Saturday, February 20, 2021

Coronavirus: Is Ancient Rome's Warning Pertinent?

Kyle Harper claims that the ancient Roman world's Antonine Plague has an urgent warning for us in the Coronavirus age (February 15/17). The same could be said of the Middle Ages' Black Death (aka the Great Plague) and, more recently, of the Spanish Flu of 1918.

On the other hand, the only message from the pandemics of 2009, 2002, 1968, and 1957 — when no measures were taken and the virus vanished when (and because) the populations gained immunity — would be quite different: Do not overreact. In fact, do not act at all.

While the "vicious pestilence … killed as many as 2,000 Romans a day," I do not believe there is any city in any country of the world in the 2020s where the streets are filled with (rotting?) corpses and with ill and disfigured people collapsing on the sidewalk as they cough up black vomit. 

In fact, we are regularly told that the average age of the the dead is something between 75 and 82, depending on the country, with most of those occurring in nursing homes amongst seniors already suffering from other illnesses.

As can be confirmed by the likes of Tom Hanks, Madonna, Greta Thunberg, Prince Charles, Emmanuel Macron, and Donald Trump, the vast majority of infected are back on their feet after a week or two, if not less (in Boris Johnson's case, after a stay at the hospital).

In that case, I don't see the need for cafés, restaurants, and stores to remain closed, for absurd lockdowns to continue, or for our leaders to otherwise continue in their fixation for destroying jobs and careers as well as the entire economy.

Since the mass hysteria has been partly due to the desire to wreck the West's economies in order to ensure Trump's defeat in the November elections (see Governor Andrew Cuomo's recent remarks) — is that a conspiracy theory? also: doesn't that theoretically make the critics of Trump as bad as, if not even worse than, Trump himself? — I see no reason for the blue states and for the rest of the world's nations not to emulate, say, Florida and re-open up their economies.? By all means, continue to provide help for the elderly and let the infected self-quarantine. The VIPs mentioned above were able to do so, all on their own, so maybe there is a lesson here as well: the common citizen is an adult citizen sensible enough to be expected to act responsibly in the matter.

In short: Offer the elderly, and those with weak immune systems, quarantine, and break the chains of the rest of the population.

• Related: Here Are the 7 Basic Points about Covid-19 that You Need to Know

• Also (thanks to Damian): Let's Review 50 Years of Dire Climate Forecasts and What Actually Happened

Incidentally, the bio of the writer reads as follows:

Dr. Harper is a classics professor whose research analyzes the ancient Roman world and how it was affected by disease, climate change, slavery and other cultural and societal developments.
Affected by "Climate change"?! As in global warming? And as in the new ice age? And that, in which era? In… "the ancient Roman world"?!

So now we have climate change, global warming, and/or the new ice age around the birth of Christ? And, presumably, in all eras throughout human history?! Count on a bio to unearth an admission that the greens' entire mass hysteria has little to nothing to do with man-made emissions of the 20th century — unless, of course, you are speaking about the Tenth Legion's legendary SUVs and the Emperor Nero's notorious orgies in his Gulfstream jet.

Thursday, February 18, 2021

Spot the Difference! Republicans "Pounce" While Democrats "See an Opening"

Although the modern journalism rule is that in a scandal involving a deplorable Republican, the scandal is the story, while in a scandal involving a Democrat, the "ferocious" Republicans' drooling, evil, and over-the-top reaction is the story*, sometimes you can't get around it:  a news story demands the Democrats' reaction to an event. 

So, how do you go about doing that? Count on the New York Times to provide an answer:

Title: "Democrats See an Opening" (in G.O.P. Oversight of Texas Grid); 

Subtitle: As the state reels from power outages, "Democrats look to turn the tables" on the Republicans who dominate state government. 

Quite a different description of the reaction to events, n'est-ce pas? So… civilized! Meanwhile, the very first sentence in the Texas report by David Montgomery, Simon Romero and James Dobbins reverts in a flash to the dirty, unfair, and violent idea of "pouncing" and unsportsmanship when describing the GOP: 

 … the Republicans who have run Texas state government for years, trying to undermine the Democrats who lead the state’s largest cities has been a blood sport for years.

In an October article on a similar subject, The Economist used the word "outlandish" and the verb "scheming" for the GOP, while again suggesting underhanded tactics. And take a look at the violence and the hatred in Luca D'Urbino's cartoon. 

The Economist's subject matter is called, without further inquiry, "Voter suppression" (sic) and the concluding sentence is "Greg Abbott, the Republican governor of Texas … has been [trying] his darndest to prevent opponents from voting."

At risk of losing Texas, Republicans scheme to limit Democratic votes

The state is becoming younger and less white. It is not outlandish to imagine that Republicans would try to keep turnout low

Related — From Denmark, the Republicans Pounce Department, European Version: Trump Campaign Launches "Brutal Attack" and "Slaughter" on "New Buddy Couple" Biden and Harris

*Republicans Pounce Dept.Instapundit quotes Jim Treacher on "ferocious" Republicans pouncing, leaping, slamming, seizing, launching brutal attacks, etc, etc, etc:

“When Republicans screw up, that’s the story. When Democrats screw up, the Republicans’ reaction is the story.”

Trump a Dunce? Well, Does This "4-year-old" Deserve a Nobel Peace Prize? Let Alone 4 or 5?

The next time you are told that Donald Trump is a dunce, a halfwit, an ignoramus, a hater, a racist, or a white supremacist, or that he has the mentality of a 4-year-old (that's how leftists conveniently get around using the un-PC word "retard"), ask them the following question: 

Does this president with the alleged mentality of a 4-year-old deserve a Nobel Peace Prize? Let alone four? Or five?

Chances being their making round eyes and going "ehhh?!" (WTF?!), since they probably have no idea what you are talking about, add as follows:

No, we're not talking about Trump's followers (they probably would never dream of nominating anybody they admire for some kind, for any kind, of European award), we are talking about the Swedes and the Norwegians, notably the members of their respective legislatures and the Nobel Committee, members of whom did just that — somewhat reluctantly, for that matter, in some cases — in the Fall of 2020.

For years, for decades, for half a century, we have been told, we ourselves have been saying (repeating mindlessly?), that what is necessary for peace in the Middle East is for Israel to come to recognize, or to come to some sort of understanding with, the Palestinians.

Nobody, but nobody, ever said during those tumultuous decades that what is necessary to solve the problems in the Middle East, is for Jerusalem/Tel Aviv to sign a peace treaty with… Bahrain (!).

But the dealmaker did just that. While getting Serbia to sign a peace treaty with Kosovo, the president managed to get the Israeli government to sign peace treaties with Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates (the Abraham Accords), Sudan, and Morocco. (For the record, Trump was first nominated for the Nobel Prize in 2018, after his summit with North Korea's Kim Jung Un.)

I hate to tell you this, but what does this tell us? What conclusions can we reach from this?

Four things; 1) Far from being a halfwit neanderthal, Donald Trump seems to be someone who uses his brains and even — imagine that — someone who thinks outside the box (probably has to do with his coming from the business world).

2) In that perspective, and apparently keeping an open mind, President Trump discovered that, in fact, Israel is not thought of as the Arab world's or the Muslim world's primary enemy (or perhaps not even an enemy at all?).

Iran is.

3) What do the Arabs and/or the Muslims really think of the Palestinians? They seem to be fed up with them and with their negative attitude.

4) Finally, the people who do not use their minds and who never think outside the box are revealed to be the professional politicians and the mainstream media — mindlessly repeating platitudes. For years. For decades. For more than half a century. (Perhaps, kinda, like members of a cult?…)

Isn't that the real reason that the professional Drama Queens hate Donald Trump so much? In fact, this is precisely what explains their animus towards the iconoclast come from the world of business.

After all (speaking of Israel), they all of them predicted that moving America's embassy to Jerusalem would unleash a major conflict. When did that war occur? Maybe they don't know as much as they like to claim…

In any case: Thanks to Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, the American government now seem to be back in the hands of the hysterical crisis creators.

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

“In Danish consciousness, there’s this idea that we were a very small and friendly colonial power, and also that racism is an American problem”

“In Danish consciousness, there’s this idea that we were a very small and friendly colonial power, and also that racism is an American problem.” (Katrine Dirckinck-Holmfeld, ex-department head at the Art Academy) 

“The notion Danes have of themselves is they built this immaculate welfare society, and built it so to speak singlehandedly by themselves, without help. All the economic funds that flowed in because of the colonial trade doesn’t fit that well into that picture.” (Lars Jensen, associate professor at Roskilde University)

Katrine Dirckinck-Holmfeld's seemingly innocuous remark holds a volcano of truth beneath it. As I write in 1619, Mao, & 9-11 (History According to the NYT), the education that Europeans, adults as well as kids, get in one country after another (both in schools and from media) — and that, tragically, Americans themselves have been getting since the 1970s — is based on Europeans hailing their respective country as friendly, fraternal, and harmonious, as contrasted with America and their alleged egocentricity, their alleged racism, and their alleged violence. As one French TV news host once (solemnly) put it, "the Americans may have liberty, but we have… (dramatic pause) solidarity!"

The school system was, as everyone knows, invented by Bismarck, a generation after the revolutions of 1848 sent millions of German and other immigrants to the New World, and the idea behind the system was to impress upon future citizens the goodness of der Vaterland (thus convincing them not to leave) or the élite-led nation (later, the nanny state) while demonizing the notion of self-government or "government of the people, by the people, for the people", notably by emphasizing the extent to which Americans were allegedly racist, violent, and dangerous.

The quotes above come from a New York Times story by Cara Buckley.

For a while it seemed no one had noticed that something rather prominent was missing from the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, the prestigious institution housed in a palace on the edge of one of Copenhagen’s canals.

 … Midway through the autumn, [the bust of Frederik V, the 18th-century king of Denmark-Norway and duke of Schleswig-Holstein] vanished, though it wasn’t until early November that school officials finally realized it was gone. …

A few days later, the bust’s fate was revealed. An anonymous group of artists had unscrewed it from its plinth, popped a black garbage bag over its head and ferried it to the edge of the canal, before tipping it in. A video was released that showed the bust disappearing into the inky waters of Copenhagen Harbor.

 … About a week after the video’s release, a department head at the Art Academy, Katrine Dirckinck-Holmfeld, stepped forward to take responsibility for the sinking. She was fired the same day, and became a focal point for opprobrium.

 … Ms. Dirckinck-Holmfeld said she had hoped to trigger a broader reflection on cultural institutions’ role during the colonial period, and link that colonial legacy with controversial policies currently in place, namely the so-called ghetto laws. Defended by the government as a way to dismantle poorer non-Western immigrant enclaves so as to more fully integrate Danish society, the sweeping set of initiatives is criticized by many as harsh and discriminatory.

 … “This is about confronting our own image,” Ms. Dirckinck-Holmfeld said. “In Danish consciousness, there’s this idea that we were a very small and friendly colonial power, and also that racism is an American problem.”

Frederik V wasn’t the first Danish statue to be targeted by protesters last year. Figures of the missionary Hans Egede in Greenland and Copenhagen were daubed with red paint and inscribed with the word “decolonize” last summer. Not long after that, at the Copenhagen waterfront, the words “racist fish” were spray painted on the plinth of the Little Mermaid sculpture — which has been repeatedly vandalized and even decapitated over the years — to some puzzlement over the motives.

But even as monuments were toppled in America and Britain last summer by activists for racial justice, many Danes have not considered statues of their 18th-century royalty as problematic, and view actions against them not as expressions of free speech, but impediments to it.

 … Denmark was long considered a minor player in the slave trade, though recent research out of Harvard has challenged that view. The nation’s colonies included the Danish West Indies, now the U.S. Virgin Islands; Greenland; the Faroe Islands; and Iceland, with minor posts in parts of India and what is now Ghana. In Frederik V’s time, sugar from the West Indies was a major source of the country’s wealth, and some of Copenhagen’s most beautiful buildings of the era were built with lucre from the colonial trade.

Denmark was the first nation in colonial times to issue a moratorium on the slave trade, in 1792, though it gave the colonies until 1803 to acquire enough slaves to become self-sufficient, according to Lars Jensen, an associate professor at Roskilde University. By the time decolonization began in earnest in the 20th century, Denmark had sold or ceded nearly all of its colonies, with the exceptions of Greenland and the Faroe Islands (Iceland became independent during World War II).

There is disagreement over the extent to which Denmark is reckoning with that past. … Lars Jensen, who specializes in postcolonial studies, said there was a blindness in Denmark about the extent of its colonial past and that, he said, informs attitudes toward and treatment of migrants and refugees.

“The notion Danes have of themselves is they built this immaculate welfare society, and built it so to speak singlehandedly by themselves, without help,” Lars Jensen said. “All the economic funds that flowed in because of the colonial trade doesn’t fit that well into that picture.”