Quick Takes - Hat Trick - Granite Grok

Quick Takes – Hat Trick

Within I pick three topics upon which to discourse, but not worth a full-length examination as a standalone piece on their own.  But first, reprising an older cartoon (for shameless self-promotion!):

democula Eager to devour


And I am now regular link contributor to Gates of Vienna.  Here’s the latest link aggregate there.


Zeroeth, prepping-wise, two articles quick-hit style.  The idea is that you need to start thinking about this… and right quick.

40 Thrifty and Surprising Uses for BREAD TAGS

50 Survival Uses For Salt

That bad times are coming is not in doubt.  The only questions are:

  1. When will it start?
  2. How bad will it get?
  3. How long will it last?
  4. What will I have to do to survive it / get my family through it?
  5. What will the aftermath look like?


As I observed in A Curious Incuriosity, there is an unspoken omerta against The Narrative (video, 13 minutes) on all things Covid.  Remember, they’re herd beasts.  But I want to build on this seeming inability to admit error, for errors happen.  I joke with my kids that if I only err three times a day I’m doing pretty well.  It’s when we refuse to acknowledge that we’ve erred that it becomes a mistake.  Admitting such takes humility, which – at least, per one movie – is why vanity is Satan’s favorite sin (video, 0:58).  (Yes, there is Satan in Judaism too.)



So I want to direct you to an excerpt from Surak’s recent post (bolding added):

A friend [named Nitzakhon 😊] sent me a link to a paper in a medical journal which examined the relationship between CoVID injection rates and new case rates in countries around the world. According to the prevailing narrative, high injection rates should result in low rates of new cases, implying what we call a negative association between the variables; in other words, the injection is preventing some new cases. The authors studied their data and announced that (sadly) there was no such relation; high injection rates did not result in lower new case rates.

I looked at their graph and their data and re-analyzed it myself. I discovered that not only was there not a negative association; indeed there was a strong, statistically significant positive association. In other words, higher CoVID injection rates were provably associated with higher new case rates. Wow.

What did your trusty data guy do? Quickly write up the results and send them to the principal author of the original paper, a professor at a well-known university. No answer.

No problem! I just sent this in as a two-page “short communication” to the journal that published the original paper. My discovery does not invalidate the original paper; in some ways it reinforces and strengthens their conclusion.

The journal just replied and said they will not publish it. They couldn’t find anything wrong mathematically, but – they just didn’t think it was all that important.

It isn’t important that higher injection rates are strongly associated with higher rates of new cases? Are you kidding? Or do they want to hide this fact? There are other journals in the world, and I hope someone else will take this.

I’ve made some (minor) discoveries in my career.  I have patents and many insights and successes too.  And while I’ve never specifically screamed, a la Archimedes, Eureka!, I have occasionally been quite pleased with myself at making connections and seeing things nobody else saw.  (E.g., at one employer I stumbled on a massive cost savings simply by attending a show-and-tell by a supplier and seeing their wares.  Without details, they had this new lab-experiment product but “We have no idea what it could be used for”.  “Oh, I know where I want to try it…” which resulted in over $250K in annual cost savings.  Justified my salary for the year.)

But I’ve also gone down many wrong paths, been corrected many times, and often had thoughts offered that led to new insights and even course-corrections.  So, many times, I’ve said what should be a very common phrase, right after eureka:

I didn’t think of that – thanks for giving me the idea!

It was this humility and gratitude in accepting others’ thoughts, and this willingness to say “Maybe I’m wrong” to myself, and to observe dissonances in what I believed versus what I observed, that was – I believe – the single key element of my move from Left to Right.  E.g., my switch from rabid anti-gunner to staunch Second Amendment proponent; from my very early essay The Leftist Sense of Self (bolding and links in original):

I was living in the Midwest when my police officer neighbor remarked that I should get a gun for self-defense. Having been raised, all my life, to believe that civilian gun ownership was wrong, it shocked me to my core that – of all people – a cop was telling me this.

Unlike most Leftists – and have no doubt that I still was one – I didn’t dismiss this as a flier data point stated by a
knuckledraggingslopedforeheadredneck, but rather it made me think those great two words that often stand at the threshold of a new insight: That’s weird…

I started to pay more attention to the ads being put forth by the gun control lobby; data that, hitherto for, I had accepted at face value because they matched what I already thought (i.e., confirmation bias). I wrote to the NRA and what was then Handgun Control Inc. I would follow up with requests for more information on specific topics; e.g., I’d get something from one side, so I’d write the other side for their data on the same topic. I wrote to the researchers whose works were being cited to ask follow-up questions based on their works (most responded!). And I’d cross-check, compare, and lo and behold, I realized something very fundamental – something that, of course, the Rightward side already knows: In virtually every instance, the NRA was far more accurate and complete in its picture.

One egregious example was this famous ad by gun controllers (multiple versions exist). Utterly convincing on its gut-reaction face, upon considered reflection I realized it did not normalize for the population size. Just that fact alone made me suspicious; years later I heard the phrase “Local instability means global instability” as related to my career – the same holds true for propaganda: once a side is shown to be not just biased (after all, every side puts forth information sympathetic to its argument!), but outright deceptive, all credibility falls away. I, like most people, have a strong aversion to being intentionally lied to.

As a result of this revelation, not only did I switch from being a ban-them-all gun controller, but it was one of the defining moments in my move away from the Left and towards the Right.

Humility: the ability to admit one might be wrong and, thus, learn

Gratitude: the ability to happily accept other thoughts and information

Resilience: understanding that being wrong on something does not mean you are a bad person

Ultimately, though the road will be fraught with dire trials, I truly believe the lack of these traits on the Left will be part of our eventual, albeit hard-won, victory over them.


Presented without (much) comment, aside from trying to not throw up.

soldiers with gay and trans flags


I was never in the military though, looking back, I regret that.  I was recruited pretty hard for the nuclear navy, and always have had a soft spot for squids in general:



But… I’d walk away and cheerfully accept a dishonorable discharge before I carried a rainbow or transgender flag.  Because I know where my honor comes from, and it’s not some parade general or Fraud-in-Chief Potato-for-President telling me I have to be “diverse” to be a good soldier.


I am not alone in saying that there is a Covid Cult – I’m mentioned several times how people we know have a whole-family-set of T-shirts from one of the pharma companies saying “Science will win”.  But it’s become not just a science, but a faith.  Remember, our national motto has been IN G-D WE TRUST for years (though IMHO there’s nothing wrong with E Pluribus Unum).  Still, as John Adams said:

(Link to AZQUOTES per their policy.)


So I’m at the local whole wallet (Whole Foods) and here’s an older man with a mask – not this one but the same message:



The Covidians have now elevated “science” to replace Hashem.  Just look at this T-shirt for sale:


Talk about idolatry!  In parallel, in another discussion, someone said “Well, the CDC says…” at which point, already being hot under the collar, I let rip with “F*CK the CDC”!  The horror on their face said it all.  I had blasphemed their Golden Calf.



This is not a fact war.  It is not a science war.  It is not a logic or history war.  Just like the war against the Left itself, this is a religious war.  And IMHO it stems from our irreligious, nihilistic society.  We are hard-wired for faith in something greater than ourselves.  He made us so, but having absented Him from our hearts societally, we’ve echoed that famous saying:

If you believe in nothing, you’ll fall for anything.

Indeed, we have fallen, and our nihilistic society’s Hubris is calling Nemesis on the hot line.