The Dissident California Right Is the Future

The Dissident California Right Is the Future. By Lane Scott.

The rest of America’s Right has a ways to go before it catches up to the dissident California Right. We were here first and you should listen to us.

Despite appearances, the Right in California is actually the closest to offering a solution to the Left’s war on civilization. Of course, I do not mean the GOP when I say “the Right.” The GOP is more or less nonexistent in the Golden State. But perhaps this is also why almost all of the most vibrant, confident, and influential writers on the Right today are from California.

The strongest institutions on the Right, inoculated as they have been against the disease of wokeness — institutions like this magazine and the Claremont Institute — originated in California. Californian writers like Victor Davis Hanson and Angelo Codevilla were the first to describe the defining political struggle of our time between the ruling class and the country class, the great oligarchy and the plebs, the bicoastal masters and the great servant interior, as all of these national struggles were present in California decades ago. California native Michael Anton was the first to describe the actual parameters and ramifications of the 2016 presidential election. Sadly, the Californian with perhaps the most exemplary attitude towards the Left is no longer with us. Andrew Breitbart knew wokeness was best combated with confidence and laughter.

California is the capital of the new Right, and the rest of the country will have to get to where we are before anything constructive can be done. Because we don’t have to guess about how bad things can get. We know.

The rise of the rich and the midwits of the left:

The Left, no longer the party of the common man, the little man, or the forgotten man, is now a party entirely for the made man. Those already among the rich and powerful are automatically accepted, and the Left graciously allows plebs to join and minister unto them, so long as they attend the proper institutions, perform the proper induction ceremonies, and devote their lives to the bureaucracy or mechanism of the state. …

The political rule of those who critique the loudest or those who harbor the most exquisite sensitivity to slights can thrive only within the mostly talentless, enervated, and hollowed out wastelands that academia, Hollywood, and our large bureaucracies have become. Were it not for the inherent postmodern weakness of these institutions, such people would not have gained a foothold. They would have been mocked and discarded. They would have been among the unemployable. …

How to oppose them:

The woke Left does not concern itself with the interests of anyone outside its top two rungs: the “haves” and their priestly class of handmaidens that minister the massive state apparatus. … This racket has been going on in California for decades, and it is the main reason political dissidents in California are clear-eyed about the general rules of the game in post-woke America.

Compromise, moderation, coming together across the aisle, gangs of eight and all the rest might have been laudable efforts a half-century ago because the underlying assumption of such politicking was that a true statesman is able to find some common ground, some way to scratch the backs of his constituency while also giving something of value to his political opponents. Politicians in this mold could be very successful in mid-century America.

But this is all folly now. If the woke Left exists only to promote, flatter, and enrich its made men by critiquing and pulling down the institutions and leaders of the past, what can possibly be gained by compromising with it? …

The age of conservatism is over:

The reason the California Right has a hard time identifying with the word “conservative” is that there is nothing left to conserve in California.

What we have instead is an abundance of malignant nonsense to uproot and cast out. The new Left came to power convincing voters to let it run the state on behalf of multiple imagined victims and social inequities, but it has been so long since their leftist politics delivered anything of actual use to anyone that no honest person in the state can be ignorant of the actual political system and its objective anymore.

California is now composed of an enormous priestly class of state and municipal workers, together with myriad quasi-independent contractors and semi-private companies which are essentially dependent upon state government contracts and largesse for their economic survival, united with extremely profitable nonprofit activists and the already fantastically wealthy using the sympathetic story of the state’s enormous homeless, poor, and immigrant population to ensure perpetual rule for themselves. …

Those who have managed to stay in the state without the benefit of the Left’s financial or social remunerations comprise the country’s largest bloc of Trump voters, and the largest collection of radicalized political dissidents.

They know that there is no middle ground to be found with what is essentially mafia-like rule of their state. They hate the Republican party even more than the Democrats do, if only because its deception of and uselessness to the people it was supposed to represent adds a dead animal stench to what is mostly a comically inept artifice of a once-useful organization.

California’s dissident Right also knows there can be no cultural or social response to the Left other than derision and contempt. The problem with much of the American Right is that it is not yet confident enough to make fun of the ridiculous fraud that is the modern Left. Too many of us still desperately want to be the reasonable people the Left knows we can become. We remember that feeling, but we find it cringe-inducing now.

The only way forward is to engage with a near-obsessive focus on the goal, which is not nostalgia or a return to a more conservative era: it is striving for civilization, now, among the ruins of chaos, fear, selfishness, and deception that are a constant throughout human history

Political correctness versus reality:

The differences between the Right and the Left don’t have to do with race, class, or privilege. They are separated by a fundamental disagreement on reality.

One side gains power by selling a lie that life is destined to be a beautiful, organized, triumphant, and shining commune that can only be taken away by selfish, racist retrogrades. They don’t even have to deliver utopia! They just have to convince you that their political enemies have taken utopia from you.

The other side believes that civilization is incredibly difficult to achieve, perpetually fragile, and constantly threatened by various forces of chaos and disorder. This second side is now coming around to the realization that there aren’t enough fumes of Western Civilization to coast comfortably anymore. We can’t continue to cling desperately to the ashes of formerly civilized and civilizing institutions while leftists lecture us about our past injustices and further weaken our confidence.

Read it all.

Historian’s Corner: Civilizational Death or Renewal?

Historian’s Corner: Civilizational Death or Renewal? By Victor Davis Hanson.

Sophisticated but top-heavy hierarchical societies — the Near East, Minoan Crete, Mycenaean Greece, or the New World Aztecs — were especially vulnerable to outside challenges whether natural or human. Whenever elite knowledge in science, government, agriculture, shipping, and administration is not widely dispersed, or when a middle class is stagnant or nonexistent, then such civilizations are especially vulnerable to decapitation. Take out the ruling clique at Knossos, Mycenae, Pylos, or Tenochtitlan, and it is perhaps comparable to smashing the head of an octopus and watching his directionless tentacles go limp. …

There are only about 10 million of 330 million Americans who ensure our scientific, engineering, medical, and economic preeminence.

Most now not only do not know who they are or what they do, but also assume their own lives run on autopilot without appreciation of the few million in the shadows upon whom America’s safety and wealth sometimes hinge. …

 

 

Woke religion takes over:

We are not just in a political but rather also a cultural revolution that seeks to destroy and replace our foundational date, our foundational documents, our foundational icons, traditions, and customs …

Yet, the most dangerous of all developments is the current regression to tribalism. So far we have seen it largely as a new rejection of Martin Luther King’s dream of an integrated and assimilated society, where race became irrelevant, at least in comparison to the individual “content of our characters.” …

Ah, those race-obsessed lefties:

How odd that … the Democrats, between 1860 and 1970, was the promulgator of racial tribalism. …

Then between 1970 and 2020, for the next 50 years, Democrats became almost as fixed on race, as the linch-pin to the Great Society.

And now in our woke revolution, all that fifty-year effort is also deemed a failure and once again by Democrats. To stop racism and become an “anti-racist,” now one must become just as fixated on race and thus become a racialist. Proportional representation has given way to reparatory action. Colleges now are not expected to admit African-Americans of any and all classes and family incomes as just 12 percent of their incoming classes, but perhaps as 15-20 percent to “make up” for the discrimination sired and fueled by largely their own party for much of its existence.

What a disaster. For a century to 1990, the left fought on economic grounds and championed the working class. But after the embarrassing and undeniable failure of socialism with the voluntary collapse of the Soviet Union, the left decided to radically change direction. Henceforth they would champion every identity group except white straight males, so as to harvest the votes of women, gays, blacks, etc.

With the benefit of hindsight, would they still make that decision today? Their strategy has thrown away substantial progress towards a meritocratic and color blind society, and reverted to tribalism. All so that a small left-wing leadership class could take power. Has it really been worth it guys?

Cultural Autonomy in Film

Cultural Autonomy in Film, by Anatoly Karlin.

Chinese protectionism/censorship (they only allow 34 Hollywood movies a year) has helped incubate a domestic film industry. … As of now, 9 out of 10 of the highest grossing films in Chinese history are domestic, all released in the last few years. …

Another curious finding from the author James McMahon … is that Russia — along with India and China — has the least intersection with American cultural consumption. That is, they have the lowest correlations between films that do well in the US box office and in their own.

Correlations of how well a film does in the US compared to various countries

This seems to largely be a map of cultural closeness to the US. Australia, Britain, New Zealand, and South Africa are all in the top 5 closest countries to the US.

“Insurrection” investigation is a joke.

“Insurrection” investigation is a joke. By John Hinderaker.

The House Select Committee that purports to investigate the “insurrection” of January 6, 2021 … is one of the dumbest things we have seen in many years. This is true for many reasons:

  • We Republicans may have our faults, but if we were actually going to stage an insurrection, at least one of us would remember to bring a firearm.
  • Along the same lines, if we were to undertake an insurrection, we would not call on a “shaman” wearing horns and a fur hat to lead it.
  • An actual insurrection would result in casualties. Here, the only person who died, or was seriously injured, other than by natural causes, was Ashli Babbitt. …
  • If the committee wants to investigate violent riots in Washington, D.C., it is barking up the wrong tree. There was a real riot on the day when Donald Trump was inaugurated in 2017, with businesses looted, buildings and vehicles burned, and innocent passers-by assaulted. …
  • The fact that a small rabble of unarmed protesters was able to access the Capitol illegally is, or should be, shocking. …
  • We have all seen the video of the Capitol entrance where guards opened the doors and waved the protesters into the building. The protesters entered in an orderly fashion, taking photos with their cell phones and carefully staying between the red velvet ropes. I suspect that most of those who entered the Capitol on January 6 were invited in by guards. …

On the bright side, I don’t believe the Democrats are fooling anyone. The current “investigation” is a joke, and I think everyone understands that. The New York Times et al. may pontificate about the “insurrection,” but the whole thing is a farce that will get the Dems nowhere

For six months now illegal immigrants have been flooding across the southern border and settling all over the US at a rate of two million per year. So eight million by the next presidential election. Huge majorities of citizens want borders and much lower immigration. Remember the chants of “Build a Wall!”? No wonder the Dem leadership needs to change the subject.

 

Charles Murray’s ‘Facing Reality’

Charles Murray’s ‘Facing Reality’. By Razib Khan.

There are only two big ideas being forwarded: that different races in America “have different violent crime rates and different means and distributions of cognitive ability.” That’s it. …

But why read a book on this topic when you can discover these facts within a few minutes? Tables on SAT scores by race are available in the Journal of Blacks In Higher Education, which pointed out in 2005 that “whites were more than seven times as likely as blacks to score 700 or above on the verbal SAT.” Wikipedia, meanwhile, has an entry entitled “Race and Crime in the United States,” which plainly states that a bit over 50 percent of victims and offenders in homicides are African American. The same website tells us that African Americans are about 13 percent of America’s population. Would you also be surprised to face the reality that the perpetrators of homicides are overwhelmingly young and male as well? These dots are there for anyone to connect if they like.

Reality versus the narrative:

And yet very few choose to do so. Indeed, the failure — refusal, even — to connect the dots has become a vaunted feature, not a bug, of 2021’s regnant culture. …

Which is precisely why Murray wants to inject these taboo realities into the intellectual bloodstream of our society. … Without these facts on the table, the contemporary American debate has had to rely upon the ether of social science and nebulous theoretical explanations of “systemic racism” and “white supremacy.” …

They know, really:

Reality has been a subtext of American culture, even if it has become progressively more taboo to speak about it as openly as Murray does. Washington, DC is an overwhelmingly liberal city — 92 percent of its residents voted for Joe Biden in the 2020 election. It is also starkly segregated by race. The white residents may not face reality openly, but it is obvious from where they choose to live that they make consistent judgements about patterns of violent crime. …

Upper-middle-class liberal whites also live the facts in Facing Reality tacitly, even if only subconsciously. Even liberal scolds like Samantha Bee ensure that their children attend de facto segregated public schools.  …

Comfortable and well-off white Americans live the reality of race throughout their lives when they make decisions about where to live, who to date, and who to befriend. Meanwhile, the regnant ideology of systemic racism and white supremacy convicts all, but in the process absolves all. It turns the realities of our lives into abstractions, useful only to enable positional games of status and prestige. …

But they continue to deny reality:

But the conclusions suggested by Murray’s data are not palatable to much of America’s elite. The end of affirmative action will mean that some groups will be overrepresented among prestigious professionals and in the governing elite. …

However, they dare not follow the narrative though:

One of the reasons [Ibram X. Kendi] does not frankly set out the legal and policy proposals required to instantiate true equality is that they are unlikely to be welcomed, even by those who participate willingly in the present Sturm und Drang. Changing the name of an elementary school is free. And cutting the size of a police department is actually good for the demands on the property taxes of the homeowner class.

In contrast, swingeing inheritance taxes that decimate intergenerational wealth, or explicit quotas on professional sinecures, would sacrifice the comfortable material interests of a privileged gentry. No wonder they’re so gung-ho about embracing a symbolic reformation of language instead. In Kendi’s framework, true justice can only be obtained through actions far beyond the nominal gestures now being performed. …

The narrative is strong propaganda:

Those already familiar with the data on racial differences in cognitive tests and crime rates, and therefore predisposed to take Murray’s book seriously, will most likely give up on engagement due to intellectual exhaustion with today’s punitive and spiteful political climate.

And those who might benefit from Murray’s book will not read it because it was written by someone who transmits ritual pollution to all those who acknowledge him.

The Moment Wall Street Has Been Waiting For: Retail Is All In

The Moment Wall Street Has Been Waiting For: Retail Is All In. By Charles Hugh-Smith.

Old hands on Wall Street … have been waiting for retail — the individual investor — to go all-in stocks. After 13 long years, this moment has finally arrived: retail is all in.

If you doubt this, just look at record highs in investor sentiment, margin debt and the Buffett Indicator.

 

 

Current valuations are so extreme that the previous extreme in the 2000 dot-com bubble now looks modest in comparison.

I have my own sure-fire indicators for when retail is all-in. One is my Mom’s financial advisor recommends shifting her modest nest-egg out of safe bonds into the go-go stocks that are topping out. Back in late 1999, it was Cisco Systems and the other dot-com leaders, today it’s the FANGMAN stocks. Sure enough, my Mom just informed me her advisor recommended moving money from bonds into a FANG-dominated stock fund. Bingo, we have a winner.

Second indicator: average people who have never traded stocks are all-in and supremely confident they can’t lose. When 20-year college students are trading based on a “genius” 22-year old friend’s advice, retail is all-in. When a worker cleaning a wooden deck pauses to put $100,000 in a company he knows nothing about (yes, true story), retail is all-in.

Much is made of meme stocks, but the real driver of retail going all-in is the complete collapse of risk / moral hazard: the Fed will never let the market go down is not a meme, it is an article of secular faith, supported by 13 long years of ceaseless Fed intervention / stimulus, all in service of elevating the stock market. …

This time it’s different:

Every generation that experiences a speculative mania feels it’s unique. This is the pattern that repeats. The confluence of forces driving the mania to unprecedented heights is so obviously unique and uniquely powerful that it is literally crazy not to grab a board and ride the wave to riches.

What the newly minted millionaires don’t understand is they’re the marks and bagholders. Wall Street has been patiently waiting for retail to go all-in so the pros can sell all the over-valued stocks to the euphoric, trusting retail traders, who will continue to buy the dip and rotate into the next hot meme-stock until their fortunes have dwindled to spare change. …

Every share of stock ends up in somebody’s account, and the ideal bagholder is one who adds more on every downturn (buy the dip) and who refuses to sell (diamond hands), holding on for the inevitable Fed-fueled rally to new highs. …

That’s how accounts are destroyed, and the wreckage isn’t just financial. The scars of being a bagholder can last a long time. But Wall Street is patient, and a new crop of bagholders eventually catches Fed Fever, and the transfer of over-valued equities to a new generation of bagholders will play out according to the same script.

I’m not sure anyone plans it that way, but it does happen — repeatedly.

The current flood of cheap money is driving all prices up, but a market can still crash relative to everything else even while stock prices rise. For instance, two decades ago the Zimbabwean stock market outperformed every other market in the world in percentage gains, even as its value sank to near zero.


That said, the usual signs that a crash is imminent are currently absent.

Marxism strives to expel all competing religions

Marxism strives to expel all competing religions. By Dan Gelernter.

The French Revolution began, as do all modern Communist revolutions, with the abolition of Christianity. Not the abolition of religion, or even state religion, but Christianity. The French fully intended to have a state religion, complete with “Temples of Reason” (Notre Dame was turned into one). The crucifix was replaced with a symbolic “torch of truth.”

Fascism, which Winston Churchill called the “shadow, or ugly child of Communism,” was identical in this respect: Nazi Germany was to replace its cathedrals with Hitler Kirche, in which Mein Kampf took the place place of the Bible and the crucifix was again removed, this time in favor of a sword.

Marxism is not and has never been an atheist philosophy. …

Marxism is the most aggressively dogmatic religion in the world. Its struggle for ascendancy is a holy war in which Islam is the only serious competitor and all other religions seem resigned to a defensive posture (i.e., losing). 

To fight the Left effectively, we need to stop thinking of Marxism as a philosophical alternative to capitalism and instead think of it as a religious alternative to Christianity. 

Marxism is not anti-Christianity because belief in God is a crutch or an opiate of the masses. It simply recognizes that you cannot believe in two gods at once. Marxism and Christianity are rival religions, and it’s no more possible to believe in both than it is to believe simultaneously in Judaism and Islam. 

 

… except ours

 

“Science” has become just the set of beliefs funded by the science bureaucracy:

In the Marxist religious structure, the supreme leader — Stalin, Mao, Castro, Xi — is God. Leftist intellectuals are priests. Government bureaucrats are Levites, making sure the ceremony runs smoothly and the sanctuary is guarded. There is a caste (“class”) system in which some are holy by virtue of their birth and others are damned for the same reason. Ordinary citizens in this religion have no role except to believe and to do as they are told: “Believe the science!”

This favorite phrase of the progressive Left is a nonsensical juxtaposition: Science is not meant to be believed. Science is the process of drawing conclusions from evidence. …

Science can never be settled. Religious dogma can be settled. Religion is meant to be believed: “Believe the experts!”

Which means, “Don’t bother assessing the facts for yourself: You’re just a layman.” For ordinary people to assess the facts and make their own decisions is a Marxist blasphemy. Instead, people memorize the dogma: Soviets were required to memorize Marx. The Chinese had to memorize Mao’s Little Red Book. American schools are trying to do the same with “antiracism.” …

Good religion, bad religion:

The Scriptures tell us repeatedly that human sacrifice is an abomination to God. To Judaism and to Christianity, every human life is valuable. To Marxism, human sacrifice is fundamental and even desirable. “Deaths have benefits,” says Mao, speaking both metaphorically and literally: “They can fertilize the ground.”

There are good religions and bad. Christinanity is a good religion. Judaism is a good religion. Marxism is a bad one.

But the main point is not Marxism’s merits as a religion but the fact that it is a religion. Anyone who favors separation of church and state in the public schools should oppose teaching the tenets of Marx or “antiracism” as a violation of that separation.

Or, better, we could teach Christianity too and let the students make an informed choice. But Marxism wouldn’t like that. The idea that religion must be expelled from all public places is a lie and a fraud — a Marxist trojan horse: The goal isn’t to expel all religion. The goal is to expel all competing religions.

Indoctrinating your kids:

Don’t assume your children can grow up without a religion. No one can, and no one does. If your kids reject Christianity or Judaism, it means they are kneeling at other altars with the fervor of a convert. There will be no arguing them away from Marxism with reason and logic and historical fact, because to them it is religious conviction.

The simplest remedy is to teach your children the Bible, and make sure they learn its most important lesson: Love thy neighbor. Love thy neighbor as thyself. Marxism can offer nothing like that.

Amen.

The End of Meritocracy?

The End of Merit. By Joel Kotkin.

Woke educators, like San Francisco’s School board member Alison Collins, claim that “merit, meritocracy and especially meritocracy based on standardized testing” are essentially “racist systems.” Some among the new racial cadres even denounce habits such as punctuality, rationality, and hard work as reflective of “racism” and “white privilege”.

John Hinderaker:

A society that denigrates hard work and rationality cannot possibly succeed. …

The main reason why the United States easily outstripped Europe and Asia in economic growth and cultural influence in the 19th and 20th centuries is that we were a meritocracy. Talent and hard work prevailed over privilege of birth and adherence to established ideologies. Sadly, we have lost that advantage. …

The Left’s war on standards has resulted in a dumbing down of our educational system and our culture. None of our competitors has been this stupid, and China, in particular — despite ostensibly being a Communist country! — is a ruthless meritocracy where it counts.

Joel Kotkin again:

Only 5 percent of American college students major in engineering, compared with 33 percent in China; as of 2016, China graduated 4.7 million STEM students versus 568,000 in the United States, as well as six times as many students with engineering and computer science bachelor’s degrees. …

The skills shortage may be even more profound on the factory floor. Due to an aging workforce, as many as 600,000 new manufacturing jobs expected to be generated this decade cannot be filled. The percentage of the skilled manufacturing work force over the age of 55 has doubled in the last 10 years to 20 percent of active workers. And there is no deep bench of talent waiting to replace retirees — 50 percent of the active workers are above the age of 45. The current shortage of welders, now 240,000, could grow to 340,000 by 2024. Manufacturing employment is expanding more rapidly than in almost four decades but there are an estimated 500,000 manufacturing jobs unfilled right now.

And John Hinderaker again:

The conclusion is obvious. If America is no longer a meritocracy, but rather a cynical left-wing spoils system, we no longer have a meaningful reason for being.

America is rapidly becoming un-serious. So post-modern. In today’s America more than half the population goes on to college — where most run up large debts, and many learn to sit around and belly-ache about fictitious systemic racism. But, so woke!

Possibly related:

Covid: Evidence is winnowing the many speculations and theories

Covid: Evidence is winnowing the many speculations and theories. By Christopher Snowden.

There have been much speculation, many theories, and a lot of lively discussion about covid. It’s now eighteen months since the West became aware of covid, and we learned a lot by experience. Some theories turned out to be true, some false, and some we’re still not sure about.

This author is clearly impatient for people to update their theories in light of the emerging facts. He makes some good points, though he does overreach at times.

The story that self-described sceptics had been telling themselves since the summer was a smoking ruin. As far back as June 2020, they had been announcing that the virus had run its course, that herd immunity had been achieved, and that there would be no second wave. They then dismissed a resurgence of the infection rate in August and September as a “casedemic” — a fraudulent illusion built on a glut of false positives produced by unreliable over-testing.

UK data:


Failed predictions:

  • The founder of the Lockdown Sceptics blog, Toby Young, claimed in June that the “virus has melted into thin air,” and predicted that “there will be no ‘second spike’ — not now, and not in the autumn either.” In September, YouTube personality …
  • Ivor Cummins declared that “the epidemic is over.” Asked what it would take to prove him wrong, he tweeted: “Simple. Excess mortality this winter is far higher than 2018 or 2015 same months — directly driven by Covid19. Period. Anything else, and I am correct.”
  • At the end of November, Michael Yeadon, doyen of the deniers thanks to his credentials as a former Pfizer scientist, wrote that “the pandemic was over by June” and dismissed the case numbers as “an artefact of a deranged testing system.”

All of these endlessly circulated delusions lay in tatters by the end of December [2020] when more than 50,000 Britons were testing positive for the virus each day and a similar number were going undiagnosed, but the smiley community (so-called for their adoption of the yellow smiley face as a badge of their resistance to alleged fear-mongering about the virus) stubbornly held the line. Distrustful of doctors and death certificates, they would accept no evidence except excess deaths. Some of them would not even accept that measure and demanded to see figures for burial and cremations. A surprisingly large number knew funeral directors who told them that business had never been quieter. Very suspicious. …

More data:

Excess deaths in the UK. Note the two covid spikes, agreeing with the data above.

Winnowing:

Back in lockdown, Britain’s infection rate fell by two-thirds in January [of 2021] and the party seemed to be over for the lockdown sceptics. Two prominent enablers renowned for their misleading use of data, Clare Craig and Joel Smalley, deleted all their tweets. In February, Michael Yeadon left Twitter altogether after some unedifying tweets from the pre-pandemic era were unearthed. YouTube started taking down Ivor Cummins’s videos, including the notorious “Crucial Viral Update” of September 2020 that had done so much to popularise the casedemic hypothesis.

Falling case numbers in Sweden at the start of [2021] offered smileys a crumb of comfort, but infections shot back up in February and the country was soon Europe’s COVID hotspot again …

In March, COVID ripped through Brazil and Uruguay, two countries sceptics had praised for resisting lockdown. A few weeks later, India demonstrated what a largely uncontrolled epidemic looks like when the country was ravaged by a new variant. Despite being a youthful nation in which only five percent of the population is over the age of 65, India has suffered an estimated four million excess deaths.

Faced with the annihilation of their beliefs, smileys developed a variety of coping strategies. One was to acknowledge that, while the UK had been through a rough patch, this was to be expected from a seasonal virus. Of course, the whole point was that they had not expected it and one only had to look at South Africa, which was enduring its worst outbreak yet, to see that COVID did not naturally disappear in the summer.

In any case, it was not summer in Britain. It was an unusually cold January and yet the infection rate was in free-fall. How could this be if lockdowns didn’t work?

To answer this, sceptics advanced a series of frankly incomprehensible arguments about why seasonality has nothing to do with the climate, or even seasons, and that coronaviruses always fade away in the middle of winter, do your own research, etc. For those of us who hadn’t done our own research (that is, watched someone else’s YouTube video), this seasonality business was rather a puzzle. We wondered why case numbers were dropping in locked down Britain and Ireland, but a few miles away in France, which was not in lockdown, rates were rising. It was all very odd, but apparently Florida had lifted its restrictions months ago and had done fine, if you ignored the large outbreak in the winter and the resurgence in early spring, and this somehow proved that lockdowns don’t work.

By June, the seasonality trope had crashed into the mountain with all the other smiley aeroplanes. Only three months earlier, Ivor Cummins was declaring that the “winter resurgence” had “collapsed resoundingly in Europe,” but now COVID was back for a summer season. As the UK relaxed restrictions and took a more Floridian approach, infections began doubling every two weeks. Portugal, Cyprus, Malta, the Netherlands, and several other European countries soon followed. So did Florida, for that matter. The Sunshine State soon had the highest infection rate in America. …

There’s always a few. For the sake of considering all angles and being alert to overlooked possibilities, this is generally a good thing. But it doesn’t meant they are right:

But this produced no contrition or self-reflection from the sceptics. Instead, they just got crazier. Whether it’s using the Freedom of Information Act to find out how many cremations took place last year (a lot more than usual) or pestering authorities for details of PCR cycle thresholds, there is no barrel they won’t scrape.

At the anti-lockdown protest in London on Saturday, David Icke accused “demons” of using “a fake virus, a fake test, and fake death certificates to give the illusion of a deadly disease that has never and does not exist.” The MC, a former nurse and current conspiracy theorist named Kate Shemirani, explained that “you cannot catch a virus — it was a lie manufactured by the Rockefellers.” Piers Corbyn — brother of the UK Labour Party’s last leader — emphasised the urgent need to “close the jab centres” and “take down 5G towers.” If those who attended were disappointed to find a rally against lockdowns and vaccine passports turn into a showpiece for anti-vaxxers and assorted lunatics, it was not obvious from their cheers.

Michael Yeadon now believes that COVID vaccines are being used by governments as “a serious attempt at mass depopulation.” He also appears to believe that taking the vaccine makes people magnetic. …

The foot soldiers of the movement — if that is not too flattering a term for those who simply parrot other people’s misunderstandings — continue to display an extraordinary degree of motivated ignorance. Not one of their predictions has come to pass: there was a second wave, there is a third wave, a new “scariant” did not emerge to prevent the reopening on July 19th, face masks are no longer mandatory, the lockdown did not go on forever, and vaccines did not become compulsory. The casedemic theory went down in magnesium flames and yet they repeat the same tropes from a year ago as if nothing has happened.

A summer surge does not fit their theory of seasonality and so it must be fake, just as the winter surge did not fit their theory of herd immunity and so must have been fake. When all the evidence flattens your beliefs, you can either abandon those beliefs or deny the evidence. If you choose the latter, the evidence must have been fabricated, and that requires a grand conspiracy. This is why cults become more extreme when their prophecies fail. The more moderate members lose interest, leaving behind a paranoid rump. And so, while the rest of the world plans a route out of the crisis and prepares to live with a virus defanged by a vaccinated population, smileys are still arguing about whether the virus even exists.

Out of desperation, they continue to question the reliability of diagnostic testing and claim that the PCR test has a non-trivial false positive rate. The Office for National Statistics has repeatedly explained that the false positive rate is less than 0.1 percent. Real world evidence unequivocally shows that it is almost zero, since that is what the total positive rate has been in Australia, New Zealand, Israel, and the Orkney Islands at various times over the last 12 months. The UK had a positivity rate of just 0.2 percent as recently as two months ago. The false positive rate cannot possibly be higher than the positivity rate, but this simple logic continues to elude the COVID-sceptical community. …

A study claiming that the COVID vaccines cause two deaths for every three lives they save was eagerly promoted by the Lockdown Sceptics blog and DarkHorse podcast hosts Bret Weinstein and Heather Heying (from 49:12) when it was published on June 24th. The study’s findings were absurd on their face, so it was not especially surprising that its publication precipitated a wave of resignations from the journal’s editorial staff and board and the hasty publication of an “expression of concern” on June 28th. The paper was retracted entirely on July 2nd due to serious errors which led to “incorrect and distorted conclusions.” Two weeks later, a widely reported study (also promoted by Lockdown Sceptics) which claimed that face-masks were exposing children to dangerously high levels of carbon dioxide was also retracted. The lead author of both studies was Harald Walach, a German psychologist with a keen interest in homeopathy, crowned “Pseudo-Scientist of the Year” in 2012 by Austria’s Society for Critical Thinking.

Most of [the covid skeptics] seem to get their information from bite-size videos and screenshots. Some of these are so amateurish that they resemble the Nigerian e-mail scams which deliberately include spelling mistakes to filter out those people with the cognitive abilities to spot the hustle further down the line. The table below, for instance, has been widely circulated by the pink flower brigade in spite of the fact that the infection fatality rates are wrong by two orders of magnitude, and the table provides enough information for this to be easily deduced. …

 

“It’s just the flu” was probably Chinese propaganda, but some never got over it

 

The tiresome question of whether people are dying “with COVID” or “of COVID” can be answered by looking at any the [UK’s Office for National Statistics’] weekly mortality figures which tell us what proportion of death certificates listed the disease as the underlying or contributing cause. During the second wave, around 90 percent had COVID listed as the underlying — i.e., primary — cause, although this has fallen to around 80 percent as the vaccines prevent more COVID deaths. …

The rank and file of the COVID-sceptic movement appear to have read none of it, relying instead on bad-faith interpretations of evidence by social media grifters and inane slogans such as “the more you test, the more you find” and “virus gonna virus.” Many of the assertions that they regard as axiomatic are transparent lies. For example, they repeat the mantra that COVID-19 has a 99.8 percent or 99.9 percent survival rate as if it were the most basic fact, despite COVID-19 having already killed more than 0.2 percent of the population in many countries. …

Alex Berenson, a former New York Times reporter and novelist has published a series of short books entitled Unreported Truths about COVID-19 and Lockdowns ($5.99 each) and now runs a Substack entitled “Unreported Truths” ($6 a month). An early and particularly unscrupulous lockdown opponent, he now offers an endless source of inspiration and comfort to the “vaccine hesitant.” In response to evidence showing that vaccines have greatly weakened the link between cases and hospitalisations in the UK, he blithely asserted that England was experiencing “a casedemic caused by aggressive testing” before noting that the number of hospital admissions had risen sixfold. … How can a sharp rise in hospital admissions be caused by a casedemic which, by definition, involves people who either don’t have the virus or who are asymptomatic?

The key to understanding this gibberish is Berenson’s repeated reference to a “post-first dose spike” which he claims drove up hospitalisations — the notion that vaccines are somehow implicated in COVID infections and illness. The evidence for this, such as it is, is inferred from a rise in the infection rate in some countries when the vaccine was first rolled out. But this is easily explained by the rollout starting in early winter when many countries, including the UK, were not locked down. Once the UK locked down in January, cases fell. …

Where are we now?

With the link between infections and deaths severely weakened by mass vaccination, we are now in a position to withstand high case numbers without needing to resort to the draconian measures of the past. Deaths and hospitalisations are much lower than in previous waves and the infection rate has started to fall. It is the first time cases have dropped without heavy restrictions since the start of the pandemic. Wrong to the bitter end, sceptics have taken this as a vindication of their do-nothing strategy and are celebrating the decline of a summer surge they said could never happen.  …

COVID-19 is here to stay. As Professor Francois Balloux of UCL has remarked, “the vast majority of the global population is expected to get infected by the virus, likely more than once over their lifetime.” Herd immunity is unlikely to come from vaccination. Existing COVID vaccines are simply not good enough at preventing transmission and infection. They are, however, very good at preventing severe disease and death. For the individual, that is good enough — so long as you’ve had your jabs. …

Once we see the vaccines as being primarily about self-preservation rather than collective protection, it is difficult to make the case for vaccinating children (unless they want to be vaccinated) and the argument for vaccine passports under any circumstances is much weaker.

But it leaves anti-vaxxers in an unusual and precarious position. They normally get a free ride on other people’s willingness to protect themselves. Society can tolerate a small number of people not vaccinating their children for measles, for example, because outbreaks cannot occur so long as the vast majority are inoculated.

But without herd immunity for [covid], the refuseniks are on their own. They are facing an endemic disease armed with nothing but worming tablets and excessive faith in their immune system.

California Bans High End Computers

California Bans High End Computers. By Neil Kurtzman.

As a consequence of an energy bill passed in 2017, the state has banned the sale of high end gaming computers. Not to be outdone Colorado, Hawaii, Oregon, Vermont, and Washington have issued the same ukase. …

Computer gaming in California consumed 4.1 terawatt hours in 2016, costing roughly $700 million USD in energy bills. …

$700 million in electrical usage … in Californian terms is a spark. While banning computers, the state is mandating that all new vehicles be electric by 2035. They are also closing their only remaining atomic energy plant. Where will the power need to run 15 million vehicles come from? No need to worry, the legislature will pass a bill mandating it be provided.

Doubtless there are also businesses that need powerful computers that may be swept up in this ban; gamers will not be the only users affected by the prohibition. Thus, there will be a market that is illegal.

A faulty computerized climate model in the 1960s, whose faults were copied in every subsequent climate model, has led to a ban on powerful computers in the state that leads the world.

Who says God has no sense of humor?

“He who persists in climate computer games that are wrong, despite the evidence, shall have no high end computers.”

America, a nation which once championed free speech, has evolved into one of the world’s most authoritarian mass-censors

America, a nation which once championed free speech, has evolved into one of the world’s most authoritarian mass-censors. By RT.

The elites of Silicon Valley, Wall Street, and Capitol Hill act as the true overlords of Western thought, guarding the borders of allowable speech. How on earth did we allow this to happen — and what can be done now?

America has changed beyond recognition over the past few years, and performed a rather rapid about-face on the issue of free speech, a notion it once championed. …

There appears to be a mass consensus among American money-powers (and thereby state powers) to tightly control information, and to abandon utterly their so recently lauded values of free speech. The FBI in particular has seemingly transitioned into an institution of speech-referees and political oppressors, on guard primarily against America’s own citizens.

Ironically, this has not halted America’s saber-rattling about political and informational oppressions from its geopolitical rivals in the east, which find themselves in the reverse role of shocked concern at the willingness of the American superstate to silence its political and moral enemies. Even to the extent of performing show trials. …

Russia and America switch roles:

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov was among other global spokesmen quick to point out the persecution of those behind the January 6 march upon the US Capitol. These dissidents (and regime adversaries from other events and show trials) have been locked down in special ‘jails’ where there is evidence of abuse, routine beatings, isolation, and obscene and unjust sentencing.

This is equally true of others who merely defended themselves against the aggression of rioters during the near total chaos of the final days of the Trump regime. Even if you don’t agree with their reasons or actions, the extreme prejudice of this abuse is acute to anyone with even a scrap of bipartisan impartiality; but from the devotees of neoliberalism, you will hear only that ‘they deserve it’.

If anyone opposing the current regime can be labelled as ‘racist’, or often just loosely associated with former President Trump, they are de-personed and fair game for these human rights abuses. The stigma of this label, justly applied or not, is such that President Biden feels utterly oblivious to it contextually, as he furiously accuses other nations of what he himself is doing on the largest scale. …

The nation which championed ‘free speech’ will now ban you from the public space and force you out of your job for the crime of ‘misgendering’. …

A nasty case in point:

Recently, former pro-Trump Twitter influencer Ricky Vaughn was arrested by the FBI for a meme he shared on social media about Hillary Clinton in 2016. Here we can see an apparent collusion of social media giants and law enforcement to jointly persecute a political adversary and critic. Both, it would seem, are in service to the same cause. Vaughn’s case is all the more relevant as he was famously attacked by the legacy media for suggesting Hillary Clinton would introduce the draft for women. A proposition which the White House claims to now support. Examine the disparity in coverage of Vaughn’s case, one from the Jeffersonian, and the other the HuffPost (which enjoys a much larger readership).

Persecutions of political opponents by the state, a campaigning media, probable election rigging, and heavy punishment for saying a word against the dominant ideology … in the US! Sad times.

hat-tip Stephen Neil

So the vaccinated are “running out of patience,” eh?

So the vaccinated are “running out of patience,” eh? By Jazz Shaw.

It seems as if every day we see another slew of headlines about the Delta variant and “resurgence” of the virus in this or that place. In reality, even some of these surges involve a number of new positive tests that are still vastly lower than during the height of the pandemic last winter. …

These complaints are being picked up in the liberal media, with the vast majority of the blame being cast at a predictable group: white, Republican Trump voters. …

A prime example popped up today from Josh Marshall at Talking Points Memo. … Let’s start with the “evidence” that Josh presents about the people who are late to the vaccination party. He talks about a reporter who went to a pop-up vaccination pod in Los Angeles and met a number of people who could have been vaccinated months ago but just made the decision this week.

The people who turned out at this clinic were mainly Latino immigrants, so not the demographic that has garnered the most attention in the mainstream media discussion. The reasons ranged the gamut: they’d had COVID and assumed continued immunity; they didn’t want to or couldn’t take time from work; they had general apprehensions about a vaccine without a long testing history; they’d heard conspiracy theories women becoming infertile. In some cases, it was perhaps some vague mix of one or more of these and just continuing to put it off — apathy for lack of a better word.

What jumped out to me is that basically none of the couple dozen people who showed up the day Mejia was there had held out for any ideological or political reasons. And in most cases — as their being there to get their shot makes clear — they were ultimately convincible. …

[Josh] is quick to point out that these are “Latino immigrants.” That means that everyone on the left has to rush to the bulwarks and make sure nobody suggests there’s anything disruptive or “bad” about their decision to wait this long to get a shot. And of course, there was nothing political about it. (Perish the thought.) …

Pardon me, but the vast majority of unvaccinated people I’ve heard from among the “stereotypical Trumpers refusing for reasons tied to political commitment and ideology” (that’s Josh’s description one paragraph later of the real bad guys in this story) have cited the exact same reasons. But somehow, if a white Republican Trump voter says the exact same thing, one is political warfare while the other is “justifiable apprehension.”

Does anyone proofread this stuff before it’s published? …

On a per-capita basis, both Hispanic and Black Americans are vastly less likely to take the vaccines than whites or Asians. But nobody is “fed up” with them, right? Only with a politically convenient group of people of a particular skin tone and party affiliation. Everyone else refusing to be vaccinated is just fine and needs to be allowed their space to process things.

It’s all sickening. …

“Fed up” is code for …

There’s also a huge assumption in these arguments … That assumption is that being “fed up” with the choices of others somehow implies that they have the right to enact some course of action to correct the perceived errors of their political opponents’ ways. …

There is no court precedent for a federal mandate telling everyone they have to be vaccinated because no president has ever tried. Private businesses can make vaccination mandatory as a condition of employment (and some are already doing so), but when the federal government and their water carriers in the media start encouraging that on a broad scale, a very serious problem emerges.

Vaccine passports and some pretty ugly coercion seem inevitable now, the way the narrative is shaping up.