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Washington Post columnist Charles Lane – applauding a brave protester in China – describes Xi Jinping’s pursuit of zero-covid as “a great leap backwards.” A slice:

No, China is probably not headed for another famine like the one that killed millions as a result of Mao’s insistence on a disruptive bid for simultaneous industrialization and agriculture collectivization between 1958 and 1962.

What’s comparable, though, are the mind-sets of Mao and Xi. Both set ostensible policy objectives — economic growth, public health — and called for party-led mass mobilization to achieve them. For both, party-led mass mobilization itself is the true point of the exercise.

Now, as then, the party will settle for nothing less than superhuman effort. “People must conquer nature,” Mao instructed during the Great Leap Forward. “Fighting against the epidemic is both a material struggle and a spiritual confrontation. It is a contest of strength and a contest of will,” an editorial on Xi’s coronavirus policy in People’s Daily recently said.

Mao proclaimed Chinese economic development would overtake that of Britain. Xi promises China will outperform Western countries at fighting the pandemic, without the help of their vaccines.

Xi’s speech to the congress Sunday offered no hint of a new approach, despite counterproductive results ranging from the crash of a bus carrying people to a quarantine facility, in which 27 people died, to a markedly slowing economy.

David Stockman reviews some of the economic consequences of lockdowns. A slice:

Nor does the Donald and Fauci’s Virus Patrol get off the hook on the grounds that these dispositive facts about the Covid were not fully known in early March 2020. But to the contrary, the results of a live fire case study involving the 3,711 passengers and crew members of the famously stricken and stranded cruise ship, the Diamond Princess, were fully known at the time, and they were more than enough to quash the Lockdown hysteria.

During late January and February the virus had spread rapidly among the large, close-quartered population of the cruise ship, causing nearly 20% of the population to test positive—about half of which were symptomatic. Moreover, the population skewed elderly as is normally the case on cruise ships, with 2,165 people or 58% over 60-years of age and 1,242 or 33% over 70-years.

So if there was a vulnerable population sample this was it: That is, a stranded population of the mostly elderly in the close quarters of a cruise ship.

But, alas, the known mortality count from the Diamond Princess as of March 13, 2020 was just nine, and ultimately 13, meaning that the overall population survival rate was 99.8%. Moreover, all of these nine deaths were among the 70 years and older population, making the survival rate for even among the most vulnerable sub-population 99.3%.

And, of course, for the 2,469 persons under 70-years of age on this ship, the survival rate was, well, 100%.

That’s right. Donald Trump and his way-in-over-his-head son-in-law, Jared Kushner, knew or should have known that the survival rate of the under 70-years population on the Diamond Princess was 100%, and that there was no dire public emergency in any way, shape or form.

Under those conditions, anyone with a passing familiarity with the tenets of constitutional liberty and the requisites of free markets would have sent Dr. Fauci, Dr. Birx and the rest of the public health power-grabbers packing.

That the Donald and Jared did not do. Instead, they got led by the nose for month after month by Fauci’s awful crew because basically Trump and Kushner were power-seekers and egomaniacs, not Republicans and certainly not conservatives.

The resulting unnecessary economic wreckage is almost unspeakable.

To describe el gato malo’s opinion of the new U.S. “biodefense”plan as negative is a gross understatement.

HART decries “the crushing of dissent throughout the covid era.” Two slices:

Since the emergence of the novel coronavirus in early 2020, there has been widespread censorship of views that do not support the two mantras of covid-19 orthodoxy: namely that, ‘Lockdowns and other restrictions were appropriate responses’ and ‘The mRNA vaccines are safe and effective’. Indeed, the unprecedented and non-evidenced covid restrictions could not have been so successfully imposed without propaganda in all its forms. Contrary to popular opinion, techniques of manipulation do not only characterise recognised totalitarian regimes, but are now endemic within contemporary liberal democracies. And three, overlapping, forms of non-consensual persuasion have been widely deployed throughout the covid era to control the narrative and subsequent behaviour of citizens….


In the UK, there has even been military involvement in the form of the 77th Brigade with their explicit mission to create and spread material ‘in support of designated tasks’ while also ‘supporting counter-adversarial information activity’. Internationally, the WHOhas effectively modulated the flow of information via the use of fact-checking organisations and collaborations with Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp and YouTube, so as to guarantee that ‘science-based health messages from official sources’ (aka the dominant narrative) appear first when one searches for covid information.

Specific examples of the impact of this – seemingly global – operation to control information flow are numerous. They include: Professor Gupta (an epidemiological expert) being instructed not to mention the Great Barrington Declaration prior to appearing on a BBC discussion programme about lockdowns; academic journals blocking the peer-reviewed covid research of Dr Peter McCullough and the suppression of trial findings that had concluded that Ivermectin was an effective treatment; the removal of Dr Robert Malone (the inventor of mRNA technology) from Twitter; and the removal of MPs Sir Christopher Chope and David Davies from YouTube for, respectively, raising concerns about vaccine damage and vaccine effectiveness.

One fundamental consequence of this selective regulation of information was that our Western media – a supposed pillar of democracy – failed us all in their refusal to scrutinise and evaluate the actions of public officials.

Fauci is a liar. (HT Jay Bhattacharya)

The Wall Street Journal‘s Editorial Board reports that Biden’s antitrust activists are meeting much defeat in the courts, but still these activists’ destructive interventions are doing harm. A slice:

The Administration seems to be firing at any merger that moves to create enough regulatory uncertainty to discourage businesses from combining. Businesses may decide it’s not worth the expense and time, which has a monetary value, to defend against even meritless government lawsuits. Several companies have called off mergers after antitrust regulators sued.

Also reported by the Wall Street Journal‘s Editorial Board is the sad, but wholly predictable, reality that climate ‘policies’ will cause this winter’s heating bills to be extraordinarily high. A slice:

Another problem is New York’s blockade on pipelines transporting natural gas from Appalachia. Northeasterners who use oil for heating will spend on average $2,354 this winter, up from $1,212 two years ago. Folks with gas furnaces will spend only about $1,094. Democrats in Albany who are blocking the gas pipelines aren’t content with raising energy costs in their own state. They want people in neighboring states to shiver too.

New York’s pipeline obstruction is forcing New England to import more liquefied natural gas (LNG) from overseas, which costs multiples more than domestic gas. The Jones Act, which says that only American-built, -flagged and -crewed ships can transport cargo between U.S. ports, limits LNG from the U.S. Gulf Coast. Six Governors of New England states in July asked Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm to consider suspending the Jones Act to alleviate their energy costs this winter. But that would offend the AFL-CIO.

Instead, the Administration is threatening to restrict U.S. refined fuel exports. This would increase global fuel prices and result in higher heating costs in New England, which relies on oil imports. One bad protectionist policy may thus produce another. All of which means that Americans will pay again for the Democratic Party’s war on fossil fuels. U.S. gasoline prices have been rising again after OPEC’s production cuts, and swelling heating bills will compound the pain.

Phil Magness writes on his Facebook page:

In a world where elite academia consistently prioritizes politically fashionable causes over intellectual merit or even intellectual honesty, we should not be surprised to see similar preferences emerging among persons and organizations who currently sit outside of elite academia but desire to rub elbows within its ranks.

David Henderson shares a snippet from a 1943 report – “report” – in Life on the U.S.S.R. (DBx: Reading this snippet only further confirms the sad truth that intellectuals, such as the Life reporter, become utterly deluded as a result of their jejune infatuation with centralized power.)