The resurrection of the Stasi

Office ReprimandAmid all that’s going on I happened to catch a TV show about the Stasi, East Germany’s agency of control.

The Ministry for State Security—commonly known as the Stasi—wiretapped, bugged, and tracked citizens. It steamed open letters and drilled holes in walls. It had nearly 200,000 unofficial informers and hundreds of thousands more occasional sources providing information on their friends, neighbors, relatives, and colleagues. As the self-declared sword and shield regime, it aimed not merely to stamp out dissent, but to support a far-reaching propaganda machine in creating a new, perfect communist human being.

Does any of that sound familiar? How about:

Covid Testing And “Compliance Ambassadors.” Our business license officers & compliance ambassadors continue to visit 300 businesses per day every day, to ensure they are following @GovSisolak’s recent directive to help keep workers and visitors safe. — City of Las Vegas (@CityOfLasVegas)

cars“Great Reset” Mastermind Suggests Risk Assessment “Brain Scans” Before Allowing Travel. “Great Reset” mastermind Klaus Schwab suggests a number of draconian measures for controlling the population under the umbrella of the ‘4th Industrial Revolution’, including risk-assessment brain scans to cross borders and implantable chips to read people’s thoughts.

Dr. Anthony Fauci: Americans Must ‘Do What You’re Told’ Despite ‘Independent Spirit.’ “Our countries have that independent spirit, where we don’t want to be told what to do,” he said. “Well, I understand that, but now is the time to do what you’re told.”

Democrats Compile List Of Names Targeting White House Staff, Trump Campaign, Judges, And Donors. The list of names was initally published on the project’s website asking people to “remember what they did,” and is now privatized, but captured by internet archives. It shows an extensive Google Sheets document listing off people who the project deems necessary to curb from “profiting from their experience” working with the Trump Administration.

‘Society of Snitches’: Northam Asks Virginians to Report Churches, Gun Ranges That Violate COVID Restrictions. “[The governor of Virginia] is now trying to turn us into a society of informers and snitches?” State Sen. Mark Obenshain asked. “The Governor and his Health Secretary, through the VA Dept. of Health is now asking for people to make anonymous complaints to the Dept. for violations of the Gov. Northam’s mask order.”
John Stossel: Facebook Is Using Activists To Fact-Check Posts They Don’t Like – It’s Wrong. Facebook now lets other people censor their content. Mark Zuckerberg told Congress, “We work with a set of independent fact-checkers.”

This is where we are today, Charlotte Bailey writes in The Atlantic:

All over the world, authoritarian regimes still use some of the tactics favored by the East German dictatorship—informers are still widely used, for instance. But states are now using modern technology to oppress their citizens in ways simply unavailable to the Stasi—by monitoring movements, spying on communications, and tracking financial transactions, to name just a few. The tools, in fact, are available to (and used by) companies and the governments of liberal democracies, too. “States now have far more power than the Stasi,” David Murakami Wood, a surveillance sociologist and an associate professor at Queen’s University in Canada, says. “And it’s not just states we have to worry about now.”

The New World Order is just deja vu all over again.

~ Propugnaculum

Let the air in your home fight the virus

airNow that we’re closing our windows we can still take several precautions with the air in our homes.

Open windows. Yes, just leave them open and deal with it.

Take that familiar annoyance for New Yorkers: the clanky radiator that overheats apartments even on the coldest days of the year. It turns out that the prodigious output of steam-heated buildings is the direct result of theories of infection control that were enlisted in the battle against the great global pandemic of 1918 and 1919.

The Board of Health in New York City ordered that windows should remain open to provide ventilation, even in cold weather. In response, engineers began devising heating systems with this extreme use case in mind. Steam heating and radiators were designed to heat buildings on the coldest day of the year with all the windows open.

You have to be crazy to live in New York anyway, so go for it.

Air purifiers. Those who have looked into these devices say they can help, but they are hardly a panacea. The EPA says:

When used properly, air cleaners and HVAC filters can help reduce airborne contaminants including viruses in a building or small space. By itself, air cleaning or filtration is not enough to protect people from exposure to the virus that causes COVID-19. When used along with other best practices recommended by CDC and others, filtration can be part of a plan to reduce the potential for airborne transmission of COVID-19 indoors.

Consumer Reports says:

We spoke with air quality and virology experts, and asked CR’s own experts to weigh in. The consensus is that while air purifiers probably don’t offer much protection in most circumstances, they may be worthwhile in a few specific ones.If someone in your household is sick with COVID-19, running an air purifier in their quarantine room may help protect other family members or caregivers. The same goes for healthcare workers who are self-quarantining when they come home.

Consumer Reports rates various air filters as do other sites. It depends on your level of comfort with risk and caution. (I bought one.)

Humidity. When cold, dry air comes indoors and is warmed, the relative humidity indoors drops by about 20%. Such a drop in humidity makes it easier for airborne viral particles to travel, according to immunologists.

Their review concludes that studies in mice suggest that a relative humidity of 40–60% is ideal for containing the virus. “That’s why I recommend humidifiers during the winter in buildings,” says the study’s senior author.

Buy an inexpensive humidity gauge online. Too much humidity isn’t good, they say. You can reduce it with a dehumidifier. Aim for 50 percent.

You can increase it with a humidifier. Or you can just boil water on your stove, let the shower run, or place containers of water around the house, including the baseboard heating unit.

Now take a deep breath.

~ Annelidous

Take a break from the virus

I thought at first that the “fingers’ were controlled by a computer, but this is actually an animated video.

It was produced by a company called Animusic. The company is known for its Animusic compilations of computer-generated animations, based on MIDI events processed to simultaneously drive the music and on-screen action, leading to and corresponding to every sound. Unlike many other music visualizations, the music drives the animation. While other productions may animate figures or characters to the music, the animated models in Animusic are created first, and are then programmed to follow what the music instructs them to do.

If you understand all that, you’re smarter than I am.

~ Aischrolatreia