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Some Covid Links

Richard Ebeling argues that “wars and ‘following the science’ are sure paths to tyranny.” A slice:

For more than a year, now, we have been in the grip of a massive “new wave” of a dangerous and deadly ideological virus that has the names political paternalism and social engineering. It is often pointed out that the current coronavirus crisis is the first of this magnitude and global dimension since the infamous Spanish Flu from 1918 to 1920, during which estimates say that tens of millions of people, worldwide, may have died from that earlier virus.

But it is less often highlighted that a political virus of government control, regulation, restriction and planning enveloped all the major countries of the world at about the same time, a little over 100 years ago during the First World War. After the 25-year European-wide war between, first, revolutionary and then Napoleonic France against Great Britain, Imperial Russia, Prussia, Spain, and some other minor countries that ended in 1815, a number of leading nations, of which Britain was preeminent, “inoculated” themselves against the all-dominating state through classical liberal reforms that recognized individual rights, personal and civil liberty, the sanctity of private property, the freedom of enterprise and mostly unrestricted international trade and investment, which were all bolstered by formal and informal institutional restrictions on government spending, taxing, borrowing, and the printing of paper money through introduction of constitutional limits and national gold standards.

Robby Soave rightly resists the deranged Covid hysteria issuing from Biden’s White House. A slice:

It’s true that cases are currently plateauing around 60,000 each day, and hospitalizations have ticked up slightly. What federal health authorities do not seem to understand, however, is that human beings are not just numbers on spreadsheets. We have a desire to socialize, to reopen our schools and businesses, to go outside and start living life again. Mass vaccination was intended to make this dream a reality, and the news is very good. According to the data, vaccination reduces death and severe disease to basically zero, and vaccinated people are much less likely to transmit COVID-19 to others. This means that vaccinated people can reclaim normality with minimal danger—particularly if the activities in question (going to the park or the beach) do not themselves carry much risk in the first place.

If the authorities really believed we were facing impending doom, they should immediately distribute all available vaccines. And yet 30 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine are currently sitting unused in a warehouse in Ohio, just waiting for the government to get around to signing off on them. According to the government, the situation is so dire that people should cancel summer travel plans and keep wearing masks even after they’re vaccinated, but not dire enough to tell federal bureaucrats to pick up the pace.

Patrick Fagan argues that “intense fear messaging by the government is inadvisable: it is likely damaging mental health while being of questionable practical value.

Glen Bishop corrects a professor peddling hysteria. A slice:

Professor Brown should feel free to lock himself away for the rest of time if he wants to make sure he isn’t putting the ‘vaccine hesitant’ community at risk, but he shouldn’t advocate forcing the rest of sane society to do so. What next? A ban on car travel because some people refuse to wear seat belts and it puts them at risk of dying? A ban on ‘do not resuscitate’ wishes from patients? Do SAGE want to ban sex outside of committed relationships because some people do not use condoms and could spread STDs? What about “a circuit breaker on sex” whilst we do mass testing for STDs and make everyone get a “coitus passport”, so the plebs can only fornicate if they have tested negative for chlamydia, herpes, and HIV? If Professor Brown insists on advocating one set of restrictions, it is illogical not to advocate the others.

Alan Dowd calls for a Covid-19 Lockdown Commission. A slice:

Yes, there are green shoots of critical thinking and individual liberty now sprouting—and blessedly so—but they’re originating from the grassroots up. The Washington elites, the public health pop stars, the authoritarian governors, the producers and playwrights of mask theater, the “laptop class,” the disciples of scientism, the disgraced computer modelers, the media outlets trying to hold on to their captive audience—all these entities oppose America’s yearning for normalcy. Trapped in an echo chamber of groupthink, they either see no reason to review what happened in the past 12 months—or realize that doing so would be to admit that they made a mistake of historic proportions.

Barry Brownstein explains how to be anti-authoritarian. A slice:

Glenn Greenwald has sounded the alarm about ongoing attempts to curtail the First Amendment. Recently Greenwald described his experience as he listened to the “tyrannical goal” expressed at a Congressional hearing: “Words cannot convey how chilling and authoritarian this all is: watching government officials, hour after hour, demand censorship of political speech and threaten punishment for failures to obey.”

In the UK, former Supreme Court judge Jonathan Sumption has called out his government’s oppressive Covid-19 policies:

“A society in which oppressive control of every detail of our lives is unthinkable except when it is thought to be a good idea, is not free. It is not free while the controls are in place. And it is not free after they are lifted, because the new attitude will allow the same thing to happen again whenever there is enough public support.”

Underline attitude. We are only free to the extent that we understand freedom. Widespread individual authoritarian mindsets fuel authoritarian politicians. Sumption writes, “The Prime Minister claims to believe in liberty and to find the current measures distasteful. Actions speak louder than words, and I am afraid that I do not believe him. He is too much of a populist to go against public sentiment.”

Phil Magness yesterday on Facebook:

All 6 of the states that are currently experiencing a noticeable spike in covid cases have lockdowner governors, and spent the better part of the last year under some of the heaviest restrictions in the country. None have meaningfully reopened to the levels now widely seen in the south and western interior. They’re also among the hardest states in the nation to get a vaccine in due to interminably bureaucratic rollout schemes.

But don’t expect the media to note any of this, let alone suggest that it speaks to a failure of the policy approaches that all of these states followed.


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