Looking back on COVID authoritarianism

The article “Looking Back At COVID’s Authoritarian Regimes” by David R. Henderson criticizes the heavy restrictions on freedom imposed by the Trump administration and US governors during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, calling them authoritarian measures.[1] It argues that instead of broad lockdowns, the government could have focused resources on protecting high-risk groups like nursing home residents, which would have been a more targeted and less authoritarian approach.[1] The article suggests that officials like Dr. Deborah Birx extended lockdowns without initially having data to justify them, prioritizing their predetermined goals over evidence.[1] It contrasts this approach with the “Great Barrington Declaration” which advocated focused protection of the vulnerable rather than widespread lockdowns.[1]

Sources
[1] Looking Back At COVID’s Authoritarian Regimes Looking Back At COVID’s Authoritarian Regimes | Hoover Institution Looking Back At COVID’s Authoritarian Regimes
[2] Sharp Power and Democratic Resilience Series Sharp Power and Democratic Resilience Series | Compromising the Knowledge Economy - NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR DEMOCRACY
[3] STANFORD–HOOVER SERIES ON AUTHORITARIANISM… Series: STANFORD–HOOVER SERIES ON AUTHORITARIANISM...
[4] COVID-19 accelerating ‘democratic recession,’ warns Larry Diamond COVID-19 accelerating ‘democratic recession,’ warns Larry Diamond
[5] Hoover’s push to suppress scientific collaboration - The Stanford Daily https://stanforddaily.com/2022/01/10/from-the-community-trading-one-authoritarian-for-another-hoovers-push-to-suppress-scientific-collaboration/

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That is essentially what anyone who was paying attention was arguing at the time! But individuals in government and the media ignored incontrovertible evidence that Covid was comparable to the ever-present flu (such as the very low death rate on the cruise ship Diamond Princess) and did an excellent job of creating unnecessary panic. They have not paid any price for their misjudgments/misdeeds, including Madame Birx.

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Diamond Princess data was from Feb or early March 2020. Very good data convinced me and anyone with average intelligence to see that COVID was not the catastrophe that Fauci and Birx hoped it would be. Of course they didn’t care about data.

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The farther we get from that awful period, the more I find myself thinking the fault is in the people. WTF happened to us?
In 1984, we took a cruise on the Danube River, on the Soviet-Danube line. A Soviet ship, an all-Russian crew. All American passengers.
When we got to the Iron Gate, a natural water gap of legendary beauty, an announcement was made that we couldn’t take pictures of it.
EVERYBODY ran for their cameras, and within seconds we were all on deck, clicking and whirring away like a plague of locusts (remember when cameras used to make noise?).
THAT was America. Liberty attended on us, wherever we were in the world. One word to sum up the American character:

Defiance.

WTF happened to us, somewhere during GWB’s “compassionate conservatism” and Obama’s minatory finger wagging over our “arrogance”?

“We the people” rolled over and played dead during the Covid “crisis”. Sure, a buncha Karens became jailers of the rest of us—but we ALL held out our wrists to be manacled, except for a few brave shopkeepers. The lockdown couldn’t have succeeded without our meek compliance.
If we had still had that look, “Don’t even THINK about it!” the whole awful paralysis wouldnta happened.

Was it 9/11? Did that irreparably damage our conviction of invulnerability?

What do you think, dear polymaths?

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Absolutely! The fault is in us, not in our stars. But where did the fault come from?

One likely source was the post-WWII successful Far Left penetration of the educational system and the media. The American passengers on that Soviet boat in 1984 had probably mostly been born in the 1940s & 50s. They (we) had been brought up with the idea (overstated, of course) that Westerners wore the white hats and had saved the world from fascism.

To quote a corporate trainer, ‘What you are now is who you were when’. People brought up in the 1960s, 70s, and later received an entirely different indoctrination. Hence the problems we see today.

This is why correcting the current mess will require a very traumatic experience followed by at least two generations to wash the stain of Far Leftism out of the population – the model is the escape of the Israelites from slavery in Egypt followed by 40 years in the wilderness. Painful – but that is the only way.

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We’ve got….nuthin’. I just saw part of Trump’s Saturday interview. Asked about jail or house arrest, he said he himself was “okay with it”, but he wasn’t sure the public would stand for it.
If ONLY!
There should have been a huge outcry when Mar a Lago was raided. There SHOULd have been a huge outcry over the ludicrous fine imposed by “Judge” Engoron. And then this case, where Trump’s First, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth AND Fourteenth Amendment rights were repeatedly and coolly violated.!
And I think—i could be wrong, but I think —ALL Americans understand those rights on a basic level, which is all you need to perceive they were abrogated for Trump. “Show me the man…”—and that’s all, we don’t even need to bother showing the crime.

Welp— to our credit (we the “Silent Majority” if it still exists), we DID open our wallets, to the tune of $70 million in small donations.
Our hearts are in the right place. But our voices, our butts—not so much.
And who can blame us on one level? Mere physical presence on Jan 6 is enough to get ya thrown into a dungeon. I know I thank God every night that the Monroe County Republican Committee’s bus was full, and I was just too lazy to drive down to DC alone.
No, they’ve got us well and truly cowed. I really hope Trump,doesn’t imagine that there will be a widespread public uprising if The Hon. Juan Merchan sends him to Rikers. There won’t be. Who would dare?

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I’m afraid this is right on. As well, even if there were some willing to organize for meaningful resistance, mere whispers of such would be immediately heard by the likes of the 3-letter tyrant agencies and promptly acted upon with “lethal force authorized” (this is reserved for regime opponents = “enemies” and “domestic terrorists”). Interesting such terms are NEVER applied to actual domestic terrorists who burn things and kill people on the left!

I conclude the only effective ways out are 2 in number: Russia responds to the daily-mounting level of provocation by the US/NATO (which isn’t difficult to see is an invitation to a war we cannot win with conventional weapons) in a manner our betters in DC believe will allow us to do a first strike successfully (to our betters, it would be an enhanced victory if our population was reduced by 25 or 35% by transformation into nuclear ash).

The other alternative I can imagine may be effective is sporadic efforts by “lone actors” or “mentally ill” who are not “conspirators” (you know, for instance, anyone who kills someone shouting “Allah Akhbar” is a lone actor, and mentally ill - he’s not performing an expected, organized religious ritual). Wouldn’t it be the same thing if those acting against certain “officials” who fearlessly and daily perform their “lawful” (wink wink) duties or “just follow orders” day in and day out, to extinguish every possible portion of the Bill of Rights “legally”. Those who do so fearlessly, must learn, somehow, that there IS risk in such activities. Only then will they hesitate. No reason for that… so far. Freedom, recall, is not free. Neither is tyranny. That, my dear, is one of the first fruits of removing the rule of law - aka “self help”. What was the jurist’s name who presided over such a travesty for the past few weeks to fashion a criminal where there is no crime? - from which we may never recover? I wish him and those acting like him every day, many, many poor nights’ sleep.

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I just read a piece on Anarchonomicon.com, “Assassintion War and the Death of Bureaucracy”. A great site which @TrinityWaters brought to my attention, saying I think the same thing. You have to go after the functionaries, the rank’n’ file. The author, “Kulak” ( so apt!) says what DEI really means is the selection by the state of persons who could have no power, couldn’t even function! WITHOUT, or outside, the state. People who ,cannot, with any effort, even be trained to do the things the most capable, strongest, and smartest people among us can do. Don’t bother striking the head of the beast: lop away at its fingers and toes.

And PS;;I’ve been thinking about the names of these judges: Engoron, and the Hon…Juan Merchan (pronounced murSHON) “ The Engoron” sounds like a monster or monster machine, that could destroy a planet. And the other guy::I’m thinkin’ of him as “Honnie wan mershonny”.

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The author has an interesting perspective – but it is unlikely that citizens will start randomly assassinating the Glendas of the Federal bureaucracy. Maybe citizens will be more likely to start fires in Federal parking lots, and otherwise make life less pleasant for them.

However, the real weakness of the overbearing DC Swamp is their inability to practice financial continence. At some point, there will be no money to pay Glenda – or the scrip she is handed will not buy anything. Then the bureaucracy crumbles.

For those not inclined to direct action, perhaps the best approach is to do our little bits to accelerate the Swamp’s financial day of reckoning. This can be a simple as buying from Temu instead of Amazon; or having a deliberate policy of not buying anything Made in America which paid taxes to the Feds; or playing games to push up the Fed’s administration costs; or claiming every possible dollar in support from the Swamp. Just some ideas to ponder!

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Nothing to see here.

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There are some nasty upper respiratory illnesses going around in the Pittsburgh area. From the few people I know, though, it’s not covid. If these are the result of vaccine-induced immune deficits, it will never be published and we will never know it. Actually, we will be told outright, that even the hypothesis is nothing but a conspiracy theory, because the scientific rules as to discovering disease causes have been changed: no research whose null hypothesis goes against the official party line! Thus, nothing to see in novel illness crop-up following world-wide inoculation with a thoroughly-untested novel mRNA gene therapy (it never met the definition of a vaccine).

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Do you really think it’s vaccines?

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Sorry, but the study description raises flags to this reader.

We leveraged a well-characterized cohort (Long-term Impact of Infection with Novel Coronavirus (LIINC)7; Supplementary Tables 13) to analyze the blood from 27 LC and 16 R individuals, obtained 8 months postinfection (Fig. 1a) before any SARS-CoV-2 vaccination or reinfection. LC individuals, who consistently exhibited LC symptoms such as fatigue, ‘brain fog’ and sleep disturbance over 8 months, were 63% female and included 26% previously hospitalized for COVID-19 (Extended Data Fig. 1a–c and Supplementary Tables 13).

  • Small study size (27 “Long Covid” patients, 16 “Regular”)
  • Fuzzy definition of “Long Covid”
  • This is a descriptive study that examined a long list of markers and called out differences.

A casual read of the abstract takes away that long covid patients reveal significant immune changes. But the significance of those changes hinges on p-testing at individual marker level and the preponderance of markers evaluated. To simplify, using 30+ 'omics and serological assays shows statistically significant difference at p=0.05. Does that mean anything clinically? No idea.

One of the reviewers of this paper noted the same deficiencies

The conclusions proposed by the authors are not fully supported by their data, since the majority of
significant differences are driven by a few patient samples, sometimes 1-2 samples. Except for the
OLINK results, the majority of data are not robust enough to support the conclusions.

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There’s a ton of studies about how SARS-nCoV-2 / COVID-19 wrecks the immune system in a way that resembles HIV:

I can keep going. Any individual study might be small, but this been replicated as extensively as anything.

Of course, I honestly do not and cannot know. What I do know is that before politics ruled everything, novel events in the disease field quickly attracted many dedicated epidemiologists looking for the cause. This no longer happens with politically-charged matters and it is part of the politicization of science which is bad for everyone.

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There are parties that benefit from confusion:

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Sure, similar point applies to publications quantifying the association between vaccination and adverse side effects

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There are side effects, yes, and they’re like 1-2 orders of magnitude lower than what the virus does to you.

Unless you go and lock down and eradicate the virus, you have to do cost/benefit mitigation.

BTW, this particular paper is by a sole varicose vein specialist who probably shouldn’t be opining on vaccine policy in general:

The papers I’ve cited have been written by teams of top researchers in their respective fields.

Good luck with that. Talk about the cure being more expensive than the fix.

Unfortunately, the virus lockdown and propaganda amplified by the political situation of 2020 played a number on a lot of people ways of thinking.

And the cost/benefit mitigation that was done at that point in time was primarily aimed to win political points in the 2020 electoral fight in the US. At all costs.

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China was actually trying to eradicate and hoping the rest of the world would do it as well. This was the sensible thing to do. After omicron they realized that it’s not going to work. But China internally was also divided.

As for politicking, see: