I Wasn’t Going to…

No, I really wasn’t going to write a post on Covid vaccines or Delta or anything else the media can’t stop yapping about. But here I am, ready to let it all out. Have you ever noticed that one journalist will write a declaration, and all the other journalists will proceed to repeat said declaration with no more facts or figures than the first one had? It becomes a truth statement after a while, something that is simply known and doesn’t need sources. For example, no writer would need a source to state that Annapolis is the capital of Maryland, though he might need a dictionary to spell it correctly. “It’s a pandemic of the unvaccinated” is one. Another is “Cases and hospitalizations have skyrocketed among children” because “the delta variant is surging.” Of course, they’ve been using the word “surge” for over a year now. Get a thesaurus, writers.

This post I’m writing had a couple triggers. One was a local news article I read earlier this week. Another was Pfizer. Just Pfizer — the corporation’s very existence is enough. I’ll get the first one over with. I’m not sure I want to talk about the children. I assume that this new repeated “truth” statement is to ensure that we’re prepared as a population to get our children vaccinated as soon as possible. When the news uses words like “skyrocketing,” you really have to look at what those numbers are — if they make them available. For example, 200 hospitalizations among children in the US is quite small. If it rises to 300, it has “skyrocketed” because that’s an increase of 50%, even though that number is still a blip on any statistical map. Children do get infectious diseases that pass readily through their disgusting, booger-eating fingers, and a very small percentage will end up in the hospital. As I work occasionally as a sub at a school, I can attest that this year is starting out with a bang of illnesses passing through the system. This happens. It’s actually normal to have bad cold/flu years. Do any of us remember what normal is any longer?

I don’t know whether these children are getting the Delta variant of Covid, however. Why don’t I know? Well, let’s see: for the obvious reason that the state of NM isn’t testing for it. Oh, I admit the NMDOH might have done a few tests, but it requires genomic sequencing that we don’t have the resources for. The idea that we have a surge of Delta simply because people are getting sick right now is just an absurd leap from a handful of samples. Now people are going to run around crying, “Do it for the children!” Oh, ay. No, I won’t — whatever it is they want me to do. I hate emotional manipulation almost more than any other tactic. If people try to push me into doing something to save the children or the elderly, I understand that it’s exactly the wrong thing to do. If it were the right thing, they wouldn’t have to use those tactics. I don’t know how to express this loudly enough. I HATE EMOTIONAL MANIPULATION. Seeing as how I never use all caps, perhaps you’ll understand the strength of my loathing.

Now I’m going to move on to Pfizer and the “pandemic of the unvaccinated.” See, the problem is we don’t really have the data to make this claim (and remember I live in a state with an exceedingly lazy, inept bureaucracy, so I’m talking about my state, not yours). That parenthetical statement being said, I rather doubt the data is ever collected as quickly as our news media pretends it is in any state at all. I don’t trust our hospitals for the obvious reason that they can’t even type addresses or patient names or patient information correctly in their computers. They also get a lot of funding for Covid and have jumped on the bandwagon of pushing the vaccines. It’s all about the vaccines! The vaccines will save us! It doesn’t matter that whatever real data is actually trickling in says that the vaccinated population is getting sick with Covid. If we move beyond the US and its lying media and unreliable or missing data, the majority of Covid hospitalizations in Israel (which has one of the highest vaccination rates in the world right now) are among the vaccinated. In the UK, the vaccinated population is the one that is (supposedly) getting Delta. I used supposedly, as I have no idea whether the NHS is doing broad sweeping genomic sequencing on positive Covid tests.

Obviously, there is no a pandemic of the unvaccinated if vaccinated people are getting sick at an equal or greater rate with Covid or Delta or both and are, hence, are defeating the very purpose of not spreading the disease when they, too, are infectious. It’s all become incredibly ridiculous, and the more ridiculous it gets, the more frustrated people get. There are people suffering in the hospital whose families are frustrated with the politics, and there are people who are callous to the entire subject due to politics, and that latter group isn’t going to have proper empathy for the former group.

That above rant was meant to be a lead-in to Pfizer, whose name might as well be a modern curse word. Pfizer is a behemoth of a corporation that strongarms countries into doing deals with them. Weird deals, where they get military bases and embassies as collateral to their vaccine contracts. This is a company that is making billions of dollars off these vaccines; that’s what they have at stake in pushing them. Billions of dollars and military bases and embassies and…. A corporation that operates this way is not a scrupulous business. It’s not surprising to me that they were the first to get full approval by the FDA. They also know that their vaccines don’t prevent transmission of the virus, which is why they are now pushing a two-a-day antivirus drug that they expect to be soon approved and mandated, right along with their vaccines. So after you get your two “jabs” (ugh, it drives me insane when people use that word…it’s just more emotional manipulation) and 5000 boosters, you can take their pills so they can make an untold more billions. It’s beyond absurd. People on the internet are calling it Pfizermectin; I have no idea what its actual name is, but it isn’t a new branded form of Ivermectin. Why would it be? Remember? Our media and government and Merck have all told us Ivermectin is useless and maybe even dangerous. Also, it’s a generic drug these days and billions can’t be made off it. Or…that other drug Trump was pushing as a possible help: oh, yeah, hydroxychloroquine. That one has been approved and used for fifty years but suddenly became very, very dangerous, as it also isn’t a money-making drug. The Lancet even faked a study on it to prove just how dangerous it is to Covid patients, which was thankfully retracted…after the damage was done.

Okay, so maybe I’m a conspiracy theorist. On the other hand, maybe you could call me a conspiracy realist. History reveals that there are many people in the world whose only aim in life is power and money. They want to rule, and they want earthly gains. Meanwhile, there are real people suffering: patients, family members of patients, people in the medical field. So, while I might believe in conspiracies to an extent, I believe this virus is real and can make certain demographics very ill. That is why the people behind lying media and big pharma companies, who only care about their billions, are heinous and evil monsters.

What is the solution to this? I’ll take honesty for $500, Alex. Honesty about the demographics: obesity can kill you. Honesty about the experimental drugs: if Ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine help Covid sufferers, they need access to them. Honesty about immune-supports: how many people with extreme Covid symptoms are vitamin D deficient, anyway? What about a good old-fashioned treatment of iodine? Granted, iodine can be toxic (so can vit D at high enough levels). I added iodine as a possibility only because I started craving seaweed snacks when I was sick, and after finally getting around to buying and consuming two packs*, my energy level returned to normal. I’ve also treated “stomach” flus and colds with Lugol’s in the past — as in, nixed them within a day or two. Seaweed has many more nutrients in it than just iodine, however.

And that’s all I have to say. My rant is over. And for the record, I never give medical advice. I’m not qualified to do so. You should never take any supplements just because I think it’s fun to experiment on myself.

*By packs, I mean the little ones called “snacks” and sold in the Asian section at the grocery store.

Here are some related links; I honestly just ran out of time to find all the ones I wanted, but these will suffice for now (the first one is relevant in as much as it provides a table of actual numbers): BOMBSHELL UK data destroys entire premise for vaccine push – by Chris Waldburger – Chris Waldburger (substack.com)

A grim warning from Israel: Vaccination blunts, but does not defeat Delta | Science | AAAS

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A Sense of Continuity

I’ve been sick. I was actively sick for about a week and have been dragging with exhaustion in the couple of weeks since then. Before somebody gets the idea that our times are worse than all times that have come before it because of Covid, this bout of recent illness rather reminds me of the old days when my immune system didn’t function very well and illnesses that dragged on like this were simply part of my reality. My immune system didn’t improve until I gave up wheat and dealt with severe zinc and vit D deficiencies.

Living in the world is not perfect and will never be perfect, however. Illnesses come and go. Sometimes, they are severe and knock people down; that’s why I’ve been at a loss to understand why people are in such a panic over Covid. To me, it’s just a part of life, another struggle, another assault like any other. But I’ve also never been prone to anxiety. Don’t get me wrong — I’ve felt anxiety at moments. I know it isn’t any fun to be anxious; it’s a somewhat harrowing feeling, and I’m thankful I don’t constantly live in it. Hear me out for a moment: it doesn’t change anything. A feeling of anxiety might cause a person to react in negative ways to the world around them, but the feeling itself doesn’t change material reality.

This exhaustion has led me to giving up my usual routine and focusing only on the immediate tasks I need to do for work and my family. I’m very given towards routine. It’s hard to give mine up. I’m not much of a planner; I’m not terribly organized. But I follow a routine that normally keeps me fit, keeps my house clean and my yard looking decent, keeps me writing books and following all the hobbies that keep me ticking. I’m sure I’ll find the energy to bring my old routine back. I know the way these long illnesses work — I’ve already said as much. Baby steps are key, as well as absorbing every available spot of joy I can find. Finding a sense of continuity so that the world doesn’t feel chaotic is essential.

Over the years, when recovering from these illnesses, it’s usually music that brings me back to life. Binge-watching TV gets old. Books are all right, but it’s hard to read when my eyeballs are seared into my brain like hot pokers. Music, on the other hand, is easy. Music hits the soul and mind simultaneously and can elevate both. I still fondly remember the tunes that brought me hope twenty-odd years ago. I might not even like the artists who made the songs, or — let’s be honest — the songs themselves. For example, when I was about twenty-five, I remember dragging myself up and staring out the window over the kitchen sink to see the New Mexico sky and the landscape filled with the barest hints of spring, and I had a sudden hankering to turn on the hand-crank radio that sat on the windowsill. The radio was set to a pop station, which I rarely listen to, and the song that was playing was Nelly Furtado’s Like a Bird. Oddly, the song sounded amazing to my ears, and I later bought the album…though, again, pop music just isn’t usually my thing.

I know you must be waiting with bated breath for the great song reveal that has brought me hope this time around. Well, yes, there is one. It’s rather strange. Of course, it’s a Mexican song; what else would it be? This post illness exhaustion happened to coincide with my son’s days back at school, and for unknown reasons, one of the local Mexican stations has been playing a song by Grupo Pegasso called Cosas del Amor every day at the same time when I’m driving to my son’s school. It’s not a new song at all — I do not know what DJ has queued this particular song up to play every day at the same moment like a cuckoo clock: time to pick up your son. But there it is. The song is magical. I can’t deny it, and now it’s constantly playing in my head. Sometimes, when I’m exhausted and I lie down for a rest, I put the song on at home, too, and imagine I could float away in it. Maybe I could become the song. Do you ever have such fancies, that you could float away into the ether as you become music? I’m probably slightly insane, but it’s something I fantasize about all the time. Maybe I’ll catch a ride on the back of a flying horse, as a pegasso is exactly what it sounds like it is…or I believe so. I believe! I believe!

If you want to listen to this magical song for yourself, here it is:

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Rugged Individualism Vs Community

The rugged individual of American lore has taken a beating lately. Many people of my generation, who are not just individualistic but rebelliously so, have realized the worth of community and tend to look scathingly on the mythos we were brought up to believe in. On the other hand, collectivism — which is a sham version of organic community — has always been attractive to a certain set, usually those who cling to a Marxist mythos instead. But it’s my contention that as American individualism goes the way of dust, our community blows away with it. Or maybe it has already blown away, and here I am beating a dead horse (because, as everyone knows, mixed metaphors involving the winds of time can and should involve beating horses — but why would anyone beat live horses, anyway?! That’s cruel.) Individualism is a cultural value, but it’s cultural largely to pre-WWII era Americans. Now that eighty years have passed since the milestone of the 1940s shifted everything, I’m not sure we can go back.

What is the mythos behind the Rugged Individualist? From whence desert spring does it sally forth from? Now I’m bringing all my metaphors into a wonderful picture: dust in the wind, horses, and desert springs. The Rugged Individualist was the type of person who could uproot himself from a home in the east and travel to the west, where he had no roots, where there were quite likely no immediate water sources, where plains met deserts and everybody got just a little dusty on the trip. But let’s hope nobody beat his horses to keep them plodding. Communities formed around these rugged people; they could survive on their own, but it was much better with likeminded individuals surrounding them.

What happened in the 1940s to change things? Well, a large federal government rallied the nation to pull together as a unit and support the war effort. We already had a large federal government; we gave into that many years before the 1940s. But I don’t there wasn’t the push for working together like the war years. Families rationed and went without; children collected things; women went to work in the factories. This sort of communalism probably also lent itself to socialism being more widely accepted. After all, not only was there a not-so-distant memory of the first world war, but also of the Great Depression, and socialist writers could subtly alter everyone’s memories with their propaganda. Yeah, I think I’ve written before about how much I despise writers like Steinbeck. I’ll give him a pass for now because there was an inspiration for this post, and it wasn’t The Grapes of Wrath. Not really. It was a glimpse of the odd changing times I witnessed last weekend.

Sometimes, my husband and I go to Lubbock for our anniversary. It just so happens to be one of the closest big cities outside of Roswell, where we live. Now Lubbock is the epitome of a ranching and oil town — a real western cowboy stop. I mean, yeah, we’ve got the history of Billy the Kid and Pat Garrett in my county, but Lubbock has a similar culture, and it happens to be in Texas. Or I thought it had a similar culture but was more politically right than where I live. I do live in one of the only red areas of New Mexico, for the record, but there will always be the blue bleed-over, simply because of being inside the borders of a blue state. I thought it was culturally more red until I decided to visit one of their churches for Mass. The Lubbock diocese rules are astonishingly authoritarian and collectivist in nature. I was annoyed by even the modicum of rules in my own diocese, but these rules are much more extreme with pews still cordoned off, no allowance for individuals to socially distance themselves on their own, and no freedom of movement. By that, I mean the parishioners are forced to wait in line to be ushered to a seat, and they aren’t allowed to leave until they are ushered out. And despite that the governor had nixed the mask mandate, masks are still mandated inside the churches for everyone, regardless of vaccination status.

But this is an interesting conundrum, isn’t it? The Catholic church isn’t really collectivist; in fact, most Catholics are opposed to communism on principle, but it is communitarian in nature and has a hierarchical authority structure. So while I do believe the larger church culture will come into play, the local culture also influences how Catholic churches behave in a community. Parishes are both outside and inside the culture. It’s a balancing act, I think, the same way that Christians as individuals are supposed to be operating in the world but not of the world. But any church is going to operate as a microcosm of the people in the community and what they will accept. From my glimpse at Lubbock through the lens of the Catholic church, they are willing to accept a lot of collectivism. Actually, I saw this at the local mall, too, where the stores were operating very much like the church with long lines of people waiting to get in and masks required.

It was disheartening to me because I haven’t yet been able to reject the Rugged Individualist ideal — and there seems no place left where this is a reality. My husband and I keep looking and thinking — oh, maybe Wyoming is the last bastion or South Dakota or even Alaska. But I imagine even those places have been influenced by the long years since WWII. It really has been a long time, so much time to lose the good aspects of individualism, such as being able to repair your own roof and car, grow your own food, and sew your own clothes from cloth you wove yourself by the light of candles you also fashioned. Those were the days, right? I don’t know. I’ve never lived it. But I used to listen to my grandparents and great grandparents talk of people being able to do for themselves and somehow manage to have closer communities around them than we have now…when we wait in line with fifty people we don’t know and don’t care to know and later parrot on social media about it all being for the common good of those people whose faces are obscured by masks.

For the moment, though, I can be grateful that my diocese has pulled their toe from those desert spring waters of collectivism. I doubt very much that’s what it’s really about, though. Oh, maybe it is. Maybe I’m cynical and see the local cultural influence is simply sheer laziness at enforcing authoritarianism. In the past, this laziness has always made New Mexico surprisingly livable….

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Anti-Pragmatism Part II

The problem with pragmatists is they will mask their underlying emotional triggers with “common sense” or “science” and pretend that their actions are rational. This makes them very frustrating to deal with when it comes to solving big-picture problems…that is, what I’m, ahem, rationally more afraid of than what I read in the media.

Take a trip in your mind all the way back to the War on Terror, which was used as an excuse to bring in the unconstitutional and totalitarian Patriot Act. Pragmatic conservatives agreed with it because it made more sense to have one’s genitals groped and suitcases searched by government-hired goons than possibly die in an airplane explosion. It was useless to tell the pragmatists that one can’t wage a war on an emotion, that a war of that nature will never end because there will never be an end to terror. Even I suffer from fear — see first paragraph — because I’m afraid of giving way to a totalitarian state. Fear is a natural emotion. A government can’t wage a war against it; in fact, the government and the lying media will go out if its way to create terror and then come in like a swooping hero and use words like “patriot” to reassure us that we’re all going to be all right. They will take care of us good old-fashioned Fighting American Patriots like the honorable Uncle Sam that they are.

Gag and more gag. And now our government is at it again, whipping everyone into a frenzy over a virus, no less, and stepping in with the answer: lockdowns, masks, and vaccines. Of course, we’re not alone in fighting totalitarianism. It is happening in all the western nations. I used to think Americans cared about freedom, though, more than their European friends. Perhaps I was wrong because I see more pragmatists around me, willing to speak pragmatically about science and how we need to just do this one thing to get back to normal (the one two-week lockdown; the one wear your mask for two months and it will all be over; the one vaccine; the one ring to rule them all.)

Do you remember Peter Jackson’s LOTR? Do you remember the Men of the West speech? I do because my husband listened to it on auto-repeat 10,000 times. Go listen to it. And then reconsider your pragmatism. There is nothing particularly pragmatic about fighting against the forces of totalitarian evil. It’s a hard gig and takes a lot of grit. But unless we want to go gently into that good night as nations, we need to do it.

Lastly, I’m anti-pragmatist because pragmatists don’t understand me when I tell them I’d rather die in an airplane explosion than allow my government to surveil, search, or grope me. This last year and a half, I’ve given the same answer: I’d rather die of Covid than continue down this totalitarian path. Speaking of airline companies, what is it about them that loves to give way to the totalitarian schema? I’d rather die of Covid, you see, than live in a world where airline companies arrest parents because their toddler won’t keep his mask on. No, I don’t want to just “get along.” I will never just want to get along.

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Anti-Pragmatism

It’s funny how there’s a collective consciousness about certain human issues…like pragmatism, for example. That sounds a little new age, I admit, but I don’t mean it that way. The change of seasons has people thinking along similar lines, and then they write about those lines, as it were, on their blogs. That’s all I mean by “collective consciousness.” The start of the school year is a season change, even though it no longer falls at the seasonal line. Do you remember when school used to start in September and end in June? I do. How pragmatic. Or is it pragmatic to start school due to average weather conditions in May, as compared to June [June is hotter than blazes in my state]? Pragmatists have competing ideas, which makes their decisive actions especially annoying.

I was thinking, before I dragged myself out of bed this morning, about how I was the ultimate anti-pragmatist. Meanwhile, others were thinking about how sometimes God doesn’t want them to get caught up in pragmatism because pragmatism is essentially finding sensible ways to control chaos in the environment. Pragmatists are so sensible they often don’t need God or can’t fathom why their solution isn’t the wisest choice.

Because I’m an anti-pragmatist, God instead puts pressure on me to get things done for the benefit of my household, even though I find those things banal and don’t want to do them. By pressure, I mean I hear him speak quietly to me. I hear him admonishing me that only engaging in pragmatic action to make people stop nagging me isn’t really loving. See, God doesn’t really nag. Or…not most of the time. Nag is a word with negative connotations, you see. One doesn’t use words like that for God.

Why am I an anti-pragmatist? Oh, I don’t know. See the first paragraph. Everybody thinks they know what is best, but they disagree with each other. People make a cacophanous noise when they’re sensible. They sound like mosquitos in my ear when they demand that I cut coupons or shop sales or plan meals or make budgets. Over the years, I’ve figured out which of these banalities are actually necessary…for example, keeping a detailed calendar of client appointments and payments will save me a world of struggle and a lot of time. That’s the only pragmatism I need, the kind that saves time for what I would rather do. And trust me, I’d rather stare at the wall than cut coupons or shop sales. That kind of pragmatism I will never concede to, no matter how much money somebody wants me to save. Sorry about that. I should never say never.

Back to God and his quiet voice, though, pragmatism isn’t always about me and my most precious system of time. I might instead agree to something on the honey-do list to save my husband time or a flat tire. Or not ignoring my child’s supply list might be a kindness to him, if not to the teacher. I’m not ready to be kind to teachers; kindness isn’t precisely pragmatic, anyway. The bizarre thing is teacherly lists and plans are anything but pragmatic. Perhaps I’m a closet pragmatist, after all. I still recall an article I wrote years ago on why teachers should not try to make learning fun because only rote memorization combined with applied critical thinking truly educates….

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