We are developing the social individualist meta-context for the future. From the very serious to the extremely frivolous... lets see what is on the mind of the Samizdata people.

Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

The state is not your friend…

Truly… the state is not your friend.

What is it with Chicoms and killing people’s pets?

“Heartbreak as Hong Kong pet owners give up hamsters for Covid cull”, reports France-24:

Time was running out for Pudding.

The hamster, a new addition to the Hau family, was to be given up to Hong Kong authorities for culling after rodents in a pet shop tested positive for coronavirus — leaving Pudding’s 10-year-old owner wailing in grief.

“I don’t want to, I don’t want to,” the boy cried, his head buried in his hands as he crouched next to Pudding’s pink cage, according to a video shown to AFP by his father.

But the older Hau, who would only provide his last name, said he was worried about his elderly family members who live in the same household.

“I have no choice — the government made it sound so serious,” he told AFP, shortly before entering a government-run animal management centre to submit Pudding.

I am not certain, but I think the video of the little boy crying next to his hamster’s pink cage might be this one, which is being widely shared online.

Given that I am not a vegetarian, I suppose I cannot make too much of a fuss about animals being killed, but I had a hamster once of which I was fond. That little boy will remember his pet being taken away for the rest of his life. I could understand if there were any serious evidence that the cull would achieve anything for humans. None has been provided. Evidence is not really the point here: The People’s Republic of China has a Zero Covid policy. Nothing is to be allowed to stand in the way of progress towards this perfect state. In fact, now that the PRC has dropped the pretence of “One country, two systems” with regard to Hong Kong, it might even be desirable from China’s point of view that the people of Hong Kong should be made aware of what their new masters think of such Western-influenced bourgeois sentimentality. Let the children weep and know themselves powerless.

Of course Communist China has form on this. During the Cultural Revolution,

Even China’s feline population suffered as Red Guards tried to eliminate what they claimed was a symbol of “bourgeois decadence”. “Walking through the streets of the capital at the end of August [1966], people saw dead cats lying by the roadside with their front paws tied together,” writes Dikötter.

Nor was that the first of Mao’s grand animal-killing schemes. In the disastrous Four Pests campaign of 1958-62 he sought to kill all the sparrows in China.

Sparrows were suspected of consuming approximately four pounds of grain per sparrow per year. Sparrow nests were destroyed, eggs were broken, and chicks were killed. Millions of people organized into groups, and hit noisy pots and pans to prevent sparrows from resting in their nests, with the goal of causing them to drop dead from exhaustion.In addition to these tactics, citizens also simply shot the birds down from the sky. The campaign depleted the sparrow population, pushing it to near extinction.

The result was predictable: with the sparrows who ate the insects gone, the numbers of insects exploded. It was a contributing factor to the Great Chinese Famine. Warnings from ornithologists (or anyone else) that this might happen counted for little against a government that had mobilised the people to march towards a public health goal that could be defined in one sentence.

Unboostered Brits infected and dying at higher rates than unvaccinated

In fact, the UKHSA have given us a great gift, in that they finally provide separate case and severe outcome statistics for the triple-vaccinated and the double vaccinated, allowing us to compare rates across all three groups. They don’t do that themselves, of course, but no matter. We can use the raw numbers and rates from last week’s report to derive the total number of double and triple vaccinated, and the rates in this week’s report to derive the triple vaccinated population. A little subtraction then gives us a decent estimate of how many double but not triple vaccinated people there are in each age bracket.

Eugyppius

I strongly recommend reading the entire article.

The fatality myth

The COVID crisis has been utterly absurd from the start, and we – conspiracy theorists or Team Reality advocates (choose your point of view :-)) – have been on a wild goose chase all along, going down one rabbit hole after another… But the very justification of it all, a dubiously high lethality was never challenged as the narrative was overwhelmed by a constant flow of apocalyptic news.

Frankly, I haven’t been able to watch television peacefully ever since, sickened by the stream of idiotic fallacies.

Marc Girarot

I recommend the linked article to everyone.

Samizdata quote of the day

“It is not simply scandalous that civil servants and advisers had fun while none of us could; it is scandalous that they were the ones who imposed those rules on us and are yet to apologise for them.”

Marie Le Conte

Government says so…

(source unknown)

“Only 27%”

– Fifty-nine percent (59%) of Democratic voters would favor a government policy requiring that citizens remain confined to their homes at all times, except for emergencies, if they refuse to get a COVID-19 vaccine. Such a proposal is opposed by 61% of all likely voters, including 79% of Republicans and 71% of unaffiliated voters.

– Nearly half (48%) of Democratic voters think federal and state governments should be able to fine or imprison individuals who publicly question the efficacy of the existing COVID-19 vaccines on social media, television, radio, or in online or digital publications. Only 27% of all voters – including just 14% of Republicans and 18% of unaffiliated voters – favor criminal punishment of vaccine critics.

Rasmussen Reports citing a poll of 1,016 U.S. Likely Voters taken on 5th January 2022. Poll data here.

I would enjoy mocking the turn to naked authoritarianism taken by the Democrats if that 27% were 2.7%.

Samizdata quote of the day

The vaccine doesn’t protect you from the virus, the vaccine protects you from the government.

Roué le Jour

Taking a hammer to the narrative

You slandered colleagues who did not surrender to you, you turned the people against each other, divided society and polarised the discourse. You branded, without any scientific basis, people who chose not to get vaccinated as enemies of the public and as spreaders of disease. You promote, in an unprecedented way, a draconian policy of discrimination, denial of rights and selection of people, including children, for their medical choice. A selection that lacks any epidemiological justification.

When you compare the destructive policies you are pursuing with the sane policies of some other countries – you can clearly see that the destruction you have caused has only added victims beyond the vulnerable to the virus. The economy you ruined, the unemployment you caused, and the children whose education you destroyed are the surplus victims as a result of your own actions only.

– Professor Ehud Qimron, Head of the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at Tel Aviv University (original text here)

Samizdata quote of the day

“Emails exchanged between them after a conference call on 1 February 2020, and only now forced into the public domain by Republicans in the US Congress, show that they not only thought the virus might have leaked from a lab, but they also went much further in private. They thought the genome sequence of the new virus showed a strong likelihood of having been deliberately manipulated or accidentally mutated in the lab. Yet later they drafted an article for a scientific journal arguing that the suggestion not just of a manipulated virus, but even of an accidental spill, could be confidently dismissed and was a crackpot conspiracy theory.”

Matt Ridley

Why I am against most Covid restrictions if not all of them

  1. Because freedom matters. 
  2. Because freedom is nice in itself. 
  3. Because freedom makes for richer people. 
  4. Because freedom makes for happier people. 
  5. Because freedom makes for a more interesting life.
  6. Because freedom makes for a better life even for lazy so-and-sos like myself.
  7. Because once you lose your freedoms it can take ages to get them back if at all.
  8. Because I disagree with the apparent (i.e. never stated but always assumed) belief that the only thing that matters is reducing death and hospitalisation as a result of Covid.
  9. Because I disagree with the apparent belief that living as long as possible is the sole purpose of life. [I say that and then think, “Well, actually, freedom tends to make for longer lives, in the long run.”]
  10. Because freedom makes for longer lives.
  11. Because I doubt that the restrictions have worked even on their own terms. Or if they have worked on their own terms they haven’t worked that much.
  12. Because it is going to take years to pay for this.
  13. Because in addition to all the ways the government has already buggered up the lives of the young (housing, education, minimum wages etc (probably)) this just makes things worse.

Update 13/1/22

I notice that the subject of “early treatment” has come up. First of all, what constitutes “early treatment”? Secondly, what do we know about their effectiveness? I guess we’re talking about hydroxychloriquine, ivermectin and zinc. Are there any studies pointing to their effectiveness? Any studies saying the opposite. Whatever the case may be you would have thought that if the government genuinely wanted a quick resolution to the [I was going to say “crisis” but that’s controversial] problem they would have said, “Well, that’s interesting let’s do some studies as quickly as possible.” Instead – if memory serves – they said, “Move along, nothing to see here, conspiracy theory.” Which is kind of suspicious.

A most excellent development

An English anaesthetist has developed a statistical method to spot indications of fraud in medical research.

I fully expect official attempt to unperson this man 😀