Sunday, May 24, 2020

WHO PAYS THE PRICE?

What a year and what an example of the absolute wreckage that central planners leave in their wake.

"Flatten the curve" they said, "we must lock everything down." Was this all to save lives or destroy lives?

Mao Zedong, the communist leader of the Chinese Cultural Revolution, once thought it would be a great idea to eliminate sparrows. After-all, the sparrows ate the grain, if the sparrows were eliminated then there would be a more abundance of grain available. Therefore sparrows were listed as one of the four great pests to be eliminated in one of his 5-Year-Plans. After a time the sparrows were almost completely eliminated and what was the result? Well, it happened  that sparrows also ate locusts and without the sparrows the locusts multiplied into plague proportions and then it was the locusts that ate all the grain. Millions of people starved to death as a result, thanks to the 5-Year-Plan.

So how about "flatten the curve" and "we must lock everything down"? Well, the sparrows are dead, so what is the result?

We locked down and have watched the utter destruction of many businesses and livelihoods in the private sector. Take note that we didn't see the same destruction of the jobs and livelihoods of those pushing the lockdowns, no, those people are insulated from the direct consequences of their decisions just as Mao Zedong still had grain to eat even in the midst of famine.

There is a principle at work here. Milton Friedman understood it. Milton Friedman wrote in his book "Free to Choose" and stated in an interview...

1. You can spend your own money on yourself. When you do that, why then you really watch what you’re doing, and you try to get the most for your money.
2. You can spend your own money on somebody else. For example, I buy a birthday present for someone. Well, then I’m not so careful about the content of the present, but I’m very careful about the cost.

3. I can spend somebody else’s money on myself. And if I spend somebody else’s money on myself, then I’m sure going to have a good lunch!

4. I can spend somebody else’s money on somebody else. And if I spend somebody else’s money on somebody else, I’m not concerned about how much it is, and I’m not concerned about what I get.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5RDMdc5r5z8
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free_to_Choose

The principle Milton Friedman understood is that it is much easier to take an action which may have negative consequences when you are not the one whom directly pays for it.

Thomas Sowell understood the same principle and worded it in the following manner...

<<<Why anyone would expect better decisions to be made by third parties who pay no price for being wrong is one of the mysteries of our time.>>> Ever Wonder Why? And Other Controversial Essays, Thomas Sowell, 1987 [1]

<<<It is hard to imagine a more stupid or more dangerous way of making decisions than by putting those decisions in the hands of people who pay no price for being wrong.>>> Wake Up Parents!, Thomas Sowell, Jewish World Review, August 18, 2000, [2]

This is the fundamental reason as to why there is so much waste and inefficiency in government, In government the consequences of waste and inefficiency are not directly paid for by the inefficient and wasteful. It is very different in the private sector where waste and inefficiency leads to bankruptcy due to losses. In the private sector competitors whom are less wasteful and more efficient can offer their goods and services at a lower price than their more wasteful and inefficient competitors and thus draw away market share.

So how does this relate to "flatten the curve" and the "mandated shutdowns"? Well, it is the same principle at work. Those in government have taken actions which have resulted in consequences which they are insulated from. Without directly being affected by the consequences of one's actions, there is little incentive to change or even admit error.

Back in early March, Professor Ferguson of the Imperial College said: "We're now moving towards trying to slow the spread to allow the health systems to cope and try to mitigate the impact of the epidemic." He stated that the UK was in the 'early stage' of an epidemic and said time is running out to contain the crisis by reducing the spread with drastic measures. He added that the UK was in the 'early stage' of an epidemic and said time was running out to contain the crisis by reducing the spread with drastic measures. [3]

This was followed by the March 16 report number 9 of the Covid-19 Response Team, "Impact of non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) to reduce COVID-19 mortality and healthcare demand." This was the report that many nations, including the United States, UK, and Australia among others, would use as their basis for implementing draconian lockdowns in order to "flatten the curve."

The Imperial College report predicted that if action were not taken then the United States faced 2.2 million deaths and Great Britain faced 510,000 by June due to medical care resources being overwhelmed. The report concluded that, "epidemic suppression is the only viable strategy at the current time. The social and economic effects of the measures which are needed to achieve this policy goal will be profound." [4]

We then had government officials turning to their new "task forces" telling us that we must "follow the science" as the mandated lockdowns began. "we all need to endure this together" and "this is a war" was some of the rhetoric heard from various podiums around the world.

There was also talk of fast-tracked vaccine development, talk of social distancing and that the world would never be the same again. A new buzzword began to come into vogue, "New Normal." We were told that things were going to be very different from now on.

The authorities were going to "save us" so long as we just trusted them and "did what we were told." Eliminate the sparrows. We obeyed.

Now here is something to consider. What has been notably absent was any talk by the experts is any emphasis whatsoever on how to strengthen our immune systems.

There has been no real emphasis on a healthy diet of raw fruits and vegetables, going out in the sunshine, or getting regular exercise. There has been no emphasis on the importance of Vitamins C, D or Zinc, all of which strengthen the immune system.

Why?

I mean, think about it. Which president, prime minister, governor or mayor has said anything about the individual being responsible for their own health? It's as if this simple concept doesn't exist in their minds. Instead the attitude is "we'll save you" so long as "you do what we say." Authoritarianism will save the day.

I suspect it is like this because of the way authoritarians think. Intellectual elites tend to think they grasp the complexities of the world better than the people they govern and thus see themselves as the saviours of society. Thus the solution to the problems of the world is in the managing and directing of others. The solution is never really seen in people managing and directing themselves (ie. freedom and liberty). The people are sheep or cattle that need to be herded and penned for their own good.

Intellectual elites mix with other intellectual elites whereupon they are constantly praising one another and therefore stroking each other's egos. They love to come up with "plans" for society and then desire to "force" these plans upon everyone else for their own good. It's a vicious circle of arrogance and conceit especially when they are insulated from the consequences of their enforced plans, which is why, in order to address the unintended consequences of their plans, they come up with new and further "plans" to be enforced.

So back to these "expert" public health task forces. None of these task-forces on health are economists, philosophers, lawyers, business people or historians, they are exclusively and narrowly focused on public health. What we have seen is the political representatives of the people hand over policy decisions to a very narrow and UN-ELECTED field and damned be everything else.

So what are the results? What have been the consequences?

Well, every day I am confronted with MANY people whom are now unemployed in the Nashville area. All these people work in the small businesses which has been absolutely decimated here.

Official statistics state in the United States that the "national unemployment rate rose by 10.3 percentage points over the month to 14.7 percent and was 11.1 points higher than in April 2019." [5]

I'm sure those figures are not accurate due some of the government loan programs which have kept unproductive businesses paying the wages of their idle workers. Basically many businesses became defacto unemployment dispensaries and a means to offset official unemployment rates.

Then there are many other businesses which didn't qualify for the loans and so their staff have filed for unemployment and many have actually been receiving MORE MONEY than they would otherwise make working their normal jobs. Many people have told me directly that they are collecting more not working than they were actually making when working. This again brings us back to the waste and inefficiency of government spending other people's money.

The Federal Reserve Balance Sheet beginning on March 2 has ballooned from 4.2 trillion dollars to over 7 trillion dollars as of May 20. [6] Neel Kashkari, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, stated back in March that “there is an infinite amount of cash in the Federal Reserve. We will do whatever we need to do to make sure there’s enough cash in the banking system.” [7] He wasn't joking. In May the Federal Reserve announced it would even begin buying Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) that own corporate bonds [8], in effect indirectly bailing out failing companies that would default otherwise. The economics of all this madness is only beginning to unwind and we have certainly seen nothing yet.

Debasing the currency by creating dollars whilst at the same time cutting production only serves to mean that there is more dollars chasing fewer goods and services. The U.S. dollar is somewhat insulated from the inflationary effect on prices due to being the defacto world currency which is in demand world-wide for liquidity, on other words, the U.S. is in the unique position of being able to export inflation. The debasement of currencies by other governments will certainly have a more drastic and direct effect on their people than the U.S. government will have on theirs. Yet make no mistake, debasing a currency has terrible consequences for all because printing money as a means to forestall the consequences of a loss of production does not increase the wealth of a nation which is in real goods and services, it is rather a magicians trick to psychologically fool the people into thinking all is well and thus bring confidence. It just delays the inevitable realisation of the truth.

Moving along, the United Nations has warned that the number of people starving could double due the results of the lockdowns, that those dying from hunger and hunger related diseases could likely double from 9 million to 18 million people [9]. The United Nations has also stated that an estimated 42 million to 66 million children could fall into extreme poverty as a result of coronavirus. [10]. Food banks and food organisations have been giving similar warnings. [11]

More than 600 doctors have signed a letter to President Donald Trump stating that the lockdowns must end immediately due what they call a "mass casualty event." They have stated, "We are alarmed at what appears to be the lack of consideration for the future health of our patients...the downstream health effects ... are being massively under-estimated and under-reported. This is an order of magnitude error." [12] These doctors claim that many have died and will die due to an increase in undetected illnesses, delayed medical care, increased alcoholism and drug use, increased depression resulting in suicide and the family destruction that results. They state that "poverty and uncertainty" leads to death.

In Ontario, Canada, it was reported on April 19th that 35 Ontarians had died as a result of delayed treatment due the enforced shutdowns and prioritisation of all healthcare towards Covid-19 only. [13) Extrapolate that number all across the world.

We have also seen the ridiculous situations of the police arresting surfers and paddle borders in California, people sitting on the beach being arrested in Florida, bans on playing tennis here in Nashville and even a padlocked playground (still padlocked as of today) in the subdivision in which I live. People have been ticketed or arrested for assembling together to worship. We see growing civil disobedience as people see how destructive, partial and absurd many of the lockdown measures have been. Gyms and hair salons re-opening in rebellion to various Executive Orders around the nations, district attorney's and sheriffs refusing to enforce "unconstitutional executive orders," judges ruling against authoritarian overreach. None of this division and conflict is good for a cohesive society. It's the beginnings of civil war without the shooting. God forbid we see violence in the future.

We see a growing division among people with public shaming for those wearing masks or not social distancing. Basically those whom support a "new normal" opposing those whom do not. When I have been out walking I have seen people step off the path to avoid me because they think they might catch the virus. The fear and panic being manifested by people is quite disturbing.

During the first week of re-opening here in Nashville, there were 400 violations reported by the public, neighbour reporting on neighbour. [14] I have read of similar reports from all around the world.

I read the new CDC guidelines for re-opening schools. [15] It is being recommended children wear masks all day for a virus which has basically a zero percent chance of killing or causing serious illness in children. Children are no longer to touch each other or share objects? Children are to be closely monitored whilst washing their hands? Children are to be kept 6 feet apart via the use of signs on walkways and partitions and playgrounds and communal areas are to be closed? These are the "recommendations" of the "experts"?

What kind of psychological damage will this kind of thing do to children? Is anyone even thinking of that? These children are in their formative years and yet we want to keep them apart, strictly regimented in everything they do, teach them to be germophobes and constantly be in fear?

Will school systems actually follow this nonsense? It wouldn't surprise me having seen people abide by bans on tennis, jogging and hiking with masks on, and things like plastic utensils replacing steel cutlery in restaurants.

Who is paying the price for all of this? We all are. The destruction of life, liberty, property, of plain common sense and personal responsibility, the institutimg of a new normal which is more and more moving towards a dystopian surveillance oriented authoriarian state.

Is this what we really want? Is this the price we want to truly pay? Will we actually be any safer and healthier?

All for a virus in which the vast majority of deaths are of people 75 and older who have other illnesses. [16] [17] [18] Clearly many of these people were dying already and their deaths certainly inflate the fatality rate of Sars-cov-2, and that doesn't even account for the distinction between a fatality "with" Sars-cov-2 and a fatality "because" of Sars-cov-2.

Another consequence is that lockdowns, social distancing and mask wearing all serve to prevent the spread and therefore obviously work against herd immunity thus insuring a second wave as the lockdowns are lifted. A second wave which will surely be addressed by "experts" with "new plans" which result in "new consequences," the cycle just continues.

None of this makes any sense if the objective is to serve the best interests of the people. If the objective is to further foster a societal dependence on government central planning, increased welfare dependence, increased surveillance, increased authoritarianism at the expense of the principles of limited government then it all makes perfect sense.

Either way we will all still pay the price. Sars-cov-2 may be a very serious illness for the elderly and those with already deficient immune systems but the more dangerous virus is the "social virus" that is infecting the minds of many in society. A "social virus" that results in irrational fears and submission to lunacy and distrust of one's neigbour.

If people want to mitigate the damage of this new "social virus" that is spreading throughout society, then they had better stop being passive and stand in the gap and take action, stop being fearful of what others think, pressure their representatives, team up with others of like-mind. If they don't then true representative government and limitations upon power will be but a blink in the tides of history.

So what are we going to do? Are we all going to continue to eliminate all the sparrows?Note: It wasn't Mao Zedong that eliminated the sparrows, it was the body of people actually following his instructions.

Be well. :)

[1] https://www.amazon.com/Ever-Wonder-Other-Controversial-Essays/dp/0817947523

[2] http://www.jewishworldreview.com/cols/sowell081800.asp

[3] https://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-8074613/Coronavirus-fight-LOST-Leading-scientist-admits-world-tried-hard-failed-stop-it.html

[4] Report Number 9, Impact of non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) to reduce COVID-19 mortality and healthcare demand, Imperial College Covid-19 Response Team
https://www.imperial.ac.uk/media/imperial-college/medicine/sph/ide/gida-fellowships/Imperial-College-COVID19-NPI-modelling-16-03-2020.pdf

[5] Economic News Release, Friday, May 22, 2020, State Employment and Unemployment Summary, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

[6] https://www.federalreserve.gov/monetarypolicy/bst_recenttrends.htm

[7] https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2020-03-23/coronavirus-fed-s-infinite-cash-tested-in-world-of-leverage

[8] https://www.fxstreet.com/analysis/infinite-money-printing-fed-now-buying-etfs-202005130820

[9] https://www.npr.org/sections/coronavirus-live-updates/2020/05/05/850470436/u-n-warns-number-of-people-starving-to-death-could-double-amid-pandemic

[10] https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-children-un/u-n-warns-economic-downturn-could-kill-hundreds-of-thousands-of-children-in-2020-idUSKBN21Y2X7

[11] https://hungerandhealth.feedingamerica.org/2020/03/impact-coronavirus-food-insecurity/
https://foodfoundation.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/Report_COVID19FoodInsecurity-final.pdf

[12] https://www.foxnews.com/politics/doctors-raise-alarm-about-health-effects-of-continued-coronavirus-shutdown

[13] https://www.thestar.com/politics/provincial/2020/04/28/ontario-has-recorded-1012-deaths-from-covid-19.html

[14] https://fox17.com/news/local/nashville-receives-400-complaints-over-businesses-during-first-week-of-reopening

[15] https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/schools-childcare/schools.html

[16] https://www.statista.com/statistics/1109867/coronavirus-death-rates-by-age-new-york-city/

[17] https://www.epicentro.iss.it/coronavirus/bollettino/Infografica_16marzo%20ITA.pdf

[18] https://www.epicentro.iss.it/coronavirus/sars-cov-2-decessi-italia#3

Thursday, May 7, 2020

The Root of Depression

The opposite of “depression” is “joy.”

The Apostle John wrote...

1Jn 1:3 That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.
1Jn 1:4 And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full.

The Apostle John desired his readers “joy be full” through the means of “fellowship with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ.”

The “love of God” manifesting within our hearts is the antidote to depression. John understood this in writing...

1Jn 2:15 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.

Depression is rooted in a fixation upon the things of this world as opposed to a fixation on that which is above. This is why one cannot have an inordinate affection on the things of this world and at the same time have the love of God within, we simply cannot serve two masters. Serving one master casts out the other.

Mat 6:24 No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon

Jesus taught...

Mat 6:21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
Mat 6:22 The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light.

Depression is the very opposite of the whole body being full of light. The whole body being full of light is the result of having a “single eye” according to Jesus which is why He taught...

Mat 6:19 Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:
Mat 6:20 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:
Mat 6:21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

This is the very same teaching that the Apostle John expressed in writing...

1Jn 2:15 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
1Jn 2:16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.
1Jn 2:17 And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.

The lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life is all descriptive of an affection for the temporary, the here and now, as opposed to an affection towards to the eternal, an affection towards God, an affection to the Way, the Truth and the Life.

Joh 14:6  Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

Depression is a body full of darkness as a result of a carnal mind. The opposite is to be spiritually minded wherein exists life and peace.

Rom 8:6 For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.

Often, when treating depression, many will focus on various causes (ie. looking back on the past) and unwittingly provide the depressed individual with an excuse and thus foster a victim mindset. Jesus taught a very different approach.

Joh 12:24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.

Jesus never asked anyone how they got there, rather He acknowledged where they were and provided a solution to their problem. Here is one example...

Joh 5:5  And a certain man was there, which had an infirmity thirty and eight years.
Joh 5:6  When Jesus saw him lie, and knew that he had been now a long time in that case, he saith unto him, Wilt thou be made whole?
Joh 5:7  The impotent man answered him, Sir, I have no man, when the water is troubled, to put me into the pool: but while I am coming, another steppeth down before me.
Joh 5:8  Jesus saith unto him, Rise, take up thy bed, and walk.
...
Joh 5:14  Afterward Jesus findeth him in the temple, and said unto him, Behold, thou art made whole: sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee.

Another example is the woman caught in adultery...

Joh 8:3  And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the midst,
Joh 8:4  They say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act.
Joh 8:5  Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou?
Joh 8:6  This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him. But Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground, as though he heard them not.

How did Jesus respond?

Joh 8:7  So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.
Joh 8:8  And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground.
Joh 8:9  And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst.
Joh 8:10  When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee?
Joh 8:11  She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.

In neither case did Jesus ask "how" the individual concerned got there. He never went into any detail regarding their past life. Jesus simply offered them mercy and told them to "go and sin no more." In other words, Jesus gave them new life and then told them to go and live that new life.

The “old” must die in order that the “new” be born. One need not focus on “how” one got to a place of a body full of darkness. Rather, one simply needs just turn their eyes upward in laying that old man, the darkness, or in other words...

Rom 6:6 Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.
Rom 6:7 For he that is dead is freed from sin.

The principle is being set free from sin and in order to be established in love. The Apostle Paul described it beautifully...

2Co 5:15 And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.
2Co 5:16 Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more.
2Co 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

In no longer "living for oneself" one is no longer fixated on the lusts of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, nor the pride of life. Depression is a result of wrong fixation.

A depressed person is depressed because they lack a correct focus, they are looking the wrong direction, and thus their despair is due to their perception. The antidote is the Spirit of life in Jesus Christ.

Rom 8:1  There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
Rom 8:2  For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.
Rom 8:3  For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:
Rom 8:4  That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
Rom 8:5  For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.
Rom 8:6  For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.

Saturday, May 2, 2020

TRUTH VS FICTION - What Does The Data Say?

Tennessee has decided to test the entire prison population for Covid-19 after a significant number of cases were discovered at the Trousdale Turner Correctional Center.

A few days ago it was announced that all inmates at Trousdale Turner would be tested for COVID-19 [1].

Trousdale Turner has a maximum capacity of 2,552 inmates [2]. 2,246 inmates have been tested with 1,037 returning positive, 762 negative, and with 446 still pending [3]. Including staff, 2,450 tests have been given in total with a reported 1,246 testing positive to COVID-19 [4].

Only 2 inmates at Trousdale Turner have shown any symptoms [5] which is a trend being shown nationwide according to CoreCivic's public affairs office as reported by the Tennessean [6].

The significance of this development is that with a prison population being a captive population then it ought be possible to gain a more accurate picture pertaining to the actual fatality rate of the virus in regards to the general population.

Up to this stage the number of infections have been unknown thus making it impossible to accurately estimate the true mortality rate.

In early March when lock-downs first began to be initiated the World Health Organisation claimed...

<<<"Globally, about 3.4% of reported COVID-19 cases have died. By comparison, seasonal flu generally kills far fewer than 1% of those infected.>>> [7]

...whereupon...

<<<we don’t even talk about containment for seasonal flu – it’s just not possible. But it is possible for COVID-19. We don’t do contact tracing for seasonal flu – but countries should do it for COVID-19, because it will prevent infections and save lives. Containment is possible.>>> [8]

...being that...

<<<it causes more severe illness than flu, there are not yet any vaccines or therapeutics, and it can be contained – which is why we must do everything we can to contain it.>>> [9]

It was according to this data that nations decided it was more prudent to sacrifice their economies and many people's livelihoods at the altar of "saving lives" due to a reported 3.4% fatality rate and the perceived overburdening of medical resources by an influx of patients.

Now align that with the fact that, across the United States, "more than 70% of federal inmates have tested positive for the virus" [10], and yet prison medical facilities have not seen any significant increase in use. Surely the fatality rate has been over-estimated by a massive degree. This would also explain why a significant amount of grocery store workers are not ending up in hospital.

So why the continuing authoritarian lockdowns throughout the world? If elected officials are being driven by the data, as they claim, then why is the data not matching the narrative being disseminated?

Is it possible that authoritarian types do not desire to admit to having made very wrong and destructive decisions and thus deny culpability of the resulting wreckage they have wrought on society?

Is it possible that authoritarian types desire to keep a "threat" in the forefront of people's minds as a means to cling to a fallacy that what they have done and are continuing to do is right?

The narrative has certainly now changed from "flatten the curve" to "stopping the spread" which is thus deemed as the justification for the ongoing exercise of authoritarian coercion on populations.

This one size fits all solution for the entire world has been absurd which is why the hospitals where I live, in Nashville, Tennessee, are basically empty, they are well below census according to both nurses and doctors that I speak to. This due to being prioritised towards the expected influx of COVID-19 patients which never happened. Yet the "safer-at-home" continues here in Nashville?

All this ought serve us as a pertinent lesson as to why government power ought be limited and why the fundamental principle of the Rule of Law found in constitutions and bills of rights ought NEVER be ignored.

I'll finish with a quote taken from "The Vision of the Anointed" by Thomas Sowell. Get that book, read it and reflect upon it.

"It is so easy to be wrong-and to persist in being wrong-when the costs of being wrong are paid by others." Thomas Sowell, The Vision of the Anointed: Self-congratulation as a Basis for Social Policy (ed. Basic Books, 1995)



[1] https://www.wsmv.com/news/trousdale_county/inmates-at-trousdale-turner-prison-to-be-tested-for-covid-19/article_74df38a8-8973-11ea-85b6-e781aeceef33.html

[2] https://statesofincarceration.org/story/trousdale-county-home-new-private-prison-built-foot-nuclear-reactor

[3] https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/correction/documents/TDOCInmatesCOVID19.pdf

[4] https://www.wsmv.com/news/over-1-200-staff-inmates-test-positive-for-covid-19-at-trousdale-turner-correctional-center/article_568c03d2-8bde-11ea-a447-4b7eaabeb67b.html

[5] https://www.tennessean.com/story/news/politics/2020/05/01/tennessee-testing-all-inmates-prison-staff-after-multiple-outbreaks/3067388001/

[6] Ibid

[7] https://www.who.int/dg/speeches/detail/who-director-general-s-opening-remarks-at-the-media-briefing-on-covid-19---3-march-2020

[8] Ibid

[9] Ibid

[10] https://www.tennessean.com/story/news/politics/2020/05/01/tennessee-testing-all-inmates-prison-staff-after-multiple-outbreaks/3067388001/

Thursday, April 23, 2020

CONSEQUENCES OF AN ECONOMIC SHUTDOWN


One of the consequences of an economic shutdown is that of food destruction. A drop in demand results in a surplus. A farmer, whom is no longer being paid, simply does not have the ability to fund the harvesting, packing, transportation, storage and refrigeration costs to even give his resources away. Neither do food banks have the resources to collect the produce. So what is a farmer to do? He has to destroy his crop.

Here are some real life consequences of a shutdown...

US restaurant closings spur farmers to destroy food - April 21
https://www.ft.com/content/da5c2e66-c946-4726-b6a5-b1dbdd6b7f50

Dumped Milk, Smashed Eggs, Plowed Vegetables: Food Waste of the Pandemic - April 11
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/11/business/coronavirus-destroying-food.html

California farmer plows under lettuce after coronavirus shutters restaurant market
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-usa-lettuce/california-farmer-plows-under-lettuce-after-coronavirus-shutters-restaurant-market-idUSKCN21Y02M?il=0

Those are just a few of many articles describing USA food destruction due to the COVID-19 shutdown. This is happening all over the world.

Milk thrown down the drain while millions go hungry: Lockdown puts increasing strain on Britain’s food system
https://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/news/coronavirus-lockdown-uk-food-supplies-strain-supermarkets-a9469476.html

Virus choking off supply of what Africa needs most: food - April 22
https://www.zimlive.com/2020/04/22/virus-choking-off-supply-of-what-africa-needs-most-food/

3 tons of food were burned in Zimbabwe by police trying to enforce social distancing. Efforts to stop the spread of the coronavirus could create a food shortages across the continent. - April 16
https://www.businessinsider.com/social-distancing-in-africa-could-contribute-to-food-shortages-2020-4

If you have less supply of a resource with the same demand for that resource then you end up with higher prices in order to ration the shortage of that resource. When people have to pay higher prices for one thing it means they have less money for other things, things like healthcare, housing, amenities etc.

Here is an article released by Feeding America...

The Impact of the Coronavirus on Food Insecurity
https://hungerandhealth.feedingamerica.org/2020/03/impact-coronavirus-food-insecurity/

Here is a preliminary report released by the Food Foundation on April 14...

Vulnerability to food insecurity since the COVID-19 lockdown
https://foodfoundation.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/Report_COVID19FoodInsecurity-final.pdf

At the following link you'll find a warning issued by the Executive Director of the United Nations World's Food Program...

As famines of ‘biblical proportion’ loom, Security Council urged to ‘act fast’
https://news.un.org/en/story/2020/04/1062272

When people are against "ending the shutdown" because they want to "save lives" they are ignoring the economic impact of the shutdown and its consequences upon lives. This is not rocket-science.

U.N. warns economic downturn could kill hundreds of thousands of children in 2020 - April 16

<<<But the U.N. report warned that “economic hardship experienced by families as a result of the global economic downturn could result in an hundreds of thousands of additional child deaths in 2020, reversing the last 2 to 3 years of progress in reducing infant mortality within a single year.”

With businesses shut down and more than a billion people told to stay home to avoid spreading the virus, the International Monetary Fund has predicted the world would this year suffer its steepest downturn since the Great Depression of the 1930s.

The United Nations said an estimated 42 million to 66 million children could fall into extreme poverty as a result of the coronavirus crisis this year, adding to the estimated 386 million children already in extreme poverty in 2019.>>>
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-children-un/u-n-warns-economic-downturn-could-kill-hundreds-of-thousands-of-children-in-2020-idUSKBN21Y2X7

People are going to die due to these shutdowns, millions of them I have no doubt. There will certainly be secondary and tertiary effects we cannot even fathom. Foreign aide programs will be effected due to the destruction of the economies of countries which provide such foreign aide as one example. Donations to charities will be effected because the people who make those donations will have been economically effected. The flow on effects are massive.

You cannot severely disrupt economic productive output all over the world, destroy food, wreck supply chains and not expect extreme and terrible consequences.

Yes the virus is serious for vulnerable people. Yes isolate and aide the vulnerable. Yes increase medical capacity. But NO, don't destroy an economy which under-girds the health of a nation, that is foolish and stupid. Yet here we are with so many people championing the shutdown from within their own little bubbles sadly having no real conception of the bigger picture and the real life destroying consequences.

Forcing people out of work and printing money to grant some purchasing power towards the remaining productive output is not a good means to preserve lives, it may aide people in the short-term, but in the long term it will prove very destructive.

Think about it.

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

COUNTER-PROTESTOR USES NASTY SIGN TO MISREPRESENT RALLY


Firstly, in the following linked video, Tucker Carlson raises some prudent points relating to the recent negative media coverage of the rallies which call for States to re-open and reign in their authoritarian COVID-19 response.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jmghNve6QFY

I attended both Nashville's Sunday and Monday rallies and it was during Monday's event that a counter-protester showed up with ill intent.

The counter-protestor was a lady carrying a sign saying, "Sacrifice the Weak - Re-Open TN." She arrived by herself and positioned herself curbside in the middle of the rally but soon moved down the road to where a television crew (WZTV FOX 17) were interviewing some hair salon workers. This was when I approached this girl and took the photo which appears as the main image for this article. She wasn't interested in talking to anyone, only in getting her sign in front of the cameras.

As soon as the television crew finished their filming the girl left the rally with mission accomplished. She didn't engage with a single person at the rally and her message was most certainly not that of the rally. It was an obvious malicious attempt to deceitfully malign the message of the rally.

You can see the counter-protester approach the news crew interviewing the salon workers in the following video at the 6:55 mark.

https://www.facebook.com/watch/live/?v=254192965722822

FOX 17 then ran a news story with the counter-protestors sign leading the article, which demonstrates either bias or lazy and incompetent journalism...

https://fox17.com/news/local/dozens-rally-at-tn-capitol-call-for-gov-lee-to-re-open-state-immediately.

Now carefully consider the sign she held for a moment. Certainly it is the message she associates with the "Free-TN" movement. She has presented this message in very vivid terms in an obvious attempt to defame the movement. It is kind of like her way of saying, "this is what these people really mean."

The participants of the rally DO CARE for the vulnerable, they just don't agree that shutting down production, authoritarianism and violating fundamental liberties is the means to do so. The "economy" and "saving lives" ARE NOT mutually exclusive principles. Healthcare is funded through direct payments, insurance premiums as well as taxation. Destroying an economy destroys the foundation that a healthcare system is established upon. There is a reason that people generally live longer in developed first world countries with market economies.

In the mind of the counter-protestor "Free-TN" equates to "sacrificing the weak." Many of those whom have a socialist mindset sincerely believe that those whom advocate the principles of "Limited Government" and "Individual Liberty" lack empathy and care for the vulnerable and less fortunate. In their mind, it is the fundamental principles of "Limited Government" and "Individual Liberty" which stand in the way of, what they perceive, as the "much needed centrally planned authoritarian solutions" required to deal with societies problems.

The whole incident and its media aftermath not only serves as a good lesson as to why we need to use critical thinking and source verification when perusing information, it also serves to give us pause as to why people do the things they do, what is going in in their mind and what lies at the root of their perception.

It is also pertinent to remember that real freedom is freedom FROM sin (Mat 1:21) and subsequently being raised up into a new spiritual life (Rom 6:4, 8:2, 2Cor 5:17).

The
real war being fought is spiritual and the thing being contested for is the souls of men.
Eph 6:12  For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

(Main Image - Deceitful counter-protestor attempting to maliciously misrepresent and malign the message of Nashville's Free-TN rally)