized. They have resources and technology, and things are about to change in a big way for phantoms.

 

 

Economics of Infrastructure Investment

Mathew Kahn discusses the ramifications of the major transportation spending recently passed by the US Congress. Of course, as the pie chart shows, infrastructure as many people think of it—construction or improvement of bridges, highways, roads, rail and subways, ports, waterways, and airports—accounts for only $157 billion, or 7%, of the plan’s estimated cost.  Still that is a lot of money (“A billion here, a billion there, and soon it adds up to real money”–US Senator), and Kahn provides a list of concerns in his article What Insights Does Economics Offer About the Nascent Biden Administration Transport Infrastructure Investment Program?   Excerpts in italics with my bolds and images.

The Washington Post has published a piece stating that the Secretary of Transportation, Peter Buttigieg, is the big winner of the Biden Infrastructure Bill as he will be attending many ribbon cutting ceremonies as grateful local mayors shake his hand.

Economic research offers many insights here about the efficiency and equity effects of this multi-billion dollar investment.

Point #1: This is an irreversible investment. When a city builds a new subway line, this billion dollar project cannot be later sold on Ebay and use the $ to do something else. In contrast to light rail and subway lines, dedicated buses feature more option value because they can be sold off or redeployed on different routes in the same city. Given that we don’t know how cities will develop over time, this real option has value.

Point #2; Past expansions of public transit have not significantly increased ridership with the exception of Washington DC. In the case of Los Angeles, improves in rail service (such as the Light Rail on Exposition that I ride) has taken bus riders away from the bus. See our 2005 paper. If crime rates continue to be a concern in cities then the middle class will be even less likely to use the “shiny new” infrastructure. The poor do rely on public transit to move around cities and an expansion will improve their quality of life. An economist would ask whether they value this benefit more than the cash equivalent?

Point #3: The older infrastructure in the nation is located in older cities, where the population is barely growing (or shrinking) and where the voters are mainly Democrats.

Point #4: The highways tend to be built in the suburbs where the voting base leans Republican. My 2011 Brookings piece with David offers several constructive ideas for how to “build back better” here.

Point #5: If progressive cities gain better infrastructure due to the Biden Investment AND if they don’t build much housing (the progressive city NIMBYism is well documented) , then housing prices will rise and the poor and middle class will be further squeezed by this new investment.

Point #6: There are many economics consulting firms that intentionally offer extremely optimistic ridership estimates ex-ante and this helps ambitious government officials to justify projects (i.e to say that it passes a cost/benefit test) when in reality — ex-post evaluations show low usage of the new infrastructure. See Pickrell 1992.

Point #7: Given that unions are powerful in progressive cities, what is the marginal cost of infrastructure creation in these cities? Is the Department of Transportation seeking to build a new capital stock or to enrich a special interest group that supports the Democrats? How many middle class new construction jobs will be created? Will the expansion of the public capital stock crowd out the expansion of the private capital stock as construction crews work on transport infrastructure rather than building private sector projects? What is the shape of the construction supply curve?

Point #8, once the new infrastructure is completed — will this greatly improve urban quality of life in cities such as Baltimore that have been shrinking? How will the Mayor and local civic leaders and private sector stakeholders change their investments and policy decisions? What positive synergies might emerge? Our 2021 Unlocking Book explores some of these themes of investment co-ordination between the private and the public sector.

The Inflationary Road to Serfdom (Great Reset)

Tyler Durden posted at zerohedge This Is How They Intend To Get Us To “You Will Own Nothing And Be Happy”.  Excerpts in italics with my bolds.

The pieces of the puzzle may fit together in ways that you do not expect. For years, the global elite have been openly telling us that one day we will all own nothing, we will have no privacy, and we will be extremely happy with our new socialist utopia. But exactly how do they intend to transition to such a society? Are they going to come and take all of your stuff? Needless to say, there are millions upon millions of very angry people out there that aren’t just going to hand over their stuff to a bunch of socialists. So how are they going to overcome that obstacle?

Well, the truth is that they don’t need to take your stuff to implement their goals.  All they need to do is to destroy the value of your money.

If your money becomes worthless, you will start descending into poverty and it won’t be too long before you become totally dependent on the government.

And as the stuff that you have right now wears out, you won’t be able to replace it with the worthless money that you are now holding.

Eventually, you will own virtually nothing, but you probably won’t be very happy about it.

So high inflation is actually a tool that the global elite can use to further their goals.

The good news is that I do not believe that the global elite will ever be able to achieve their utopia.

The bad news is that they won’t be able to achieve their utopia because western society is going to completely and utterly collapse during the times that are ahead.

But as I demonstrated last week, the truth is that inflation is rising much faster than our paychecks are, and that means that our standard of living is going down.

And inflation is one of the big reasons why the University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index just hit the lowest level since 2011.

The Federal Reserve has lost control, and 2022 is going to be a very “interesting” year from an economic standpoint.

On Sunday, we learned that the average price of a gallon of gasoline in California has almost reached five dollars…Gasoline prices are going to continue to move higher, and that is really bad news.

Just about everything that we buy has to be transported, and so higher gasoline prices are going to fuel even more inflation.

Sadly, those that are on the bottom of the economic food chain are the ones that are being hurt the most. At this point, many food banks are really struggling to purchase enough food because price hikes have become so severe…

So many problems have converged all at once.  Some have used the term “a perfect storm” to describe what we are facing, and I think that is definitely quite appropriate.

If you are waiting for life to “get back to normal”, you are going to be waiting for a very long time. As MN Gordon has noted, pre-2020 prices are now gone forever…

But sooner or later, this is what socialist regimes always do.  They tell us to study hard, get a good job and work as hard as we can.  And then they give our money to people that haven’t done any of those things.

Eventually they run out of other people’s money, and so then they just start wildly creating more.

Unfortunately, every time that this has been tried throughout history it has always ended in disaster, and now it is our turn.

More from Jeff Greenfield at Politico Joe Biden’s Empty Inflation Toolbox

Presidents have little power to bring down rising prices.
History shows the public doesn’t care.

Left unspoken was a chilling reminder from history: Inflation has a unique power to kneecap a presidency. Incumbent presidents and their parties do not do well at all when inflation (and attempts to cure it) are on voters’ minds come election time. The gas pump, the supermarket check-out counter, the heating bill, the sticker on the windshield, provide — or seem to provide — powerful indictments against the party in charge.

If that’s not enough to unsettle the White House and its allies, consider this: Presidents have almost no power to ease the pain of inflation, and the voting public cuts presidents no slack at all because of that impotence. Look into the toolbox of our country’s chief executive and you’ll find it empty of effective tools, filled instead with devices now obsolete or laughable or meaningless or politically destructive.

But if you’re looking for a president who did in fact do something to tame inflation — albeit indirectly — it was Jimmy Carter. When he appointed Paul Volcker as chair of the Federal Reserve Board, he put someone in a position of real power who was determined to fully exercise that power, no matter the consequences.

With an inflation rate in 1980 of more than 13 percent — “It was the biggest inflation and the most sustained inflation that the United States had ever had,” Volcker recalled — he led the Fed to a historic tightening of the money supply. Interest rates rose vertiginously; at one point the prime rate hit 21 percent. The consequences were dramatic and ugly — a recession more severe than any since the Great Depression. Four million workers lost their jobs.

The “stagflation” — a toxic combination of inflation and unemployment — helped send Carter down to a landslide defeat in 1980. By 1982, the unemployment rate hit 10 percent, a number high enough to cost Republicans 27 seats in the House. By 1984, however, unemployment was moving in the right direction, dropping to just over 7 percent. Economic growth was over 7 percent, inflation had dropped to under 4 percentand Ronald Reagan won a 49-state re-election.

The United Sates has not faced a genuinely worrisome inflation rate since, and that’s another source of pain for Biden and his party. Americans have had no experience in decades with prices rising across the board; a 6 or 7 percent inflation rate is nothing compared to the Carter era, but it looks particularly worrisome compared with the recent past.

If Biden’s advisors are right, 2022 will see the lessening of inflation, as goods flow into the stores and automobile lots where cash-flushed customers will no longer bid up the costs of scarce items. But that’s more of a hope than a certainty; the White House description last summer of the “transitory” nature of this inflation seems a lot less convincing now, and the prospect of Christmas season with high priced or unavailable goods and sharply higher fuel costs does not bode well for the president’s already-sinking approval numbers.

Footnote:  Road to Serfdom

In ‘The Road to Serfdom’ F. A. Hayek set out the danger posed to freedom by attempts to apply the principles of wartime economic and social planning to the problems of peacetime. Mises Institute provides a text in pdf format here