Putting the Cart Before the Horse

I keep hearing that the point of the current UK  lockdowns is to “protect the National Health Service.” The worry seems to be that hospitals will be flooded with Covid patients, and unable to cope.

I can’t help but think that this puts the cart before the horse, and that we should be primarily trying to save lives, not save the NHS.

The same thinking during the WW2 Blitz would have had people saying that instead of sending Spitfires up to shoot down Luftwaffe bombers, we should “save the RAF” by keeping its planes grounded. Or that instead of sending the Navy out to hunt U-boats. we should “save the Royal Navy” by keeping its ships in port. What’s the point of having a navy and an air force, except to fight enemies? Yes, some ships will be sunk and sailors lives lost, but that’s just the price for saving citizens’ lives.

It’s the same with the NHS. Of course hospitals will fill up with patients during a pandemic. That’s just the price for saving citizens’ lives..

But now it seems the NHS is more important than the patients it treats.

In fact it seems that saving the NHS is also more important than preserving freedom, keeping the economy going, and maintaining employment. We look set for a bankrupt country in which the NHS alone continues to prosper, its hospitals empty.

We’re no longer trying to protect health, but instead trying to protect a health service.

Perhaps this just reflects the fact that a lot of highly vocal people work in the health service, and are more concerned with keeping their jobs than with anything else.

Applied to coal mining, the same logic would insist that we stop burning coal in order to protect the coal mining industry.

Or stop driving cars in order to protect the roads.

Perhaps that’s the real goal of the lockdown?

Somebody else who thinks the same as I do.

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Things I Don’t Believe In

I’m ignoring the news. It’s all too awful. I don’t want to know. I don’t believe most of it anyway.

Instead I’ve started listing a few Things I Don’t Believe In.

Global Warming was top of the list. I don’t believe in global warming. Or at least not catastrophic global warming. In fact I think it’s a good thing if it’s happening at all, and we could do with more of it. Why? Because our current 12,000 year long interglacial period, during which human civilisation has arisen, is likely to end fairly soon. and a new ice age start, and so a few degrees of CO2-driven global warming may well prevent it or delay it.

But I’m not much worried about ice ages either. I doubt one’s going to start next week.

Why do some people worry about these things, while I don’t?

I guess that some people are natural alarmists. I used to be one too, back in my 20s. I worried about all sorts of things. And then I gradually stopped worrying. Now I hardly worry about anything.

I don’t worry about global warming. I don’t worry about the vastly exaggerated threat of Covid-19. I don’t worry about the even more vastly exaggerated threats of smoking and drinking and diet. And I don’t trust experts, whether climate or health or anything else. I don’t think that any of the experts know much about anything. All the experts ever do is to try to get people to worry about stuff, and give them money to find new things to worry about..

I don’t worry about racism. Is anyone a racist? I’ve never met one. Is anyone a white supremacist? I’ve never met one.

I don’t care about “transgender” issues. I’ve never met a transgender person. I doubt I ever will. I’m not sure they even exist. A bit like unicorns.

I think that my long, slow 50-year transition from being (slightly) left-wing to right-wing has maybe been a move from worrying to not worrying. Lefties are worriers. They want to change the world because they’re worried about it. And if they’re really worried, they’ll even want a revolution. But the Right doesn’t worry, and so sees no need for change, and certainly not for revolution. Why fix what ain’t broke?

And because the Left is always worried, they’re also thinking a lot, and writing books. And because the Right isn’t worried about anything much, they don’t think much, and they don’t write books.

The Left dreams of a bright future – Progress -, and the Right dreams of the past. That’s certainly how I feel. Britain was a kinder, more tolerant place before the 2007 smoking ban. It wasn’t full of people worrying about health and global warming. It was a simpler place where milk bottles were made of real glass with silver tops that could be opened with the press of a finger. And there was no internet. And TVs had three channels which were selected with a dial, just like radios. And it was even simpler when there were none of them, and people read newspapers that needed two long arms to hold them open, and which were disposed of by burning them in the coal fires found in every room. And cars were started with crank handles. And there were no motorways with multiple speeding lanes, but instead narrow roads that wound left and right and up and down, and on which people rode bicycles, or sometimes horses. And schools taught Latin, and the children chanted Amo, Amas, Amat, Amamus, Amatis, Amant, And they ate Wagon Wheels and Smarties.

These days milk bottles are cardboard geometry puzzles, and the simplest way to open them is with a screwdriver and a hammer. It sprays milk everywhere, but it at least opens a hole. And they’re full not of milk, but skimmed milk or semi-skimmed milk or even more exotic flavoured variants.

I dream of the past. It was a better world, a simpler world. The future just looks like a slowly accelerating descent into hell. It’s no Progress at all.

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The Saddest Inauguration Ever

It’s going to be horrible to watch.

https://www.ft.com/content/94db9b9b-243b-4ce8-9e10-452fadc523ec

In a couple of days Joe Biden is going to be inaugurated as US president, with 25,000 troops surrounding the capitol, plus fences and barbed wire.

They won’t be there to protect him from external enemies. They’ll be there to protect him from the American people who didn’t elect him.

Not exactly a vote of confidence in a new administration.

It’ll be the saddest inauguration ever.

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Boosted By Bans

I was listening today to conservative Mark Levin’s Audio Rewind, and noticed an interesting contrast.

He started out complaining about how conservative voices like his were increasingly being excluded from Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other platforms.

And then he went on to extensively quote from some democrat/progressive who’d written a newspaper article somewhere.

So while democrats were trying to silence conservatives, here was a conservative giving a democrat an extended platform for his views. Here was a conservative who was effectively promoting a democrat.

So if you look at the democrat/progressive media you’ll only hear democrat/progressive points of view. And if you listen to conservative media you’ll also only hear democrat/progressive points of view! The democrat/progressive viewpoint is completely dominant.

Of course Levin was quoting the democrat with disapproval. But he was extensively quoting him all the same, repeating him for a new audience.

Is that really the right approach?

It reminded me that, now that I no longer have a TV licence, I no longer watch any TV news. I don’t listen to any radio either. I get all my news from multiple internet sources. So I have no idea what the BBC or Channel 4 have to say about anything (except what I learn secondhand). So the BBC has no influence on me.

I think this is crazy. If I was a broadcaster (and in a small way maybe I am), I’d want as many people as possible to hear my opinion. It seems to me that the BBC wants to have its cake and eat it: it wants me to listen to it, but it also wants me to pay to listen to it. No wonder there’s a lot of talk about reforming the BBC, funding it some different way.

But even if the BBC was free to air, and I could watch it if I wanted to, I don’t want to listen to it. And I don’t want o listen to it because it doesn’t speak for me. Or, to be more exact, it doesn’t speak for smokers like me. The BBC despises smokers. We’re a disapproved minority. We’re only fit to be lectured on how our filthy habit is killing us. They’ll speak up for blacks and gays and lesbians and all the other approved minorities, but they’ll never speak up for smokers (or drinkers or fatties).

Even if they paid me to listen to them, I still wouldn’t do it.

I’m gone, and I’m never coming back.

And the more I’m denied hearing other disapproved voices, the more I want to listen to them. The more dominant one voice becomes, the less I want to hear it.

So it seems to me that the best way of ensuring that anyone gets a hearing is to ban them from broadcasting.

I listen to Michael Savage in part because he’s banned from visiting Britain. What greater boost can there be than to be banned?

Some people may remember that in the 1960s, when BBC radio was completely dominant, new “pirate” radio stations like Radio Caroline started broadcasting from boats moored offshore. They were very successful, and eventually the BBC was forced to start broadcasting the same disapproved music (of which there was a lot about in the 1060s). The pirates won.

I suspect that the same will happen with conservative voices. The more they’re silenced and banned and excluded, the more people will want to listen to them.

And it would help if people like Mark Levin would simply articulate a conservative point of view, and stop complaining about what liberals and progressives are saying. I don’t want to know what they think. I’m sick of hearing them.

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No Context

Right now, as I write, it’s 3 pm GMT 15 January 2021. The date is under the title of this piece. So anyone reading this tomorrow will know that I was writing this yesterday. And anyone reading this a week from now will know I wrote it last week. And they’ll know that Donald Trump was still President of the United States back then, and Boris Johnson UK Prime Minister. They’ll know the context in which I was writing, what was going on back then, what was happening.

The same is true of a lot of other blog posts and emails and newspaper articles. Most of them are also timestamped.

Now I also watch a lot of videos as well as reading a lot of stuff. And the odd thing about videos is that a lot of them – most of them – have no timestamps. And so when I’m watching them I’m always trying to figure out when they were shot. And it’s not obvious.

For example, here’s a video of Dave Rubin talking to someone called Patrick Byrne. There’s a date under the YouTube video that says 13 January 2021. Was that when it was shot? Or was that when it was uploaded? Or is that when somebody decided to draw attention to it? It’s not clear which.

It would be much more clear if one or the other of them had a calendar behind them, and maybe a clock as well. Some videos have digital timestamps showing time and date.

But neither have any of these. And so there’s no context. They could have been talking a day ago, or a month ago, or a year ago.

The only way to figure out when they were talking is to listen to what they’re saying, and look for timestamps in their words. For example if one of them says “Donald Trump spoke yesterday to the nation,” that could maybe provide a timestamp. But you have to listen very carefully for such clues. And very often there are no clues.

There’s a lot of stuff in the background. A fireplace and various bits and pieces. There’s plenty of space to put a calendar, or a written date on a piece of paper. But there’s nothing giving any clue of the date.

Sometimes I find myself watching something and suddenly realising that it was created 10 years ago.

So a lot of times I watch and listen with interest, but afterwards I’m usually left wondering when it was shot. Could be yesterday, or last week, or last year. There’s no context.

Too bad, I guess.

I’ll never know.

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Stop The Steal

https://www.breitbart.com/tech/2021/01/11/facebook-blacklists-all-content-mentioning-stop-the-steal/

Facebook has announced that it will remove all content that mentions “Stop the Steal,” a phrase in reference to the 2020 U.S. presidential election that is popular among supporters of President Donald Trump.

I can’t think of something more likely to convince people that the election has been stolen than to disallow them from saying so.

I also can’t see what good it can do Facebook’s reputation than for them to tell  their users that they are being censored. In what other ways are they being censored? Are they only allowed to say only the approved message. No wonder people are moving to other platforms.

I haven’t used Facebook for years, but today I felt it was my duty to post “Stop The Steal!” on Facebook.

stopthesteal

I wonder how long it will last?

Someone on Facebook was asking if I was still posting my blog, and I replied “I’m still here.”

Anyone see either message?

P.S. My Stop The Steal message was still there after half an hour. Maybe they’re not censoring?

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Mad Medical Tyranny

https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/13702291/pubs-set-to-stay-shut-for-five-months/

PUBS are set to be shut for FIVE MONTHS with Boris Johnson looking at extending the national lockdown.

Thirsty Brits were today dealt another blow when it was revealed punters may not be back in pubs until May.

Brits were ordered to stay at home until mid-February when the emergency shutdown was launched.

But now Number 10 is said to be looking at March 23 – the year anniversary of the start of the first lockdown – as a more realistic date to end the lockdown

So now we’ve been ordered to stay at home.

So much for being a free country.

It’s now just a complete medical tyranny. It all started with the medical tyranny of the 2007 smoking ban. And it’s just got worse ever since.

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Welcome to the Police State

Nigel Farage

Brexit leader Nigel Farage warned that lockdowns in the United Kingdom are pushing the country into a full-on police state, predicting that the battle to regain individual liberty will be a tougher struggle than leaving the European Union.

Mr Farage said that is unlikely that the British government will relinquish the emergency powers it has accumulated during the coronavirus crisis.

“Once the state takes power how on earth do we get those powers back? Do we have enough independently-minded MPs in Westminster to challenge the executive once we’re through this crisis to say those powers need to be returned, those liberties and freedoms need to go back to the people?”

“I’m beginning to think that the battle for our individual liberty could be an even bigger battle than the battle to get us out of the European Union,” Farage said.

For smokers, it’s been a police state for 13 years,

Peter Hitchens:

I sense that I and some others have now become the targets of a worrying wave of spite, censorship and intolerance, very like the McCarthyite frenzy in 1950s America which swept up all kinds of innocent people in what claimed to be an attack on Communism.

Smokers have been subjected to spite, censorship and intolerance for 13 years.

Nobody lifted a finger to help us.

We became non-persons.

Now it’s their turn to become non-persons too.

I hope they like it.

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Coming from the Wrong Side of Town

Why is Donald Trump such a divisive figure? Why do some people hate him? And why,, conversely, do some people love him? No other presiident in recent history seems to have attracted a similar reception.

My answer, for a long time, has been that he comes from the wrong side of town. He was born and raised in Queens. NY, and that was the wrong side of town. And that’s perhaps because in many ciiies the prevailing wind blows from west to east, which meant that all the smoke from city chimneys blew eastward, making the eastern quarter smokier than the western quarter, and a less desirable place to live. West London boroughs like Knightsbridge and Chelsea are far more desirable places to live than eastern districts like Stepney or Shoreditch. And the same is probably true of New York City, and many other cities too.

So it’s perhaps pure snobbery that makes some people regard Donald Trump with contempt. He comes from the wrong side of town, and he speaks with the wrong accent.

Though he grew up in privilege, eventually attending college at Wharton, Trump never shed his Queens accent. 

Did Julius Caesar have a Subura accent?. Subura was a crowded lower-class area on the east side of Rome that was also notorious as a pleasure district.[

Julius Caesar lived in a family home in the Suburra district until, in 63 BC, he was elected pontifex maximus at the age of 37,

He became known for his exceptional oratory accompanied by impassioned gestures and a high-pitched voice

So most likely Caesar had a Subura accent just like Donald Trump has a Queens accent. And maybe much of his oratorical success was because any Roman listening to him knew from his voice that he was one of the Populares, and not one of the arrogant Optimates from Palatium. And Julius Caesar was as much hated as Donald Trump, and was also eventually murdered.

Did Napoleon Bonaparte have a Corsican accent? And Alexander a Macedonian accent?

Perhaps these small things matter more than anything else. Perhaps people’s accents matter more than what they actually say? If Trump had a Texan accent, it would have been a different story?

I liked Trump. To me he just had an American accent. I’m not able to tell different regional American accents apart, like I can with \british accents, So I only heard the content of what he had to say. But other people were picking up a lot more information from the way he said it. I suspect that Never-Trumpers are people who made up their minds about him after hearing him speak a single sentence, and they were judging the accent, not the content: Trump was from the wrong side of town.

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The Once And Future King

We’re watching a passion play.

Perhaps the single defining myth of the Western world is that of the good man from the wrong side of town who gathered around him a set of followers, mostly ordinary people. and who spoke to them at crowded meetings for a few short years, until he was unjustly put on trial by high priests, betrayed by his friends, scourged and crucified, dead and buried – but who nevertheless came back from the dead and triumphed over the world.

His name?

You know it well:


Donald Trump.

These days we’re witnessing the crucifixion of Donald Trump. But he’s going to emerge from it all far stronger than before. He’s going to be invincible. The more they do to him, the stronger he’s going to get.

He’ll be even stronger if they manage to actually kill him, like they want to.

The high priests: Nancy Pelosi. William Barr. Mike Pence. Mitch McConnell. Ann Coulter. Republicans and Democrats: they’re all going to be swept away. The whole damn lot.

It won’t happen immediately. It waits for Trump’s ordeal to end. And there are a few more weeks for that to happen.

But when it’s over, and he’s finally been murdered or imprisoned or exiled or expunged from history (or all these things), there’ll be a resurrection. Trump will become what he really always was: a simple, good man, unjustly reviled and betrayed and condemned. And however hard they try to erase his memory, they will find that he’s remembered more and more by those decent, ordinary Americans for whom he once spoke plainly and simply.

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