Saturday, April 11, 2020

May You Live In Interesting Times


This is a weekly column consisting of letters to my perspicacious progeny. I write letters to my grandchildren (who exist), and my great-grandchildren (who don't) — the Stickies — to haunt them after they become grups or I'm deleted.
                  
                                                       (Meme by Weibo)

Warning: This column is rated SSC — Sexy Seasoned Citizens — Perusal by kids, callowyutes, and/or grups may result in a debilitating intersectional triggering

                                                  Glossary  

                                                    About

Erratically Appearing Hallucinatory Guest Star: Dana — A Gentlerreader

"China is trying to become America without democracy while America is trying to become France without cheese calories." -P. J. O'Rourke


Dear (eventual) Grandstickies & Great-Grandstickies (& Gentlereaders),

Obligatory disclaimer:

"May you live in interesting times" is apparently not an ancient Chinese curse. Many have investigated the origins of the phrase; a consensus remains elusive.

I begin with a digression by the garrulous geezer that authors this column, a question:

If labeling the new bug on the block that's currently causing such a cacophonous kerfuffle the Chinese virus (I much prefer Wuhan flu) is racist, why aren't the woker than thou whining about the ancient Chinese slur above?

Could it be because they're too busy trying to keep Asian kids from making everyone else's kids look dumb by hiding behind diversity quotas for college admissions?

But that's not what I'm on about at the moment.

[Pray tell us then, your crankesty, what are you on about at the moment? Your tens of readers are waiting to exhale.]

The World Health Organization.


In a column that I wrote in the distant golden age before the Wuhan flu took over our lives, the first week of last month (3/7/20), the WHO received a passing mention.

The column — Lies, Damn, Lies and statistics — was about how Cuba uses lies, damn lies, and statistics to present themselves to the world as a medical utopia that the supporters of socialized medicine love to point to and that their foes love to debunk.

The WHO...

[You just like typing that, don't you? Every time you type, the WHO, you grin like a schoolboy. It's all you can do to keep from adding a question mark every time you do it, isn't it?]

We must do our best to maintain morale in these difficult times, Dana.
Positivity is very important (even for those of us that think the word itself is very ugly).

I mentioned in that column that Cuba rents doctors out to other nations, pays 'em next to nothing, and turns a nice profit. I linked to a New York Times article that points out that the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), a division of the WHO, gets a cut for brokering the deal.


The WHO continues to cover itself in glory.

Our World in Data, a "...scientific online publication that focuses on large global problems such as poverty, disease, hunger, climate change, war, existential risks, and inequality." (phew!)... 

published by Oxford University, has decided that the WHO is not to be relied on according to an article on the FEE (Foundation For Economic Education) website.

[Speaking of phewness...]

Point taken. The bottom line is that almost a dozen reports by the WHO about the Wuhan flu betwixt 2/5 and 3/16/20 not only contained errors, the WHO corrected the reports without bothering to tell anyone, sowing confusion.

And then there's the senior official of the WHO (a Canadian) who accidentally stumbled into his 15 minutes of infamy by singing the praises of Emperor Xi's China and blowing off embarrassing questions by a reporter about Taiwan.



But I guess, now that I think about it, what I'm really on about...

[OMG!]

What I'm really on about, is China.

[Could you be a little more vague?]

I could indeed. I could point out that vaguer, like the equally ugly positivity, is an actual word.

Instead, I'd like to express my support for the Hong Kong dissidents and those folks calling for America to uncouple from China as much as is practically possible. To reassess all aspects of our relationship. Particularly with Emperor Xi and his minions.



As a self-identified wild-eyed free marketeer, my usual knee jerk position is that anyone in the world should be free to trade with anyone in the world as long as the rule of law in general, contract law specifically, is in place and enforceable.

Despite acknowledged problems and awareness of the law of unintended consequences many folks, including me, hoped that inviting China to participate in the economic system that reduced the number of folks living in extreme poverty by 80% from 1970 to 2006 would be a, good thing (HT: M. Stewart).

That it might help loosen the fingers of the fascists who call themselves communists — perhaps more accurately labeled as a 21st-century version of a bloodthirsty Chinese emperor and his minions — from around the throats of the Chinese people.

BIG BUT,

In consideration of the ongoing rape of Tibet, the rounding up of a 1,000,000 or so Uyghurs and placing them in concentration camps, the social credit system, putting Hong Kong booksellers on trial for selling books, being the world's number one source for the precursor chemicals the Mexican cartels use to create fentanyl, intellectual property theft, declaring the South China sea to be their private swimming hole, loaning money to other countries using the same methods and with the same intentions as the mob, pumping money into institutions of higher learning all over the planet bristling with attached strings, deliberately deceiving their own people and the rest of the world about Boomer-B-Gone... inhale (hope you're wearing your mask).

And,

Now that they're reopening the "wet markets"...

Fresh bats! Killed while you wait!

I must admit that I may have been wrong.

It's a Sputnik moment America, wake up and smell the disinfectant. 

Poppa loves you,
Have an OK day    

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