Life in a small town

“There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.”

Ballad Of A Thin Man”, Bob Dylan, from the album “Highway 61 Revisited”, (1965)

A few questions pop up after even a cursory glance at the reported COVID-19 statistics, for example appearing here.

Apparently, 60,480,000 people is the population of Italy. Italy’s COVID-19 death rate is about 9%, with cases numbering about 59138 or .0009 % of pop.  These demographics, reflected in other centers like Iran, Spain, Germany, and France as well, would seem to give us a fairly believable ballpark projection of where we might be headed here at home in Alberta in the next 6 weeks or so, absent our current extraordinary efforts on the part of our governments and health care systems.

China, and North Korea, and even Russia seem to be missing in action when it comes to reported COVID-19 cases and deaths. China with a population of 1,386,000,000 “should” be reporting about 1,247,400 cases with 112,266 deaths. Why such a huge difference for China and for North Korea, and even Russia for that matter, from what simple demographic stats might predict?

To my admittedly limited intelligence, and based on life experience, only two possible answers present themselves: First, China (and North Korea and Russia) has (or already had) a 100% effective cure and has stopped the spread of COVID-19 in its tracks. They are keeping this breakthrough secret for strategic reasons and economic advantage.

The other possibility is that, like North Korea, and Russia, China has stopped reporting any COVID-19 data. I know where my beliefs lead me, given 70 years of historical track record of data reporting out of any of the communist regimes on the planet since at least the 50’s.

So we can believe what the useful idiots in the MSM are reporting, that there have been no significant increases in deaths or cases in any Communist countries since about mid February. Or we can question the MSM reporting.

It might also be true, that, even as we have personally experienced throughout our own life in government employ, that in senior government bureaucratic circles, understanding of math and stats and what they actually tell us is very thin on the ground. Understanding math and stats is what staff officers and briefing notes are for. Why should there be any difference between the political masters in the Communist bloc, and the first hand witness of our own political masters in the “Free” West.

However one looks at things, it is a certainty that Communists and the instruments of the Left, the “Running Dogs”, have the same credibility problems which Uncle Joe and  Mao and their acolytes suffered from in the middle of the 20th century.

Remember the heroic protagonists of the movie “Reds? Remember George Bernard Shaw’s reporting of the “Vacation Resorts” in the Soviet Union … ah yes … remember … or just believe whatever the latest twitter post tells you, that this whole epidemic is the fault of some nameless group of government regulators who failed to stop global airline traffic before there was a problem. I am in the same head space as David Warren in his post here.

Historically it has been a truism that anything good reported out of the Communist bloc should be downgraded by a factor of about 20. Likewise, anything bad reported should be inflated by about a factor of 20. This has been true for as long as I can remember, especially noted during my military service during the 70’s.

Cheers

It’s really all about Trust, isn’t it?

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The Inner Struggle

An injurious manner of speaking cannot be approved …

The Beatitudes

Contemplating one’s sins. The problem with developing a conscience is that is is really uncomfortable and one can rarely do much about those times in the past when one swallowed one’s leg up to the hip, except to be ashamed and sorry.

In our outrage at a perceived evil do we indulge ourselves in an “injurious manner of speaking”? When we write about apparent errors and evils perceived in the secular world around us do we do so with charity and compassion or with the very malice and contempt the use of which we are castigating in others’ propaganda efforts, the secular sales pitch which tempts and converts so many?

Crusaders Charge 2015-10-01-niles-aIn essence, what I ask here is “Do I (and others whose work I read) retaliate in kind for perceived injustice, do we match “atrocity with atrocity” in a small verbal war of attrition fought in our own minds and transmitted through our writing?

Am I using a “Donald Trump” style of communication or a “Jesus Christ” style of communication?

orcsWhen I match them, the “others”, stone for stone and stick for stick, am I loving my enemy as Christ commanded or am I returning hate for hate because of my own wounded pride?

Whatever my “good intentions”, am I on the side of the Angels or the side of the Orcs? Sins of pride piled upon sins of malice piled upon sins of hate, sins, sins, and more sins to the last syllable of time, Screwtape, and the father of lies must be laughing all the way home.

Gandalf StudyI am reviewing all my posts, doing fact checking (again), and looking for inappropriate content and style. Looking back, checking the back trail, in retrospect it’s kind of like looking at a large mirror of one’s thoughts, undeniably one’s own sins and biases and food for reconsideration of one’s approach now removed from the heat of the moment. In a post a couple of years ago I quoted a small book called “Liberalism is sin”.

In the uproar after it came out in Spain in the 1800’s, the work was denounced even within the church because it offended some bishops. Eventually, the conflict made it to Rome where the ruling came down in favour of the original work and the detractors were required to withdraw their efforts to suppress the little book.

In part the Sacred  Congregation wrote:  “The same judgment, however, cannot be passed on the other work, that by D. de Pazos, for in matter it needs corrections. Moreover, his injurious manner of speaking cannot be approved, for he inveighs rather against the person of D. Sarda than against the latter’s supposed errors.

Therefore, the Sacred Congregation has commanded D. de Pazos, admonished by his own Bishop, to withdraw his book, as far as he can, from circulation, and in the future, if any discussion of the subject should arise, to abstain from all expressions personally injurious, according to the precept of true Christian charity; and this all the more since Our Holy Father, Leo XIII, whereas he urgently recommends castigation of error, neither desires nor approves expressions personally injurious, especially when directed against those who are eminent for their doctrine and their piety.

So I guess the take away is simply that “the ends never justify the means”. That using the same styles and tools as one’s opponents to berate and castigate ones opponents instead of dealing only with the facts in question is simply never acceptable. My grandfather used to say, “if you  can’t say something good about someone then say nothing at all.”

Looked at in this way the problem of how to write about these atrocities, dressed up as they are in a secular cloak of desirability, is rather magnified. The bar of quality and justice is significantly raised when considering writing a charitable blog about evil things in the mainstream culture.

Cheers

Joe

Always remember, “be charitable in your judgements, never take yourself too seriously” and of course “Do not argue with an idiot. He will drag you down to his level and beat you with experience.”

Sometimes when I post, I look at my sig and wish that I’d follow my own damned advice. And who says he is an idiot? Maybe he’s right and I am the idiot, maybe not, but can I leap to judgement using the same clubs the “idiot” uses?

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