Long Covid: Myth and Grift

Michael Fumento investigates The Myth — and Grift — of Long COVID in his American Spectator article.  Excerpts in italics with my bolds and added images.

Validating people’s fears is a lucrative business.

The would-be monkeypoxalypse isn’t panning out as some would like — no deaths have been reported outside of Africa — and apparently 99 percent of U.S. victims are gay men having sex with gay men.

And, while acute COVID-19 is still spinning off variants and Health and Human Services (HHS) has just extended the public health emergency, people are just plumb tired of hearing about it. But moving in to fill the clickbait quota is the so-called “long COVID” or “long-haul COVID.”

“Do I have Long COVID? As many as 23 million Americans want to know,
as more than 200 symptoms emerge.”

So begins a recent article in Fortune magazine. “It gets stranger,” the piece continues. “Among the 200-plus symptoms identified so far are ear numbness, a sensation of ‘brain on fire,’ erectile dysfunction, irregular menstrual periods, constipation, peeling skin, and double vision.” This is according to a study published a year ago in the British medical journal the Lancet, widely considered the world’s most prestigious medical journal. And, oh yes, “The study identified symptoms involving 10 major organ systems—and the body only has 11.”

If you haven’t recently suffered at least a dozen of these symptoms, it’s bad news for you. You’re dead.

We all know the expression “If it sounds too good to be true ….” Why is there no corollary that says, “If it sounds too bad …”? Do you have to be a genius’ genius, say Albert Einstein level, to recognize that over 200 symptoms in almost all major organ systems have no relationship, that this is just a constellation of symptoms — which has now grown so large that it cannot possibly count as a constellation anymore?

It’s essentially anything bad.  The “search for causes and cures” for “long COVID” will never end, any more than we will ever find Bigfoot or the Loch Ness Monster.

Oh, and this is really important. Official definitions aside, in order to have “long COVID,”
there’s absolutely no need to ever have had acute COVID.

Obviously, some people who contract COVID do have long-term symptoms, as with the flu or other diseases that usually resolve fairly quickly but sometimes have lingering problems.

Yet, as I noted in my first “long COVID” article in The American Spectator last September:

The largest study so far of “long-haulers,” published by researchers at University College London in July, comprised nearly 4,000 subjects from over 56 countries. Participants were over the age of 18 and suffered from symptoms lasting at least 28 days. The researchers acknowledged merely in passing that in the study a mere 27% or 1020 of these “COVID long-haulers” had evidence of exposure to the SARS-CoV-2 virus. That’s whether antigen [during infection] or antibody [post-infection]. The only connection to COVID was the attestation of the sufferers. They “felt” they had COVID, regardless of evidence.

So about three-fourths of the participants don’t fit any of the above definitions. Yet that is the study that Fortune cites.

An August 2021 study of 3,151 British “long haulers” in Pragmatic and Observational Research found that only 17.2 percent were “test-confirmed positive.” A further 12 percent said they were told they had acute COVID, but no test was performed. And over 70 percent admitted it was merely self-diagnosis. An influential and scary article in the Atlantic reported some two-thirds of “long-hauler” patients had negative coronavirus antibody tests without making the obvious inference. An advocacy group study released in May 2020 by the curiously named “Patient-Led Research Collaborative” found that only “[a]bout a quarter of respondents (23.1%) tested positive for COVID-19” but “[i]n our analysis, we included all responses regardless of testing status.”

And the game continues. No, not just with the popular clickbait media. With the vaunted “published, peer-reviewed” medical journals that have names most people don’t even understand, like Annals of Clinical and Translational Neurology. A May 2022 issue reports on a selected cohort of 100 “non-hospitalized COVID-19 ‘long haulers.’” Yet these included “50 laboratory-negative” people. Again, they didn’t just not test positive but rather had tested negative. But this time it was made clear they were included because they were negative!

They didn’t read the WHO, CDC, Mayo Clinic, etc., definitions?

Clearly they had. And rejected them. You see, “it has been advocated that a positive test for COVID-19 should not be a perquisite for diagnosis” (emphasis mine). As I noted in my original article, like so many faux diseases before it, such as the CDC-recognized “myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS),” so-called “long COVID” has been co-opted by advocacy groups whose main purpose is to engage in what’s called “beating up the numbers.” That is, making them seem greater. This has been going on since AIDS, when beginning around 1984 AIDS was converted from a disease overwhelmingly afflicting male homosexuals and intravenous drug abusers to “An Equal Opportunity Destroyer.”

The difference between AIDS and “long COVID” is that, at the time, you could play games regarding how people contracted the disease, but the definition of AIDS in the U.S. and Europe was quite fixed and absolutely required a positive HIV test. But if we do what “long COVID” advocates want and eliminate the need for a positive COVID test, then, given that absolutely everyone not only has had some of the ever-growing list of 200-plus symptoms but probably still does, we can literally say that everyone is suffering “long COVID.” Of course, that would be going a bit far, as when I saw extrapolations of AIDS cases to a point where people claimed more Americans would die of AIDS than there were Americans. So instead, we see the numbers pumped up to something that’s just on the edge of reason. Or maybe a bit beyond. The Atlantic tells us the U.S. has “at least 56 million long-COVID patients.” Or, as it says, “one for every six Americans.” Do we really believe that?

Disease advocacy groups, of which “long COVID” had at least 50 as of February of last year, have various motives. An obvious one is that more attention means more funding.

Removal of stigma is not universal, but special treatment is. And indeed, in a joint statement last year, HHS and the Department of Justice ruled that “long COVID can be a disability” under the Americans with Disabilities Act, thereby protecting alleged sufferers from “discrimination.” With allegedly over 200 symptoms, pretty much whatever you say your problem is can be protected. The range is broad enough to include demanding more time to take tests. Want a better chance at acing that exam? Claim to have “long COVID.” It does, however, require an “individualized assessment,” which is presumably as easy as calling up a list of alleged symptoms or, actually, just claiming virtually any symptoms.

Advocates also want to make a special exception for alleged sufferers to collect social security disability payments more quickly. As it stands, you don’t need a “long COVID” diagnosis to qualify if your symptoms are among those covered. But there’s a waiting period, and they want that shortened just for those who claim to have “long COVID.”

All that said, the Annals authors’ own data make the case that there’s no such thing as “long COVID.” Table 2 has three separate breakdowns. It kindly separates those who tested positive from those who tested negative, and then breaks them down further into neurologic and other symptoms upon first visit and then upon follow-up. And lo! — it turns out that time and again the ones who tested negative (and, even by the woke standards of the authors, are thereby more likely to never have had acute COVID) are worse off.

So, if nothing else, when you see an article in the popular media cite official or authoritative definitions of “long COVID” and then proceed to discuss what it may be, don’t let them mislead you into thinking they’re going by those definitions. Essentially, they’re going by whatever they think will keep you reading or by what they feel is the “right thing to do.”

But why would there be a difference between the positive and negative groups with the negatives worse off? Because those who actually have had COVID may be suffering extended symptoms from their disease. May. But those who never had COVID, but are convinced they have, are more likely to have psychological problems, and psychological problems are notoriously difficult to treat. Especially if ignored in favor of something else.

That’s why you haven’t seen terminology in this article such as “alleged sufferers.” Because if you think you’re sick, you’re sick. It’s just that, if you had negative tests for acute COVID, you almost certainly don’t have “long COVID.”

Mind, just as “long haulers” who test negative are different from those who test positive, “long haulers” generally have very little overlap with sufferers of acute COVID. While acute COVID is highly contagious and therefore virtually everyone is susceptible to contracting it (some people repeatedly), those who develop severe symptoms fit a very tight profile. Overwhelmingly they are older, with a plurality of deaths over age 80, and have several preconditions or comorbidities such as diabetes and untreated hypertension. According to the CDC, in the U.S. among acute COVID patients, non-Hispanic American blacks are slightly more likely to be diagnosed with the disease, almost three times as likely to be hospitalized, and are twice as likely to have died, compared with non-Hispanic whites.

But “long-haulers,” according to an appendix in the 2021 University College study, “belong to the middle and upper-middle income brackets, with 51.0% of participants in the USA earning more than $85,000/year and 22.5% earning more than $150,000/year.” They are overwhelmingly white and female. In fact, the demographics match pretty well to those diagnosed with the above-mentioned phantom illness, myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS), for which coincidentally there’s also no cure. The Veterans’ Department says: “[R]esearch suggests that women are 4X more likely to get [ME/CFS] than men. Statistics also show that people between ages 40 and 59 are most affected by the disorder.”

Mostly, as with so many other “syndromes,” these people suffer from depression. My interpretation? No, theirs. In the Annals study, the majority of the COVID-negative patients actually claimed depression as looming large among their symptoms, both upon initial visit and follow-up. Meanwhile, this being a journal of neurology, any symptom they list, such as shortness of breath, can be associated with depression and/or anxiety.

Even the mainstream media have observed the “long COVID” link to depression, as a Google search quickly shows. But they consistently put the cart before the horse. That is, they blame depression on “long COVID” rather than “long COVID” on depression. A typical headline: “How Long Haul COVID Takes a Toll on Your Mental Health.”

And, sadly, the worst thing you can do with depressives is to patronize them. You should tell them that they are suffering from depression and that it is a very real and serious disease (successful suicide has a 100 percent mortality rate), and then you should refer them to an expert who may be able to treat them.

You do not attribute their illness to something that doesn’t exist. That’s not only uncompassionate, it’s downright cruel. Yet, it’s also a great way to sell them snake oil to cure them.

But how many researchers have dared publish the clear reality? Precious few. Or at least few have succeeded; we have no idea what’s been rejected. It’s treated the same as was the case that said AIDS victims are overwhelmingly gay males and drug abusers, as the data clearly showed. I lost two jobs over that and was unemployable for two years. Likewise, did you know that monkeypox victims are 99 percent male and gay before you read it here?

A commentary last year in America’s most prestigious medical journal, the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM), actually launched a preemptive strike against those who believe “long COVID” to be “likely to have a non-physiological origin.” The opinion piece, titled “Confronting Our Next National Health Disaster — Long-Haul Covid,” declares the authors to be aghast that “[s]ome commentators have characterized it as a mental illness.”

In late 2020, the godfather of America’s acute COVID hysteria, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease (NIAID) Director Anthony Fauci, declared “long COVID” to be “quite real and quite extensive.” That’s the same Fauci who apparently got promoted to that position shortly after essentially kick-starting the “AIDS democratization” campaign in 1983 with an article in the prestigious Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), saying that there was evidence of casual transmission. This was long after it had been made clear it was a difficult-to-transmit disease of bodily fluids.

It’s also hardly insubstantial that Congress is paying bounties for discussing the will o’ the wisp, providing “$1.15 billion in funding over four years” for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to support research. And if you think you’re going to get a grant by labeling it as something other than what the former head of NIH, the current acting director, Fauci, the NEJM, and the medical establishment in general has, hopefully you’re living in a state where smoking those mushrooms is legal.

Over a billion bucks is dedicated to the RECOVER program, under which, as of February,
66 hospitals and health systems had launched post-COVID clinics.

So it’s a massive gravy train. There’s much money in spotting Nessie and Bigfoot, less than nothing in denying their existence. In fact, the few who have published in medical journals suggesting it’s not a real disease have been pounded.  There is precedent for this intimidation. My experience with AIDS, for example. Lost jobs, long-term unemployment, books banned.

But there’s also precedent with others and other diseases. About four years ago, Reuters ran a remarkable article called “Online activists are silencing us, scientists say,” regarding ME/CFS. It noted that researchers seeking answers to actual causes of the syndrome and bona fide treatments said they were abandoning the field because of bullying. “Of more than 20 leading research groups who were publishing treatment studies in high-quality journals 10 years ago,” one scientist said, “only one or two continue to do so.” Their sin was in positing psychological rather than organic explanations and, therefore, appropriate treatments. The campaign to have evidence-backed treatments discredited was “doing a terrible disservice to sufferers from this condition,” said another. He concluded, “Patients are the losers here.”

What Ronald E. Gots wrote of an alleged syndrome, multiple chemical sensitivities (MCS), in 1995 in the Journal of Toxicology holds equally true for “long COVID.” It’s “a dangerous diagnosis,” says the executive director of the Environmental Sensitivities Research Institute in Rockville, Maryland, a clearinghouse for scientific data. He continues:

[T]he diagnosis of MCS begins a downward spiral of fruitless treatments, culminating in withdrawal from society and condemning the sufferer to a life of misery and disability. This is a phenomenon in which the diagnosis is far more disabling than the symptoms.

It’s wickedly cruel! We need to really care about these people, not pretend that we do. We need to tell them they need help, that they quite possibly can be helped, but that, even if they tested positive for COVID, what they have is probably not COVID-related, and, if they tested negative, it almost certainly is not.

But don’t hold your breath waiting for an advocacy group or even the medical journal industry — and indeed it is an industry — to take that position. All the money, fame, and fortune are pointing in a different direction.

Examples of Debased Government Science

John Stossel explains with examples in his Town Hall article Scientific ‘Integrity’.  Excerpts in italics with my bolds.

“Trust the science,” say the media. Polls show that fewer Americans do. There’s good reason for that.

“They don’t trust science because science is increasingly untrustworthy,” says science writer Andrew Follet in my new video. “The only group that trusts science right now is Democrats.”  Sixty-four percent of Democrats have “a great deal” of confidence in the scientific community, compared to 34% of Republicans.

Of course, true science — using the scientific method — is important. But that’s not what much of “science” is these days.

Instead, today government science is misused by progressive politicians.

Example 1: Environmental activists want to limit commercial fishing. They want Congress to pass what they call the “Ocean-Based Climate Solutions Act.” It claims climate change is the “greatest threat to America’s national security” and offers a dubious solution: close more of the ocean to commercial fishing.

The administration’s deputy director of Climate, Jane Lubchenco, told Congress that a scientific paper concludes that closing more of the ocean can actually increase catches of fish

Really? That doesn’t seem logical.  It isn’t. The paper was retracted. One scientist called its logic “biologically impossible.”   Also, Lubchenco’s didn’t tell Congress that the paper was written by her brother-in-law! And edited by her!

Did the White House punish Lubchenco for her ethics violations? No. In fact, after her testimony, she was appointed co-head of President Joe Biden’s Scientific Integrity Task Force!

Last week, the National Academy of Sciences banned her for five years. Yet she’s still on the White House’s Scientific Integrity Task Force.

Sadly, much of what’s called science today is simply left-wing advocacy.

“New fields like fat studies, African studies, Latinx studies, queer studies,” says Follet, “are essentially entirely fake.”  Fake? Well, they must be. “Experts” in those fields keep being fooled by people who submit gibberish.

Example 2:  Fat Studies

A ridiculous paper, “Embracing Fatness as Self-Care in the Era of Trump,” was accepted by Massey University’s “Fat Studies” conference. The conference then invited the paper’s author, “Sea Matheson,” to speak.

Attendees gave Matheson’s speech rave reviews, praising the paper’s description of Donald Trump’s “fatphobia” and inviting Matheson to review other work submitted to their “scientific” journal, Fat Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Body Weight and Society.

But Matheson is no scientist. “She” is actually comedian Steven Crowder, who disguised himself as an overweight woman to expose “ivory tower quackery.”

Crowder is just the latest person to fool today’s so-called science journals. James Lindsay, Peter Boghossian and Helen Pluckrose submitted nonsense papers to “grievance studies” journals like Fat Studies, Sexuality & Culture and Sex Roles.

Seven accepted ridiculous papers.

One that took a section of “Mein Kampf” but replaced references to “National Socialism” with “feminism,” was accepted by Affilia: Journal of Women and Social Work.

Gender, Place and Culture accepted a paper that claimed there is rape culture at dog parks.

Follett blames this perversion of science on government. Its science agencies, like much of America, have been taken over by leftists hungry to promote themselves and their agenda.

In science, the way to promote yourself is to get papers published. That often gets you more funding. Government agencies like the National Science Foundation provide most of that funding.

“Nobody wants to publish something that goes against the paymaster,” says Follett. “You don’t get published unless the NSF likes your results.”

Example 3: The NSF gave nearly half a million dollars to a team that wrote a paper questioning glacier science because it “stems from knowledge created by men.”

Absurdities are pushed by the right, too. .Some people still claim that man plays no part in climate change or that the climate isn’t warming at all. Some say vaccines don’t work.  But the right’s junk science doesn’t get backed by government funds.

I’m angry that my tax dollars go to support leftist nonsense.

Unfortunately, most Americans don’t care. That’s probably because they don’t know that government throws so much money at ridiculous progressive advocacy.

“We’ll all start caring when the bridges start falling down and the planes start crashing,” says Follet. “That’s the inevitable end result of this.”

See also Trust Me, I’m a Scientist. Really?

 

See also Why Federalized Science is Rotten

Global Warming Groupthink

H/T to Ghengis for reminding me of this insightful analysis of the climatist ideology.  The GWPF publication is here:  GLOBAL WARMING  A case study in groupthink  My transcript of the video is below in italics with my bolds and added images.

For most of the last 30 years climate change has been called settled science. As letters, observations and scientific advances have shed more light on the problem, it became clear that many of the most alarming and urgent fears about the effects of global warming were unfounded.

These dramatic stories were not just the work of fringe activists. World leaders and internationally renowned scientists too often departed from science to speculate about how terrible the future would be.

“Heat waves, droughts, wildfires, floods all are now more frequent and more intense.” -Obama

But when the truth of these stories was discovered very few politicians attempted to bring a sense of calm or reason to the political debate.

“Global warming is man-made and it’s happening. We’re all agreed that climate change is one of the greatest and most daunting challenges of our age.”

“The scientific reality is compelling us to act. We are on the course for a very, very dangerous world over the next century.”

“The scientific evidence is stronger than ever, and science itself has been slow to correct alarmist claims.”

“Human influence on the climate system is clear.” (IPCC)

Even worse attempts to question the scientific basis of scare stories has been met with hostility.

“We don’t need another meeting of the Flat Earth Society.
We need to get on and tackle climate change.”

Given the emphasis placed on science, data and evidence in the debate, how is this possible?

One answer might be a theory formulated in 1972 by psychologist Irving Janus. He argued that groupthink occurs when a single-minded group dominates a decision-making process, excluding alternative perspectives and criticism. Janus discovered that groupthink was the cause of many catastrophic failures of military planning. Groupthink theory is the basis of a new report by Christopher Booker for the Global warming Policy Foundation

Booker looks at the history of climate change consensus building, policymaking and coverage of the issue in the media. Three rules of groupthink emerge from this historical view. Booker finds that though a consensus on the role of anthropogenic global warming did emerge, this consensus was not dominant in official thinking and coverage. Scientists as well as politicians, campaigners and journalists told stories that owed much more to speculation than to settled science.

“We have built a society, an agricultural system and cities. And everything that we do based on assumptions that basically the climate is not going to change. Eventually this is going to be a problem that is so large that we will transition . . .”

“But after damaging scandals at East Anglia University and the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, it is Mr Miliband’s side who need to change their approach.”

These unfounded stories cost serious setbacks for the climate agenda.

“Or we can choose to believe in the overwhelming judgment of science and act before it’s too late.” (Obama)

Increasingly in cases where mainstream thinking was shown to be wrong, it was defended from criticism not on its scientific merits but on the basis of the scientific consensus that climate change is real, is happening and will be dangerous.

“But they’re wasting everybody’s time on a settled debate. Climate change is a fact.” (Obama)

“Of the scientists who expressed a view, ninety-seven percent said that climate change was happening and it was human-made activity.”

“Certainly of course that has been substantially discredited.” (Hugh Mathers)

“Isn’t it exactly the stifling of dissent that has got the climate scientists into this mess in the first place? Why are you going down this road again?”

“Oh, I’m not trying to stifle dissent, Krishnan, but you’ve got to make the judgment: When there’s a mistake does it undermine the basic facts about climate science?”

Even where criticism of alarmism has come from inside the consensus it was excluded from public debate rather than allowed to improve scientific understanding. Consequently without debate, climate change became the explanation for ever more things from poverty, migration, to war and even mental illness.

“There are a number of statements that have been attributed to me that are not correct. I don’t believe I called anybody here a denier, and yet that’s been stated over and over again. So I’ve been misrepresented quite a bit today by several.” (Michael Mann)

“But it’s in your written testimony. I’ll read it again.” (Judith Curry)

The growing distance between climate stories and reality led to increasingly hostile public campaigns against dissenting opinions.

Scientists openly criticizing climate change alarmism have been forced into silence under the threat of losing their jobs. Dissent in the media has led to campaigns to remove skeptics from public attention and for increasing control over the media.

“I complained about this article and have just heard from the media self regulator that they found nothing wrong at all with the newspaper article. And so I wrote to them and complained. I complained to the Press Complaints Commission there have even been calls for climate skeptics to face criminal prosecution and even the death penalty.”

“Right kids, just before you go, there’s a brilliant idea in the air that I’d like to run by you . . .”

The insistence that everyone in the public sphere must adhere to the consensus has harmed research, political debate and journalistic coverage of climate change. The result of such climate change groupthink may be the least scrutinized, most expensive and counterproductive policies ever conceived. To find out more about how groupthink has been confused for the scientific consensus on climate change download the report from the G WPF website.

Link to GWPF Publication in pdf GLOBAL WARMING  A case study in groupthink

See Also Q&A Why So Many Climate Skeptics

 

 

Yes, The Climate Changes

Michael Foley writes at Quora (Excerpts in italics with my bolds and added images.)

Q:  Why do most scientists believe that the climate is changing? 

A:  Because it is. But most scientists do not believe
human activity is the cause of the change.

The 97% of scientists belief fraud, which has been proven to be a fraud over and over again, was based on a review of the scientific literature on climate. Over 10,000 papers were reviewed and of those only about 2,000 mentioned climate change of those 1,900 were eliminated for various reasons (some of those reasons were bias based) resulting in 100 papers. Of those 100 papers 97 concluded that man’s activity may have a roll in climate change. They ranged from very likely to maybe, which is what came to be reported as the 97% figure.

There is no argument that the climate is changing,
it always has and will always continue to change.

From ice cores and ocean sediment cores it has been established that the earth has regular and generally predictable 2 major climate cycles. They are classified as a Greenhouse cycle (defined as a period where there are NO PERMANENT ice sheet anywhere on earth) and Ice Ages ( defined as periods where there are permanent ice sheets in at least 1 Hemisphere).

Each of these major cycles has several sub cycles. Ice ages have 2 major sub cycles called Interglacial and Glaciation. 73% of earth’s existence has been during a a Greenhouse period. The remaining 27% has been in at least 5 ice ages. We are currently in an Ice age. To be more exact we are living in an Interglacial phase of the current Ice age which has been going on for around 11,500 years. The 2 subcycles also have additional subcycles which last on average of 500 years. The two last such mini cycles are known by the names the Little Ice Age and the Medieval Warm Period.

The little ice age ended in the late 1800’s with 1880 being the generally used end date. Interesting enough climate alarmists almost exclusively use this date as the start date for any chart or graph they use in support of their theory. It is also important to realize that man made global warming (by burning fossil fuels and thereby contributing to atmospheric CO2) is a theory and has such remains an unproven theory.

Despite the claim of some who say the science is settled and that there is a scientific consensus.

Both of these claims should raise red flags for anyone who has even an elementary school level of science education. For starters, science is NEVER settled, our scientific understanding and knowledge is constantly changing and theories that have been accepted for decades, centuries and millennia are proven false or modified almost daily. For example,  the Big Bang theory is no longer a credible theory of how the universe started. But is still generally accepted in the general public. Secondly, science is not about a consensus period. Science is a search for the true. Either a theory is true or it is false. In order for a theory to reach a level of scientific acceptance requires the use of the scientific method, which involves testing the theory and retesting, them releasing all the information and data gathered in the testing to allow it to be reviewed by others and allowing others to try and duplicate the original experiment.

If just one of these efforts fails to confirm the results of the original finding theory is not validated. Therefore a consensus believing something is the case is irrelevant.

A consensus used to believe that the earth was flat, that the earth was the center of the universe, that the sun orbited around the earth and each of these beliefs were strongly defended. When you look at the efforts of the climate alarmist research and testing of their theory you find that not one of their efforts has resulted in a conclusion that the theory is correct. Not only that but those experiments that have claimed to support the theory have never released their data sets or methodologies for review.

The first graph appeared in the IPCC 1990 First Assessment Report (FAR) credited to H.H.Lamb, first director of CRU-UEA. The second graph was featured in 2001 IPCC Third Assessment Report (TAR) the famous hockey stick credited to M. Mann.

The most famous of these is Michael Mann’s hockey stick graph that purported to show a relatively stable climate prior to the mid 1900’s. This graph became the poster child for the UN’s IPCC 1st climate assessment report. Man refused to release the data sets he used or let others review his methods or computer programs that came up with the hockey stick. However, Mann’s hockey stick graph eventually was proven to be a fraud. The IPCC quietly dropped it from their 3rd assessment. Each IPCC assessment has adjusted the predicted climate change downward to where the latest report has a predicted climate change resulting from human activity to be 2 to 3 degrees C over the next 100 years.

The original MBH graph compared to a corrected version produced by MacIntyre and McKitrick after undoing Mann’s errors.

However, even that amount remains nothing more than a computer model prediction which has not been proven.

Why so many people are so willing to accept a theory without any evidence and are so willing to accept the demanded changes to how we live with no evidence is a truly remarkable thing. Climate alarmist will point to every weather event as proof of man’s destruction of the planet. Even when the science has proven time and again that the supposed weather events are in fact well within the natural cycle of events. All of these claims and efforts are efforts to bring within the human experience (life time) evidence of climate change and the man made use of fossil fuels has the cause.

Even though NONE of the predictions made over the last 50 years has come to fruition. NOT ONE OF THEM. How can a group promoting and claim and being wrong every single time still be consider credible, is simply incredible. Some, maybe most are sincere in their belief but instead of using the evidence that is available they are simply Lemmings. Others, the politicians and those with an economic stake in turning the economy upside down are acting out of basic greed. Greed for power and money.

Climate changes occur on geologic timeframes,
which are measured in thousands and millions of years, not in human life times.

See also Rise and Fall of the Modern Warming Spike

World of Climate Change Infographics

 

Wrightstone’s Climate Truth Canceled by LinkedIn

Gregory R. Wrightstone writes at Real Clear Energy LinkedIn Shuts Out Truth — Again.  Excerpts in italics with my bolds and some added images

Censors at LinkedIn have permanently banned me from the social media site after I presented data drawn from peer-reviewed data used by the preeminent promoter of the narrative that man-made global warming threatens the planet— the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

How can this be? Well, first, my offending posts placed today’s level of atmospheric carbon dioxide in the context of geological time, suggesting that life would be well served if there were more CO2 — exactly the opposite of what climate alarmists say. Secondly, I’ve had the audacity to publish facts — also know as the truth, multiple times on LinkedIn— that contradict the theory that humans face an “existential threat” from a harmless gas of which each of us daily exhales two pounds.

“Your account has violated the LinkedIn User Agreement and Professional Community Policies,” read the email from the site. “Due to the number and/or the severity of these violations, this account has been permanently restricted.”

The posts were of two charts. One showed that carbon dioxide levels were nearly 6,000 parts per million (ppm) 600 million years ago when many animal life forms first appeared in the Cambrian Era. Another illustrated a 140-million-year decline of CO2 levels — from 2,500 parts per million (ppm) to the current 420 ppm.

Implied in the data is that carbon dioxide levels eventually would drop to 150 ppm, at which point plants — and ultimately all life — begin to die from CO2 starvation. The concentration got as low as 180 ppm in the last ice age about 12,000 years ago. It was at 280 ppm at the beginning of the Industrial Revolution in the 19th century.

The addition of 140 ppm since then have likely come from man’s activities, primarily the burning of fossil fuels. If so, human activity has saved the planet from the existential threat of too little CO2. In any case, more of the powerful plant food is a good thing, as evidenced by the overall greening of Earth and record crop harvests of recent decades.

As executive director of the CO2 Coalition, I’ve had previous run-ins with LinkedIn censors. One involved a post about a CO2 Coalition paper on global temperatures. Although LinkedIn did not identify the broken rules, the only possible “violation” would have been an admonition to “not share false or misleading content.” The censored paper, The Global Mean Temperature Anomaly Record, was fully sourced and written by two of the top climate scientists in the world, Richard Lindzen and John Christy.

These are no lightweight scientists. Dr. Lindzen of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology is an award recipient of the American Meteorological Society and the American Geophysical Union. He is also a member of the National Academy of Sciences and was a lead author of the IPCC’s third assessment report’s scientific volume.

Professor Christy is the director of the Earth System Science Center at the University of Alabama, Huntsville, and has been Alabama’s State Climatologist since 2000. Along with Dr. Roy Spencer, he has maintained one of the key global temperature data sets relied on by scientists and government bodies. For this achievement, they were awarded NASA’s Medal for Exceptional Scientific Achievement.

Figure 4. As in Fig. 3 except for seasonal station and global anomalies. As noted in the text, the inhabitants of the Earth experience the anomalies as noted by the black circles, not the yellow squares.

The main thrust of the paper was to put the modest one-degree rise in temperature since 1900 in its proper perspective. When compared to wide swings in temperature experienced on a daily and yearly basis, that slight rise in global temperature over the last 120 years does not appear as alarming as portrayed by the purveyors of climate doom. Like so many others who challenge the notion of catastrophic man-made warming, the authors risked being censored by the intellectual elite — or those who identify as such. And they were.

The CO2 Coalition has been attacked by other climate cultists, including Facebook and members of a political class that insists on forcing its ideology on everybody. Obviously, we care more about the truth — and our freedom — than anybody’s approval.

As noted philosopher of science Karl Popper said, “Democracy (that is, a form of government devoted to the protection of the open society) cannot flourish if science becomes the exclusive possession of a closed set of specialists.”

Gregory Wrightstone is a geologist, executive director of the CO2 Coalition, Arlington, Va., and author of “Inconvenient Facts: The science that Al Gore doesn’t want you to know.” He has been an IPCC expert reviewer.

Trans Ideology Vs. Anthropology

The Lucy Exhibit, 3.2 million year old humanoid, National Museum of Ethiopia

The woke progressives are hell-bent on erasing all historical wisdom in order revolutionize society.  If you thought traditional disciplines like Archeology and Anthropology would be spared, think again.  The gender and racist zealots are outraged that ancestors like Lucy were given feminine names, (or others masculine ones) despite our not knowing whether or not they identified with their own anatomy.  And as well, it’s an insult to the living who want to keep their gender options open.

The woke worms are hard at work on the foundation of human knowledge about humans, as Christian Schneider writes at College Fix Gender activists push to bar anthropologists from identifying human remains as ‘male’ or ‘female’.  Excerpts in italics with my bolds and added images.

Argue scientists cannot know how an ancient individual identified themselves

As soon as ancient human remains are excavated, archaeologists begin the work of determining a number of traits about the individual, including age, race and gender.

But a new school of thought within archaeology is pushing scientists to think twice about assigning gender to ancient human remains.

It is possible to determine whether a skeleton is from a biological male or female using objective observations based on the size and shape of the bones. Criminal forensic detectives, for example, do it frequently in their line of work.

But gender activists argue scientists cannot know how an ancient individual identified themselves.

“You might know the argument that the archaeologists who find your bones one day will assign you the same gender as you had at birth, so regardless of whether you transition, you can’t escape your assigned sex,” tweeted Canadian Master’s degree candidate Emma Palladino last week.

She is not alone. Gender activists have formed a group called the Trans Doe Task Force to “explore ways in which current standards in forensic human identification do a disservice to people who do not clearly fit the gender binary.”

“We propose a gender-expansive approach to human identification by combing missing and unidentified databases looking for contextual clues such as decedents wearing clothing culturally coded to a gender other than their assigned sex,” the group’s mission statement reads.

This February, University of Kansas Associate Professor Jennifer Raff published “Origin: A Genetic History of the Americas,” in which she argued that there are “no neat divisions between physically or genetically ‘male’ or ‘female’ individuals.”

Raff suggested scientists cannot know the gender of a 9,000 year-old biologically Peruvian hunter because they don’t know whether the hunter identified as male or female – a “duality” concept she says was “imposed by Christian colonizers.”

Some archaeologists push back at the effort to de-gender human remains.

San Jose State archaeology Professor Elizabeth Weiss told The Fix that eliminating gender classifications amounts to “ideologically-motivated fudging.” Weiss said there is a move among academics “toward getting all of the academy’s favored shibboleths to accord with one another.”

Weiss said the recent explosion in the number of people identifying as transgender suggests that trend is “social and not biological,” so “retroactively de-sexing obscures this obvious fact.”

She noted that applying biological sex to remains often helps dispel myths detrimental to women.

“Some early anthropologists sometimes mistook some robust female skeletons as male skeletons, particularly in the Aleut and Inuit collections; this reinforced false stereotypes that females were not as hard working as males,” she said. “Over time, biological anthropologists and archaeologists worked hard to determine which traits are determined by sex, regardless of time and culture. This new policy of erasing this progress is a step back for science and women.”

“Sexing skeletal remains is a critical skill in forensics and any diminishing of this skill will negatively impact criminal investigations, denying the victims and their families justice,” she said.

Weiss is joined by University of Cambridge scholar Jennifer Chisolm, who has argued analyses that posit transgender individuals played a large part in Indigenous populations are often ahistorical, and can even distract “from the contemporary discrimination [such individuals] face within their own communities.”

Gender politics are not the only ideology to work its way into anthropology and archaeology. Some activists have called for scientists to cease classifying remains by race, as well.

“Ancestry estimation contributes to white supremacy,” DiGangi and Bethard wrote, labeling the practice “dangerous.”

Others have called for changing primate names that were derived from white white men from the northern hemisphere. The activists argue that continuing to use the current names is “perpetuating colonialism and white supremacy.”

“This is just another attempt to insert a current woke ideology where it doesn’t belong,” Weiss said.

 

 

 

 

 

Never Forget: Four Myths Drove Covid Madness

cormasks

Update July 17, 2022

As we approach autumn in the NH, already the medical-governmental complex is gearing up for another takeover of individual rights and freedoms.  New medications (pale, dangerous ivermectin imitations) and more experimental shots have been approved in readiness for imminent mandates requiring their use,  This is a time to remember, not forget, how a fake pandemic was foisted upon the world.  Yes, runny nose coronaviruses are real and have been in circulation worldwide for decades. But the threat was never great for the large majority of populations,  and anti-viral treatments were available despite intimidation against them.  Like the four horsemen of the apocalypse, four myths are saddling up again to ride over our peace and harmony.

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.

Jack Kerwick has written a series of articles at FrontPage Mag over the last year discussing how facts have been overwhelmed by fears, a mythology replacing scientific knowledge and reason. From the beginning this contagion was different, being the first one in an age of 24/7 cable news and rampant social media. So emotion and exaggeration were spread and political leaders pressured to act as protectors, clamping down on social and economic transactions. This post provides a synopsis of what went wrong, based on Kerwick’s recent essay Masks and Stopping COVID. Excerpts in italics with my bolds.

What the science – lots of science – really tells us.

In previous essays, I argued for three theses against the prevailing COVID Orthodoxy:

(1)SARS-CoV-2 has never been isolated, purified, and extracted in accordance with the scientific method that has long been in place for isolating, purifying, and extracting other viruses (like bacteriophages and “giant viruses”), and neither has the scientific method been observed with respect to establishing whether this virus is in fact the cause of a disease called “COVID-19.”
Discussion:

Has the existence of “the Virus” been established according to a universally acknowledged set of scientific procedures that must be observed to establish the existence of any and all other viruses?

From the sounds of it, the answer is a resounding no.

Dr. Tom Cowan, Dr. Andrew Kaufman, and Sally Fallon Morell, are among those who have noted in a paper published last year that in demonstrating the existence of a new virus, samples must, firstly, be taken from the blood, phlegm, or other secretions of hundreds of people exhibiting symptoms that are “unique and specific enough to characterize an illness.”

Then, “without mixing these samples with ANY tissue or products that also contain genetic material, the virologist macerates, filters, and ultracentrifuges, i.e. purifies the specimen.” This, the authors explain, is a “common virology technique, done for decades to isolate bacteriophages [viruses that infect bacteria and reproduce within them] and so-called giant viruses [a virus larger than typical bacteria].”

Thirdly, once virologists perform this procedure, they are then able to “demonstrate with electron microscopy thousands of identically sized and shaped particles.” The latter are “the isolated and purified virus.”

Fourthly, upon determining the purity of these particles, virologists are able to examine their “structure, morphology, and chemical composition [.]”

Fifthly, “the genetic makeup” of the particles [the virus] “is characterized by extracting the genetic material directly from” them and “using genetic-sequencing techniques” that have long been in existence.

Finally, an analysis must be conducted to prove that “these uniform particles are exogenous (outside) in origin” as viruses are held to be and not just “the normal breakdown of products of dead and dying tissues.”

The authors conclude: “If we have come this far then we have fully isolated, characterized, genetically-sequenced an exogenous virus particle” .
They add that nowhere in the literature does it show that any of these steps have been taken with respect to SARS-CoV-2.

Neither—and this is crucial—have the scientific steps for determining that SARS-CoV-2 is the cause of a disease, COVID-19, been taken. What are these steps? There really isn’t much to it:

A group of healthy subjects, typically animals, is first exposed to “this isolated, purified virus in the manner in which the disease is thought to be transmitted.”

Subsequently, virologists will wait to determine whether these subjects fall ill with “the same disease, as confirmed by clinical and autopsy findings [.]” If so, “one has now shown that the virus actually causes a disease.” In other words, the “infectivity and transmission of an infectious agent” will have been demonstrated.

Again, according to the authors, nothing like this has been performed to show that
there is a virus, SARS-CoV-2, that causes what has become known as COVID-19.

An ever growing number of citizen journalists in over ten different countries from around the world have, via the Freedom of Information Acts of their respective homes, requested from scores of health agencies an account of the process by which SARS-CoV-2 has been isolated (i.e. separated out from all other stuff). To date, no account has been provided.

(2) The explosion of COVID “cases” is an illusion generated by a combination of two things: (a) the redefining of a “case” from meaning “infection in need of medical attention”—which is how it was defined in the pre-COVID era—to meaning “anyone who is presumed to have, or to have had, COVID and/or anyone who tests positive for COVID” plus (b) an intrinsically limited PCR test that is deliberately run at a number of cycles guaranteed to produce a tsunami of false-positives.

The official case numbers, in other words, are meaningless.

Discussion:

Right from the jump, it’s crucial to take note of the fact that for the first time ever, beginning just last year, “cases” was radically redefined in such a way that would have been unthinkable in just February of 2020 (one month before The Virus Apocalypse engulfed the universe).

For starters, as indicated above, many of these “cases,” per the CDC, included those patients who were labeled as “probable” carriers of the virus. This means that they were diagnosed as “cases” in the absence of any “confirmatory laboratory testing.” And yet they were identified as COVID “cases.”

Moreover, even when testing is figured into it, with respect to no other virus or disease has the CDC ever counted as a “case” a merely positive test. A positive test, in other words, has never been regarded by the medical establishment as sufficient grounds upon which to determine a “case.” Rather, in order for something to count as a “case,” a person had to have been sick and in need of medical attention like, say, hospitalization.

In the COVID era, however, the CDC began accumulating positive PCR test results (about more of which will be said below) from people the vast majority of whom are “asymptomatic,” meaning they feel just fine, and combining them with positive antibodies tests from people who also feel just fine: The final sum, this compound, comprises all “cases.”

Now, as for those PCR tests: There are two problems.

First, as Karry Mullis bluntly remarked: “Quantitative PCR is an oxymoron.” Who was Karry Mullis? He was the inventor of the PCR test. And he won a Nobel Prize in Science for this achievement. What did the late Dr. Mullis mean by his characterization of his own invention?

“PCR is intended to identify substances qualitatively, but by its very nature is unsuited for estimating numbers [of viruses]. Although there is a common misimpression that the viral load tests actually count the number of viruses in the blood, these tests cannot detect free, infectious viruses at all; they can only detect proteins that are believed, in some cases wrongly, to be unique to HIV. The tests can detect genetic sequences of viruses, but not viruses themselves” (emphases added).

Lauitsen explains further:

“What PCR does is to select a genetic sequence and then amplify it enormously. It can accomplish the equivalent of finding a needle in a haystack; it can amplify that needle into a haystack. Like an electronically amplified antenna, PCR greatly amplified the signal, but it also greatly amplifies the noise” (emphases added).

What this implies is that given that “the amplification is exponential, the slightest error in measurement, the slightest contamination, can result in errors of many orders of magnitude.”

There is still another problem with the PCR test as it is currently being used that guarantees its utter worthlessness. More exactly, that guarantees that the “case” numbers built upon it are wholly inaccurate and, hence, meaningless.

This past fall, none other than the New York Times noted that possibly as high as 90% of all positive test results are false.

Per the CDC and FDA guidelines, the vast majority of PCR tests are run at a threshold of 40 cycles. Dr. Michael Mina, an epidemiologist from Harvard who is quoted in the Times piece, notes that when PCR tests are run at 35 or more cycles, they “may detect not just live virus but also live fragments, leftovers from infection that pose no particular risks—akin to finding a hair in a room long after a person has left.”

The French researcher Didier Raoult has shown that when the PCR test is run at 25 cycles, about 70% of samples were genuinely positive—meaning infectious. However, when the test is run at a threshold of 30 cycles, only 20% of samples were infectious. At 35 cycles, but three percent of samples were infectious.

And when the test was run above 35 cycles? Zero samples were infectious.

(3)People are getting sick and dying from all manner of things from which people get sick and die each and every year. Only throughout this past year, these causes of sickness and death have been repackaged as COVID sickness and death.
Discussion:

Think about it: a cough, running nose, sore throat, chills, chest congestion, fever, loss of taste and smell—these are all symptoms of a plethora of things, from the common cold to seasonal influenza and a whole lot else. Particularly since the vast majority of COVID cases are “mild,” it’s with the greatest of ease that any single one of these symptoms or any number of combinations of them can be used as a pretext by which to establish a “COVID case.”

This is not necessarily to say that the symptoms in question are not signs of COVID or the SARS-CoV-2 virus that is claimed to be its cause. It’s only to note that in the absence of scientifically confirming definitively that (a) there is a unique strain of a coronavirus called SARS-CoV-2, (b) that it is the cause of something called COVID-19, and that, (3) given the scandalously unreliable PCR test, people do in fact have COVID, symptoms that are associated with the latter are more economically, more plausibly explained by way of reference to illnesses that have long been with us.

The Principle of Parsimony—better known since the 14th century as “Ockham’s Razor”—applies: When confronted with two or more explanatory hypotheses, all things being equal, reason dictates that we opt for the one that is simplest.

Since many of the symptoms now being associated with COVID until recently were explained in terms of, say, the flu, and, given the foregoing facts regarding the science—or lack of science—behind the COVID Narrative, it makes better sense to continue explaining those symptoms in terms of the flu.

Indeed, there is no doubt that a great shell game has been transpiring for a year now as cases of various illnesses have been re-labeled as COVID cases.

For example, over at John Hopkins University, Genevieve Briand, assistant program director of the Applied Economics master’s program, used data from the CDC to analyze the effect of COVID-19 deaths in America on all other deaths. Reasonably enough, she had expected to witness a substantial number of excess deaths in 2020, i.e. deaths by all other causes plus the orgy of COVID deaths with which politicians and those in the media had been singularly preoccupied.

She was mistaken. Sorely mistaken. Yanni Gu, a writer for the university’s student newspaper, reports: “Surprisingly, the deaths of older people stayed the same before and after COVID-19.”

This was surprising because COVID (not unlike virtually everything else) overwhelmingly affects elderly people. Thus, “experts expected an increase in the percentage of deaths in older age groups. However, this increase is not seen from the CDC data.” Furthermore, “the percentages of deaths among all age groups remain relatively the same” (emphases added).

Whoa. Briand would soon discover that the plot was just beginning to thicken. What the “data analyzes suggest,” Gu writes, is “that in contrast to most people’s assumptions, the number of deaths by COVID-19 is not alarming. In fact, it has relatively no effect on deaths in the United States” (emphases added).

There is a perfectly rational, and simple, explanation to account for the unbridgeable chasm between the media-concocted perception of COVID and the reality that Briand discovered:

Deaths from all other causes were being re-classified—misclassified—as death from COVID.  And how did Briand determine this?
For the first time ever, deaths from all other causes—heart diseases, respiratory diseases, influenza, and pneumonia—decreased.

Especially shocking was the realization that heart disease, which has always been the number one killer in America, appeared to have suddenly lost that distinction with the onset of COVID.

Moreover, deaths from all other causes decreased just in proportion to the extent to which COVID deaths increased. “This trend is completely contrary to the pattern observed in all previous years. Interestingly…the total decrease in deaths by other causes almost exactly equals the increase in deaths by COVID-19.”

Within 24 or so hours of the publication of the article relaying Genevieve Briand’s discoveries, the student paper at John Hopkins University retracted it. They never, however, denied the truth of a single syllable of either Briand’s analysis nor its summary of it. That it was political pressure, and not shoddy scholarship that informed its decision is clear, for the school paper saved its article in a PDF file (to which I link above) for all of the world to read.

Wearing of Masks is Not Supported by Scientific Evidence

In this essay, we will revisit the topic of masks. I’ve already written about the psychological, moral, and social costs of mask-wearing. Here, I will focus specifically on the science—or lack of science—behind it.

Scientists recognize that the RCT—Randomized Control Trial—is the “gold standard” as far as “effectiveness research” is concerned. Drs. Eduardo Hariton and Joseph J. Locasio explain that randomization “reduces bias” while providing “a rigorous tool” by which “to examine cause-effect relationships between an intervention and outcome.” RCTs eliminate the risk of confirmation bias, something that is “not possible with any other study design” (emphases added).

This is critical for our purposes, for the largest study of the effectiveness of mask-wearing by the general public to thwart the transmission of COVID utilized not one, not two, not three, but a staggering 14 randomized control trials.

The study was performed at the University of Hong Kong. What Dr. Jingyi Xiao and her team of researchers there concluded will doubtless be written off as the stuff of “conspiracy theorists” by Mask Nation. So be it. But those on the editorial board of Emerging Infectious Diseases, the widely esteemed journal of none other than the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), determined that the findings were worth publishing.

The verdict: Masks are ineffective.

The authors of a review of studies on face masks published last year by the Oxford Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine determined that there is no evidence indicating the effectiveness of cloth masks when it comes to COVID. They lament how the “abandonment of the scientific modus operandi and lack of foresight has left the field [of science] wide open for the play of opinions, radical views and political influence.”

The authors, one an epidemiologist, the other a professor of Evidence-Based Medicine at Oxford, do note that all randomized control trials that have been conducted over the last decade or so have demonstrated that “masks alone have no significant effect in interrupting the spread of ILI [Influenza-Like-Illness] or influenza” in neither “the general population…nor in healthcare workers” (emphases added).

We could continue in this same repetitive vein. Readers who are interested in pursuing this topic further can check out this piece of mine from October of last year. I review still other studies there, including remarks from such media-adored “Experts” as Anthony Fauci that dovetail seamlessly with these findings on the essential uselessness of masks with respect to COVID. More research confirming these findings are here, here, here, here, and here. Neither have we yet touched upon the numerous studies showing that countries and states with mask mandates did no better and, in some instances, worse than those places that had no such mandates. Nor have we looked at those studies demonstrating that those who faithfully wore masks were not less likely to contract COVID than those who did not wear masks, with some of these—like this one from the CDC—showing that most people who became infected with COVID wore a mask “always” or “often.”

The science, it should now be obvious, does not support Mask dogma.

cv-2019-2020

 

 

CDC: Crushing Dissent for Correctness

Marty Makary and Tracy Beth Høeg write at commonsense.news U.S. Public Health Agencies Aren’t ‘Following the Science,’ Officials Say.  It’s another stark example how politicizing institutions by requiring fidelity to the party line leads to paralysis and dysfunction.  Excerpts in italics with my bolds and added images.

‘People are getting bad advice and we can’t say anything.’

The calls and text messages are relentless. On the other end are doctors and scientists at the top levels of the NIH, FDA and CDC. They are variously frustrated, exasperated and alarmed about the direction of the agencies to which they have devoted their careers.

“It’s like a horror movie I’m being forced to watch and I can’t close my eyes,” one senior FDA official lamented. “People are getting bad advice and we can’t say anything.”

That particular FDA doctor was referring to two recent developments inside the agency. First, how, with no solid clinical data, the agency authorized Covid vaccines for infants and toddlers, including those who already had Covid. And second, the fact that just months before, the FDA bypassed their external experts to authorize booster shots for young children.

That doctor is hardly alone.

At the NIH, doctors and scientists complain to us about low morale and lower staffing: The NIH’s Vaccine Research Center has had many of its senior scientists leave over the last year, including the director, deputy director and chief medical officer. “They have no leadership right now. Suddenly there’s an enormous number of jobs opening up at the highest level positions,” one NIH scientist told us. (The people who spoke to us would only agree to be quoted anonymously, citing fear of professional repercussions.)

The CDC has experienced a similar exodus. “There’s been a large amount of turnover. Morale is low,” one high level official at the CDC told us. “Things have become so political, so what are we there for?” Another CDC scientist told us: “I used to be proud to tell people I work at the CDC. Now I’m embarrassed.”

Why are they embarrassed? In short, bad science.

The longer answer: that the heads of their agencies are using weak or flawed data to make critically important public health decisions. That such decisions are being driven by what’s politically palatable to people in Washington or to the Biden administration. And that they have a myopic focus on one virus instead of overall health.

Nowhere has this problem been clearer—or the stakes higher—than on official public health policy regarding children and Covid.

First, they demanded that young children be masked in schools. On this score, the agencies were wrong. Compelling studies later found schools that masked children had no different rates of transmission. And for social and linguistic development, children need to see the faces of others.

Next came school closures. The agencies were wrong—and catastrophically so. Poor and minority children suffered learning loss with an 11-point drop in math scores alone and a 20% drop in math pass rates. There are dozens of statistics of this kind.

Then they ignored natural immunity. Wrong again. The vast majority of children have already had Covid, but this has made no difference in the blanket mandates for childhood vaccines. And now, by mandating vaccines and boosters for young healthy people, with no strong supporting data, these agencies are only further eroding public trust.

One CDC scientist told us about her shame and frustration about what happened to American children during the pandemic: “CDC failed to balance the risks of Covid with other risks that come from closing schools,” she said. “Learning loss, mental health exacerbations were obvious early on and those worsened as the guidance insisted on keeping schools virtual. CDC guidance worsened racial equity for generations to come. It failed this generation of children.”

An official at the FDA put it this way: “I can’t tell you how many people at the FDA have told me, ‘I don’t like any of this, but I just need to make it to my retirement.’”

Three weeks ago, the CDC vigorously recommended mRNA Covid vaccines for 20 million children under five years of age. Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the CDC, declared that the mRNA Covid vaccines should be given to everyone six months or older because they are safe and effective.

The trouble is that this sweeping recommendation was based on extremely weak,
inconclusive data provided by Pfizer and Moderna.

Start with Pfizer. Using a three-dose vaccine in 992 children between the ages of six months and five years, Pfizer found no statistically significant evidence of vaccine efficacy. In the subgroup of children aged six months to two years, the trial found that the vaccine could result in a 99% lower chance of infection—but that they also could have a 370% increased chance of being infected. In other words, Pfizer reported a range of vaccine efficacy so wide that no conclusion could be inferred. No reputable medical journal would accept such sloppy and incomplete results with such a small sample size. More to the point, these results should have given pause to those who are in charge of public health.

Referring to Pfizer’s vaccine efficacy in healthy young children, one high-level CDC official—whose expertise is in the evaluation of clinical data—joked: “You can inject them with it or squirt it in their face, and you’ll get the same benefit.”

Moderna’s results—they conducted a study on 6,388 children with two doses—were not much better. Against asymptomatic infections, they claimed a very weak vaccine efficacy of just 4% in children aged six months to two years. They also claimed an efficacy of 23% in children between two and six years old—but neither result was statistically significant. Against symptomatic infections, Moderna’s vaccine did show efficacy that was statistically significant, but the efficacy was low: 50% in children aged six months to two years, and 42% in children between two and six years old.

Then there’s the matter of how long a vaccine gives protection. We know from data in adults that it’s generally a matter of months. But we have no such data for young children.

“It seems criminal that we put out the recommendation to give mRNA Covid vaccines to babies without good data. We really don’t know what the risks are yet. So why push it so hard?” a CDC physician added. A high-level FDA official felt the same way: “The public has no idea how bad this data really is. It would not pass muster for any other authorization.”

This isn’t the first time that Covid vaccines recommendations based on scant evidence have been pushed through these agencies.

Most recently, back in May, the lack of clinical evidence for booster shots in young people created a stir at the FDA. The White House promoted it hard even before FDA regulators had seen any data. Once they saw the data, they weren’t impressed. It showed no clear benefit against severe disease for people under 40.

The FDA’s two top vaccine regulators—Dr. Marion Gruber, director of the FDA’s vaccine office, and her deputy director, Dr. Philip Krause—quit the agency last year over political pressure to authorize vaccine boosters in young people. After their departure they wrote scathing commentaries explaining why the data did not support a broad booster authorization, arguing in the Washington Post that “the push for boosters for everyone could actually prolong the pandemic,” citing concerns that boosting based on an outdated variant could be counterproductive.

“It felt like we were a political tool” a CDC scientist told us about the issue. That insider went on to explain that he got vaccinated early but chose not to get boosted based on the data. Ironically, that person was unable to go on a trip with a group of parents because proof of being boosted was required. “I asked for someone to show me the data. They said the policy was based on the CDC recommendation.”

As one NIH scientist told us: “There’s a silence, an unwillingness for agency scientists to say anything. Even though they know that some of what’s being said out of the agency is absurd.”

That was a theme we heard over and over again—people felt like they couldn’t speak freely, even internally within their agencies. “You get labeled based on what you say. If you talk about it you will suffer, I’m convinced,” an FDA staffer told us. Another person at that agency added: “If you speak honestly, you get treated differently.”

It is statistically impossible for everyone who works inside of our health agencies to have 100% agreement about such a new and knotty subject. The fact that there is no public dissent or debate can only be explained by the fact that they are—or at least feel that they are—being muzzled.

It is an ancient, moral requirement of our profession to speak up when we believe questionable treatments are being proposed. It is also good for the public. Imagine, for example, a world in which those scientists who suggested that masking for children and school lockdowns were worse for public health were not smeared but instead debated?

The official public health response to Covid has undermined
the public’s belief in public health itself.

This is a terrible outcome with potentially disastrous consequences. For one thing, because of these sloppy and politicized policies, we run the risk of parents rejecting routine vaccines for their children—ones we know are safe, effective and life-saving.

The leaders of the CDC, the FDA and the NIH should welcome internal discussion—even dissension—based on the evidence. Silencing physicians is not “following the science.” Less absolutism and more humility by the men and women running our public health agencies would go a long way in rebuilding public trust.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Good Riddance Modern Monetary Theory

 

MN Gordon explains the financial debacle in his Economic Prism article Modern Monetary Theory Bites the Dust Excerpts in italics with my bolds and added images.

Just a couple of years ago Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) was all the rage. But that was before rampant money printing triggered an official consumer price inflation rate, as measured by the consumer price index (CPI), of 9.1 percent.

Hindsight is always 20/20. Yet, sometimes, foresight is 20/20 too. In the case of MMT, practically everyone could see there would be hell to pay…even through broken spectacles.

The future consequences were crystal clear. Printing up money and passing it out around town, thus entitling people to claims on goods and services without commensurate production, is fundamentally foolish, reckless, and outright suicidal.

Only academics and central bankers were blind to the arrival of today’s inflation.

If you recall, as inflation was heating up during the second part of 2021, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen told everyone it was transitory. Then, as inflation continued unabated, Powell finally admitted in December 2021 that inflation was no longer transitory and that the word needed to be retired.

Powell and Yellen have their finger prints all over this consumer price inflation mess. Yet they didn’t act alone. Advocates of MMT cheered on their mass money printing with righteous assurances. They said inflation wouldn’t be a problem.

But now that consumer price inflation is raging at a 40 year high, where did the promoters of MMT go? Why aren’t they tackling inflation with the same enthusiasm?

Fanciful schemes offering the more abundant life always yield the unsuspecting and outright gullible to the assurances of dreamers, schemers, theorists, reformers, and scoundrels of all stripes. Promises of something for nothing are too intoxicating to pass up.

For several years Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Bernie Sanders, and other American socialists, served up fresh pitchers of grape Flavor-Aid laced with MMT as a solution to all the downtrodden’s problems. To join the cult all you had to do was drink from their cup.

MMT, as you may have heard, offers booms without busts, and money without limits.

The nuts and bolts of the theory state that a government that creates its own money, like the USA, cannot default on its dollar based debts. Therefore, the USA can print all the money it needs to amplify the economy – debts and deficits be damned.

Should such overt dollar debasement lead to price inflation, MMT has just the solution. Raise taxes and issue bonds to remove the excess money from circulation.

Taxes, you see, are not for funding government spending. Rather, they’re for throttling back the money supply to attain the magical balance of growth and inflation. With MMT, big government statists can hatch boondoggles first, and leave taxation for later.

The whole theory, or lack thereof, is abundantly retarded. Yet in early 2020, something abundantly retarded was precisely what was needed.

When quantitative tightening (QT) was abruptly terminated and reversed in September 2019, the Fed’s balance sheet was $3.7 trillion. Soon after, in the face of the fabricated coronavirus hysteria, the Fed jacked up its balance sheet by $5.2 trillion to a high of $8.9 trillion. A good part of this took place between March and June 2020.

What happened next…

Cult of MMT

At first, the consequences were nonexistent. In February 2021, after nearly a year of monster money printing, the CPI showed an annual rate of inflation of just 1.7 percent. MMT supporters were riding high.

By that point, the U.S. government, and by extension the American people, were fully committed to a program of currency debasement to finance government mandated lockdowns. Washington was also attempting to inflate away its debt burden. The authorities prefer an implicit default via inflation as opposed to missing bond payments to creditors.

Countercyclical stimulus spending. Interest rate suppression. Quantitative easing. Elastic currencies. Money shuffling. Inflation targeting. Smoke and mirrors.

…all so governments, and individuals, can spend well above what they can afford, and then welsh on the debt without consequences.

During the rampant money printing of 2020 and 2021 Stephanie Kelton emerged as the MMT messiah. In June 2020, her book, “The Deficit Myth: Modern Monetary Theory and the Birth of the People’s Economy,” was published.

It quickly became a New York Times Bestseller. And it also received rave reviews from unlikely places. Upon reading the book, gangsta rap pioneer, Ice Cube, for example, tweeted on September 3, 2020, the following means of salvation:

“America loves to cry broke. But in America money does grow on trees.”

“America is a currency creator so there’s no reason for people to live like this. Government and the banks have made a deal to keep the people in debt. They always say if you print money it will cause inflation. They just printed 3 trillion. Little or no inflation.”

Does a 9.1 percent CPI reading, with an unofficial reading of nearly 18 percent,
constitute little or no inflation?

Modern Monetary Theory Bites the Dust

Currently, the Fed’s balance sheet is roughly $8.9 trillion. And consumer price inflation is raging at a 40 year high. What’s more, the Fed is hiking rates with the purpose of containing inflation. But the only way for the Fed to contain inflation is to trigger a massive, 1930s-style depression.

The cult of MMT, like most cults, has proven to be lacking for the general populace. Instead of bringing wealth and abundance to the American worker it has brought wealth and abundance to the elites and central planners who first receive and direct the flow of the newly minted fake money.

Moreover, like most cults, when MMT’s leaders are needed most, they conveniently disappear.

Is Kelton not a true believer in MMT, after all? Because if Kelton was a true believer, wouldn’t she be advocating for higher taxes right now?

That’s how MMT is supposed to work, right? When inflation heats up, taxes are supposed to be raised to remove excess money from circulation? Isn’t that the MMT solution to inflation?

Kelton, however, is not banging the drum for higher taxes. Perhaps, this is because higher taxes are perennially unpopular. Similarly, promoting money printing is much more hip and cool than promoting higher taxes.

Did MMT just bite the dust?

For now, it appears to have. We suspect it will be gone until a massive depression wipes away inflation.

Then it will be resurrected to great folly so the money printers can really get to work.
Background on Magical Money Theory

Pardon me for mixing up acronyms.  Somehow the increasing mention of MMT (Modern Monetary Theory) made me think of the classic Beatles trip album.  Perhaps that association was triggered by today’s suddenly fashionable socialists relying on MMT to pay for their “everything free for everybody” political visions.  (Maybe one of the Ms could stand for ‘mushrooms”.)

A primer on what MMT is and is not, is an article by Karl Smith (descendant of Adam?) in National Review The Uses and Abuses of Modern Monetary Theory.  Excerpts in italics with my bolds.

MMT advocates overlook its flaws.

Newly elected representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D., N.Y.) argued on Monday that Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) ought to be a part of the conversation when it comes to funding major social-policy initiatives, such as her proposed Green New Deal. Stephanie Kelton, former economic advisor to Bernie Sanders, has likewise insisted that MMT should replace our current thinking about government finance. Yet what is MMT? And is it really as revolutionary as its proponents claim?

At its heart, MMT is a way of describing the federal budget and the Federal Reserve as if they were unified under a single executive authority. In describing the system so, the dangers of federal deficit spending are no longer that it crowds out private investment and slows economic growth, but that it leads potentially to excess inflation.

Yet Modern Monetary Theorists then invariably argue that inflation is not, and indeed could not be, a major problem for the United States. Many hard-core adherents go so far as to propose a job-guarantee program paid for by the federal government, which, they argue, will virtually eliminate both unemployment and the possibility of runaway inflation.

The tenets of MMT should be familiar to an older generation of fiscal conservatives. Before the 1980s, central banks such as the Federal Reserve were controlled far more directly by their governments. As a result, they could — and often did — bail out profligate governments by simply printing more money to cover the government’s debt.

This led to massive currency devaluation, runaway inflation, or both. In the early 1980s, however, central banks in the developed world were granted independence in the hopes that doing so would stop the spiraling inflation of the late 1960s and 1970s.

In the U.S., Fed chairman Paul Volcker was spectacularly successful at this. So were, to varying degrees, most central banks in the developed world. Some holdouts existed, notably in Southern Europe — a situation that would come back to haunt them decades later.

But MMT waves away the significance of these developments, instead focusing attention on several technical facts. First, when the federal government wants to spend money, it does so by having the Treasury issue checks. These checks are processed by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York (FRBNY). Second, the FRBNY does this literally by marking up the value of digital reserves in an account belonging to the check recipients’ bank and marking down the account of the Treasury by an equal amount.

These two operations are, in theory, separate. There is no technical reason why the FRBNY has to mark down the Treasury account. It only does so because laws require the federal government to meet all of its obligations. Such laws, argue Modern Monetary Theorists, cannot bind Congress, which after all has the power to alter them.

MMT advocates argue that Congress should ask the Treasury to sell Treasury bonds to cover any of its outstanding obligations. This is not, however, because they think it is necessary to fulfill the government’s obligations, but because doing so would help stabilize the macroeconomy.

All well and good. But at some point, won’t the debt become so large that merely paying interest on it will require issuing additional debt? Won’t this process feed on itself until all the borrowing capacity in the economy is soaked up?

No, MMT advocates reply, because the government can simply stop issuing debt — meeting its obligations instead by having the Federal Reserve simply create money on its behalf.

Indeed, this is what distressed governments have traditionally done when their liabilities add up — and the result has typically been hyperinflation. Modern Monetary Theorists argue that this need not be the case. Their exact reasoning differs.

At times, they argue that hyperinflation only occurs in countries that borrow from abroad in debt denominated in a foreign government’s currency. I don’t know enough about every single instance of hyperinflation to verify this claim, but it is true that the worst incidences of hyperinflation are typically associated with borrowing from abroad.

When a country prints money in an attempt to fund the government, the international exchange value of its currency collapses. If the country owes debt denominated in a foreign currency, that debt becomes more difficult to pay down as its own currency falls. Then the country has to print even more money to meet its debt payments, which of course causes the exchange value of its currency to fall further, creating a vicious circle that ends in hyperinflation.

Modern Monetary Theorists argue that this can’t happen to the United States because all of our debt is in the form of Treasury bonds that are denominated in dollars. If the international exchange value of the dollar falls, that does not change the value of our debt.

It does, however, mean that foreigners will be repaid in a currency that will be worth much less to them. Foreign bondholders are not stupid; they would regard this as a type of unofficial default. After experiencing this type of default through currency devaluation, they would be much less willing to buy Treasury bonds or indeed any type of American security again. This is precisely the situation that Italy, Spain, and Greece found themselves in during the 1980s.

Both countries had regularly devalued their currency as a way to get out from underneath foreign debts and were increasingly locked out of international markets. The euro was created, at least in part, in an effort to solve this. It could ultimately be printed only with the authority of the European Central Bank, meaning that neither Italy, Spain, Greece, nor any other member country could avert a debt crisis by devaluing its currency. Instead, they would have to raise taxes to meet their obligations.

That brings us to the second argument MMT advocates invoke when arguing that we should not worry about excessive debt leading to inflation: If inflation becomes a problem, the federal government can simply raise taxes, slowing down the economy which, in turn, will cool inflation.

But there are two problems with this approach. First, it is political suicide. At a time when consumers are facing ever-rising prices, it would seem cruel beyond measure to slap them with a tax increase. Very few governments would have the nerve to do this. If anything, history shows us that governments will instead resort to spending money on subsidies to ease the burden of rapidly rising prices.

Second, committing to this approach would risk an economic calamity. In 1973, OPEC placed an embargo on the United States that resulted in the price of oil quadrupling overnight. The sharply rising price of oil led both to a slowing economy and an increase in inflation — a dangerous mix.

A slowing economy lowers tax revenues, making it more difficult for the government to meet its debt payments. Suppose, at a time when the economy was slowing but inflation was rising, the U.S. government had firmly committed itself to MMT principles and refused to waver. In that case, it would not be able to resort to money printing because inflation was rising. Instead, it would be obligated to raise taxes both to meet its debt payments and to slow the rate of inflation.

Sharp increases in taxes during a recession, however, can be self-defeating. This is exactly the situation that Greece, and to a lesser extent Italy and Spain, found themselves in during the Great Recession. The crises lowered revenue, which worsened their budget deficits.

As a result, the government was forced to raise taxes and lower spending during the recession. This caused the economy to contract further, which caused tax revenue to fall so much that the budget deficit actually rose. In the case of Greece, this self-defeating cycle of higher taxes and lower revenues caused the government to ultimately default on its debts anyway. That, of course, worsened the economic crisis the country was already facing.

In the face of such a calamity, no sovereign government would or perhaps even should refrain from devaluing its currency and inflating away at least some of its debts. For that reason, governments have designed institutions to avoid falling into this trap.

In the United States, that means both making the Federal Reserve independent and not subject to the direct authority of the Treasury, and requiring the Treasury to meet all of its obligations with cash raised from tax revenues or Treasury-bond sales. In effect, we’ve outlawed the methods of Modern Monetary Theory — and with good reason.

KARL SMITH — Karl Smith is a senior fellow at the Niskanen Center. He was previously Assistant Professor of Economics and Government at the University of North Carolina (UNC) School of Government.

Footnote: (h/t Mark Krebs)

For more on Cortez see Why Cortez Can’t Be Wrong

For more on how MMT plays out when applied in a nation, see a short review of the Brazil experiment:

Revenge of “Emotional Intelligence” Oxymorons

With the ongoing imposition of Critical Race and Gender theories along with identity politics and social justice warfare in the streets, it is clear that people imbued with postmodern progressive ideology have succumbed to a basic dichotomy (a la Animal Farm):  “Feelings Good, Reason Bad.” This is a fundamental overturning of western civics and consistent with people increasingly replacing ethics with immediate gratification, ie, reduction to the pain/pleasure principle of animals.

Warning: This post will express sincere thoughts that are politically incorrect, for example accepting that males and females have differing predominant behaviors and traits.

The title refers to a notion that came up in the fields of management science and industrial psychology, coincidental with increasing numbers of women practicing in those disciplines. I am prompted to write about this upon realizing that our present social divide is more fundamental than many think. This century, we see increasing numbers of people choosing to operate from emotions rather than intelligence. This pattern is in contradiction to the trajectory of Western civilization placing reason as primary and individual rights and freedoms as essential.

In a recent article thread (to be excerpted below) a comment caught my attention. “It has been said men rank, women exclude, and that is very true IMO.  All-female groups are very exclusionary to anyone who does not fit in.” That expression of Ranking vs. Excluding was new to me, and it may be changing this century, what with women competing with other women in sports, and with men as well in the workplace. Still, it points to our present social struggle whereby “diversity” is employed to divide a nation into identity groups to protest prejudice and claim reparations against grievances. The US as usual is the leading example of this culture war. Ironically, tribalism is rearing its ugly head in precisely the nation-state that so successfully created an American tribe that included any and all ethnic and religious groups.

Ranking vs. Excluding also explains such recent events as the Senate hearings on Judge Kavanaugh. Clearly his opponents sought to exclude him not only from the Judiciary, but to banish him from the human race. Their fierce and unrelenting animus to this day is frightening for the republic. Ironically, Kavanaugh prevailed in the process only by an emotional outburst, his outrage finally waking others up to the enormously evil beheading underway. This was out of character for a man by all accounts extremely reasonable and unprejudiced, and even in this testimony his intelligence was evident and in control.

It also shows up in the warfare between Trump and the leftist media. From the moment of Trump declaring candidacy, the left has been focused on excluding Trump from legitimacy, not only as President, but as an human being. Meanwhile, he is focused on the ranking: Winning is what matters, coming in first place. And despite the media’s attempts to paint him racist and sexist, I see no evidence that he excludes losers in a contest. On the contrary, he and Senator Rubio are on the same side pushing back against election fraud in Florida. The media can not recognize Trump is driven by intelligence despite his determined actions pursuing rational policy goals, and unbowed by social pressure and disapproval.

This modern tribalism emerges from the academic world and is now spreading into the wider society as graduates gain employment in private and public sector institutions. However, many of them carry a virus along with whatever knowledge and skills they have been able to acquire in their studies. A recent interview with Camille Paglia offers insight into the conversion of normal Americans into social dissenters. The article in Quillette is Camille Paglia: It’s Time for a New Map of the Gender World written by Claire Lehmann. Excerpts below in italics with my bolds.

Post-structuralism, along with identity politics, made huge gains in the 1970s, as the old guard professors proved helpless against a rising tide of rapid add-on programs and departments like women’s studies and African-American studies. The tenured professoriate seemed not to realize that change of some kind was necessary, and thus they failed to provide an alternative vision of a remodeled university of the future.

Most established professors in the 1970s probably believed that the new theory trend was a fad that would blow away like autumn leaves. The greatness of the complex and continuous Western tradition seemed self-evident: the canon would surely stand, even if supplemented by new names. Well, guess what? Helped along by a swelling horde of officious, overpaid administrators, North American universities became, decade by decade, political correctness camps. Out went half the classics, as well as pedagogically useful survey courses demonstrating sequential patterns in history (now dismissed as a “false narrative” by callow theorists). Bookish, introverted old-school professors were not prepared for guerrilla warfare to defend basic scholarly principles or to withstand waves of defamation and harassment.

The poisons of post-structuralism have now spread throughout academe and have done enormous damage to basic scholarly standards and disastrously undermined belief even in the possibility of knowledge. I suspect history will not be kind to the leading professors who appear to have put loyalty to friends and colleagues above defending scholarly values during a chaotic era of overt vandalism that has deprived several generations of students of a profound education in the humanities. The steady decline in humanities majors is an unmistakable signal that this once noble field has become a wasteland.

As an atheist, I have argued that if religion is erased, something must be put in its place. Belief systems are intrinsic to human intelligence and survival. They “frame” the flux of primary experience, which would otherwise flood the mind. Another persistent proposal of mine has been for comparative religion to become the undergraduate core curriculum, an authentically global multiculturalism.

My substitute for religion is art, which I have expanded to include all of popular culture. But when art is reduced to politics, as has been programmatically done in academe for 40 years, its spiritual dimension is gone. It is coarsely reductive to claim that value in the history of art is always determined by the power plays of a self-referential social elite. I take Marxist social analysis seriously: Arnold Hauser’s Marxist, multi-volume A Social History of Art (1951) was a major influence on me in graduate school. However, Hauser honored art and never condescended to it. A society that respects neither religion nor art cannot be called a civilization.

But politics cannot fill the gap. Society, with which Marxism is obsessed, is only a fragment of the totality of life. As I have written, Marxism has no metaphysics: it cannot even detect, much less comprehend, the enormity of the universe and the operations of nature. Those who invest all of their spiritual energies in politics will reap the whirlwind. The evidence is all around us—the paroxysms of inchoate, infantile rage suffered by those who have turned fallible politicians into saviors and devils, godlike avatars of Good versus Evil.

The headlong rush to judgment by so many well-educated, middle-class women in the #MeToo movement has been startling and dismaying. Their elevation of emotion and group solidarity over fact and logic has resurrected damaging stereotypes of women’s irrationality that were once used to deny us the vote. I found the blanket credulity given to women accusers during the recent U.S. Senate confirmation hearings for Brett Kavanaugh positively unnerving: it was the first time since college that I truly understood the sexist design of Aeschylus’s Oresteia, whose mob of vengeful Furies is superseded by formal courts of law, where evidence is weighed.

What I see in both the Women’s March and #MeToo is an atavistic rediscovery by Western women of the joy of their own mutually nurturing solidarity—a primary feature of daily life during 10,000 years of the agrarian era that has been lost over the past two centuries of industrialization. As I have often noted, the sexes throughout human history actually had very little to do with each other. There was the world of men and the world of women, each with its own spheres of influence and activity. Women didn’t take men that seriously, and vice versa. I know this because I am the product of an immigrant family (my mother and all four grandparents were born in Italy), and it wasn’t that long ago that we were tilling the stony soil of the earthquake-prone motherland.

Second, the nuclear family as a standard unit of social life is a relatively new and isolating phenomenon. Wives returning from work to an apartment or house are expecting their husbands to fulfill all the emotional and conversational needs that were once fulfilled by other women of multiple generations throughout the agrarian workday in the fields or at home (where the burdens of childcare and eldercare were group shared).

What I see spreading among professional middle-class women is a bitter resentment toward men that is in many cases unjust and misplaced. With divorce so easy since the sexual revolution, women find themselves competing with younger women in new and cruel ways. Agrarian women gained power as they aged: young women were brainless pawns whose marriages, pregnancies, childcare, cooking, and other chores were acerbically supervised and controlled by the dictatorial crones (forces of nature whom I fondly remember from childhood).

In short, #MeToo from a historical perspective is a cri de coeur from women who are realizing that the sexual revolution that many of us had once ecstatically embraced has in key ways devalued women, confused their private relationships, and complicated their smooth functioning in the workplace. It’s time for a new map of the gender world.

Camille Paglia is the University Professor of Humanities and Media Studies at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. Her eighth book, Provocations: Collected Essays, was released by Pantheon in Oct. 2018.

Footnote:

A previous post quoted an historian saying that the US civil war erupted because of two mutually exclusive definitions of justice.  One side said all people had equal rights and freedoms, while the other side said all people except slaves had equal rights and freedoms.  That war was fought and won to defeat the exclusionary principle.  Yes, the practice has not always lived up to the principle of inclusion.  But there is progress, and social justice warriors’ demands for racist examples exceeds the supply of such behavior.

Present day Americans are torn over the primacy of patriotism or multiculturalism
Details at Patriotism vs. Multiculturalism

Postcript:

Tom Wolfe wrote a book in which he skillfully dissected the descent of rationality and objectivity at the hands of modern academia. And I began to see the connection to climate change hysteria. The ruling force is “political correctness”, which translates into going along to get along in your tribe. And in the extreme, it means subordinating science and rationality to instincts of the herd, their fears, disappointments and desires ruling the day. My synopsis with links is Warmists and Rococo Marxists.

See Also:  Head, Heart and Science

Campus Thought Control