The ceaseless culture war against Hungary

The ceaseless culture war against Hungary, by Frank Furedi.

If you listen to the Western media, you might think that in the weeks following the outbreak of Covid-19 the government of Hungary had transformed itself into a brutal dictatorship. There was a constant stream of articles claiming that democracy had died in Hungary. Opinion pieces insisted that the Hungarian government had exploited people’s concerns about the pandemic to impose a 1930s-style authoritarian dictatorship. …

These alarmist accounts of democratic backsliding in Hungary were a key theme in these Culture Wars. On the anti-sovereigntist wing of the cultural conflict, Hungary was held up as symbolic of an ideology of evil. …

Evil dictator, or just another European leader with emergency powers in response to Covid?

The Economist responded to Hungary’s enactment of a state of emergency by claiming that Viktor Orban, the prime minister, ‘has in effect become a dictator – in the heart of Europe’. The Guardian declared that the ‘world must not let Hungary get away with this power grab’. Writing in the EUobserver, Kenneth Roth, the executive director of Human Rights Watch, claimed that Hungary was now a dictatorship and therefore the EU had ceased to be a bloc of democratic states. …

The hypocrisy:

It is worth noting that other governments that enacted emergency powers in response to the Covid pandemic were not accused of such malevolent intent.

Why was Hungary held to a different standard? The answer was devastatingly simple. ‘Orban cannot be trusted’, Western observers implied. It was really another way of saying: ‘We don’t like him.’ …

What in fact happened:

This week, the Hungarian government initiated procedures to end the state of emergency. It will end on 20 June. This means Hungary has acted more speedily than many other governments to bring to a close its Covid measures.

Will those who spread the idea that Hungary had become a dictatorship acknowledge that they were wrong? Will they apologise for their slanderous statements about Hungary? Don’t hold your breath. It really doesn’t matter what the Hungarian government does; its adversaries in the West will always portray it as a dangerous dictatorship threatening European values. …

Inconvenient truths about Hungary are always met with a wall of silence in most of the Western press. …

The role of Hungary in the culture wars:

In the current Culture Wars, Hungary has become a kind of lightning rod through which the negative sentiments of the Western cultural establishment — especially their anti-sovereigntist views — can be expressed. …

Whenever a British, German or American newspaper editor or observer denounces the ‘dictatorship’ in Hungary, they are also indirectly attacking movements and politicians in their own countries who oppose the prevailing cultural norms. That is why those of us who supported Brexit in the UK, and who call for the valuation of national sovereignty in countries around the world, have a real interest in supporting Hungary against its Western detractors.

hat-tip Stephen Neil

Sweden: Girl, 17, ‘beheaded by ex-boyfriend Muslim migrant who wrapped her head in aluminium foil’

Sweden: Girl, 17, ‘beheaded by ex-boyfriend Muslim migrant who wrapped her head in aluminium foil’, by Lorraine King.

Tishko Ahmed Shabaz, 23, is accused of decapitating 17-year-old Wilma Andersson in Sweden when she visited his flat to collect her belongings after ending their relationship. …

A unnamed police chief said: “The suspect has retained a body part for an unknown reason and got rid of the rest of the body.”

Prosecutors claim Wilma was subjected to ‘repeated violence’ during her death.

Wilma’s devastated mum Linda has issued an emotional appeal begging people to continue their search and help her to find the rest of her daughter’s body.

Robert Spencer:

A culture of violence, the foundational text of which commands men to beat women from whom they “fear disobedience” (Qur’an 4:34), is going to give rise to this sort of thing, just as that same foundational text’s calls for violence against unbelievers (2:191, 4:89, 9:5, 9:29, 47:4, etc.) are going to give rise to jihad violence.

This is the new Sweden. Celebrate diversity!

Our ruling class refuses to recognize the danger to the West posed by Islam, no matter how obvious it is. You will be ostracized even for broaching the topic, no matter how obliquely.

Muslims in the West overwhelmingly vote left, for more welfare. Like the left, they enjoy undermining the Christian foundations of our society. The left ban criticism of radical Islam and Muslim immigration. Coincidence? Muslim immigrants also destroy the high trust and solidarity our society used to enjoy.

hat-tip Stephen Neil

Donald Trump Signs Exec Order to Curb Big Tech’s ‘Unchecked Power’

Donald Trump Signs Exec Order to Curb Big Tech’s ‘Unchecked Power’, by Charlie Spiering.

Donald Trump Signs Exec Order to Curb Big Tech’s ‘Unchecked Power’ …

“They’ve had unchecked power to censor restrict, edit shape hide alter virtually any form of communication between private citizens or large public audiences,” Trump said.

The president criticized the growing monopoly of social media companies in America, vowing to act to change the regulatory framework for the companies.

“There’s no precedent in American history for so small a number of corporations to control so large a sphere of interaction,” he said.

Trump said the increasing editorial actions by social media to control the content on their platforms endangered their liability shield under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act as a neutral public platform.

“The choices that Twitter makes, when it chooses to suppress, edit, blacklist, shadowban are editorial decisions, pure and simple, they are editorial decisions,” Trump said.

The president accused the companies of political activism, calling it “inappropriate.”

“What they choose to fact check and what they choose to ignore or promote is nothing more than a political activism group,” he said.

You can be a platform, in which case you are not responsible for the contents appearing on your site because you did not choose it. So you cannot be sued for defamation.

Or you can be a publisher, in which case you can choose what appears on your site but are responsible for it. So you can be sued for defamation.

Social media want to be able to choose what appears on their site, but not be responsible for it. Talk about eating your cake but still having it.

Trump, a victim of social media site Twitter a few days ago, just changed that. You have to choose, Twitter. You might not enjoy the new game.

hat-tip Stephen Neil

Twitter wants to target conservatives — with none of a publisher’s responsibilities

Twitter wants to target conservatives — with none of a publisher’s responsibilities. By Sohrab Ahmari.

If Twitter is going to “fact check” the leader of the Free World, with a hard leftist as part of the team doing so, then it should be treated as the publisher that it is — with all the liabilities that entails. …

On Tuesday, Twitter appended a fact-check label to a presidential tweet about the fraud risk associated with mail-in voting. The exclamation urged users to “get the facts about mail-in ballots.”

The link took users to a CNN story with the headline: “Trump makes unsubstantiated claim that mail-in ballots will lead to voter fraud.” It was the kind of opinion-masquerading-as-reportage that CNN, and too many other mainstream outlets, specialize in. …

None of this comes as a surprise to conservatives on Twitter. For years, Twitter has censored conservative voices, increasingly without even bothering with the pretense of platform neutrality.

Who gets to decide what the President can say on Twitter?

And now we know why: A key actor in Twitter’s censorship operation turns out to be Yoel Roth, a fellow … blessed with a Silicon Valley sinecure (“head of site integrity”) that allows him to decisively slant the national conversation on the Web.

It was Roth who along with a co-worker introduced Twitter’s new “fact-checking” policy. …

Roth also happens to be a rabid hater of Trump and the 63 million Americans who voted for him.

“I’m just saying,” he tweeted in November 2016, “we fly over those states that voted for a racist tangerine for a reason.”

In January 2017: “ ‘Today on Meet the Press, we’re speaking with Joseph Goebbels about the first 100 days. . .’—what I hear when [Trump aide] Kellyanne [Conway] is on a news show.”

In July 2017: “How does a personality-free bag of farts like [Senate Majority Leader] Mitch McConnell actually win elections?”

An Open Letter to the D.C. Right: The scales have fallen from my eyes, and the sight before me is a sorry thing indeed.

An Open Letter to the D.C. Right: The scales have fallen from my eyes, and the sight before me is a sorry thing indeed. By Bruce Bawer.

I’ve known you for decades. You’re think-tankers, government officials, political journalists, and pundits. …

For a long while, I thought you were the good guys. You talked about individual liberty. Some of you identified as conservatives, others as libertarians, still others as classical liberals. None of you are outright leftists. …

You cheered my books on gay rights. (Many of you are gay.) But when I started writing critically about Islam, you went mum. All of you. You didn’t attack me in public, but you didn’t express support, either.

But that was OK.

Then Donald Trump came along. He spoke of liberty and of putting America First.

Your public rage at him — and his supporters — was instantaneous. It was visceral, full-throated, and constant.

I didn’t remember any of you getting that worked up about Barack Obama. Ever.

For a moment, at the very beginning, I didn’t quite get it. Then I got it. Of course. It was obvious.

Trump represented an existential threat to everything you had — your job security, your social status, your sumptuous lives in places like Chevy Chase, Falls Church, and Georgetown.

You knew — somehow all of you could tell instinctively — that when Trump talked about liberty, he meant it.

But you? However much you talked about liberty, at bottom you weren’t really about liberty at all — at least not the individual liberty of ordinary Americans.

What were you about? Well, for one thing, you were about the “liberty” of giant American corporations to move their factories abroad, even to Communist countries, without penalty.

For those of you who work at think tanks, this position was understandable: owners of giant corporations paid your hefty salaries.

Yes, over the decades, as a result of policies you advocated, countless working Americans lost their jobs to workers in other countries — some of them children, some of them literally slaves, all of them paid little or nothing.

Such losses, you asserted, were regrettable, but in the end everybody would benefit.

Well, look who’s benefited: The Chinese Communist Party. Carlos Slim. The Silicon Valley Billionaire Boys’ Club.

And, of course, you. Because nobody was exporting your jobs to China or Mexico. 

When the Democrats tried to sell the patently phony Russian-collusion narrative and impeachment case, some of you joined in the pile-on. Some didn’t: such matters weren’t in your wheelhouse. Besides, at least some of you had to have realized early on that it was all lies.

But none of you blew the whistle on it.

The Obama people were trying to overturn the 2016 election — a reprehensible betrayal of constitutional principles that put the United States through years of hell.

And what did you do? Even if you didn’t explicitly parrot Rachel Maddow, you nonetheless aided and abetted this coup attempt by staying silent about it while continuing to slam Trump over the trivial outrage du jour. …

Yes, Obama had been unmasked as a felon, a traitor. But you and your pals in the corridors of power in New York, Washington, and Los Angeles just kept on with the usual day-to-day Trump-bashing.

Proof of Obama’s crimes had been placed in front of all of you, and you all swept it aside without a moment’s hesitation. …

None of you cared that Obama and his people were crooks. You didn’t care that this was about the fundamental principles of the American constitutional republic.

You were just that cynical. …

One of you — a longtime friend of mine — even addressed Trump voters directly, telling us that we should be ashamed to have voted for him and ordering us not to do it again.

Sorry, but as a lifelong freelancer who’s never had to write a word at odds with my own conscience, I don’t like taking orders from people who’ve been paid generously to parrot their paymasters’ opinions.

The sheer refusal to engage with reality was breathtaking. …

If you can shrug off the transgressions of Obama and his courtiers so blithely, it’s because you’re all fellow members of the same establishment as Obama, Biden, Brennan, Comey, Clapper, and the Clintons, with the same values and priorities.

Guilt and innocence? Right and wrong? Right and Left? Who cares about such things? That’s for rubes in Flyover Country.

What matters is preserving your privileges as members of the patrician class.

For a long time, I didn’t realize — or couldn’t realize, or perhaps even chose not to realize — that this was what I was looking at when I looked at you.

No more. The scales have fallen from my eyes, and the sight before me is a sorry thing indeed.

Yep. Follow the money.

Espionage and Beijing Opera in the South China Sea

The New Cold War With China, by Dr. Edward Luttwak.

The South China Sea:

The United States under Trump has started the pushback in the South China Sea. The Chinese claim of sovereignty has been comprehensively refuted, has been ridiculed actually.

The Chinese do not have sovereignty at all. The Americans fly over them, sail in there, and other countries do too. And Japan also will have to do this. …

No practical military person would ever put valuable weapons on coral reefs in the middle of the sea where they cannot be protected by any means.

South China Sea

From a military point of view, these bases are not serious. This is theater. These are Beijing opera bases.

You don’t put a base on a coral reef because it gets blown out. If there were any kind of war, it gets blown out in the first five minutes. …

They are outposts, unprotected outposts, so they are very good for symbolic purposes. But it also means that if you fly over them and sail between them, you are negating their only value, which is symbolic.

The real nature of the confrontation:

The real action is geo-economic and technological competition. And there the coalition has further allies.

For example, in Europe, the Chinese can no longer go and acquire technology companies. Until a few years ago, maybe even a year ago, the Chinese could go and buy a German company, French, Italian, whatever, and bring the technology back to China.

They can’t anymore. There is now careful observation, they need approval to buy it, and the approval is denied. …

The race is on between research and development conducted in the West, versus Chinese research and development plus Chinese espionage.

As far as I know, Americans are not trying to steal Chinese technology. …

Attitudes must change:

As we speak, there are hundreds of Chinese citizens in Google. Then, there are much bigger numbers of American-born Chinese, many of whom have connections with China.

And we have a phenomenon like Microsoft, which has an advanced research center in Beijing. And who do you think works there? It’s not Brazilians or Portuguese. It’s Chinese citizens.

So, if this is going to be a technology race, what does it mean to operate a Microsoft advanced research center in Beijing? It means that whatever you do, you are giving to the Chinese. For free. …

What is missing is serious security, which you don’t have. We don’t have security rules; we don’t have a security mentality.

Just remember that last year, Google employees voted and pressed and lobbied and said Google should not cooperate with the Pentagon.

An American company in the United States says, “We will not cooperate with the Pentagon.” But they are cooperating with China.

A new cold war:

This is like the Cold War in 1946. In 1946, Winston Churchill went to America and said an Iron Curtain has descended in Europe and we have to oppose the Soviet Union.

Everybody shouted at Churchill that he was a warmonger and Russia is our ally, the Soviet Union was our brave ally, Stalin was our great ally.

It took several years. We are at this early stage, with lack of awareness of what the geo-technological competition means.

It means no Microsoft in Beijing and it means real security in the United States.

hat-tip David Archibald

Is this the week the magic died for Boris Johnson?

Is this the week the magic died for Boris Johnson? By Stephen Daisley.

What is really going on here? The via dolorosa Boris Johnson is trudging along is about more than Dominic Cummings’s actions and the Prime Minister’s refusal to acknowledge they were wrong, let alone ask the bloke for his ticket. The government’s Covid-19 messaging has been eviscerated, health guidance undermined, public goodwill forfeited and political capital amassed across ten months expended in a few days. The Prime Minister believes all this is worth it. …

Some believe Cummings’ talents as a strategist, proven in the EU referendum and the Red Wall-smashing 2019 election victory, have convinced the Prime Minister that he needs him. Others point to Cummings’ role in shaping Johnson’s agenda (Brexit, levelling-up) and his centrality to the day-to-day running of government. These considerations will be prominent in the Prime Minister’s thinking but perhaps foremost will be his and his adviser’s shared ambition to remake the Conservatives as a radical party. Cummings is the architect and Johnson the front man for that project, one that represents a far more daring departure than even Tony Blair and Peter Mandelson attempted with New Labour. …

Almost six-in-ten voters believe Cummings should resign, including 52 per cent of Leavers … If we think of Cummings and Johnson as populists it seems deliciously ironic, and not a little perverse, that they are making themselves very unpopular with the public by appearing to be as out-of-touch and high-handed as the elites they rail against.

But if we think of them as pragmatic disruptors, a temporary quarrel with the country is a price worth paying to triumph over what they see as the obstacles to their project: the media, the expert class, the civil service and the Tory party….

If Dominic Cummings stays, the reconstruction of the Conservative party and of government in the UK will become infinitely harder to obstruct. If he goes, it will represent an ideological defeat for the Cummings-Johnson project and leave Boris Johnson’s government adrift. The Prime Minister is putting his premiership on the line to save Dominic Cummings because he believes that, without him, he won’t have a premiership anyway.

The other diseases the coronavirus lockdown stopped in their tracks

The other diseases the coronavirus lockdown stopped in their tracks, by Stuart Layt.

Rates of influenza have been squashed flat after initially hinting at another serious year for case numbers.

The numbers went so low Queensland Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young said residents of the state were more likely to get COVID-19 than a flu in 2020.

Joanne:

Obviously, quarantine has always restricted the sick and the healthy, because there has never been a way to tell who was and who wasn’t infectious in the incubation period. When whole boats were quarantined, no one knew who was healthy or sick, and mandatory quarantine applied to boats with zero known infections. In the 1300s, whole areas would be quarantined and escapees were sometimes executed.

Did you know that to bring in a healthy animal to Australia from a country where rabies is present the healthy dog has to be quarantined for six months to prove it does not have rabies?

Asymptomatic spread is relevant in Whooping Cough, Dengue, Epstein Barr, Cytomegalovirus, Herpes Simplex, HIV, Helicobacter Pylori, Legionnaires, Measles, Leprosy, TB, Meningitis, Gonorrhoea, Samonella, Norovirus, Polio, Malaria, Rabies, Rhinovirus, Lyssavirus, Typhoid, Golden Staff, Strep pneumonia, and syphillus.

On Quarantine: Typhoid Mary was healthy but quarantined for 23 years.

In 1917 30,000 female prostitutes were held in prison even after they tested negative to stop the spread of STD’s to soldiers.

In 2003 with SARS  “Canada quarantined almost 100 people for every confirmed SARS case in the country. Though Toronto only had 250 probable cases, about 30,000 people were confined in hospitals and their homes.”

Latest headlines from The People’s Cube

Latest headlines from The People’s Cube.

With America in lockdown, China offers to host Democrat primary

Bernie Sanders tests negative for President

New York Governor Cuomo shuts down all ‘non-essential’ business, surprised to find himself out of a job

Biden commits to picking a woman as running mate as long as she passes his sniff test

Joe Biden’s coronavirus prevention tips: always rub hand sanitizer on young girls before sniffing and fondling them

Russian lawmakers warned that the American Democrats are meddling to re-elect Putin

Democrats now worried they might even lose the illegal alien vote

Liz Warren harshly critical of Biden’s suggestion to coal miners that they should learn to code, offers to have them trained as romance novelists instead

Pelosi: “First we have to impeach Donald Trump before we can find out why we impeached him.”

Iran answers to new Reagan statue in Berlin by erecting Obama statue at Tehran airport where he delivered pallets of cash

California accepts award for most progressive environmental policies; further progressive developments to be announced as blackouts permit

BREAKING: Romney DNA test reveals he is 1/1024th Republican

Latest UN climate report shows this month so far has seen the scariest climate pronouncements on record

Climate science: there’s no need for climate protests in China because China is already communist

Islamic clerics split on whether Reps. Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib should be traveling around the world without an accompanying male relative

Dem candidates call for the Beatles’ song ‘Get Back’ and the ‘White Album’ to be banned; surviving two white guys of the group must pay reparations

NYT: moon landing was one small step for Man, one giant leap for White Male Supremacy

Trump politicizes the 4th of July, declares it henceforth to be called the 45th of July, or July the Trumpth

Bernie Sanders admits to being a millionaire, promises to eat himself if nominated

AOC: aborting babies helps preserve the planet for the next generation

Hollywood to America: If you’ve got a flag on the Moon, you didn’t plant that; some other country made that happen

Australia’s Energy Plan

Australia’s Energy Plan, by David Archibald.

Global warming is the new state religion and Alan Finkel is its high priest, personally selected by Turnbull because they share the same proclivities. As such he can be relied upon to ignore science in producing reports supporting endless expenditure on nonsense.

Alan Finkel, Turnbull’s priest

The fad of the moment is hydrogen. To recap, when global warming started out the villains among us realised that the easiest way to make money was to turn Australia from being a low-cost power producer to a high cost one and take a slice of the action on the way through. So the likes of AGL and Macquarie Bank concocted solar farm and wind farm schemes and sold them on to people wanting a high, government-enforced rate of return. They then used their own money to generate a yet higher return on equity by taking advantage of the inherently unstable power grid they had created. They did this by building diesel generator sets such as this one in South Australia, obviating the whole point of getting away from carbon-based fuel.

Briefly, the only reason solar and wind get a look-in is because solar panels and wind turbines are made using energy from coal at $0.04 per kWh and turn out power at $0.20 per kWh. Some mines voluntarily install solar panels to supplement the power from diesel generator sets at $0.30 per kWh.  What would happen to the cost of power if the energy used for making solar panels was $0.20 per kWh? It would be north of at least $0.80 per kWh. You can’t use solar and wind power to make solar and wind power equipment; as such they are neither renewable nor sustainable. And they certainly won’t be replacing fossil fuels when the fossil fuels run out.

Even some lefties are figuring this out and thus the documentary Planet of the Humans. So the global warming clerisy, headed by Alan Finkel in this country, needs to keep coming up with new content to satisfy their simple-minded believers.

As a fuel, hydrogen has some big shortcomings. It has low energy density, so a big, high-pressure tank of the stuff doesn’t take you far. It has an explosive range in air of 18% to 60%. It causes embrittlement of steel. There is a plot at the moment to add hydrogen to the natural gas distribution system — which then might start leaking like a sieve. It has a colourless flame, so leaks that have caught fire can’t be seen. In the days before infrared cameras, workers at a rocket fuel factory in Texas used to detect hydrogen leaks by walking with a straw broom in front of them. When the broom caught fire they had found the leak.

Why we stopped using hydrogen. On 6 May 1937, the German airship Zeppelin “Hindenburg” in New Jersey burned so hot a mushroom cloud formed.

The $300 million the Federal Government proposes to spend on hydrogen won’t add anything new to what is currently known about hydrogen. It is just a distraction to placate a religious minority — the global warming believers, in the manner of Hassidic Jews being exempt from military service in Israel.

Read it all.

Kayleigh McEnany, Trump’s new press secretary, is the President’s new secret weapon

Kayleigh McEnany, Trump’s new press secretary, is the President’s new secret weapon, by Miranda Devine.

The White House’s pugnacious new press secretary Kayleigh McEnany is getting up the nose of Trump-haters in the media in the most satisfying way.

Her press briefings are “indefensible and grotesque”, snarled Never-Trumper Jonah Goldberg on the weekend, calling McEnany nothing more than a “Twitter troll” who just wants to impress “an audience of one” – aka the President. “It’s a sign of defining deviancy down in our politics”.

Fox News’ Chris Wallace agreed, saying he, “never saw a White House press secretary act like that”.

Well, maybe that’s because we never have seen such dishonest, corrosive media coverage of a president before.

It’s one thing to be critical and cynical about an administration – that is the proper role of a free press.

When you apply the blowtorch only to one side of politics, it’s bad enough. But with Trump, it’s beyond mere bias. This time the media is off the rails, unrepentant about its role in “Obamagate”, fomenting the Russia collusion conspiracy theory, peddling the fake Steele Dossier and other lies which crippled the administration and led to the dangerous distraction of impeachment. …

Pretending to be neutral and care about the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth is … so old fashioned. PC postmodernism is the new authority:

Now that those abuses are coming to light through declassified material … there is an opportunity for those media outlets to atone, hand back their Pulitzers and report the truth.

Instead they’re doubling down, dismissing the unravelling of the Russia collusion conspiracy theory as, itself, a conspiracy theory.

As former CBS former president Van Gordon Sauter wrote in the Wall Street Journal this week, much of American journalism has become the “clarion voice of the Resistance, dedicated to ousting the president”.

“News organisations that claim to be neutral have long been creeping leftward, and their loathing of Mr. Trump has accelerated the pace. “To many journalists, objectivity, balance and fairness — once the gold standard of reporting — are not mandatory in a divided political era and in a country they believe to be severely flawed.”

They know better. So if you don’t like their propaganda, the only option left is to boycott them.

Enter McEnany, who unlike her predecessors, is willing to give the media a taste of its own medicine.

What enrages the Washington press corps is that she is smart, well-prepared, articulate, unafraid, and always looks a million bucks. Unlike her predecessors, she cannot be intimidated.

The 32-year-old graduate of Harvard Law School previously was a CNN political analyst. A devout Christian, she is married to a Tampa Bay Rays baseball star with whom she has a six-month-old baby girl. She spends most of her day with Trump and says her “mission is to bring you the mindset of the president, deliver those facts, so this President gets fair and accurate reporting and the American people get fair and accurate information.” ..

Racism and PC hypocrisy:

It should have been a big political story, for instance, when the Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden gave a disastrous interview on Friday to a radio show popular with black Millennials.

“If you have a problem figuring out whether you’re for me or Trump, you ain’t black,” he said.

The comment was as lethal to his electoral prospects as Hillary Clinton’s “basket of deplorables” insult to half of America in 2016.

If Trump had said something so blatantly racist it would have been on high rotation all weekend. But for the Resistance Media it was a story to be downplayed.

“Joe Biden made an off-the-cuff joke”, was the oped page take of the New York Times, which ran a tiny page one pointer to page 21 on Saturday about Biden’s so-called apology. …

But OMG, look over here!

Trump played golf!

Trump didn’t wear a mask!

Trump is taking hydroxychloroquine!

Orange Man Bad!

No, we’ve never seen anything like it.

Read it all.

In Bolsonaro’s Brazil, everyone else is to blame for virus

In Bolsonaro’s Brazil, everyone else is to blame for virus, by David Biller at AP.

With Brazil emerging as one of the world’s most infected countries, President Jair Bolsonaro is deflecting all responsibility for the coronavirus crisis, casting blame on mayors, governors, an outgoing health minister and the media.

Some hopeful signs emerging in the last week

By contrast, he portrays himself as a clear-eyed crusader willing to defend an unpopular idea — that shutting down the economy to control COVID-19 will ultimately cause more suffering than allowing the disease to run its course. The refusal of governors to fall into line with his decree allowing gyms to open, he said, verged on authoritarianism. …

When governors defied Bolsonaro’s subsequent decree that gyms, barbershops and beauty salons be allowed to operate as essential services, he accused them of undermining the rule of law and suggested the move would invite “undesirable authoritarianism to emerge in Brazil.”

On Saturday night, Bolsonaro ventured into the capital of Brasilia to lead by example, this time eating a hot dog bought from a street vendor. Video he posted to Facebook showed supporters snapping selfies and calling him by his nickname — “Myth!” — while those in self-quarantine in overlooking apartments banged pots and pans in protest. …

In the capital on Sunday, pro-Bolsonaro supporters staged a small demonstration in front of the presidential palace, as they have for several weeks. Bolsonaro joined and once again lifted children in his arms.

He shared a video from a helicopter flyover of the demonstration that revealed a sparsely occupied plaza. There were perhaps 1,000 people in attendance, in a city of 3 million. One banner read “Lockdowns kill more than the Chinese virus!!!” …

A May 17-18 poll by XP/Ipespe found 58% of those surveyed rated Bolsonaro’s pandemic response as bad or terrible, and only 21% as good or excellent. Governors fared more than twice as well in both counts. …

Latin America’s largest nation has confirmed about 375,000 COVID-19 cases, more than any nation except the U.S., and experts say that figure is a significant undercount due to insufficient testing. The strain on Brazil’s underfunded hospitals has pushed them to the brink of collapse in multiple states and prevents some patients from getting treatment.

YouTube Cancels Michael Moore-Produced Documentary

YouTube Cancels Michael Moore-Produced Documentary, by James Delingpole.

Finally, YouTube has found the flimsy pretext it needed to cancel the controversial Michael Moore-produced eco-documentary [Planet of the Humans, 8 million views] which has been infuriating greenies with its anti-renewables message: ‘copyright infringement.’ …

This follows a copyright infringement claim to YouTube by Toby Smith, a British environmental photographer, who doesn’t like the context in which his material was used and who claims a clip of his material was run without his approval.

According to the Guardian:

Smith filed the complaint to YouTube on 23 May after discovering Planet of the Humans used several seconds of footage from his Rare Earthenware project detailing the journey of rare earth minerals from Inner Mongolia.

More naked and brazen by the day. (YouTube and the PC troops, not Michael Moore!)

In a first, Twitter adds fact-check warnings to Trump tweets

In a first, Twitter adds fact-check warnings to Trump tweets. by Dino Hazell. First the view from AP, who represent the mainstream media.

On Tuesday, Twitter added a warning phrase to two Trump tweets that called mail-in ballots “fraudulent” and predicted that “mail boxes will be robbed,” among other things. Under the tweets, there is now a link reading “Get the facts about mail-in ballots” that guides users to a Twitter “moments” page with fact checks and news stories about Trump’s unsubstantiated claims.

The move comes after years in which Twitter has declined to apply its community guidelines and other rules of the road to the 45th U.S. president.

In other words, until now the US President was the only person not censored by Twitter. But that era, too, has passed. Some things — some truths? — must not be uttered in a PC world. The media want to rule what you know.

Note that they say Trump’s claims about mail-in voting are “unsubstantiated”. Twitter and AP use this to imply Trump is a liar. But going to beyond-the-pale Breitbart News we find out something they omitted:

“You’ve been talking about voter fraud since the beginning of this administration and where is the evidence of it?” Acosta asked during the White House press briefing, insisting that “all the experts say voter fraud is rare.”

Trump replied, “I think there’s a lot of evidence, but we’ll provide you with some, okay?”

The president’s re-election campaign responded quickly to Acosta’s request, noting there were nine people charged in the Rio Grande Valley in Texas with “vote harvesting” and mail ballots, a political operative in New York stealing and submitting absentee ballots, and a resident in Pennsylvania receiving seven separate ballots in the mail.

The campaign also shared a Heritage Foundation document of over 1,000 proven cases of vote fraud.

“Democrats and the mainstream media always scoff at claims of voter fraud, but then completely ignore evidence from across the country,” Trump 2020 campaign manager Brad Parscale said in a statement. “The obvious reason is that Democrats are just fine with the possibility of voter fraud. And many in the media just see the world their way.”

Twitter and AP are lying by omission. And it’s not just them:

Twitter added a link to “get the facts” about mail-in ballots after President Trump tweeted out widely-held concerns about the potential for voter fraud.

The Twitter-curated “moment” is filled with mainstream media articles from CNN, Washington Post, and other outlets calling Trump a liar.

Michael Moore in 2004

If the US President Trump and Michael Moore (see here) are now being censored or banned from the media, what hope is there for the rest of us?

Having a tiny reach and being ineffective is the only path left to not being censored by the PC troops. Viva el Wentworth Report!

What Does China Want?

What Does China Want? By John Burtkaiv.

Does China really want to dominate not only the Pacific, but the world?

One book published quietly in 2016 prior to the election sheds light on these pressing questions. Howard French’s masterful, Everything Under the Heavens: How the Past Helps Shape China’s Push for Global Power, digs deep into China’s history to understand their self-conception as a people and civilization. Former White House Chief Strategist, Steve Bannon, told me that he considers it to be one of his top three China books …

The traditional Chinese worldview:

The Central Kingdom would not tolerate any peers in Asia or anywhere else in the world. How could they? China is the sun, and every other country a moon or satellite in their orbit. …

China would only tolerate vassal states as part of their tribute system. The price of admission was nothing less than “ritual submission before the Chinese emperor.” And there could only ever be one emperor under the heavens. …

One of the more colorful stories in French’s book describes an attempt by the British crown to open-up trade relations with China. King George III sent Lord Macartney to meet with Emperor Qianlong to discuss his proposal.

The Qianlong Emperor in ceremonial armour

Macartney arrived on a “sixty-four-gun man-of-war,” loading with gifts including “a room-size planetarium, giant lenses, a hot air balloon…and modern weaponry.” The British considered themselves to be a global empire at the peak of their powers. The Chinese were not impressed. To make matters worse, the British diplomat refused to “perform the ‘full’ kowtow while presenting himself before the Chinese throne…according to the standard ritualized submission demanded by Chinese protocol under tian xia.”

Such an affront to the Son of Heaven could not be tolerated. The Emperor sent a letter back with Lord Macartney regarding his decision about free trade. His message to the King was clear:

“…your Ambassador has now put forward new requests, which completely fail to recognize the Throne’s principle to…exercise a pacifying control over barbarian tribes, the world over…Nevertheless, I do not forget the lonely remoteness of your island, cut off from the world by intervening wastes of sea, nor do I overlook your excusable ignorance of the usages of our Celestial Empire.”

After carrying on with insults for a few more paragraphs, he concluded with a sober warning: “Should your vessels touch the shore, your merchants will assuredly never be permitted to land or to reside…but will be subject to instant expulsion…Tremblingly obey and show no negligence! A special mandate!”

This historic encounter is instructive as it reveals how the Middle Kingdom conducted diplomacy with the West. The principles of tian xia applied not only to tributary states in their own sphere of influence, but also to great powers on the other side of the world.

Access to Chinese markets came at a price and that price was submission. Those who were willing to bend a knee could gain access to one of the largest markets in the world. For everyone else, the financial benefit to the Middle Kingdom was not worth the humiliation of recognizing another country as a peer, especially when that country was a “lonely” island “cut off from the world…by wastes of sea.” …

And today?

There’s something that rings true today about de Tocqueville’s description of Americans even though his visit took place nearly two hundred years ago. More importantly, we should pay attention when a political leader invokes history and tradition as precedent for actions today.

When judged by that standard, Xi Jinping’s regime fits squarely within the tradition of tian xia outlined by French.

hat-tip Stephen Neil

Poll: Up to 94 Percent of Americans Want Economic Nationalist Overhaul in Wake of Chinese Coronavirus Crisis

Poll: Up to 94 Percent of Americans Want Economic Nationalist Overhaul in Wake of Chinese Coronavirus Crisis, by John Binder.

About 66 percent of Americans support increasing tariffs on foreign imports while only 34 percent want more free trade agreements between the U.S. and other countries.

Likewise, 76 percent of Americans said they are willing to pay 5 percent to 100 percent more for U.S.-made products over products made overseas. Just 24 percent said they are not willing to pay more money for U.S.-made products.

The poll shows that Americans are increasingly growing tired of their goods being made in China. Today, about 4-in-10 Americans say they will not buy products imported from China. A plurality of about 34 percent of the 60 percent of Americans who said they will still buy products from China said they will do so but do not like the fact that they are made in China.

Take that, globalists!

hat-tip Stephen Neil

President Trump Suspends Travel from Brazil over Coronavirus Concerns

President Trump Suspends Travel from Brazil over Coronavirus Concerns, by Kyle Morris.

President Donald Trump suspended travel from Brazil to the United States on Sunday as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to worsen in South America.

The order, which will take effect on May 28 at 11:59 p.m. ET, denies entry to “all aliens” who were in Brazil two weeks prior to their attempt to gain entry into the United States.

So, he can do it. So, the current inflow of people and virus to the US, coming in without quarantine, is Trump’s doing. What sort of “lockdown” is that?

Don’t Laugh at Stacey Abrams: Her politics are the future

Don’t Laugh at Stacey Abrams: Her politics are the future. By Matthew Boose.

Stacey Abrams predicts that she will be president of the United States by 2040. …

Abrams speaks like someone who believes she is bound for immortality — indeed, that she’s entitled to it. Her infatuated fans share this sense of historically assured victory.

The Washington Post recently published a work of widely lampooned hagiography on Abrams, depicting her as a polymath — a Prometheus of diversity handing down the fire of progress to man. It reads like the kind of flattery that despots used to make court scribes put together under threat of execution.

“Abrams is the author of eight romance novels under a pseudonym, started two small businesses, is a New York Times best-selling author under her own name and is a superfan of ‘Star Trek’ and southern hip-hop, including one of her favorite rappers, Ludacris,” records court historian Kevin Powell. “She is scholarly, but she can also wax poetic on football. She is a policy wonk, but she can effortlessly pivot to sending goofy memes to the children of good buddies.”

Can you sense it? Can you feel the ground shifting beneath you? Are you prepared for the Pax Abramsiana? …

You laugh? The entitlement to power that Abrams radiates is comical to many people, but it hardly seems unjustified. One of the most powerful newspapers in the nation is publishing degrading fan fiction about her. Why should she not feel that history is on her side?

What the Left finds appealing in Abrams is what she represents, not who she is. She is the devotee and beneficiary of America’s new creed, the religion of diversity.

Diversity turns on its head much common sense about what makes for a just and strong society.

No sensible nation would put a weak person, knowingly, in charge of government. Leaders need virtues like strength, courage, daring, and wisdom. But the triumph of diversity has replaced these virtues with their opposites. It is weakness, not strength, differences, not commonalities, that we celebrate. Rather than having to demonstrate a character fit to govern, a person is thought to be deserving of power if, and only if, they have a claim to victimhood.

The professional Left sees Abrams as the herald of a new America, one in which the weakest rule and ancient debts have finally been paid. …

Diversity is the lodestar of the professional Left: to them, Abrams is the mythic embodiment of the promise of Progress. …

While conservatives reject the rise of Abrams as the absurd product of affirmative action on a national scale, the Left calls anyone who doesn’t find her impressive a racist. But let’s have some honesty here: it is the Left, not the Right, that is fixated on Abrams’ identity. It is the primary, no, the only reason for her prominence. For the Left, Abrams’ Yale degree is an afterthought. Racial chauvinism comes first. It is the strained denial of this fact that gives life to the strange, make-pretend feeling of her celebrity. …

Demography rules:

Abrams and her allies understand her as being on the cusp of a demographic revolution that will change America forever. It’s not a secret. …

Why waste time trying to persuade white people? Persuasion is out; demographic coercion is in. …

Recently a video resurfaced of a 2014 conference called “Race Will Win the Race” (that’s a real name) for the group PowerPac+, which advocates building a nonwhite majority to secure political power. It shows Abrams baldly laying out a strategy of demographic replacement.

Abrams this month complained that not giving illegal immigrants representation results in a “whiter, and therefore more Republican” voting base. …

If these patterns hold, eventually it may not matter whether an ambitious person has the ability to govern a nation as large and complex as America. He or she could simply rise to power through the power of crude arithmetic. America would finish a decades-long breakdown from a republic where “fit characters” lead to a Balkanized democracy where representatives are no more than racial deputies.

After four years of Stacy Adams as President, perhaps some whites on the right will even be wistfully saying “Bring back Hillary!”. Too late.

Trump’s Twitter Madness

Trump’s Twitter Madness, by Rod Dreher.

We have reached a point in American politics where the President of the United States can accuse a man [tv host Joe Scarborough] of murder (for the fourth time on Twitter), and nobody much notices, because the President is such a crazy, say-anything buffoon that nothing he says surprises or shocks.

We arrive at Memorial Day Weekend with 100,000 dead from a pandemic, yet the man-child in the Oval Office finds it more urgent to carry out a grotesque feud with a television host. In a normal country, this kind of thing would spark a political crisis. But we aren’t a normal country anymore.

Trump has also been active on Twitter these past few days trying to sabotage the campaign of Jeff Sessions, his former Attorney General, to return to the US Senate.

Ann Coulter has unleashed the fires of hell on Trump over it. Coulter recognizes that Sessions was the real deal on immigration reform, but Trump, of course, got rid of him because Sessions actually believed he should be loyal to the rule of law, not to the president personally…

I mean, honestly, of all the political fights to have right now, with 100,000 dead from the virus and 40 million unemployed, accusing a TV host of murder, and trying to knock Jeff Sessions out of the Alabama Senate race? Really? It’s deranged. If the Republicans lose the White House (and the Senate) this November, it will all be on the head of one man: Donald J. Trump.

Gaze upon these fireball remarks in tweets from Coulter:

Trump didn’t build the wall and never had any intention of doing so. The ONE PERSON in the Trump administration who did anything about immigration was Jeff Session. And this lout attacks him.

I will never apologize for supporting the issues that candidate Trump advocated, but I am deeply sorry for thinking that this shallow and broken man would show even some remote fealty to the promises that got him elected.

Sessions HAD to recuse himself, you complete blithering idiot. YOU did not have to go on Lester Holt’s show and announce you fired Comey over the Russian investigation. That’s what got you a Special Prosecutor.

COVID gave Trump a chance to be a decent, compassionate human being (or pretending to be). But he couldn’t even do that.

Coulter is quite rightly disappointed that Trump has made little progress on the wall. What did the crowds chant in 2016? “Build a Wall”.

Four years later there is no wall. This is especially problematic in 2020, because covid cases are starting to build up in Mexico:

No lockdown yet evident in Mexico

The Media Wants America to Stay Closed Forever

The Media Wants America to Stay Closed Forever, by Daniel Greenfield.

With 87% of Americans saying that they’re closely following news of the coronavirus pandemic, while many of them are trapped indoors, the media is experiencing an unprecedented boom. …

It’s a terrible time for Americans, but a great one for the media.

CNN doubled its audience in April, while MSNBC hit its best total-day ratings. Network news programs rose 39% since last year, gaining over 8 million viewers for their best numbers in over a decade. Cable news networks have become the most watched channels on cable and network news has been beating prime time programming. The pandemic is the next best thing to Walter Cronkite rising from the dead.

The New York Times is up to 6 million subscribers with an increase of 587,000 digital subscriptions that it attributes to “widespread interest in news of the coronavirus pandemic”. Last year the paper was struggling to make it to 5 million subscribers. Digital subscriptions are up across the industry. Digital subscriptions rose 29% at the Dallas Morning News, 17% at the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, and the Poynter-FactCheck’s Tampa Bay Times boasted of tripling the rate of digital subscriptions. …

The only thing that could rain on the media’s pandemic parade would be the country reopening.

Right now, the media has the American public right where it wants it, trapped indoors, and closely following whatever combination of reporting, propaganda, and lies it chooses to feed to them.

And the polls show that it’s working.

Most of the country is afraid. A not insignificant percentage of the electorate is convinced that it will die if its cohort leaves the house without a mask, and would like to keep receiving government checks forever. Media hysteria not only trashed the economy, but sold millions on the socialist lifestyle.

After the Russia hoax, a botched impeachment, and more hit pieces than even historians will be able to count, the media is achieving its grand ideological goal of endangering President Trump’s reelection.

All the media had to do was scare the public within an inch of its life into crawling under the bed. …

Americans look out at a country that they no longer recognize. They see a place where the Bill of Rights doesn’t apply, where neighbors and loved ones have been indoctrinated by the media to fear each other, and where the recent economic boom seems like a distant memory.

Sounds pretty polarized, exaggerated, and confused in the US right now. The Chinese Government must be so sure of their own superiority.

New US CDC Figures Show a Further Drop in Deadliness of Covid, as People Adapt and Learn Better Treatments

New US CDC Figures Show a Further Drop in Deadliness of Covid, as People Adapt and Learn Better Treatments. By David Evans.

It’s not yet widely appreciated by the public, but the rate of death due to infection by covid-19 is declining with time. This phenomenon is not limited to the current disease. It is well known in epidemiological circles.

The US CDC has issued new best estimates of the death rate from Covid-19:

  • 0.4% of people who show symptoms die (1.3% of those over 65).
  • 65% of people who are infected show symptoms.
  • 0.26% of those infected die (65% of 0.4%) (0.85% of those over 65).

Two months ago, in late March when most western countries decided to lock down, the best estimates were that 0.5% to 1% of infected people would die. Even then, the inevitable downward movement in this figure was apparent in the evidence, down from estimates of 2%+ just a few weeks earlier.

That it is down to 0.26% already is indeed good news. It drops because:

  • Medical treatments improve. Doctors know a lot more about how to treat covid now, and the original treatments are considered to be somewhat misguided and ineffective. Ventilators? Not if it can be helped.
  • People learn to avoid the virus by socially distancing. Two months ago it was thought that contact was the big spreader and hand washing would reduce its spread. But now we know that what really matters is being in the same room as an infected person and re-breathing their air — the more virus particles you catch, the greater the chance of coming down with the disease.
  • Older, fatter, or more unhealthy people have changed their behavior to reduce their vulnerability. For example, Michael Moore — the tubby 66-year old film maker — writes that he has now spent 71 days alone in his New York apartment, with supplies dropped off at the door. So the percentage of people being infected who are vulnerable is dropping.
  • The disease has already killed many of those most at risk. Culling leaves a more resistant population. Eventually this will be a significant factor.
  • Most viruses become less lethal with time (though not all). There are hundreds of mutations of covid-19 already. Presumably the more lethal ones are spreading less because the victims present at hospitals where they stop infecting others. The more benign varieties scarcely produce any symptoms and are more freely spread without the “victims” or their contacts noticing they even have it.

Covid’s death rate will drop further — especially if a biotech solution becomes available.

The media aren’t exactly trumpeting this drop to 0.26%. This omission is so glaring that it rather tells us that the media are playing up the dangers. Perhaps they rather like the apparent increased role of government, and the resulting lurch towards economic communism? They certainly like everyone locked down at home watching their broadcasts — ad revenue is way up!

Perhaps this ideological agenda  also accounts for the other glaring omission by the media. Except in the US — where it has anti-Trump  implications — the media in the West is avoiding asking why governments were so slow to shut the borders to the virus. The media are happy to castigate China for its naughtiness in covering it up and assisting its spread. But here in Australia, for instance, there hasn’t been a peep about the role of Western governments in allowing us to be infected. Just silence. The incompetence and complacency of Western governments in not protecting us from this foreseeable danger is not helpful to the leftist agenda of “government is good, do what the government says, and we are the people who are naturally best suited to run the government.”

This ongoing drop in lethality naturally calls into question the value of a lockdown. The US anti-lockdown sites are ideologically driven: all anti-lockdown information is good, anything favoring lockdown is bad. (Echoes of the immigration argument here. Before Trump, US right wingers were in favor of mass immigration! Business wanted cheap labor and funded the thought leaders, think tanks, and websites of the right. Elon Musk etc. need their factories producing now.)

Those sites are pointing to the lowering death rate as more evidence that the US lockdown should be ended, and even that there should never have been a lockdown. After all, every great civilization is built on an ethos of letting the oldies look after themselves — or did I get that the wrong way around, and now is not the time to mention western civilization? More seriously, the economic and health effects are still unknown, so perhaps it’s premature to do a cost benefit analysis.

It’s not just death that matters. There are numerous reports of neurological and other damage in recovered victims, some due to blood clotting and mini-strokes. There is much about this virus that is unknown. We have almost no idea of its long term effect on a person’s health. Covid-19 probably came from a Chinese weapons laboratory, so it may well be designed to degrade or injure people rather than kill them. Heavens knows, but the Chinese take covid-19 very seriously.

The lockdown in the US is failing. The US has not crushed the curve, because infected people care still flying into the country. The US lockdown is going on too long to be tolerated. It seems likely that the US will open up soon, in which case the infection might resurge. If so, the US will be in that part of the world (along with the UK, Canada, Mexico, South America, Africa, Sweden, the middle east, …) where covid becomes endemic. Other parts of the world are — so far — pretty much eliminating covid (China, much of east Asia and Europe, Australia and NZ). Until a biotech solution comes along, the implications are obvious.

With most people in the US, UK, and Canada apparently now fated to catch it eventually, I suppose we will find out in a couple of years what the long term health problems of covid are.

Even at 0.26%, covid is still much more lethal than the flu. Flu death rates are usually quoted as 0.1%, but that figure has been systematically inflated abut 6-fold: the true figure is nearer 0.02%. (Road fatality deaths are officially a bit lower than flu deaths each year, but how many people do you know who have died due to flu compared to died on the road?)

The US anti-lockdown sites ignore outcomes other than death, and they ignore the fact that lockdowns work for those who close their borders to the virus. They will not even admit that there is a third strategy beyond let-her-rip and “flattening the curve” enough to avoid overloaded hospitals. The rest of the world moved on to “crush the curve” months ago.

Progress report: Italy had a big, nasty, early infection. Then it locked down and closed its borders. If the Italians can crush the curve, surely anyone can:

Successful lockdown, borders closed to the virus, crushing the curve

Failing lockdown, borders open to the virus, not crushing the curve fast enough

Finally, here is a country whose leader is in tune with the US anti-lockdown sites, and who waves off covid as “just a little flu”. Sure hope he’s right.

Minor lockdown only. What’s a few mass graves?

Brazilians will increasingly learn to take appropriate measures, despite their leader at the federal level. Hopefully these measures will arrest the upward trend soon.

Be aware that there is a 12 day delay between imposing or lifting a lockdown and the corresponding changes in the daily new cases curve. This makes a nonsense of correlation studies that ignore the delay.

hat-tip Stephen Harper

Born To Lose in the USA

Born To Lose in the USA, by the Z-Man.

On this side of the great divide, it is popular to bang on about how Buckley-style conservatism is dead. Alternatively, people like to go on about how conservatives have systematically betrayed their supporters. It is also common to explain both trends in purely personal terms. For example, conservatism died because it became a business, perhaps even a racket, rather than a political movement. The sellouts are doing what they do because it gets them media and think tank jobs. …

There’s no doubt that many of the people living well in Conservative Inc. understand their role is to be the eternal loser. Maybe they started out as a real culture warrior, but sold out for a good life in the Imperial Capital. Make no mistake, it is a great life that surpasses everywhere else on earth. Rich Lowry makes close to half a million a year running National Review. He knows he could not make that doing anything else, so he is not rustling any jimmies in his role.

The thing is though, such men dominate conservatism because conservatism was by design intended to be a foil for radicalism. It was never intended to defeat it or even stop it, but as Buckley said, merely slow it down a bit. Inevitably such a worldview must boil off fighters and replace them with the accommodating. Buckley-style conservatism did not lose every fight because conservatives are losers. It lost because it was born to lose and therefore it attracted losers.

Coronavirus: The Polarized and Dangerously Simplistic US Debate

Coronavirus: The Polarized and Dangerously Simplistic US Debate, by Utu.

In the media there was no discourse about the strategy to eradicate the virus. From the very beginning only two options were offered: (1) no mitigation aka herd immunity now and (2) mitigation by curve flattening, aka herd immunity down the road. The only difference between no mitigation and curve flattening was the reduction of fatalities by preventing the medical system being overwhelmed.

When the concept of the curve flattening was introduced the unmitigated curve and the flattened curve were presented in the slide illustration where it just happened so that the areas under both curves appeared to be equal. People got the message that the number of people dead would be the same except for those caused by the overwhelmed health system. A third curve with much smaller area was never presented. The question is why. Why the US and most EU countries did not go for the ERADICATION option?

The eradication option was doable as Taiwan, Hong Kong, S. Korea, Japan and New Zealand, Slovakia and to lesser extent Czech Republic and Austria have demonstrated. It took 49 days for New Zealand.

If lockdowns were imposed earlier and if they were stricter and if borders were shut down right away and if mask wearing was mandatory form the very beginning and if aggressive contact tracing and contact quarantining was carried out the epidemic could have been quashed in six weeks and we would be back to normal already in early May except that contact tracing and mask wearing would have to stay for longer and most importantly borders would have to be put in a permanent epidemic mode for as long as they would be flare up of epidemic in other more stupid countries. One would think that the right and the alt-right would see it as their dream option of reasserting the sovereignty and renegotiating the immigration policy.

Why we were not allowed to consider the option of the virus eradication? Is it because it would be a threat to globalism, it would foster resurgence of nationalistic right, it would bring national unity and solidarity, it would reestablish borders and national sovereignty? Or is it because a high impact of the epidemic was needed to turn the world and world public opinion against China, to turn China into the pariah nation according to the grand geopolitical scheme concocted by the cabal that Steve Bannon was and is occasionally channeling?

The alt-right and their libertarian substrate as usual missed the opportunity and ended up being cast in the role of useful idiots. The discourse was captured by flu hoaxers, herd immunity fetishists and all kind of cannibalistic gerontophobs who worked towards defeating the curve flattening program with the herd immunity meme and doing it with as much noise as possible so the the real alternative of the VIRUS ERADICATION would be never heard of.

So the US has ended up as one of — in his words — the “stupid countries.” Sadly. The US has neither crushed the curve nor avoided economic self-harm. Monumental own goal.

I’ll bet the US and UK governments wish they could go back in time, to February or even January — when some advisors were warning them and the danger was obvious to this blog — and completely close their borders to the virus. More and bigger government anyone?

We’ll stand up for national interest despite the Beijing bluster

We’ll stand up for national interest despite the Beijing bluster, by Greg Sheridan.

Quite regularly, Beijing decides to test or punish Canberra. Beijing does this regularly with many nations. The ostensible cause might be some slight, or some alleged slip of courtesy or protocol by the offending nation, sometimes some arcane mis-reference to history that allegedly “hurts the feelings of the Chinese people”.

Most often the true cause is that the nation in question — Australia or the Czech Republic, Japan or France, Singapore or Britain — has taken some policy action in its own interest that Beijing doesn’t like, such as refusing some strategic Chinese investment.

Even that is not necessarily the real cause. Beijing simply asserts its will and checks if a nation will buckle. Nations that do buckle generally don’t buy a quiet life.

What would China be like with a different government?

Understanding that problems with Beijing are structural, not the consequence of any failure to sit up straight in class by the Morrison government, is critically important analytically. We cannot work out the best way to respond to these problems if we do not understand their true origins.

So here is a hard truth. There is nothing we can do to solve the China problem. We cannot build up structures, treaties, dialogue arrangements, people-to-people links, etc, that will ensure the relationship runs smoothly. We should do all those things. They are modestly helpful in their way.

But Beijing’s strategic ambitions contradict Australia’s national interests. Beijing has an ineradicable pattern of periodic bouts of bullying, intimidation and “teaching us a lesson”.

No Australian government could produce a smooth relationship with Beijing. A good government will manage the inevitable difficulties as well as possible. That’s as much as we can realistically hope for. And the beginning of wisdom is realism.

Character is destiny, for nations as much as people. China’s character is self centered and arrogant, at least under the CCP. Experience has shown that agreements with China are worthless, because they break them when convenient — a hallmark of communist governments everywhere. It is difficult to have friendly relationships with communist China.

Ramadan Bombathon 2020, Final Score

Ramadan Bombathon 2020, Final Score. Turning to another area of denial and wilful stupidity by our ruling class in the West, how’s Islamic terrorism going this year? The month of Ramadan has just ended. Here’s the death toll for this one month by the “religion of peace”:

Not quite as high as 2019:

Or 2018:

Well down on 2016:

Ramadan death toll for 2016

Yep: