End of year 2020.

It’s that time of year to for me to take a break from blogging until sometime in the new year. If something interesting happens, I’ll no doubt drag myself away from the festivities to put pen to paper. The blog itself needs a bit of general maintenance which has been put on the back burner with all the interesting things that’ve been going on for the last two months.

I don’t usually do any sort of round up at year’s end but on this one I feel a few summary words are in order. The impact of COVID across the world has effected great changes in everyones life. In times of emergency, people need clear consistent information. Looking at how it’s been handled from a purely crisis management perspective, it’s become a masterclass of misinformation on both the medical and leadership front.

With regard to the virologist’s advice, the latest from Imperial College London, a supposed centre of expertise on the virus, is that it has an Infection Fatality Ratio ranging from a lowest of 0.23% to a worst case of 1.15%. Given a world population of about 7 billion, that’s between 150,000 and 80,000,000 dead. With the predictive value of the solid mass of data already accrued worldwide from the number of cases that have occurred, is an obscenely large spread like that really the best that august bodies like Imperial can do?

Should national leaders be putting in place extraordinary emergency measures based on such shoddy science? I know, the issue has been cynically seized upon by unscrupulous politicians for their own devious reasons regardless of the resulting death toll, but at some point the sober question has to be asked if the seemingly endless counter measures being put in place are destroying so much, should we take the view that the cure is worse than the problem and we’ve all just got to take our chances.

It’s purely fortuitous that most of my extended family are either first responders in the front line or in a line of work that can be done from home using a computer and a telephone. At lot of people can’t do the latter and the businesses they worked in have now gone under. In the classic domino fashion of recessions, a lot of other businesses that supplied those closed businesses are now looking at bankruptcy as well. If that’s allowed to continue, then at some point the supply chains will collapse, so it might be prudent to buy a few six-packs of Heinz beans and some bags of flour.

All those businesses, big and small, employed people who’re going to have a very frugal Christmas and because of restrictions, it won’t even be spent in the company of kith and kin to ease it. My heart goes out to them. All I can say is let’s get through it and hope for better times in the new year.

At the start of the year, and even a bit further back, I’d writing plans to stop blogging on politics and get back to finishing another novel and between times turning out a few short stories. The blog fiction section is looking sadly neglected, not having been added to since March. How time flies. Next year perhaps. Next year Jerusalem, as the wandering Jews used to say to comfort themselves. Instead of one piece a week and easing off, I ended up blogging on a daily basis which given my old-fashioned essayist style of blogging, is quite a workload.

I thought it important though. Trump is a bright hope in a time of real crisis. He’s all that’s between the ordinary man and a world run strictly to the benefit of immensely rich and powerful people. He’s the one who’s taken all the punishment for four years and merited my support in whatever modest capacity I can offer it, and he deserves yours. A line had to be drawn and sides taken. I made my decision and having watched things playing out as they have this year, am even more sure it was the right one.

As always, thank you for reading. If you didn’t find the content by turns interesting, inflammatory, informative, pig-ignorant, optimistic, nihilistic, capitalist or syndico-anarchist, then it wasn’t for lack of any effort on my part. Have a Merry Christmas and if anyone hails you with Philistine, faith-nuetral, new-fangled and woke crap like “Happy Holidays”, just take a leaf out of Father Jack’s book and tell them to feck off.

Feel free to exchange greetings, music, links, fun stuff or comments underneath this piece. Stay warm, stay safe, have that extra too good to leave praline, have that extra brandy and whatever you do, for goodness sake don’t forget to leave out a glass of sherry and a plate of carrots for Santa and his hard-working reindeer.

©Pointman

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Comments
33 Responses to “End of year 2020.”
  1. Pointman says:

    Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

    Pointy

    Like

  2. Margaret Smith says:

    Thank you for all your hard work. Enjoy a good rest over Christmas and the New Year.

    Like

  3. Prophet says:

    If you can dance like me pointy.. expect a few bruises on your knees from your fists. But if you’re swinging that motorcycle chain around with you right hand in the club expect to see me mimicking you to your close left.

    Like

  4. bluenova1971 says:

    Started following your blog about a year ago after you commented at The Conservative Treehouse, and have thoroughly enjoyed your musings.

    As you probably know, as part of the ongoing online censorship effort by Big Tech, CTH was recently deplatformed by WordPress and had to migrate to another hosting platform.

    Merry Christmas to you Pointman, and all of your readers from Birmingham (AL, USA)!

    Like

    • Pointman says:

      Thank you bluenova and the same back atcha. The deplatforming of the CTH was certainly ominous for this place. The disappearance of my access to the email list of the 800 or so people who subscribe to the blog has added to the general unease.

      Like

  5. anoldtchr says:

    Your efforts and commentaries over the year have been very encouraging and are greatly appreciated. May you enjoy Christmas with your family. God bless you.

    Like

  6. babygrandparents says:

    Thanks. Have a Merry Christmas with your family and thanks for keeping us in the loop with news the MSM somehow neglects to tell is

    Like

  7. Druid144 says:

    Thanks for all your work from the far side of the pond. I share with you two cartoons by a British cartoonist, Bob Moran. The first is my favourite of the year, but it was the second that won the Ellwood Atfield ‘Political Cartoon of the Year’ award.

    https://www.bobmoran.co.uk/shop-originals-2020/100920

    Finally, WRT to China stealing our lunch, consider the Second Book of Kings, Chapter 20, Verses 12-19. See https://www.samizdata.net/2020/12/and-the-lesson-for-today-is/

    Have the most merry Christmas you can folks, next year might just be a little bleak…

    Like

  8. beththeserf says:

    Season’s Greetings and thank you, Pointman, for your important essays through 2020 in support of human liberty in the West. Re the Bruegel image you posted, a poem.

    In Brueghel’s masterpiece
    ‘Hunters in the Snow,’
    though peasants skate upon
    the frozen river, no
    winter wonderland is this.
    Silhouettes of leafless trees
    stand stark against a leaden sky
    that matches matt-grey river.
    Exhausted dogs, hunters with meagre prey,
    peasants laboring on the snow fields,
    each trying to survive the Little Ice Age.

    Bts.

    Like

    • Pointman says:

      If you like words, poetry is a very unforgiving medium to work in. One word wrong and there’s an almost audible klunk. You’ve done a good job on your Bruegel piece. It’s a painting I’ve always liked. It’s busy and lifelike. The way the two hunters are leaning forward into the cold, the solitary person walking over the bridge away from the water wheel and the villagers at play on the frozen lakes. That single bird wheeling, that the line of trees leads your eye onto, looks somehow prehistoric with its pointed wings.

      Like

  9. Graeme No,3 says:

    A Merry Christmas and a Happier New Year toyou and all your family.

    Like

  10. agfosterjr says:

    0.23% of 7 billion is 16 million. We’re currently at 250,000 deaths worldwide which amounts to 0.0036%. So was there an early low estimate of 0.023% or 0.0023%?

    Like

  11. agfosterjr says:

    Whoops, make that 1.7 million deaths world wide for a mortality thus far of 0.024%. Looks like we’re headed for about 0.1% before we’re done.

    Like

  12. Ronald says:

    Like to wish ya all a Merry Christmas and a Happy and Healthy New Year

    Like

  13. Simon Derricutt says:

    Pointy – thanks for the work over the year. Maybe something to bear in mind with the massive amount of conspiracy you’ve documented here is that most of the people involved likely believe that they are doing the best thing for the country, since they’ve swallowed the AGW ideas whole and also want the “fairness to all” promised (but never delivered) by socialism. There’s also a trust in what the people in white coats state as being “the science” (both in medicine and physics) and an unwillingness to re-examine basic assumptions to look for faults in the logic or data that could invalidate the declarations. There’s a tendency to regard anything that emerges from a computer as being absolutely correct, whereas those of us who have worked in computing know that GIGO still applies – computer models only reflect the accuracy of the assumptions fed in and the validity of the data used, and there will always be bugs and errors.

    Somewhere around 120 years ago, Lord Kelvin opined that all of physics was known and that in the future physicists would only be measuring things to more decimal points. He also said that powered flight would be impossible. Science was settled. He turned out to be quite a bit wrong. Today’s people claiming that science is settled will also prove to be wrong – it’s in the nature of science that we should question our assumptions when new data turns up. It’s however in the nature of people that they regard what they’ve been taught as being The Truth, so it can take a while for bad assumptions to be corrected. It’s said that science advances funeral by funeral, as the old people (controlling what is taught) die off. Maybe the same applies to AGW. Not that I’d encourage accelerating that….

    On the plus side, people like Michael Moore (Planet of the Humans), Shellenberger, and a few others have actually re-examined their beliefs and decided that some of them were unfounded. It will however take some time to change the general direction of travel, much the same as a huge ship can’t change direction quickly.

    Though increasingly it appears that people have been using “1984” as a template rather than as a warning, I remain optimistic that breakthroughs in technology will solve the technical problems and that there are enough people who dig deeper than the surface and reject the gaslighting that we’ll fumble our way to a better future.

    My best wishes to you and your family, and to the other people (mostly lurkers) who read this blog. The more people who know what’s happening in truth, the more likely we’ll achieve that better future.

    Like

    • Pointman says:

      Thank you Simon and a Happy Christmas to you and yours. As always, you raise interesting points. The Lord Kelvin example you refer to is illustrative of several things that occur in science. The first would be the very natural trap of seeing the universe as some kind of onion. If you peel off enough layers, you’ll of course eventually arrive at one simple elemental truth. A better analogy would be to think of it as an onion with an infinite number of layers, and as you peel off each one you are hopefully tending to a more accurate framework. That’s to say, whatever your grand theory is, it usually turns out to be either plain wrong or more commonly, a special case of a much larger, more-encompassing theory.The transition from Newtonian to Einstein physics is the oft quoted example.

      It’s easy with hindsight to look askance at the arrogance of venerable, supposedly rock solid ideas but in so many cases, they were operating on what data that was to hand in those ancient days. The scientific worldview of Kelvin and his contemporaries was steeped in the Newtonian model, which was the usual tectonic change of paradigm that no doubt his predecessors found simply ludicrous. As you say, the old order dies out and the upstarts of the new revolutionary model gradually mutate into the establishment.

      That cross over between the generations is interesting in so many was, not the least of which is that the older generation have been teaching and defending against all comers the old model. They’re invested in it and after spending so much of their life promulgating it, it’s only human nature to not seriously examine the new idea that suggests they’ve led a wasted and erroneous life. The noted economist Keynes once said “When the data changes, I change my mind”. That’s all too rare a phenomenon in established areas of knowledge acquisition.

      The physicist Einstein said a thousand experiments couldn’t prove him right, but it would take only one to prove him wrong – a lesson that should be drummed in early to anyone embarking on a scientific career. A few years back, the rocket scientists at CERN were playing atomic marbles shooting various particles between Switzerland and Italy. To their shock, they found that the particles appeared to be arriving it Italy so quick, they were exceeding the speed of light. Pretty much, that’d be the one experiment that would knock down the whole house of cards Einstein built. Back to square one stuff.

      They worked on the problem, trying to find an experimental flaw and in the end, went public and the frantic search to find the flaw in their work did indeed find it, but it was an example of science at its best.

      I wonder if in Kelvin’s time there’d been satellite navigation systems that showed a minute but steadily divergence between the clocks in orbit and those on Earth. In a Newtonian universe, things like time were absolute constants. The idea that time could pass at different rates depending on how high an object was in the sky, would have been incomprehensible outside the framework Einstein postulated. The atomic clocks inside orbiting navigation satellites do actually have to be minutely adjusted for the benefit of us poor souls at the bottom of a gravity well, just as that crazy guy Albert’s theories inferred before satellites were even invented.

      Like

      • Simon Derricutt says:

        Pointy – as I understand it, Einstein was never certain that he was completely right, but expected that his theory would at some point get refined and superseded in the same way that he superseded Newton’s laws. For normal situations, Newton’s laws remained sufficiently accurate. At the moment, I know people who can send data faster than light, and it turns out to be quite easy. You need an unterminated coax, and for the length of it to be less than around 1/4 wavelength, and speeds of up to 8c have been measured. There’s a good argument that Newton’s law of gravity is not true at galactic distances, and that this is a better explanation for the measurements of galactic orbits and wide binary stars than Dark matter, and if that is true then it follows that momentum is not actually a conserved quantity. This will have a pretty huge affect on fundamental theory, as well as making interstellar travel something that might be achievable rather than being a sci-fi pipe dream for trekkies.

        It’s fun looking at the experimental anomalies and finding out a reason why they might happen. The new ideas may or may not be closer to the truth, so I’m not going to get overexcited, but just note that things we thought were impossible may turn out to be possible fairly soon.

        The funny thing is that the corrections to the GPS clocks are actually based on Aether theory rather than Einstein. The calculations only work out correctly under Einstein if you choose the Earth-Sun frame as your reference frame. Reference Ron Hatch (30 patents in GPS, and died late last year, sadly). That surprised me when I found that….

        I’ve thus become less certain about things with age. As you say, we’ll keep peeling that onion and getting closer to the truth, but there will be surprises along the way where there will be a difference between what we expect to happen and what actually happens. Anomalies. Still, this isn’t the place to discuss (possibly crackpot) physics.

        Where your analysis and discussions helps me is in understanding why politics is the way it is. I’m still not seeing why the people driving it want to control things, but at least it helps to see what is happening. Some of the source here seems to be groupthink and peer-pressure, where there is a consensus based on bad data (such as AGW, and that communism is the ideal political system) where having enough other people saying the same thing gives people that warm fuzzy feeling that they are right. Any data that doesn’t fit the consensus gets either quietly ignored (the file-drawer effect) or shouted down. The world is after all flat and if you sail too far in one direction you’ll fall off the edge. Yep, Terry Pratchett had fun with that, too.

        Despite all the doom and gloom that’s in the news, and the replication crisis in science (basically, people either lying or making things up), I see enough real advances and real research going on that I expect technology to continue to improve, and that solutions will be found to problems that have a technical fix. Political problems don’t get fixed so easily, though, but technology may remove the reasons for at least some of the conflicts (lack of resources). I’m optimistic about the future. Setbacks should be temporary. Though 2021 may not be that great for a while, things still look good a bit later on. It’s reasonable to wish people Happy New Year, since it most likely will be.

        Happy New Year, Pointy!

        Like

  14. Selwyn H says:

    Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you and your family Pointy from Australia.

    Whenever I get down in the dumps watching the latest political and pseudo-scientific stupidity being perpetrated, supposedly for the good of us all, I turn to your Blog for a good dose of reality information.

    After watching the US Presidential Election and the blatant fraud allowed to go unpunished I shake my head at how the greatest democracy in the world with all its technological marvels, can’t devise an electoral voting system that is foolproof.

    I look forward to a next year when doctors will be able to treat their Covid-19 patients with life-saving drugs without health departments controlled by “big pharma” threatening to ruin their
    livelihoods. It’s difficult to be an optimist these days but I reckon most people are honest and believe in a “fair go”.

    Like

  15. John Garrett says:

    I’ve enjoyed reading your thoughts. We may not always agree but I respect your intellect, analysis and philosophy.

    The media’s irresponsible and uninformed advocacy of the “Catastrophic/dangerous, CO2-driven, anthropogenic global warming/climate change” CONJECTURE is abhorrent.

    Like

    • Pointman says:

      Hello John. Your comment arrived as I was composing a reply to Simon’s comment. In a sense, both were about about people who believed any change was somehow unnatural, whereas stasis would actually be unnatural. I wrote a surprisingly popular article a number of years back trying to illustrate just that.

      “We look at our world and the universe with human eyes and more importantly, with a human lifespan. In terms of the latter, we see an apparently ageless and unchanging view but it’s a false impression. When looked at through the eyes of “deep” time, it is dynamic, violent and forever changing. There is no ideal static harmonious state which must be maintained. There never was and there never will be either.”

      You can find it here – The steady-state environment delusion – https://thepointman.wordpress.com/2011/02/25/the-steady-state-environment-delusion/

      Like

  16. Another Ian says:

    Hi Pointy

    Seson’s greetings

    And some reading

    “BUCKLE UP, DEEP STATE–WE’RE PUBLISHING EPSTEIN’S BLACK BOOK AND LOLITA EXPRESS FLIGHT LOGS”

    https://richardsonpost.com/howellwoltz/19626/suicide-is-painless-especially-for-jeffrey-epsteins-buddies/

    Like

  17. NoFixedAddress says:

    Pointman

    Christmas Day, New Years Day, My Birthday.

    Have a beer, have some cheer and enjoy Family.

    All the best to you and yours.

    And the very best to the Pointman crew.

    Liverpool Shiite! the lot of yu’

    Like

  18. Doonhamer says:

    To you and yours, a Happy Christmas, a much Better New Year and God’s Blessings.
    Thanks for all the crack.
    Which reminds me
    “Blessed are the cracked, for they let in the light.” – (Milligoon)
    Lang may yer lum reek. (Anon, Scots.)

    Like

  19. Another Ian says:

    O/T and FWIW

    “Trump lawyer Lin Wood goes full on after Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts”

    https://www.michaelsmithnews.com/2020/12/trump-lawyer-lin-wood-goes-full-on-after-supreme-court-chief-justice-john-roberts.html#comments

    Roberts gets a mention here

    “That’s the ‘same guy’ on Epstein Island with our choice for ‘the most compromised judge in the world’. You know, John Roberts, Chief Justice of the corrupted Supreme Court of the United States.”

    https://richardsonpost.com/howellwoltz/19626/suicide-is-painless-especially-for-jeffrey-epsteins-buddies/

    Like

  20. patrick healy says:

    Dear Mr Pointman,

    As usual many great brain teasing comments on here. I hope your great blog manages to avoid the Thought Police who are widening their censorious net, by “unpersoning” more and more for wrong thought.
    You mentioned above that poetry was not an easy medium, I appear to be one of those unfortunate old farts who think in rhymes, so I hope you can indulge me in this piece of Galwegian doggerel (from Scotland)

    2020 – Annus most Horribulus.

    Twenty twenty – the year of Big Fraud
    Real news censored at home and abroad,
    the WA comPost and the New York Slimes
    Did a cover up of the Bidens crimes;
    The populance eMasculated
    By daily Fake News promulgated,
    The world lies prostrated on its knees
    By this newest bug from the Chinese.

    The smoke of satan fills Peters Dome
    As marxist doctrine is preached from Rome,
    Big Brother want no State or border
    With Gates and Soros’ New World Order;
    If we don’t oppose the Great Reset
    We will fill our children with regret,
    W H O would trust scientists in this age
    I prefer my stuffing with some SAGE.

    We watch pampered players genuflect
    Democratic rioters who wrecked,
    When our house of worship was shut down
    We were taught some New Speak called Lockdown;
    The young and old were rightly puzzled
    By seeing herds of sheep being muzzled,
    Sadly there was just a tiny few
    who recognised – it was just a flu.

    A year which saw new vaccinations
    Fake News from the United Nations,
    Computer Warming from the IPCC
    The usual lies from the BBC;
    Bilderberg, Masons and the Skull and Bones
    The Deep State spying on us with Drones,
    The Wuhan Flu brought mass hysteria
    Like fear of biblical Assyria.

    The Election fraud in the USA
    A Trumpian Witch Hunt by the CIA,
    Senile Joe won the Presidents S(t)eal
    Boris Corbyn gave us the Green New Deal;
    Pope Francis forgot to mention Our Lord
    As he pushed the Climate Change Accord,
    So as we bid this year ‘good riddance’
    We’ll trust next year to Gods providence.

    I wish all on here a very Happy and Prosperous New Year.

    Like

    • Pointman says:

      You packed a lot into that poem Pat and you’re right, a bit of Glasgow Govan in the reading makes it flow. It reminds me of a poem by Elizabeth Shane called Wee Hughie. It’s best read with a Northern Irish / Ulster accent. It’s well observed and punches straight through to the heart in so few words.

      He ‘s gone to school, wee Hughie,
      An’ him not four,
      Sure I saw the fright was in him
      When he left the door.

      But he took a hand o’ Denny,
      An’ a hand o’ Dan,
      Wi’ Joe’s owld coat upon him—
      Och, the poor wee man!

      He cut the quarest figure,
      More stout nor thin;
      An’ trottin’ right an’ steady
      Wi’ his toes turned in.

      I watched him to the corner
      O’ the big turf stack,
      An’ the more his feet went forrit,
      Still his head turned back.

      He was lookin’, would I call him—
      Och, my heart was woe—
      Sure it’s lost I am without him,
      But he be to go.

      I followed to the turnin’
      When they passed it by,
      God help him, he was cryin’,
      An’, maybe, so was I.

      Pointman

      Like

  21. Patrick Healy says:

    Gura mile maith aguth Pointman.

    Yes that was a poignant piece you showed. It sums up the first great feeling of loss a mother experiences.
    In fact I suppose there is not too much difference between the Gorbals and Galway where I come from.
    Long and happily domiciled on the sunny East Coast of Scotland these many years.

    Btw did you see the story of the woman who was arrested by the Stasi for filming an almost empty hospital in Gloucester?
    It is more viral than the Wuhan Flu, which up to last week has officially killed 388 otherwise healthy English people under the age of 60.
    Where or when will this madness end?

    Happy New Year to you and your mob and all your great bloggers.

    Like

    • Pointman says:

      She was a very popular poetess in her day. A lot of her stuff was used as party turns. For those who might not know what a turn was, in years gone by it was customary for most people to be able to sing a song, play some instrument like a tin whistle or recite a poem from memory. I first heard Wee Hughie as a recitation by my father-in-law who spoke in a broad Monaghan accent. A little work digging out of her stuff will be well rewarded.

      I certainly saw a lot of videos of empty hospitals that were supposedly flooded out in the first wave. If you’ve got a link to that incident, post it.

      Pointy

      Like

  22. Patrick Healy says:

    The link is here
    http://www.breitbart.com/europe/2020/12/31/woman-arrested-for-filming-inside-empty-hospital-in-England
    I hope that works as I am useless at doing links.
    Btw official figures released last week (only by freedom of info) shows that the total number of previously fit under 50 people in England who have died of Wuhan Flu – and only Wuhan Flu – is 388.
    It’s no wonder hospitals are under used.

    Keep well.

    Like

  23. Peter Shaw says:

    Happy New Year Pointy to you and your loved ones.
    I’ve only just caught up with your last few posts, having been working through the festive season and into the new year.
    Things have certainly developed in an extremely disappointing way in the last couple of days and I can scarcely bear to watch our NZ MSM coverage of the American political situation. I’m not sure how this is going to pan out, with some 80 million people there being effectively disenfranchised by the utter corruption I’ve seen and heard about.
    In the meantime, I shall look forward to reading your take on things once you fire up your blogging engine.
    Thank you for putting together your recent series of posts, which as always I eagerly read.

    Like

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