The real quotation is: “One has to belong to the intelligentsia to believe things like that: no ordinary man could be such a fool.“ and comes from the paragraph below, in context, taken from his famous essay “Notes on Nationalism”
“All of these facts are grossly obvious if one’s emotions do not happen to be involved: but to the kind of person named in each case they are also intolerable, and so they have to be denied, and false theories constructed upon their denial. I come back to the astonishing failure of military prediction in the present war. It is, I think, true to say that the intelligentsia have been more wrong about the progress of the war than the common people, and that they were more swayed by partisan feelings. The average intellectual of the Left believed, for instance, that the war was lost in 1940, that the Germans were bound to overrun Egypt in 1942, that the Japanese would never be driven out of the lands they had conquered, and that the Anglo-American bombing offensive was making no impression on Germany. He could believe these things because his hatred for the British ruling class forbade him to admit that British plans could succeed. There is no limit to the follies that can be swallowed if one is under the influence of feelings of this kind. I have heard it confidently stated, for instance, that the American troops had been brought to Europe not to fight the Germans but to crush an English revolution. One has to belong to the intelligentsia to believe things like that: no ordinary man could be such a fool. When Hitler invaded Russia, the officials of the M.O.I. issued ‘as background’ a warning that Russia might be expected to collapse in six weeks. On the other hand the Communists regarded every phase of the war as a Russian victory, even when the Russians were driven back almost to the Caspian Sea and had lost several million prisoners. There is no need to multiply instances. The point is that as soon as fear, hatred, jealousy and power worship are involved, the sense of reality becomes unhinged. And, as I have pointed out already, the sense of right and wrong becomes unhinged also. There is no crime, absolutely none, that cannot be condoned when ‘our’ side commits it. Even if one does not deny that the crime has happened, even if one knows that it is exactly the same crime as one has condemned in some other case, even if one admits in an intellectual sense that it is unjustified – still one cannot feel that it is wrong. Loyalty is involved, and so pity ceases to function.“
Solzhenitsyn also nailed it in his 1978 address to a crowd at Harvard University. Yes I know it’s over an hour long, but tell me if his words don’t have the same ring of truth from over forty years ago.
Feeling a little buzzed and mischievous right now, having had my first dose of muscle relaxant and painkiller. Talk about pukka stuff. Right now you could cut my arm off and I’d laugh myself senseless.
Mrs S is deriving great merriment from watching me wobbling around the house, bouncing off the furniture like some bipedal bumper car. Everything has stopped hurting and I’m high as a kite. Whoopee. Look kids, don’t do drugs or, oh who am I kidding?
Nevertheless, onto the meat of this post dear reader. Ah, the dreaded lurgi, the not so fatal disease everyone has been running around doing headless chicken impersonations about for the last year and a half. At least if you’re under eighty without a ‘co-morbidity’. The disease 80% less likely to kill you than pneumonia. This plague that has people wearing masks in the streets and more ridiculously, behind the wheel of their car. Now it is being mooted that we must not go anywhere without some form of documentation to ‘prove’ that we are not ‘unclean’. Well now, there’s a thing.
Those of us who object to such an iniquity as a ‘COVID Passport’ have been subject to a litany of public misinformation and vile slander. Despite having proper scientific evidence to hand, not some regurgitated media ‘facts’. So I think it’s high time we got some payback.
Having heard a discussion about how our medical histories might be made available to every low ale house keeper and entry level security guard, I thought; “Hmm. What we need here is a little pre-emptive poetic justice.” And like all seriously good ideas it’s simple and cheap, and here it is;
If some person denies you service because you are reluctant to hand over your personal data, simply log on to your social media account, or better still an account with something like Tripadvisor or Expedia and post a bad review. I mean a zero star complete stinker. No swearing. No abuse. Just keep it polite, brief and succinct.
Say for example a restaurant insists on seeing some form of Vaccine related ID, don’t make a fuss, do as you are asked and have your meal. Enjoy yourself. Then give the premises in question the bad review. Same for any other place.
For example; a bad review in the case of a ‘No Jab-no entry’ café might look like the following; “Appalling coffee, stale pastries and very rude staff. It’s a shame I can’t give a minus star rating to these premises.” Make no mention of the bar to entry, but contrariwise, a café that does not make a big deal about “Papieren bitte.” should get a five star review and fulsome praise like; “My new go-to coffee hangout, lovely helpful staff and sausage rolls fit for the Gods.”
This principle can be applied across social media. Nothing abusive, just muted disgust and a soupcon of sarcasm. Night clubs could be critiqued with “Stale DJ, overpriced drinks that taste like they’ve been watered down and some of the ugliest people this side of Watford Gap.” other venues might attract something like “Doesn’t anyone clean up around here? The place smells like it’s been used as a lavatory.” Yes of course owners read their competitors reviews, wouldn’t you?
Nowadays everyone checks reviews before visiting. The idea being that if enough genuine-looking negative reviews begin to impact the bottom line of any zealous enforcer of the COVID tyranny, I’m sure that eventually they’ll get the message and the whole silly circus will grind to a suitably embarrassed halt.
Me, if found out and challenged, I will simply kiss the rod and plead the painkillers. They really are seriously good.
My back is giving me grief once more. This is an event that happens once a year. It begins with a localised stiffness in the lumbar region, which if I do nothing about it turns into a full and agonising lock up of my lower spine. Drugs are being applied. I know the cause and the fix, so today am going to try and get a prescription from my GP for the only medication I know that works.
It’s my own fault for having spent a good deal of my life in very physical and occasionally modestly hazardous occupations, from rough sports and the occasional bout of fisticuffs to long hours of physical exertion. The experiences I would exhort any reader young enough to profit by my example not to follow. Be gentle with yourself. When you get past the big five-oh you’ll thank yourself.
But it’s easy to be wise after the event. For my part I’m stuck with a dicky knee and occasionally excruciatingly painful lower back. No-one to blame but my younger and more foolish self. But when you’re 20-something it’s easy to think you’re invulnerable. These are the repercussions of ageing.
On the topic of repercussions, watch the video below of TD’s (US, think Congressmen, UK think MP’s) in the Dial (Irish Parliament).
As the economic and social damage from lockdowns becomes more obvious, I expect these politicians calls for action to get louder and ask myself; “Where were you lot when you were needed?”
It’s funny you know. The places with the harshest lockdown restrictions seem to be suffering more from this SARS/COV-2 virus than those who aren’t. Which sounds kind of counter-intuitive. If lockdowns, vaccines and masks did any good then surely infections and deaths everywhere should be falling off a cliff faster than elsewhere. Shouldn’t they?
Well they are, and then again they aren’t. Weird or what? Florida and Texas in the USA, which dropped all their restrictions weeks ago, have seen their respiratory infections and deaths drop like a rock. By contrast, Canada, which is in the midst of lockdowns, curfews and stay at home orders has ‘cases’, according to the media talking heads ‘surging’. See screengrab of current ‘cases’ below (Dated May 21st 2021) Click to enlarge.
Please note that the provinces with the strictest lockdowns and curfews (Ontario and Quebec) have the highest numbers of ‘cases’. Gets the old noggin jogging doesn’t it? All right, all right, they’re also the most populous, but still, the end result does not fill one with confidence over the efficacy of these top down restrictions.
So what gives? Sister in law on Vancouver Island reports all the coffee shops and restaurants are shut and you and yours can’t get on a ferry or plane unless you are an ‘essential worker’ and apparently the US/ Canada border is still mostly closed. Unless of course you’re an illegal immigrant. I checked the Drive BC webcams at local noon on Saturday and traffic in Victoria, Nanaimo and Campbell River looks ultra-light for a Saturday lunchtime. And it’s usually holiday season on the Island this time of year, especially as it’s Victoria Day weekend, a public holiday. The roads are normally chocker with massive RV’s and trailer hitches (Caravans) on this weekend. Instead they’re almost deserted.
Over here in the Emerald Isle, the roads are much busier now things are gradually opening up. A good many ‘non-essential’ businesses have shut up shop. Carphone warehouse in localtown and Galway city for example have gone. A good many store fronts are sporting ‘to let’ signs, and I think to myself, “This was all so avoidable. If only people had listened to those who knew what they were talking about instead of Behavioural Psychologists and Mathematical modellers.”
The problem as I see it is that everything we know about human immunity has been ignored in the face of what is a comparatively low threat. From sending infectious patients into closed communities like care homes, to shutting people in their homes and kicking them out of open parkland, the political response has, as I have said many times before, been completely counter-intuitive. Had they simply issued the standard advice for colds and flu and not infected the vulnerable, the death count would have been far less startling.
If you still think I’m full of it, may I refer any reader to the many studies and texts on immunology and the spread of disease, also please entertain yourselves with this little handbook, the “Communicable Disease Control Manual September 2009 Chapter 2: Immunization. Appendix F – Principles of Immunology“, which is one of the references I use when talking about human immune system responses. As far as I’m aware this, and handbooks like it, are the ones used by medical staff the whole world over. Likewise this text from the chapter on Specificity and Cross-Reactivity from the Immunology and Evolution of Infectious Disease.
These texts are still current. The principles outlined are sound. Why were they ignored?
Oh, by the way, for those of you worrying about mandatory vaccinations. In the UK at least, no-one can force you to have the jab. See what the Black Belt Barrister has to say below.
I see this trollish crap a lot in comment threads. Phrased as a challenge when people complain about losing their civil liberties “What freedoms have you lost mate? Name them.”
OoooKay. I’m up for a challenge.
Freedom of speech Remember when you could say what you liked and the worst response you might occasion was a sarcastic “F*ck you”, or a pointed reminder that you should watch your mouth or risk a large dental bill? When ‘hate’ crimes didn’t exist unless you were making real threats? I do. Wasn’t that long ago either. Or when you didn’t risk getting your door kicked in by plod for an ‘unsanctioned’ opinion? Or risk losing your job, career or livelihood to anonymous complainants? When people didn’t get arrested in their own homes for rather tasteless online humour? Or over spurious false accusations? Yet these things happen in the UK and across the Anglosphere, every single day.
Freedom of movement. Ah, those heady, hedonistic days of 2019 when, if you had the funds and a passport, you could buy a plane or ferry ticket and go visit a part of the planet you’d never seen before? Just because you wanted to. Now you can’t leave the country.
Freedom of thought. Yes, when you could think what the hell you liked without sanction without losing your job or living because some anonymous source who was ‘offended’ by what they thought you were thinking, even if that was the furthest thing from your mind. Or have Police contacting you to “Check your thinking” after wasting hours trolling around Twatter for something to do instead of going after real criminals who steal things or hurt people. Hurt feelings aren’t an injury. Hurt feelings indicate a lack of mental robustness on the part of the complainant.
Freedom to protest. This too is now on the way out. One cannot publicly air a legitimate grievance any more without a Twatter hate mob, or worse, scruffy items doing bad impersonations of Police Officers coming at you mob handed with batons raised to strike. Unless of course you are protesting for one of the fashionable, politically correct causes. In which case you will have the forces of law and disorder kneeling at your merest whim. The cops will even let you tear down public works if you have the correct opinion. Although to be fair, they’re just doing what they are told. By politicians.
Freedom of Association. Ave atque frater vale. Halcyon days when you could talk to whomsoever you wanted without some curtain twitching Stasi snitch dobbing you in to what passes for the law. When having a gathering at home with more than a number picked out of thin air friends wouldn’t get your door smashed down. Even if you only had the TV on a bit loud with the windows open. Or met more than an arbitrary number of people at a restaurant table.
The right to a fair trial. Well yes it’s still with us and no it isn’t any more. Some say it never was and there’s an element of truth in that. The truth is that what you get in a court is law, not justice. Which is why you always need a lawyer in court. Even so, if your case is only vaguely political, you can expect to get stitched up like a kipper or exonerated depending upon your political stance.
The right to own property. Well sort of still with us, but subject to confiscation without compensation if you are accused of a ‘crime’, or being inconvenient regardless of whether you are found guilty in a court of law or not. The USA is notorious for this under the RICO legislation, and although the UK has no direct power of expropriation, ‘confiscation orders’ under the 2002 proceeds of crime act can be imposed, or if you are suspected of ‘money laundering’ or a trumped up charge of tax evasion. Fortunately this doesn’t happen much because the proceedings are complex. However, moves are afoot to simplify this procedure, And that’s without going into the murky waters of divorce proceedings, where property can be assigned by a court to an ex-partner.
There are those who will say that losing your rights is okay, saying “but but but what about COVID?” and “It’s only temporary you moron…” To which I would say; “It was only for three weeks over fourteen frigging months ago”. And guess what kids, the restrictions are still with us. And will continue to be so. Don’t think so? You poor naïve fool you.
Another note directed at the COVID apologists out there, you know who you are and so do I. Those who I observed wearing masks in the open air on a bright sunny day. Or inside vehicles while driving. Most of the unnecessarily terrified appear to be females between 25 & 40 who are unlikely to suffer significant symptoms, although males do constitute around a half as much again of their number. But we males do tend to reluctantly follow their lead. Under protest.
As for ‘vaccine passports’. We’ve never had them for other conditions, so why do we need them for SARS/COV-2?
To those complacent souls who protest that the above liberties will be ‘given’ back to us, I say, look again. I’d also like to point out that it was you lot, clamouring to be made ‘safe’ by big government, who literally threw your own liberties, and those of everyone else, in the bin.
And we know a song about that, don’t we? Well, Lynsey De Paul did. The public response to a nasty respiratory bug has been way overblown and driven by weak politicians, propaganda, profit and bad information. But the more sagacious amongst us knew this all along.
The guys at Spiked-Online interview Luke Johnson on the topic.
Road trip planning today for Tipperary and points South and east for Monday.
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has confirmed that there will be a public enquiry over the response to the SARS/COV-2 pandemic, saying that the inquiry would have; “the ability to compel the production of all relevant materials and take oral evidence in public under oath”.
Hmm… I have the sense that this ‘enquiry’ will only call specific witnesses selected so as not to embarrass the Government with awkward things like the true economic costs, the disintegration of trust between citizen and state institutions. Any boat rockers and whistleblowers will definitely not get an invite to this party.
Anyone else feeling cynical?
Update: at 5pm a pile of more regulations is going to hit, propelled by news of the ‘Indian variant’. Well that’s tonight’s curry cancelled then.
Update of update: The lockdown end dates haven’t been moved. Yet. Our expectations are being heavily managed.
I’ve been watching this branch of technology develop over the last year or two. All sorts of applications come to mind, which have already been trialled by the UK Royal Marines, Royal Navy, Special Forces, Mountain Rescue and even as a sport.
Or the new sport of Droneball….
I think the phrase I’m looking for is “Cool or what?”
You will believe that a man can fly. Because he can.
Mrs S and I are out on the road this week now the county borders are ‘officially’ open. However, I’m writing most of this on a Tuesday for my own amusement. Watch the videos below. First one for the “Ooh!” and “Ahh!” entertainment value, and then for the dark side.
Now in my darker moments I’ve often thought about weaponizing drone technologies to use against oppressors. My own vision is different from that in the sci-fi short below. Say using a small drone as a weapons platform, getting into a small hiding space and waiting for activation before emerging to fire miniature dumb missiles at a specific target, or using a drone as a means of delivery for a small magnetic based shaped charge, dropped onto the top of a vehicle when moving at speed. Fitting a lightweight pistol device that can swerve into close quarters, fire, and zip away, or simply do a kamikaze with a relatively small amount of explosive.
Now at the current state of technology, even a small drone can carry a few ounces of high explosive, which could be set to home in on a particular mobile phone for example. Without going anywhere near the need for sophisticated facial recognition. Dial the targets phone, when they answer or even dismiss the call, set the drone to home in on that device and detonate. Very user unfriendly.
However, the mini-movie ‘Slaughterbots’ is well worth a watch and a little too close to possibility than I’m comfortable with. Have a view, and if it doesn’t give you a large dose of the willies, or one very large willie with extra whipped cream on its own, then can I have some of the drugs you’re on please?
What depresses me is that there are people in places of power who would happily pull the trigger on something like this. Because they are afraid and that fear has made them incredibly stupid, no matter how well educated or otherwise ‘intelligent’ they might think they are.
Fortunately such weapons would only be extremely short range because of battery life issues, but with today’s technology, they are now just on the edge of possible. We could be in real ‘oh shit’ territory here.
It’s times like these that I eye the levels on my Jameson’s Whiskey collection and think; “I need a serious top-up here.”
At home Sunday today. Not much happening so I’m browsing YouTube and this video below dropped into my feeds. Watch (Yes I know he’s plugging his book) but also do read the attached pdf of an essay called ‘the basic laws of human stupidity‘ here by Carlo M Cippola.
Law one: Always and inevitably everyone underestimates the number of stupid individuals in circulation.
Law two: The probability that a certain person be stupid is independent of any other characteristic of that person.
Law three: A stupid person is a person who causes losses to another person or to a group of persons while himself deriving no gain and even possibly incurring losses.
Law Four: Non-stupid people always underestimate the damaging power of stupid individuals. In particular non-stupid people constantly forget that at all times and places and under any circumstances to deal and/or associate with stupid people always turns out to be a costly mistake.
Law Five: A stupid person is the most dangerous type of person.
Yes, why have a whole lot of so-called ‘intelligent’ people forced these decisions, and bad decisions like lockdown and mandatory masks and ‘wokeness’ upon the rest of us, to the detriment of all?
The only truth we can derive from the above is that fear breeds stupidity. Where the rabbit in the headlights becomes default behaviour for way too many. And when people are that scared they make truly, awesomely bad decisions.
Apropos of the above, might it be possible to scare the wits back into people? Get them to stop, take a deep breath and do some joined up thinking for once? Using my decades of life experience I’ll think about that for a moment…. Nah.
48-72 hours after the jab. Frosty morning. In May for goodness sake! Could be worse, could be locked down in Canada.
Discomfort in right shoulder has gone except when I press directly on the injection site. Still slightly light-headed and mildly feverish with a mildly productive throat cough that started this morning and disappeared about lunchtime. Sense of smell is attenuated but not absent. I can still smell strong smells, but most things pass me by. Resting pulse is still around 70. Temperature has dropped to 0.5 Celsius above normal.
Have carried on with the grapefruit juice and extra vitamin D and will do so for another three days at least. As my temperature is back in normal range, no more paracetamol is required. My muscles are still a bit creaky, but nothing that can’t be dealt with via my habitual sheer bloody mindedness. Yes, I’ve felt a bit crook, but I’ve worked with much worse.
So; verdict. Not something I’d choose to do because the benefits can’t be quantified with any degree of accuracy, no matter what the politicians and mainstream say. The vaccine might do some good, might not, but my advice is to keep on with the vitamin D, fresh fruit or fruit juice, moderate exercise outdoors and you probably won’t need a jab. Trust me, I’m not a doctor or ‘public health advisor’.
In First Nations in the USA and Canada for example, the hospitalisation rates have been as much as 5.3 times those of European heritage. For those whose DNA originates more recently in Africa, it’s 2.4-2.8 times. Yet I saw no-one of obviously immigrant heritage at the vaccination centre on both Mrs S’s visit or mine. That said, this is the wilder west of Ireland.
This confirmed my suspicions early on during this pandemic response that those evolved for North European climates are less likely to succumb to these respiratory pathogens. Most native Europeans are hereditary survivors of things like the Black Death and repeated influenza type pandemics, so an element of hereditary immunity is a factor here. Heredity is a bit of a lottery though, so I wouldn’t lay any bets on it.
This makes sense, as those with darker skins in high latitudes get less benefit out of direct sunlight and should have been prescribed 2-4000UI of vitamin D supplements per day. The old guidelines 0f 600UI are pretty conservative with much higher doses being recommended.
The US NCBI published Cynthia Aranow’s paper back in 2011 (Also in The BMJ Journal and elsewhere) and it was well known before then that extra vitamin D was good for the immune system.
Which always baffled me. Vitamin D3 is cheap as chips and it works. Don’t take my word for it, just google ‘Vitamin D and immunity’. The advertised risk of kidney disease is pretty low, by the way. At least it doesn’t flag up in the quoted studies.
The other indicators of increased hospitalisations and mortality are crowded living conditions and poverty. Poor diet likewise. Although as an all round supplement, milk is good for you as it is an excellent source of dietary vitamin D. Even if it is ‘raaaaycyst‘. At least according to the New York Times. They want to drag their deranged politics into everything. Especially places where it doesn’t belong, like diet and immunity. Disagree with them and you are automatically ‘Alt-right’. Dimwits.
Notwithstanding such nonsense, the figures regarding the fallout of the prolonged punishment beating of lockdowns are now beginning to come in, and the alcoholism stats alone are through the roof. See the interview below from the Spectators YouTube channel.
Mrs S by the way, is now determined to get me into a barbers, who predictably aren’t answering the phone this week. Either they’re too busy getting ready or they’re shut until the ‘official’ opening date of May 10th. Frankly if the barbers aren’t doing the full service of shaves and hot towels, I’m not really interested. Why go for just a haircut? I want the full pampering or my money is going to stay firmly in my wallet.
Symptoms; Low BP (Light headedness upon standing) mild fever and a feeling like someone has punched me hard on my right shoulder. Creaky knee is also playing up more than usual, but that’s not really a symptom. Mild headache. Pulse 70 ish. Elevated body temperature within normal range +0.75-1 Degree Celsius. No visible rashes. Injection site barely visible.
Mrs S has given me the day off.
Normally I’d ignore my current level of aches and pains and carry on regardless, but what I am doing is taking a large shot of grapefruit juice twice a day 500mg of paracetamol and 2000UI of vitamin D to fend off the worst of the vaccine symptoms.
These measures appear to be working. Or not, as they are purely precautionary ameliorations. Still feel tired though. Just want to curl up in a ball and do my best impersonation of a hibernating bear.
Update: 36 hours post jab. Fever has increased, as have the sensations of light-headedness. Resting pulse has dropped to just under 70. Paracetamol and vitamin D deployed.
As an aside, ex-Beeb TV and Radio presenter Alex Belfield reckons that Summer festivals and flights are being cancelled over insurance issues caused by the UK Governments uncertainty over imposing more flaming lockdowns. Is he right or wrong?
In addition, we would like to see ‘North’ this year, but if the rumours are true, she’s going to be stuck in the UK for the second year running. Despite all the vaccinations and flatlining infection stats.
Partly In the spirit of an experiment, and mostly because Mrs S would give me no peace until I did, I’ve had my first jab for the dreaded lurgi. Not that I think that it will make any difference, but because I was nagged into it and thought “These side effects, we need a first person perspective.” So this is a live report on the effects, or lack thereof from the AstraZeneca injection.
I’d done my research. The clotting risk is low for my blood group, so today I heeded the call to pop downtown to my local vaccination centre in an under-utilised hotel.
The deep subcutaneous injection itself was well done by a male Paramedic. Good needle technique, didn’t feel a thing. Five minutes afterward, waiting to see if I was going to suffer any anaphylaxis, I felt a mild pinpoint of heat at the injection site and the sense of something spreading outward in my left deltoid muscle. About an hour after that I sensed a sense of tightening at the posterior base of my skull followed by a brief bout of mild light-headedness. This eased after another hour and a low dull ache settled into my left shoulder and my upper left latissimus dorsi muscle at around the three hour mark.
No noticeable rash, no reddening at the injection site. Indeed it was so well done the I’m hard pressed to see the injection site after four hours. Feeling a little tired at the five hour marker. Tired enough to want to go and have a nap. So I did. Flaked out for three hours in the afternoon.
Resting pulse before bedtime; 84. Elevated temperature. About one degree over normal. Sensation of tightness in left deltoid, but no other muscle aches. Apart from that, no nausea. Nothing to write home about.
Note to any reader. Anecdotal reports indicate that everyone we know who has had the AstraZeneca vaccine reports at least a mild reaction. Additional note; this is the first time, in all the vaccines I’ve ever had, that I’ve experienced any symptoms at all.