The horizon is not so far as we can see, but as far as we can imagine

Quick Takes: Covid, China, Environment & More

Another “quick takes” in which I make brief comments on pieces I think are worthy of note, but am not going to write a full article on.

One of the policies I’ve promoted is criminal charges for environmental crimes, rather than just fines, which are simply treated as a cost of business and don’t take money from the executives responsible. Seems at least one country is doing so.

Violating China’s environmental policies can lead to real punishment. In March 2021, four major steel mills in Hebei were caught falsifying records to evade carbon emission limits; the next year, dozens of executives responsible were sentenced to prison.

It’s worth remembering just how good the media is at making people hate and fear the enemy of the day. They did it to Iraq, to Russia and to China.

There’s been a fair bit of bad economic news out of China recently (which I intend do a fuller post on), but one piece cuts both ways. A huge decrease in exports means that China’s customers (the West, to a significant degree) are buying less and it’s not just because of sanctions. China is now the world linchpin economy, much as the US was in 1920s–the industrial power exporting to other countries. We all know how the 20s ended.

China’s exports in July were down 14.5% year on year, far worse than expected, to $282 billion, although it is worth noting that in July 2022, China recorded its highest monthly levels of exports in history.

Meanwhile, the Covid pandemic is not over. Our elites know this: they want us back in offices, but protect themselves.

“Anybody who meets with the president does indeed get tested. I do, we all do”

The problem with Covid isn’t so much the deaths, though that’s bad, it’s the damage it does to people, even to people who don’t appear to have Long Covid. This picture and article summarizes some of Covid’s sequelae.

Fun stuff.

Extra fun is that some school districts have a financial incentive to keep sick kids in school.

The superintendent also noted a financial impact. If the current 90% daily attendance rate rose to 95% — which it was pre-pandemic — the result, he said, would be $300 million more in state funding, which is largely based on attendance.

Carvalho spoke on a day when he took part in two home visits in North Hollywood with students who had poor attendance last year, including an eighth-grader who missed 40 days of school. Her mother, Marissa Garcia, said both of her daughters had trouble keeping up with studies during the pandemic and also adjusting once school resumed. But the single mother said she and her daughters would redouble efforts to get the most out of school.


Back early in the pandemic, when they wanted to send children back to school, I wrote multiple articles saying this would be a disaster, because children are illness sponges. Not only are they not immune to Covid damage, they spread disease, as all parents and teachers know.

In totally predictable news, we now have proof of the obvious. “More than 70% of US household COVID spread started with a child, study suggests.”

A fun article is the one claiming no one knows why working age people are dying more from “non Covid.” Perhaps you can figure it out.

No one knows precisely what is driving the phenomenon, but there is an inexplicable lack of urgency to find out. A concerted investigation is in order.

Deaths among young Americans documented in employee life insurance claims should alone set off alarms. Among working people 35 to 44 years old, a stunning 34% more died than expected in the last quarter of 2022, with above-average rates in other working-age groups, too.

Covid has all sorts of weird side effects. More car accidents, for example, which when you look at that Sequelae graphic, rather makes sense. A lot of damaged people are driving and driving badly.

The cost of auto insurance soared 16.9% from a year ago Car insurers lost on average 12 cents for every dollar of premium written in 2022, the worst performance in more than 20 years, according This is partially due to an increase in accidents

Enough Covid fun. Off in Britain, the UK continues its slide to 3rd world status. Start with this lovely list of Labour leader Keir Starmers continued retreat from his promises when elected leader of the party.

And “progressives” continue to slurp it up, ensuring Britain’s decline and the left’s irrelevance.

And that’s our week’s quicktakes. Mostly bad, but at least China is jailing some climate criminals. Remember, most importantly, that Covid is not over and that you don’t want to get it, and if you’ve had it, you don’t want to get it again.

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Why Human Judgment Must Be Primary Over Metrics (Academic Edition)


Open Thread


  1. GlassHammer


    You can’t cover the UK this week without mentioning this gem:

    “If you’re under 50, it’s time to jump ship – get out of Britain while you can”

  2. Bullweather

    The COVID thing is crazy. Honestly haven’t spoken to a doctor that even will mention the words Long COVID, though they all admit that COVID was real and serious (a lot of ‘just the flu, bro’ people where I live). Last year I caught COVID for the first, and I think only, time. Before COVID, my wife described me as “the healthy one” who got sick less frequently and less severely. Since contracting COVID, I’ve gotten sick twice noticeably, with coughs that linger for WEEKS.

    Something as minor as a cold will leave me with a lingering cough. Only God knows what else reaps within me.

  3. 2021, 2022, and 2023 have had higher aged adjusted mortality rates then 2020. Disability rates started increasing in mid 2021. In countries such as South Korea which had no increased mortality in 2020, mortality has increased in the preceding 3 years. In countries that experienced very few Covid infections in 2020 such as Australia, Iceland, and New Zealand Covid cases skyrocketed in 2021.
    Covid was circulating world wide by at least the end of 2019.
    Mass injections of the Covid vaccine started world wide in December of 2020. All the listed long Covid effects are also side effects of the Covid vaccine. Increased non-Covid mortality is largely due to cardiovascular disease, and cancer both of which are Covid vaccine side effects.
    Covid vaccines are correlated with increased rates of future Covid infections and mortality at the population level.
    The corporations own clinical trials showed the vaccine group had more deaths, hospitalizations, and 40-50% worse of overall health compared to the placebo group.
    The clinical trial reports excluded the first 6 weeks of data because that data showed higher Covid infections in the vaccine groups.
    In Pzifers 9 month report to the FDA the vaccine groups had more Covid infections then then placebo group.
    The Cleveland and Indiana hospital workers studies showed the vaccines increased Covid infections

    The data bests fits the theory that the Covid vaccines have caused an increase in mortality, morbidity, disability and even Covid. That the vaccines are the most responsible for the worsening outcomes in 2021, 2022, and 2023.

    Regardless if you think the science and evidence is all coincidence the fact that it is heavily censored and completely ignored (unless shouting “conspiracy theorists”, or misinformation and other ad hominems) by the media is not a sign of a functional society that is evidence based. It is a sign of a society that has chosen an ideological narrative and rejected science and evidence. Which is ironic because many of those in support of this ideology continually shout “follow the science” in order to avoid discussing the actual science.

  4. Mel

    Well, They took out Corbyn to put in Starmer, and They did it for a reason. I said somewhere else, Starmer’s job is to provide the second head for a two-headed Uniparty, such as They run in the USA. No matter which head wins the election, the Unipolicies will prevail.

  5. different clue

    One of the commenters over at NaCap used to work for EPA and noted that within the first few years of the Agency and the law, that polluter executives used to be tried, and if convicted, imprisoned.

    After a few years, that was forcibly stopped and replaced with ” cost of business” fines. ( Any fine is just a cost of business to a business).
    It would be interesting to know who specifically stopped it and what mechanisms they used to get it stopped.

  6. anon

    Nice to see there is still someone covering Covid, and the long term effects that we will see played out for decades to come. Millennials and Zoomers already have it worse off than Baby Boomers. It’s not going to be pretty on top of all of their financial woes to have to deal with long Covid symptoms that will further debilitate them or force them to drop out of the workforce at a younger age. That’s if they don’t drop dead in middle age from “non Covid”.

    From personal experience, I have never seen so many car accidents in my life. In the last six months, I witnessed two car crashes in real time. That doesn’t include the many car accidents I drive by every week. I have a dashcam so I was able to send a video to the police showing a driver running two red lights before slamming into another car. Poor physical and mental health, along with anger problems, will lead to more accidents.

    School superintendents are nothing more than education CEOs. They are overpaid and often do not have the best interest of students and staff in mind. Like all CEOs, their first priority is profit, even if it comes at the cost of children’s and teacher’s health and safety. Same goes for hospital CEOs. It should not be surprising that people are leaving nursing and teaching in droves.

  7. Joan

    @Bullweather, I’ve heard similar from some of my friends: generally healthy, in their 30s, weathered covid fine but they get sick more often now and for longer than they expect. All of them were vaccinated and only had mild covid.

    @anon, it’s great that you have a dash cam. How high is your front bumper? It terrifies me that the trucks and SUVs are so large now that my head is barely visible above the hood, not to mention children or hunched-over elderly people.

    I expect issues with cars vs pedestrians and cyclists to increase because the number of pedestrians and cyclists will increase and things aren’t designed for safety. People can’t afford their cars anymore. Walking/busing/cycling can string along your car for a bit longer.

  8. different clue

    We need a word for brain function compromise due to brain damage from covid. I offer the suggestion . . . covidementia. If anyone likes it, feel free to use it.

  9. different clue

    . . . another possible word just came to mind. Brain covidamage.

    If anyone likes either word, feel free to use them or at least try them and see if they take hold somewhere.

  10. Willy

    Normally dementia is quite a sad thing and not to be joked about. But sometimes and with certain people, the results can get comical. Like when my once proud John Wayne-esque grandfather first started experiencing dementia. He was trying to get us to a freeway onramp but kept winding up at the same navy base guard shack. The fifth time the guards began to seriously question if gramps should be driving. I had to think fast and held up the map I’d been desperately trying to get gramps to follow and said: “Sorry, I never learned how to read maps very good.” Of course the next time gramps stopped I took the keys and made him let me drive.

    My favorite covidementiarians are:

    Rudy Giuliani, Mike Pillow, Sidney Powell, Kanye West, Elon Musk, and that horned shaman guy from January 6th, amongst many others seen in the videos.

    Comical zombies. Circus clowns except less scary. Rebels without a clue. It’s gotta be long covid. There isn’t any other plausible explanation.

  11. NR

    COVID vaccines don’t cause cancer, that’s false.

    The irony of people who decry “mainstream media narratives” uncritically posting false information they got from Facebook is really something to behold.

  12. Ian Welsh

    A good, relatively balanced piece on the idea that Covid damages the immune system, including the t-cell resonse, which fights cancer. (nothing to do with vaccines.)

  13. different clue


    Thank you for the kind words and a further buildout from the new experimental word “covidementia”.

    However, the famous names you reference have been what they are for years at least, starting from long before covid. In their case, it is their true selves. They have shown us and told us what their fully functioning brains are and have been for years, and when they show/tell us what they are, we should believe them. To paraphrase the U S Army recruiting slogan . . . they’ve been all they will ever be.

  14. StewartM

    Meanwhile, Vietnam is also cracking down on white-collar crime in real estate.

    “Investigators have examined more than 1,200 cases involving more than 2,000 suspects. More than 700 cases involving more than 1,500 defendants have been brought to the court, Vietnam+ said”

    Vietnam had been undergoing a real estate boom, which is now turning into a bust. Busting the boom may be bad for the fat cats, but it’s absolutely necessary to keep housing affordable for ordinary Vietnamese.

  15. StewartM


    “If you’re under 50, it’s time to jump ship – get out of Britain while you can”

    I’d say that given the plans to privatize the NHS, the over-50 should emigrate as well. Maybe they’ll get 2017 TrumpCare which had people aged 60 paying some $30,000 a year in PREMIUMS alone (more than the median income at the time) not even counting the additional out-of-pocket costs.

  16. capelin

    “If you’re under 50, it’s time to jump ship – get out of Britain while you can”

    I hear there’s boats returning across the channel empty.

  17. anon

    @Joan – I have an Owlcam. There is an annual subscription fee but I think it’s worth it and superior to other dashcams. It’s also easy to install yourself.

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