"Phantom of The Opera" (opens in separate window)

lockdowns, unpunished crime, and climate hysteria

friday, july 16th, 2021

Did lockdowns take more lives than they saved? It’s an important question. Earlier this month, the Rand Corporation and the University of Southern California, working on behalf of the National Bureau of Economic Research, released a working paper to ascertain just that.

[FULL TITLE: "Lockdowns, Unpunished Crime, And Climate Hysteria: The Roots Of Our Three Biggest Disasters".]

Most casual news consumers might not have heard about it, and that’s not surprising because here’s what they found:

We find that following the implementation of shelter-in-place policies, excess mortality increases. … We failed to find that countries or U.S. states that implemented [shelter in place] policies earlier, and in which [shelter-in-place] policies had longer to operate, had lower excess deaths than countries/U.S. states that were slower to implement [shelter in place] policies. We also failed to observe differences in excess death trends before and after the implementation of [shelter in place] policies based on pre-[shelter in place] COVID-19 death rates.

There you have it: Following lockdowns, “excess mortality increases.”

In 2020, nearly every American in the world had to endure a month or more of shelter-in-place orders depending on where he lived. In states like New York and California, oppressive policies lasted for months after the literal lockdown ended. In Ireland and other parts of Europe, lockdowns have just tentatively begun to end. In Australia, they’re still ongoing.

Through it all, people, businesses, and communities were destroyed because some public health “experts” were dead-certain this was needed to save lives. The predictable irony is they weren’t saving lives at all — just making you miserable and poorer in return for nothing.

The past year should be a humbling experience for humanity, or at least our leaders. We were faced with a problem that didn’t come with an answer at the back of the book, and we flunked it.

Why did we fail? The answer is a vice the ancient Greeks understood well: Hubris. Our leaders believed that nature could be controlled from a government office, and that humanity could be micromanaged like a particularly large game of “SimCity.”

When the virus was still limited in scope, they demanded the borders stay open and the flights keep flying. Then they told everyone to go out and party for the Chinese New Year. In Italy, people were told to hug a Chinese person to prove they weren’t a racist.

When the virus was still far off, they dismissed measures that could stop it as unnecessary or bigoted, and somehow being proven wrong only made them more confident. Once the virus broke containment and spread everywhere, there was no talk of reasonable mitigation: Instead, we were going to stop this virus in its tracks with overwhelming force.

In the end, we didn’t crush the virus, but we did crush a lot of ordinary people.

Over our history, we’ve gotten pretty used to this kind of hubris. It’s the arrogance that believes common sense and time-tested policies can be thrown out as leaders chase utopias. It’s the arrogance that makes men think they can shape the economy and tax and spend without inflation.

It’s the arrogance that makes men think they can install a republic in countries that lack a middle class or a Western and Judeo-Christian tradition of individual liberty. It’s the arrogance that makes men think they can maintain a republic in a West that’s gutted its middle class and banished its Western, Judeo-Christian moral code.

It’s the arrogance that causes people every generation to decide they won’t be held back by dusty old wisdom and tradition, and it’s the arrogance we see playing out every day on our city’s streets, where violent crimes threaten citizens’ lives and property.

Believe it or not, 70 years ago society had mostly figured out crime. They knew to be quick, efficient, and consistent in punishing criminal acts; to never cede territory to gangs; to never let breaking the law become the norm; and to never let dangerous mobs destroy at will.

Then social reformers got ideas: They decided the system was too punitive, too biased against the poor, so they started to tinker. Few still remember, but from 1950 through the early 1970s America’s criminal justice system outside the South became one of the most lenient in the world.

According to the most recent data, Sweden and Denmark both have 68 prisoners per 100,000 people. In 1972 Massachusetts had 32 prisoners per 100,000 people. Illinois had 50. Even New York state, fresh off the race riots of 1967 and the Martin Luther King assassination riots the following year, had only 64 prisoners per 100,000 people. That same year, New York City had almost 1,700 murders, yet the state had fewer people in prison per capita than Sweden does today.

America was lenient on crime, so crime exploded. It took decades to undo the damage, and required expanding police forces and building a much larger prison system than the one reformers had wanted so badly to dismantle in the 1950s, but it worked: Crime rates fell and our cities became livable again.

Instead of studying this lesson, our leaders want to make all the same mistakes of half a century ago, and last year they gave it a trial run. We saw what happened: Shootings exploded, murders went up 20 percent or more. In spite of it all, our policy makers are only getting bolder — and no amount of failure deters them.

When our leaders set out to solve the virus, they instead wrecked our children and teenagers in school, closed sports and glued already-addicted children to screens, delayed the studies of college students, and retarded the life-skills and development of young people entering the job market. They rolled out tests for their welfare-for-everyone plans, hobbled business owners in hiring people back, and hooked a large part of a generation on massive handouts.

They used judges’ benches to take over elections and decreed ridiculous pro-fraud, anti-enforcement rules. They forced our sick and our elderly to die alone so they wouldn’t get COVID, refused our right to bury and mourn our loved ones, sent sick patients into nursing homes then barred children from holding mom’s hand while she slipped away.

They arrested church leaders, closed temple doors, and enthroned a new moral leadership under Anthony Fauci and the Centers for Disease Control. They sold their efforts as neighborly affection and caring, but did neighborhoods and communities become more caring? Or did vicious, suspicious and frightened people begin to call police and report on banned activity?

Just as with any system, there are winners and there are losers: Grandma didn’t get a funeral but the activists and Democratic politicians got to attend three for George Floyd. Worshipping God had to go virtual, but activists and rioters worshipping critical race theory and its new martyrs packed our streets, ransacked our cities, looted and burned our already struggling businesses, and killed dozens of innocent people.

Jeff Bezos and his friends got a whole lot richer and a whole lot more powerful.

As we now know, all of the tyranny and sadness and suffering and hubris brought us absolutely nothing but more tyranny, sadness, suffering, and hubris. They didn’t control disease — how could they? But if it can be believed, all that was not their craziest plan for America: Having completely failed to control disease, they’ve set their sights (and their newly enthroned scientific bureaucracy) literally higher — on the global climate.

It’s the perfect crisis, so large and global in scope that fixing it requires empowering government bureaucrats totally and perpetually — and giving them absolute mastery over the direction of our lives from the cradle to the compost heap.

President Joe Biden’s administration set about this new agenda right away when he took office, and began by trying to unilaterally halt all new oil and gas leases in America, canceling a whole sector of the U.S. economy for “climate.” They rejoined the Paris Climate Accords and are pledging to cut America’s carbon emissions 50 percent below 2005 totals by 2030 — a number their activists already claim isn’t enough to save the planet.

In The New York Times last week, Ezra Klein hosted a round table with several thinkers about what is to be done. Sci-fi novelist Kim Stanley Robinson said the oil industry will have to be abolished totally and completely. Scientist Saul Griffith said that our notions of property and ownership will have to die to save the planet. Democracy itself might have to go.

In a 2019 essay for Foreign Policy, Cambridge University professor David Runciman said, “Democracy is the planet’s biggest enemy,” and suggested that an authoritarian Chinese one-party system might be the only one capable of tackling climate change. The New York Times’ Tom Friedman has pondered much the same: A one-party system with people like Friedman and Runciman in charge.

We’re told that maybe even the very idea of what it is to be human has to change for the climate. A video from 2016 that went viral last week shows bioethicist S. Matthew Liao speculating that maybe we can get humans to stop eating meat if we forcibly engineer all of them to have a meat allergy.

The famous economist Friedrich Hayek saw communism and Nazism, and he saw a connection between their schemes and so many others, including those that were obviously evil and those that seemed more benign and good-intentioned. He called it “the fatal conceit:” the idea “that man is able to shape the world around him according to his wishes.”

It’s no different from the sin identified by the Greeks, the Christians, and the Founding Fathers. Hayek, like those before him, knew it was wrong, and he knew it was deadly. Like those who came before him, he was right — then and now.

© 6/30/21 by Christopher Bedford. (H/T to "lightman".

A Day In The Life.

Up at 9a on Friday, I went thru my finger stick to check my BSL (Blood Sugar Level) and record it on my Diabetes 2 chart, made coffee and breakfast, had a couple smokes in the cool garage and checked to leftover errands list. My right shoulder and neck were hurting badly, not to mention my face, and I just couldn't safely drive, but needed to get to Weis Market to get Sister Becky her list of groceries. Lee stepped-up and gave me a ride to the market and over to Becky's drop-off her stuff. I was back home by 1p, had a small egg salad sandwich, took a 2hr snooze on the LR couch, and Sherry stopped-by around 4p, until some major storms blew thru the area. I called it a day very early. Asleep, I don't feel any pain.

Living is easy with eyes closed, misunderstanding all you see.

On Saturday, Sherry stopped-by to visit, gave me a nice neck/shoulder massage, while I was taking 2 Valium 5mg for the neck and shoulder pain, and then I quit for the day at 9p. End of the day, I'm hurting; far too much pain, taking my Ambien pill and going to bed.

Still in a lot of right side shoulder/neck pain, on Sunday – the facial pain had pretty much subsided from a long, hot shower – I got one load of laundry done, made it another short one, while sleeping much of the day, on the LR couch, and having a few small meals. Lights out at 8p.

Up at 8:30a on Monday, my neck/shoulder were extremely painful, so I took more 2 5g Valium, applied the CBD Ointment in a large amount, and got thru the morning routines. I had a 1p Dr's app't at Apple Hill, and Heidi called to schedule me in at 1p on Wednesday. Best she could do, I guess. My Dr prescribed Tramadol for my pain.

We soon had two ALERTS - Severe Thunderstorm Watch, 3:30 PM Monday - 11:00 PM Monday and Flash Flood Watch, 3:00 PM Monday - 2:00 AM Tuesday. Swell.

Some attempted rapes in grocery stores, killings in nearby parks, and now me in Lowe's parking lot, and it's going to get worse as the ghetto rats and filth come out to the suburbs. Time to kill them and rid society of that subhuman filth. Fuck the courts; they do nothing, other than release that garbage into society.

I had a small dinner, watched some Fox News shows, took my nightly insulin shot, and quit for the night at 10:30p. The Tramadol narcotic painkiller is working, thankfully. No opiates.

I slept-in until 8:45a on Tuesday, made and had coffee with my first couple of Marlboros, had a light breakfast and got a call from Becky that she'd been re-admitted to York Hospital last evening, due to a high white blood cell count. Damn. Major abdominal surgery might be coming, if they can't get the intestinal infection under control. Double damn.

After a real light dinner, I watched the new season finale episodes of History's "The Secret of Skinwalker Ranch", "Laura" and some of "Gutfeld" until 11:30p. Time to bag it for some sleep.

Up at 9a on Wednesday, my right shoulder/neck was still hurting, but my face's cuts and bruises were finally clearing-up. I have a 1p with Heidi at Restorative Bodyworks, and hopefully she can help me. I did my morning finger stick and recorded the BSL, had breakfast and coffee. The "Chris Plante Show" was on until 12noon, after a quick chicken salad sandwich, I left for South York, to get help from Heidi's "magic fingers".

It was already 105° on the back irregular flagstone patio and 115° on the front brick porch, so I smoked in the cool(er) garage.

As usual, she did a great job on the r/s neck & shoulder, and I was about 90-95% wo/ pain, so I'll just take it easy and use the CBD-Level-5 Pain Relief Ointment, until I fully heal. I stopped at Rite Aid Pharmacy to p/u 2 waiting Rxs, and Weis Market on the way home, picked-up a few things, and was back by 3:15p. I grabbed a 3hr nap on the LR couch, had dinner, and watched some of History's "Ancient Aliens" episodes until "Tucker" at 8, "Laura" at 10 and Gutfeld until 11:30p Lights out.

I slept-in until 9:30a on Thursday, checked the weather and news while the Kona Hawaiian Coffee brewed, had an English Muffin with strawberry preserves, and had a few smokes in the garage. Only 71° outside, the Heat Index made it feel like low-90s. Not hungry in this hot, humid weather, I had a very small lunch, gathered-up my file and paperwork for the 1:30p Endocrinology app't, and left at 12:50.

That went well, ad because of my "good numbers" over the past 2yrs, I might get to be tkem-off all insulin, with a simple increase in Jardince. YES! I stopped on the way home at Weis Market to get a couple of things, for the coming weekend, had lunch, rested for 3hrs, and watch some replays of the IMSA Race at Watkin's Glen (NY), until dinner. After that, I switched over to Fox News for the evening shows, until 11p, and called it a week. Tomorrow starts a new day of a new week here in the "Journal".

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