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Story Sunday: All Hail Covid

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Life of Brian TCP Image
“He’s not Covid, he’s just cold.”
Graham Chapman & Terry Jones from Life Of Brian 1979.
Image Credits: Warner Brothers/Getty Images/The Covid Physician

From a UK doctor… I encourage you to read the entire article. I’m shocked. ~Vic

What has been witnessed in the last two years is not medical science. It is the death of reason and the birth of a religious cult. The Church of Covid [was] fathered, illegitimately, by the financial elite and delivered from the womb of governments. Its Holy Trinity…the Pfizer, the Moderna and the Aztec-Zeneca. Baptism is by experimental vaccination. Its priesthood (SAGE), itself controlled by the papal WHO. Pope WHO mediates between the people and the Viral Gods mostly through belief systems of fear and disgust. The cult even possesses strange triplet mantras, ritual ablutions and symbolic headgear. Fit, healthy children are being sacrificed at its altars. Those who willingly joined are too scared to leave, many were coerced [and], a minority resist, hoping for a saviour and a promised land. It is more effective and covid-safe to believe in garlic, silver bullets and wooden stakes.

To hold dominion, the cult practices peculiar sorcery. It redefines our currency of ideas…words. If it cannot cherry-pick statistics, it invokes alchemy to make them lemons. It inculcates a suspension of critical faculties and delusional mass behaviours by an indoctrination with fixed, false beliefs. Hence, the public seems hypnotised to suspend belief, in their own eyes and ears, replacing it with the cult’s doctrine that everyone is at risk of a horrible, premature death. [O]ur sole saviour is the covid jab. The NHS piously chants along reinforcing it all like a church choir. If one effectively challenges the beliefs, it casts more spells…censorship, cancellation [and bigger lies]. Heretics are exhorted to drink from the poisoned chalice, lest excommunication. It falsely stains outsiders as unclean, unbelievers [and] anti-vax infidels. The masses flock to the cult. They are thrilled! [E]ach could help save the world. Finally, little lives had big meanings, mission and a free holiday. They would do whatever it took in an extreme solidarity. Why on earth would they wish to return to reality?

One Last Cult Ward Round

Spiked Patients

Renal failure man, 60[…]. He calls. My headset is ready. He is desperate to have the third jab. He has called the 119 covid call-centres and exhausted their algorithms. Okay, I say, book in with the vaccination nurse for your booster. However, it is not okay. I am thinking “…your immune system, suppress and interfere with it at your peril.” Renal man cries “…but, they only do the booster. I need the third jab!” I confess, I do not know the material difference…but who will? He moaned, becoming more frustrated. I apologised, knowing I would not have either (over my dead body), [let] alone three. He said his renal specialist had advised him to have the third. Before I even speak to say [that] I would write to confirm what my colleague meant by ‘the third, not the booster’, he slams down the phone. Regardless, I write to my colleague to resolve my desperate patient’s personal covid nightmare.

The answer comes two weeks later. Lymphoma man, 74, calls. The NHS has written to him. “Doctor,” he asks, “do I need four jabs?” I raise my eyebrows. What is this new NHS hell? I have a copy of the letter filed in his notes. There is no date on the letter, where it should be [and] there is a menacing QR code, looking like a mutant space invader. The letter confesses it does not know if he is immuno-compromised or merely a normal punter. In either case, it recommends a further jab. The letter reasons, if you are immuno-compromised, let us call it “the third jab of a course” (as if the third jab six months later was always the intention). The letter explains, “It is different to the booster, as it is part of the first (‘primary’) course.” It appears like a sentence constructed in the abstract by a team of highly-paid, clueless government lawyers, not medics.

It continues, sagely, “If you…have already received a booster, following your first and second dose, please treat this as your third dose.” I shake my head. Curious. The answer seems to be same jab, different nomenclature. So, what do these semantics mean for the future of my patients? Who should have the booster? How many boosts will they need? When will they need them? How is it decided? The language seems to anticipate a ‘secondary’, three-course covid meal for the immuno-compromised. It does seem all rather arbitrary. Sadly, lymphoma man is not done. He couldn’t care less if he has three or four jabs. He just wanted to know…know what his duty to Queen and country is. I probed, tactfully, testing his feelings[…]. [D]idn’t the language disturb him? No. Didn’t he find it concerning that, four weeks ago (after his glorious first and second super jabs), he was hospitalised with a primary covid diagnosis and treated for a secondary bacterial pneumonia on the hospital ward? No. Given this, did he have any reservations about a third jab? No. Not one tooth of one cog could be turned. He was sold on it, ‘til death would he and the Nth jab part. The degrees of covid irony are infinite.

Then, there are the jab mix-sceptics. This is what our triggered health secretary thinks of them. Mr. Agonised, 81, smells a rat. He had the AZ custom clot-shot twice. He survived. He is aggrieved. Why can’t they give him a third-time lucky AZ? He is being offered Pfizer. Can it be safe or effective to mix them? It’s a good question […], [but] not the only one he needs to ask. He rang the call-centres [and] they cannot help him. They have referred him to his doctor. ‘Doctor’ is likely going to refer him to the corporatised government advice…Just do it! He tells me his daughter is a district nurse and is going to do her research. Good luck. She will need access to the Dark Net to get an iota of truth. He asks me what I think and, while he’s here (he is not, he is on the phone), should he have the flu jab at the same time? Just do it! I tell him he should do nothing of the sort while he is on antibiotics and steroids. He [needs] to be well. [B]esides, Pfizer [doesn’t] want his immune response to be suppressed by steroids. They want to see its full glorious spectacle. As for mixing vaccines, Lord knows… [I]t is as speculative as the whole show. I tell him I cannot comment, [as] it is all so novel and phase three trials are not even complete for two shots. He is frustrated. I mitigate. Does he really want the AZ? Did he know that it has been withdrawn from under 40s because of the clot risk? He did not. All he knows is he needs a third something and will make [god-damned] sure he gets it by hook or crook. He resiles a little. Should he have flu and covid jabs together? I tell him that’s what the government would advise but, it would hide the culprit should he become unwell with one. It would be best for him [to] get well, get off steroids and to stagger them. What’s the rush? Of course, for the vaccine companies, the more immunogenic the response, the better for efficacy…[but], it comes with the risk of unpredictable inflammation. Besides, a significant number of patients, paradoxically, develop respiratory infections after the flu vaccine (and, [possibly], the covid jabs). Vaccine-derived viral interference may be responsible.

Mr. The Tide-is-Turning, 76, is similar. Should he get the third Pfizer with the flu jab? I run through the basics. He is with me. He confides in me [that] his neighbour got the third [shot], recently and then ‘got covid’, whatever that means. He is skeptical. Next week he returns, calling me for more advice. I have made an ally. I discover his son works in the practice admin department.

Mr. & Mrs. Compliant in their 30s. She asks when [he can] get his booster. Will his piles delay this? I can tell that this is an important social rite of passage from her excitable tone. She does not need Dr. Party Pooper. Her man needs to hold down a job with a triple jab and feed the three little ones. Besides, what would the neighbours on her row of terraces say?

Parkinson’s man, 65. He said the job was very stressful. Three of his colleagues all had TIAs at the start of the year. I took a double take. That was not the medical stuff of stress. If it were, I would also be in the stroke unit, most days, over the last two years. Could it be the jab? [I]t was too early for most. I checked his notes. He (and his colleagues) had the first jab Feb 2021, as they were key workers in a high security government facility. We eye each other. He was a canny fellow. He left, remarking it was ‘nice talking to someone who thinks like me’.

Possible Parkinson’s man, 70, cannot speak properly, probably due to Parkinson’s but, no one really knows. He has been waiting for [an] NHS neurologist’s diagnosis for two years. Again, it is all on a headset…[t]he weak, distant, shuffling bradykinetic monotone of a suffering man. A simple generic medication would cure it and release him from a covid-measures jail sentence. There is no emotion in the voice because he is neurologically unwell. A colleague wrote, self-appeasingly, that the mask-like facies of Parkinson’s was not observable because of his face mask. Really? She did not dare even peak through a gaping aperture? This was written to abrogate clinical responsibility for a simple diagnosis. The universal excuse for everything is “’cos of covid”. I apologise and do what has become a daily ritual…a letter to expedite what was already urgent a year ago. Non-specialist GPs would not generally make the formal diagnosis nor initiate treatment for Parkinson’s. He is trapped in a manufactured, immoral situation of spineless, supine risk-aversion. However, I will make an exception in this horrific situation. I instruct him to call me if there is no progress within seven days […]. I will diagnose and treat him myself. This is the real emergency…[not] covid.

Quinsy man, 46, is a medical misnomer of three months standing. His battle-axe wife strong-armed me through the headset. He could not speak (she said he had a speech impediment). It would become clear why that was the case…he hasn’t been seen in two years by you! Sure enough, the frequent patient contacts, meticulously documented and crafted to feign the safety of physical presence, were all by telephone. She went on. He had been given three courses of [antibiotics] via telephone consultation for Quinsy over three months. That was really interesting, given Quinsy is a medical emergency. Something was not right. I sacrifice a precious face-to-face slot. He confesses to being an ex-smoker and a heavy drinker. I look in his oropharynx. It looked like tonsillar carcinoma until proven otherwise. Shocking. His wife pulls the ‘whilst we’re here, doctor’ manoeuvre, twice. I am glad she does. A ten-minute consultation, again, becomes thirty but, how can I ignore these poor people, deceived by the government into, vainly, still relying on an NHS they can no longer rely upon. He had a four month neck lesion. He was promised a referral three months ago. It never materialised. I take a peak…barn door rodent ulcer. [It’s] [s]kin cancer, festering and eating away at this pale, ginger fellow’s neck. Two fast track cancer referrals in rapid succession for one patient. Patients are meant to be seen within two weeks but, it is not happening. I anticipate this by asking them to call me if there is a millisecond of delay. It is not that surprising, after two years of neglect, given the lifetime risk of cancer is 1 in 2. It might get worse. Dr. Ryan Cole explains cancer is a possible effect of covid jabs upon TLR receptors. Moreover, it might, if as suspected, the jab-manufactured spike protein does in fact ‘strongly interact with p53 and BRCA-1/2 proteins. p53 and BRCA are the well-known tumour suppressor proteins’.

Sleeping Beauty is 21. She fell asleep at the wheel driving to the gym, dreamed of the impact and was later woken up by a prince passing by. My task at the end of a long chain of practitioners was to tell her, conclusively, that her TATT bloods (Tired All The Time) bloods were normal. No cause for tiredness, bye-bye. She was about to accept the good news and slam the phone down [b]ut, I am genuinely concerned for my patients. I stop her and ask, ‘but are you sleepy or tired? No, it just happens at the most unexpected of times. I know the likely diagnosis. I click on the patient’s list of medications. Tragic, really. I need to be tactful. No one believes they are unsafe or ineffective. They get offended. I ask when her woes began. Is she sure? Yes. Did you have anything new around that time? No. Are you sure? Yes. This is the problem. The event is so insignificant as to be forgotten. Did she realise she had the second jab two weeks before? No. No memory of this life-changing event. I politely apologise for casting aspersions but, explain she may have narcolepsy. I explain this is extraordinarily rare and one of the causes is vaccine injury. I self-deprecate more, I am only telling her because no one else might and I will be mentioning this to the neurologist, just for her information. I will request an urgent brain scan, since, at the current rate, she might receive a telephone call from an NHS neurologist in a year or two. Scans are one of the only primary care requests to hospitals which seems to happen more quickly during covid. She must report it to the DVLA. She must not drive until advised by them [that] she can. She seems to take it in her stride. The seed does not seem planted. Even if it is, evil fairy Malepfizer is immune, unless it is proven [that] it was [underhanded] in some way, that would put her in additional danger (as happened with the swine flu narcolepsy cases). Pfizer is rich enough to settle out of court, with a non-disclaimer to boot but, it probably won’t have to. For the nominal vaccine damage scheme, £120,000 is all she could get but, she won’t. Who will class her as 60% or more disabled? She can jolly well walk and reduce her carbon footprint at the same time.

Dot Cotton is 73. The worst of the deranged zealots are the nicotine-stained COPDs. She is part of a new wave of chain-smoking, geriatric, covid wokeness. A bronchitic terrorist… She puffs in, suffocating herself further with her mask + face-shield combo. She is one of the brand-new radicals, readying themselves for the Nth booster while they roll up tobacco. She is chesty but, mostly paranoid about being more chesty. Complaining that she hasn’t seen a GP for over two years, she does not recognise the irony of the NHS managing to jab her three times in 10 months while she continues to insist on her divine right to smoke herself to death. These are the NHS red-carpet patients whom sensible doctors and nurses, like me, will wave goodbye to as we are escorted off the premises as NHS lepers. She slaps her biceps and beams. I’ve had my booster! Wow, rub it in my face whilst I’m at work, won’t you. I appear underwhelmed, whilst she is expecting extra social credits. I gently challenge her health ideas for the heck of it. It is patently clear I am not going to find a member of the French résistance hidden under her storm trooper headgear. You do realise that government advice is not necessarily the same as medical advice? Oh yes, of course, Doctor, she fawns. I become adventurous…[Y]ou do appreciate the benefit of the government advice is not conclusive? Her eyes, distorted by [the] bent plastic visor, briefly scan me. As she leaves, she turns like Columbo (she is wearing a beige mackintosh), asking, pointedly, if I’m ‘not one of those against vaccines.’ Rather than asking if she ‘is one of those who does not believe in stopping smoking’, I answer politely, ‘I believe all sides should be respectfully heard.’ She concedes courteously and disappears. Everything is between the lines, all eyes and smiles and, a sliver away from professional crucifixion.

Swab Refusenik is 57. He is livid. He is double-jabbed, and asymptomatic, and the hospital still want to swab him before he has his colonoscopy. He cannot fathom it. What the hell is going on? He is scared, too. While booking a date for the procedure, he protested at being swabbed […]. [T]he lady at the other end was reactive, like only the NHS can be…‘so are you refusing the colonoscopy, sir?’ No, just the swab. She puts the phone down on him. Now, he confides in me and asks what [on] earth he is going to do. I sympathise and agree to write to his consultant to sort it all out. He admits me he only got jabbed to make life normal, again. He did not want either. He is not having the booster, [a]llegedly.

Mr. Plumber, 53, tells me he developed bad guttate psoriasis after the first jab, shingles after the second and he is worried about the third. What could be in store for him next? Smallpox? Leprosy? We will find out. He still wants it. He is confused as, all he ever deals with are covid call-centres. I counsel him on alternative strategies, such as not having it but, feels he should have it. The propaganda is too strong. Even offering a speculative exemption letter sounds schismatic to him. He becomes anxious. His daughter is a nurse and is looking into it but, what more does he need to know? He is alive and kicking two years later, after the world’s most over-hyped and over-televised pandemic. He is low risk. The jabs are producing disease in him. I am dealing with a mental health pandemic.

Ms. Clock-Ticking, 36, is desperate for pregnancy. Irregular periods post-jab are so common, they have passed into folklore. She shrugs of the three month lapse of her Swiss clock-like menses as mere piffle to her wish to be with child. ‘Yes, doctor, my period became irregular after the jab as I thought it might.’ Presumably, as the regularity returned, her faith in the non-science government narrative returned. She thinks the rot stops there. I wish her luck.

Ms. Siren, 40. Periods absent since the second jab. Nevertheless, she went back for the third a month ago. She wonders about menopause but, her mother went through it, […] aged 55. She admits that her periods became irregular and prolonged after the first jab in January. She is part of a hospital study (SIREN) into the jab and, has regular PCR and antibody tests. No one has [asked] her about jab adverse effects.

Village fête lady, 65, takes the biscuit one busy morning. She hobbles in sporting a blue rinse perm and a home counties accent. The conversation degenerates from her poorly ankle to ‘you must be so busy these days’ to covid, rapidly. She is restrained in her frustration but, her voice quivers…‘why oh why can’t they all just get vaccinated, doctor?’ She asks as if it is a matter of mere politesse. ‘Can’t they all just say please and thank you, doctor? Why can’t they? Then, we could all go back to normal and have a merry Christmas together.’ She quickly moves on to covid Santa Claus…ooh, and Dr. Whitty‘isn’t the country so lucky to have him?’ This time, words nearly fail me. I remind [her] that her view is predicated on the assumption that the vaccines are safe and effective but, tens of thousands are dying from them and there are millions of ADRs. It beats the mortality of all the other vaccines, rolled together over decades and it hasn’t even been out a year. ‘No, it’s not’, she retorts, coldly. This time words do fail me. Whatever her view is predicated on or not, it is not worth being detected and singled out. The programming is way too deep. Props to the propagandists. [T]hey have done an incredible job.

Continue reading…

Throwback Thursday: Susan B. Anthony’s Arrest 1872

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Susan B. Anthony Rochester Image One
Image Credit: University of Rochester

Champion of temperance, abolition, the rights of labor and equal pay for equal work, Susan Brownell Anthony became one of the most visible leaders of the women’s suffrage movement. Along with Elizabeth Cady Stanton, she traveled around the country delivering speeches in favor of women’s suffrage.

[She] was born on February 15, 1820 in Adams, Massachusetts. Her father, Daniel, was a farmer and, later, a cotton mill owner and manager, […] raised as a Quaker. Her mother, Lucy, came from a family that fought in the American Revolution and served in the Massachusetts state government. From an early age, Anthony was inspired by the Quaker belief that everyone was equal under God. That idea guided her throughout her life.

National Women’s History Museum
Susan B. Anthony

Nancy Hayward
2018

On November 1, 1872, Susan B. Anthony and [three] other women attempted to register to vote in the U.S. presidential election. When registrars hesitated, Anthony overwhelmed them with legal arguments and the men relented. On Election Day, November 5, Anthony voted for Ulysses S. Grant. She was one of fifteen women from her Rochester ward to cast a ballot. Attempting to vote was actually a common tactic among suffrage activists. Anthony’s action commanded outsized attention because she and her colleagues actually voted.

Anthony was arrested on November 18, 1872, for violating the federal Enforcement Act of 1870 […].

Freethought Trail
The Arrest of Susan B. Anthony

Robert Green Ingersoll Memorial Committee

Susan B. Anthony NYT Image Two
Image Credit: The New York Times

Nine days after the election, U.S. Commissioner William C. Storrs, an officer of the federal courts, issued warrants for the arrest of Anthony and the fourteen other women who voted in Rochester. Three days later […] a deputy federal marshal called on Anthony. He asked her to accompany him downtown to see the commissioner.

Anthony’s trial began in Canandaigua, New York, on June 17, 1873. Before pronouncing the sentence for her crime, Justice [Ward] Hunt asked Anthony if she had anything to say. She did. In the most famous speech in the history of the agitation for [women’s] suffrage, she condemned [the] proceeding that had “trampled under foot every vital principle of our government.” She had not received justice under “forms of law all made by men…” “…failing, even, to get a trial by a jury not of my peers.” Sentenced to pay a fine of $100 and the costs of the prosecution, she swore to “never pay a dollar of your unjust penalty.” Justice Hunt said Anthony would not be held in custody awaiting payment of her fine.

The Trial of Susan B. Anthony
Federal Judicial Center
Web Archive

May 31, 2010

A month after the trial, a deputy federal marshal was dispatched to collect Anthony’s fine. He reported that a careful search had failed to find any property that could be seized to pay the fine. The court took no further action.

Flashback Friday: Ellis Island 1954

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National Geographic Ellis Island Image
Women and children were separated from men
when they first entered the building on Ellis Island.
Photograph by Paul Thompson
Credit: National Geographic

Sixty-five years ago, [today] on November 12, 1954, a Norwegian merchant seaman named Arne Peterssen became the last immigrant to pass through Ellis Island. Later that month, the ferry Ellis Island made its final stop at the island in New York Harbor and the immigration facility closed for good, ending its run as a gateway to the United States for generations of immigrants.

These days Ellis Island is a national symbol remembered in sepia tones but, while it was in active service, the station reflected the country’s complicated relationship with immigration, one that evolved from casual openness to rigid restriction. “It was not a great welcoming place for immigrants but, it was not a place of horrors either,” says Vincent Cannato, author of American Passage: The History of Ellis Island.

Until the end of the 19th century, individual states handled immigration with rules varying by jurisdiction. [T]hen, immigration soared. In light of the influx, the federal government decided in 1891 that it had to take charge.

New York was immigration’s epicenter. Some 75 percent of the country’s steamship traffic came through New York Harbor and so did 75 percent of the nation’s immigrants, according to Cannato. New York state ran an immigration facility called Castle Gardens at the tip of Manhattan but, the new federal Office of Immigration wanted an intake and inspection station in a more controlled location. It selected Ellis Island, a three-acre spot of land in the harbor between New York and New Jersey […].

The immigrants who eventually passed through Ellis Island started their journey by buying passage on a steamship, usually sailing from Europe. Between 1892 and 1924, 12 million people successfully traversed this highly efficient conveyor-belt immigration system. Most immigrants were processed through Ellis Island in a few hours and only 2 percent that arrived on the island were prevented from entering the United States.

[T]his era of mass immigration came to an end with the passage in 1921 and 1924 of new laws that severely limited immigration by establishing quotas for individual countries and requiring immigrants to obtain visas from American consulates. Since most official immigration screening now happened at U.S. consulates abroad, Ellis Island became increasingly irrelevant. The facility, which had once teemed with thousands of hopeful immigrants, transformed into “a major center for deportation and for holding enemy alien spies,” says [Barry] Moreno. “It was like night and day.” President Eisenhower quietly closed Ellis Island in 1954.

How Ellis Island Shepherded Millions of Immigrants Into America
Rachel Hartigan
National Geographic
November 13, 2019

Scoop Saturday: Family of Ducks

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It’s not unusual for a mother with kids in tow to take a stroll through the library. Many bookworms fondly remember such childhood visits [but], it is unusual when that mother is a duck and she has five ducklings all following in a row as they march through a British university library. Employees at the University of Nottingham’s George Green Library were treated to just that sight recently after open doors let in more than a cool breeze. “It had been very hot that week, so we had left our doors open for some extra air movement,” Emma Halford-Busby said, according to Good News Network. Apparently, the duck walked in with her brood and they took a tour, “…walked around our atrium for a while, mom in front and ducklings in a line behind. Mom was totally calm and unflustered.”

A worker gently herded them toward the door and they marched back out again. “As they walked towards our other entrance, one of our staff gently ushered them through the gates and back outside,” Halford-Busby said. “You often come across ducks in seemingly odd places around campus but, that was definitely the oddest place I’ve seen them,” Stuart Warren, the senior library adviser, told BBC. Halford-Busby added that the cute sighting “did bring some excitement into an otherwise peaceful evening.”

It’s not just ducks across the pond who are part of this phenomenon, either. Gary Allen High School in Ontario, Canada, has a long-standing tradition with a local duck who takes an annual tour through the school buildings to get to a creek. “At least once a year, a mother and her brood of ducklings make their way from her nesting grounds, through a high school, to a nearby creek,” CBC posted on Facebook in 2019. “Staff have helped guide the family on their journey for the last 10 years.”

Additional:
Adorable Baby Ducklings Ushered Outside After Waddling Into Library (Western Journal/Amanda Thomason/09-14-2021)
Family of Ducks Waddles Through University of Nottingham Library (BBC East Midlands/09-01-2021)
Adorable Footage Shows Family of Ducks Being Ushered Out of Library (Good News Network/09-07-2021)

Madness Monday: WTF Is That?

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Another new heading… ~Vic

Thumbnut Thursday: Biden Vaccine Mandate

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Upside Down Turtle Brownstone Image
Photo Credit: Brownstone Institute

Yep. New heading. What is a thumbnut? From Merriam-Webster:

Wing Nut

What is a good definition of wing nut? From the Urban Dictionary:

A [piece] of metal that can be easily turned with the fingers used to anchor screws into wood or other material…[OR]

From Wikipedia: [A] pejorative American political term referring to a person who holds extreme, and often, irrational, political views.

President Biden has decided to go hard on the virus. No more Mr. Nice Guy. Sadly for him, those tiny little pathogens don’t pay taxes, don’t vote, don’t have Social Security numbers, can’t be drafted and don’t answer phone calls from poll takers, which is to say that he, and his agencies, cannot really control them. That must be frustrating, poor man. Instead his plan is to control what he can control: people and, most immediately, federal workers and the employees of large regulated companies. For him, the key to crushing the virus is the vaccine. Not enough people are obeying his demand for near-universal vaccination.

In a maniacal move of wild desperation, or as an excuse to try out the most extreme powers of his office, he is using every weapon that he believes he has to assure compliance with his dream of injecting as many arms as possible. Only then will we crush the virus, all thanks to his leadership…all the complaints about “freedom” be damned…and never mind that the realization of his dream did not work in Israel or the UK.

What are the immediate problems here? At least five:

[1] The Biden mandate pretends that the only immunity is injected, not natural […] even though all science for at least a year…actually, you can say centuries…contradicts that. Indeed, we’ve known about natural immunity since 400 B.C when Thucydides first wrote of the great Athens plague that revealed that “they knew the course of the disease and were themselves free from apprehension.” Biden’s mandate could affect 80 million people but, far more than that have likely been exposed and gained robust immunity regardless of vaccination status.

[2] This natural immunity is long-lasting, and broad, and we’ve known that since last year when the first studies revealed it. You can say that the addition of a vaccine provides even more but, it’s new, and untested, relative to most drugs approved by regulators. [Many] people are concerned about possible side effects of this vaccine, that was approved much faster than any drug in my lifetime, and there is not one living human being in a position to say with certainty that these skeptics are wrong.

[3] The mandate presumes that everyone is equally susceptible to severe outcomes from getting exposed to the virus, which we’ve known is not true since at least February 2020. In this entire 18-month fiasco, we’ve not seen any serious high-level communication about the huge range of demographic gradients in infection based on both age and overall health. This ignorance is a consequence of poor public-health messaging and is grossly irresponsible. The aggregated mandate from the Biden administration ignores this completely, as did the models that suggested lock-downs in the event of a virus from the Spring of 2020.

[4] Biden seems still of the belief that vaccines stop infection (he claimed this many times) and spread but, we know with certainty that this is not the case. [Even] the CDC admits it. The best guess at this point is that it can help in preventing hospitalization and death but, this experiment is still in its early stages. [The] relationship between cause and effect in human affairs is not as easy as throwing around two data sets and saying one caused the other. Most cases in the developed world, now, are occurring among the vaccinated…and we all know this because we have vaccinated friends who got Covid anyway. Some have died. We are not idiots, contrary to what the Biden administration believes, [nor] do any of us have all the knowledge and answers. [It] is precisely because science is uncertain that the decisions surrounding it need to be decentralized, depoliticized and open to correction rather than being imposed by top-down mandates.

[5] Biden’s order flies in the face of basic human freedoms and rights. There is no other way to put it. [It] is this fact that is the most prescient for the multitudes who are, right now, seething in anger that one man, who happens to hold power, can make health decisions for the whole population regardless of their perfectly rational judgements. When the needle filled with liquid is forced into the arms of people who either have natural immunities or do not fear exposure to the pathogen, it gets personal. [People] get really mad, especially after they are still forced into masks and denied other essential rights.

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Story Sunday: It Was 1976

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60 Minutes

Additional Information

Story Sunday: HiccAway

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HiccAway Oddity Image One
Image Credit: Oddity Central

The Plastic Straw That Can Instantly Cure Hiccups…

Described as a “forced inspiratory suction and swallow tool”, HiccAway is essentially a special type of plastic straw scientifically designed to almost instantly cure hiccups. According to a new study, the L-shaped tool works in 92% of cases.

From holding your breath and drinking water, to jump scares and anti-hiccup lollypops, there is no shortage of hiccup cures in the world, which only emphasizes how pesky of a problem it can be. Unfortunately, few, if any, have a proven track record when it comes to efficiency but, luckily, we now have a scientific solution that promises to end those annoying hiccups […]. [T]here’s a lot more to it than meets the eye.

When we get the hiccups, our diaphragm and intercostal muscles suddenly contract and, the abrupt intake of air causes the opening between the vocal folds to produce that “hic” sounds every one of us has experienced at least once in our lives. Luckily, simply using the HiccAway to sip a bit of water from a glass apparently cures the hiccups almost instantly.

The HiccAway straw has a mouthpiece at one end and an adjustable cap with a pressure valve, in the form of a small hole, at the other. The intense suction required to draw water up through the device requires the phrenic nerve to trigger a contraction of the diaphragm, while swallowing the water involves activation of the vagus nerve. It’s these two nerves that are responsible for the hiccups in the first place, so by keeping them busy with something else, we keep them from producing the annoying phenomenon.

Dr. Ali Seifi, a neurointensivist from the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, came up with the design for the HiccAway after seeing his son’s McFlurry ice cream spoon. In fact, he says people can try to make one from a McFlurry spoon by sealing up most of the small hole at the top, to increase suction pressure. Or, you can just buy the real thing, for $14.

[T]he HiccAway works by essentially making our brain forget to keep spasming that diaphragm.

Spooky
Oddity Central
June 22, 2021

Story Sunday: The War On Computers

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Weird Universe Image One
Image Credit: Weird Universe
San Francisco Examiner
10-27-1968

The International Society for the Abolition of Data-Processing Machines […] was founded by Harvey Matusow in the late 1960s. Its aim was “to conduct guerrilla warfare against the computer by such means as sending a penny too much or too little when paying a utility bill.”

Matusow also authored The Beast of Business, which was supposed to serve as a manual for the guerrilla warfare against the computer. I wonder if any of the techniques he detailed would still work today?

However, Matusow is best known for giving evidence in court against individuals during the McCarthy era. Later, he claimed that the FBI had paid him to give false testimony and he detailed these allegations in his book False Witness.

He seems to have had a rather eccentric life and career. Some other highlights of it, from the University of Sussex’s page about him:
♦ Founded a band called the Harvey Matusow’s Jew’s Harp Band
♦ Married approximately twelve times
♦ Is possibly part of the reason The Beatles broke up – he held the party where John Lennon met Yoko Ono
♦ Worked as a children’s TV clown called Cockyboo in Tucson, Arizona
Converted to Mormonism and spent his last years known as Job Matusow

Alex Boese
Weird Universe
May 29, 2021

Additional Reading:
Frustrations: Guerrilla War Against Computers (Time Magazine/09-12-1969)

Story Sunday: Circus Train Cars For Auction In North Carolina

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Barnum & Bailey Circus Rail Car Image One
Image Credit: NC State Surplus Property

If you haven’t finished your holiday shopping, the North Carolina Department of Transportation is offering up a piece of Americana but, it’s going to cost you a pretty penny.

When the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus closed their doors, NCDOT saw an opportunity to add to its fleet. That plan was derailed before the cars could hit the rails and, now, they’re being put up for public auction.

NCDOT spent just over $380,000 on [the] Ringling Brothers rail cars.

“These cars have a great and amazing history,” said Jason Orthner, director of the NCDOT rail division.

However, plans to refurbish the cars were quickly put on hold when NCDOT calculated the costs. “This was more on the long-term play of really looking into our rail program and how we take it into the future,” said Orthner.

Ringling Brothers & Barnum and Bailey Poster Wiki Image Two
Image Credit: New York Public Library
Wikimedia & Wikipedia

Funding from two federal grants totaling $157 million rendered the rehab of the Ringling Bros. cars obsolete and will soon allow the NCDOT to replace their entire fleet.

“If we hadn’t been successful at winning those grants, we would’ve taken a really hard look at putting these in service,” said Orthner. “We really want to do the best thing for the citizens of North Carolina with the limited funding that we have available.”

That’s why they’re listing the rail-cars on the state surplus site for a minimum price that’s $32,000 more than the NCDOT paid for all of the cars but, without any bids, it’s unclear if anyone will actually buy them.

“Tourist railroad operations, car collectors and other enthusiasts would certainly be interested in these cars,” said Orthner. “There are operations around the country that run train service for excursion purpose, or other purposes, that would be interested in equipment like this.”

Currently half of the rail-cars are stored in the NCDOT rail-yard in Raleigh and the other half are stored on an abandoned line in Nash County.

Want To Own A Piece Of History?
Holden Kurwicki
WNCN/CBS17
12-21-2020

I had no idea my state’s DOT had purchased Ringling Bros. train cars. ~Vic

Weird S*** Wednesday: Cyborg Has Fins Implanted Into Skull

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Manel de Aguas Image One
Photo Credit: Oddity Central

From Oddity Central:

Spanish artist Manel de Aguas doesn’t consider himself human but, something else. A founding member of the Trans-Species Society (a now defunct website), he uses technological implants to experience the world differently than the rest of humanity. Twenty-four-year-old Manel […] first made international news headlines in August of 2017 when he built the first prototype of a device that allowed him to feel atmospheric vibrations. At the time, it was nothing more than an exposed circuit board that hung on a headband at the back of his head. The following year, he started attaching a pair of fins to the sides of his head and announced his intention to have them implanted into his skull. Earlier this year, de Aguas did just that, turning those decorative fins into functional organs that perceive the temperature, humidity and atmospheric pressure and, send sounds to Manel’s brain via bone conduction.

Manel De Aguas Facebook Image Two
Photo Credit: Manel De Aguas
01-11-2020

In June of 2019, the […] artist sat down with VICE Magazine and explained his intention to have [the] artificial [organs] […] implanted:

“The atmosphere will sound inside my head, and depending on the atmospheric conditions in any given moment, I will have the experience of being submerged in one type of medium or another. As for the outer part, the organ will have an appearance inspired by the fins of flying fish and I will implant a fin on each side of my head, at the same level as the temple bone in my skull.”

“I have always felt a special connection to the rain, so when I found out that there was a way to feel this sense within me, I thought it would be good to create [an organ] that would connect me even more to rain, as well as other atmospheric phenomena. As for the shape of the organ, I have always been interested in marine species, both real and mythological, so the idea of creating a fin-shaped organ simply came from within.”

“I will be exploring the weather through this new sensory organ,” […] de Aguas posted on Instagram, where his new look has been getting a lot of attention.

Manel described himself as a propioespecie, or his own species, his response to the anthropocentrism of today’s society, which puts human beings on the highest echelon of a false hierarchy of species. In January of this year, [he] was finally able to make his dream a reality. He had the artificial fins implanted into his skull at a clinic in Japan, after being refused by several doctors in Spain. The fins weigh 500 grams, can be recharged with solar energy and can connect to various devices via WiFi.

I wonder if those wings let him Phone Home. ~Vic

Additional Reading:
Cyborg Foundation
Manel de Aguas (Facebook)
Manel de Aguas (Instagram)
Color Blind Artist Implants Antenna (Oddity Central 2014)
Moon Ribas Can Sense Every Earthquake (Oddity Central 2016)
Cyborg Artist Can Sense The Weather (Vice Magazine 2019)
Neil Harbisson (Wikipedia)
Moon Ribas (Wikipedia)