The COVID narrative is changing — don’t let Democrats get away with what they’ve done to our country

The COVID narrative is changing — don’t let Democrats get away with what they’ve done to our countryKaylee McGhee WhiteDecember 29, 2021 19:37 PM

A year ago, anyone who suggested COVID restrictions were unreasonable policies that didn’t work was dismissed as an uncaring, selfish person who wanted to see people dead.

If you questioned the efficacy of masks, it was because you didn’t care whether vulnerable elderly citizens died. If you challenged school lockdowns, it was because you wanted teachers to get sick and suffer. If you questioned whether the COVID vaccines would actually eradicate the virus, it was because you were a radical anti-vaxxer.

Now, that narrative is shifting. Medical experts are openly admitting the cloth masks they pushed on the public don’t work. The emotional and mental toll that remote learning and forced isolation have taken on children is finally being acknowledged. And public health officials, who for so long demanded that we change our lifestyles to accommodate the pandemic, are revising their policies in recognition that there’s nothing we can do to stop it.

If I weren’t such a cynic, I might consider this shift vindication. But right now, it’s hard to see it as anything but a political calculation. Tens of thousands of vaccinated and unvaccinated adults alike are testing positive for COVID amid this new wave, which means it’s no longer possible to frame the pandemic through a good vs. evil lens. All of the “good” people — the ones who got their boosters and never stopped wearing masks and made sure to lecture everyone else who wasn’t as cautious as they were — are catching the omicron variant and spreading it to others at about the same rate as the “evil” people. All the people looking down their noses for so long are now walking and talking disease vectors, just like those dirty unvaccinated folks down South who love Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and believe ivermectin works.

It turns out viruses don’t care about your morality. Sometimes they don’t even differentiate between those who were careful and those who weren’t. If you’re a human being with a beating heart, COVID is going to infect you. It’s not a matter of if, but of when.

The only reason Democrats are starting to admit this now is that it’s no longer politically useful not to. COVID restrictions clearly have not worked. What’s more, they’re only becoming more and more unpopular, as are the officials who support them.

That’s why the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention revised their quarantine guidance this week, saying those who contract COVID only have to self-isolate for five days rather than 10. As CDC Director Rochelle Walensky admitted this week, the change didn’t have anything to do with science or health but was about what people are willing to “tolerate.”

That’s why Biden admitted during a conference call with governors last week that there is “no federal solution” to COVID, just months after he demanded that GOP governors who opposed COVID restrictions “get out of [his] way.”

That’s why Washington Post columnist Jen Rubin, who might as well be on the Biden White House’s payroll, acknowledged on Tuesday that COVID “is not a deadly or even severe disease” for most of the population, less than a year after she slammed Texas’s “wholly irresponsible” government for lifting its mask mandate and all social distancing restrictions.

They’ll try to claim their opinions changed because the science changed. But the fact is the only thing that has changed over the past year is the public’s willingness to put up with public health officials’ lies and the Biden administration’s constant goalpost-shifting.

Democrats are starting to see that for the political threat it is. It is now up to those of us who asked the right questions, and were vilified for it, to remember and hold them accountable.

Washington Examiner

The Bells on Christmas Day

The winter of 1863 was a grim one for American poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow—it was a grim one for the entire country. The Civil War had been raging for two years. Communities across the nation lay blanketed in an aching grief. Like years previous, Christmas had come. But it’s hard to believe it was much of a cheery one.

Still, over this bleak backdrop, Longfellow would paint in words the triumphant, resounding hope the Christmas season heralds. Despite the grief knocking at his door, a powerful song of hope pounded even louder.

The opening stanza of “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day” reads:

I heard the bells on Christmas Day

Their old, familiar carols play,

And wild and sweet

The words repeat

Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

From the Daily Signal

That year, Union forces had won significant victories—repulsing Gen. Robert E. Lee’s lunge for Washington, D.C., at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, and seizing Vicksburg, Mississippi—a vital Confederate stronghold that held their supply line open with the west.

Still, the Confederacy refused to relent, and the war dragged on. 1863 saw the bloodiest battles of the Civil War—Gettysburg as well as the Battle of Chickamuga. They alone cost a cumulative total of over 85,000 casualties.

Grief filled the hearts of countless families who lost loved ones to the war. Though his initial bout with it was unrelated to the war, Longfellow’s loss struck deeply and intimately.

In 1861, his second wife Frances’ dress caught fire while she sealed envelopes with hot wax and an open flame. Despite Longfellow’s best efforts to save her, she succumbed to her burns. The poet collapsed into a depression.

His journal entry from the Christmas of 1862 opens a window into his suffering: “‘A merry Christmas’ say the children, but that is no more for me.”

The next year, 1863, war trudged forward on its merciless sweep over the country, and tragedy threatened to strike at Longfellow again when son, Charley—one of his six children—fled home to join the Union army in defiance to his father’s wishes.

Army life was brutal and dangerous. The war was fought savagely, resulting in unprecedented slaughter. For the soldiers who managed to survive combat, an even more lethal foe lay in wait: disease. It killed indiscriminately and took twice those killed in battle.

In June, Charley fell ill, struck down with fever. Longfellow retrieved him from a hospital in Washington, and the two returned to Massachusetts.

Charley, however, recovered and returned to the fighting. In November 1863, he caught a bullet in the back while fighting at New Hope, Virginia.

With what must have been carried out with a sickly sense familiarity, Longfellow once again retrieved his son from a Washington hospital.

That Christmas, however, amidst the anguish of grief, something in Longfellow put to paper a poem that would become a carol sung to this day. Here are just a few stanzas that would make it into the musical adaptation so many have come to know and cherish:

I heard the bells on Christmas Day

Their old, familiar carols play,

And wild and sweet

The words repeat

Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

And thought how, as the day had come,

The belfries of all Christendom

Had rolled along

The unbroken song

Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

And in despair I bowed my head;

“There is no peace on earth,” I said;

“For hate is strong,

And mocks the song

Of peace on earth, good-will to men!”

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:

God is not dead, nor doth He sleep;    

The Wrong shall fail,  

The Right prevail,

With peace on earth, good-will to men.

It’s hard to imagine how one so battered by tragedy could manage to grasp the hope and resolve and triumph of the Christmas season.

That one can find hope in such a dire state doesn’t make much sense. But then again, neither does the truth in Longfellow’s words. Christ’s birth has never ceased to confound. For those of us who profess faith in him, it’s an offering of everlasting mercy and peace for a cold and brutal world that doesn’t deserve it.

As did Longfellow, may we find solace in this truth that resounds louder than the mightiest canon of war, calamity, or trouble of this world this Christmas season.

A Different Perspective on Global Warming

We have grown accustomed to climate change being talked about in a certain way. Usually, it involves words and phrases like “dangerous,” “catastrophe,” “red zone,” and “one minute to midnight.”

Equally dramatic are the policies proposed by many in Washington, D.C., to force a transition away from conventional energy to more politically preferred options. These admittedly painful changes, we are told, are urgently needed “for the common good.”

However, climate trends don’t support rapid economy-altering responses, and areas of uncertainty in our scientific understanding caution for humility in policymaking.

The United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change recently reported that the earth has warmed 1.1 degrees Celsius since 1850. It noted increasing trends in heat waves, heavy precipitation, and some kinds of drought.

Sea level has been rising at roughly 16 inches per century. It also found downward or no trends for hurricanes, winter storms and extreme cold, floods, tornadoes, or thunderstorms. So, Florida may be dealing with flooding, but not necessarily from global warming.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s most extreme scenario for emissions and warming—the Representative Concentration Pathway 8.5, which has fueled the media’s apocalyptic “code red” reporting—was downgraded to “low likelihood.”

That was good news for scientific integrity more than anything else, as this alarmist scenario assumed such implausibilities as coal consumption per capita increasing sixfold by 2100.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report begs a number of fundamental questions that should be the focus of meaningful scientific and political debate.

For example, what is the nature of global warming—is it a net positive change, negative, or some mix in between? What is the pace of future warming, and do we have trustworthy tools to make educated guesses?

Why is the climate pre-1850 so preferred such that policies by global warming catastrophists point to it as a target for policy? What is the “ideal” temperature?

Too many politicians, with a helping hand from media eager to sell bad news, have assumed the answers and ignored nuance. The reality is, there is considerable uncertainty. Just three, broad examples:

Climate models thus far have run “too hot” and been unable to faithfully replicate observed historical temperatures. There remains great uncertainty about just how much warming an increase in greenhouse gas emissions induces (called the “equilibrium climate sensitivity”). This reduces confidence that these computer models can accurately project future conditions.

Climate emissions scenarios have misframed policy discussions about how to respond. Far too many politicians, academics, financial institutions, and nonprofits continue to base their work on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s worst and most unrealistic scenario (the RCP8.5 mentioned earlier).

Third, our understanding of an incredibly complex, dynamic climate is always changing and busting previous notions of scientific “consensus” (which is itself more a political term than a scientific one).

For example, a recent review by 23 scientists, who themselves have diverse opinions, expressed concern that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s low-ball assumptions about the sun’s impact on global surface temperatures were “prematurely concluded” by forcing a consensus voice.

The answer to that question alone will have major implications for policymakers, whose efforts to tamp down man-made greenhouse gas emissions might be as good as spitting in the wind.

Noting deficiencies in our understanding of climate is not to dismiss science, but rather to illustrate how much more work needs to be done.

As scientific debates continue, history provides an interesting perspective even if it can’t answer questions about the future.

What happened in this past century of warming?

Extreme poverty—the norm for most of human history—plummeted 80%, thanks to economic growth and access to energy. Global crop yields of grains increased over 200%. Deaths from climate-related disasters decreased 96%.

As a percent of global gross domestic product, damages from natural disasters have actually declined since 1990. Air pollution in the U.S. (not to be confused with greenhouse gases) has declined 73% since 1980.

It’s important to acknowledge that many are concerned about global warming because they are concerned for their grandchildren and for the beautiful places we enjoy today. But history is riddled with stories of great harm done in the name of good intentions.

As we continue to improve our scientific understanding of climate, skepticism about climate policy is merited and serves as an antibody to flawed assumptions and preconceptions.

From The Daily Signal