When You Think It Makes You Look Good, but…

This Is Concerning

“Somebody Had to Say It” Comedy Special by Jim Breuer

Not only is Jim Breuer a hilarious comedian, he’s actually somebody who has been brave during the pandemic. Recently, I saw he posted an entire comedy special on YouTube. Sadly, I cannot embed it here, but you can watch it directly on YouTube.

“COVID and Race”

But these large racial gaps in vaccination have not continued — and as a result, neither have the gaps in COVID death rates.

Instead, COVID’s racial gaps have narrowed and, more recently, even flipped. Over the past year, the COVID death rate for white Americans has been 14% higher than the rate for Black Americans and 72% higher than the Latino rate, according to the latest data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

It is a remarkable turnabout, a story of both public health success and failure.

This Tweet Is Getting Traction

Although I don’t support Jesse Kelly’s harshness in his quote tweet, my reply asks questions that have had me scratching my head for a while around politicians (and others) wanting to prevent access to certain, potential COVID-19 treatments.

The Lord has blessed me, thus far, and I have not caught COVID-19. However, if I do and it is severe, why won’t they let me take what I want?

P.S. Before you assume I am anti-vax (or the like), I have had my primary series and a booster.

Consistency

This is one of my tweets from last night:

I think the final sentence is important. I always support the right to protest, even if I disagree wholeheartedly with your take. I do not support lawbreaking (with some exceptions: e.g. when laws themselves are clearly immoral).

So, during the summer of 2020 protests, I did not approve of the intentional, prolonged blocking of Interstates. I’m in line with Jazz Shaw (writing about a protest in New Zealand):

While I do not approve of blocking traffic as part of a protest, particularly when there is a risk of emergency response vehicles being isolated, there’s no question that the entire Freedom Convoy concept is rapidly turning into a movement and spreading around the world.

And, Freedom Convys are a movement that I support.

So, am I a hypocrite?

I think not, but maybe. Thoughts:

  1. I noted that I don’t approve everything they are doing. In the end, I have to decide if I support something overall. In this case, I do.
  2. New rules were established by the MSM, progressives/liberals, and governments in the summer of 2020. Heck, in Seattle they literally took over a section of the city, and the city treated it as a valid form of protest. Consistency (and morality) means you cannot approve a method of protest only based on the views of the protesters. So, I may disapprove of the tactic, but they should get the same “kids gloves” treatment the 2020 protesters got.
  3. The only prolific law-breaking the Freedom Convoy is doing is blocking traffic. That doesn’t mean it is okay, but…looking back at #2…you can’t say, “No way! It must stop!,” when you were explictly (or implicitly) approving protesters burning down buildings, looting businesses, beating and killing people, etc. during the protests riots of 2020.

Speaking of consistency, I have repeatedly said, since the beginning of the pandemic, that rights are for things are bad, not for when they are good. COVID-19 has been the excuse for totalitorian control, for why rights have to be “temporarily” given up, because it is such a huge emergency. It’s for our own good. To save grandma.

Although I do not discount the noble intentions of many involved, that’s not how rights work,  the path to hell is paved with good intentions, and…

Not to mention, it wasn’t all with good intentions.

Thanks you Canadian truckers!

“How do you respond when an anti-vaxxer dies of COVID?”

“How do you respond when an anti-vaxxer dies of COVID?”

The same way you should respond with a pro-vaxxer dies of COVID:

With compassion.

I wish the complete article wasn’t behind a paywall. We can all use Martin’s words…you should check out Hot Air’s snippet at the link above.

Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, Nils Lofgren, and…

Album cover
Image from Amazon.com

I am of two minds with this, “You have to choose, Joe Rogan or me” that Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, Nils Logrin (and more?) are doing with Spotify.

First, I abhor people trying to get other people deplatformed. (I abhor the action, not the people.)

However, I respect individuals willing to personally sacrifice for their beliefs. I don’t know who owns whose catalogues, but I am going to assume that it’s not in Young’s, Mitchell’s, or Logrin’s best monetary interest to reduce the reach of their music.

At a minimum, I think the three are misguided, and probably lean on the side that what they are doing wrong, but I don’t think that the answer is to attack them back, try to get others to stop listening to their music (itself a form of deplatforming), etc.

And I hope that Joe Rogan tries to get them on his program to discuss their differences of opinion (and that they accept).

In the end, we are all trying to navigate difficult waters in a fog, and we are all guaranteed to hit some rocks here-and-there. That should lead to compassion, not judgment.

We’ve Got Ourselves a Convoy

I’ve got a lot of respect for people who stand up for freedom:

Greg’s monologue, directly:

If I were traveling with the truckers, this is the song I’d be listening to: 🙂

Our Responsibilities to Others

Although tenuous “impact to others” has been been abused by those who…actually…want to control others (including you), we do have responsibilities to others. With that in mind:

Assuming it is true, and believing that (probably) the majority of what NYC is forcing on folks around COVID-19 is bogus, this is wrong.

  • You should be allowed to decide your own risk.
  • Your friends, aware of your condition, should be able to decide their own risk.
  • But, when the risk is not of the tenuous type that is abused, you should not be deciding others’ risk.  If accurate, Palin decided eating out was worth risking the health of the staff and patrons of the restaurants.

I tried to find the “other side of the story,” but I could not locate anything indicating Palin has responded; just this:

And, since it is behind a “you have to create an account to read it”-wall, I don’t know if “dodges” is legit.

If you have COVID-19, stay away from other people. Yes, we would not necessarily have done that with the common cold or the flu, but…let’s be honest…that is a reasonable request, isn’t it?

Final note: I am very disappointed in Palin, and her behavior hurts “her side” (and the side of us who believe much of the reaction to the pandemic is overblown, immoral, etc.)  However, the “punishment must fit the crime.” She shouldn’t be treated like she just committed murder.

COVID-19 Reaction Tide Turning?

As an overall summary statement of its present state, I agree with “it is a pandemic of bureaucracy”:

As Clay Travis’ embedded tweet notes, “The most impressive thing about Bari Weiss on last night’s Bill Maher is the wild applause after she finishes here.” It is liberal audience. They realize the corona virus totalitarian emperors have no clothes and are more willing to acknowledge it.

The video above is worth a watch, and his thread from Yossi Gestetner is worth a read:

In all this, I am reminded that politicians used to use “it’s for the children” as an excuse for whatever thing they wanted to do, even if the connection to children was as thin as a thread (or essentially non-existent).

I guess the kids no longer matter. We are damaging our children horrendously with our pandemic reaction…along with other untold devastation.

And “science” is an excuse. We aren’t following it.

Simpson’s “Paradox” and Mortality Rates of the COVID-19 Vaccinated Versus Unvaccinated

If you’ve read much of this blog, you realize I am untrusting and skeptical of much of the COVID-19 narrative. However, that doesn’t mean that I can be credulous about counter-claims, just because they confirm my take.

For instance, Nassim Nicholas Taleb responds to the “fact” that the mortality rates for the vaccinated are higher than the unvaccinated:

The punch line:

It’s a statical artifact and when is it, you know, misleading? When the bracket is very large and you don’t have homogeneous populations…and you have uneven, the solution, of the population, between the two samples.

Taleb tweet(I hope I transcribed that correctly.)

Basically, with COVID-19, if the vaccinated population is heavy on folks who die at a much higher rate (the elderly) and the unvaccinated is heavy on those who do not (the young), then Simpson’s “Paradox” kicks in. Overall, the mortality rate for the vaccinated can seem higher, even though at smaller brackets (e.g. 10 year age bands) it is the reverse.

Now, I haven’t seen the underlying data, so I cannot confirm what Taleb says, other than his statistical logic is sound…and that I have found him to be a trustworthy fellow who goes where the mathematics takes him.

Oh, and I have personally seen something similar in some data analysis I had to do months back. In certain locations, it appeared a minority population was being underserved in vaccination statistics, but it was less so when you took into account age. (That minority population in those areas was younger than the non-minority one, there was a huge push to vaccinate the elderly, and vaccinations weren’t even open to some of the younger age brackets.)

Remember folks, lies, damn lies, and statistics. Unless, of course, you use statistics carefully and honestly.

Update:

Makes You Think

This article is worth a full read:

Put aside your existing views, digest what Paul Kingsnorth has written, and then consider…

But it is clear enough by now that the Narrative is not true. Covid-19 is a nasty illness which should be taken seriously, especially by those who are especially vulnerable to it. But it is nowhere near dangerous enough – if anything could be – to justify the creation of a global police state. As for the vaccines – well, let’s just acknowledge that vaccination has become a subject which it is virtually impossible to discuss with any calmness or clarity, at least in public. As with almost every other big issue in the West today, opinion is divided along tribal lines and filtered through the foetid swamp of anti-social media, to emerge monstrous and dripping into the light.

And yes, something is wrong:

We all have a breaking point, and we all should, because this is the means by which our human intuition screams to us that something is wrong. This is mine. I will not go along with what is happening. I will not validate what is emerging. I will resist it. I will take my stand.

Will you take a stand?

Will I?

Eerp…

Totalitarian inclinations are never satisfied…

P.S. However, it’s not quite as bad as it seams:

The mandate applies to gatherings of those who live in a different homes but meet together in one location, and it was imposed in light of rising COVID-19 cases in the area, according to ABC 7.

Per this article:

These Are People’s Lives

When you read the title of this article and then watch this video, you’ll like come away with one of two takes of whose lives I am talking about…

Which take did you have?

“Power given is seldom returned.”

Allison Williams: “Power given is seldom returned.”

Statistics and Low Number

What would you say if there was one accident in location X in 2019 and two in 2020, and I exclaimed, “There was a 100% increase in accidents in location X!!!”

Remember, there are lies, damn lies, and statistics.

The rate of infection reached an average of about 45 cases per 100,000 students by late September in school districts with mask mandates.

Virus spread was 62% higher in school districts with no mask rules, where the infection rate averaged 73 cases per 100,000 by late September.

Unlike my hypothetical accident situation, this difference is probably meaningful…but even the 62% higher infection rate comes out to 0.073% (as in not even one tenth of one percent).

No policy has only one effect, and the benefits have to be measured against the costs.

Our children have paid too much during this pandemic because of adults’ single-factor thinking.

Seems Logical to Me

I do not know how trustworthy the study is, but this seems to confirm a logical expectation:

 

Government Judging Your Faith

There are aspects of this article that are truly disturbing:

For instance:

Thomas Berg, a self-described “strong supporter of religious exemptions” and a religious liberty advocate who teaches law at the University of St. Thomas, a Catholic institution in St. Paul, Minnesota, said he believes that there is a strong case to deny many of the religious claims and to test religious sincerity.

“In cases where you’ve got a lot of potential insincere claims — and I think there’s evidence that is what’s happening here in which people are raising religious objections when they’re motivated by fear of the vaccine or political opposition to it — testing sincerity makes sense,” he said. “We have to test sincerity or else we have to accept them all or deny them all, so I think the courts will provide room for testing that.”

One driver for testing sincerity is the fact that no major organized religion objects to the vaccines, and Roman Catholic and other Christian, Jewish and Muslim leaders have advised followers to get the shots. Pope Francis went so far as to say that getting vaccinated was “the moral choice because it is about your life but also the lives of others.”

Individually held beliefs, however, could provide some protections.

Just like I, an actual minister, cannot judge a person’s salvation…the courts (and other branches of government) cannot judge the sincerity of an individual’s belief.

True, if a guy says he “religiously” believes that sex is only for marriage, but then hires a prostitute, you have reason to question the sincerity of his belief. However, even then you cannot claim it is proof, since we all fall short of our own standards.

For instance, as a Christian I don’t believe I should jump to conclusions about another’s behavior, yet I do (hopefully less and less).

The “John” could honestly believe sex outside marriage is wrong. Should the government be able to force him to behave otherwise, because he is a hypocrite and has behaved otherwise before?

Finally, all belief’s are individual, even if the reason you hold them is because you trust (wisely or not) some priestly class. It may help an argument if your form of organized religion (e.g. denomination) stands behind you, but, in America, we don’t have state religions. We have individual rights.