1,512 thoughts on “General Discussion – 2

  1. Glenn, I think Fred may be angry; nature can be a very harsh mother; she don’t give a shit what her kids think. Some of us wet the bed and others throw tantrums. Let’s be kind, with winter coming, ‘cos Mum sure don’t care.

  2. I didn’t stay up to hear Biden’s acceptance speech for being the Democrat nominee for POTUS, but it sounds like Trump won, as all the media talks about his nonsense.

    As a member of the radical left, I will tell you I would not for him if I was paid. I am counting on death getting me out of this mad house world.

    Have even lost my bits of Anglophilia since the UK, Europe’s biggest spoiled child, is going backwards trying to get out of the EU where it wants all its benefits, and as few responsibilities as possible.

  3. Sounds too much like Marxism, trusting the people who voted overwhelmingly for made-up Hillary Clinton, a noted Putin basher.

  4. Read about what we do, Trowbridge. We teach and enable Deliberative Democracy. It’s about inclusive group discussion, critical thinking based on evidence and expert information, rather than making an occasional vote guessed from impressions promoted by corporate media propaganda.

  5. I have been doing that for most of my life. The only time it succeeded was when I voted for JFK, only to see him assassinated by Nixon, Connally and CIA extremists, and Jimmy Carter to be re-elected, only to see him defeated by a ‘October Surprise’ by a similar group under looney Ronnie.

  6. So what do you suggest we do Fred? The very mainstream IPCC says we have less than ten years left to halve greenhouse gas emissions, or in the following decades we will face the accelerating breakdown of civilisation, but greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise. The UN IPBES says we’re threatening the fabric of our planetary life support system.

    So what should we do?

  7. “The provisional estimates suggest that in 2018, total UK greenhouse gas emissions were 43.5per cent lower than in 1990 and 2.5 per cent lower than 2017.”


    We have the matter well in hand, no need to overthrow the UK government.

    I can look out of my window and see a 1GW windfarm that wasn’t there last year, we are doing our bit, what more do you want?

    You could try supergluing yourself to a train in Russia or China maybe.

  8. Per-capita emissions are lower in China. The UK buys gas from Russia. The UK government subsidises fossil fuel companies. It fights wars for access to oil. It arms Saudi Arabia. Then there’s finance.

    Just ignore it and let civilisation collapse, eh Fred? I’m sure that would be much better than Greenpeace offices getting daubed with paint, eh?

    It really is difficult not to call you names. Your complacency and deceit are criminal.

  9. F: “We have the matter well in hand”

    Ahh- hahaha, that’s very good – Fred, I’d forgotten you could be quite funny at times. Best laugh I had all day. Got any other knee-slappers for us?

  10. “we are doing our bit, what more do you want?”

    “We” started it all with the Industrial Revolution. “We” rose to a world empire on the burning of coal, and exported that way of life to the rest of the world. “We” started burning our share centuries before everyone else. “Our” corporations built their wealth and power on fossil fuels.

    “We” owe a massive debt to the rest of the world.

  11. “The UK government subsidises fossil fuel companies.”

    But not nearly as much as China does.

  12. “…in 2018, total UK greenhouse gas emissions were […] 2.5 per cent lower than 2017.”

    Well -2.5% per every two years isn’t going to halve our emissions by 2030, is it? So we aren’t doing our bit. And “we” should count the emissions embodied in the imports from places like China and India, but “we” don’t, we just greenwash, and you amplify it, eh Fred?

    “We” are a rich country, “we” have nukes. “We” should be giving other countries the resources they need to rapidly reduce the damage they do when they try to increase their affluence to “our” levels. “We” should make the City of London’s investment policy ethical, and compatible with a world fit for generations to come.

  13. “But not nearly as much as China does”

    So what, Fred? XR happened to start in England, but it’s an international movement. As the people of other countries see what we are doing some are realising just how serious and urgent the emergency is.

    All the governments pointing at all the others is exactly why we’re in this mess.

    And how come you never mention the USA, with the highest per-capita emissions by far, and the world’s single greatest emitter, the US military? Your comments are exactly like the corporate media! Has it hijacked your mind?

  14. ““We” started it all with the Industrial Revolution.”

    Pre Industrial Revolution the world could only support 1 billion people and average life expectancy was around 30 years.

    The good old days eh?

  15. My trip today was not uplifting. The train ran with about 25% capacity. About a third of passengers either had no mask at all, wore it below the mouth, spent time yakking on mobiles, or ate, drank, coughed and talked in groups. Nobody appeared to be enforcing what signs said was the law, despite a guard walking up and down a few times.

    In the commercial premises I visited, nobody apart from myself wore one. All (except myself and a few staff) were at least 60 years old, milling around without any particular purpose, and looking as if I was at fault for being masked. A staff member made a show of the supposed difficulty in hearing me speak through it, not failing to show his irritation – again, he was 60 if he was a day.

    It appears we are set for an explosion of new cases, but I will be very happy to be proved wrong.

  16. Fred: “Pre Industrial Revolution the world could only support 1 billion people and average life expectancy was around 30 years.

    Indeed. Now we have 8 billion and climbing, living an average age of twice that and climbing, every one of which uses more energy and resources in a day than Fred’s pre-industrial revolution folk used in a year – and climbing.

    So what could possibly go wrong? As far as the chumps are concerned, nothing at all.

    Read about this in the NYT:


    Saturday is “Earth Overshoot Day”, the date when humanity will have used “all the biological resources that Earth can renew during the entire year,” as calculated by Global Footprint Network, an environmental research organization.

    Thanks to the C-19 lockdown this year, the overshoot day is three weeks _later_ than last year. No doubt we will make up ground in years to come, with a sufficiently complacent attitude.

  17. “Mental health is the ongoing process of dedication to reality at all costs”

    – “This tendency to avoid problems and the emotional suffering inherent in them is the primary basis of all human mental illness. Since most of us have this tendency to a greater or lesser degree, most of us are mentally ill to a greater or lesser degree, lacking complete mental health. Some of us will go to quite extraordinary lengths to avoid our problems and the suffering they cause, proceeding far afield from all that is clearly good and sensible in order to try to find an easy way out, building the most elaborate fantasies in which to live, sometimes to the total exclusion of reality.”

    Psychiatrist M Scott Peck.

    Infection numbers are already rising. The polar icecaps are melting. The globe is warming. Hey, let’s just pretend none of this is happening! Let’s pretend it doesn’t matter! Let’s pretend it’s all someone else’s fault. I know, the Chinese!

    So the government will have to impose another stay-at-home order, and the papers will moan about it, and the sheeple will moan about it too.

  18. “The government told us”

    At the end of the day, you need to look after yourself .

    For example, in Caithness, it’s a lot easier to look after yourself and be gung-ho, whereas in a major city it is completely different.

    I’ve taken note of Glenn’s previous post about indoors / outdoors with my family, to reinforce earlier precautions. We had Fred’s advantage of being in the Highlands from March to July but now back in Edinburgh… making plans for a permanent return North to stay with Fred! Then we’d really be…


  19. What point are you trying to make, Fred?

    I wouldn’t mind if I thought you genuinely didn’t understand the situation, but I’m sure you do. The same with global heating. Fred, you’re posting your comments in public, so you have a responsibility to society, because there are many who genuinely don’t understand, for instance those who have been misled by the right-wing press, and the minority taken in by Swiss Propaganda Research, UK Column and Off-Guardian.

  20. No, I understand it less now.

    I’d been watching the recent UK rise in infections, and I’d noticed that the death rate had continued to remain low. This has interested me as I haven’t seen a compelling explanation for it. My guess was improvements in treatment, and demographic distribution of infections.

    I hadn’t looked at the graphs for the other countries you listed. I have now, and they aren’t all the same. They do have in common that their infection rates have risen but their death rates have not followed them upward proportionally.

    “Spike” seems a confusing term, as all of the recent increases are much slower than the initial ones.

    What explanation do you propose?

  21. Infections among the young – who appear to be behaving with far greater disregard than any other age group – have climbed steeply. They are less inclined to wind up with symptoms sufficiently serious to land them in hospital.

    Hence fewer hospitalisations despite higher numbers of cases.

  22. “What explanation do you propose?”

    Looking at the stats for Scotland I would say the number of new cases seems to correspond with the number of tests being done.


    Do you remember back in the spring when this blog was full of horror stories from Wuhan? People dropping dead in the street? Crematoriums working flat out 24 hours a day? Predictions of hundreds of thousands, maybe millions dead in Britain? Wuhan hasn’t had one new domestically transmitted case since May.

  23. Fred, yes, I’d expect case detection rate to rise with the rate at which tests are performed; this is another factor I had considered but had forgotten about when I wrote my earlier comment.

    Where did you get your list “France, Belgium, Spain, Germany”? If from an article, please post a link.

    “Do you remember back in the spring when this blog was full of horror stories from Wuhan? People dropping dead in the street? Crematoriums working flat out 24 hours a day? Predictions of hundreds of thousands, maybe millions dead in Britain? Wuhan hasn’t had one new domestically transmitted case since May.”

    The above appears to be rhetoric ie. crafted to persuade. Regarding this fast-changing, complex and dangerous situation I think it socially irresponsible to deploy rhetoric. Please state clearly the hypothesis you were attempting to suggest.

  24. Glenn, thanks. Yes, that seems likely, and is the sort of thing I was including when I wrote ‘demographics’. If you have any statistics, please link.

  25. Clark – some stats here :


    The PDF to go with it is a 34 page document, there are plenty of graphics to illustrate the points being made. Even if your French isn’t that good, it’s still quite possible to read the highlighted portions on the main page (above).

    Here’s something else – the Dutch have cautiously concluded that wearing masks does not make people any less inclined to socially distance themselves:


    As you can read in the link just above, they found 55% of people came closer than 1.5M (which is the mandated distance requirement in NL), and 12% closer than 50cms. There was no difference between those with and without masks.

    They also noted that 8% leave their noses uncovered while wearing a mask, meaning they’re not quite as stupid as the British, according to my own observations yesterday.

  26. “…wearing masks does not make people any less inclined to socially distance themselves”

    Glenn, thanks. I’d expect it to be the other way around – cautious, responsible people are more likely to wear a mask and to take more care to socially distance.

    The actual distances are, of course, a matter of both practicality, and an interaction between people in which the intent of each individual contributes only partially to the outcome. A nicely vague variable if ever I saw one!

  27. The great unwashed refusing to mask use their brains like they were fearful of depleting a limited resource.

    Why wear a mask AND socially separate?


    If your car has seat belts why add redundancies like ABS brakes, air bags and safety glass?

    Such is their pretzel logic.

  28. “The great unwashed refusing to mask use their brains like they were fearful of depleting a limited resource.”

    The question is whether governments should have the right to legislate on such things Ben. If it was critical, an for urgent matter of life and death for millions maybe but covid was only the eighth commonest cause of death in England in July, didn’t get into the top ten in Wales.

    I’m a believer in civil liberties, human rights, freedom of choice for the individual. I wear a mask if I go into a shop, not because I think it does any good, which it doesn’t, but because it seems to upset people if I don’t. I don’t believe government has the right to force people to wear a mask if they don’t want to.

    I believe it was wrong for France to make the burka illegal as well, I think everyone should have the right to wear a mask if they want to and government doesn’t have the right to stop them.

  29. Fred: Is it a Civil right to falsely yell fire in a crowded theater? Obviously there are limits to individual liberty.

    Its sad we need incarceration to influence the narcisssist who thinks he’s all that matters. The rights of others do not impinge on their limited ideas about personal freedom and its overarching importance but we need jails to keep such from harming others or themselves.

    A pocket full of posies was once believed to help ward off the plague but I think masks have more weight in science. Its nice you don’t want to upset others. I think the unmasked enjoy pissing others off.

  30. I believe the old stats that suggest 2 to 5% of the general population is sociopathic is an undercount. Or we are seeing an explosion because of critical mass theory.

    I dunno. But extreme narcissism has risen exponentially and I call it sociopath Lite.

  31. Trumpkins took ‘schadenfreude’ and double-dicked it to Schadenboner as though rape were a fun sport to be engaged in freely and wantonly. They are not Deplorable but HORRIBLE! and are quite proud of their craven and despicable attitudes.

    That comprises about 30% of the electorate which they claim is underrepresentative because many people are ashamed to admit they will vote for Trump.

    What the fuck is THAT about?

  32. The UN Charter on Human Rights has special provisions for public health emergencies, eg. the provisions on detention have exceptions for compulsory quarantine during epidemics. Fred, if you really believe in “freedom of choice for the individual”, you should also believe in their freedom from being infected by others.

    You claim that masks don’t help as if that were simply a fact, but a systematic review of the relevant literature indicates that masks do reduce cross-infection:


    “Face masks could offer an important tool for contributing to the management of community transmission of Covid19 within the general population. Evidence supporting their potential effectiveness comes from analysis of: (1) the incidence of asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic transmission; (2) the role of respiratory droplets in transmission, which can travel as far as 1-2 meters; and (3) studies of the use of homemade and surgical masks to reduce droplet spread. Our analysis suggests that their use could reduce onward transmission by asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic wearers if widely used in situations where physical distancing is not possible or predictable, contrasting to the standard use of masks for the protection of wearers. If correctly used on this basis, face masks, including homemade cloth masks, can contribute to reducing viral transmission.”

    You say “covid was only the eighth commonest cause of death in England in July”. Yeah, the peak had been controlled and fallen by July, by the stay-at-home order. The point of masks is to try to prevent or delay the need for another stay-at-home order. Covid-19 is “critical, an urgent matter of life and death for millions”, and mask wearing is an attempt to avoid or minimise the need for stay-at-home, a greater curtailment of liberty.

  33. Ben – “But extreme narcissism has risen exponentially…”

    My theory is that the thirty year march to the right is both cause and effect, a self-stoking cycle. Under the social conditions that such politics creates, people need to become more selfish to get by. They’re encouraged to become more selfish, greed is rewarded and even lauded.

    It’ll be death to the planet if we don’t reverse it.

  34. “The UN Charter on Human Rights has special provisions for public health emergencies”

    There isn’t an emergency. Deaths in Scotland were 77 below the 5 year average for last week.

    When there was an emergency we didn’t have to wear masks.

  35. The WHO says there’s an emergency, and they’re right. You posted the mortality curve earlier, and it had a huge peak in it.

    Your argument is like “we don’t need to chlorinate the public drinking water because no one’s getting ill from the drinking water”.

    “When there was an emergency we didn’t have to wear masks”

    That’s because we have fucking stupid governments that know nothing about anything except maximising profit for big businesses, and because – and consequently – there was a shortage of masks. Taiwan and South Korea got covid-19 under control, and everyone was wearing masks. The Chinese government said wear masks. The East Asian populations knew to wear masks because they’d had experience with SARS.

  36. “That’s because we have fucking stupid governments that know nothing about anything except maximising profit for big businesses”

    You’re the one defending them not me, you are the one who thinks they have the right to take our civil liberties.

  37. It took loads of pressure from the medical and scientific communities to get the government to take any action at all. That’s why the stay-at-home order was so late, why people entering the country weren’t screened and quarantined, and why procurement of test kits and PPE was delayed so long. Debacle.

    ‘For Unknown Reasons They Waited. And Watched’ – Lancet Editor Exposes Devastating Government Failure On Coronavirus



    “University of Edinburgh researchers have estimated that at least 2,000 lives would have been saved in Scotland – a staggering 80 per cent of the total – if the government had introduced the lockdown two weeks earlier. Rowland Kao, professor of epidemiology and lead author of the study, said there had ‘definitely’ been enough information about the coming pandemic in mid-February. If the lockdown had been imposed across the whole of the UK on March 9, rather than March 23:

    – ‘you would expect a similar effect to the one seen in our research on Scotland.’

    – In other words, there would have been an 80 per cent reduction in the death toll across the whole of the UK: around 26,000 lives saved”

  38. For Unknown Reasons They Waited. And Watched’ –

    Because they anticipate resistance from sectors of the population as to being told what to do.

    “You aren’t the boss of me ”

    I can’t fault the skepticism but it has reached dumbass knucklehead levels.

  39. Not much legislation in the US either – particularly on a federal level. Same in Brazil. How are things working out there, Fred?

  40. Fred: neither you or I., or any terrestrial science can predict a mutating viral infection direction. I am certain IBMs Big Blue would melt attemting to extrapolate the variables

    Sweden just proves the exception to the Rule. Beyond that metric we can only deal with what we know, and we know fucking little as yet.

  41. Clark: You have a fine mind but I object to your monomania about systems and the Devil in them.

    Socialism is just the flipside of the coinage of Humanity…a flawed concept that refuses to change until the precipice of doom is reached…and then..maybe not.

  42. In Sweden, “advice” from government departments is supposed to be adhered to, and it is: –


    Sweden has not imposed a lockdown, unlike many other countries, and kept large parts of its society open. The Swedish Constitution legally protects the freedom of movement for the people, thus preventing a lockdown in peace time. The Swedish public is expected to follow a series of non-voluntary recommendations [note 2] from the government agency responsible for this area, in this case the Public Health Agency of Sweden (Folkhälsomyndigheten). The Swedish Constitution prohibits ministerial rule – politicians overruling the advice from its agencies is extremely unusual in Sweden – and mandates that the relevant government body, in this case an expert agency – the Public Health Agency – must initiate all actions to prevent the virus in accordance with Swedish law, rendering state epidemiologist Anders Tegnell a central figure in the crisis. Having an expert agency almost completely in control of the country’s COVID-19 response without the involvement of politicians set Sweden apart from other countries.

    NB: “NON-VOLUNTARY recommendations”. Note 2 reads:

    A Swedish government agency is an independent body without the power to pass laws. Instead, they give out recommendations on how someone can or should act to meet a binding regulation within the agency’s area of activity (in this case The Swedish Communicable Diseases Act). Although there isn’t a legal framework for a governmental agency to impose sanctions on someone for going against its recommendations, they aren’t optional as they work as guidelines on how to act to follow a regulation (in this case an obligation to help halting the spread of an infectious disease).

    Read the whole article; it is rather enlightening. Folkhälsomyndigheten make recommendations, about travel for instance, and then various metrics assess the degree of compliance, eg. mobile ‘phone data shows that people have reduced their travel to a fraction of what it was.
    – – – – – – – – – –

    There are only so many of these cliches from the “alternative” news sites and the right-wing press. You’ll have to start repeating them soon, Fred.

  43. Clark: With the right wing shift over the last 30 years perhaps Fred is more ‘middle’ and I’m slightly Left of center..

    The Magnetic shift of Politics holds sway over all things

  44. Ben, I’m not as ideologically wedded to socialism as you may think. Recently I’ve been seeing politics in terms of values, and I’ve developed a concept I call “RGB politics”. I’ll use the UK colour conventions.

    R is Red, which are the social values – cooperation, solidarity, mutual support, equality etc.

    G is Green, which are ecological / environmental / planetary values,

    B is Blue, which are the right-wing values. I’m not sure what else to call these, but they include freedom, self-reliance, endeavour, leadership…

    Red, green and blue are also the primary colours of light, the colours that the three different types of cone cells in our retinae respond to. Those who lack one or more of the types have one of the various forms of colour-blindness. The pixels of whatever monitor you’re using emit red, green and blue, and in that way produce all the visible colours.

    So that’s what I think politics should be like. The traditional fight between blue and red is stupid and pointless. Each side should recognise and respect the others’ values, and then debate properly on that basis.

    Instead what has happened is that the right-wing has “won”, and dominates everything. Of course it can’t win forever, because neglect of the environmental values will bring capitalism crashing down, along with everything else.

  45. The thing about the Red-Blue fight is that both sides claim to be the One True Way, and to represent everything and everyone better than their “opponent”. They each try to claim the other’s values. This of course requires a lot of distortion, rationalisation and lip-service, so their debate lacks honesty. And in the melee, Green values barely get a look-in.

    Thanks for the compliment about my mind, but I think I’ve just been lucky in my misfortune. I had an odd upbringing that made me a misfit and very distrustful of ideologies, so I’ve been neither inclined nor suitable to join any of the major teams…

    …until Extinction Rebellion happened.

    Love and Rage, Ben.

  46. “Mediocrity is key”

    Human affairs seem to have become that way, don’t they?

    But I’m sure it’s not always so; there’s too much good stuff for that to be true. The way of creation is evolution, diversification. Overall, reality improves. The universe of the future will be more diverse, more interesting than that of the present, just as the present reality is more diverse than that of the past.

    Look far enough back in the fossil record and there was no colour vision, no warm blood. Further back still, no multi-cellular life, so no sex! Before that, no life and no planets, just stars and dust. At the furthest reaches of our telescopes, no optical signature of carbon at all, not even any elements than other than hydrogen, helium and a trace of lithium, so no chemistry…

    “Our policy is one of continual improvement…”

    Humanity, especially the “West”, had better get with that flow of evolution, or we’ll go under. No good can come of opposing the will of That Which Creates.

  47. “Fred: Is it a Civil right to falsely yell fire in a crowded theater? ”

    I’m not asking to be able to shout anything in a theatre Ben, not asking for anything but to be able to carry on living my life as I have always lived it, without a muzzle.

    If someone catches a cold that’s not my fault, if someone gets hepatitis or aids or influenza that’s not my fault. If people are scared of getting diseases then it is their responsibility to take precautions to protect themselves not expect everyone else to protect them.

    When there was a crisis, a serious risk of the health service becoming overwhelmed then there was justification for legislation, that is why parliament authorised it. That is no longer the case, the reason legislation was made has passed, the law making face masks compulsory is authoritarian, an infringement of individual freedoms.

  48. “When there was a crisis, a serious risk of the health service becoming overwhelmed then there was justification for legislation, that is why parliament authorised it. That is no longer the case, the reason legislation was made has passed”

    The crisis has not passed, it has merely been held back; the vast majority of the population have had no exposure to the SARS-COV-2 virus and therefore remain vulnerable. Without ongoing precautions infection numbers could rise almost as fast as they were rising in March:


    What makes you think the danger has passed?

  49. If you don’t wear a mask, you greatly increase the chances of you passing on your germs, so others are affected by your actions. That’s why surgeons wear them.

  50. Fred: Your objections I think are due to the suspicion that government is utilizing protocols to take advantage of available control mechanisms. I think its more about their fear of losing all semblance of order if chaos and unrest due to massive infections is more severe in consequences than from rebellion over loss of personal freedom.

    Anarchy would condense our freedom down to a dribble.

    Even if the virus seems tamped down for now the economic juggernaut has slowed like a giant flywheel and its gonna take a lot of time and horsepower to bring our supply lines and food production back to snuff.

    It ain’t over yet and our recovery needs all our attention. We need regional outbreaks hampering recovery even less. I don’t like masks either but I also don’t like traffic lights impeding my forward progress.

  51. Clark: I almost went ‘Veggie’ after news reports of ranchers killing livestock because transport was becoming impossible

    In one instance pigs were herded into a structure and steam was piped in cooking them alive. In another tractors ran them down.

    If ever I see a face on my burger..I’m done.

  52. Meat shortages means more produce is needed.

    Can you imagine if Extinction Rebellion suddenly found everyone stopped eating meat?

  53. “its gonna take a lot of time and horsepower to bring our supply lines and food production back to snuff.”

    But instead we should take the enforced opportunity to restructure. It’d be great to do it now, while we’re being forced to change things anyway, because in the slightly longer term we need to.

    We must waste a lot less, pollute a lot less, produce far less unnecessary stuff, transport stuff much less, travel much less to work and shops, and move away from meat and other animal products towards a much more plant-based diet.

    Fred might call this authoritarian (though my preferred method would be economic incentives) but it’s not a tiny fraction as harsh as what Nature will do to us and our descendants if we don’t.

  54. “In one instance pigs were herded into a structure and steam was piped in cooking them alive. In another tractors ran them down.”

    Fucking hell. That’s just fucking disgusting.

    But this is the trouble with modern production methods, isn’t it? It’s very different from the old days when a farmer raised his livestock and cared for their welfare as a personal endeavour. Factory farming cheapens all life, turning sentient animals into mere product. It introduces ever increasing emotional distance between the human animals doing the farming, and the animals being farmed. The “market decides”, relieving the individuals of responsibility; “I was just forced to do my job”. The humans economically forced to participate in this get dehumanised, we inevitably become less humane.

    I’m not ideologically vegetarian or vegan or anything, but I have adapted my eating habits towards veganism for ethical and environmental reasons. I avoid supermarket meat because no one is responsible, everyone’s just playing their tiny role in the process, so I expect that such atrocities get committed. The PR department will have nominally truthful methods of denying it, so I just avoid the entire arena.

    I’m not nearly so opposed to eating the venison shot on the estate where I live, even though I don’t get on with the shooters.

  55. “If you don’t wear a mask, you greatly increase the chances of you passing on your germs, so others are affected by your actions. That’s why surgeons wear them.”

    So do you think wearing masks should by compulsory for everyone in the company of someone else all the time permanently? There will always be germs of some sort, there will always be viruses, always be bacteria about.

  56. “So do you think wearing masks should by compulsory for everyone in the company of someone else all the time permanently?”

    Fred, I think the wearing of masks should be compulsory in public situations that are unavoidable e.g. on a bus, in a shop, in a bank.

    For other public situations e.g. pub, restaurant, etc. the wearing of masks should be optional – as individuals can choose whether to go to these places or not, based on their attitude to the risks.

    Common sense and individual choice balanced.

    Do you think you should be allowed into any public situation without a mask, regardless of the risk you may pose to others?

    Bit like the passive smoking debate… one diner finishing their meal asks the next table, “excuse me, do you mind if I smoke?”. The reply was, “Not at all – do you mind if I fart?”

  57. “do you think wearing masks should by compulsory for everyone in the company of someone else all the time permanently? There will always be germs of some sort…”

    No, I think it should be only until most of the population have been exposed to SARS-COV-2, or have been vaccinated against it. JOML’s criteria for shops etc. seem sensible to me.

  58. Bit harsh on the store workers, who probably have no say as to the mask policy set by management. If management think sales may take a hit, and they don’t care about the staff, how likely are they to impose rules?

    Staff can be checked and know to a reasonable extent that they are OK to work with each other. A person walking in off the street – particularly one who doesn’t care to take precautions – is far more likely to be infectious.

    It’s not an individual choice when your livelihood depends on taking a risk that others decide to impose on you. It ought to be a regulation by government.

  59. If something good can come from this I think it may be a more cautious population. Plus our collective understanding of contamination doors, through which we formerly had open borders, makes future pandemics more containable.

  60. In England, we’re supposed to wear masks on public transport and in shops etc. It’s law, but a large minority don’t. People with certain health conditions have exceptions, but I expect that most who aren’t masking are just taking advantage of that.

    The scientific evidence is that face masks reduce cross-infection, eg:


    “Our search identified 172 observational studies across 16 countries and six continents, with no randomised controlled trials and 44 relevant comparative studies in health-care and non-health-care settings (n=25 697 patients). Transmission of viruses was lower with physical distancing of 1 m or more, compared with a distance of less than 1 m (n=10 736, pooled adjusted odds ratio [aOR] 0·18, 95% CI 0·09 to 0·38; risk difference [RD] −10·2%, 95% CI −11·5 to −7·5; moderate certainty); protection was increased as distance was lengthened (change in relative risk [RR] 2·02 per m; pinteraction=0·041; moderate certainty). Face mask use could result in a large reduction in risk of infection (n=2647; aOR 0·15, 95% CI 0·07 to 0·34, RD −14·3%, −15·9 to −10·7; low certainty), with stronger associations with N95 or similar respirators compared with disposable surgical masks or similar (eg, reusable 12–16-layer cotton masks; pinteraction=0·090; posterior probability >95%, low certainty). Eye protection also was associated with less infection (n=3713; aOR 0·22, 95% CI 0·12 to 0·39, RD −10·6%, 95% CI −12·5 to −7·7; low certainty). Unadjusted studies and subgroup and sensitivity analyses showed similar findings.”

    However, the Daily Mail permits, nay pays, Peter Hitchens to lie about this. I find this utterly disgraceful.

  61. Glenn, I don’t like wearing a mask, especially when the weather is hot; I find it unpleasant. The public should wear masks in shops, to protect staff as well as each other. I’d rather staff didn’t have to wear masks because they work long shifts, whereas no one is forcing shoppers to loiter in shops, and indeed shoppers should spend as little time in each shop as practical.

    Ben, I agree. Another good thing is that people are being reminded that it’s Nature that’s in charge.

  62. “Phrase not found.”

    Yes, back in March when we were being panicked by stories of hundreds of thousands, maybe millions dead the Chinese Health Organisation said they did no good. They said they made infection more likely because people would be touching their faces every few seconds.

  63. Fred, found it amusing that you mention “conditioning” as I always had you down as a dyed-in-the-wool defender of the British Establishment.

    With regards Coronavirus, I follow the advice of my sister rather than Government guidelines. She’s an experienced nurse and has a heightened awareness, given my brother-in-law has asbestosis – no room there for complacency and very fortunate to be in the Highlands. With two children back in school, I just have to accept what they bring back to the house – but I do take care I don’t unnecessarily add to the unavoidable risks. I call that common sense rather than conditioning.

  64. I see regular wind-up merchant and less than honest poster Fred has everyone responding to him now, as he lazily tosses out barbs, BS and half truths. How he must feel gratified by all the attention! Seems people cannot resist being trolled.

  65. “Fred, found it amusing that you mention “conditioning” as I always had you down as a dyed-in-the-wool defender of the British Establishment.”

    Pro Europe you mean? No I’m not a Scots Nationalist.

  66. Given the failure of lockdowns in England which Bozo overlooks in stating the children have to go to school so their parents can go work, and the outbreak of coronavirus in Dundee with its problems of drinking treated, wastewater seems an important source of the virus being the water should be considered seriously.

  67. “Pro Europe you mean?”

    I’m afraid not, Fred. I see you first and foremost as a defender of the British Establishment. I’d even go as far as to guess that your favourite band is Status Quo, even if you don’t like their music.

  68. “the Chinese Health Organisation said…”

    Who cares what any authority said? Science is based on evidence, not authority. Nullius in verba! I have already linked to systematic reviews of the research evidence; here’s a well-reasoned and referenced letter:


    Here are the three systematic reviews I think I’ve linked to before:




  69. Well done Fred you set Trowbridge off again! Why not tell him what a brave truth-teller he is and how essential it is to oppose the official story? And can’t we implicate the Jews somehow? Jewish doctors aren’t allowed to cure goyim, you know, and the puppetmasters control academia; that’s how building collapses can contradict Newtonian mechanics yet the entire scientific community remain silent. I remember you telling us that you “keep an open mind” on that one…

  70. Why don’t you tell him how much closing down schools benefited the children of Dundee?

    Or why not tell him how they sacrificed the elderly, how they moved old people who tested positive from hospital to care home and issued blanket DNRs all because of an overload of the health service that never happened.

  71. There you go, Clark – you’re _personally_ responsible for every policy carried out by this government, announcements by the Chinese government, and everything forewarned which did not come to pass, besides things which came to pass that were not forewarned.

    Enjoying being trolled here? I think one of your major blind spots is failing to recognise when you’re dealing with people acting in bad faith. Ben – with good intent or not I cannot say – suggested you might be on the spectrum. There is nothing wrong with this, but it does lend one to being played with those less honest than yourself (and in Fred’s case, less honest than nearly everyone). Read ‘Neurotribes’ by Steve Silberman if you have the chance, it’s most illuminating.

  72. Thanks Fred, though I don’t go along with everything you say.

    Clark remember the Aristotilian-Ptolomaic theory of the world being the center of the universe because serious people took its nonsense too seriously.

  73. And thanks to you too, Glenn. I didm’i see yours until after I had written mine.

  74. I was using a mask before the English government said to, because I have more sense than them, I care about my fellow human more than them, and because people in and from East Asia were using masks, and those countries had controlled covid-19 much better than most of the West.

  75. Yes Trowbridge; science improves, and even Aristotilian-Ptolomaic theory had more utility, better predictive power than the biblical stories from which it was descended.

  76. Bur you’re assuming, Clark, that I was merely an instrument of anti-Semites was most unscientific and untrue – what one would assume from the prosecutors of the Salem Witches.

  77. I wasn’t referring to you there Trowbridge. I was alluding to the fact that nearly all the mainstream conspiracy theories have an anti-Semitic version available. Veterans Today fell foul of that; I think they don’t really realise.

  78. But I was one of the leading conspiracy theorists too, Clark, published by Wikispooks, Veterans Today and Cryptome. org.

    You are always looking for false cover for your snide remarks.

  79. C: “An overload of the health service that was only just averted:

    Indeed, Clark. It’s as stupid as scolding the driver for using the brakes, because we obviously didn’t crash into the stopped car in front.

  80. “An overload of the health service that was only just averted”

    So you think they were justified in killing all those old people to keep you safe.

  81. I wasn’t being snide Trowbridge. Your sort of conspiracy theory is less harmful and much more fun. The modern stuff’s really just dumb, but far more damaging. Like a lot of modern stuff. Your political intrigue stuff is far more entertaining than the wastewater thing, though you could do with a few new subjects.

  82. My conspiracy theories, like Nixon, Connally,and rabid anti-Kennedy brothers agents in the Agency, especially William King Harvey, shot Tricky Dick’s way into the White House in the hope of blaming it on the communists neither funny nor entertaining.

    Must be another meaning for the word snide. the most implied word in the English language.

  83. That one is exactly the sort of stuff I read your comments for Trow; I can’t even work out what you meant.

    Now that was snide 😀 but you’re still my favourite teddy bear xx

  84. Read my article on Veterans Today about JFK assassination being the quintessential false flag operation on record.

  85. “So you think they were justified in killing all those old people to keep you safe.”


    I didn’t even spot this insulting nonsense until just now. No. What I think is that quarantine at the borders and the stay-at-home order should have been implemented much sooner. Covid-19 should have been suppressed at low numbers until enough PPE and test facilities were ready to keep it under control.

    What I think happened was that the policy of discharging from hospitals back to care homes was formulated as part of the government’s original “herd immunity” policy, Medley’s plan for a “nice big epidemic”. The government thought they’d need even higher throughput in the hospitals, and they weren’t even going to try to control it – they were assuming that care home staff would infect the residents anyway.

    The government didn’t believe what you called the “horror stories from Wuhan” until ICL presented their mortality projections to SAGE. That forced the government to change policy and implement stay-at-home, but it was too late to get any new orders through the management chain to hospitals and care homes and it wasn’t going to be possible to make enough test kits available in time anyway, so they just brazened it out by sticking to their original instructions rather than admitting they’d fucked up.

  86. “What I think happened was that the policy of discharging from hospitals back to care homes was formulated as part of the government’s original “herd immunity” policy, Medley’s plan for a “nice big epidemic”. ”

    Not often you are right but you are wrong again.


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