This week: the latest Covid-19 developments; the breakdown of law-and-order in the United States; the Salvation Army goes “woke”; media malpractice; and a wee bit of good news.
First a Rant:
I do my best to “curate” the materials I post on this blog. By that I mean I try not to post the analysis of others without first grounding them in the source materials used in that analysis. For example, suppose commentators disseminate a critique of the Covid vaccines; quoting a particular source or “expert”. I try to locate the source document(s) and read them myself and also attempt to verify the credentials and methods of the person(s) who authored that source material. Same goes for videos from “experts” – what are their qualifications, background, affiliations, etc.? This as one might expect, can take a great deal of time.
This exercise in curation is quite necessary (unfortunately) because it has been my experience that individuals on both sides of any debate (this is especially true for Covid and the vaccines) have a tendency to either:
- Fail to properly vet the sources used in their articles
- Knowingly engage in distortion, name-calling and hyperbole to get their favored viewpoint across
- Latch on to whatever fits their narrative – the facts be damned
- Parrot the views of others with whom they agree, and who have also engaged in one or more of the practices listed above.
Resorting to relying upon the work of “fact checkers” – who are supposed to do the objective vetting for us – is generally pointless, as most have their own viewpoints and biases and are often working on behalf of “establishment” interests. I could write an entire VOLUME on the absurdity and corruption of what passes for “fact checking”.
Never in the history of mankind have we had greater access to such a tremendous volume of information at our fingertips than we do right now. That access is cheap, easy to obtain and available to all. Yet the irony here is that what appears to be an abundance of “information” is actually an echo chamber of battling ideological pundits with a strong dose of censorship and propaganda thrown in for good measure.
Pull up a dozen or more articles on a particular topic and you will often times see the same words, phrases, and ideas repeated over-and-over again Ad nauseum. I’ve seen what purport to be originally authored articles repeated word-for-word across multiple sites. Original thought and analysis have been replaced by ideological templates, sound bytes and talking points.
This has caused me no small amount of aggravation – especially over the last week while researching Covid. While there is no doubt that the media, government and our other established institutions are engaging in narrative control and censorship, it is also true that their opponents are also often times guilty of similar offenses.
During my research over the past week, I noted that several vaccine skeptics were circulating videos of an alleged “doctor” and “researcher” by the name of Geert Vanden Bossche. My vetting of Dr. Vanden Bossche revealed he is actually a doctor of veterinary medicine (DVM). While that’s not immediately disqualifying, a search of major scientific publishing “scrapers” shows no research published by VanDen Bossche over at least the last 20 years. Indeed further investigation shows he hasn’t published any peer-reviewed research since about 1995. He does not see patients, and has no clinical experience in the treatment of humans that I can discern.
He did pull a stint at the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation – but the Gates Foundation has a somewhat checkered reputation and doesn’t always spend its’ money wisely or benevolently. The Gates Foundation also funds MANY people, and not all are highly qualified. This does NOT necessarily mean that Dr. Vanden Bossche’s warnings about the vaccines are patently incorrect, but it does raise serious questions. I only spend time on him here because he represents an example of vaccine critique that skeptics would be better served ignoring until or unless he can better prove his case. Giving the mysterious Dr. Vanden Bossche’s theories credibility only serves to undermine those who have legitimate concerns about vaccine safety and efficacy.
Another example (also Covid related) is a former Pfizer employee, alleged “whistleblower” and self-proclaimed “biotech analyst” named Karen Kingston. Numerous vaccine skeptics are touting her claims and “expertise” in criticizing the safety of the Pfizer jab. Here’s the problem: while Ms. Kingston did work for Pfizer, it was in their marketing department from 1996-1998!
Kingston appears to have no scientific background, and didn’t even work for the company at the time the vaccines were developed. Indeed, her work with Pfizer was 21 years prior to the appearance of Covid-19! Among other things, Kingston claims the vaccine contains graphene oxide (a rather toxic substance), and that it was developed as a “bioweapon”. While even a cursory review of the literature shows research has been conducted into the use of graphene oxide in vaccines (contrary to the claims of many “fact checkers”), Kingston provides NO hard evidence it is present in any of the jabs. The claim that the Pfizer jab is a “bioweapon” is an extraordinary one. While extraordinary claims are not necessarily untrue, it is wise to remember that “extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence” – something Kingston has not yet provided.
I’m increasingly frustrated with how difficult it is to reliably identify competent research and clinical evidence that challenges the prevailing narratives surrounding Covid and the vaccines. It isn’t that good evidence and credible critics don’t exist, it’s that separating the wheat from the chaff has become extremely challenging. At least some of the blame falls squarely on the shoulders of Covid critics, who in their eagerness to discredit the entire pandemic response, are willing to pounce upon anyone that says what they want to hear. Responsibility also lies with a government and media complex that have not only been lacking in transparency, but have also engaged in disinformation, information suppression, and character assassination.
When you politicize science the scientific method is the first casualty, and truth is further obscured. Bad policy decisions inevitably follow, and people suffer needlessly. Be careful out there, and strive to be judicious when evaluating the “experts” and their evidence – whatever side they’re on. I’m doing the best I can.
In a study published in the Lancet, researchers observed that vaccinated individuals who were infected with the Delta variant had 251 times the viral load than those who had been infected with the original strain in early 2020 (who were unvaccinated). There have been several different interpretations of the findings of this paper, but I think the primary takeaway is this statement by the authors:
Breakthrough Delta variant infections following Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccination may cause asymptomatic or mild disease, but are associated with high viral loads, prolonged PCR positivity and low levels of vaccine-induced neutralizing antibodies. Epidemiological and sequence data suggested ongoing transmission had occurred between fully vaccinated individuals.
In other words, at least the AstraZeneca vaccine appears to have not prevented transmission of Covid-19 to others. A full reading of the paper seems to confirm that this is a minimally reasonable conclusion. This appears to further undermine the notion that the vaccinated cannot readily infect others.
Geneticist Dr. Alexandra Henrion-Caude was formerly a researcher at the French Institute of Health and Medical Research (Inserm). Dr. Henrion-Caude has been at the forefront challenging the safety of the mRNA vaccines. Dr. Henrion-Caude appears to have left Inserm in 2021 due in part to differences of opinion with her colleagues, who formerly regarded her as “brilliant” but now just a “conspiracy theorist” – funny that. I believe this interview with Dr. Henrion-Caude is worth your time:
Dr Steven R Gundry is a retired cardiologist and the former Head of Cardiothoracic Surgery at Loma Linda University. Dr. Gundry published an abstract of his poster session in Circulation, a publication of the American Heart Association (AHA) Gundry concludes:
…the mRNA vacs dramatically increase inflammation on the endothelium and T cell infiltration of cardiac muscle and may account for the observations of increased thrombosis, cardiomyopathy, and other vascular events following vaccination
It should be noted that like many other healthcare professionals expressing concerns about the Covid vaccinations, an “expression of concern” was filed with the AHA regarding Gundry’s poster session (i.e., he is in the process of being cancelled and discredited).
Dr. Daniel Stock is a primary care physician from Indiana who advocates for early therapeutic treatment of Covid infected patients using a combination of vitamin D, zinc, and ivermectin:
Like Dr. Stock, Dr. Mary Bowden is a Houston area ENT who has been treating her Covid patients proactively with ivermectin and supplements. For her efforts, Dr. Bowden was suspended by Houston Methodist Hospital, after which, she resigned and gave a statement to the press:
Here are some interesting statistics on her Covid patients from her website:
57% of our patients testing for COVID-19 in the last 2 months were fully vaccinated.
44% of our patients receiving monoclonal antibodies for symptomatic COVID-19 in the last 2 months were fully vaccinated.
Overall % positive rate in the last 30 days: 4%
This is what happens to Dr. Bowden’s patients when they are hospitalized and she isn’t permitted to intervene:
According to Dr. Bowden, she had to rely increasingly on ivermectin, as access to monoclonal antibody treatment has become more restricted by governmental authorities. It appears she is being “cancelled” because she is willing to try something rather than stand by and allow her patients to die.
Few can deny governments around the world have leveraged the Covid-19 pandemic to institute all manner of authoritarian restrictions on the citizenry.
In New York state, Governor Kathy Hochul declared a “State of Emergency” lasting at least through January 15, 2022, over a Covid variant (omicron) that hasn’t yet been found in the U.S., and which South African health officials claim has caused only mild symptoms.
This has again resulted in the suspension of “non-essential” surgeries, potentially setting up the citizens of New York for a healthcare crisis of a different sort.
Australia has entered a whole new realm of insanity. Michael Gunner, Chief Minister of the Northern Territory has ordered the relocation of indigenous persons in Australia’s NT to be placed in “quarantine camps” by military personnel.
Speaking of Michael Gunner, he seems like a reasonable and pleasant fellow with absolutely NO totalitarian traits whatsoever:
The Rule of Law Dies:
Darrell Brooks used his SUV to mow down dozens of people at a Christmas parade in Waukesha, Wisconsin. Most U.S. media news outlets act as if Brooks’ motive is a total mystery. Others suspect his affections for BLM and his disdain for the Rittenhouse verdict might be strong motives. His social media history (which was grabbed before it was deleted) was certainly interesting.
Brooks was released by an activist DA on $1,000 bail just a few days prior to the Christmas parade attack. His most recent offense involved beating up his girlfriend and running her over with his car. Apparently, no danger to the community at all.
Milwaukee district attorney John Chisholm is a big fan of “equity” and “bail reform”, having once remarked of his policies:
Is there going to be an individual I divert, or I put into treatment program, who’s going to go out and kill somebody? You bet. Guaranteed. It’s guaranteed to happen. It does not invalidate the overall approach.
Meanwhile, an epidemic of mob-based smash-and-grab robberies are plaguing California. Businesses already struggling with staffing shortages, supply chain issues, and reeling from the pandemic are saying this could be the end.
Even sex offenders are being released – and going on to immediately re-offend (of course).
Salvation Army goes Woke:
Unfortunately I found this out just after I’d already made a sizable contribution, but it seems that the Salvation Army has hired “diversity equity and inclusion” (DEI) staff, and gone woke. Kenny Xu over at the Daily Signal does a nice breakdown of Salvation Army’s “Let’s talk about racism” CRT training.
Finally Good News:
It appears with at least 5 Democratic Senators formally announcing their opposition, Biden’s Marxist nominee for Comptroller of the Currency, Saule Omarova, is history. Omarova had called for bankrupting America’s oil and gas industry, and abolishing private banks altogether. Now we wait for the next Biden nut-job nominee.
Finally the Independent Community Bank Association reports that the IRS bank snooping build was omitted from the House version of “Build Back Better”. However, ICBA noted that some members of the Senate are pushing to put it back in, again.
Political correctness is communist propaganda writ small. In my study of communist societies, I came to the conclusion that the purpose of communist propaganda was not to persuade or convince, not to inform, but to humiliate; and therefore, the less it corresponded to reality the better. When people are forced to remain silent when they are being told the most obvious lies, or even worse when they are forced to repeat the lies themselves, they lose once and for all their sense of probity. To assent to obvious lies is in some small way to become evil oneself. One’s standing to resist anything is thus eroded, and even destroyed. A society of emasculated liars is easy to control.
— Theodore Dalrymple