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COVID-19 Response: Burn the place down!?!
On Sunday, April 12, 2020, I found myself observing the Christian Sabbath Day in my home as a result of churches being closed in an attempt to slow the spread of the SARS Cov-2 virus. As I finished my little ceremony, a striking thought came to my mind; "This has got to stop." It was the strangest feeling. It was as if a calm, trusted friend had just spoken to me.
I thought back in figurative response, "What is it that has got to stop?" The thought repeated, "This has got to stop." Then as if to preempt my repetition of "What is it that has got to stop?", images of closed churches, shuttered schools, empty stadiums and theaters, deserted community centers, beaches and parks; and people huddled in fear in their homes around the world came flooding into my mind.
It was a little spooky.
Sooo—I thought back "What do you expect little ole me to do about it?" The thought repeated, "This has got to stop." And then it was gone.
This experience rolled around in my thoughts, on and off for several days while working to support my customers until the following Wednesday when the title of this article, "COVID-19 Response: Burn the place down!?!" popped into my mind along with images of the coronavirus, the grim reaper, and the world on fire followed by "Use your voice, write the blog article." I thought back, "OK, I can do that." What follows is the result. I hope you receive it in the spirit given and consider what you can do in your sphere of influence to help stop the insanity of the COVID-19 panic that has gripped the world.
MUSICAL CONTENT WARNING: Some readers may find the following music video disturbing. Viewer discretion is advised.
Section 1. DON'T PANIC—From the cover of Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy
What do you do when you discover your planet has been scheduled for demolition in order to make room for a new cosmic highway as did the fictional character Arthur Dent in the book, Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams?
Answer: DON'T PANIC!
I remember thinking in early December 2020 when I first learned of the Coronavirus outbreak in China that this is going to cause insane panic and crazy overreactions from a lot of people around the world. I began warning friends and relatives that I foresaw a worldwide panic coming which would result in shortages of various items with increased prices soon to follow. I didn't know at the time that the panic would most noticeably manifest in shortage of toilet paper and hand sanitizer. 13 56 73
I advised anyone who would listen to stock up on anything that would cause them a problem if they couldn't get it for three or four weeks. The reaction most often went something like, "I'm not worried, that can't happen in America."
I ignored the naysayers and instead followed the Boy Scout motto: "Be Prepared". As a result, my family and I were unaffected by the panic buying and resultant shortages of the last few months.
As I observed the panic unfold, I was reminded of the Bene Gesserit Litany Against Fear contained in the novel Dune by Frank Herbert.
I must not fear.
Fear is the mind-killer.
Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
I will face my fear.
I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
And when it has gone past, I will turn the inner eye to see its path.
Where the fear has gone there will be nothing.
Only I will remain.
Paul Atreides, son of Duke Leto Atreides from the novel Dune by Frank Herbert
Less eloquent but perhaps more succinct is United States President Franklin Roosevelt's nostrum which he famously delivered in his first inaugural address at the depth of the last great depression, "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself."
President Roosevelt sought to reassure the American public that even though something terrible had happened and that the road to recovery would be long and painful, there was no need to panic. It appeared he wanted Americans to believe they would get through it and triumph in the end. And it worked!
Even though President Roosevelt's policies were arguably not the best, or the quickest, or even any path to economic recovery, he at least succeeded in calming the American public and thus reducing panic.
So, as we see a pandemic unleashed on the world today, and society shut down with devastating economic impact, the consequences of which will extend for years if not decades to come, people are naturally afraid of a very uncertain future. Who can say when this will end, or what will be the result? Will there be toilet paper on the store shelves next week? How will my family be able to survive without hand sanitizer? Will I have a job next week, next month, next year? etc., etc. 13 32
Early on in the panic, I heard a CNN reporter say "Life as we have known it is over." This seems to be a common thread in mainstream media today. It seems bad news sells or "If it bleeds, it leads", as old the news editor saying goes. 50 56 73
Consider the following from Gaby Hinsliff's writing in an article titled “Still-busy trains tell us that Covid-19 restrictions may have to go further” which was published March 24, 2020, in The Guardian “newspaper”.
Corporate chiefs may not like it – but a heavy-handed state is now essential to help the country truly adapt to our new way of life.
The sun came up as usual this morning, but for the first time since this crisis began, that almost felt like a surprise. For life as we know it is over now, the blurry outlines of something new emerging before disbelieving eyes. Barely a fortnight ago, all we had to do was wash our hands. Now …
Gaby Hinsliff—Still-busy trains tell us that Covid-19 restrictions may have to go further, The Guardian Newspaper, March 24, 2020 91
Such notions may help drive viewership and readers and hence profits for CNN and The Guardian but they are the opposite of the Benne Gesserit Litany Against Fear and Franklin Roosevelt's only fearing fear sound bite. Fanning the flames of fear and panic does not serve the greater good of society. It serves powerful special interests that really don't care about you or me. It serves powerful interests who seek to frighten, manipulate, and control the general public in an effort to concentrate profit and power in their small group of co-conspirators. 50 73
What society really needs at times like this is reassuring fireside chats that help everyone take a breath and calm down—fireside chats like those from President Franklin Roosevelt that calmed and encouraged Americans during World War II, and fireside chats like those currently being published by Dennis Prager. 64
Some years ago I managed a small, family-owned restaurant and reception center. We were always short staffed. To succeed, we needed everyone to be 120% productive. There was a great deal of pressure to work too fast which always lead to mistakes which, of course, took more time to fix and served only to put us even further behind. So I took to telling everyone to slow down. I frequently quoted the US Navy Seals adages, "Slow is smooth, smooth is fast" and "slow down to speed up".
The concept in the notions of be smooth by working slow and slow down to speed up is, when you act out of panic, you almost always make the wrong decision and make things worse. When you rush to get things done in a hurry, you make mistakes that end up taking more time to fix.
So, take a deep breath—in fact, take four deep breaths.
Those in the know will recognize this as a tactical breathing exercise taught in many military and law enforcement training schools. This technique helps reduce your heart rate, reduce blood pressure, reduce the negative cognitive effects of excess adrenaline in the blood, and helps relax your mind for better decision making.
If time permits:
- Inhale slowly while counting to 4.
- Exhale slowly while again counting to 4.
- Repeat 4 times.
- Make your best decision and move forward with courage.
Section 2. Question Everything
Question everything, learn something, answer nothing
Euripides, ancient Athenian playwright circa 450 BC
My grandfather, Eza served in the United States Health Service during the end of World War I and the subsequent Spanish Flu pandemic. His response to that health emergency can be instructive.
- He did not panic.
- He did not run in circles with his hands in the air screaming "we're all going to die if the government doesn't put us all under house arrest."
- He did advocate washing hands more frequently than family members had imagined necessary.
- He did advocate greatly increased personal hygiene.
- He did advocate greater exposure to fresh air.
- He did advocate quarantine of anyone unlucky enough to get infected.
As a result, he and his extended family all survived.
On a more cogent note, world political leaders did not shut down the world economy for the H1N1 (Spanish Flu) which was a far more deadly pandemic than the current COVID-19 pandemic. The Spanish Flu of 1918 infected as much as 1/3 of the world's population killing at least 50 million to as many as 100 million people worldwide. Hospitals everywhere were completely overwhelmed. 73
Unlike the current COVID-19 pandemic, the Spanish Flu was a real health care crisis requiring the best response medial professionals could provide with the best understanding and best technology available to them at the time. More Americans died as a result of the H1N1 pandemic of 1918 than have died in all the wars in US history combined. 73 83
Why have our current political leaders responded to the much lesser threat of COVID-19 with such fear mongering and heavy-handed policies that will themselves lead to even more deaths? I wonder what my Grandfather Ezra would say about the way our supposed modern, 21st-century society is hiding, in fear, in their homes, hoping the government will make everything all right? What's even worse, there seems to be no rhyme or reason to the arbitrary rules. Consider New York City where churches have been forced to close but liquor stores have been forced to remain open. What's going on here? Could this be about more than simple public health concerns? 12 13 21 25 26 28 49 50 52 56 67 73
To find out, we need to look past the media hype and political pandering to ask tough questions. The following are a few relevant questions to get you started. These questions are not posed with specific answers in mind. I am not trying to lead you in any direction other than to the truth. Consider them as a stepping off point for your own investigation. 8
Click on footnote links following each question to learn more about that question through videos and other web sites.
Some Questions Needing Answers
- What was the response to previous pandemics? 38 73 83
- Why such extreme panic for the SARS Cov-2 virus and not for past pandemics like the Hong Kong Flu, Bird Flu, Swine Flu, SARS COV, etc.? 12 14 16 21 25 30 37 38 49 50 73 83
- Why such panic for SARS Cov-2 but seemingly no concern at all for the MERS CoV that spreads worldwide every year as a direct result of the Hajj in which millions of Muslim pilgrims from around the world travel to Saudi Arabi for several days of intense religious observance then return to their home countries? 83
- Who benefits from the COVID-19 panic? 13 21 25 28 34 50 56 67 73 78
- When did the SARS Cov-2 virus actually arrive in the United States? 38
- How does the death rate from SARS Cov-2 compare with deaths from seasonal influenza? 30 38 41 49 73 83
- Which is more deadly, COVID-19 disease from the SARS Cov-2 virus or the almost uncountable knock-on effects that will follow from shutting down society? 9 12 13 18 21 24 26 30 37 38 43 47 50 67 73
- Which part of society is most adversely affected by shutting down the world economy? 12 13 18 21 24 26 43
- How does the number of deaths from the SARS Cov-2 virus compare to the number of deaths from previous pandemics like the H1N1 Spanish flu of 1918, H1N1 Swine flu of 2009, H7N9 avian flu of 2013-2019, Ebola, and the frequent outbreaks of measles that continue to plague the world? 14 16 38 73 83 87
- How does the number of deaths from the SARS Cov-2 virus compare with various other causes of death like random accidents, murder, diabetes, cancer, and heart disease? 38 49 73 83
- Is the number of SARS Cov-2 infections and the resultant deaths from COVID-19 being accurately reported? How can you be sure? 14 15 16 38 87
- Why quarantine the healthy as has been done with the current lockdown response to COVID-19 instead of quarantine the sick as has been done in all previous disease outbreaks? 12 21 30 41
- Does quarantining healthy people actually slow the spread of any infectious disease?
- What role has social media played in the perception of the threat posed by the SARS Cov-2 pandemic? 12 38 41 50
- Why are we seeing daily counters of COVID-19 infections and deaths but no such reports for infections and deaths from the seasonal flu or any other disease? 41 49 50 73 83
- Why are big tech social media web sites like YouTube, Google, twitter and others censoring and banning some COVID-19 videos, podcasts and posts but not others. Is this evidence of a systematic attack on free speech? 20 21 25 28 38 41 50 67
- Could it be that the mainstream media has over hyped the risk of SARS Cov-2 in a misguided attempt to prop up their failing business model in the face of increasing competition from social media and internet live streaming channels? Could it be something far more sinister? 9 18 30 38 41 50
- Why has the mainstream media focused on "the sky is falling" doom and gloom scenarios rather than stories of heroic Americans like doctors, nurses, first responders, and millions of others stepping up in tough situations to help keep our infrastructure working and making life possible just as was done in all previous emergencies? 28 38 41 50
- Why has mainstream media claimed we are increasingly vulnerable to pandemics now do to the greater speed of modern transportation when this is not actually true. 83
- Why has California, with about double the population of New York state, experienced only 1/30 the COVID-19 cases and only 1/10 the COVID-19 deaths of New York? 38 41
- Could it be that the social distancing and shelter in place strategies will not save us from COVID-19 since COVID-19 disease from the SARS Cov-2 virus is not an existential threat to humanity? But rather, could it be the lockdown will actually weaken our immune systems thus making all of society more susceptible to all future disease? Could this actually be the objective? 12 13 16 30 41 73 87
- What is a non-essential job and a non-essential business? Do you feel "non-essential"? Who would want you to feel "non-essential"? 18 21 24 26 32 41 43 52 70
- Who should be allowed to decide what is essential and non-essential? 18 24 26 32 43 52 70
- Why have such large numbers of people blindly followed our government commissars and their nefarious shut down of western civilization with so little complaint? 9 21 52 56 58 67
- Is the shutdown of western civilization actually the best response to the SARS Cov-2 virus? 9 12 13 14 16 21 30 41 43 50 52 67 73 83
- Is the shutdown for SARS Cov-2 constitutional? 10 21 22 38 43 58 93 94
- Why have US state and federal judges not pushed back against obvious violations of constitutional rights as a result of state and local government decreed shutdowns? 18 20 21 22 26 28 57 58
- Will the SARS Cov-2 virus shutdowns cause a more troublesome backlash like the scofflaw speakeasies and bootleggers that plagued American cities during alcohol prohibition? 18 38 41
- Will shutting down the economy with the resulting unemployment and loss of income and inevitable increase in anxiety, depression, substance abuse, spouse abuse, child abuse, suicide, and murder actually be a much large problem than COVID-19? 12 14 16 18 30 37 38 41 43 50 67 73 83
- Are our government leaders actually so stupid as to not see and understand what happens when millions of people living paycheck to paycheck suddenly lose their jobs? 12 18 26 30 34 38 41
- Could it be shutting down the US economy was just a means to "fundamentally change" the US economy as a political strategy? 10 28 34 38 56
- Who benefits from the increased prescription of anti-depressants, especially benzodiazepines like Valium and Xanax that has already occurred since the COVID-19 lockdown? 12 13
- Can the government actually take your business away by forcing its closure thus driving you into bankruptcy? 10 18 26 41 57 67 93 94
- Can the government actually imprison you in your own home without even any semblance of due process? 10 22 26 43 57 67 93 94
- Can the government actually force the closure of churches and religious observance? Is this not a violation of the principle of separation of church and state? Is this not a violation of the first amendment to the United States Constitution that guarantees freedom of speech and freedom of assembly? 10 20 21 22 26 34 38 43 57 58 67 93 94
- Could the shutting down of churches and religious observance be an attack on western religion by powerful, secular, post-modern, neo-Marxists who seek to replace the Judeo-Christian foundation of western culture with a secular, material religion? 21 28 34 37 38 43 67
- Why is shutting down schools, thus sending the children to be cared for by older grandparents while their parents work when children are at very low risk from the coronavirus but over 60-year-old grandparents are at much greater risk, deemed a good idea? Or worse, forcing children to be "locked down" in abusive home environments where 2,000 children die every year in the United States at the hands of abusive parents. How is this helping anyone? 12 14 30 41 73 83
- If attending church services in New York City is too dangerous to be allowed by Mayor DiBlazio of New York City, why was the New York City Subway system which forces people into even closer proximity than churches allowed to continue operation? 38 50
- Why did the New York City Transit Authority reduce the number of subway trains and the number of buses when ridership fell in response to public fear of infection thus forcing riders back into closer proximity? 50
- If increased social distancing is so critically important, why are many cities and states arresting, fining, and even imprisoning their citizens for walking or running on beaches at relatively great distances from other people? 22 38 52
- Why do our government commissars allow alcohol consumption when approximately 88,000 people die from alcohol-related causes in the United States annually? (As reported by the US National Institute of Health.) How is this not a panic?
- If the number of deaths from COVID-19 disease is such a panic, how is the much larger number of deaths from other causes that happen year in and year out, like alcohol consumption, Malaria, Dengue, Zika, seasonal flu, cancer, heart disease, etc. not a panic? Is this evidence that the life or death of individuals is not the main concern of our government overlords? 13 30 41 49 83 87
- If all the pain and misery that is resulting from the shut down of society, which pain will extend for many years, perhaps even decades to come, is justified to save a few tens of thousands of lives, why do we allow driving on highways at 80 miles an hour that results in 30,000 to 60,000 completely preventable deaths annually in the United States alone? 30
- How do N95 masks actually work? 15 24
- How should N95 masks best be used? 15 24 30
- What are the negative side effects of wearing face masks for extended periods? Were you even aware negative side effects of wearing face masks exist? 15 24 30 83
- Would forcing the entire population to wear some sort of a mask reduce disease transmission? Or do masks, which are most often improperly used by the untrained public, actually increase disease transmission? 15 24 30 83
- Why shut down the US economy in a claimed attempt to reduce COVID-19 transmission (a disease which has a mortality rate below 1%) but seemingly no concern whatsoever for the 2017-2018 cholera outbreak (a disease which is easily and completely preventable) which infected over a million people causing great suffering and death in Yemen? 83
- Why do so many US State Governors seem to think suspending the US Constitution and Bill of Rights, as has been done in California, Maine, Michigan, New York, New Jersey, and most other states, is a good response to a viral plague? Or, are they actually pursuing some other objective? 10 13 18 20 21 26 28 34 38 43 52 58 83 93
- Do US State Governors and mayors actually have the legal authority to suspend the US Constitution and Bill of Rights? 10 20 57 58 93 94
- Who gave California Governor Gavin Newsom the authority to allow or forbid particular healthcare procedures? 10 12 24 57 58
- If elderly nursing home residents are more vulnerable to death from COVID-19, why did New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and New York State Commissioner of Health Howard Zucker order New York nursing homes must receive COVID positive patients from New York hospitals resulting in the infection and deaths of hundreds of elderly New York nursing home residents? 50
- Why are "we, the people", allowing government bureaucrats to decide what we can or can not do, where we can go, who we can see? 7 8 9 10 18 20 21 24 26 28 43 50 52 57 58 70
- Is the economic shutdown just the latest strategy by powerful progressives to destroy free-market capitalism and constitutional government and concentrate power with their elite friends? 7 9 10 18 20 21 24 26 28 34 38 43 58 70
- Is total government control of society actually the path to utopian nirvana as proclaimed by Marxist/Leninist dogma? 8 10 18 20 22 24 28 32 50 52
- Could the high death rate form COVID-19 disease in Italy actually be the result of inadequate medical preparation which always results from reliance on socialized medicine? 34
- Are people just a means to an end as evidenced by the Chinese Communist Party using their subject citizens to gain and keep power? Or rather, should people be treated as ends in themselves as described by German enlightenment philosopher Immanuel Kant? 28
- Do you feel like you are valued simply for being human or do you feel like a pawn being manipulated by powerful forces beyond your control? 8 13 18 20 50 52 70
- What is the real origin of the SARS Cov-2 virus that causes COVID-19 disease? Did it originate in nature as claimed by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) propaganda? Or did it perhaps escape from a bio research lab? 38 54
- Did the CCP give their best effort to contain the SARS Cov-2 virus when they allowed 5 million people from the Wuhan epicenter to flee to the four winds before locking down Wuhan? 17 38 78
- Did the CCP actually commit an act of war by encouraging millions of people, many of which were infected with SARS Cov-2, to travel to western countries including Italy and the United States, thus rapidly spreading the virus world wide? 38
- Why would anyone believe anything the Chinese Communist Party says or publishes when they have such a consistent track record of lying about almost everything? 14 38 78
- How did the CCP obtain the RNA sequence of the SARS Cov-2 virus just days after it was "discovered" when the complete sequencing of a new, never before identified virus takes much longer? Is this evidence the CCP actually had identified the virus and understood its true nature much earlier than they claim? 17
- Why did the CCP delay warning the world about the SARS Cov-2 virus for at least 6 weeks when they are required by the SARS CoV treaty, which they signed, to warn the world immediately upon discovery of any new SARS viruses? 17 38
- Why has the World Health Organization (WHO) consistently supported and defended the CCP's SARS Cov-2 propaganda? 17 38 78
- Is the SARS Cov-2 virus just the latest salvo in a cold war between the Chinese Communist Party and the United States that has been simmering for decades? 17 38 78
- Why are most western business leaders and many western politicians so apparently in love with the Chinese Communist Party when the CCP has repeatedly made its contempt for all non-Hahn Chinese very well known? Could this be evidence of racism on the part of the CCP and contempt on the part of business leaders and politicians? 28 37 38 50 78
- Why did The National Institute for Allergy and Infections Diseases which is led by Anthony Fauci, provide $7.4 million to the Wuhan Institute of Virology in Wuhan China and other institutions with instructions to undertake gain-of-function research on bat coronaviruses? 54 90
- Were you aware an agency of the US Government led by Anthony Fauci helped fund the development of the SARS Cov-2 virus and other similar enhanced function viruses? 54 90
- Why is a US agency even involved in any research to make viruses more able to infect humans? 54 90
- Why was this gain-of-function research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology (which was funded ultimately by US taxpayers through a US agency directed by Anthony Fauci) only just canceled on Friday, 24 April 2020 long after the pandemic became painfully public? What the @#$@$ is going on here? 54 90
- Were you aware this is not the first virus gain-of-function project with which Anthony Fauci has been connected? 54 90
- If such virus gain-of-function research is so valuable for public health as Fauci claims, why have over 200 scientists in the field including Tom Inglesby of Johns Hopkins University and Marc Lipsitch of Harvard University expressed serious concerns about this type of research? Why have these same scientists called for the termination and banning of such research on the grounds it could too easily result in a pandemic? 54 90
- Why is the guy who approved funding the creation of the SARS Cov-2 virus which has caused the current COVID-19 pandemic and attempted to create other pandemic capable viruses being trusted to guide the American response to the pandemic? Is this like letting the fox guard the hen house? 90
- Why do many people seem to believe media and politician claims that a vaccine for SARS Cov-2 will be available in a few months when we still don't have vaccines for SARS CoV, MERHS, the common cold, HIV, malaria and many other viral plagues years and decades later? 50 53 54 83
- If such a vaccine turns out to become available quickly, did it possibly exist all along? 56 83
- How can you trust the safety and efficacy of such a vaccine, especially if the normal, minimal safety precautions of vaccine testing and evaluation are suspended during this "emergency"? Who benefits from the suspension of normal safety precautions in vaccine development? 53
- Who is funding the fast track SARS Cov-2 vaccine development? 53
- Did you know there is a special "vaccine" court that processes injury claims against companies that make vaccines wherein the vaccine makers are defended by US government lawyers?
- Were you aware this special "vaccine" court follows special "vaccine" rules and and regulations that don't apply in "normal" personal injury lawsuits?
- Were you aware that even with all the special protections built in to the US legal system for big pharmaceutical companies, Anthony Fauci quietly snuck through an additional special provision "...to provide immunity for activities related to medical countermeasures against COVID-19"?
- Does this give you confidence that the people and companies involved in producing and implementing COVID-19 medical responses are concerned about your health and safety and the health and safety of your family? 53
- Why are powerful interests pressuring our political leaders to shortcut safety protocols in the rush to develop a vaccine and at the same time pressing for mandatory vaccination? 25 53
- How do vaccines work to limit the scope of viral infections? 83
- Is forcibly vaccinating entire populations the best way to control a viral epidemic? 83
- Is a vaccine the only way to control a viral pandemic? 73 83
- Do vaccines ever make viral epidemics worse? 53
- Could it be existing antiviral drugs and exsiting antibiotic drugs could be a safer and more effective way to bring the COVID-19 pandemic under control? 83
- How do ventilators work? 31
- What are the negative side effects of ventilators? 31
- What percent of people unlucky enough to be placed on a ventilator suffer lung damage from the ventilator and die as a result? 31
- Could it be ventilators are not the best treatment for COVID patients? 24 31 42
- Who benefits from the panic to expand the availability of ventilators? 24 31 42 50
- Why are ER Doctors around the United States being pressured to add COVID-19 to death certificates? 30 41
- IF COVID-19 is such an existential threat that normal hospital operations must be suspended in order to handle the claimed overwhelming rush of COVID-19 patients, why is Kern County California (and many other hospital operators around the United States) furloughing Emergency Room Doctors and staff for lack of demand for their services? 24 30 32
- Has the "curve been flattened" so much that medical practitioners and hospitals around the country are in danger of bankruptcy due to lack of patients? Could this actually be the objective? What is going on here? 24 30 50
- Have you heard the platitude, "Stay Safe, Stay Home"? Is home actually all that safe? Could it be "safe" is just a euphemism for control? 10 21 28 41 56 67
- How many people die at home in the United States every year?
- What is the virtue of staying safe? 67 72
- Was Neil Armstrong trying to stay safe when he boarded Apollo 11 for a journey to the Moon?
- Were Lewis & Clark trying to stay safe when they embarked on their journey of discovery to find the extent of the then-new United States?
- Was my ancestor, Benjamin Phipps, trying to stay safe as he beat his drum while he and his fellow Continental Army soldiers marched into battle against the British Red Coats during the American Revolutionary War?
- Were the Pilgrims trying to stay safe when they boarded the Mayflower for an uncertain journey to the New World seeking freedom of religion? How would those Pilgrims respond to government decreed closure of churches today? 21
- Was Christopher Columbus trying to stay safe when he left Spain sailing west to find a new route to the Orient to replace the eastern route that had been closed to Europe by the destruction and utter subjugation of the Byzantine Empire by the Islamic armies of Sultan Mehmed II of the Ottoman Empire in May 1453?
- Why do you think government apparatchiks telling you to "stay safe, stay home" are concerned about you and your family at all? 18 21 28 34 50 52 67
- What is an expert?
- What is the proper use of experts? 42
- How can you properly evaluate the reliability and veracity of a particular expert?
- Should experts be allowed to make policy decisions? Why or why not? 34 42
- How can you determine the motivation of an expert?
- What is a model? 14
- What is a lagging indicator? 14
- Are models really the best way to guess what might happen in the future? Or rather, are they just a tool for thinking through "what if" scenarios? 38 42
- How reliable are the models being used to predict the future course of the COVID-19 pandemic? 12 14 16 38 42
- Why do our leaders seem to put such overwhelming faith in models? 12 38
- Why do we treat models almost as if they are truth revealed by God?
- Have our political leaders brought us to a situation where the social shutdown is delaying or perhaps preventing the development of herd immunity? Are these leaders stupid? Are they well-meaning but misinformed? Or could this actually be part of a larger plan being pursued by brilliantly evil people? 14 21 25 28 34 50
- Why have government leaders apparently failed so spectacularly in their response to the COVID-19 pandemic? 14 23 25 50
- How did government leaders fail in their decision-making process? Or did they fail? 21 23 26 34 56
- Could it be our political leaders failed because they focused too much on micro-managing details while losing sight of the larger vision required to be a successful leader? 23 34 50 52 58
- Could it be our political leaders failed because they are more concerned about their political careers than about doing the right thing for the people whom they ostensibly lead? 10 14 21 23 28 34 50 58
- Could it be our political leaders failed because they are actually pursuing a viral path to socialism? 21 28 34 43 50 52 56 58
- Could it be our political leaders failed because they are products of "safety culture"? 67 72
- Could it be all of us, including our political leaders, have become conditioned to place way too much trust in experts and models of all kinds thus being blinded to the reality right before our very own eyes? 12 14 16 23 30 50 72
- Could it be we suffer because our political leaders have insufficient moral character to make difficult decisions in stressful situations? 5 18 23 25 28 34 50 52
- How can you develop the character required to choose the best path in life for you, your family, and your community? 23
- How can you make critical decisions in stressful situations with insufficient information? Is this even possible? 23
- Is America still the home of the free and the land of the brave? Or, has it become the home of the controlled and the land of the fearful? 38 50 52
My actual list of questions related to the COVID-19 pandemic is much longer but I think you get the point.
If you aren't asking such questions and seeking answers, you aren't doing your job as a citizen.
He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them. But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he as no ground for preferring either opinion... 6
John Stewart Mill, On Liberty
I suggest you follow the advice from Euripides and make your own list of questions, then seek answers for yourself. Don't automatically trust experts simply because they appear more knowledgeable than you. Rather, seek to gain your own understanding which can grow to become the far more valuable wisdom that is so evidently lacking in so many supposed experts today. And don't just seek to confirm your own, preconceived notions, but instead, follow john Stewart Mill's advice and seek to understand all sides of the issue. Only then can you truly know on which side you wish to stand. 8
Section 3. Experts, Models, Decisions
I have noticed an increasing trend in modern, western society over the last 20 years toward reliance on "experts" and their models for all types of decisions. This trend appears to me to be accelerating rapidly in recent years. In some cases, the reliance on "expert" opinion is reasonable and completely justified. In other cases reliance on experts is of little consequence, only showing a sloppy approach to decision making. Think of the explosion of reality TV shows based on so-called experts on almost any topic you can imagine who often painfully demonstrate sloppy decision making. If life were just a TV show, who would care? But life is not a TV show.
Perhaps we and our leaders have lost sight of what exactly is an expert and how best to employ experts in our decision-making processes. 72
To better understand this issue lets begin with the definition of an expert.
- one with the special skill or knowledge representing mastery of a particular subject.
- having, involving, or displaying special skill or knowledge derived from training or experience
Merriam Webster online dictionary
You may have also heard a person displaying expert skill called ace, adept, artist, authority, cognoscente, connoisseur, crackerjack (also crackajack), dab, dab hand, fiend, geek, guru, hand, hotshot, maestro, master, maven (also mavin), meister, past master, proficient, scholar, shark, sharp, virtuoso, whiz, and wizard.
Such expert people can be quite valuable, even necessary in modern life. If your car developed a mechanical problem would you not seek out the best, most experienced, trustworthy mechanic you could find? Or if you were unfortunate enough to come down with cancer, would you not seek the best, most experienced, trustworthy oncologist (cancer doctor) you could find? You wouldn't ask the butcher at your local grocery store his opinion on your cancer treatment or probably not even his opinion on how to fix that annoying new sound emanating from your car. Why not? Is it because the butcher has little or no "expertise" in treating cancer or even in fixing automobile mechanical problems? This may seem obvious but it is only the beginning of the story. Just because an expert recommends you do something doesn't necessarily mean that it is the best course of action for you in your particular circumstance. This raises the question, how best to evaluate and apply expert advice? 14 34
For many years now, I've had the great good fortune to enjoy the services of a fantastic dentist. He is friendly, caring (or at least makes a good appearance of caring), knowledgeable (or at least more knowledgeable about dentistry than I), and experienced. He has gained his experience through many years of serving a great many satisfied patients like me. My dentist, call him Dr. Steve, first earned my loyalty through a technique I have rarely seen from other doctors. Dr. Steve asks specific questions of me, listens intently, examines certain details carefully, then explains exactly what, in his opinion, is the case. He makes use of drawings, models, and technical jargon delivered in a respectful way. He answers my questions patiently and with as much detail as required to ensure my understanding. Then he offers several possible courses of action. He does not tell me what to do. He leaves the decision of which of the several courses to pursue, or even to choose "none of the above", entirely up to me. When I questioned Dr. Steve about this, he said, "my choice of options would affect him not at all, it would, however, affect me greatly, so the choice of what to do must be mine". This to me is exactly how an expert should be used.
Yet this doesn't seem to be how experts have been employed by political leaders in the case of the current COVID-19 pandemic. Why have many political leaders simply followed "expert advice" apparently without much, or even any thought for the myriad ramifications and negative side effects that always follow any decision? 26 30 34
This question caused me to remember research done by Craig S. Morrison who was a professor of physical education at Southern Utah University when I met him in 1999. At that time he was studying the decision making process of US combat fighter pilots based on his theory that fighter pilots had a unique ability to make decisions in complex, stressful situations with incomplete information quickly and correctly enough to succeed and survive. I remember him supposing this ability, if it could be understood and replicated, could have practical application for team sports coaches who faced a similar problem of making quick decisions with incomplete information in stressful situations. 23
The memory of my discussions with professor Morrison in 1999 led me to call my cousin Don, Commander, USN Retired, who served as a medical officer and diving officer on the second Trident submarine. I asked Commander Don if he had experienced this decision making effect in his service aboard Trident submarines. He said, "Yes, there were several times he was called upon to make treatment decisions which had important ramifications for the health of the crew and for whether the boat could continue its mission or not." Commander Don also described how his commanding officer would make apparently difficult decisions about whether to continue the boat's mission or not by gathering expert advice from him and other key members of the crew, analyze the information quickly, make a decision and move forward with courage.
This is a skill that isn't taught in American public schools. In fact, it may be that this decision making skill can't be taught at all but rather it is something you either have or don't have. This was a core idea in Professor Morrison's fighter pilot theory described above. I asked Commander Don his "expert" opinion on this idea. More specifically, how did the US Navy choose Trident submarine commanders? Commander Don described to me some of the "selections" he had passed through during his career in the US Navy with some speculation on how the US Navy selection process was probably applied to finding Trident submarine commanders. It became obvious to me that the US Navy wasn't so much training people in this decision making skill but rather filtering through thousands of possible commanders looking for the few who already had the required decision making skill then working to polish and improve their inherent ability as much as possible. 8 23 42
I wonder if our political leaders so often fail us so spectacularly because they are not selected for their decision making skill but rather for other, less important attributes like physical appearance, public speaking ability, willingness to follow the party line, ability to raise money, membership in the appropriate social clubs, etc. ad nauseam? 18 25 26 34
Would we have been better served during the COVID-19 pandemic by leaders who were more skilled in critical decision making but less politically correct? Would we have been better served by leaders who were more in line with the example provided by ancient Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius who continually advocated (and actually did) the right thing without regard for any personal consequence to himself? 18 23 34 56
I recall my third-grade teacher at the Southgate Elementary School in Hayward, California. She was a duly certified, "expert" educator of 3rd grade students. She had all the appropriate diplomas and certificates to prove her expertness. I still remember many lessons in which she used a globe of the Earth and a variety of large maps that pulled down in front of the chalkboard at the head of our classroom. She used the globe and maps as "models" to help me and my fellow third grade students get a sense of the shape of the Earth and the shape and location of the Earth's major continents. Because I trusted my third-grade teacher, I thought these "models" represented the Earth perfectly. I was particularly impressed by the large size of Greenland on the Mercator map that was most often displayed at the head of my third-grade classroom. Greenland appeared larger than the United States to my third-grade eyes. I imagined all sorts of fantastical things that must be hidden in Greenland's apparently vast expanse.
Later, in Jr. High School, I came to understand such "models" were only approximations. I learned that the globe on my teacher's desk and the maps on the classroom walls, of necessity, contained many inaccuracies. My Jr. High School science teacher, Mr. Stephenson, showed me how Mercator maps distort the apparent size of everything near the North and South poles. Mr. Stephenson then told us the area of the United States is 3,797,000 mi² but the area of Greenland is just 836,300 mi². This means Greenland, which looks to be almost twice as large as the United States on the map shown here is actually less than 1/4 as large as the United States.
Later still, in my first astronomy class at Southern Utah University, my Astronomy professor, Dr. Menke, opened my eyes to the actual shape of the Earth. I learned that the Earth's Southern Hemisphere is actually a bit larger than its Northern Hemisphere making the Earth a bit pear-shaped and I also learned that it bulged a bit at the equator due to rotational forces. Dr. Menke pointed out the Earth is not "round" like a globe, it is actually an oblate spheroid.
It turns out the globe of the Earth on my third grade teachers desk had been lying to me about the shape of the Earth.
I learned a great deal more than just astronomy from Dr. Menke who was fond of saying "Just outside this classroom is a full-scale "model" of the Earth, but it is too big to fit in the classroom so we are forced to use inaccurate, smaller-scale models in our discussions. Just remember, the models have limitations." As his discussion continued, I noticed a glaring omission from the globe of the Earth that should have been obvious to me in third grade. You see, every globe of the Earth every produced fails to "model" the Earth's atmosphere. This seems to me an important detail, for life on Earth would be impossible without its atmosphere.
Imagine trying to "model" the Earth's atmosphere. Where, exactly, does the atmosphere end and space begin? This is an important question with different answers for different people. For an astronaut, the atmosphere ends where it gets too thin to breathe. For a spacecraft engineer, the Earth's atmosphere ends where it stops causing measurable drag on the spacecraft he designs.
If astronauts and spacecraft engineers relied on my third-grade teacher's globe when making their decisions and plans, Neil Armstrong would never have been able to make his trip to the moon and we would have no satellites in orbit about the Earth.
In addition to lacking an atmosphere, my third-grade teacher's globe also lacked oceans. The Earth's oceans are a major feature of our planet covering about 70% of the Earth's surface with water that is miles deep in many places. Imagine all the wondrous things contained in all that water. All of those ocean wonders are completely omitted from every globe model of the Earth. Without those oceans, my cousin, Commander Don, would not have had a career in the US Navy and would not have served on Trident submarines. More importantly for the rest of us, life on Earth would be just as impossible without its oceans as without its atmosphere. Not only did that third-grade globe contain inaccuracies but it also omitted an almost unbelievably large amount of detail.
So, as I learned from Dr. Menke, we must remember, all models contain limitations and inaccuracies and are based on assumptions and outright guesses that may or may not be true. Therefore, I suggest we shouldn't base life and death decisions solely on models.
Unfortunately, models have increasingly been used in our media age to promote specific, special interests. Consider climate models which, until the COVID-19 pandemic, were frequently seen in the news. Many of these climate models appear to show catastrophic global warming as a result of burning fossil fuels which began in earnest with the industrial revolution in about 1760. Climate activists like Al Gore, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC), Greta Thurnburg, and others use such climate models to proclaim we are all doomed if we don't take drastic, draconian action NOW!!! And, of course, all such activists have a solution to save us from this looming doom. All we have to do is give them all of our freedom, all of our liberty, and all of our money. And it wouldn't hurt if there were fewer of us on the planet. Don't believe me? Take a closer look at Al Gore's "Inconvenient Truth" movie and AOC's green new deal. They both seek to exert total control of the masses of deplorable people who don't know how to live life in a way deemed desirable by Al Gore and AOC. And they both seek to reduce the number of deplorables infesting planet Earth. 8 34
Al Gore and AOC are not stupid, neither are they well-meaning but simply misinformed. They understand perfectly well the limitations, inaccuracies, and assumptions in the models they site. They are using their models to pursue a hidden agenda with malicious intent. They are trying to deceive you. 8 28 34 38
The same is true of all COVID-19 models.
Just like that globe on my third-grade teacher's desk, all COVID-19 models, of necessity, contain limitations, inaccuracies, and assumptions. Just like that third grade model of the Earth, COVID-19 models omit a vast amount of important details and should not be used as the basis for life and death decisions. And just like climate models that also contain limitations, inaccuracies, and assumptions, COVID-19 models are being used by powerful activists to promote their special interests and to deceive you. 34 38 42
Don't let them fool you. Look past the models to find the actual truth of the situation. Do as Euripides advises. Question everything and learn something. 8
Section 4. Lies, Damn Lies, Statistics
There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics
original author unknown
This clever saying was popularized in the United States by Samuel Clemens also known by his pen name Mark Twain who, like others, mistakenly attributed the witty saying to the British prime minister Benjamin Disraeli.
Regardless of who coined the phrase, it seems to me to hit the nail on the head when I painfully watch Coronavirus briefings from various American political leaders. And worse, it is quite obviously exactly what the mainstream media in the United States and many other countries are pursuing. In both cases, the talking heads proclaim loads of statistics to support their conclusions and edicts. One thing I can say with certainty—almost everyone involved in the COVID-19 issue is using statistics to promote their own agenda. Some of these actors are well-meaning, some of them are of no consequence—but sadly, too many are quite nefarious, having evil intent to deceive and manipulate us. 56
How can you tell when a supposed expert is using statistics to lie? 3
There are many ways to hide the truth, deceive; and outright lie using statistics. American public schools have not taught students how to analyze and understand statistics for at least 50 years. In many cases the result is you buy the wrong product or at best a less effective product—you waste a little money. But increasingly, powerful people are using statistics to manipulate us with debilitating, even fatal results. 3
The following are a few ways people use statistics to lie to us and deceive us. 3
- Deceptive Presentation
A common technique is to start the Y-axis of a graph at something other than 0. This can make very small variations look much larger than they actually are. This is a favorite trick employed by global warming activists like Al Gore.
A similar trick is to change the area of graphic representations by changing the scale of graphics to favor the deceiver's point of view. Your eye will instinctively pick up on the deceptively disproportionate area of the graphics without realizing the different scale of each image has been hidden somewhere in the fine print. Remember that Mercator map from my third-grade classroom that shows Greenland as if it were larger the United States.
- Semi-attached Numbers
The use of undefined or completely unrelated variables in comparisons. One of my favorite applications of semi-attached numbers is the common claim in advertisements that product X is 50% better. But the add doesn't tell you the comparison product. In all such cases, you should ask yourself, 50% better than what?
Another example of semi-attached numbers is appearing to equate different things. Like the salesman who equates "return on investment" with "return on sales". These are not the same thing and that is the key. When the salesman says my XYZ product provides a 20% "return on investment" unlike my competitor's ABC product which only provides 1% "return on sales" you should immediately recognize the two things being compared are not the same and so you know the salesman is trying to deceive you by hiding the truth in a nefarious statistical trick. The statistically challenged among us might think 20% is better than 1%. Yet when you realize "return on investment" is usually calculated per year and "return on sales" is usually calculated per sale, you can immediately see that 1% return on 1 sale per day is equal to 365% "return on investment" per year. So in this example, a 1% return on sales is by far the better choice.
- Distributions: Mean, Median, Mode
When you hear some expert refer to "average", you should ask to which "average" are they referring. They could be referring to the "arithmetic mean" which is probably what you were taught as the value of "average" in your high school math class.
The arithmetic "mean" is obtained by adding up a group of numbers and then dividing the result by the count of those numbers. For example; the arithmetic mean of 2,2,5,7,22 is 2+2+5+7+22=38 then 38 divided by 5 (which is the count of the numbers in the list)=7.6.
The "median" is just the number in the middle of the list, in this example, the median is 5.
The "mode" is the value that appears most often in the list. In this example, the mode is 2.
So which "average" is correct? It all depends on which "average" best supports the "expert's" objective. A person trying to deceive you with statistics will not tell you which "average" they are using or when pressed might even lie about which "average" they are using.
- Post Hoc Thinking
Post Hoc is a Latin phrase that means "after this" or "after the event".
Post Hoc thinking in statistics means to confuse correlation with causation.
Consider, for example, the following true statements;
Ice cream sales are greater in summer than in winter.
The number of shark attacks is greater in summer than in winter.
A person trying to deceive you with statistics would claim from this obvious correlation, "We must conclude increased ice cream sales in summer is the cause of increased shark attacks in summer, therefore we could reduce shark attacks by reducing ice cream sales". Or better yet, we could eliminate shark attacks completely by banning all ice cream sales. Such a person might even try to play on your humanity by asking how can you support ice cream sales that so obviously cause the injury and death of way too many people from shark attacks. We must have a zero tolerance policy on shark attacks and therefore must also have a zero tolerance policy on ice cream sales.
Whenever an expert says "you must do this or your must do that", your deception detector should lite up. Regardless of whether you believe ice cream sales cause shark attacks or not, ask yourself this simple question: Who would benefit from such an ice cream sales ban? Does the person who is advocating banning ice cream sales perhaps own stock in a shaved ice smoothy conglomerate?
The use of post hoc thinking is a favorite trick of unscrupulous salespeople and unscrupulous politicians alike.
Extrapolation is a technique for predicting future results from a limited amount of observed results. This often takes the form of a certain observed rate of increase or decrease in some value over a short period of time being projected or "extrapolated" into the future.
$1 in sales are recorded on day 1
$2 in sales on day 2
$4 on day 3
$8 on day 4
The person trying to deceive you then extrapolates future sales from the observed rate of increase, which you can see in this example is doubling every day, in order to predict sales on some future day. Extrapolating this daily doubling predicts the daily sales on day 30 will be $536,870,912. The deceptive salesperson will say something like "based on the observed rate of increase in sales, we project sales exceeding $500 million per day by the end of the month.
I'm certain you can see this is a particularly insidious type of lie. It appears to be based in fact. The doubling of sales every day actually did happen. The lie comes in claiming the current rate of increase will continue without interruption forever.
Extrapolation of this type is how Anthony Fauci was able to claim, only a few months ago, over 2 million people would die in the United States from COVID-19 unless something drastic was done immediately. But, as we all now know, the early rate of COVID-19 deaths did not remain constant. And what's more, the infection rate was a complete guess seemingly pulled out of thin are. The predictions of 2 million US deaths and 500,000 deaths in the UK that were used to frighten us and justify draconian social controls that would never have been accepted otherwise, were complete statistical lies. What's worse, Fauci knows this and perpetrated the lie anyway. This is a very troubling thought. 42
There are many other ways to deceive and lie using statistics but I think you see the point. Experts on all sides of the COVID-19 controversy have employed all the statistical lies shown above and many others to support their particular agendas. Don't be deceived. Immediately upon seeing statistics presented by an expert and most especially by any politician, your lie detector should spring in to action. Don't fall for their deception. Ask yourself, how is this statistical presentation being used to deceive me, because it almost certainly is.
If you want to learn more about these and other ways people lie with statistics, obtain the wonderful little book "How To Lie With Statistics" by Darrell Huff and read it. Mr. Huff's book will give you valuable tools to help spot statistical lies and avoid much deception. 3
Section 5. Conclusion—Answer Nothing
In keeping with Euripides' third dictum, Answer Nothing, I will not be giving you direct answers to any of the questions posed above. I will instead present some thoughts for your consideration. I am hoping at least some of these ideas will cause you to employ Euripides' first dictum and question what you may have previously taken as obvious truths. By not providing answers, I am not withholding important information. Rather, I am attempting to set you on a path of discovery that will lead you to new enlightenment and a better understanding of yourself, your world, and your place in it. By asking questions and finding the answers for yourself, you will gain power over those who would manipulate you. Then, as Jesus is quoted in the book of John 8:32 of the New Testament of the Christian Bible to have said to his disciples, "...you will know the truth and the truth will set you free." 25 72
So in the spirit of questioning everything in order to learn something, consider the following:
I am proposing:
- The SARS Cov-2 virus is a real virus 54
- SARS Cov-2 is the result of "gain-of-function" research on bat corona viruses conducted at the Wuhan Institute of Virology and other bio research labs around the world. 54
- This "gain-of-function" research was at least partially funded by The US National Institute for Allergy and Infections Diseases with approval from Anthony Fauci. 54
- The SARS Cov-2 virus escaped from the Wuhan Bio Research Lab by some means which we will probably never know for sure since the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) destroyed all related evidence.
- The CCP facilitated a global pandemic of the SARS Cov-2 virus with malicious intent to harm all people on Earth and expand their influence and ultimately control the planet. 78
- SARS Cov-2 is not an existential threat to humanity. It is just one more virus added to the ever growing list of viruses that cause troublesome respiratory infections. 73
- The draconian government response to SARS Cov-2 is an existential threat to liberty and will cause the death of many more people world-wide than the SARS Cov-2 virus ever could. 10 21 34 50 56 57 58 70 73
- We should oppose all post-modern, neo-Marxist, progressive, socialist attempts to subjugate and control us. At your next opportunity, join a protest against the lockdown in your community. Then at the next election, vote the bums out. 10 21 28 34 52 57 58
- The CCP should be held accountable and punished for their involvement in creating the COVID-19 pandemic. 78
- We have all been seriously mislead by powerful experts who benefit from fear, by powerful politicians who benefit from the appearance of public action, by powerful media outlets who benefit from salacious stories, and by powerful multi-national corporations who benefit from irrational, panic driven sales. 8 21 28 50 53 54 56 78
The next time you hear a supposed authoritative statement from a politician, reporter, business leader—anyone really. 23
Ask yourself several questions thus:
- Who is this person speaking?
- Who is their intended audience?
- What is their motivation?
- Who stands to gain from the suggested course of action?
- Who stands to lose from the suggested course of action?
- Is this statement supported by any real facts that can be tested?
- Does it feel right? Or in the words of the fictional Gandalf from R.R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings, "Does it ring true?"
Is the current path of economic shutdown forced upon us by our government commissars really evidence of their concern for the citizens which may or may not be affected by the SARS Cov-2 virus? Or, is this economic catastrophe actually just a strategy for certain powerful progressive interests to pursue their group agenda and individual self-interests at the expense of society at large? 8 13 18 21 22 25 26 28 30 34 38 42 43 52 56 70
...Resist much, obey little;
Once unquestioning obedience, once fully enslaved;
Once fully enslaved, no nation, state, city, of this earth, ever afterward resumes its Liberty.
Walt Whitman, "To The States, Leaves of Grass" 7
An old friend of mine, call him Drew, had a long career in American law enforcement. He started as a uniformed police officer in a large metropolitan city patrolling a beat and retired as a regional director of the US Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA). He had many adventures during his long career, a few of which he shared with me through colorful stories. One day, after listening to me calling several politicians crazy for a variety of strange behaviors that made no sense to me, my DEA investigator friend Drew made a most profound statement. He said, " When you see a bad guy do something that doesn't make sense to you, you can be sure it makes sense to them." Drew went on to say, "The job of any good investigator is to discover how the apparently crazy action makes sense to the perpetrator."
I have pondered over Drew's comments all the years since. The realization that apparently non-sensical behavior makes sense to the person doing it has been extremely enlightening—so much so that I now tend to assume the observed results of any bad guy's behavior is most likely the intended result of that bad guy. I no longer immediately assume such bad guys are stupid, or well meaning but misinformed, or just plain crazy.
So when people like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez propose what looks to many people to be a crazy idea like "The Green New Deal", I remember my DEA investigator friend Drew and ask myself, "How does this apparently crazy idea make sense to the person proposing it?" When someone like New York City Mayor Bill DiBlazio decrees something so obviously unconstitutional as New York churches must close but New York liquor stores must remain open, I remember Drew and ask my self, "How does this make sense to Mayor Bill?" How does this benefit Mayor Bill? 21 22 34 57
You might think this is all too cynical or perhaps even unbearably depressing. If it is even a little bit true, there is no hope for any of us.
But like the fictional Captain James T. Kirk of Star Trek, I don't believe in the no win scenario.
The future has not yet been written.
You and I can still make a difference. 21
Consider what you see unfolding all around you in light of advice from the German philosopher Immanuel Kant.
Act in such a way that you treat humanity, whether in your own person or in the person of any other, never merely as a means to an end, but always at the same time as an end.
Immanuel Kant—Grounding for the Metaphysics of Morals/On a Supposed Right to Lie Because of Philanthropic Concerns. 4
Immanuel Kant is trying to get us to value people (including ourselves, by the way) for who and what they are rather than merely for what they can do for us or give to us. I suggest very few of the world's political leaders and none of the mainstream media are following this very enlightened philosophy of Immanuel Kant. It appears a great many people are seeking their own enrichment at the great expense of most of the world's inhabitants, even to the death of many people. This to me is a perfect example of immorality. 8 28 56 70
You may be wondering whether you should stay where you are or move to a state where the US Constitution and Bill of Rights are actually respected. Or perhaps you may dream of moving to a country where you can be free to live your life as you choose, a place where you don't constantly fear the secret (or not so secret) police breaking down your door in the middle of the night and dragging you from your home and your family. Or it may simply be you seek a less toxic environment where you and your family can flourish. This is not an easy or simple decision. It may or may not be a matter of life and death. But whatever the case, you should think it through carefully. Weigh all your options. Consider all the possibilities. Gather as much information as possible, take 4 deep breaths, then decide whether is it best for your to stay where you are and work to make that place and culture better for you and your family, or whether it is better to flee the oppression under which you suffer to build a better life elsewhere.
To get started, I suggest you watch the following short video by Patrick Bet-David, founder of the Valuetainment channel with over 2 million subscribers and one of my entrepreneurial heroes. I think you will find Patrick's story of how he made his decision to leave California and move his operation and employees to Texas very enlightening and helpful.
The economic catastrophe resulting from government decreed lockdowns is not a trivial thing, It will not pass with the arrival of summer. What we are seeing unfold before our very eyes is just the latest chapter in the eternal struggle between good and evil, between liberty and tyranny, between the forces of light and the forces of darkness. 28
Imagine, if the Chinese Communist Part (CCP) had followed Immanuel Kant's philosophy to treat people as ends in themselves, not merely as the means to an end, no matter how virtuous that end might seem to the CCP. In such case, the CCP would not have allowed 5 million people from Wuhan China to disperse worldwide prior to locking down Wuhan thus spreading the SARS Cov-2 virus worldwide. It is quite clear the CCP is pursuing its own hidden, special interest at the great expense of the entire world, including, not least, the detriment and death of their own subject citizens. 78
The recent demonstrations in Hong Kong against the CCP tyranny are current examples of ordinary people standing up for liberty and against oppression. I applaud the courage of those Hong Kong demonstrators. They risk much (even to their very lives) in the way they are kicking the great hornets' nest that is the Chinese Communist Party. They remind me of my cousin-in-law, signer of the US Declaration of Independence, Francis Hopkinson, whom I describe in more detail below. If enough such courageous people stand for liberty and against oppressive, tyrannical regimes, of which there are many around the world, liberty will prevail, tyranny will fail and the entire world will be happier, richer and safer. We should encourage and assist such resistance against tyranny wherever we can. 10
Whether the CCP virologists invented the SARS Cov-2 virus out of thin air, modified a naturally occurring virus, or just happened to find it under a cabbage leaf in their garden, the CCP clearly unleashed it on the world with malicious intent to cause a global pandemic. Many people whom I respect, people like Victor Davis Hanson, have called this an act of war by the CCP upon the rest of the world deserving a seriously strong response. It seems obvious to me that the CCP is acting as if they are willing to use any means available to expand their communist control over as much of the world as possible.
Whether what the CCP did with the SARS Cov-2 virus rises to the level of an act of war or not, they clearly intended to cause great harm and continue to intend great harm. The CCP obviously sees all people as just a means to the CCP's nefarious ends. I believe the CCP bears the primary responsibility for the COVID-19 pandemic and should be held accountable by the rest of the world for their evil acts that have caused the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people and will cause the deaths of hundreds of thousands more, both directly by the virus and indirectly through economic damage. 17 37 38 78
Through all of this, I have reflected many times on my early American ancestors who confronted the same sort of tyranny as the Hong Kong demonstrators protesting their CCP oppressors today. Like the Hong Kong protestors, my Colonial American ancestors stood up against tyranny. But in my ancestors' case, that tyranny emanated not from a communist party but from English King George and his many minions including local governors and magistrates, military officers, and minor bureaucrats. I am pleased, and proud even, to know something of their stories as they stood for liberty and freedom from oppression during uncertain times and difficult circumstances. In almost every case, my colonial ancestors eventually came to a breaking point where they said, in effect, "this far and no farther" to their tyrannical overlords. Their combined actions, both large and small, and those of thousands of other patriots, both famous and anonymous, resulted in the creation of the freest, most tolerant, inclusive, good society the world has ever known. Their stories are too numerous to list here. However, their patriotism can all be summarized in the character of Francis Hopkinson. 10 72
Francis was married to Ann Borden, a moderately distant cousin of mine which is how I can to be aware of him. He was designer of the first United States coin, designer of early versions of the American flag, delegate to the Second Continental Congress, member of the US Navy Board, a first federal judge of the Eastern District Court of Pennsylvania, and a signer of the US Declaration of Independence by which he pledged his Life, his fortune, and his sacred honor to the cause of liberty in America.
After the revolutionary war, Francis served as a member of the Pennsylvania Convention which ratified the United States Constitution. He was a patriot by any measure and a personal hero of mine.
Francis Hopkinson is an excellent example of a man of good conscience standing up to tyranny in a very difficult time with great courage. His example shows us all how to stand up and say "No, we will not comply" to overreaching, collectivist, tyrannical politicians. 10 21
And so, like Francis Hopkinson:
We stand for liberty
We stand for freedom of speech
We stand for freedom of association
We stand for freedom from arbitrary government rulings
We stand for the right to pursue our own happiness in our own way
We stand for all the other human rights that come from the creator of us all
We stand for the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights of the United States. 11 88 93 94
Like my cousin-in-law Francis Hopkinson, we stand for the critical principles of human dignity, self-determination, and liberty encoded in the United States Declaration of independence, the US Constitution and Bill of Rights, and all similar documents from the beginning of time till now. 93 94
Documents like: 9
- the code of Ur-Nammu (2050 BC)
- the Code of Hammurabi (1780 BC)
- the Edicts of Ashoka (268 BC)
- the Magna Carta (1215 AD)
- the English Bill of Rights (1689 AD)
- the French Declaration on the Rights of Man and Citizen (1789 AD)
- the United States Declaration of Independence, Constitution, and Bill of Rights (1791 AD) 11 93 94
These historically important documents and many other similar documents set out in various ways the rights and freedoms of the individual and the limitations on their various governments. These documents and others like them reflect the long-standing struggle for freedom and liberty in the face of oppression and tyranny. 10 11 72
This latest attempt at tyranny and oppression being foisted upon us by powerful leftist politicians in the name of safety is not a new thing. It has been on Earth as long as there have been more than two people on Earth. It will be with us as long as humans exist. The temptation of power to oppress and control others is almost irresistible to many people. Don't let them get away with it. Recognize such tyrants for what they are. Oppose them at every turn. Don't give them an inch, for if you do, they will surely take a mile. 10 18 21 22 26 28 34 57
Consider a well-known quotation from Benjamin Franklin, another notable, early American patriot who fought for liberty in his own unique way along with Francis Hopkinson and the many other patriots of the day.
Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.
Benjamin Franklin in a letter on behalf of the Pennsylvania General Assembly 92
Stand up, be a force for good in your family, your community, your state, your country. Follow the example of Roman Emperor, Marcus Aurelius. Make it your purpose in life, as did Marcus Aurelius, to only and always do good, in every situation, wherever you find yourself—for yourself, for your family, for your friends and loved ones, for your community, for strangers who mean nothing to you, for your oppressors, and even for your enemies. 72
If you are unfamiliar with Marcus Aurelius, who was certainly the best emperor ancient Rome ever produced and a model of ethical behavior studied by billions of people since, I recommend you read his book titled "Meditations". 1
The type of life lead by Marcus Aurelius is challenging—perhaps even a bit scary. It can be unpleasant to stand up to bullies in defense of the weak. It is certainly very frightening and can even be dangerous to stand up to real tyrants like Genghis Kahn, Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin, Mao ZeDong, Pol Pot, Nicolae Ceausescu, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, Maine Governor Janet Mills, California Governor Gavin Newsom, Dallas Texas Judge Eric V. Moye, and the many other political tyrants both large and small that seem to plague the world today. The list of tyrants is painfully endless because the source of tyrannical oppression is more ancient than humanity. It is a feature of the universe that can never be eradicated, only opposed with strength of character and dignity. 1 2 28 34 58
As you consider whether to stand up in any situation, remember the Bene Gesserit Litany Against Fear from the novel Dune introduced in Section 1 of this article.
I must not fear.
Fear is the mind-killer.
Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
I will face my fear.
I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
And when it has gone past, I will turn the inner eye to see its path.
Where the fear has gone there will be nothing.
Only I will remain.
Will you stand with us?
As you consider whether to stand in defense of liberty, remember how representative government in America is designed to work. Remember, the United States is decidedly not a democracy. The founders of the United States all feared a democracy.
To protect us against the well known evils of both totalitarian dictatorship and tyrannical democracy, the founders of the United States designed a carefully crafted, representative, constitutional republic. Don't be fooled by anyone who tries to convince you otherwise.
I think you will find the discussion about representation lead by Larry Arnn, President of Hillsdale College, in the following short video very instructive and encouraging.
I implore you, please, for the love of all you hold dear, stand with us in opposition to oppression and tyranny wherever you encounter it, no matter how small. Speak the truth, not "your truth", not "Gretchen Whitmers' truth", not "Andrew Cuomo's truth", not any post-modern, democratic socialist, progressive "truth" but rather the actual, objective truth. Talk to your friends, ask questions, and learn something. See the world for what it really is. This is the best way to combat COVID-19 and all the other tools used by the adversary of us all, which adversary seeks to oppress and imprison us with fear.
You can begin by commenting below. Do you agree? Do you disagree? Please let us know what you are thinking.
I look forward to reading any thoughts you care to share with us.
In the preceding article I made some bold statements and several serious accusations. Such statements and accusations require equally bold and serious support. So to that end, I present this Bibliography of sources I used in researching this article.
But this is more than a mere bibliography. It is the beginning of what evolutionary psychologists like Gad Saad call a Nomological Network of Cumulative Evidence. In this Nomological Network, you will find several books and dozens of hours of videos that support my statements and accusations. Don't simply take my word for any of it. Click the footnote links scattered throughout my article to find the sources I used. Read the books, watch the videos and decide for yourself if I missed the mark or if I hit the nail on the head.
As Euripides said, "Question Everything, Learn Something..." Or as my astronomy professor, Dr. Menke said, "Right outside that door is a full-scale model of the Earth."
Step outside, poke around, and see what you can discover.
01. Aurelius, Marcus. Meditations. Dover Publications.
02. Hegel, Georg Wilhelm Friedrich. The Phenomenology of Spirit. Cambridge University Press.
03. Huff, Darrell. How To Lie With Statistics. W. W. Norton & Company; Reissue edition.
04. Kant, Emmanuel. Grounding for the Metaphysics of Morals: with On a Supposed Right to Lie because of Philanthropic Concerns. Hackett Publishing Company, Inc.; Third Edition.
05. Lukianoff, Greg, and Haidt, Jonathan. The Coddling of the American Mind: How Good Intentions and Bad Ideas Are Setting Up a Generation for Failure. Penguin Press.
06. Mill, John Stewart. On Liberty. Dover Publications.
07. Whitman, Walt. Leaves of Grass. Project Gutenberg.
64. Prager, Dennis. "Dennis Prager Fireside Chats". https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=dennis+prager+fireside+chat.
87. Bhattacharya, Jay Et. Al.. "COVID-19 Antibody Seroprevalence in Santa Clara County, California". https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.04.14.20062463v1.
88. Carter, Jonathan. "Why We Stand". https://fsreloading.com/columns/we-say/fs-reloading-stands-ca9.
89. Fauci, Anthony S. M.D., Lane, H. Clifford M.D., and Redfield, Robert R. M.D.. "Covid-19 â€” Navigating the Uncharted". https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMe2002387.
90. Guterl, Fred, Newseek. "Dr. Fauci Backed Controversial Wuhan Lab with Millions of U.S. Dollars for Risky Coronavirus Research". https://www.newsweek.com/dr-fauci-backed-controversial-wuhan-lab-millions-us-dollars-risky-coronavirus-research-1500741.
91. Hinsliff, Gaby. "Still-busy trains tell us that Covid-19 restrictions may have to go further". https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/mar/24/busy-trains-covid-19-restrictions-heavy-handed-state.
93. Madison, James. "Bill of Rights of the United States of America (1791)". https://billofrightsinstitute.org/founding-documents/bill-of-rights/.
94. Madison, James. "The Constitution of the United States: A Transcription". https://www.archives.gov/founding-docs/constitution-transcript.