Monday, January 17, 2022

New Single!: "It's Not Such a Wild Weekend"

NRBQ had a great song a couple of decades back called "It's A Wild Weekend", so I thought it would be funny to write an answer song about someone having a boring weekend.  Musicwise, the weird bit is a tape recorder that didn't seem to be working (it gave a great screech), but I managed to get it to work.  Fortunately, I got the screech recorded as well.  Lyrics are below:

Friday night, and I just got off work.
I'm looking to have some fun.
But I just moved to this town,
and I don't really know anyone.
I don't want to hang out with coworkers.
I already see enough of them.
I just want to have a good time.
I sure do wish that I had a friend.

It's not such a wild weekend.

Saturday, and I'm listening to NRBQ.
I have no invitation to an afternoon BBQ.
I could go out to a bar tonight,
but I think I'll stay home and not get into a fight.
At least the cashier at the store talked to me;
that's about as good as I'll find for company.
I'm so lonely I may go to church it seems.
At least I'll have some buddies tonight in my dreams.

Sunday, and sleeping in is no sin.
I should volunteer at a soup kitchen,
so next weekend I won't want to scream
when the boredom gets too extreme.
Got to find something to fill the abyss of the empty hours.
Do some reading and maybe take a walk and smell some flowers.
I heart Mondays because at least then I have something to do.
I can't wait to see this weekend through.

For more Wred Fright music, listen to the Yeast? 7"!

Monday, January 10, 2022

Tales From The Virus Panic #4: "Correlation Does Not Imply Causation"

Jessica's husband was nagging her to get her virus booster shot.  He had gotten his yesterday.  He felt great he said.

A prominent local doctor had died suddenly after reportedly getting his booster.  When Jessica told her husband this, he said it was a coincidence and that correlation does not imply causation.

The local hospitals joined together ran a television commercial with the sound effect of a patient on a ventilator urging people to get vaccinated and boosted.  Jessica saw it several times while watching her favorite police show.

When the news came on after the cop show, the cheerful announcer announced that a famous comedian had died unexpectedly.  Jessica looked it up online and saw that the comedian had recently gotten his booster shot.  Jessica heard a voice in her head say, "Correlation does not imply causation."  

A famous politician tested positive for the virus despite being vaccinated and boosted.  Her spokesperson said the politician was thankful for the vaccine that was safe and effective and urged all Americans to get vaccinated and boosted.

On Facebook, a post from an antivax cousin noted that a 13-year-old boy had died from a heart attack after getting a booster shot.  Another cousin replied that "Correlation does not imply causation."

Jessica didn't feel so great after she had gotten her second shot.  She wasn't looking forward to getting another.  Plus it had seemed like she had just gotten it.  She didn't need a tetanus booster for a decade.  She wondered why she needed this booster so soon.

Her soccer-playing teenage son liked to watch British soccer.  During a game, one player collapsed and was taken from the field.  It turned out he had had a heart attack.  When Jessica asked if the soccer league required vaccinations, her son just mumbled, "I don't know, but even so correlation does not imply causation."

Jessica did some Googling and discovered that the mRNA vaccines were originally developed to treat cancer but repeated doses proved to be too toxic so they were redeveloped as vaccines because those only required one or two doses.  Now people were supposed to get boosted every 5 months.

Some researcher who helped to develop the mRNA technology said the vaccines weren't safe and got banned from Twitter.  Bluechecks said the stuff he was saying was full of logical fallacies of the post hoc nature.  They noted that "correlation does not imply causation."

Her teenage daughter liked to post on Reddit.  She sometimes showed Jessica what she was reading (but never what she was posting).  She laughed at some man who hadn't wanted to get the booster because he said the vaccine didn't work.  Then he had caught the virus, developed acute respiratory distress syndrome, and died.  He had earned a Herman Cain Award.  Jessica told her daughter that it wasn't nice to laugh at the misfortunes of others, and her daughter said she wasn't laughing at his misfortune.  Just his stupidity.

One of her friends who had refused to get vaccinated emailed her an article about a life insurance company in Indiana noting that deaths had risen 40% among those aged 18-64 in the last year.  It wasn't entirely clear from the article what the cause was, but Jessica's friend said it was because of adverse reactions to the vaccine wherein the body started attacking itself.  But Jessica remembered her husband saying "correlation does not imply causation."

Jessica got an email that she had a new message in her medical chart from the hospital system.  When she logged in, she was annoyed that it was just a reminder to schedule her booster shot.

On Instagram, friends posted about getting their booster shots.  One of them never posted again.  At 46, he died of a heart attack.  Someone suggested the booster shot had something to do with it, and another wrote, "Bullshit!  Correlation does not imply causation!"

Jessica and her family were invited to her niece's wedding in the spring.  A small asterisk at the bottom of the invitation asked that no children younger than 5 be brought to the wedding and reception and that all guests be fully up to date on their virus vaccinations including the latest booster.

Her husband kept nagging her about getting her booster.  She wondered if she punched him in the face and broke his jaw, would he still say "correlation does not imply causation" when she denied that her punch had broken his jaw?

At work, the CEO sent over a memo stating that regardless or not of whether the federal government's vaccine mandate was swatted down by the Supreme Court, the company would require all employees to be boosted by the end of the month (the company had already previously demanded that all employees be vaccinated or face termination).  All employees not boosted would be terminated.  The company also sent along a form that employees were required to sign waiving the company of all responsibility for any adverse effects from the booster.

Two days later, her manager in a team meeting announced that one of the team had died unexpectedly.  When someone asked if she had gotten her booster before the sudden death, the manager said he couldn't share that information, but, in any case, "correlation does not imply causation."

Jessica's husband started sleeping in the guestroom because he had read a news article that unboosted Americans represented a threat to boosted Americans and the virus cases in their area was skyrocketing.  He asked Jessica to consider wearing a facemask in the house until she got boosted.  One morning, he wasn't up when she went to work.  When she came home, the guestroom door was still closed.  When she asked the kids if they had seen their father, they shrugged and went back to the video game they were playing.  Her husband was still in bed when Jessica went into the guestroom.  He had died suddenly and unexpectedly.

Jessica thought "Correlation does not imply causation," and then she thought, "I'm not getting fucking boosted."

This is a work of fiction, but it's based on real incidents.  "[D]ied suddenly", "died unexpectedly", "passed away suddenly", and so on have become regarded in some circles as code for dying from vaccine side-effects (though some will argue it also applies to deaths from overdoses and other causes).  Since most of the deaths ultimately involve some mention of a heart attack and myocarditis has been noted even by the CDC as a side-effect of the vaccine, it's not hard to posit a connection between vaccine and death, though mRNA vaccine proponents continue to insist even in the face of contradicting evidence that there is no such connection.  It took over five years of people dying from Vioxx for the FDA to pull it from the market, and this time a lot more people will have proverbial egg on their faces if these vaccines are indeed not safe, so the connection may never be admitted for the mRNA virus vaccines.  Here are some links for source material:

https://www.ohio.edu/news/2022/01/chsp-university-community-mourns-death-tommy-rees

https://abc6onyourside.com/news/local/jefferson-township-firefighter-tommy-rees-who-died-while-on-duty-laid-to-rest-1-5-2022

https://www.ohio.edu/coronavirus/vaccine/vaccine-requirement

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/safety/myocarditis.html 

https://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=16211947

https://thecovidblog.com/2022/01/09/bob-saget-long-time-standup-comic-and-television-actor-dead-weeks-after-receiving-booster-shot/

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/alexandria-ocasio-cortez-covid-19-test-positive/

https://www.cleveland.com/coronavirus/2021/12/read-the-firsthand-experiences-of-breakthrough-covid-19-cases-from-your-northeast-ohio-neighbors.html

https://stevekirsch.substack.com/p/welcome-to-the-new-normal-13-year

https://www.espn.com/soccer/english-premier-league/story/4555832/as-covid-19-causes-premier-league-chaosfocus-turns-to-convincing-vaccine-hesitant-players

https://www.rt.com/sport/541515-football-players-collapsing-debate/

https://www.statnews.com/2020/11/10/the-story-of-mrna-how-a-once-dismissed-idea-became-a-leading-technology-in-the-covid-vaccine-race/

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/recommendations/immuno.html

https://www.foxnews.com/media/dr-robert-malone-joe-rogan-covid-ingraham-twitter-ban-youtube-censorship

https://rwmalonemd.substack.com/

https://www.reddit.com/r/HermanCainAward

https://www.thecentersquare.com/indiana/indiana-life-insurance-ceo-says-deaths-are-up-40-among-people-ages-18-64/article_71473b12-6b1e-11ec-8641-5b2c06725e2c.html

https://nypost.com/2022/01/07/supreme-courts-liberal-justices-slammed-over-vax-mandate-statements/

https://www.foxnews.com/media/the-atlantic-mocked-for-revising-headline-asking-if-its-safe-to-hang-out-with-the-unboosted

https://www.cnbc.com/2022/01/04/us-counts-over-1-million-new-daily-covid-cases-in-global-record-.html 

And if you still want to read anything else after you checked out those links, then read Edna's Employment Agency, where the idiots are fictional and amusing and not in charge of governments and corporations like in real life.

Sunday, January 2, 2022

What Wred's Reading: American Values: Lessons I Learned From My Family by Robert F. Kennedy Jr.

This book came out a few years ago, and it's not one I normally would read, but it's been interesting so far.  The reason I am reading it is because I stumbled across a book review of it:  http://edwardcurtin.com/american-values-lessons-i-learned-from-my-family-by-robert-f-kennedy-jr-a-review/.  In it, the reviewer, Edward Curtin, states that the book was boycotted by mainstream reviewers because the book blames the Central Intelligence Agency for the deaths of the Kennedy brothers.

Hmm . . . interesting, for more than one reason.

I'm not sure what the cause is exactly, but the book does seem to have been snubbed by book reviewers, which is odd.  I mean it's not odd when one of my novels get snubbed by mainstream reviewers as book reviews are hard to come by these days in general and since I'm not buying any expensive ads in BookPage or whatnot I'm the last in line to get a book review, but Kennedy Jr's book is published by a major publisher around the 50th anniversary of his father's assassination.  That seems a bit notable.  I did find one article on CBS News (not exactly a review but something):  https://www.cbsnews.com/news/robert-kennedy-junior-reflects-fathers-legacy-assassination-camelot/ and an academic review in The Journal Of American Culturehttps://philpapers.org/rec/MCHAVL-2 (though you probably have to go through an academic library to read the actual review).   The rest of the reviews are by the odd reader who posts a review on his website like this guy:  https://carloseromero.com/book-review-american-values/.

By contrast, media blowhard Chris Matthews also published a book about Kennedy Jr.'s father around the same time and got reviewed all over the place.  This article has some links to them:  https://thebestbiographies.com/2017/12/26/reviews-of-bobby-kennedy-a-raging-spirit-by-chris-matthews/

Strange.

On Kennedy Jr.'s book's webpage (https://www.harpercollins.com/products/american-values-robert-f-kennedy?variant=32205678575650), it lists only two quotes from reviewers and one appears to be from a vanity award website (you know, pay $100 and you get an award) while the other is from Independent Catholic News.

Yeah . . . if that is the best that can be mustered, this book clearly got ignored.

The question is why.  If Curtin is right, it's because the Central Intelligence Agency exerts considerable influence on American media.  That could be the case.  I read an interesting book years ago called The Cultural Cold War:  The CIA And The World Of Arts And Letters by Frances Stonor Saunders, which well-documented how much the CIA tried to influence American literature.  Glenn Greenwald, coincidentally enough, just published an article about how the agency also took the same approach to the rest of the media as well:  https://greenwald.substack.com/p/nbc-news-uses-ex-fbi-official-frank

So in a country where former CIA interns (Still an asset?  Heck, still an employee?) host television New Year's Eve programs, it's not hard to believe that the CIA and their allies in the media might have exerted some influence to obscure Kennedy Jr.'s book.

The other big explanation (so far, the book's good, so I'm not suspecting that the book got ignored because it is bad) is that Kennedy Jr. has taken a political journey that makes mainstream media types nervous.  He started as an environmentalist (I received many fundraising appeals from him for the Natural Resources Defense Council over the years), then I knew him helping out Greg Palast on voting rights issues.  He always seemed like a good dude to me, but at some point, his interest in preventing mercury pollution connected up with folks who were concerned about mercury in vaccines (https://stevekirsch.substack.com/p/how-rfk-jr-went-from-a-good-guy-to) and suddenly the right wing liberty folks were cheering him on more than the traditional liberals were.  From that point, he's been involved in children's health issues and been very skeptical about the benefits of vaccination:  https://childrenshealthdefense.org/about-us/mercury-vaccines-cdcs-worst-nightmare// (and after you read that interview, I bet you'll probably trust him a lot more than the folks trying to discredit him such as this guy:  https://www.mcgill.ca/oss/article/covid-19-health-pseudoscience/anti-vaccine-propaganda-robert-f-kennedy-jr).  Obviously, even back in 2018, being an "anti-vaxxer" made mainstream liberal folks uncomfortable (sample Barnes & Noble customer review of the book:  "He has the blood of the dead Samoan children on his hands."--to understand that comment, read https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2019/11/26/deadly-measles-outbreak-hits-children-samoa-after-anti-vaccine-fears/) and even a Kennedy wasn't immune to that (note that the book so far has nothing to say about vaccines--it's about his family's history and values), so this could also explain why the book got ignored.

My guess is that it's the former though.  The CIA has always been creepy and over the years they and their fellow intelligence agencies that are essentially wastes of our tax money have just become creepier, so I can find it somewhat plausible that the book's publicity got spiked as a result (if you think that's impossible, then you have a fairy-tale version notion of 20th-Century American history--educate yourself please).  At least, Kennedy Jr. was able to publish the thing and give me a good read.  Since then, he's become even more of a pariah since the antivaxxers have been attacked as public enemies number one during the virus panic since you know Big Pharma, mainstream media, and public health want those dollars and power trips to keep on trucking.  That, of course, just makes me want to read his next book, which is about how much of a creep and moron Anthony Fauci is:  https://www.simonandschuster.com/books/The-Real-Anthony-Fauci/Robert-F-Kennedy/Children-s-Health-Defense/9781510766808

That book seems to have gotten a similar media blackout, but probably for the latter explanation this time.  Nevertheless, it's doing all right for itself (#1 on Amazon right now; by contrast, my highest-ranking book currently is #4,342,908).

If you need another good read after the RFK Jr.'s books, might I suggest Edna's Employment Agency (currently 7,008,622 spots behind the Fauci book).