Tag Archives: Insanity

Despair

Don’t know what triggered it, but today it hit me, out of the blue, a sense of overwhelming despair. I’d done all my work for the day, met all my objectives. A bit of a struggle, but that’s not rare. At the moment everything is taking ten times as long at it should and that is weighing upon me.

Like so many others I’m not having a good lockdown. Frankly if I met anyone who rubbed my face in it about being a bit down I’d be inclined to lose my rag and give them a lesson they might not have the time to regret. If you’re having a good lockdown then you’re either one of the clever buggers who can get around the system, or one of those smug public sector arseheads who takes great delight in only doing a tenth of their usual workload and blaming a disease, when it’s the response to the disease that is really causing all the harm.

We keep on getting told that our hospital systems are ‘overstressed’ and we need to be locked down under house arrest because we have to ‘save our health services’. Well here’s a thing. It was reported in the Guardian that between 2010 and 2019, 15,834 beds have been cut in the UK’s ‘wonderful’ NHS (Stats Here).

No wonder the political class have been running around with their trousers around their ankles, blaming everyone else. Public health provision has declined in real terms. Therefore no spare capacity in the Health system when SARS/COV-2 escaped from the great prison-state of Communist China. Now the whole world is imprisoned.

But the ‘challenge’ was risen to. People voluntarily forfeited their turn in the health care systems, temporary hospitals were built and never really used, some even decommissioned. But the restrictions continued all through the Summer. Then the mask mandates were brought in, during the smegging Summer for heavens sake! Low season for respiratory disease. Face masks which do not protect against viruses and even act as a sink of infection for respiratory disease. See this article from Livescience, which contains the quote from one mask study;

” most swabs from the outside of patient masks were positive for coronavirus”

Consider this. Trying to stop the spread of SARS/COV-2, or any other virus with a surgical mask is like trying to stop a plague of mosquitoes with chain link fencing. The mesh of the fence only serves as a place for the mosquitoes to perch, like the fibres of a mask give the droplets carrying viruses somewhere to pause before being drawn into your mouth and throat with the next inhalation. The overall effect is to concentrate the amount of virus laden droplets you breathe in, because they are not dispersing normally to be killed by natural Ultra-violet light. One might even posit that the pandemic is being extended by the use of masks, when UV light and chemical means would be far more efficacious.

If we were looking for patterns of viral spread, we might be better following the weather rather for looking for patterns in lockdowns. Dry bright sunny days where UV is high means less viral spread. Chilly, rainy weather when the moisture content of the air is higher means a quicker and more pervasive spread. Or staying indoors. The average home or office is the best place to catch a disease, next to hospitals of course.

Now think about this; UV on the skin stimulates vitamin D immunoglobulins vital to boost immune systems. Which means half an hour under a sun lamp every other day would not only kill the viral spread, but also boost anyone’s immune system high enough to fight off most infections. As well as making them feel better. Sunlight, if you hadn’t already noticed, is a mood elevator. Being indoors all the time, not so much.

If we really, really wanted to kill this pandemic completely stone cold dead we should re-open all the tanning salons and give out free sessions, not get the Police to shut them down. Sunbathing in moderation is good for you. Better than you think. Science fact; UV light is both anti-viral and anti-bacterial. It has long been used in food production facilities to sanitise food prior to consumption.

Yet we’re still using lockdowns and masks when they are contra-indicated and found not to work.

Later today I’m off to run the gauntlet of Gardai checkpoints enforcing stupid regulations which are simply keeping this pandemic going. It really makes me despair.

Update: The UK Advertising Standards Authority are having a go at an advert put out by the Government. Commented on by the erudite Mr Webb below.

If you have concerns about one of these scaremongering advertisements. Complaints page is here. Every little helps.

The madness

“I think they’re trying to frighten us to death.” I remarked to someone in a shop yesterday when he asked me what I thought of the lockdowns. They nodded agreement and said something about stringing up the people keeping us in lockdown. We chuckled darkly at the thought.

Personally I think almost half the population, including most of our political establishment has been driven mad with fear. Driven out of their wits by the constant drumbeat of fear porn put out by the media and political classes. Yet the observable threat does not justify the response. It’s an excuse for inadequate healthcare provision.

Yes SARS/COV-2 is, or rather was, a nasty bug, but the basic stats tell me that deaths are currently around seasonal norms. Yet society continues to dive ever deeper down the rabbit hole, seeking shelter from a threat that is nowhere near as bad as advertised. See Viva Frei’s account from Quebec.

Question; can we have the proponents of lockdown sectioned? Because they are insane and posing a distinct threat to the rest of us.

Also Question; is COVID-19 as bad as the Spanish flu? No. Even with the padding of statistics and counting every single false positive PCR result as a ‘case’. Now it is emerging that a lot of the initial fatalities died because of inappropriate treatment. Some staff weren’t as diligent as they might have been. I think most people have seen the video posted 8th May 2020 by a New York ICU nurse alleging widespread malpractice. It’s not new. And that was during the downcurve of the pandemic when casualties were already rapidly decreasing. See yet another Ivor Cummins analysis below.

Prove me wrong. If I am wrong I will review my position, but having examined the available evidence, I do not think I am.

P.S. News media reports are not ‘evidence’.

P.P.S. Elderly friend, for whom we are powers of attorney, having been conned into having a COVID vaccination (“For her own safety” we were told), is now testing positive and is now isolated for the next 14 days by her care home.

For a studied medical perspective about the data, see here.

Here we go again…

Well, it’s 2021 chums! Aaaand here we go again. More useless, futile lockdowns following all the other futile and useless lockdowns which didn’t work throughout 2020. Frankly I’m amazed, not at the obvious lack of intelligence on display, but at the sheer lack of imagination. Hey! Let’s do the same thing which didn’t work last time around, just change the name. Genius, eh? No.

I’ve noticed there’s a lot of pressure from public sector unions, which I know from experience form the least productive part of the economy. Frankly, if you shut all the daycare centres masquerading as the state sector education system, and maybe all those pressuring for the additional lockdowns should have their salaries cut by 50%+ during the next ‘wave’ or ‘spike’ or whatever excuse the powers that be are using, like the few private sector workers currently being ‘furloughed’ into penury. But maybe the UK public sector is indulging in a little sabotage, having been told their wages will be frozen for the next three years they’ve decided to watch it all burn to the ground.

Personally, if a union is one of those pressuring the government to shut down schools, then maybe the union’s members should be sent home on the quarter pay pittance offered to those not on the public dime. Like the teachers unions. What are they going to do when the schools are shut anyway? Go on strike? Who would notice? In the meantime, just like in the early 1970’s, UK education, politically correct mish mash that it appears to be, of the next generation suffers.

Yep. It’s a crazy old world out there and no mistake. My current major issue is the banking system, and shifting funds from Canada back into Europe and the UK keeps my head slamming into the nearest wall. Mrs S and I had a bit of a row over it. She had a go at me for no good reason twice in the same day. Which almost made me lose my temper, which for me is an event akin to finding the manure pile in a rocking horse stable. I was rather annoyed though. I’m not a bloody doormat and get really pissed off when my good nature is mistaken for me being anyone’s bitch.

However, sanity has prevailed, we’ve talked things through, and we’re back to our more usual selves, although after a particularly stressful session with a not so helpful help desk today, my rabid Donald Duck impression as I walked downstairs made her jump, then she burst out laughing. So we’re all good again. Life is too short not to see the ridiculous side. Even if the continual repetition of stupidity gets right on my tits.

Now I need a drink.

Update. By the way; for those of you thinking I may be full of it. Have a look at the analysis below. No ‘denial of science’, no propaganda, just the numbers and nothing but the numbers. In context. Like being compared to like. Peer reviewed studies and information derived from proper, reputable scientific publications.

Now would anyone carefully explain to me, using proper science and without resorting to the pejorative, why the hell we’re still doing lockdowns?

How to end lockdowns

Busy making decorations for the festering season at the direction of Mrs S. I’d be happy with a sprig of holly, some mistletoe and a bit of tinsel around our aspidistra. However, with the possibility that lockdowns will be eased over Christmas, we may find our self hosting ‘North’ and suitor. Which would be nice. She likes him a lot, so I will strive not to embarrass her if they do make it this side of the Irish Sea this year. We have the bed and living space. That and it would be good to see her in person again. I also wish ‘South’ would have a bout of good luck and end up being able to visit us from the fabled land of Oz this year. Sadly, this may not be the case.

Notwithstanding, while my hands have been busy I found myself wondering how we get out of this endless cycle of liberty and economy destroying lockdowns? You know, the ones that no-one seems to be paying much mind to out here in the wilder west of the Emerald Isle.

What is obvious is that the evidence is clear. Lockdowns do little or nothing to halt the spread of a disease, any disease. Quarantine works only so long as no-one breaches it. What does work is shielding the vulnerable, the people in care homes with serious health problems until SARS/COV-2 has finished passing through the main population. Locking down everybody means that process is delayed and the damage done, both economically and epidemiologically speaking is far greater, with ironically a higher death count than if we had done nothing.

At this stage of the game, masks aren’t much use by the general public either. The science and the basic numbers are also clear. Peer reviewed and validated study after study confirm that this is the case. By contrast, the panicmongers statistics are simply numbers tortured out of context, doing nothing but to create unwarranted fear. Yes, SARS/COV-2 is a nasty flu bug, nastier than usual, about as nasty as the 1957 Asian and a few other influenza’s since. You know, flu outbreaks we never locked down for?

For a disease like COVID-19 there is no need for a vaccine because it has already burned itself out. Coronaviruses do this. If we managed to shield the vulnerable for six months, there’s no one left to pass on the disease because the rest of the population have been exposed and either brushed it off or become immune. Because the wider population would have already become immune there would be no residual sink of infection, as would be required for re-infection at some later date. Once the disease is done, it’s done. And like a seasonal flu it is done.

All we have to do is as follows; make the lockdown voluntary. With the sole exceptions of hospital and care home residents and workers. In short, shield the people most likely to be harmed by infection. Those who want to be frightened and hide at home can do so. No one should force anyone to wear a mask, ‘social distance’, or hide in their home. Those who choose can work from home, abstain from travel and exclude themselves as much as they like. No employer should discriminate against such people for isolating themselves. The rest should carry on as before February 2020.

As for being on the ‘wrong side of history’. The erudite Mr Cummins & co have a few choice words about that.

The alternative is the growing groundswell of public discontent and dissent, which will not be quelled by threats of censorship. All censorship has ever done is drive a topic underground and make it grow much bigger than it ever could under any other circumstances. The truth always leaks out, one way or another. History teaches us that this is true. Repeatedly.

Numbers don’t lie

Here’s an interesting little snippet. You know those ‘674 excess deaths’ we’re supposed to be hiding our heads under the blankets over? I was watching the analysis to the base data by Mr Cummins below. Of those 674 excess deaths, 638 were in their own homes, 67 in care homes, and only 15, that’s right, fifteen directly attributable COVID-19 deaths throughout the whole of the UK in hospital. The NHS was never over stressed.  (Hang on.  638 + 67 = 705?  Umm…. Thanks Ripper. Good catch.)

80% of COVID deaths occur in hospital. So that would make about 18 in total down to COVID-19. Fifteen of whom died in hospital from SARS/COV-2? (Corrected) Is that all? The rest of the ‘excess deaths’ are down to untreated heart attacks, strokes and cancers etc. But then take a look at the stats overall. Overall deaths are below normal for the year. Suicides, on the other hand, are way up.

Therefore, it is not unreasonable to state that lockdowns are not only ineffectual, but actively harmful. The numbers don’t lie. However, SAGE and the Government are lying. The drip-drip of lies via the mainstream media. And they’re killing people. Blood is on the pro-lockdown faction. The Police who suppress peaceful protests. Blood on their hands. Those calling for the Army to be put on the streets. Blood on their hands. Those who ‘double counted’ positive SARS/COV-2 infections, amplifying the ‘casedemic’. Blood on their hands. Those making money on the pandemic. Those who advocate waiting for a vaccine. Blood on their hands.

The pandemic is quite clearly over. It’s been over for months. Why aren’t the lockdowns? Listen to Dr Carl Heneghan, interviewed on Talk Radio 2nd November.

On the personal front, our furniture has arrived and we’re busily unpacking. Mr Bezo’s boys, no matter whether you like him or not, have been doing us proud. We can get stuff from them we can’t source out here in Ireland’s wilder west.

The echoing vastness of our new home no longer echoes quite so much. My bookcases are full. There’s streaming video on the TV via a gigabyte connection, chairs to sit on, and joy or joys, a proper table to dine at. Mrs S has been lighting candles. I have my cookbooks. No-one’s going to starve. The sun even shines occasionally.

I wasn’t surprised

So the UK has is to be plunged into another pointless bloody lockdown. As pressured by SAGE. I thought we had a bunch of idiots in charge over here. No, there seems to be a competition on as to which Government can F*ck their respective populations the hardest.

I find myself wondering if the European academics in question are running a book on how much a given western population can take in the way of economic pain and social misery. Or is this some clever backhanded way of discouraging illegal migrants? “Nah, don’t bother with the West, it’s a third world shithole.” Well it’s certainly heading that way. At least if these lockdowns continue.

Personally I think some bugger, somewhere is laughing up their sleeve at us all, watching stupid, know-nothing politicians and their ‘advisers’ turn once prosperous places into dystopias where only the feral homeless dwell. The feral homeless being the rump of the population after all the smart money has buggered off and found that all their reserves can’t really buy anything because the whole economy has crashed and burned leaving a desert behind it. Only those who know how to grow things out of sight of others will thrive. But that’s the extreme case scenario. All I know is that it will take ten years or so to fully recover from this Government caused mess.

This will be known as the generation that had it all, then threw it away for a bad flu bug.

Me and Mrs S are just KBO’ing. Dealing with each challenge as it arises. Hoping for the best but preparing for the worst and making sure we help the kids out where needed. I just feel like I’m bleeding money for no good reason. And there’s nothing I can do about it.

The Great Barrington Declaration

I’ve signed. Using my real name and address. Just as a concerned citizen. You could too, all it requires is the courage of your conviction.

Maybe there will be a negative outcome for me. Maybe the thought Police will come kicking my door down at 4am, but I doubt it. Rural County Clare, Ireland is hardly Soviet era Russia. Besides, the local Gardai have better things to do and there aren’t enough of them to do it. There is a microscopically small chance that they might knock on my door and politely ask me why I signed, which is highly unlikely. Same for Police all over the world. Even where they’re acting more like jackboots than elsewhere, such as in the UK.

The UK Police have been used like a political hammer to quell even reasonably mild dissent on this issue and that should be a badge of shame against them. In acting as they have they have saved no-one and may have condemned others to a premature death. Not from a nasty bug that mostly shot it’s bolt in March and April, but from the other negative outcomes. The politically mandated redundancies, closed businesses and resultant negative outcomes. Not to mention beating up peaceful protesters whilst ‘taking a knee’ to Marxist rioters. The Met should be collectively hanging their head in shame for the 26th September debacle in Trafalgar Square. As for Cross-eyed Dickwit, well, I leave my one remaining reader to deliver their own judgement. Why she still has a job is a matter for speculation. Anyone else would have been fired by now.

On the subject of London, ‘North’ told us last night that she was becoming so used to the restrictions that she didn’t notice them any more. Or that they were only being lightly policed in her area, but she didn’t say. Although the number of boarded up shop fronts I’m told has increased. LocalTown over here has plenty. We’re not quite in ghost town territory yet, but the economic harms are plainly visible and going into ‘level five’, there will be even more to come.

Which is why I signed the Great Barrington Declaration. The COVID-19 insanity must end, and if we do not raise our voices, then it never will.

On the home front I’ve managed to sort out the problems thrown my way and obtained a slew of apologies. We’re all good for the time being. Mr Amazon is being useful and we’re getting our supplies in before ‘level five’ goes live and we metaphorically have to sit on the collective naughty step for no good reason. There is food, there is alcohol, shelter and warmth. The birds still sing and the sheep and cows make a racket in the small hours if so much as a squirrel startles them. Could be worse.

Oh yes, and I fixed my network printer issues. Yay! So long as our furniture is actually allowed to be delivered in the next two weeks, we should be golden.

An ordinary act of terrorism

Went into Local Store the other day, the local radio station was on in the background. “Er, yeah. So we’re going into level five in a few weeks. We’ve had a doubling of cases over in Ennis to at least thirty, and a report of someone sneezing in Shannon. Two elderly people died of an influenza like illness which we’re assuming was COVID-19. Health authorities believe a sniffle may have been involved and a Gardai task force has been set up. So we’re going to lobby Government to go into level five lockdown at the end of the next three weeks.”

All right, I made that up, but it is closely representative of the non-stop terrorism the mainstream media are inflicting on us all. Endless repetition of the disaster narrative. We’re all doomed unless no one can never ever go out of their house ever again. Don’t listen to the ‘Deniers’ or the doctors who say it’s not that big a deal, they’re all a bunch of cranks and half wits. On and on it goes. All the time.

This is how Hamlet’s father died in Shakespeare’s play, through having “Poison poured in his ear” by the evil Claudius until the King died of despair.

This is terrorism, plain and simple. A hostile act against an entire way of life, and we’re doing it to ourselves by listening to the scaremongers.

Switch off the propaganda, step outside out in your back yard, or open a window and take a breath of sweet morning air instead. Stop, look around and listen to the birdsong. Take a moment to drink in the calm. Masks are no longer necessary. There is little to be afraid of if you’re looking after yourself properly. Life, outside of the media terror bubble, is good. Chill.

This was a public service announcement.

As long as they don’t kill the Dukes

Had an entertaining weekend. Brother in law was spouting off CNN talking points and I was having fun shooting them down, which seemed to annoy him somewhat when I pointed out the glaring idiocy in them. Either he enjoys being beaten over the head with verifiable facts or he was doing it just to have something to say. Come Saturday evening he was tacitly accusing me of being a ‘know it all’ which I am not. I freely acknowledge that there are vast gaps in my knowledge, but I also know when some bugger is taking the piss.

When I was a boy, elder sibling handed me a book about Victorians and the expansion of railways. Specifically “Taken for a ride” by Ivor Smullen, a well-researched volume including Punch cartoons from that era. From references within I remember it was said to be a common music hall saying that “as long as they don’t kill the Dukes” (Pages 109, 111, 129) nothing would change or improve.

Now, in the depths of a Government created crisis, egged on by a plethora of NGO’s with their own sinister agendas, Western civil society has suffered massive social damage. Some of these NGO’s with the ear of big Government, are driven by agendas completely horrific in their magnitude, we’re looking at you Bill and Melinda Gates, you and all your elitist fellow travelers.

It often astonishes me that a good number of NGO’s funded by such people openly campaign for a depopulation of the world from 7.7 Billion to a ‘sustainable’ 500 million. That means Gates et al want to murder 7.2 Billion people. And these people’s NGO’s are advising governments? He asked in astonished tones. This is the object of this farcical ‘Green new deal’? Because the ‘Green new deal’ is a black comedy of such inimical intent that any proponent should stand trial in the court of human rights for crimes against humanity.

As Leg-Iron so eloquently points out in this blog post, it won’t be the people who are at the top of this tree of terrorism, because that is what it is, who will suffer. The proposed ‘Green new deal’ is a gross act of terror against the general population and should be treated as such. To be honest the aims of this horrific public policy makes those two twentieth century monsters, Stalin and Hitler, look like mere pikers by comparison. They only managed to deplete their respective populations by a mere hundred million (A shade under 4% of world population at the time). Which is barely a scratch compared to the proposed slaughter total of 7,200,000,000 (93.5%).

So; who gets to live, and who chooses those who will die? Well I’m pretty sure me and those like me are going to end up in a mass grave if these Green new dealers have their way. Our entire families wiped out of course, root and branch to the third generation. All on the back of some seriously shonky ‘science’. Because of the unhinged delusion that man is a cancer on the earth and crazed billionaires think the world will look better without the greater bulk of humanity.

Oh we’ll all be offed ‘humanely’ no doubt, by injections posing as vaccines or some other excuse. Even so, many of us won’t die conveniently and will have to be disposed of by a bullet to the back of the head or starvation in some gulag. Then all the executioners will have to be disposed of. And their families. And what few friends, if any, they managed to accrue.

This proposed mass slaughter is to ‘save the planet’, so we are told. To which I would ask; for whom are we ‘saving the planet’? Not me, nor probably you dear reader. According to the supporters of this philosophy, our fate and over ninety three percent of all human life on the planet, over ninety three people out of every hundred of every race or creed are for the chop. Think about that for a second or two. Say if you have a hundred friends and relatives, ninety three or four of them will end up pushing up the daisies to ‘save the planet’. Not for their own kin but for people like Bill Gates’ family and all the other über-rich psychopaths out there. Most of the surviving 6.5% will end up as serfs, their whole lives regulated without remission. That’s what the ‘green new deal’ has in store for them.

And that’s not just the ‘old folk’ who children are being propagandised into considering worthless, but a good deal of those children too. Again, I ask you to contemplate the horror of empty street after empty street, the echoes of life causing spectral ripples on the air. UK towns like Manchester or Birmingham with only half a dozen or so inhabitants living in each street. Cities like New York reduced to hollow parodies of themselves. A terrifying silence, airbrushed by an eternal wind would echo across an empty land. Modest UK market towns with populations of around 30,000 would shrink to the size of large villages and most villages all over the UK would simply cease to exist. London would revert to early 1800’s population levels of just under a million. The UK (Including Scotland) would be reduced to a population of less than 4,5000,000 (Half the current population of London), Canada from 40,000,000 to 2,600,000 and the USA from 306,000,000 to under 20,000,000.

Once useful farmland would rapidly be covered in weed and scrub, forest fires run unchecked because there aren’t enough people left in any given area to put them out. Crumbling infrastructure, a world of desolation, deserta est. And not enough people to support the technology to keep it going.

Not enough people Bill? Pish and fiddle-faddle. As my brother in law might infer. Sorry chaps, but there’s an old adage which goes like this; “It takes fifty with their feet on the ground to keep one with his head in the air”. If you think how many Engineers capable of putting a satellite into orbit it takes to provide GPS etc for our elite few to lord it over the remaining serfs, who also have to provide cleaning and gardening staff for their palatial homes, then a global population of under 500,000,000 is way too low a figure. At those population levels, the knowledge to keep the elites of a civilisation in the style to which they wish to become accustomed will dwindle over as little as fifty years and begin to die.

As Leggy so rightly points out, I don’t think this grand plan from the NGO’s is going to work either. But that won’t stop the nutters trying.

Afterthought: Just occurred to me that these billionaire-funded NGO’s all claim in some way they are only trying to ‘save the world’. But what if the world just needs saving from them?

Probability bingo

Got into a minor comments spat with a certain gentleman on Youtube recently over the Wu-flu pandemic lockdown that our spineless politicians don’t currently seem to have a plan for getting us out of. At least in Canada the lockdown rules are being applied very unevenly. Politicians may go to their Summer cottages or visit friends and family, but should your average John Q Public try it, the Cops are all over them like a cheap suit.

It’s a bugger if like me you need a decent haircut and you can’t get one because all the barbers are still closed ‘by order’. Although the politicians all look well groomed enough in their TV appearances. Doesn’t look like their significant others are doing their haircuts either. Boris Johnson excepted. We’re talking Canadian politicians here.

Anyway, I stated four known facts for which I had primary source information, a ‘thought crime’ for which this person labelled me and others ‘simple minded conspiracy theorists’. He may have been right about them, but I was not amused about being lumped in with the real tin foil hat wearers. He pointed anyone who was interested to a ‘debunking’ video by someone calling themself ‘potholer24’. I won’t link to it, but I found this specific ‘debunking’ video full of rather dubious rhetorical traps for the unwary.

In my quest for evidence this exchange gave me pause for thought and I thought I’d check my sources and run an additional evaluation of them. Were they primary as I thought, or simply part of anti-Chinese Communist Party propaganda from Australia, India, Taiwan and other English speaking Asian sources?

There’s a form of decision making I use that I call ‘probability bingo’, which loosely translates as “If the facts line up”, which is the process I use after a ‘reductio ad absurdum‘ exercise to cut through the media corn. This is the rational threshing floor upon which I try to winnow reliable facts from Fark. It’s not an exact process, but as a quick and dirty decision making tool, normally good enough.

My algorithm normally works like this; Someone has stated a ‘fact’ which to me sounds counter-intuitive, I ask myself – is this a real or a political fact? What is the supporting evidence? How accurate are the sources? Or are they simply trying to snow me with rhetorical tricks?

Say for example that someone makes the claim that the EU has kept the peace in Europe over the last seventy years. Do the facts support this? No. NATO has secured peace in the West in counterbalance with the USA forming the largest part of an occupation force along the eastern border of mainland Europe. The EU has no military component (yet), but it’s member nations, as a part of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, have done so. The claim that the EU has ‘kept the peace in Europe’ fails the probability bingo test because it only crosses off one number on the probability bingo card, whereas NATO, as a military organisation, under the leadership of the USA, has provided a bulwark against possible aggression from the East and Soviet Russia, thus making at least one line across and a couple of diagonals as well on my probability bingo card. Not quite a full house, but close enough.

As for the other claims that the EU is somehow a benign institution and not a club for bureaucrats who could not run a bath in real life, one need only read the content of the EU’s own web site. It’s all there. The plans for a common Police force, armed forces and intelligence service. Ever closer union. Well it was when I last looked. If they’re bragging about it on their own web site, the likelihood that “It’s just a conspiracy theory” can be safely pointed to as a form of conspiracy theory in it’s own right.

Similarly; the probability bingo for the origins of Covid-19 tend to line up. Chinese state media were, several years ago, lauding one of the lead researchers from the Wuhan lab for bravery shown during his collection of bat virus samples to find the cause of bronchial infections to miners in caves some 40-50km from Wuhan. So there is a high probability of virus samples being brought back to that lab for inspection as that was his base. The Wuhan lab in question has also had multiple reports of poor containment protocols from US Diplomatic sources as far back as 2016. CCP employed researchers have demonstrated a singularly cavalier attitude to biological samples, even to the point of being found with such samples in their carry on luggage passing through US customs. Then there was the well publicised arrest and deportation of three Chinese researchers from a Canadian lab for nicking biological samples and sending them to China. Pictures have surfaced of Wuhan lab workers injecting bats / taking biological samples from them at the Wuhan lab wearing street clothes. Hardly good practice. The bat species host to the original Covid-19 variant A, were not known to be sold in the notorious ‘wet’ market of Wuhan. Assertions to the contrary have no supporting evidence apart from a couple of doctored photographs. So, the probability bingo score for a lab release is not a full house at this juncture, but one line across and a diagonal are good enough for an educated value judgement. Representatives of the Chinese Communist Party can threaten and bluster all they like, but the basic facts line up against them.

Nothing matters but facts. All else is rhetoric.

Because these observable facts line up, there is a high probability, but not yet conclusive proof, which incidentally, we may never obtain because of the major arse-covering going on in CCP quarters, that the original virus was being worked on within the Wuhan lab. Whether the Covid-19 viruses release was accidental or deliberate one can judge from the immediate reaction of the local CCP chiefs, who first went into denial, then panicked with massive over-reactions. The probability bingo score, or burden of proof if you like, indicates that this release was a cock-up rather than conspiracy.

That evidence of ham-fisted local covering up of the virus release by local Chinese Authorities is known and documented. The release became a pandemic because the response was delayed for weeks, thus allowing regional, then national and international contamination. The current propaganda blitz of denial, like “Oh no, it ain’t so” or “You’re a waaaacist” can be dismissed as pure “Quia inquam sic” (Because I say so) rhetoric and thus not credible as there is no hard data to back it up. Likewise ‘debunkers’. You cannot argue from a vacuum.

So, does this make me a ‘simple minded conspiracy theorist’? I say not. I may occasionally toy with conspiracy theories because there is a possibility they may contain some small truths, but I do try to moderate my curiosity with a well honed scepticism. As for being ‘simple minded’, I leave that for my last remaining reader to judge.

To mask or not to mask

That is the question. Do surgical masks do any good? Or as many ‘authorities’ like Canada’s Federal chief medical honcho keep telling us, masks are baaad and raaacist and your legs will drop off if wear one.

Well, I look at the public health ‘advice’ out there and I’m having a bad case of “WTF?” Finding advice given over the mass media often contradictory and downright bad. Especially if you want to avoid spreading or contracting any form of lurgi.

Declaration of interest here. I’ve done basic operating theatre training and a six weeks placement assisting with a number of operations from tonsilectomies to hip replacements. So I’m not entirely ignorant. Okay, much of my experience is dated, but the basics are pretty simple and haven’t changed that much.

Ask yourself this;

Q: Why do operating theatre staff wear disposable paper deflector masks rather than filter masks?
A: To prevent them breathing germs over open wounds.

You see, I was taught that the purpose of a surgical mask is to slow and direct breathed (and infected) air away from the area being operated upon. This is why the one time I picked up a filter mask because we were running low on the soft surgical variety, the Senior Sister on duty tore me off a serious strip and sent me back to the scrub area to get a proper surgical mask and wash up again. That woman had a tongue that could scour rust. Hey, but she was old school and her lessons stuck.

Her lesson was that filter masks are not that useful in containing viruses, especially when containing coughs and sneezes, because a little expressed airflow still escapes over the area you want to keep clear of infection and viruses can pass through even an N95. With a soft surgical mask the ever present germs from your breath tend to be directed behind the mask and not over someone else whilst still allowing you to breathe freely. That is why they work.

Which if containing diseases is the effect you are looking for, surgical masks are quite the thing. You can even make your own if the stores are out, which at the moment is probable. Pattern here if you’re handy with a sewing machine. Or watch the video below (Sorry about the accent, she’s American, poor lamb). A normal Kleenex will do for a disposable insert. Make a few and give them to your friends. Sell them to your enemies. At top dollar.

This isn’t an April fools by the way.

To reiterate; in terms of restricting infection spread a soft surgical style mask does not have to be tight fitting and fulfills it’s function pretty well even if worn over a beard. A scarf over the face works too. Anything that slows droplets expressed during a cough or sneeze (Or even excited talking) will do at a pinch. A scarf or large bandanna tied over the face while you’re out and about mitigates the worst of the spread simply because it reduces the radius of potential infection to centimetres rather than two metres. Cotton or viscose will do. Don’t forget to wash after each use. Cover your mouth with paper tissues or even an old fashioned handkerchief if you have nothing else. Japanese and Koreans wear masks a lot, and their infection stats are much lower than those in the Anglophone west. We should profit from their example.

Conclusion; masks aren’t bad. They’re quite good, no matter what the PTB say. To say otherwise is monumentally bad advice, especially when it comes to preventing the spread of a nasty disease like SARS-CoVD 19. Add a mask to decent hygiene and cheap non-latex gloves you will maximise your chances of coming through this pandemic relatively unscathed when out and about, going to work or the stores.

So long as Security think you’re not trying to rob the place and call the cops on you, you’ll be fine.

This has been a public information post. Stay safe.

Certifiable blue checkmarks

What the hell is it with some people? I walked in the door yesterday to Mrs S telling me that Yorkshire Tea had gone belly up. Which bothered me somewhat as Yorkshire tea is the chosen beverage of this household. “Pardon?” I vouchsafed, somewhat alarmed. “That’s a bit awkward.” Then followed up with. “Are you sure?”

Mrs S went and checked her news source, filtering through a couple of layers until she went “Oh. No. Got my wires crossed there.”
“I knew Taylors of Harrogate were catching some flak for the Chancellor standing next to a catering size bag of Yorkshire Tea.” I said, somewhat alarmed. “But I didn’t think things had gotten that bad”
“Sorry.” She said. “Apparently they were having to fend off lots of people on Twitter threatening never to use their product again.”
“Ah, the certifiable blue checkmarks.” I said.
“Pardon?”

Then I explained about Twitters ‘certified blue checkmark’ program which is supposed to mark you out as a verified real person and not some form of ‘bot. A program which has been suspended for quite some time. So if you aren’t already ‘verified’, you can no longer, as far as I am aware, apply to be ‘verified’. Or ‘certified’, which I think is a more realistic description for a great many denizens of that online ecosystem. With the emphasis on medication, restraints and padded walls. Because It does sound rather insane to want to destroy the livelihoods of many people you’ve never met, and who have never done you any harm, simply because a product has been seen in the same frame of a photograph as a politician one does not like. As Taylors gently pointed out, another politician of another stripe also enjoyed their product, which had not engendered such a hate fest. Not that this matters to the individuals behind the hate mob.

Now I do have, in real, not blog life, a barely used Twitter account. Six months ago I decided to try and see what it took to get one of these blue checkmark thingies, only to find that the program was suspended. So I didn’t try any more. Although judging from the prevalence of ‘cancel culture’ of Twitter hate mobs said suspension is on grounds of large scale insanity more than anything else. These ‘people’ on Twitter, these ‘journalists’, if real people they truly are, come across as literally frothingly insane. So much so that being a ‘verified’ checkmark now has a negative reflection upon any given Twitterer as a person. To the point where, if someone were to announce in my presence that they were the proud possessor of such an indicator, I would politely make an excuse and leave without turning my back on them.

Given the consistent behaviour of many Twitter blue checkmarks, it’s become a club I definitely don’t want to join. Candidly me deario’s I share Groucho Marx’s opinion of not wanting to belong to any club that would accept me as a member. They’re all complete nuts in there I tell you.

Time for a cuppa.

Totally f**ked

Canada does not have much of a recognised literary tradition and it’s about to lose even that. The Liberal party, in the person of Heritage minister Steven Guilbeault said on TV, Sunday 2nd February that all websites offering content on the Internet, including small ones, would henceforth need licencing from the government. On the third of February, after criticism on social media, he backtracked. Guilbeault said he had “no intention” of regulating media and believes in a “free and independent press.”

Spot the lie in those statements. Sorry, they are complete lies. Guilbeault is dishonest, rather like the entire Trudeau administration. They want to license all digital content in Canada.

I know where Guilbeault is coming from. The Liberal party has been nettled by criticism from places like Rebel Media and even some other blog based outlets like True North, so Trudeaupe and pals thought that siccing the RCMP on any errant Internet content provider who does not have a ‘license for their opinion’ would be a jolly good wheeze did they? Did they think that one through?

Will all the independent authors in Canada, of which I am one, potentially have to submit our work for Government approval? How many lesser voices will not be able to afford the new license fee that will undoubtedly follow. No doubt it will be just high enough to price out small fry like Rebel, but the inevitable mission creep will cut all the other talent out of the market, should they not be part of the heavily subsidized Canadian Media Party, like the major newspapers and lamestream TV channels.

For those not aware, the major media outlets are poised to rake in over 600 Million dollars of taxpayer moolah between them. On top of what is already paid to the CBC etc.

So much for the Canadian Charter of rights and freedoms. Free expression? But only if you can afford it.

Note to self; Time to get moving young Bill. Pack your bags because this shit isn’t going away.

On the wagon

I’ve given up alcohol for a while. I’m on the wagon, but will be skipping merrily off it at a juncture of my own choosing. Not because I’ve been hectored into it by any campaign or other, but just because I wanted to. Just to make sure I’m seeing the world as it is without any chemicals fogging things up and to give my taste buds a time out. After four more weeks, perhaps less, I will resume my habitual imbibing of a modest whiskey every other evening or perchance a glass or two of Malbec, Carmenere or Cabernet Sauvignon to end the working day.

Which might beg the question do I want to live forever? To which I would answer, no, I’d only get bored. Variety is life’s spice, and drinking all the time is like permanent sobriety, it’s okay, but gets a bit tedious after a while. A little wine is good for you anyway, and permanent sobriety has been proven not. Alcofrolic beverages might not be the elixir of immortality, but a glass of three don’t half take the edge off the worst that living can throw your way.

What else? Lemon Tree plants looking good, the tallest has just topped thirty inches tall with lovely green waxy leaves. Mrs S and I are going to Ireland this September for a while and are busily booking our big time out. Our tax advisers are discussing possible tax exile with us and stepkids are making plans to come stay whilst we’re in the emerald isle. Things proceed.

Our festive season was relatively quiet, with only the existential sound of elderly friends marbles slowly continuing their rattle out of her head. Poor old thing has now completely lost track of what day it is and has taken to phoning us at all hours because she’s not even sure of what time of the day it is, or even that we live over a hundred kilometres away and not on the next floor down in her care home, which we will never be. Which can get a bit disconcerting. She’s not how she used to be and we’re getting resigned to the probability that she won’t see out the year. Such is life. Sure as it begins, thus it must end.

On that topic of lives ending, am watching how the big man down south is handling the ever-present irritation of Iranian sponsored terrorism. The news that he’d had the head of yet another terrorist organisation droned brought a grim smile to my face and the word “Good.” Popped into my forebrain. Mrs S of course, was concerned with the inevitable terrorist backlash. However, a head has been cut off the Hydra. No doubt it will regrow at some stage, weaker, but still there. It took Solemani from 1988 to build up his current network of militias. That’s right, over thirty years of misery for the Iranians and their neighbours at his hands.

This is why we put mad dogs down. They can’t bite any more when they’re dead. His owners might be all of a lather and threatening dire things, now their attack dogs pack leader has been put down I have a sense that a cold wind is blowing through their spavined souls. Trump has drawn his line in the sand. The attack on the US Embassy in Iraq was the impetus. It was a direct assault on US territory under international law, and the Iranian organisers therefore put themselves at direct hazard. Not that they’re all that popular in Iran.

There are rumours circulating from Iran of brutally suppressed protests and internal economic woes that are nothing to do with the USA and more to the fact that the current ruling elite of Iran aren’t as clever as they might think. That and it should be plain to them that they’re not dealing with Obama now. No more Danegeld. No more payoffs. Hunker in your bunker boys, because you just stepped over the line.

This version of ‘The Great Satan’ has decided to react to the Iranian regimes serial provocations, regardless of the fact that Russia and China say they have Iran’s back. They know the Iranians have gone too far, but will be content to sell them the arms while quietly backing away into the shadows. Say what you like about the Russians and Chinese, but they are not stupid. It doesn’t matter how many cocaine-addled celebrities want to ‘apologise’ to the Iranians. World War Three isn’t going to happen because the casus belli isn’t strong enough.

There might be a stand off, but Trump’s a savvy negotiator and I don’t think will blindly send more US forces into harms way without good reason. He’ll target the top dogs and send over a few GBU-57A/B‘s. There aren’t that many of these bunker busters in the US stockpile so I’m told, but it won’t take many. I wouldn’t be surprised if there weren’t three or four already in theatre ready for a decapitation strike if necessary. Then there are the drones like the one that took out Solemani. Yet the average Iranian (or Iraqi, or whatever) in the street is not the enemy. It’s the extreme regimes. Get rid of them and the conflict goes away, kind of. Although as Mahyar Tousi points out, it’s not all black and white.

Still watching the Brexit situation from afar, and I still think no-deal is the default. The EU have faffed and fumed pointlessly while Bojo, the UK’s suspiciously unclowninsh Prime Monster holidayed on the Caribbean Island of Mustique, once favourite haunt of the late Princess Margaret and other celebrities. I think he’s going to sit on his hands and go full WTO at the end of January so the EU will lose that billion a month of taxpayer pound sterling they’ve been hoovering up so happily. Someone, somewhere in the EU infrastructure is going to have to think about reigning in their expense accounts. Having watched their privileged antics from the sidelines in Paris and elsewhere, I can’t help thinking that the EU pigs are watching the trough dry up and are panicking a little.

Terrorist leaders waxed? BREXIT happens? I’m beginning to like 2020 already.

Time out

Right. Fed up with hearing about the Parliamentary antics and have elected to spend tonight at the theatre after a pleasant steak dinner. An online booking, a skip and a jump on the tube and we’re forgetting all our cares for a couple of hours.

It doesn’t help that all the news, both personal and public, has been unpleasant to say the least. From Elderly Friends dementia to the near-equally eccentric behaviour of the UK Speaker of the House of Commons, I am forced to ask myself, is there an epidemic?

It would explain a lot….

Update: well, we had a jolly fine time at the Garrick watching ‘Noises off!’ with some very polished slapstick routines which had the audience roaring.  Recommended.  We even got free ticket upgrades.

Boris Johnson won his vote on the current Brexit deal by a larger margin than predicted and the comments threads in the FT are more full of pro-EU comment trolls than usual.  Including those praising Barnier as the person who has been tasked with ‘repairing’ the relationship between the UK and EU.  Delusional, much?  Hey he’s 68.  It’s a retirement job.  The likelihood of him ‘achieving’ anything are as remote as the nearest quantum black hole.

Tomorrow I am signed up on a short basic butchery class.  Will try not to remove any of my own bodily particles as part of the learning process.

The only blot on the horizon was seeing Trudeau get re-elected.  Although on the bright side he’s only got a minority government so I hope he won’t be able to do too much more damage to the Canadian economy.

Fingers crossed.