Thursday, 7 January 2021

Trump shows how deep the rabbit hole has become

Trump vs Democrats 

Remain vs Leave

Covid19 vs Anti-vaxers

Liberals vs identity politics

The Fed vs the markets...

The advent of social media has truly de-stabilised the world now. Trump seems to have convinced himself the normal election was stolen from him. The fact that every investigation has come up empty passes him by. 

In the UK, Remainers were full of how our Country would fail literally on the day of Brexit, with no food or medicines coming in. Brexit is not without its downsides, but non of this was ever true and yet still it gets repeated ad nauseam. 

On the vaccine, utterly unsubstantiated tripe about the vaccine is shared widely, putting people off having it. Does no one recall the MMR scandal and how unscientific nonsense was published linking it to autism? So many kids then exposed to diseases that were supposed to be near eradicated. 

But the internet is powerful, it allows groups who previously would have been 2 people in a pub to gather in larger virtual numbers and in the US just now in real numbers to push their crazed agenda. The whole element of Fake News is such a dark element in our society. Anyone can reinforce their beliefs by finding more outlandish information on QAnon or the Canary - whichever side they are on, there is plenty of content to keep them off-track. 

I have a whattsapp with a CEO of a very large company. All he does is send conspiracy nonsense about the virus not being real and the great reset. An intelligent guy, lost in the rabbit hole of the web. 

What Trump shows is this now goes right through society in the West, right to the top where the person literally in charge of the US can claim 'THE MAN' is against him - he is the man for goodness sake. It is an insanity. 

What I have not figured out is how we get out of this conundrum as a society. Social media won't be put back in its box, How do we figure out a way through it? I think perhaps it is time to make Social Media companies register as publishers. They have to be responsible for content like a newspaper or any other offline media. We need to do something or else the craziness in the Capitol will be the nearer the beginning and not the end. 

68 comments:

Old BE said...

Yes it’s strange and sad. What is striking is that a lot of the guff is circulated by people who claim to be sceptics - except they believe any old crap they see circulated by shysters.

I’m not in favour of reducing free expression, so I disagree with Keir Starmer, but the flip side of so much availability of content is that we have to be careful how much to read into any particular thing.

What is shocking is that I bet the number of people in the US who genuinely believe the election was thrown is tiny. But they make so much noise, and then organise to storm Congress. Where are Trump’s men in grey suits?

Graeme said...

Re the President of the USA, did you make similar comments about the 4 year campaign, begun by the Russian dossier commissioned by Obama, to dethrone Trump, supported so wholeheartedly by the Beeb and Guardian? Just curious

Matt said...

What's the definition of "Fake News"? Scientific consensus?

What if the medical experts want lock down (to protect the NHS from it's "customers") and the economic/psychology experts don't want it (to avoid screwing the country and people's mental health)?

Or the supposed eco-emergency which socialists want to use to bring about the end of capitalism where a simple Pigou tax (see Stern) could fix the problem. So they pretend that emissions aren't falling and proclaim we need to go to greater lengths to avert disaster.

For me, Fake News is anything that doesn't support your own view of the world. Being "right" or "wrong" isn't an important consideration.

Old BE said...

Graeme confirming CU’s point perfectly

BlokeInBrum said...

"The fact that every investigation has come up empty passes him by.

Could you point me in the direction of those investigations?

As far as I'm aware, when most of the contentious goings on were pointed out to the Courts and the Judiciary, they stuck their fingers in their ears,closed their eyes and said there was nothing that concerned them, as the relevant parties lacked standing.

If everything was so above board, where are the audits to prove it to all those thick Trumptards?

Anonymous said...

Social media has corrupted into a cancer, hard to believe how harmless it used to feel just keeping in contact with people, and now...

Facebook owns a lot of this, using dark patterns and psychological tricks to keep eyes on screen with little thought as to the type of content and consequences. Google, through YouTube, too, with similar tricks and suggestions designed to drive you down siloed paths.

20 years ago Trump would have been a novelty President, done 4-8 years with some successes and failures, then gone on to make a mint from it. Instead his constant bullshitting and fragile ego has completely subverted any good he achieved and instead set the US down a path it might not be able to divert from.

Time is always unkind to most leaders - unless you've gained some measure of legend, a la Churchill - the positives fade from memory, and the negatives loom ever higher. Trump has engineered that before he's officially left office.

As for the sacking of the Capitol, time to remove Trump in disgrace before he officially leaves, and anyone they can drag to court should be done so and brought up on charges of sedition.

Many oaths in the US speak of enemies, foreign and domestic, well yesterday domestic enemies did something. Every one of those involved should be treated as the treacherous terrorist arsehole they are.

And there needs to be investigation on how they got in - I mean, America's Hat had a single person try and pull that and they got 30+ bullets riddled into them. Every single person charging yesterday should be getting a closed casket later this week, not walking around still.

DaveM said...

I know it's hard to see it sometimes, but Trump is actually not the problem. He is just the one who has revealed the problem. Just listen to the BBC. Every single word is carefully chosen to support a narrative. Every image they choose on every 'news' report (and even the images they deliberately ignore). The MSM and Social Media companies just do not 'get' that they ARE the polarisation. They have their agenda and there is zero discussion to be had. Zero debate. It's all 'settled'. You are either with them 100% on everything they believe or you are evil. And any attempts to censor, control, no-platform or jail disbelievers will just make it worse, but that of course is exactly what they will try to do until life genuinely gets uncomfortable for the many.
When half the people decide to stop voting because they really don't feel it counts anymore the next step is they stop paying taxes. Let's see how that ends.

Old BE said...

The US had very high turnout. The referendum had very high turnout. Who has “stopped voting”?

DJK said...

Quite clearly the BBC and MSM have an agenda but the solution to that is to have multiple news outlets, each with their own point of view. CU's point is different, which is that the social media companies --- Facebook, in particular --- make money winding people up by directing them to ever more extreme views, finding users prejudices and feeding them a diet to reinforce those prejudices. Hence all the fake news that gets endlessly repeated in various echo chambers.

I agree that step 1 has to be to make Facebook, Twitter, etc responsible for what they push as publishers. That way, perhaps, a healthier internet can arise.

andrew said...

If you read 4chan etc (dont) and look up you might notice mr Trump somewhere not too far from a reality about 20% of the us voters would be ok with.

We live in an era of such plenty that it seems to be possible to have two conflicting truths be true at the same time.

I feel very uncomfortable saying this but the simplest way forwards is to

1. Remove online anonymity - no more sock puppets, robots
your name goes against what you write
2. Re establish the concept of certainty
Your name goes against what you do.

... which is a bit like china

DaveM said...

I'm generalising, but let's say one side turns up to vote and the other side mails theirs in. You now have split parallel system and a very high chance of confidence in it being lost. Regardless of who 'wins'. So I repeat, when half the people decide to stop voting because they really don't feel it counts anymore the next step is they stop paying taxes. You are deluded if you genuinely think the existing system will be trusted next time. I'm not saying they had any option. It was too late. There was really no way that the courts could find 'voter fraud' (whether it happened or not). If they had, then yesterday would not have been a little skirmish. We have the 'minimal damage' outcome for now. 'Stupid bad orange man' is the fall guy. I fear they are too stupid to change their ways though, and if the new guy doesnt make it through the next season of this reality show and gets replaced by the two ladies waiting in the wings then the conspiracy nuts will go nuts. We know this. How can they not see this?

John in Cheshire said...

If MMR is so safe, why weren't/ aren't parents given the choice of having separate inoculations for their children?
If the virus vaccines are so safe, why aren't individuals given the choice taking Hydroxychloroquine and Azithromycin. Or Ivermectin.Or, as seems to be coming soon, punishing those who refuse to be vaccinated?

If the US presidential election was so uncontaminated by wrongdoing, why is there evidence to the contrary?

Nick Drew said...

It's pretty well established that in times of flux and stress, many people (esp in societies lacking cohesion) resort to soothsayers, gambling, attacking 5G towers and general credulousness

(we may expect a rash of UFO sightings etc in due course)

historically, how do such periods end?

(a) not always quickly
(b) when some regime evolves out of the chaos that becomes strong enough to enjoy some stability, and then cracks down on whatever it deeems to be inimical to its hegemony, with all the force of a religion (indeed, sometimes an actual Religion)

then folks start to fall back in line - the new line, whatever it may be

(when all the last really brave 'heretics' have been burned)

a lot of what we see is putative 'new regimes' limbering up for their opportunity to be the ones to wield the whip: inventing their new religion, drawing up the lists of what (and whom) they'll proscribe etc etc

Anonymous said...

I don’t think being sceptical about a vaccine with no long term trials is stupid. I discussed it with my GP and he simply said there can have been no long term testing unless they have a time machine. His view was that healthy people with no underlying health issues should think long and hard before taking it. If you don’t you could get COVID, which can be nasty, just like flu, it can kill you. The odds are strongly that it won’t. I take the flu vaccine every year because I am a carer and the flu is nasty. When there is more long term data I might take the COVID vaccine, but probably not this year.

By the way, the district nurse who looks after my mother said that the Pfizer vaccine was a pig to use. The low temperature makes moving and storing a nightmare and that when you get it up to temperature to inject it if you look at in a strange way it will curdle at the drop of a hat and becomes useless. Looks like the Oxford vaccine is a much more practical product and based on a more traditional vaccine technology.

Regards to you all

Charles

Old BE said...

If there are two voting methods and one of the candidates says in advance that he’s going to accuse one of those methods as open to fraud, then accuses that method of having been defrauded, playing into fears of people who don’t know how the system works, playing into fears/bravado on each polarised side (is the risk of queueing at a polling station worse than the risk of my vote getting lost?) then what do you expect when the guy who was screaming about postal fraud loses?

Old BE said...

Both of these new vaccines are incredibly exciting. They could potentially be adapted to deal with other diseases. Imagine if we came out of this pandemic with a malaria vaccine?

Anonymous said...

@cityunslicker

“ I think perhaps it is time to make Social Media companies register as publishers. They have to be responsible for content like a newspaper or any other offline media.”

Haha. The irony runs deep.

JC

Anonymous said...

"I discussed it with my GP and he simply said there can have been no long term testing unless they have a time machine. His view was that healthy people with no underlying health issues should think long and hard before taking it. "

Yep, as far as I can see there's no way of gainsaying this argument. Death rate for healthy under 60's, since March, is < 400 (per the NHS's own data).

-- EC

dearieme said...

I take the flu jab every year. I've had other jabs in adulthood - for instance, tetanus. We had the offspring given the full set of childhood jabs except for one where there was a contra-indicator in our family medical history.

As far as I can see, much of general anti-vax sentiment is daft.*

And I firmly believe that people have every right to express scepticism about the new Covid jabs, and to decline to take them. What sort of totalitarians believe otherwise?

(*Much but not all, since there is at least one nasty case of more-harm-than-good in the historical record, I understand.)

dearieme said...

"how we get out of this conundrum as a society. ... How do we figure out a way through it?"

Well, our ruling class could stop lying to us quite so much. That might be a start.

I mean, you do remember Project Fear, I assume? Or the Iraqattack and the lies about WMD?

Thud said...

There is always more or less fraud by the Dems in elections but not enough to swing it to the extent Trump claims, the relentless and unprecedented legal, media and fake dossier attacks are another thing all together. You now have an unknown number of aggrieved Americans some of them with very specific skill sets, Mcvey was not an aberration.

dearieme said...

Here's a rather good bit of scepticism about two of the jabs.

https://blogs.bmj.com/bmj/2021/01/04/peter-doshi-pfizer-and-modernas-95-effective-vaccines-we-need-more-details-and-the-raw-data/

Anonymous said...

There's a generalised lack of trust in authority here and across the pond, and that's down to the fact that people's life chances are getting worse and worse. In the UK, male real median wages are lower now than in 1997 (I can give ONS links if you really want) while real house prices are up by 2.5x. This over a time period when real GDP is up 50%.

In the States, male median wages have been falling for nearly 50 years. I used to see ordinary working Americans 'doing' England when I was young.

https://www.brookings.edu/opinions/the-typical-male-u-s-worker-earned-less-in-2014-than-in-1973/

DaveM - "Just listen to the BBC. Every single word is carefully chosen to support a narrative."

"Mob storms Capitol"

"Capitol Police arrested 56 people on Thursday in anti-Kavanaugh protests. Protesters occupied the office of Senator Chuck Grassley" - but these were the good people!

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-45593290




E-K said...

You have to get the MSM back from the Left first. When the BBC riles me every day where else am I to look to find my opinions represented ?

Unknown said...

"There's a generalised lack of trust in authority here and across the pond, and that's down to the fact that people's life chances are getting worse and worse. "

I think a distrust of authority is a long standing British and American tradition that goes back centuries.

Don Cox

CityUnslicker said...

I have at least found a topic here that people are willing to engage with.

Of interest to me writing this earlier, is that Boris and Sir Simon Stephens were visibly angry today at internet misinformation and cretins claiming hospitals are empty at the height of our new pandemic crisis.

Also today, a long term pal of mine called and said how worried he was, having ignored covid all year and said it was a fake new thing, becuase 4 of his friends were seriously ill and hospitalised now.


Trump, the original target of this, has proved none of his accusations. I can stand accused as someone who would belive this, just as I know labour occasionally get up to naugthiness in the UK (and get caught too, sometimes), the Dems do as well. but the idea that they stole an election won easily by Biden, that the polls has for Biden, that in the middle of a pandemic was always against an incumbent. Crazed, but I also see the BLM types and trans right people as nuttes at the other end of the spectrum. the point to me is opinions and views can be changed by facts and actions - but if you call everything fake, you lose your ability to rationally view anything.

Remainers in the UK, rejoiners as we now should see them, repent nothing and just ignore their total wrongness about Brexit - becuase nothing must change their world view about the wonder of the EU and the underlying racism of all Brexiteers.

We must be able to take on real information. I also know a Doctor who is uninterested in Covid, she is GP and happily saying masks are pointless etc. This astounds me, given her social and work network, that people can today build a bubble of belief able to exclude so much that would challenge their core beliegs. But they do, hence me identifying social media as a key driver of this.


The vaccine answers (welcome Charles and thanks for your input), show this very well. Of course there are no long term tests. Of course this maybe a risk. of course if you are fit and healthy that makes taking the vaccine a higher relative risk for you, by a small percentage. None of that means the vaccines are unsafe though, per se. Again, personally the flu vaccine always makes me ill, so I dont have it - but it does not kill me or make me sterile etc which is the gist of the anti-vaxxers. Not vaccintating the elderly and at risk will destory our economies and way of life forvever at this point. Over a thousand people dying a day in hospitals of covid alone is tragic, the vaccine is the only way out. We have tried 'living' with it by openinsg schools and having even a restricted Xmas....look where it has led.

It boils down to beliefs. I am not a scientist or specifically a virologist. But I can find those easily on google who are pro or anti vax. much like cliamte change, that fact that 99% are pro, I can still choose to believe the 1% who are anti. of course, the fact that sometimes the 1% are right or that our idiot politicians keep lying which makes people confused is not helpful. But as a society, if we go on like this, we fail.


Bill Quango said...

Reclaiming History: The Assassination of President John F. Kennedy is a book by attorney Vincent Bugliosi that analyzes the events surrounding the assassination of United States President John F. Kennedy, focusing on the lives of Lee Harvey Oswald and Jack Ruby. He drew from many sources, including the Warren Report.
Bugliosi argues that the Warren Commission's conclusion that Lee Oswald acted alone in shooting Kennedy is correct.

The book is 1,632 pages. It was published with an accompanying CD-ROM containing an additional 1,000+ pages of footnotes. He analyzed both the assassination itself and the rise of the conspiracy theories about the event in the following years.


And I read it all!

I was thinking, there must be something to the JFK assassination. I mean..all those dodgy events. The crappy rifle. The grassy knoll. The shadow points the wrong way. Lydon Johnson's incredible, immediate swearing in. The magic bullet. The killing of Oswald. I'd seen the movie, JFK. There must be some truth in it.

15 pages in, I was now convinced that Oswald was the sole killer. The evidence presented by the lawyer/author, was overwhelming. That's 15 pages in. With 1600+ more argument to go.

I actually felt embarrassed. That I had ever considered there might have been another explanation. Bugliosi went through every conspiracy theory, and gave the facts. This is what happened. This is what you think you know. Here's an explanation for it. And here's a ton of stuff you have no idea about. You have never heard or seen of. That also corroborates the Oswald was a lone killer.

What the real problem was, the Anti-conspiracy side doesn't get the airtime.

A person on the radio just today, went through those Trump claims of vote fraud, one by one. As Bugliosi did. And gave an explanation.
This is the first time I have heard them given. And, there are reasons, that make sense.

If all you ever read or hear is 'Judge so-and-So, declared 'no evidence' of vote fraud, so no investigation necessary,' that can only reinforce the belief there must be something in the claims of vote tampering.

the reason WHY the judge said whatever, is not properly reported.

I believe that the likes of the BBC, who made a decision, to only have one view, are very much to blame for the rise of the conspiracy.
Instead of being journalists, and telling people why Vote machine XXXX1234 stopped giving any Republican votes after 2am on XXX day, they refuse to engage. And use favoured terms. 'Unconfirmed. Unsubstantiated' claims by the president. Without explaining why they thought that was so.

Like the 'Science is Settled'.

Yes, it probably is. But if you don't explain why, and just dismiss the other side's claims as rubbish, then you give them credibility.You feed the conspiracy.

Same with Brexit. The BBc happily reported every doom-disaster story. Didn't bother so much with, 'This won't happen, though..because, you know, its mostly hysterical worst case, Armageddon event stuff.'
Which pretty much forces anyone with an opposing view into the bubble of the like minds and self reinforcing echo chamber.

In the US, with actively partisan media, it is even worse. If you don't believe the media, where else can you go?

CityUnslicker said...

Stick your comment up as the post for tomorrow BQ.

Old BE said...

If Covid was fake, why would every single country go along with it? The conspiracy people never explain that. Surely an outlier like North Korea or Turkey would just ignore it and “win”. The conspiracy people must imagine that it’s really easy to dupe everyone by arranging a quick chat over brandy in Davos.

The conspiracy people have an advantage because the more you challenge their nonsense the more you can be labelled a sheep or a shill or whatever. Ask someone to explain how voter fraud is somehow transmitted by 5G masts and they shout “co-conspirator”.

Nobody has ever proved that Tony Blair wasn’t actually a lizard, by the way.

Anonymous said...

I don't think Covid's fake, because Israel shut their borders very early on, which is more than we ever did (even during the strict March lockdown which most people obeyed, there were hundreds of planes landing at Heathrow and their passengers heading who knows where, zero testing/questioning - Global Britain, open for business and infection, don'tcha know?).

Israel is a serious country where the elites actually care about their people, which is more than can be said for US/UK. They're vaccinating like mad - indeed they gave someone a whole undiluted vial last week!

Here's another chap asking awkward questions about the "vaccines" - in the BMJ no less.

https://blogs.bmj.com/bmj/2021/01/04/peter-doshi-pfizer-and-modernas-95-effective-vaccines-we-need-more-details-and-the-raw-data/


Anonymous said...

"Israel is a serious country where the elites actually care about their people"

Of course it helps that they ARE their people. I'm not sure how much visceral connection Rishi Sunak (or Boris for that matter) has to the unemployed steelworkers of Redcar.

Nick Drew said...

@ I'm not sure how much visceral connection Rishi Sunak (or Boris for that matter) has ...

Hence my reference to "societies lacking cohesion" @ 3:10 above

Graeme said...

So you believed in the Russian dossier?

Sobers said...

"Well, our ruling class could stop lying to us quite so much. That might be a start."

I think this is the problem the internet has delivered to us. Its shown that time and time again the State lies to the People and now no-one believes a word it says. Heck we've even seen in in a nutshell in the covid crisis - remember when masks were verboten, you could get into trouble just for selling them on the internet, or suggesting they were a good idea? That was when the State was desperately trying to lay its hands on some, its 'public health' department having forgotten to maintain a reserve, so didn't want the hoi-polloi hoovering up all the available supplies. But once it had secured its needs, suddenly masks became compulsory. All the internet does is make all this stuff easier to see, and recall, and provide evidence for.

Elby the Beserk said...

Ah another vaccine expert.

Here's two papers which explain exactly I will not have any mRNA vaccine as matters stand

Paper 1

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31607599/

"Influenza vaccination and respiratory virus interference among Department of Defense personnel during the 2017-2018 influenza season"

"Conclusions: Receipt of influenza vaccination was not associated with virus interference among our population. Examining virus interference by specific respiratory viruses showed mixed results. Vaccine derived virus interference
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
was significantly associated with coronavirus and human metapneumovirus;
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
however, significant protection with vaccination was associated not only with most influenza viruses, but also parainfluenza, RSV, and non-influenza virus confections."

I.E. Months after having the jab, you meet a new variant and your immune system goes into cytokene storm.

Paper 2 - which notes that the above is not being disclosed to volunteers, those now being vaccinated.

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33113270/

"Informed consent disclosure to vaccine trial subjects of risk of COVID-19 vaccines worsening clinical disease"

"Results of the study: COVID-19 vaccines designed to elicit neutralising antibodies may sensitise vaccine recipients to more severe disease than if they were not vaccinated."

This video led by the Irish immunologist, with a French physician taking part, discusses this.

https://newtube.app/user/PhilStone/pU4YiVz

https://people.ucd.ie/dolores.cahill


"Prof. Dr Dolores Cahill is a world-wide renowned expert in high-throughput proteomics technology development and automation, high content protein arrays and their biomedical applications, including in biomarker discovery and diagnostics.
Prof. Cahill pioneered this research area at the Max-Planck-Institute of Molecular Genetics in Berlin, Germany, and holds several international patents in this field with research, biomedicine and diagnostic applications.
o Over 20 years expertise in high-throughput protein & antibody array, automation, proteomics technology development & biomedical applications in biomarker discovery, diagnostics & personalised medicine.
o Since 2005 to present, Full Professor of Translational Science, School of Medicine, University College Dublin, Academic, Researcher, Lecturer, Module Coordinator in Pathology Teaching, School of Medicine & Conway Institute
o 15 years as Irish, EU & international expert & advisor including Seconded National Expert to European Commission
o Company Co-founder & Shareholder (1997-2019) of Protagen AG in Germany (https://protagen.com/). Protagen Protein Services (2012-2019) contract services to healthcare sector & pharmaceutical industry (https://protagenproteinservices.com/).
o Since 2016, co-founding shareholder and Advisory Board member of Prof. Stephen Pennington’s UCD School of Medicine/Conway Institute spin-out company, Atturos Ltd. working to improve Prostate Cancer diagnosis (http://atturos.com/ and http://atturos.com/company/advisors/).
o Prof. Cahill has a total of over 5940 Citations, H (Hirsh)-index of 35, i10-index of 48.
o Project management: Has successfully obtained and project managed as Principal Investigator eight EU Programme funding grants from FP4, FP5, FP6, FP7 and Horizon 2020, Science Foundation Ireland, Enterprise Ireland, Health Research Board funding in companies and universities. "

Anonymous said...

Even the WHO were saying in March that masks don't work (unless you're a medical professional in which case they're vital).

The BBC had a couple of Covid programmes early in the year that said it wasn't anything to panic about, closing the borders would be bordering on racist etc etc. This was around the same time Dems were telling New Yorkers to go and celebrate Chinese New Year in the NY restaurants.







E-K said...

BQ

I watched an interesting Sky documentary on the Kennedy assassination and a compelling explanation was given.

Yes. Oswald WAS the sole assassin.

Yes. Kennedy was killed by two bullets from two different guns - the head shot a hollow point Government issue round (which was collected from the morgue by a CIA agent.)

The escort squad had been out on the piss the night before and the agent who was meant to be the escort car driver was too drunk to drive so took a back seat with a newly issued automatic rifle that he'd not been trained with - this had a safety catch with which he was unfamiliar and he had failed to put it on.

As he stood up in the back of the car and rounded on Oswald his finger slipped on the trigger which delivered the explosive Kennedy head shot.

E-K said...

Old Blue

I believe the virus is real and it is bad. I also believe that all the players are in high places ready to step into the democratic vacuums that this crisis has created. The stealthy and insidious insurgence throughout Western state apparatus has been going on since the 1960s.

More recently, the direction of travel for general Western policy has been set by nudges from Davos - or, more likely, powerful people have expressed at those meetings what they will be doing as regards nudging the global attitude.

There is no need for a coordinated conspiracy.

It is simply a matter of default while we are all preoccupied with a global crisis.

dearieme said...

The virus is real and gave us a nasty epidemic in March-May 2020.

Whether the current hoo-ha is about Covid or misdiagnosed flu, God knows. Both kill. The best guide (I guess, as an amateur) is the age of people it's killing. If many more are young or middle-aged compared to last Spring, it might well be flu. You could also look at death rates for people who have had the flu jab and those who haven't.

Of course, it could always be both.

As for masks, the evidence seems to me meagre and inconclusive. People who are confidently pro or anti are chumps.

Keep your distance, wash your hands, avoid noisy gatherings and, if you are that way inclined, pray. On your own. Probably take Vitamin D, and zinc tablets.

Oh, and last Spring when the epidemic was undoubtedly real, most of our local world-famous hospital was empty, The staff had nothing to do. But the government and mass media seemed to want to suppress that info, which was presumably reflected over much of the country. So why should I believe them this time?

That's the trouble, you see. The buggers lie. (Like the chief Covid chap in Sweden who told everyone not to travel and then pissed off to the Canary Islands.)

Anonymous said...

Same as it ever was...simply gander back at the tripe passed about (with no “press” of which to speak) from Gutenberg on...people need an ‘other’...it was ever thus and ever shall be. The trick is to let it all fly unhindered. The truth will out.

Scrobs. said...

The Third Law of Scrobs states that whenever any comment/opinion is heard on the BBC, the opposite is probably true. The same goes for their house comic, The Guardian.

The First Law of Scrobs is that embrocations/tinctures must be taken at regular intervals.

The Second Law states that the First Law is enacted on pain of castration with a flint sickle...

Anonymous said...

Excellent BQ. Why have reality when you can create your own - and have your own bubble, like this one.

And now for a musical interlude.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B7kCqrlwDtU

Old BE said...

Not sure what flu vaccines have to do with mRNA vaccines. I had the flu vaccine in October, then got something very like flu in December. Annoying but it won’t stop me getting a flu vaccine next winter, nor will it stop me getting a covid vaccine.

My GP friend and his wife who are extremely fit and healthy got covid recently. He had mild symptoms and she was quite unwell. Said everything smelled of bleach. Why anyone actively wants themselves and other people to catch this virus (as seems to be an undercurrent of a certain worldview) is beyond me.

We have no idea what the long term effects of the virus are. We hear nasty stories about “long Covid” symptoms, healthy people in their 20s being hospitalised (hopefully rarely) so the macho risk takers astound me. This is new, and we don’t know how it’s going to pan out. Boris and his advisers who told him not to lock down at the start, and who pushed a laissez faire attitude throughout will not be seen to have got it right, I expect.

Anonymous said...

Just a thought - here for the record are EIGHT previous examples from the last 4 years of "protesters" (anti-Trump) of course "demonstrating" in the Capitol.
Two posts for spece reasons.

No "mobs", no "storming".

(1) June 28th, 2018: “Photos of the Day: 575 Protesters Charged at Senate’s Hart Building at Immigration Rally – Roll Call”
https://www.rollcall.com/2018/06/28/photos-of-the-day-575-protesters-charged-at-senates-hart-building-at-immigration-rally/
“An afternoon of protests ended in many arrests in the Hart Senate Office Building on Thursday as a group of mostly female protesters flooded the atrium of the work space to protest President Donald Trump’s immigration policies.
United States Capitol Police charged nearly 575 individuals with “unlawfully demonstrating,” according to a Capitol Police statement Thursday.”

(2) October 4th 2018: “Amy Schumer among 302 arrested for Senate office protests on Kavanaugh”
That would be incoming Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer’s cousin Amy Schumer illegally entering and protesting in Congress along with a gang of more than 300 others.
https://www.kalb.com/content/news/Amy-Schumer-among-302-arrested-for-Senate-office-protests-on-Kavanaugh-495221031.html
“U.S. Capitol Police said that 302 people were arrested Thursday for illegally protesting inside the Senate office buildings against the Supreme Court nomination of Brett Kavanaugh.”

(3) July 25, 2017: “USCP Arrest Protesters for Demonstration Activity on Capitol Grounds”
https://www.uscp.gov/media-center/press-releases/uscp-arrest-protesters-demonstration-activity-capitol-grounds
“Officers on the scene arrested the demonstrators when they failed to cease and desist with their unlawful demonstration activities. Thirty-one demonstrators were charged with DC Code §10-503.16 – Disruption of Congress.
At approximately 2:55 p.m., USCP officers responded to the atrium of the Hart Senate Office Building for reported demonstration activities. Sixty-four individuals were arrested after refusing to cease and desist with their unlawful demonstration activities. They were charged with D.C. Code §22-1307, Crowding, Obstructing, or Incommoding.”

(4) July 18th, 2019: “70 Catholic protesters arrested in D.C. demonstration against Trump’s immigration policies”
https://www.cbsnews.com/news/70-catholic-protesters-arrested-in-washington-dc-demonstration-against-trump-immigration-policies/
“U.S. Capitol Police said 70 protesters were arrested for unlawfully demonstrating, and were charged with crowding, obstructing, or incommoding, which is a misdemeanor.”

Anonymous said...

(5) June 22, 2017: “Capitol Police arrest 43 protesters at ‘die-in’ in Senate office building”
https://wtop.com/dc/2017/06/capitol-police-arrest-43-protesters-die-senate-office-building/
“U.S. Capitol Police said 70 protesters were arrested for unlawfully demonstrating, and were charged with crowding, obstructing, or incommoding, which is a misdemeanor.”

(6) January 17th 2018: “Dozens of people arrested during DACA protest in Russell Senate Building in D.C.”
https://wjla.com/news/local/dozens-of-people-arrested-during-daca-protest-in-russell-senate-building-in-dc
“WASHINGTON (ABC7) — Over 50 people have been arrested Wednesday during a Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Sit-in protest inside the Russell Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.”

(7) October 5th, 2018: “U.S. Capitol Police Respond to Multiple Instances of Unlawful Demonstration Activities”
https://www.uscp.gov/media-center/press-releases/us-capitol-police-respond-multiple-instances-unlawful-demonstration
“United States Capitol Police officers responded to multiple instances of unlawful demonstration activities on Friday, October 5, 2018.
A total of 101 individuals were arrested. Additional details are below.
During the course of the day, 78 individuals were arrested throughout the Senate Office Buildings, and they were charged with D.C. Code §22-1307, Crowding, Obstructing, or Incommoding.”

(8) September 25th 2017: “Capitol police arrest 181 during protests at Graham-Cassidy bill hearing”
https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/capitol-police-arrest-181-during-protests-at-graham-cassidy-bill-hearing
“The U.S. Capitol Police arrested a total of 181 people for protesting during a Senate Finance Committee hearing regarding the Graham-Cassidy healthcare bill on Monday.”

Anonymous said...

Anon @ 9:25. A useful example of the issues.

Here is the White House spokesperson explaining the differences and why Trump (by inference) is blameless.

https://twitter.com/i/status/1347308556798853125

Protesting is protected by the 1st Amendment. When it becomes trespass or criminal damage, there is no protection from prosecution. So the vast majority of the people in DC are blameless/lawful. Those that crossed the line will be / should be dealt with.

E-K said...

OBE "Why anyone actively wants themselves and other people to catch this virus (as seems to be an undercurrent of a certain worldview) is beyond me."

Nobody wants any of it. But those of us who want focused shielding are not extremists - ours is the middle view, in fact.

- Lockdown is extreme

- let rip is extreme (focused shielding is not 'let rip')



We are terrified of the economic and social consequences of locking down our country for what is looking like well over two years.

Had this (and the true costs - which we still don't know) been put to the people would they have gone for it ?

Anonymous said...

@ek

“Had this (and the true costs - which we still don't know) been put to the people would they have gone for it ?”

That’s like asking the people if they want to pay taxes. Just dumb

Bill Quango MP said...

Good points anon.

I’m sure this is a part of the problem. On any day the BBC headline click bait story, will have a very different tone to the sidebar. The sidebar, most read, stories line, is often the more balanced.

Eg, yesterday

Headline. CALLS GROWING FOR TRUMP TO BE FORCIBLY REMOVED FROM OFFICE.

Sidebar DEMOCRATS CALL FOR TRUMP TO BE REMOVED

body of the story. DEMOCRATS ARE SEEKING TO HAVE THE PRESIDENT REMOVED FROM OFFICE, HOWEVER REPUBLICAN SENATORS HAVE NOT JOINED WITH THEM.



CityUnslicker said...

Love the way this thread has become full of exactly what is frustrating me, finding the odd doctor or respectable outlet that peddles the view you want to hold. We can all do it, I am not sure where it is getting any of us.

Re the empty hospitals, just like now, they ordered them empty to cope with the expected volume of Covid patients, same with the nightingales. Not all areas got hit the same, the ones that did became fully loaded and a medical disaster, just as a few are in London and Kent right now. That means the rest are emptyish, all regular surgeries cancelled, awaiting the potential onslaught. In some areas it will never come and people can film all they like there showing how empty the hospitals are and how this is all a 'casedemic' 'plandemic' - whatever.

Anonymous said...

Trump asked people to demonstrate, not take over the Capitol.

When they got inside, within the hour he told them to go home.

The people clutching their pearls were always Trump's enemies, including many in his own party.

CU - "where the person literally in charge of the US can claim 'THE MAN' is against him - he is the man for goodness sake"

I think the last 4 years have shown that if the permanent bureaucracy is united against you, your power is extremely limited. Remember Trump ordered troop reductions in Syria and the military lied about implementing them.

https://www.defenseone.com/threats/2020/11/outgoing-syria-envoy-admits-hiding-us-troop-numbers-praises-trumps-mideast-record/170012/

PushingTheBoundaries said...

Probably the best comment of the year... So far

Anonymous said...

Douglas Murray today. Backing up the general(ish) consensus.

Allow more debate and discussion, not less.

https://unherd.com/2021/01/dont-censor-the-lockdown-sceptics/

PushingTheBoundaries said...

Another great comment, not least because news journos only ever seen to be interested in getting a commitment/promise/hard fact from their interviewee which they will then use against them at some point in the future. No more long term memory needed, no sifting of microfiche and old cuttings and very little validation. People are not allowed to be wrong or off the mark anymore, not allowed to revise opinions. Once you've made once mis-pronouncement you are cancelled/invalidated in modern society

Anonymous said...

I'd love to say I'm surprised to see weasels use weasel words to try and excuse Trump, but I'm not.

We get it, you hitched your wagon to the Tangerine One, and admitting that his feet might be a little clay-like strikes at your weak foundations.

No one is saying there was anything wrong with a protest, but when that turns into an insurrection, now you've gone from placard-waving goon to a domestic enemy.

And Trump had an idea of how it would go down, it's not like he hasn't history. Charlottesville and "fine people" anyone? Telling the Proud Boys to stand ready? He allied with actual fucking Nazis to get votes, so let's not pretend his Captain Renault routine is anything other than an attempt to avoid being kicked out a few days earlier in historical disgrace.

If you want to play modern day Lord Haw Haw's, go for it, just don't expect anything other than contempt from those us who don't need his virtual dick tickling our tonsils.

Jan said...


@Anon above "I think the last 4 years have shown that if the permanent bureaucracy is united against you, your power is extremely limited. Remember Trump ordered troop reductions in Syria and the military lied about implementing them."

+!00%

It is the same in the UK too. If a Trump-like person were elected in the UK they wouldn't be able to change anything much as the Civil Service/media/institutions/parliament/Lords are all leftie Blair-types. This is what is so frustrating. All people are trussed-up by "the system" even at the very top.

PushingTheBoundaries said...

@Jan
I'm not sure it's even as simple as 'Lefty types'.. if you're on a good screw why fuck it up?!

I've started to come round to having some sympathy for Ministers, especially in this pandemic. They're (most often) not experts in the field that they're in charge of. They have permanent secretaries who may or may not be experts in the dept that they are in. You then have other Civil Servants who generally have at least a good few years in that dept - they know who to talk to, who to ignore when things need to be done. They're the real cogs in the system. And then you have the experts who really know their shit and may or may not be a CS, but split across all 3 sectors.

So you have a fall guy/girl at the top who will carry the can if anything goes awry, and you have experts at the bottom who can pass on what needs to be done. But you also have this awkward mid-tier that can choose to pick and omit pieces of information according to what they want when they go to brief the Minister - Yes (Prime)Minister and TTOI show that beautifully.

The only real solution I see if to find a path for experts to eventually become Ministers - a meritocracy of sorts. Everything else is pissing in the wind on a gusty day.

Anonymous said...

Anon 1.39 - your regurgitaion of Charlottesville shows your ignorance of what happened there.

Peaceful, legal evening march by people protesting against the destruction of Confederate statues.

Following day - lots of lefty/antifa types arrive, local authorities declare rally illegal, police surround park (rally location) and direct the rallygoers to leave by one entrance - which just happens to be the one surrounded by antifa. They are attacked as they leave - that was the violence against which they defended themselves.

Later a guy gets caught in a mob attacking his car, panics, tries to get out of mob and hits someone, for which he's doing 400 years.

WW2 ended in 1945, 75 years ago. "Nazi" just means people whose politics you dislike.

It's as if in the 1970s we were still flapping about the Mad Mahdi and the death of General Gordon - less relevant in fact, as Mad Mahdi types are still around - see those three dead guys in Reading as just the latest example.

dearieme said...

"Re the empty hospitals, just like now, they ordered them empty to cope with the expected volume of Covid patients"

But that's mad. Why on earth would you cancel outpatients clinics and day surgery just because there might be a Covid surge in the next moth or two? It makes no sense. We don't do that in the flu season.

BlokeInBrum said...

The problem is that Government has such a big influence on our lives.
From healthcare to education, housing to transport, the State intervenes in every single aspect of everything we do.
Without shrinking the size and influence of the State, we are forever going to have the problem of those in power manipulating things to suit them and not us.
So who do I vote for to shrink the power of the State?

Unknown said...

"So who do I vote for to shrink the power of the State?"

If we were all rich, there would be no need for free health treatment, free education, or subsidised housing.

But we are not yet all rich. The poor are very much better off than they were 100 years ago, and those folk were better of than the poor a century before that. Nowadays almost everyone has clean water coming out of taps, reliable electricity, and cheap food. You don't see children with bare feet. Most poor people even have mobile phones.

But progress is slow, and ultimately depends on the innovations and growth of small businesses. So you should vote for a party that encourages small and growing businesses. In another century, this will increase prosperity to the point where a free health service is no longer needed and most parents can afford private school fees.

A party that encourages people to run small businesses in their homes, relaxes planning restrictions so that somebody could open a corner shop in their front room, and so on.

Not the "Labour" party, anyway.

Don Cox

Anonymous said...

@anon 2:26 - I'm well aware of what went on.

The people defending the statue were white supremicists - hence the neo-nazi flags on display, and the fact the KKK had a rally a few days earlier and rocked up to join that one too.

The Unite the Right march was filled with neo-nazis, people salty over not being able to own slaves anymore and the KKK.

You know, morons.

But do on, and tell us all how people waving neo-nazi flags were really just identifying with Hindu iconology and the people with the KKK symbols were just re-enacting "Birth of a Nation" for their local am-dram society.

It is laughable.

And yes, I dislike the politics of white supremicists. Them and their enablers are the gutter trash of humanity, but you go on defending them and stating the people waving swastikas about having nothing to do with Nazi ideology.

Thud said...

anon, 5;18, you are becoming rather tiresome now, we all get your position and you are becoming increasingly hostile, why don't you just conclude we are all 'nazi'sympathisers etc and bugger off happy and smug.

CityUnslicker said...

Dearime - you think it mad, they think it prudent. London is full now in terms manned hospital beds, sadly it may go elsewhere in the Country rapidly. I dont pretend to know more than the NHS on this. My point is, there is a reason for it, they dont want everyone to die - one way or another.

PushingTheBoundaries said...

Query this. In 2017 when they guessed the wrong variant of flu, the wards were full in some regions. See: https://fullfact.org/health/winter-201718-worst-ever-nhs/

An extract..
The high profile cancellation of planned operations for the whole of January, the worst flu outbreak this decade, and the weekly digest of stories in national and local papers detailing overflowing A&E departments and ambulance services certainly gave the impression of the worst winter in recent years.

dearieme said...

"Dearime - you think it mad, they think it prudent"

But how could it have been? Potential Covid demand for ICU beds shouldn't imply cancelling outpatient appointments on a scale that left much of the hospital empty and inactive. Why not wait until/if first signs of a Covid surge appears before you down tools on everything else? The nature of outpatient appointments and day surgery is that you can cancel them at about three days notice - at one days notice if you must, though at the cost of inconvenience to patients.

Maybe because some London hospitals were under threat of being overwhelmed, hospitals all over the rest of the country were largely emptied in some sort of stupid reflex action. That's about the kindest interpretation I can put on it. Blithering idiocy.

And now, when there has been a quiet spell for nearly six months did the NHS take the chance to train some more ICU nurses in case of a winter surge? Apparently not. They really are quite hopeless.

dearieme said...

On the trust business: Lockdown Sceptic -

"Jonathan Van Tam went for a curry on same day Boris Johnson told Londoners to avoid restaurants” – MailOnline reports that the Deputy Chief Medical Officer failed to follow Government health advice in March last year

Sinik said...

The world today is a confusing place. Obama tells us the world will fry because of global warming but gives the go ahead to fracking - finding new sources of carbon to put in the air. They seem far more interested in the difficult task of replacing petrol in moving vehicles than heating stationary homes with electric. Transgender toilet arrangements take precedence over the bereaved with their tiny shrines to youngsters killed by cars. The state is appalled by a single police officer hit on the head with a fire extinguisher but seems sanguine about dropping cluster bombs on children in far away lands.

Is it so strange that the ordinary average man or woman seeks answers to such conundrums? Will they find those answers? Does it matter? Oh what a tangled web we weave.....


The fact is this is all part of a trend leading to America's decline and fall. America was top dog right up until the late 60s and it has been in decline ever since - but refusing to admit its decline and paying for its position in the world and its vast military using ever growing debt where the counterparty to that debt is its biggest rival. In 2019 the Federal government was over-spending at a rate of 25% of tax revenue. In 2020 it was 100% of revenue, and in 2021 Biden has declared it will be much the same again. It is going bust, and its vast armies will soon go unpaid.

If you think we are living in interesting times now, it's about to get a whole lot more interesting.