Programming note: Today I'll be making a rare Monday appearance on "Tucker Carlson Tonight", live across America at 8pm Eastern. Hope you'll dial us up.
~I see my fellow conservatives are all excited by new polls showing Kamala Harris to be the least popular vice president "since records began", which was apparently in the Seventies, but which nevertheless makes her less popular than Dan Quayle, and possibly Spiro Agnew, since it's unclear how far back into the Seventies these records go. These polls are said to have enthused Republicans about their prospects for 2022 and 2024 - notwithstanding that, as is traditional, critical precincts such as Fulton County, Georgia will not discover how much they approve of Kamala until the early hours of Wednesday morning.
~Speaking of executive authority, HM The Queen, upon the advice of her Ministers in Brisbane, has appointed as the next Governor of Queensland the long-serving chief public health officer of that state, Dr Jeannette Young. "There is no one more deserving of the title 'Her Excellency'," says the Premier.
Indeed. Surely we should address all public health officials as Your Excellency.
~No nation has venerated its public health bureaucracy with more extravagant prostrations than the United Kingdom. Are they still holding their weekly "Clap for Carers" or whatever it's called? Is the preferred modification of the national anthem to "God Save Our NHS" still sung? The people clap for their carers, but do the carers care for their clappers? Suzanne Evans Tweets:
While we were clapping and cheering and 'Protecting the NHS' the NHS was drawing up plans to deny the over 70s hospital care and put them on 'end of life pathways' instead.
The NHS may be on to something here: If you just write off everybody over seventy, eighty-five per cent of the Covid problem goes away. If you lower it to sixty or maybe fifty-five, the WuFlu pretty much ceases to be a thing at all. From The Daily Mirror:
It comes after some care homes were told to introduce blanket "do not resuscitate" orders for patients at the height of the coronavirus pandemic, according to a report last year.
Blanket "do not resuscitate" orders for entire care homes?
The Queen's Nursing Institute found that one in 10 care home staff expressed alarm about being asked to impose DNR plans for all residents - which say a patient should not be revived with a defibrillator or CPR.
One in ten? So ninety per cent of "carers" were okay with it?
And some staff reported that the decision was taken without discussion with families, nurses or residents.
Professor Alison Leary, one of the report's authors, said the findings were "really worrying" and called for an inquiry.
Labour said the use of blanket orders was "scandalous" and the National Pensioners' Convention's Jan Shortt said the survey proved "our oldest and most vulnerable were merely seen as collateral damage".
Nobody can use the clichés correctly anymore. The care home residents weren't "collateral"; they were specifically targeted.
~The good news is that, if you're badly injured in a terrorist attack, you're at relatively low risk of being given a DNR order - because you're highly unlikely to make it to the hospital. When one of the excitable young Mohammedans blows up, say, an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, although Manchester is not in any sense a remote location difficult to reach, the ambulance and fire services perform a "risk assessment" before sending in their chaps. And, if they conclude that the location is potentially "risky", then what America calls its "First Responders" are pretty much guaranteed to be in Britain the very last responders:
Two police officers were heard talking on their body cameras saying: 'We need ambulances, mate, massively. We need paramedics like f**king yesterday...'
For the first 43 minutes after the bomb there was only one paramedic in the City Room and he initially triaged but did not treat any patients. The fire service delayed for more than two hours before their officers went in and by the time they did so, the injured and dying had been removed from the City Room on makeshift stretchers made from advertising hoardings and crowd control barriers.
It was an hour and eight minutes before Bradley Hurley, the last casualty, was taken out of the foyer, suffering from two broken legs, having seen his sister, Megan, pass away next to him. As soon as he was at the bottom of the stairs he was put down again, and there he stayed for another three hours waiting for an ambulance.
Three hours? In central Manchester? Hey, relax, it's pretty much a standard response time: At the London Bridge attacks, it likewise took the ambulances three hours to get to the scene.
But don't worry: The ambulance service has declared that the "overall operational response to the [Ariana Grande] attack was quick, effective and adequate". So keep clapping for those carers.
When I was in Iraq some years ago, one of the few bits of advice to which I gave serious thought was before hitting the road north to Tikrit - or, as the American soldier who pointed me in the right direction called it, RPG Alley. In the event of a rocket-propelled grenade hitting the rental car, there's no point just lying there waiting for the Iraqi National Sword of the Infidel Slayer Ambulance Service to arrive: you've got to be ready to pack the wound and apply pressure. So I put a hotel towel in the glove box.
And so it goes not just in RPG Alley but on London Bridge.
~Perhaps you're wondering why some observations on the Ariana Grande bloodbath started out with Kamala's poll numbers. Well, the distinguishing feature of these last eighteen months is the ruling class's conviction that it can defy reality - and impose delusion in place of that reality. To Mrs Thatcher's famous line that "the facts of life are conservative", the woke elites respond: Who cares? All the romance of life is woke, and that's what counts.
Kamala, for example, is total crap as a politician: I thought she was quite cute in that wacky Rubik's Cube outfit (see above), but then she starts cackling and pandering, and you think, "She's rubbish, isn't she?" She has no ability whatsoever to connect with people. I'm not making a partisan point here: Mitt Romney suffered from the same defect. As indeed do I, whenever your effete rootless cosmopolitan host walks into a sports bar in Alabama: it is well to know one's limitations in such circumstances. But Kamala doesn't connect with anyone, starting with her own staff.
Yet whoever's running the United States government (the Chi-Coms, Obama, the Davos crowd, Blofeld, you name it) doesn't care a jot or tittle. They picked her to be "the first black vice president", despite the reality of her inability to connect, and even though, as merely this season's British subject (the child of Jamaican and Indian immigrants, raised in Montreal), she has even less to do with the black American experience than Obama.
Because they figure reality is irrelevant. The myth, the heartwarming narrative, will keep the press on side - and the reality of a cold, cackling, third-rate incompetent will never break through the surface gloss of her glass-ceiling-shattering "diversity".
~Our rulers aren't wrong about this: Covidstan has brought into sharp focus the gulf between reality and the approved myths. At a time when global travel is shut down and Americans require a negative Covid test and a sworn declaration to re-enter what's supposed to be their own country, thousands upon thousands of non-citizens who test positive can simply walk in and be shuttled at taxpayer expense to any part of America to infect whomsoever they desire: An increase in population equivalent to a new Wyoming or Vermont every three months - because the brain-dead chant of "diversity is our strength" trumps even public health policy, even in a pandemic.
Indeed,"Diversity Über Alles" prevents us even talking about why we're stuck with masks and vaccines until the end of time. This virus started in Chi ...whoa, don't go there, you racist; you're encouraging attacks on Asians by crazed Sinophobic rednecks all over, er, Manhattan.
Well, okay. Let me just give you the current official number for total Covid deaths in China since December 1st 2019:
In a country of 1.4 billion people.
So China managed to spread it to 210 countries and territories (which is to say everywhere else) but not to anywhere in its own country.
But that's the "official version", accepted by the WHO and by the Wuhan Institute's generous funders in the US government.
But it doesn't matter, because it's in the service of mythology. A society that no longer believes in religion or its own civilizational inheritance nevertheless needs some transcendent meaning to life - hence diversity, climate change, whatever's to hand. The new religion of Public Healthism, complete with its pseudo-Islamic flourishes - face coverings, the requirement to stay indoors - is perfectly suited to an impatient present-tense society in too much of a hurry to wait for global warming to sink the Maldives.
~It was a very busy weekend at SteynOnline, beginning with a new episode of Mark Steyn's Passing Parade, recalling the dictator who turned an obscure Soviet republic into a one-man stan - and the lawyer who persuaded the courts that it was no longer necessary to be married to get a great divorce settlement. For our weekend movie date, Rick McGinnis considered Los Angeles on screen, and our Sunday song selection celebrated the centenary of a man who gave us two Broadway blockbusters. There was also the second of our summer series of poetry and music, and of course our marquee presentation, Mark's latest Tale for Our Time - Jack London's Burning Daylight: As the King of the Klondike starts to learn the ways of subtler predators in San Francisco, click for Part Twenty, Part Twenty-One and Part Twenty-Two - or go here for a good old binge-listen. Part Twenty-Three airs tonight, directly after my Mark's appearance with Tucker.
If you were too busy booking your booster shot with complimentary perspex helmet, we hope you'll want to check out one or three of the foregoing as a new week begins.