“Just the facts, Ma’am,” was Joe Friday’s signature phrase. Jack Webb played the LA Police Sergeant (later a Lieutenant) in the 1950’s Dragnet radio series. His “Just the facts” kept witnesses from embellishing their stories and speculating about crimes.
We could use more facts and less speculation today about Covid, energy, climate, other issues and related policy mistakes and crimes. And, less government and social media censorship, manipulated data and demonization of independent thinkers who question government narratives. And, who also expose mistakes and hidden agendas. Instead, we have activist journalists embellishing and furthering their narratives and agendas.
Who you gonna believe: Politicians, informed sources, experts, models, talking heads, advocacy journalists – or your lying eyes and common sense? We may be appropriately skeptical about what we read, hear, and see. (The most recent Gallup poll shows high public trust for TV news at 4%. That high?) But how do we deal with censorship, distortions and spin in real time. Subsequent events often confirm conspiracy suspicions and link correlation and causation. But the damage has already been done. Is a reckoning coming? Maybe.
We are now seeing amnesty appeals for vaccine and lockdown zealots despite the harm they caused. Wry insightful humor is also emerging. Example: a cartoon with two doctors examining charts and this caption: “New study shows alarming link between being a conspiracy theorists and not having myocarditis.” Litigation may be coming too from those who do have myocarditis or other adverse vaccine events and from families of those who died from them – despite government immunity for vaccine companies. But courts are Calvary to the rescue long after grass has grown over graves of the massacred. Fines and judgements are just a cost of doing business for profitable drug companies – which don’t die.
Occam’s Razor to the rescue of reality vs. narrative? Maybe. In the vernacular, this historic wisdom says: “The simplest explanation is usually the best.” The 14th century Latin version from William of Ockham was: “Entities must not be multiplied beyond necessity.” Now it’s just: “Keep it simple, stupid.”
Thus, we dismiss complex explanations and speculations that don’t make common sense or pass a smell test. Some trusting souls may still defer to models because they imply mathematical precision. But all models incorporate the modeler’s assumptions, speculations and biases. And models only say what they are programed to say (William Briggs “Statistician to the Stars”). They can be wrong – to ten decimal places. A model from a prestigious sounding university and its serial panic huckster kicked off Covid mass hysteria. It overstated predicted Covid deaths by a factor of 2. It was programed to do that. It fooled many with help from Doctor Scarf Lady and wee Doctor I Am Science. Politicians overreacted. Public Health credibility may not recover from Doctors Birx and Fauci. Their Covid hysteria may be the greatest Public Health disaster ever.
Interesting that Covid’s adverse events and excess deaths are worse in the U.S. and Europe than in India and Africa and other poor countries. Just coincidence? Just coincidence that the rich smart countries demonized Ivermectin as horse paste? And blacklisted it in favor of expensive experimental vaccines. Just coincidence that poor countries embraced Ivermectin as a Covid life saver because of its effective track record on other diseases? Just coincidence that it worked on Covid? And saved lives. Just coincidence that it is dirt cheap? Just coincidence that drug companies made huge profits on expensive vaccines? Just coincidence that vaccine researchers shilled useful sponsored research test results? Just coincidence that unfavorable results are locked away for 75 years?
Mark Twain was right when he said: “It’s easier to fool people than to convince them they’ve been fooled.” This is truer today when government friendly mass media and social media moguls define truth and disinformation. They had things under control. Then, along came disrupter Elon Musk and objective journalist Mark Taibbi. His “Twitter Files” exposed Hamilton 68’s RussiaGate disinformation operation. Its secret Russian sources influencing U.S. elections turned out to be 644 conservative U.S. citizens. Twitter hijacked their accounts for the FBI and labeled them Russians. Hamilton 68 used the fictitious Russians to create a news dashboard feeding U.S. media – which did influence elections. Sounds like a scary Hollywood plot. It’s scary alright. But it’s not fiction.
We’ve learned to beware experts bearing conclusions, edicts and mandates based on models. And politicians and regulators citing from them. And to be wary of peer reviewed research supporting political narratives. Seems some scientists obey the golden rule too and find what they are paid to find. Or fake it. Their reviewers often rubber stamp findings with “do unto others” reciprocity expectations. Many researchers and reviewers run in the same grant funding circles. It’s not surprising when their research results aren’t replicable. Research that isn’t replicable is bogus. But it’s cited and serves its narrative purposes anyway.
It’s no wonder a Gallup poll last month showed that mistrust of government tops the list of the public’s top concerns. Climate change is not a top concern. That may be why GE just announced it’s restructuring its wind business. Or is that just coincidence? Preening billionaires and celebrities want to save the planet. They know what’s best for everyone – but exempt themselves. They have earned our mistrust. Who trusts shrieking idiots just because they are rich and famous? Or rich hypocrites who have been mistrusted since biblical times (Mathew 23:23)?
Interesting that countries like India (soon to have more people than China) are worried about their poor, not about the planet. And want their lives to be better. So they are building coal fired electric generating plants. Coal is the cheapest source to generate cheap reliable electricity which helps the poor (and everyone else). Smart countries are shutting down coal plants in favor of expensive unreliable wind and solar. Maybe poor countries aren’t so dumb. Maybe we aren’t so smart. Or noble.
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