Since covid vaccines have become one of the early issues of Canada’s election campaign, this article and the article linked within are worthy of our attention.
Submitted by David Redman.
After a twenty-seven year career as an officer in the Canadian Armed Forces, David Redman engaged with government and the private sector to develop emergency management in Alberta, and throughout North America. His experience in emergency management is extensive with three military tours as a Commanding Officer, responsible for international logistical operations such as the withdrawal of all Canadian personnel from Canadian Forces Europe in Lahr, Germany as well as the deployment of Canadian NATO Forces to Bosnia.
David joined the Government of Alberta in 2000, as a Director of Emergency Management Alberta and in 2001 he was appointed Director of Crisis Management Programs. He was Executive Director of Emergency Management Alberta from 2004 to his retirement at the end of 2005. Since his retirement David has remained active as a respected consultant in emergency management.
Vaccines and the idea of Herd Immunity
Herd immunity does mean different things to different folk.
Scenario “a”. I remember when I was young, before solid vaccines for mumps and measles, parents would hold parties for all the kids in the neighbourhood, if one kid caught them. It was known that measles and mumps could have serious consequences if you were past puberty and caught them, so the idea was to catch them young, ONE AND DONE. If you caught them when young, you never suffered from them again.
Herd immunities mean that if most caught these diseases young, then those who did not have them young, for whatever reason, were better protected. We now have a vaccine, that needs a booster every 10 years, that does what our parents did with parties. But basically, ONE and DONE.
Scenario “b”. Things like the cold, and seasonal flus, just happened, you caught them and got better, sometimes every year. Why? These bugs / viruses transformed a bit each year and so having caught them did nothing, other than perhaps decrease the severity. Herd immunity was never even discussed, because it did not exist for things that evolve like this.
Vaccines in Emergency Management of a Pandemic
From the start of this pandemic, the MOH and Politicians have been talking about the silver bullet of a vaccine. They have always talked about it like it was going to be scenario “a” above. It was implied that “lockdowns” were needed to get us to the silver bullet, and then everything could go back to normal. You know that from the very start I did not support this approach.
I did not believe that a vaccine was a given, as they take years to be safely developed, and SARS CoV-2 was a coronavirus, so a vaccine simply might not be possible (read my April 2020 letter to Kenney)
Lockdowns would not and did not protect those most vulnerable.
Lockdowns do far more collateral damage than any good they may ever do. We knew that. I do not believe they do any measurable good in a country like Canada.
Even if a vaccine did come along to meet scenario “a”, then damage done by “fear” to enforce lockdowns would last a generation. (see my August Letter to the 13 Premiers)
COVID-19 Vaccines – The UK Data
If you have not read the article by Dr Ramesh Thakur, please read it now. He has summarized all the important FACTS coming out of countries around the world on the vaccines and Covid as of August 2021.
The facts coming out now from the massive data available in the UK show that at best, scenario “b” was always the case. Even with the ‘so-called-vaccines’, the situation is that you still catch, transfer, and may even need to be hospitalized, even when fully vaccinated. That term, “fully vaccinated” will now evolve in a new fear campaign to mean three, four, endless doses, with a mythical advantage from each, if we lockdown long enough.
I define the term ‘so-called-vaccine’ because I, like many perhaps, thought of a vaccine to mean protection like the vaccines we get for measles, mumps, rubella, cholera, etc. Turns out, the manufacturers never claimed these ‘so-called-vaccines’ were like that. But our MOH and Politicians acted like they would be.
The manufacturers said, and are saying again, we told you these ‘so-called-vaccines’ would decrease the effects of the disease once caught, particularly for the most vulnerable, but we told you that they would not stop spread. So now, after 18 months of lockdowns, we must realize that there is no silver bullet and there never was going to be one, and our MOH and Politicians knew, or should have known (Due Diligence), this fact.
So herd immunity in scenario “a” is NOT possible. Scenario “b” is how we will live with the coronavirus, SARS CoV-2.
The ‘so-called-vaccines’ are very good for our seniors, but for no one else. In fact the data now emerging shows that they may even be slightly harmful to those under 50, as they do not stop you catching Covid, but there seems to be a slight increase in negative outcomes if you do catch Covid.
Below is Table 5, out of the United Kingdom, Technical Briefing 20, dated August 6, 2021, by the Public Health Agency of Great Britain. This is part of the evidence quoted by Dr. Ramesh Thakur in his Article, Vaccination certificates – An idea whose time must never come (linked above).
From Dr. Thakur’s article “In the UK, the Delta variant accounts for 99% of all Covid hospitalizations. Of these, 34.9% were fully vaccinated and 55.1% had received at least one dose. Public Health England’s Technical Briefing 20 in early August showed that while vaccination does reduce mortality in the over-50s by more than threefold, for those under 50, the fatality rate among the vaccinated is 57% greater than in the unvaccinated. On 10 August, a panel of experts, including most importantly the head of the Oxford vaccine team, called for an end to mass testing in Britain because the Delta variant has destroyed any chance of herd immunity through vaccination. The scientists believe it’s time to accept there’s no way of stopping the virus spreading through the entire population and monitoring people with mild symptoms is no longer helpful.”
Also from Dr. Thakur’s article:
“The waning efficacy of vaccines is also seen in Israel, including some who have been thrice-jabbed. In a locality in Jerusalem where only 42.9% of the population has been fully vaccinated, 85-90% of all hospitalised patients were fully vaccinated.”
“Because vaccinations do not prevent infection or transmission, they cannot stop the spread of the virus. Because they do reduce the severity of the illness and mortality rates, they remain important. Putting the two together, vaccines should be made available to all, strongly recommended for all vulnerable groups but not made mandatory for anyone.”
The Way Ahead
I have avoided the discussion of herd immunity, as it became a lightning rod very early in this pandemic. It is not part of the discussion about emergency management in a pandemic anyhow.
Protect the most vulnerable, and for the rest
STAY CALM and CARRY ON.
The Covid Narrative Flunked the Critical Thinking Test
From the Brownstone Institute
At the height of the Covid hysteria, several times I encountered variations of the meme “It’s not a pandemic; it’s an IQ test.” Probably the memesters were poking fun at those duped by the mainstream Covid messaging.
In any case, that meme really misses the point. The essential problem has never been about one’s IQ. Many highly intelligent people (in an academic sense) swallowed a very dubious narrative, while others less academically gifted did not. The real divider was the ability and inclination to think critically about it.
In a previous article I explained the basic concept of critical thinking, which can be defined as rational judgment about appeals to belief. Here I will lay out my own classroom approach to it in relation to the Covid messaging and policies.
The approach was derived from Browne and Keeley’s once popular critical thinking textbook, Asking the Right Questions: A Guide to Critical Thinking. Simplified for Japanese university students unfamiliar with the concept of critical thinking, this approach consists of six questions, all very applicable to the official narrative about Covid. For any Japanese speakers who may be reading this, here is a video link of me explaining my approach.
Number one: What are the issues and the conclusion? The purpose of this question is to spur awareness that very often there is an assertion being made in the context of a debated issue. Many of my students have been completely unaware that a debate exists about many matters they hear about in school or from the media, such as climate change/global warming.
When people insist that no real debate exists in regard to an issue about which reasonable people differ, they have already failed the critical thinking test. That stance certainly has been the substance of much Covid messaging.
Number two: How good are the reasons? Many of my students can brainstorm on their own the characteristics of good reasons: clear, true, logical, objective, and important. In the Covid context, untrue reasons include arguing on the basis that novel, experimental injections are certainly (100 percent or 95 percent) “safe and effective.” Moreover, the demand by pharmaceutical companies to receive complete legal protection from any liability belied this claim of safety.
Along with that, it was not logical to endanger people with potentially serious health harms from experimental injections or to withhold from them medical care in the name of protecting them, as happened during the lockdowns.
Number three: How good is the evidence? For the purpose of learning critical thinking about statistics, a number of books explain common forms of statistical deception and error. The classic book How to Lie With Statistics, along with the more recent book by Joel Best Damned Lies and Statistics, show how such dubious statistical data is often created or else badly interpreted.
In a Japanese book, Shakai Chosa no Uso (The Lies of Social Research), Professor Ichiro Tanioka reveals that government statistics also are often deceptive and simply serve the interests of bureaucrats and politicians, either by magnifying a problem to justify government policies and funding or by making a government program appear to be successful. Since many people are easily impressed by number data, he comments that more than half of all social science research is garbage, a problem compounded when the data is then referenced by the mass media, activists, and others.
Since the earliest days of the Covid panic, statistical chicanery has been conspicuous, including Neil Ferguson’s now-infamous predictions of millions of deaths without lockdowns. Norman Fenton exposed a number of statistical confusions in the UK’s national statistics in regard to Covid. As another example, Pfizer’s claim of 95 percent Covid vaccine efficacy was based on its own shoddy research using the PCR tests. However, few in the Covid-messaging mainstream bothered to look into the statistically shaky basis for this claim. They simply parroted the “95 percent.”
Number four: Are any words unclear or used strangely? A number of words took on unclear, strange, or inconsistent meanings during the Covid panic. One notable example was the word safe. In the case of the experimental Covid injections, the term evidently could accommodate a wide variety of serious side effects and a considerable number of deaths.
However, in other contexts, an extreme, all-or-nothing concept of safety came into play, as in the slogan “No one is safe until everyone is safe.” This slogan makes as much sense as shouting, during the sinking of a passenger ship, “If everyone is not in the lifeboats, then no one is in the lifeboats.” Nevertheless, this nonsensical mantra was on the lips of many in the corporate media, in order to insist on policies like universal Covid vaccination.
Interestingly, this absurd concept of safety is actually one of the items in The Ennis-Weir Critical Thinking Essay Test, which I made use of in my teaching and research (The test and manual can be downloaded for free). The test focuses on a fictional letter to a newspaper editor arguing for a total ban on overnight street parking in a certain city. The test-taker’s job is to evaluate the various arguments in the letter, one of which asserts that “conditions are not safe if there’s even the slightest possible chance for an accident.”
Of course, such a view of safety could lead to the ban of almost anything with the slightest element of risk. To illustrate this, I pretended to trip on a student desk in class. Then I would insist that the accident showed that “teaching is too dangerous” and leave the classroom briefly. There is very little in life that is really “100 percent safe.”
Another conspicuous misuse of terminology has been referring to the Covid injections as “vaccines,” since the novel mRNA technology does not fit within the traditional definition of a vaccine. A more accurate designation would be “gene therapy,” since the injections influence the expression of the body’s genes, as Sonia Elijah and others have pointed out.
In order to allay public anxieties and avoid the necessity of testing their injections for possible toxic gene-related side effects like cancer, the familiar, user-friendly term vaccine was chosen. Then when the “vaccines” were obviously failing to prevent Covid infection, as vaccines are normally expected to do, the public was suddenly offered a new definition of a vaccine –something that does not prevent infection at all but simply ameliorates the symptoms of disease.
Number 5: Are there any other possible causes? People often arbitrarily attribute phenomena to causes that they wish to implicate. However, multiple causes may be to blame, or the real cause may actually be something entirely different. For example, many have been blaming human-generated CO2 for the high temperatures this summer, but other possible causes have been identified, such as an increase in atmospheric water vapor from underwater volcanic eruptions.
In regard to Covid causation, John Beaudoin discovered evidence of widespread fraud on death certificates in Massachusetts, in response to pressure from public health officials wanting to inflate Covid death figures. Hundreds of accidental deaths and even Covid vaccine deaths were counted as resulting from Covid.
Looking at the UK’s national Covid death statistics, Norman Fenton discovered a similar problem. Only around 6,000 people actually died from Covid alone, a mere four and a half percent of the total number of supposed “Covid deaths.” The rest had other serious medical conditions as possible causes of death. If a person tested positive on a PCR test after hospital admission, even someone fatally injured in a traffic accident could be counted as a Covid death.
In another example of wrong-headed thinking about causation, elements of the mainstream news media and certain “experts” credited the initial relatively low numbers of Covid hospitalizations and deaths in Japan to the practice of universal masking here. Unfortunately for that theory, soon afterwards Covid cases and hospitalizations shot up dramatically in Japan, making the “saved-by-masks” explanation difficult to maintain. Nevertheless, many officials and media outlets had decided early on that they believed in masks, regardless of what the evidence and common sense had to say.
Number six: What are the basic assumptions and are they acceptable? An assumption is an underlying, unstated belief that often goes without challenge and discussion. Recently I encountered a false assumption when I decided to stop wearing a face mask in class at my university. This met with the displeasure of one of the higher-ups, who called me in for a chat. He insisted that my unmasked face was making my students uncomfortable in class. He was assuming that they felt this way about it, so I decided to do an anonymous survey to find out their real feelings. To my surprise, only one student in all of my classes objected to my going maskless. The rest preferred that I teach without a mask or else expressed indifference.
Adherents of the mainstream Covid narrative accepted as axioms dubious ideas such as these:
- Viral epidemics can and should be halted by extreme measures bringing great suffering on large numbers of people.
- The threat of Covid infection supersedes human rights such as the rights to work, to commune with other human beings, to express opinions freely, etc.
- Facial masks prevent Covid transmission.
- Facial masks do no significant harm.
These assumptions have been ably debunked by many articles at Brownstone Institute and elsewhere.
Thus from the beginning the mainstream Covid narrative has failed to give persuasive responses to any of these questions. In light of that, it is remarkable that there are still many people who endorse the original Covid measures and messaging. Especially in times like these, more people need to employ critical thinking to become less gullible and more skeptical of widespread ideas and influential entities, including those usually branded as reliable. They neglect to do so at their own peril.
‘Freedom Convoy’ organizers’ trial on scheduled break until after Thanksgiving
Tamara Lich arrives for her trial at the courthouse in Ottawa, on Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2023. Lich and fellow Freedom Convoy organizer Chris Barber are charged with mischief, obstructing police, counselling others to commit mischief and intimidation. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
The trial of “Freedom Convoy” organizers Tamara Lich and Chris Barber has begun a scheduled break that will continue until after Thanksgiving.
The court finished hearing the testimony of Serge Arpin, the chief of staff to Ottawa’s former mayor, on Friday.
He spoke about how the city responded to the protest that overwhelmed the downtown core for three weeks in early 2022.
Arpin also testified about his interactions with convoy organizers while working out a deal with former mayor Jim Watson to move big-rig trucks out of residential neighbourhoods.
The evidence was originally due to be wrapping up by this point in the trial, which had been scheduled to last 16 days, but Arpin is just the fourth witness to finish his testimony.
The trial was expected to hear from 22 witnesses, leaving the court to ponder how much more time will be needed to reach the finish line.
Justice Heather Perkins-McVey, who is overseeing the trial, has identified several dates in October and November.
Lawrence Greenspon, the lawyer representing Lich, said he does not want to set new court dates until the Crown has established a new, more accurate time estimate for its case.
As of Friday, the trial is expected to resume Oct. 11.
Lich and Barber are charged with mischief and counselling others commit offences such as mischief and intimidation for their role in organizing and prolonging the demonstration.
The defence questioned Arpin Friday about how city council and staff attempted to put an end the protest. As the mayor’s chief of staff, Arpin told the court he sat in on every council meeting.
He was grilled about a bylaw change on Feb. 9 last year that banned idling in a vehicle unless the temperature fell at or below -15 C. The bylaw originally allowed idling if the temperature was below 5 C.
“City council … was attempting to freeze out the truckers and their families,” Greenspon told the court.
Arpin said he believed the intention was to bring the demonstration to an end.
Arpin was also involved in the deal between Watson, Lich and other organizers to move trucks out of residential neighbourhoods and onto Wellington Street, in front of Parliament Hill.
He texted back and forth with the convoy organizers’ lawyer Keith Wilson on Feb. 14 and 15 in an exchange that was filed as evidence in the trial.
The texts suggest city staff did not give protest organizers or their lawyers a heads-up about plans to file a court injunction against demonstrators who violated city bylaws.
“Just so you know, it is highly irregular for the city’s lawyers to have done this without providing us lawyers here with notice,” Wilson wrote to Arpin on Feb. 15.
“This could change everything.”
Arpin told Wilson he was under the impression they knew about the court filing, but said in court that he never informed them himself until after the injunction was granted by a judge.
Lawyers representing the convoy organizers were not given an opportunity to oppose the application in court at the time.
The deal between Lich and the mayor fell apart later that day when police would no longer allow trucks to move closer to Parliament.
Arpin confirmed the police service underwent a change in command that day as a result of the police chief’s resignation.
He apologized to Wilson at the time, the text messages show.
“Our goal has always been de-escalation and I know you share this goal,” he texted to Wilson on the 16th.
The Crown hopes to pick up its case in October with eight local witnesses from Ottawa who lived or worked downtown during the Freedom Convoy protest.
Lich and Barber have already admitted that there was mischief taking place in the protest zone.
Greenspon has argued that the testimony of those witnesses would be akin to victim impact statements, and therefore shouldn’t be allowed to be heard during the trial.
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