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travel bans and travel jails
this is not rights nor is it science
remember when canada was just a sort of "cute kindergarten playgroup" style exemplar of "nice socialism"?
well that puppy grew up, and it is NOT a pleasant dog.
you can now be detained in “government designated facilities” against your will for failing a PCR test for covid. this is not optional.
this is the inevitable result of collectivism: if we hold the society above the people and their rights, then the people do not, in fact, possess rights, only privileges to be granted or revoked at whim in the pursuit of the amorphous and ill defined “public good.” in the best of times, this is leads to tyranny of the majority. most of the time, it just leads to tyranny. it is not currently the best of times.
“but surely we must protect society from this covidian menace and simply surrendering your own liberty to leave and return to your own homeland is not too much to ask in pursuit of public safety!” if, after a year of bait and switch and ever more encroachment into your lives and liberties, that statement is not ringing alarm bells then i fear you have not been paying attention. this is EXACTLY to sort of technocratic debacle from which your basic rights should protect you. it is precisely why your rights must be inalienable and placed ABOVE such abrogation by government even and especially when it thinks it has a good reason.
if your rights carry an asterisk stating “ *unless the state decides something else is more important” then you have no rights at all and are subject to the endless imposition of stricture and diktat “for your own good,” a good in which you no longer have any say.
the intersection of this with public health makes pseudoscience into a mechanism for imposing tyranny, and make no mistake, this entire canadian policy is pure, unadulterated pseudoscience. let’s look:
travel bans don’t work
this has been known for ages. it was in pretty much every set of pre-2020 pandemic guidelines. everyone agreed on this, the WHO, CDC, US biodefense, etc.
this is excerpted from an excellent survey op the topic published in “biosecurity and terrorism: biodefense strategy, practice, and science” a journal not known for its fluffy content. it’s a great read on many topics and its footnotes lead to many more.
so, right here, we should be getting suspicious about trudeau and his immigration internment ideas. but it gets far, far worse.
PCR tests are not good evidence of covid infection
and never were. this is, of course, also something we knew all along. Cary Mullis, the nobel laureate who INVENTED PCR told us this years ago (before he died). it’s a shame we did not have him around this year to remind us.
“with PCR if you do it well, you can find almost anything in almost anybody.”
this is the key intuition. PCR is all about amplification. each cycle (denoted Ct for cycle threshold) doubles the amount of source RNA in the sample. use enough cycles, and i can find trace bacon in your kitchen from breakfast 3 years ago. this fact is utterly irrelevant to you or your kitchen cleanliness. it’s just monstrous test oversensitivity. but it gets worse. PCR could actually mistake bacon for being a pig. it’s not looking for virus, much less live virus or infection. it’s just looking for 1-3 distinct sequences of RNA that are known to be on the virus (and are hopefully not on others). it cannot tell a fragment of a broken RNA chain from a virus that’s currently replicating inside you.
this complete inability combines in pernicious fashion with the outrageously high Ct counts being used in tests in most of the world. the test of it is to take a viral sample and see if you can culture it to replicate. this is how you know a virus is “live” and therefore any cause for concern. pretty much no one has been successful in culturing live virus from a sample that requires more than 30-33 PCR cycles to find. 30 cycles is 1 billion X amplification. 40 Ct, the standard in most of the world, is 1 trillion X amplification.
so, we’re running the tests at 128-1000X the amplification that would be the very edge of making sense. so, using a PCR test on asymptomatic people is just a recipe for an avalanche of false clinical positives. i use this term because a simple “false positive” is something a bit different. a false positive is a test malfunction where it identifies something it was not supposed to. a false clinical positive is this subset plus the subset of tests that DID find what they were supposed to (RNA sequences) but found it on non-viable genetic strands that were not capable of making you ill or infecting anyone else. this issue is so endemic as to render PCR “unfit for purpose” as a solo diagnostic tool. by the time you reach even 25 Ct, moving there from 24 means that 70% of incremental positives are non-clinical. more than 2 in 3 “positives” will be irrelevant. by 35 Ct, it’s 97% incremental FCP. the test thresholds we are using make zero sense for this purpose.
interestingly enough, an austrian court just ruled this to be the case and thereby eliminated a large chunk of austrian covid regulation.
even the vaccine companies and FDA agree. without symptomatic confirmation, a positive PCR test is not proof of covid.
but this bogus truth standard is precisely what canada is using for entry. you need a PCR test before your flight, then they test you again when you land and quarantine you (at your own expense) until the results come back. if they are positive, you are then imprisoned for some unspecified period thereafter. i’m sure some folks are going to buck at this use of “imprisoned” but let me ask you: you are confined to a facility chosen by the government against your will. this is not optional. you are not allowed to leave. how does this not meet the definition of “imprisoned”? what, because a jail has room service and cable, it’s not a jail?
keep in mind that this set of policy is being imposed on people whose only crime is “wanting to go home.”
but it gets worse
because not only is this arbitrary detention in contravention of standing pandemic guidelines based upon a test that is not suited for purpose and will kick out all manner of false positives, but it’s addressing an issue that pretty much does not exist. i laid a fair bit of this out yesterday: asymptomatic people do not spread covid to any meaningful degree.
cliff notes: those who are covid positive but asymptomatic have a 0.7% chance of spreading disease (secondary attack rate) to people they share a household with. that’s long term exposure, shared, enclosed space, and possibly sharing a bed. this is a worst case scenario. it’s a tiny fraction of that in a store or on a plane with HEPA filtered air. in fact, i am not aware of a single airplane driven contagion cluster of any size since covid began, even back in april during peak epidemic when everyone flew unmasked and untested.
covid has no meaningful spread from the asymptomatic. so this entire edifice of testing, quarantine, and rights violations is pointed at a problem that is immaterial. even if it did work, it would make no difference. as i argued yesterday, this is the key intuition for so much policy here: if asymptomatic spread is not a meaningful threat, then almost all these covid precautions are worthless. they are just damage. they could not work because there is little to nothing for them to work upon.
ask yourself: is this a sound basis for the most expensive peacetime policy per unit time in human history? was this the hill your rights should die on?
this is exactly the sort of awful, pointless policy you get when you lack rights. you leave yourself open to the epidemiological adventurism and pseudo-scientific forays into tyranny of the sacredy-karens. it’s pointless, senseless, and oppressive. it’s also not going to end until people stand up to it. rights are not for “unless we get scared.” rights are for “especially when we get scared” because mobs are irrational and demagogues will take advantage of it. this is not science, it’s scientology and it’s not safety, it’s dizzying levels of risk.
times of fear lead to bad policy and bad outcomes. the idea of cost benefit and results based science gets tossed out the window. demagogues invert the basis for just government and rule by decree, imposing unproven and even disproven “science” at whim while demanding that we the people prove it does not work (and then ignoring us when we do) by invoking a defragment of the precautionary principle, which, far from recommending that we take any crazy action in case their might be risk actually warns against the adoption of such policy. the default state is not “drink bleach as it might cure bad breath,” the default state and proper precaution is not to.
after a year of habituation to this oppressive “new normal” remember who you are and what you deserve can take some doing, but remember it we must. just governmental powers are derived from the consent of the governed, not from the febrile imaginings and conjured hobgoblins of health agencies. we are citizens, not subjects. remember this now, or forget getting your freedom back later.