Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Herd Immunity Won't Save Us From COVID-19

I'm not convinced, but I'm also not advocating a herd-immunity strategy.
I can't get myself to concentrate on such arguments because I know that, even if I do, there will be other information that I don't have that will alter the picture. So I find myself half-assing it when I read such stuff.
I hate to admit it, but, in general, I'm finding it difficult to concentrate...even on plague stuff.

Bill Bennett / Seth Leibsohn: Time For A Second Opinion

I'm still attracted to this line, FWIW.

Expertise And The Mask Debacle

If you want to understand why conservatives are more skeptical of expertise than you are, the mask debacle should be of interest to you.
   This is one I fell for, though there was unease in the back of my mind that I should have taken more seriously. It was JQ who pointed out to me that this argument was contradictory: if masks don't work, then health-care professionals don't need them. Pretty embarrassing that I missed that one. (Again, there's a way to resolve the contradiction, but I've discussed that before.)
What matters here is this: this sort of thing isn't that unusual. There are all sorts of pronouncemnts and dictates by experts that are unproven or even patently false. Yet we're expected to accept them uncritically.
The second factor is: most relevant areas of alleged expertise that intersect with politics lean progressive, and many such pronouncements and dictates lean left. Once you start seeing this, you start seeing that "expertise" is largely just a stalking-hourse for progressive offensives in the culture war.
The problem is not so much that conservatives are excessively skeptical of "expertise"--it's probably that you are insufficiently skeptical of expertise. Probably because you are antecedently favorably inclined toward the unsupported pronouncements of experts.
If you are, for some reason, wedded to the idea that experts should be heeded, then you should fight against bogus and politically-biased experts and their pronouncements. Because so long as there's so damn much of that out there, conservatives are going to continue to be--justifiably--skeptical.

Did Russiagate, Ukrainegate/Impeachment, and TDS Generally Hinder Our Response To Wuhan Coronavirus?

Well, maybe.
Well, it's not unlikely.
I mean, how much of his attention did Trump expend defending himself against this stuff? Half? Impeachment theater was still playing when things first started going wonky in Wuhan. Of course the more justified the attacks, the less responsibility the attackers bear for diverting attention to them. But a very, very large percentage of the attacks on Trump have been ridiculous. E.g. the relentless fabrications about racism (which are directed at everyone not on the left, actually...but Trump's more prominent, and has attracted more than his share...).
   I don't usually take this sort of speculation too seriously. But the contemporary left has become so relentless and irrational and dedicated to destroying its enemies that I have a fairly strong inclination to think that it does bear significant responsibility for wasting so much damn time, energy and attention that could be put to better use. When you've got a powerful cult in your midst, and they insist on using every event and every issue as a new opportunity to litigate the details of their pet superstition...well, when a disaster then slips under everyone's radar, it's not unreasonable to suggest that the cult may bear a certain amount of responsibility for this...
   And a disclaimer I hesitate to add anymore for certain obscure reasons of principle: this doesn't go for however many normal Democrats and liberals might remain. You want a somewhat more expansive social safety net / welfare state than the GOP? You think we should have to register AR-15s? You support the ERA? Expansive abortion permissions? A higher top tax rate? Affirmative action? I'm not complaining about you or about those things. Those are reasonable positions that can be part of reasonable disagreements about how we should govern ourselves. I'm complaining about the antiliberal totalitarians who have taken the helm on the left. You want to make peace and common cause with people like me, you are going to have to stand up to your loony left wing and wrest the wheel away from them.

Trump DOJ Defends Female Athletes

I continue to think that amidst all the insanity on our now-antiliberal left, this is the flagship case. Don't forget that progressives basically just declared one day that women could be male and men could be female. And, further, declared that it had always been that way. As if that madness weren't enough, progressives soon added the declaration that the first decree could not be questioned or even discussed in anything but a whole-heartedly accepting manner. When some had the temerity to question this meta-diktat, they were informed that even that question was an act bigotry. To in any way question that black was now white and noon was now night...rather: that it had always been...was to literally commit an act of literal violence against "transpeople"--the new word for those who choose to misrepresent their sex.
   IMO the left has completely lost its mind, and is now much, much more antiliberal than the right. But, of all the batshit crazy things the left now believes...and believes mainly on faith...and declares unquestionable on pain of cultural shunning...nothing beats transgender mythology for sheer misologistic totalitarian irrationality.
   On top of everything else, trans mythology/ideology is, itself, sexist against women. I rarely point this out because I tend to also be interested in certain meta-issues--e.g. that leftists refuse to accept any argument not from the left. That's probably the biggest cause of their current extremism and irrationality. So I'm less-interested in arguments like the sexism argument. But trans mythology is sexist. When do you think women are going to realize that they keep getting pushed further down in the progressive stack? Every other interest group always comes first...including men pretending to be women. I mean, I'd rather women reject progressivism because it's nuts. Or because it's antiliberal. Well, being sexist is a way of being antiliberal. Also a way of being nuts. So that's something. But anyway: they could also reject it because it's contrary to their interest. Case in point: girls and women can train their whole lives and never come close to being able to compete with boys and men in most sports. So which will it be? The near-total destruction of women's sports? Or the searing moral pain of having to tell a handful of boys and men what they already know--that they're boys and men? 
   Then of course there's the addition of PC Newspeak in an attempt to muddy the waters by making all this more difficult to talk and think about by coining neologisms like "transwomen" to mean men who misrepresent themselves as women... But that's a whole 'nuther can of worms...

Monday, March 30, 2020

Chinese Markets Again Selling Bats?

That's racist.

Relentless MSM Anti-Trump Spin: Easter Was Always Aspirational

Turley doesn't go far enough.
Rather: they simply can't be trusted about Trump. Believing something negative the media says about Trump is no more rational than believing something positive Trump says about Trump.

CBS Uses Footage From Italian Hospital As If It Were From NYC?

Gateway Pundit used to be the Weekly World News of the rightosphere….but it actually seems to have improved a lot.
Anyway...Hm...I started to write 'big if true'...but actually, this is more-or-less just of a piece with the media's TDS / strategic hysteria. Still big, I guess...but not surprising.

Randomized Clinical Trial Concludes Hydroxychloroquine Reduces COVID-19 Time To Clinical Recovery

Northam Issue Stay-At-Home Order, Allegedly Until 6/10

I don't like Governor Blackface. And I very much regret my foolish vote for him. And I'm not sure where he gets June 10th. And even the People's Republic of Maryland gave their citizens some warning before issuing a restraining stay-at-home order... But...even though Northam is a known authoritarian...and even though telling me not to do something is ordinarily the most effective way to get me to do it...well, we're all in a tight spot, obviously.
I don't have any better ideas.
Also there a plenty of exceptions, including for "outdoor activities." And the SNP is still open, at least for now. And it sounds like the ABC stores are going to stay open. Hell, I might just say f*ck everything and spend the next two months reading whatever I want...

An Epidemic Of Media Partisanship

Society Is Fragile: Wherein I Agree With Greta Thunberg

Uh...yeah, I actually agree.

Saletan: Trump's Coronavirus Response A Failure By His Own Standards

Sunday, March 29, 2020

WuFlu Deaths Fall in Italy For Second Straight Day

Trump Tweets About Coronavirus Press Conference Ratings

Wuhan Coronavirus Transmitted Via Air?

Could be...but can anybody give me a reason to trust the WHO anymore?

Hindustan Times: Tamil Nadu Man Breaks Coronavirus Quarantine, Runs Through Village Naked, Bites Woman To Death

Should We All Wear DIY Masks In Public?

I'll bet it's true.
I can't believe I ever fell for that N-95s don't work story...
I remember thinking Wow, I can't believe all those South Koreans are wrong...
We've got most of a 10-count box of 3M ones, and then some others (some generics that don't even look like plausible imitations), most left over from renovations. I'm sure if we poked around more we'd find some more dirty/crappy ones. Anyway, we're not down to the level of cutting up t-shirts yet.
We're thinking about giving half of our reputable stash to the local hospital...but wondering whether that's being overly-generous / underly-self-interested / overly-stupid. Also, I'm sure that some of our friends don't have any.

Weird Argument Suggesting That It Would Be Good News If Wuhan Virus Infection Rate Were Bigger Than We Think

   I keep running into this weird argument that seems to go like this: the infection rate might be a lot higher than we think it is--which would be good news because it would mean that COVID-19 is a lot less deadly than we think.
   But that's not right, is it? If it's half as deadly but twice as infectious...uh...assume, for the sake of the argument, that the amount of non-fatal misery would be the same in both cases, I guess...still the same number of deaths... So it's a wash, right? Though I guess half as deadly / twice as infectious would mean more people acquiring immunity...maybe that's what they mean...
   It's amazing how much not an epidemiologist I am.

COVID-19 Outlook May Have Worsened; Trajectory Remains Unclear

USA Still Doing Well With Respect Per Capita Death Rate

We're now up to 7, which is a big, unfortunate increase...but we're still doing well in that respect, compared to other countries. Though it doesn't seem to be mentioned in the media.
Any hypotheses about why that is? Anybody?
We'd also expect to hear figures for the non-NYC and non-big-city parts of the country. But I'm not hearing that information highlighted...nor even mentioned.
I kinda sorta don't see any way to deny that the information is being presented in a way that emphasizes the negative.
I mean--there's significant negative to emphasize...it's a lot of deaths. There's no denying it.
But it just seems really weird/misleading to leave out other relevant measures.
Am I wrong?

What Does The Mask SNAFU Tells Us About The Overall Situation?

   One alternative, obviously, is: nothing (or not much, anyway).
   Another is: that the Powers That Be are either subject to big, obviously f*ck-ups, or are willing to lie to us about this stuff (perhaps for the perceived greater good) or both.
   The first part of the second alternative shouldn't come as much of a surprise. The second, I guess, would be a bit more surprising to me.
   I mean...what were they thinking with respect to the masks? I just can't believe they actually believed some of the things they said--e.g. (a) they actually raise your odds of catching stuff!; (b) don't buy them because they don't help...and health-care workers need them. 
   Nobody thinks they want to harm us. And (b) seems like obvious BS. So that seems to leave benevolent lies for the greater good: doctors and nurses need them, it's more important that they have them, and we're willing to lie to you guys because we don't trust you to do what you ought to do--in this case, not buy up all the f*cking masks... I'm not sure what to think about that latter option.
   (Although, the great Scott Alexander claims that it really is hard to learn how to put the masks on correctly...so that's a complicating factor.)
   But...someone who is inclined to lie benevolently about something like the masts might also be willing to lie about the severity of the plague, reasoning that it will raise the likelihood that we'll do what we ought. Seems to me, anyway. 

Still Baffled About COVID-19

I still cannot tell what's going on.
   The media is in hysterics. Either everything is going to hell in a handbasket, or it's fearmongering of Biblical proportions. Inclusive 'or', I suppose...
   Even given my extremely low opinion of the mainstream media, it's difficult for me to believe that they'd do this sort of thing. OTOH, they seemed to completely lose their minds when Trump was elected. If their reporting here is in any way analogous to Russiagate...well, I suppose it really can't be that bad unless they're just making up the body count. Which I can't believe.
   But the dismissive downplaying of the plague in its early stages, the by-now-predictable accusations of racism and xenophobia against anyone who took it seriously (my God how much time and energy and attention do we waste on such cultish bullshit?) then the accusations that Trump (and Trump pretty much alone) did too little...the automatic disagreement with and criticism of everything Trump has done at every stage...the heroification of Cuomo (and the breathless speculation that maybe he would save the Dems from Biden...).
   Trump, of course, is Trump. He does not exactly inspire confidence. Much of what he says, and many of the ways he says it, just make things worse. One could go on. His spastic, inarticulate inaccuracies are force-multipliers for the virus. It continues to alarm me that no one in his administration nor his family (but I repeat myself) can even talk him into just shutting up about stuff he doesn't absolutely have to talk about. Of course he does turn out to be right a surprising amount of the time, with the chloroquine incident merely being the most recent. And closing the borders, of course, which he pulled the trigger on faster than others did and would have. Imagine how well he'd be doing if he could do that sort of thing without sowing uncertainty and confusion...
   But it still seems to me that the other side is worse--though I'm wary of comparative judgments. Has American journalism really gone so far down the shitter that it's, basically, rooting for a plague? I have to say, it kinda seems so. There's the relentless emphasis on statistics that make things seem worse--total deaths instead of e.g. per capita deaths. There's lavish praise for Germany, but typically no mention of the fact that our mortality rate is similar to theirs (or was until recently?). Uncritical acceptance of the numbers reported by the Chicoms...because totalitarians always tell the truth, and they certainly haven't lied to us about this so  far... Uncritical reporting of Cuomo's claims about ventilators...barely any coverage of the fact that he'd stuck 1,000 into a storeroom and was, apparently, lying about them. The report yesterday that hospital admissions had fallen was completely ignored...did it turn out to be false? If so, I didn't hear it--nobody mentioned the report at all.
   The nature of the coverage, combined with what we already know about the MSM, makes it, in my view, unlikely that they're painting an accurate picture. Even if they are, I think they deserve blame for being completely unreliable. They've become so unreliable that we can't know to what extent we should believe them. And that's a very bad position to be in under the (apparently) prevailing conditions.
   Anyway. This'd all be bad enough if we had a reliable media. It's much worse without.

Saturday, March 28, 2020

How About Developing A Ton Of 3D Printable Medical Equipment Designs And Having Lots Of Big Printing Facilities?

Instead of stocking up on tons of different kinds of equipment we'll likely never need, how about planning to print stuff on demand? Make sure we've got open-source designs ahead of time and enough distributed capacity to print the hell out of any of it. The factories need not even sit idle; we could print other stuff while we're sitting around waiting for a disaster.

We Should Probably Wear Masks

Hemmingway: Media Peddle Bogus Wuhan Virus Stats To Bash America

I don't see any plausible way around this conclusion.
The fact that they switch back and forth between total numbers and per capita numbers depending on which makes us (or the administration) look worse seems to make this pretty clear.

Quality-Adjustted Life-Years / Medicare For All

Looks like "QALY," as I guessed, wasn't a new idea.
I don't find arguments like this particularly persuasive, since decisions like this have to be made. There's simply no avoiding them. Bloodlessly bureaucratic doesn't strike me as inherently worse than other ways.

More Falsehoods From Trump, More Petty Fact-Checking From The Media

I've become ambivalent about which is worse.

Curry: Coronavirus Uncertainty

The most rational attitude, IMO.

Ed Young: "How The Pandemic Will End"

Quite a bit of extraneous progressive BS in there...but I went to The Atlantic of my own free will...
It wasn't the unmitigated pandemic pr0n I expected from the accompanying illustration...so that's something.

By Progressive Standards (Accepted By Biden), We Should Believe Biden's Accuser And He Should Step Down

It's a crazy standard--but that's what it entails.
   Of course any hint of consistency is the hobgoblin of politically incorrect minds.
   One wonders how this could come as any kind of a surprise to the progressive left. Even someone who could accept such a nutty standard must recognize that it could be easily turned against his own side.
   Furthermore, I don't think that the old argument invariably cited in such contexts is relevant any longer: accusers are not longer embarrassed, dismissed and vilified. Or, even though they may be by some, they are heroified by others--typically progressives. Blasey Ford was practically canonized. She was nominated for the distinguished alumna award at Carolina. Even when it became virtually undeniable that she lied, it had no effect on her reputation on the left. She also seems to have hauled in a lot of money as a consequence of her performance. And far from being doubted, the left has established an internal standard according to which they are automatically believed--and screeched at everyone else that they must adopt it as well.
   As usual, the extremist left takes a complicated issue and insists that we must pretend that it's simple. The apply their extremist take the matter, ignoring one set of arguments and exaggerating the strength of the other. Extremists gonna extreme.
   At any rate: I have no idea how progressives are going to deal with this problem. I guess it's a bit like the problem Trump posed for evangelicals. Those guys seem to have squelched their cognitive dissonance pretty effectively.

Could Traffic Deaths Eliminated By Lockdown Offset COVID-19 Deaths?

I read a comment somewhere in which someone floated this idea, but I can't find it. Anyway, it's not my thought. I merely pass it on.
   Again, I wonder what things would look like if we measured the relevant effects in terms of loss of expected years of life. I'm sure traffic deaths afflict a younger "demographic" (isn't that an ungrammatical construction?) than the plague. If we added in quality of lost years, the difference would be even more pronounced.

The CDC Was Addressing Progressive Obsessions Instead Of Stopping Epidemics

E.g. racism, guns, obesity.
At least the latter can actually be considered a health problem.
Anyway, not sure whether this article is right, but it conforms to my current prejudices, so...

Scott Alexander Says The Smart Position Is Roughly The One I've Been Gravitating To

   Most of the smart people I’ve been reading have converged on something like the ideas expressed in The Hammer And The Dance – see this Less Wrong post for more.
   Summary: Asian countries have managed to control the pandemic through mass testing, contact tracing, and travel bans, without economic shutdown. The West lost the chance for a clean win when it bungled its first month of response, but it can still recover its footing. We need a medium-term national shutdown to arrest the spread of the virus until authorities can get their act together – manufacture lots of tests and face masks, create a testing infrastructure, come up with policies for how to respond when people test positive, distribute the face masks to everyone, etc. With a lot of work, we can manage that in a month or so. After that, we can relax the national shutdown, start over with a clean slate, and pursue the Asian-style containment strategy we should have been doing since the beginning.
   This is the only plan I’ve heard from anybody that doesn’t result in either hundreds of thousands of deaths, or the economy crashing so hard we’re all reduced to eating weeds and rocks. 

Trump Understands What His Critics Don't: The Lockdown Is Unsustainable

This seems pretty obvious to me...but on the other side are the Imperial College arguments.
It's difficult to believe that there aren't better alternatives for less-dense areas.
If less-dense areas could keep functioning economically--at least largely--it would make the more draconian shutdowns in the denser areas somewhat less disastrous.
OTOH, depending on what the numbers look like, less-dense areas might not produce enough wealth to make it worth the risk.
The more I think about this, the more I trust the Diamond Princess data over the seemingly fairly speculative (or at least highly assumption-dependent) arguments of the Imperial College projections/predictions.
But what do I know?
Answer, in this case: not much.

Friday, March 27, 2020

Nature.com On The Diamond Princess

Harsanyi: The Political Media Are Failing America

The institution that's been entrusted with supplying information about current events to our democracy simply can't be trusted anymore.
My own hunch is that this is mostly another consequence of the politicization of universities, especially the humanities. Journalists have been imbued with the progressive view that prevails in J-schools, which is just the progressive view that prevails in the humanities, the social sciences and university administrations. It's even infiltrated B-schools and the sciences, though to a somewhat lesser extent.

Measure Virus Harm In Loss Of Expected Years?

I'm sure this is not a new idea, but one way to measure the harm e.g. of COVID-19 would be in terms of loss of expected years of life. 10 deaths of 80-year-olds is different than 10 deaths of healthy 20-year-olds.

Mexican Protesters Block Entrants From U.S.

As well they should.
No, wait, sorry...the politically correct assessment has to be: THAT'S RACIST!!!111
Oh, no, wait...forgot...only whitey can be racist...I was stuck on level 1 PC...
But, back in the real world of actual facts: as well they should. Perfectly reasonable.

Wuhan Virus And Fallibilism

Margot Cleveland at The Federalist: we just don't know yet.
As Peirce says, doubt is an uneasy, unpleasant state, and we are naturally inclined to move toward belief. It's important to learn to remain in doubt when appropriate, unpleasant though it is.

Taleb and NECSI Criticism Of Ferguson Et Al.

The Panic-Mongering Media

My God they loved reporting that the U.S.had the highest total number of confirmed cases in the world. They could barely conceal their happiness. One of the ways they spin things is by reporting total numbers when it makes the U.S. look bad and per capita numbers when those make it look bad. So it reported the total numbers, eagerly pointing out that we'd surpassed Italy though we've got something like five times their population. And, of course, they apparently believe the numbers China is releasing. Or pretend to. They spin reports on ventilator numbers. They suggest that every shortage of protective equipment is Trump's fault, and they're in an absolute panic about the possibility that certain quarantine measure might be eased to get some of the economy going again. Reddit is the same way, of course, since it, too illustrates Conquest's second law: any subreddit not created to be conservative becomes liberal/progressive.
   Maybe they're right. Maybe we're still headed for disaster, we're all going to die, we need to stay locked up for 18 months, China has suddenly beat the virus because communism is awesome, and everything is Trump's fault. Could be. 
   But they seem so goddamn dishonest and committed to spreading panic that it's hard for me to believe them. They've got a record of lies and misrepresentations whenever they see an opportunity to score points against Trump or otherwise advance progressive interests. They have a history of pumping up apocalyptic predictions when they fit progressive preferences. There is no doubt that their coverage is biased and openly fearmongering in the present case. So to believe the story they're propping up, we have to believe that, despite all that, they also happen to be getting the story mainly right. Which, again, could be. But I'm skeptical to say the least.

Imperial College Team Has NOT Revised Their Death-Toll Estimate?

I wondered about this.

Thursday, March 26, 2020

New Data Indicates COVID-19 Much Less Deadly Than Imperial College Study Concludes? Diamond Princess Argument Vindicated?

Big if true.
I've been torn on this the whole time, with these being the flagship arguments on each side:
(a) The Diamond Princess argument
(b) The Imperial College report argument
It's easy to say this now, but...damn it really is hard to get around (a) when you think about it...
But I still don't know.
It's a beautiful Spring day here in the Valley, and we still have only 6 confirmed cases in the whole daggum county...so it's easy to be optimistic right now...

The Coming Age Of Dispersion

Don't disperse to here, please.

Fever Rates Decreasing Almost Everywhere In USA?

This is damn smart.

Is The Doomsday Model Way Off?

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

NYC Needs More Medical Supplies

I'm sympathetic.
I've got friends there.
But the tone of this story is: you need to give us more stuff...it's your fault that we don't have the stuff we need.
The federal government does not have magic powers.
It can't automatically produce everything that anyone needs.
Cuomo had a chance to buy a shit-ton of ventilators four years ago and didn't do it.
I don't blame him for it.
You can't buy everything you might ever need.
A different kind of pandemic might have required a ridiculous number of centrifuges instead of ventilators.
A different kind of emergency might have required a ridiculous amount of antibiotics.
I just don't see that anyone is to blame for not being able to produce an unreasonable amount of something with a snap of the fingers.
But Godspeed, NYC.
We're all pulling for ya.

Wuhan Coronavirus

A coronavirus from Wuhan, Hubei, CHI-NA.

The Worst Thing That Could Happen Would Be For Trump's Optimistic Predictions To Be Right

The horror...the horror...

Women Are Always The Primary Victims Of Shit That Mainly Kills Men

Finally, Some Economists Weigh In

Keep distancing; don't aim to reopen for Easter.

Oxford Study: Very Optimistic

Maybe we basically all already have it and it's not that bad...
Seems implausible to me, FWIW.

Pandemic's The Perfect Opportunity To Advance Communism And The End Of The Nuclear Family

I mean, I haven't looked on Stormfront lately, but I'm sure it's also the perfect time to advance the race war...so...
But the extreme right doesn't set the agenda for the right, whereas the extreme left does set the agenda for the left. The left trends leftward; the right trends leftward more slowly...
And there's no doubt about it: just beyond the currently-prominent left is the left that has long sought to eliminate the family.
Five years ago no one would believe the ascendance of transgender mythology...but here we are.
I'd bet money that the Marxist/feminists anti-family-ism of the hard left will become a part of the cultural conversation within 15 years.

WuFlu About 50% More To Kill Da Menz

Easy--dudes just declare themselves women for the duration.
Is there some reason why this won't work?
I like that the only hypothesis they consider is "lifestyle differences."
I've got a different one. Wanna hear it?
Anyway, back to the real world: why is this troubling? What does it matter if dudes are more susceptible? Another way to think of it is: women are less susceptible. Does that help?

Our Current Ruling Dialog

Left: We all gonna die!
Trump: It's just the flu.
Left: Orange Man Bad!
Trump: Hey, turns out this Chinesey Chinese China plague is not just the flu after all.
Left: THAT's RAZIZT!!!!!
Trump: It's from CHI-NA.
Left: You are directly killing Asians by saying that just like if you throttled them with your own tiny, tiny hands.
Trump: I'm a Keynesian now! Also UBI FTW.
Left: No money for people unless you give us solar and let us cheat at elections.
Trump: ...
Left: Woops, now everybody hates us. J/K about the money and solar.
Trump: Everybody take ya some a' that hyperquinine whatsis stat.
Trump: Turns out I'm bored with this quarantine thingy.
Trump: Wait, I thought you guys hated old people.
Trump: Like I say, I'm bored. Let's say that everything will be normal by...
Trump: ...Easter.
and on and on...

PC Not Deterred By A Wee Pandemic: Universities "Ban" Use Of unPC Terms For Wuhan Coronavirus

These people are totalitarians, of course.
Their implicit reasoning is patently bogus, as is easy to see:
  "Do not use terms such as 'Chinese virus' or other terms which cast either intentional or unintentional projections of hatred toward Asian communities," the statement said.
   Further, "Do not allow the use of these terms by others."
It's not your call to make. Try and stop me, you jackbooted jackasses.
My God, the bullshit...the bullshit...:
T[he] statement said: "A core of our mission at UC Davis Health is, of course, to advance health. Yet, health, privilege and bias are often intertwined.
The core of PC is the subordination of truth to leftist dogma. Honestly, if there were a logical God, those two alone would send you to logic hell.
The bogus empirical claims again:
In recent weeks, we have seen an example of this in the alarming rise in bigotry and xenophobia against Asian communities.
It's not new...because, of course, it's always been...but it's new, too. Because both are bad, but we can't decide which is worst...but it needs to be worst! It's both new and always been:
For many Asians, the racism is not new, but it has been emboldened as Asians are scapegoated for the coronavirus epidemic. This is doubly painful as Chinese communities also bear the weight of most of the lives lost."
If it's been "emboldenened," then there's almost certainly more of it. So let's see the numbers...and the verified cases.
   All such claims--which are central to PC--are just pulled out of thin air. Or, rather: they're presuppositions, not conclusions.

Don't Halt Social Distancing--Do It RIght

This, too, seems reasonable.

Some Commerce (And Suchlike) Proceeds Apace

The neighbors across the street are pouring a new patio-thingy in front of their house. They're out there working--leveling the under-whatsis and whatnot. Their contractors are in and out doing this and that. The cement truck comes and goes. Commerce proceeds apace.
   Three guys from the city came around the other day to look at a drainage problem our uphill neighbor has had for years. Though we're high up, every basement on the street floods all the time. One of the workers asked me for a bucket of water, and while fumbling around with it, I'm sure we violated the 6' rule...so there's something. They didn't seem to be worried about it in the least. I was thinking Here's why you just gotta stay in, I suppose...
   The city+county is up to 6 cases now, actually.

Former Director Says CDC IS AWOL From COVID-19 Fight?

I don't believe it.
This sounds like the kind of catty criticism a former director might issue.
Part of the criticism sounds vaguely plausible--that there's no single person or agency in charge. But only vaguely. This is the sort of criticism no one should take too seriously unless it becomes really common.
Also, of course, there are a lot of people out there who will say anything they can think up if it implies that Trump is blowing it. He may well be blowing it for all I know. But this crisis seems to have ramped up TDS rather than tamped it down. It's depressing, but that's where we are, it seems. I'm not sure where one should look, exactly, for accurate information about this question.

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

This Is The Flagship Of The MSM

Dow is up!

Go 'Mer'ca!
Dare I even say...MAGA/KAG?

Trump Pits His Gut Against His Own Health Experts

I honestly don't know which to bet on...
My normal inclination is to go with the experts.
But without hearing from economists, too, it's hard to know.
At some point the economic harm of the shutdown is going to exceed the medical benefits.
Right now, we seem to be getting only one side of the story.
I was under the impression that things are about to get bad on the WuFlu side--that is, that we're still heading for the peak of the curve.
OTOH, it does seem that experts overestimated the mortality rate.
And I gotta say...though I'd probably be tarred and feathered and run out of academia on a rail if anyone every heard me...Trump's gut seems to have done a lot better thus far than I would have predicted.
Maybe we should at least consider--as some have suggested--getting the economy started up again while keeping the old and otherwise vulnerable quarantined. My county only has two confirmed cases. With more widespread testing, we might oughtta consider ramping up again. That doesn't seem like a good idea for NYC...but I don't see why the two places should be treated the same. There are a lot of places and a lot of professions that don't require high human density. You can't run NYC without subways and busses. But there are lots of places were and lots of businesses such that it's easy to keep human density low (or "social distance" high/great).
Not my areas.

Cognitive 'Decoupling" (Also: Eugenics)

I guess I'm beyond being a "decoupler"...I can barely even believe that anyone can confuse e.g.:
(a) Eugenics is possible
(b) Eugenics is good.
By inclination and by training...I just don't get it.
(My jaw is actually hanging open a bit right now... I mean.. I just do not get it.)
I'm so derisive of such conflations that I usually--even when I manage to realize that some idiots out there would conflate (a) and (b) I might say--as a matter of principle refuse to "perform the ritual" that Chivers suggests. That is, I refuse to say things of the form By (a) I don't mean (b).
   Anyway, a whole lot of such conflation is politically or philosophically or culturally motivated--it's a matter of political correctness. If you say (a), the PCs will scream that you obviously really meant (b). But if you say (b) they probably won't scream that you obviously really (just) meant (a). The conflation is only one-way. So it's not really a conflation. It's a kind of ideological inference. The PCs always either automatically leap to some bad inference when their opponents/enemies are involved. It's partially automatic, but partially intentional. They just expect and want their opponents/enemies (for all opponents are enemies to them) to believe and mean terrible things.
   As Peirce tells us: the rational thing for me to do if you say something ambiguous or similarly unclear is to ask you to clarify. If you say something that could mean x or could mean y, I should as: Did you mean x or y? If someone they dislike says something similarly ambiguous, the PCs will leap to--or simply make up--the worst available interpretation and screechily attribute it to that person.
   So it's no really a failure to "decouple"...it's intentional, ideologically-motivated coupling. This is a crazy, unfair, irrational modus operandi...but, then, political extremists tend to be crazy, unfair, and antirational. And PC leftists are nothing if not extremist.

U.S. COVID-19 Fatality Rate 1%?

NEJM Articles on COVID-19

This is great.
Too much to digest even superficially.

Is China Legally Responsible For COVID-19 Damage?

Does The Corona Crash Make The GND A Viable Plan?

The Green New Deal is not an emergency plan to save us from global warming.
'Green New Deal' doesn't mean: An environmental/green initiative that's an analog of / as ambitious as the New Deal.
It means: A second New Deal...that's also green.
It is, of course, sold via a marketing campaign that pretends that we're in imminent danger from AGW, and pretends that the GND aims to and can change that.
In fact it's a plan to revamp the whole economy on progressive principles--i.e., turn us toward socialism.
So anyway...if the economy crashes--and given that AGW is radically overblown--does the GND become a viable plan?

Stiglitz: The Wrong Stimulus?

"Unbridled" aid to corporations?
It does seem odd to care so much about the cruise ship industry if so many of their jobs are non-American.

Monday, March 23, 2020

Adams: This Week It's Going To Get Bad

Bad news.
But straight talk.
Props to him.

Are The Dems To Blame For Torpedoing The Rescue Package?

It does seem that way to me, but I haven't really attended to what's going on.
Are there analogous Pub-friendly parts of the package they could trade away?
Global warming mythology/hysteria is dangerous. And this is one of its most dangerous consequences. We've got a real, immediate, major threat to the welfare of the nation, and the blue team is holding up mitigating legislation because they believe in--IMO--a fairy-tale problem.

Incidentally: More On 'The China Virus'

I still think it's too much, and 'Wuhan coronavirus' is much better.
But anyway: 'China virus' is ok I guess.
But Trump ought to get up there and let all the assholes in the country know that the rest of us are behind our fellow 'Mericans of Asian ancestry.
If some jackasses out there think that this is some kind of excuse or opportunity to hassle people on the basis of their race, I say that the rest of us ought to set that shit straight right away and no doubt about it.
Man that shit burns me up. What the hell is wrong with people anyway?

Wuhan/COVID19 Fatality Rate Overestimated?

Dems Play Politics With The Economy, Lose Their Own Propaganda Arm / WaPo Used 'Chinese Virus'

I can't exactly tell what's going on, but my impression is that this kinda is on the Dems. Pelosi was on vacation, there were three days of frantic negotiations in her absence, she comes back and--seemingly peremptorily--puts the kibosh on the plan. I'm not insensitive to the Democratic concerns...and God knows whether it's even a good plan...and I haven't been and probably am not capable of following the details. So it's just an impression, but: even trying to ignore my prevailing disgust and anger at the new, loony Democrats...this seems like it's largely on them. I mean...if even the NYT is willing to say that, it must be fairly clear.
   Though: what, are the Pubs Keynesians now?
   Also: I can't believe how totally racist the Washington Post is...

Fauci: Stopping Travel Probably Helped

Of course they did.

Alleged Anti-Asian Incidents Allegedly Related To Wuhan Coronavirus: Still Not A Sufficient Defense Of Political Correctness

Of course many such reports are always made up and/or exaggerated, either by the people allegedly involved, or by the invariably-progressive and commonly-activist reporters, or both.
   Furthermore, we don't know what the background rate of such incidents is.
   Furtherfurthermore, it's a big country, and we can be sure that the background rate is not 0.
   And, of course: of the subset of these incidents that might be caused by something about the pandemic, it's unlikely that it's informal names for the thing that are responsible. Rather: it's the fact that the virus is from China. Contrary to the PC obsession with the anti-rectification of names: it's the facts, stupid. No amount of political correctness will alter those facts. Though concealing and obscuring facts is the aim of PC.
   I'm not a fan of calling it 'the Chinese virus', preferring its (informally) proper, natural, original and optimally-informative name: 'Wuhan coronavirus' or 'Wuhan virus.' Even 'Wuhan flu' is fine--I expect that's what we'll all settle on because it's nice and short and close enough for government work.
   In a huge country with its share of idiots, criminals, racists and psychos, such incidents--like all sorts of unpleasant incidents--will happen. We all ought to pitch in to stop them and retaliate against the perpetrators. But they aren't typically caused by mere words. Idiots who are looking for reasons to hassle people are going to seize on the Chinese origin of this thing regardless of what we call it. And such incidents should be treated like any law-enforcement issue, not by abandoning plain talk for PC circumlocutions.
   And, of course, if the mindlessly progressive media hadn't made an issue of this, it, well, probably wouldn't have been an issue. Like everyone else, they tended to call it something like 'Wuhan coronavirus'...until they saw an opportunity to exercise some wokeness and score points against Trump. Wokeness has become a kind of hobby on the left--progressives are downright eager to do some of it, and will leap to it on the thinnest pretext.
   If we'd have stuck with the original, natural locution, and if they'd not mindlessly and unjustly accused us all of racism, Trump probably wouldn't have upped the stakes with 'Chinese virus.' Now the two extremes--'Chinese virus' on the one side and z0mg it's racist to admit this is from China on the other. This is now a major battle in the war between PC and truth, accuracy, plain speech and the American way...and we shouldn't give in. It's a typical progressive speculate about possible harm to (invariably a few) innocents; but, of course, they don't even attempt to tally up the harm done by the PC plague--wildly false and irresponsible accusations of racism, concealing and bending the truth, confusion of important issues, wasted time and energy. The false/irresponsible accusations of racism alone do enormous harm. And to allow such false/irresponsible accusations to win out here is to make them more likely elsewhere.
   I'll say it again: many issues are difficult. And many are important. And it's important that we use our time and energy to think hard about them. Political correctness does nothing but harm, confusing issues, suppressing honest discussion, obscuring facts. It needs to be beaten back at every point. Facts and open discussion do, sometimes, have unpleasant consequences. Those have to be dealt with...but in the ordinary ways, not by fallacious reasoning and PC obfuscation. Sweeping away the stupid claims lets us get down to the serious business of thinking about the real, difficult issues we face.

[And, of course, none of this is to mention that the Chicoms lied about the virus, thus helping to inflict it on the world and kill no one knows how many people, nor that they are lying about it again and claiming that we made it and inflicted it on them. Under those conditions especially, it's good to make it clear that the virus originated in China. That's in no way inconsistent with reminding any morons who might be listening that that in no way means that all people of Asian heritage have it, nor any such thing.]

Sunday, March 22, 2020

Hobby Lobby To Stay Open On Account Of Vision From God

RoK 10-Minute Test Kit

If zombie movies have taught us anything, it's that those guys absolutely cannot be beat at this sort of thing.

Good News From Norway?

How To Keep A Virus From Spreading

PC Posturing About 'Chinese Virus' Encourages Inaccuracy, Wastes Time And Energy, And Fosters Pointless Conflict

My God this stuff is nuts.
These people would be on the Titanic arguing that 'women and children first' should be changed to 'Those who self-identify as women and children first.'
It's 100% pointless conflict that aims--only and very obviously--at scoring points against Trump.
We face an actual, real problem...in fact, possibly a world-historical problem...yet these people can't stop quibbling and bitching because others won't drop everything and immediately adopt their politically non-neutral, PC terminological nonsense.
"Ok, so the Earth has been invaded by space aliens.."

Repost: Imperial College Paper on Non-Pharmaceutical Interventions.

This is way beyond anything I'm capable of assessing, but, someone who knows a lot more than I do is inclined to think it's the best thing available.

John Campbell Update COVID-19 3/22

Wuhan Coronavirus Lockdown To Last 10-12 Weeks?

Update: I Still Can't Tell What's Happening

Just for the record.

WaPo Columnist Calls For Censoring Trump COVID-19 Press Conferences

They're pretty bad....but this seems kinda nuts.

COVID-19: Evidence Over Hysteria [ Now With More Rebuttal ]

Via Instapundit.
   Haven't finished, but so far, on a first read, extremely reasonable. So much so that I'm astonished that I haven't read anyone else making such points.
   Interesting sidebar on our nutty intellectual background: it was apparently deleted from Medium... Now at Zero Hedge...which itself was perma-banned from Twitter.

[Rebuttal: Carl T. Bergstrom]

'Chinese Virus' Is Hatey-Hate-Hate-Hate! 'Russian Collusion' Is Totally Cool

Wish I'd thought of that...
And note: even though the former is real, and the latter is fictive.

Saturday, March 21, 2020

/r/Wuhan_Flu Thinks Things Are Much, Much Worse Than You Think They Are

They're on the more alarmist end of the spectrum...but I certainly can't rule it out.

75% Infected With Wuhan Virus May Be Asymptomatic

Trump Bungles Info On Chloroquine

Trump just makes unforced error after unforced error. 
   It's freakish. There's no reason for him to say the stuff he says. He seems to be incapable of just saying things like "there's this drug that has shown some promise" or "we're seriously looking at a couple of drugs." He seems to have some weird inability to just say something like that and move on. He seems to have some compulsive attraction to hyperbole. 
   He's really just terrible at these press conferences, IMO. I don't understand how he's done as well as he has as POTUS. I guess he's just a lot better at the decision-making part than he is at the talking part. And, hey, I'll take that any day of the week in a president. But it'd be so easy to do the other part at least minimally competently... And he does it so badly sometimes that it seems likely to do real, actual harm.

The Ministry Of Wiki-Truth Still Discussing Whether Oceania Has Always Been At War With Spanish Flu

More on this.
The left's long march through the institutions proceeds apace.

Timeline: Coronavirus And Impeachment

I posted a timeline of Trump's false/misleading claims about the Wuhan coronavirus and our response.
So here's a timeline of developments relevant to the virus...and impeachment.
Wonder whether we'd have paid more attention to what was going on in China without the fruitless impeachment distraction?

Notice How The Pandemic Is A Reason In Favor Of Whatever Policies Everybody Wanted Anyway?

What a coincidence.

15 Days To Slow The Spread

We can do this.

U.S. Has Lowest Death Rate for Wuhan/COVID-19

Good news, if true.

Did Political Correctness Make Italy's Wuhan / COVID-19 Epidemic Worse?

Rather sounds that way: link.
The ridiculous claims, e.g. by the WHO, about "racism" and "stigma" seem to have interfered with their response.
No surprise there. PC subordinates truth and accurate communication to political dogma. And truth and accurate communication matter a lot for all sorts of practical reasons.
PC kills.
Or, at least: if it hasn't killed yet, it's pure, dumb luck.

U.S. Civil Rights Commission Goes Full PC, Denounces 'Chinese Virus' As "Racist," "Xenophobic"

PC is a plague of the mind.
These people can't even just STFU and give it a rest while we're trying to deal with an actual, physical plague.
   The virus seems to have originated in Wuhan, China. We commonly name such viruses and the associated illnesses for the places we (at least initially) think they originated. I noted this as soon as progressives began pushing this bullshit. 'Wuhan virus' is no more racist than 'Rocky Mountain spotted fever' or 'Spanish flu.' There's no good evidence that use that the term is the cause of any harm. Even if it were, that's not sufficient reason to alter the informal naming convention. Nor does it make it racist. Harm and racism are not the same things.
   Heriot and Kirsanow are right. The commission is wrong. And this is not the sort of bullshit we should be dealing with under prevailing conditions. This is another sign of how deep the progressive rot goes. It's purely a PC / anti-Trump move. This gives us even more reason to actively aim to use 'Wuhan virus.'
   We're fighting against a quasi-religious political cult. One of its main tenets is the subordination of truth to its dogmas. One of its main tools is the control of language. It wins by taking over institutions. It uses them to propagate its dogmas by pretending that the dogmas are technical judgments of expertise. (This is one major reason that expertise has fallen into disfavor in some quarters.) And it acts relentlessly. Even a worldwide pandemic isn't enough to put its projects on hold. It pushes and pushes and pushes, relentlessly. So we have to resist it relentlessly.
   This battle isn't just about words. It's never just about words. Whenever someone tries to manipulate language, they have an ulterior motive.

Wuhan Virus Update 3/20/2020

Can't vouch for the numbers, but: link.

The Dems/Left On China And Russia

So for three years the blue team has ceaselessly yammered about Russia, blaming it for everything, seeing Rooskies under every bed, outright making up utterly preposterous tales about it.
   China is an actual threat, is in the process of conducting genocide, murders people to harvest their organs, has now actually inflicted a plague on the world via lies and ineptitude...and has, consequently, crashed our economy...and the blue team (including its ministry of propaganda, the MSM) is mouthing its propaganda, singing its praises...even shrieking incessantly that we must be sure to refer to the plague they've inflicted on us in PC terms approved by the CCP so as to in no way offend the inflictors nor possibly cast them in a bad light.
   This is not a case in which the truth is somewhere midway between two equally errant poles.

Taiwan Warned The WHO that Wuhan Virus Was Contagious, But Was Ignored

The WHO is said to be in China's pocket, for one thing.

"As Hospitals Prepare For COVID-19, Life-Saving Trans Surgeries Are Delayed"

I know it's Vice.
But you really couldn't make this stuff up.
Trump's truth-challenged. But the other guys live in a progressive fantasy world with only tenuous connections to reality.

Most Approve Of Trump's Handling Of COVID-19 Crisis (Is It A Crisis?)

I mean...I don't see how anyone can have much of an opinion about this. I have no idea what he should have done, nor what anyone else would have done...nor, for that matter, even what he has done. What's he done? That is: what's he done that wouldn't have been done anyway by someone else?
He's pushed back against the idiotic PC press corps...which is good...but he can't keep his temper...so even that good thing has gone kinda bad.
I mean, he's not to blame for the stuff the left blames him for, apparently--e.g. the CDC's apparent testing screw-ups. But what does he deserve credit for? I really don't know.

Marc Lipsitch Reply to Ioannidis: We Know Enough To Act Decisively Against COVID-19

Friday, March 20, 2020

Hawaii: Most Sick People Need Not Be Tested For Wuhan Virus

"Most people who are sick do not need to be tested. There is no specific medicine to treat COVID-19, so whether you test positive or negative, management of your illness will be the same."

"An orally bioavailable broad-spectrum antiviral inhibits SARS-CoV-2 and multiple endemic, epidemic and bat coronavirus"

Timeline Of Trump's False / Misleading COVID-19 Statements

COVID-19 / Wuhan Coronavirus Highly Contagious Before Symptoms Appear

Nasty little fucker, that virus.

UCL's War On Eugenics...And Free Speech

Universities are now where speech is least free.
And most faculty are complicit. Many support or even promote bleeding-heart Orwellianism outright, but most give consent with their silence. Some will do the right thing if given no other choice. But few openly and aggressively defend freedom of thought and speech.
Political correctness is a cancer in the university.

How Much Worse Did China's Coverup Make The Spread Of Wuhan Coronavirus / COVID-19?

Marvel Keeps Going Further Down The PC Shitter

Among their bullshit new super heroes victims: "Safespace" and "Snowflake."
I ain't even makin' that up.

Thursday, March 19, 2020

Ioannidis On COVID-19: We Are Making Decisions Without Reliable Data

Interesting, as always.

[Link fixed]

Why No COVID-19 in Africa?

Man, I thought those guys were gonna be toast. This is some of the best news we've gotten about this thing.
But why is Africa dodging the bullet?
For one thing, Wuhan virus and similar pathogens don't seem to last as long on surfaces in hot, humid places, apparently.
Of course, Africans may also be less susceptible to the thing. The rejection of that hypothesis at the end of the article is so peremptory and frantic that it made me take the hypothesis seriously again, actually. The powers that be really, really, really, really don't want races to be differentially affected. Lysenkoism is the order of the day. There was a rumor (largely among Asians) that the virus hit Asians harder. There was apparently a rumor (among blacks?) that it hit blacks less hard. Both have been frantically dismissed--the latter by pointing to the sole case of Idris Elba...which of course proves virtually nothing.
   I don't particularly think that races are affected differentially. I don't have a right to an opinion about such a thing. I'm not epidemiologist, obvs. Thing is, we have good reason to believe that the information would be suppressed even if they were. Findings inconsistent with progressive dogma find it more difficult to see the light of day.
   Anyway: I'd been imagining all sorts of nightmare scenarios in Africa, so it's good to hear they'll likely not manifest themselves.

Unsubstantiated Claims Of Harrassment Against Asians; No Reason Provided To Link It To Trump's UnPC Language

The left continues to produce terrible arguments to support its most recent linguistic diktats.
One is that e.g. 'Wuhan coronavirus' caused this act of harassment.
No evidence was provided in support of the alleged causal connection.

Kelly Anne Conway Gets "Kung Flu" Wrong...But She Succeeds In That She's Reasonable

Good for her.
But she's wrong about there being something wrong with saying "Kung flu." Or with calling Wuhan coronavirus (or COVID-19 if you really want to talk about the disease) Kung flu.
   It's idiotic to be making this kind of asinine argument, especially when we all have much, much bigger fish to fry. It's the height of stupidity, frivolity and cultishness. It's clearly yet another aspect of the ongoing media effort to tear down this administration with any tools that come to hand.
   Oh, wait! Is a reference to frying fish racist???? I'm sure we could make up some story about how it is if we tried.... Which is one of the major problems with PC bullshit: you can always make some shit up...
Again: it's in no way clear whether they're saying that just making the sounds "Kung flu" is horrible, or, rather, calling COVID-19 Kung flu is the allegedly horrible thing. They have no idea what they're saying. They're just repeating the half-assed, one-size-fits-all strategy they learned at Swarthmore or Sarah Lawrence or BC or wherever the hell they went to college. It's completely mindless.
   "Kung flu' is funny. If it annoys you, you are, of course, free to say "Dude, that term annoys me. Could you not?" But you're not entitled to call it racist because it simply isn't. If you think it is, try to articulate the goddamn argument and see how far you get. Then lemme see your work. So I can laugh that that, too.
   Anyway, Conway does a good job of pantsing some of our godawful, brainless progressive media hacks...but it would be better to call bullshit on the core of their bullshit.
   As for Trump: STFU and get behind him for a change. We all need to be on his side currently. He actually seems to be doing a pretty good job. You wanna bitch about him later, do it later. I might even join in. But for now: get on the team, shit head.

Trump Presser

Let other people talk.
Let Pence MC and let the experts talk.
It's agonizing listening to this guy.

[FDA guy:
Thank god. Let's elect that guy POTUS.]

[Pence...thank God. Actually speaks English.]

WHO On "Racism" Nonsense Re: "Chinese Virus": Bogus Pretense Of Expertise, Laughably Fallacious Arguments

Holy crap these people.
No time now, but...obviously: medical expertise doesn't make you some sort of "expert" on "racist" language. The WHO has no expertise and no authority with respect to those issues.
How about these straw men, eh?:
viruses know no borders and they don't care [about] your ethnicity, the color of your skin, how much money you have in the bank
Oh! Gosh! We all thought the virus itself had a race (sorry! "ethnicity"!) and was Chinese! And it had skin of a certain tone! And that it was...well...I'm not sure what that last bit's about. Is he suggesting that we thought the virus was poor or something? Jesus Christ, these aren't even minimally passable as straw men...
   Trump's being a dumbass by overextending from the perfectly-acceptable-and-perhaps-even-optimal 'Wuhan coronavirus' and 'a virus from China' to 'Chinese virus' and 'foreign virus.' And he's the damn POTUS, so even small errors matter.
   But PC is far, far, far more dangerous than Trump, and it's infected basically every significant institution. It's based on lies, distortions and absolutely godawful reasoning. And it absolutely, positively will not rest...even during a global pandemic...

Will USA Go Into Full Lockdown (Maybe For 8 Months)?

I don't see us putting up with that.
But this is making the rounds from a serious source.
Also, the tone of this thing is extremely off-putting to say the least.
Obviously rural people won't comply, and there's no way to enforce. I'm telling you right now I'd violate such an order--and I've tried pretty diligently to comply thus far.
Nobody's going to sit around in their house without even going out into the yard for eight months.
What percentage of the population has that kind of food laying around?
It's also senseless in our area, where there's been one case thus far.

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Katie Rogers, Lara Jakes and Ana Swanson: An Almost Unbelievably Shitty Article Filled With Unbelievably Shitty Arguments On Trump's Use of 'Chinese Virus'

Wow that's an embarrassing piece of crap.
I'm trying to cut down, but I probably won't be able to resist going through that train wreck in detail tomorrow.
Honestly, I can't believe that the New York Times is still respected in some quarters. 


Here's a FL clinic called Health First using the horrible, horrible racist term in a little number trying to get people to...you guessed it...fight the flu...:

My God IT'S PRACTICALLY A KLAN MEETING!!!!111111!!!!!!1111

Lies, Damn Lies, And The MSM: A Compilation Of Media Lies About Trump's Handling Of The Wuan Pandemic

Por que no los dos?
   Absolutely don't miss the video. 
   There's nothing even vaguely racist about naming a virus after its place of origin. Even the moonbattiest moonbats have never complained about any previous case. And for the first months of this outbreak, it was always called "the Wuhan coronavirus" or something similar--in keeping with our perfectly reasonable convention. (Absolutely don't miss the video.) 
   But then the left decided it was racist on the basis of exactly no sound reasons whatsoever...and now they're willing to take up 5-10% of important briefings to squeal about this made-up sin over and over and over and over. Because they suddenly started merely asserting it, they apparently believe their assertion to have the force of the moral law. And they're furious that the President would refuse to immediately bend the knee (or should we say kowtow?) to their diktat
   Honestly. Trump is the less nutty of the two by far. It really ain't even close.

Labels: , , , ,

Fear! Fear! MOAR FEAR!!!!!!!

Jesus these people.

Chinese Virus: What Trump Ought To Say

"Welp, it's a virus from China, and nothing will change that. Also, the com'inist Chinese gub'mint is trynta not only deny it, but blame it on us.
Howevs...if anybody...and I mean anybody...out there hassles a 'Merican of Asian heritage for the inscrutably, immeasurably stupid-ass reason that the virus came from China...I will personally come out there and kick ya m*tha f*ckin' ass. That, or I'll send Delta Force to do it. Do you want to try to explain your thinking to Delta Force? Well do ya, punk?
You readin' me 5x5 on that?
Cause I'll f*ckin' do it."

I would pay one thousand dolla to hear him say that. I'll send the check back.

CNN Gleefully Reports That All Stock Market Gains Since Trump Took Office Wiped Out

They can barely contain themselves.
Trying to blame it on the travel ban.

Chinese Virus! Chinese Virus! Chinese Virus!!!!!

LOL what a shitshow.
   I mean, mostly fine I guess...given Trump's weaknesses and the extreme crapitude of the press corps. But that stupid terminology stuff...Jebus.
   Look. The best term is probably something in the vicinity of 'Wuhan coronavirus.' COVID-19 is perfectly fine...though it's the name of the illness, not the virus. The virus is also called 'SARS-CoV-2'...but no ordinary person will know that the hell you're talking about if you say that. If we stick to established naming conventions, 'Wuhan' or 'China' or 'Chinese' is going to be in there somewhere.
   And it is a Chinese virus--in the sense that it originated in China. It seems fine to me--especially given (a) China's shenanigans and (b) PC bullshit--to describe it as a Chinese virus. But it's weird to use 'the Chinese virus' as if it were a name.
   As usual, Trump pushes things too far. But also as usual, the PC cult simply cannot let it go. We've got bigger fish to fry. A reporter asked about the terminological BS almost immediately...as if this is something that should be taking up compute cycles and air time. Then it came up again. Then again. And they were still shrieking and gibbering about it as POTUS and the rest left the presser.
   Trump could easily make his point without pushing it so hard. He seems to me to be going rather too far. But it's good to push back against such idiocy, and perhaps better than he should go a bit too far in that respect than not far enough.
   As for alleged assaults against Asians in the U.S.: I doubt that the terminology has much to do with that. Everybody knows it came from Wuhan. It seems unlikely that anyone crazy enough to attack some random Asian person on that account is going to be either encouraged or discouraged by the terminology. It's a law-enforcement problem, not a terminological/scientific problem. Deal with it as such. Every time the PC left decides it doesn't like something, it claims it causes violence. Without proof.
   We need to draw the line and point out that we don't choose terminology for its practical social effects, but, rather, for reasons more closely connected with truth and intelligibility. Furthermore, the arguments alleging to show that terms like 'Wuhan coronavirus' are racist are not merely unsound, but ostentatiously so. At this rate, we should expect the PCs to begin insisting that it be called 'Straight White Male Virus,' as this would allegedly encourage attacks against the evilest group known to man (!), thus making things more equitable...
   Trump could make his point more effectively by sticking to e.g. 'Wuhan virus' and not being so ostentatious about calling it a Chinese virus. Let the PC reporters hang themselves with overreach. Subtlety, however, is not exactly his strong suit.

[Note that there's also nothing wrong with 'Kung flu.' This is what we call 'gallows humor,' ya idjits. It may be in poor taste--maybe--but it's not Z0MG TEH RAZIZT!!!!!!! Just stop with that shrieky nonsense.]


He didn't say that.
What he said wasn't quite right--what was it again? That we have "tremendous" control over the course of the pandemic?
   Not exactly true, I'd say...but a far cry from "everything is under control." One could say that we have...what?...Let's say: a shit-ton...of control over it. Suppose we all did what we've been asked to do--not super-human-ly...but just regular-ly. We could beat this fucker and no doubt if we all did what we've been asked to. We're going to beat it anyway, despite many of us not doing what we ought to do. Is that tremendous control? Well, I'm not actually sure. There are no clear lines nor testable claims here. But I guess I'd argue that it's within the bounds of leaderly hyperbole to say that. I'd rather that than the Progressive-Media Complex's WE'RE ALL GONNA DIE BECAUSE TRUMP. Those fuckers are actually taking the side of the virus against humanity... Well...that's not true. BUT YOU SEE THE POINT.
   Again, I wish we had Obama's clarity and demeanor...and Trump's policies, honestly. Maybe Obama would have cut off travel from China, and done so just as quickly...he's far more reasonable than today's progressives. But we know Trump would. Because he did. Still, Obama would do a much, much, much better job at the podium. And that matters. And not merely rhetorically. Of course the press wouldn't be trying to shred him at every turn... And that would make his job a lot, lot easier.

Lies, Damn Lies, And The MSM: Trump Dismantled Pandemic Response Agency In 2018

Clicked on Newsweek link to watch presser, saw that they're still pushing this lie.

Impact Of Non-Pharmaceutical Interventions To Reduce COVID-19 Mortality And Healthcare Demand

Someone I know who knows what he's talking about affirms that these guys are good, ergo this paper is likely worth a read. I'm not done with it yet, and I'm not qualified to speak on it. But I pass it along to you nonetheless.

Lies, Damn Lies, And The MSM: Trump / Respirators / "You're On Your Own" Edition

The MSM has often acted as a terrorist force multiplier, and it's doing the same for the Wuhan virus. It's driven mostly by TDS (and don't forget: Urban Dictionary has deleted and demoted all the accurate definitions of 'TDS,' turning it into an anti-Trump abbreviation instead of an anti-anti-Trump one). But likely also by a bias toward sensationalism. That's undoubtedly the easiest/quickest way to get ahead and sell subscriptions.
   Not that this one required extremely dishonest editing, because it required quoting one sentence without quoting any of the surrounding sentences--including the following one--in order to give Trump's words approximately the opposite of their actual/intended meaning.

The Diamond Princess Mysteries: Does Cruise Ship "Experiment" Suggest Wuhan Coronavirus Is Less Contagious/Deadly Than We've Been Told?

Maybe, but there are a zillion comments and I haven't finished them.
One points out that the ship was only at sea for two weeks before people were quarantined, so that might explain some of the odd numbers.

Lies, Damn Lies, And The MSM: Trump Did NOT Try To Buy German COVID-19 Vaccine

Obvious lie is obvious.

Orwellianism Watch: Wikipedia Trying To Change Title of "Spanish Flu" Entry

Wikipedia is similar to academia, the NYT, et al.: basically nothing it says that impinges on progressive dogma can be trusted. 
Wikipedia--like what remains of Reddit--is basically controlled by leftist ideologues who are freakishly, unnaturally dedicated to pushing progressivism. They're now trying to rename the entry on Spanish flu, changing it to "1918 Flu Epidemic." They're obviously doing this as a move in the newly-opened front against Trump (and truth...betcha never thought you'd see those two on the same side...). Well: against all normal people and normal views. And history. And established procedures. And reason. The relevant section of the talk page starts out with the following doozy:
It is well established today that this flu was neither originated nor particularly spread in Spain. Furthermore, it is also well established that naming pandemias [sic] after regions is misleading (from a mechanistic [sic] point of view) and also stigmatizing.
N.b.: it is "well-established" that naming pandemics after regions is "stigmatizing." This is such PC bullshit. It is, of course in no way "well-established." It is the opposite of well-established. It is not even established, much less well so. It is, in fact, a mere unsupported assertion of the contemporary left. Furthermore, this position is entirely politically motivated. 
   This is Ministry of Truth territory. Not that it's unusual. This is just one tiny aspect of a massive, PC push against truth and history. It's not that "1918 Flu Pandemic" would be a bad title. In fact, it might even be a better title (though probably not). The point is that this is one way in which the progressive-left war against truth and history proceeds: sometimes it's via big, sweeping assaults (as with the push to normalize transgender ideology), sometimes via small, minor actions. Often via "the long march through the institutions": it takes over salients like academia, journalism and Wikipedia. It suffuses them with leftist dogma. Then it points to them as authorities in cultural battles. So, with respect to 'Wuhan coronavirus' and the CDC, WHO...and Wikipedia: it infiltrates those institutions, implants its dogmas (e.g. about "stigma"), then points to e.g. CDC opinion (a) as if were an independent judgment and (b) as if it were a matter of medical expertise over which CDC has authority. In fact, it's mere progressive-left dogma that's been injected...everywhere. 
  In this case: the left impressionistically flings its purely fabricated and ungrounded judgment that 'Wuhan virus' is racist, xenophobic, and "stigmatizing." It accuses non-PCs of racism for using such terms. It is refuted by clear historical evidence and counterexamples--most prominently 'Spanish flu.' So it goes, virtually, back in time and renames the counterexample. Then pretends that it was right. When, in fact, it's now wrong about two things rather than just one.
   Absolutely, positively read this:

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Leftists Continue To Falsely Insist That "Wuhan Coronavirus," "Chinese Wuhan Coronavirus," "The Chinese Virus" Etc. Are Racist

This is so ridiculous it doesn't even warrant a response.
   No one worth talking to could possibly believe it. But the same thing can be said about the vast majority of progressive claims about racism--especially with respect to language. They form preferences for certain terms and aversions to others partially on the basis of inarticulate impressions, and partially on the basis of what they think will advance their political ends. Oh yeah: and they are totalitarians, so they loooove telling people what to do--that's an end in itself; and they think their control over the lives of others should be able to penetrate into every corner of those lives.
   Also: their new favorite word is 'stigma.' It's vague enough that they can throw it around without any sort of proof. It's one step up, in that respect, from 'problematic.'
   Also: the WHO and CDC have no authority in these matters. They may (though may not--I'm not sure how this works) have some authority to settle this issue with respect to their own preferred terminology. The very fact that they have wasted time on this question shows that they've been converged, i.e. corrupted. The progs are in the wire. They're on the inside, convincing these organizations to waste time and energy on such questions, and to adopt progressive idiocy. (There've been a couple of posts in the rightosphere lately about how far converged these organizations have become.) They probably have the power to determine what is, in some sense at least, the "official" name of the virus and the disease. But we're free to note that they've deviated from previous naming conventions--conventions that are in no way racist, and that haven't even been accused of it previously so far as I know. The same conventions that countenanced 'Spanish Flu,' 'Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever,' 'Lyme Disease,' and 'West Nile Virus' indicate that something like 'Wuhan coronavirus' should be the name for this new one. We're free to note that their decision is political--and stupid. And to ignore it. And we're free to call it what we like--especially if what we call it is consistent with conventions.
   Again: this is the sort of thing progressives waste time on. They become so attached to their irrational dogmas that they're willing to waste time and energy on this during what they also insist is basically the apocalypse.
   The case against this stupidity is strong enough that we needn't also note that the left is, yet again, carrying water for the ChiComms...a term that the left has itself been described as a "racial slur" by the left. Even though it's a description of their political/governmental/economic structure and commitments, and has more-or-less nothing to do with race. Even 'the Chinese Wuhan virus' needn't have anything to do with race. And even if it did, it still isn't racist--is merely descriptive. I'm not really interested in this argument, I'm interested in the previous ones, which are more important. But I'll admit: anyone who is somehow still on the fence about the values and commitments and tendencies of the left should probably consider this informal alliance. The left likes to falsely assert that the right is somehow in bed with the Russians--even though that's all been debunked six ways from Sunday. So it's particularly, humorously noteworthy that they're so far in bed with red China.

Trump COVID-19 Presser 3/17

Missed the beginning, but, again, a good briefing, with Trump as the weakest link. Thing is, he was usually right. But he's so inarticulate and testy that he undermines his own case. The press sucks, as is no surprise. They can't drop the gotcha bullshit even at a time like this. Trump to some extent brings it on himself--but it's certainly not all his fault.
   Prediction: if the COVID-19 numbers end up looking anything like the H1N1 numbers, the press will come back hard with You said they did a terrible job! And you did a similar job! So you said you did a terrible job! Not that that prediction requires prescience or anything.
   The whole thing about the WHO offering us test kits and us allegedly turning them down is representative of the mendacious bullshit of the MSM, and it was good to see that story slapped down so decisively by the experts--turns out they offered us a bad, experimental kit (e.g. yielding many false positives) in radically inadequate numbers. The experts there were obviously in enthusiastic agreement that the story was so inaccurate as to be total crap.
   The MSM does that sort of thing all the time. That's nearly a template for like half their Trump stories. The tactic is slime and retreat. Let's see whether the relevant outlets prominently retract the story now.
   And: that's what's going to happen with that idiotic story about buying the German company and hoarding tests from the rest of the world. How could anybody possibly believe such nonsense?
   But when I have to listen to Trump speak for that long, I start pining for Obama. I appreciated that guy's clarity...but not enough.

Greater Asian Sensitivity To COVID-19?

Seems to me that that hypothesis, that I was all exorcised about for awhile, must have turned out to be false. If so, then that's some kind of strike against the conservative press.

Did Trump Try To Buy A German Firm Working On Wuhan Virus Vaccine?

And did he want them to develop the vaccine only for the U.S.?
You'd have to be pretty dopey to believe a story like that.
If you're still believing this sort of nonsense about Trump from the MSM, you've probably lost your objectivity about the subject.

[Also: note the super-subtle picture of Trump Politico used.]
[Also: note that it's Politico...]
[Though some allegedly actual news sources have also reported this obvious nonsense--e.g. the NYT.]

Brian Joondeph: "Remember The H1N1 Pandemic? I Don't Either"

Holy crap.
Are we being stampeded?

Monday, March 16, 2020

CNN Lies About Trump's Assertions About COVID-19, Lies About It Contradicting Fauci's Assertions

No surprise to anyone at this point, I presume.
Trump in no way said that the virus is "under control." He said--roughly--that we have ("tremendous") control over it. "Tremendous" is, indeed, typical boilerplate Trumpian bullshit...the dude doesn't know that many adjectives. He shouldn't have said that. It doesn't seem accurate. What he says is often inaccurate...but more-or-less within specs of leaderly optimism. I doubt that he should have said that...but what CNN falsely says he said is worse than what he actually said. He said, basically: we have a lot of control over it. Which is...optimistic (at least). Fauci did not contradict that. There was some tension between what the two men said--but no contradiction, and nothing really all that close to one.
   Here's what you should have said, you CNN douchebags: Trump gives another seemingly-implausible assessment of COVID-19 situation.
   Criticize the real Trump, not the straw Trump of your fevered imaginations, you jerkoffs.


It tells you a lot about new Reddit--which tells you a lot about contemporary progressivism--that this sub has been quarantined. 
It paints an extremely bleak picture.
This one is more mainstream...but its picture is still bleak.
It's starting to sound to me like the administration has painted a too-rosy picture. Even more worrisome(...uh...ly?): the hysterical media may have as well.

CPAPs --> Ventilators?

Wonder whether there's a way to substitute CPAPs for ventilators? Or easily convert them into a non-useless substitute?
There's got to be like a zillion of those things in this country.

Everything Is Trump's Fault: Wu-Tang Flu Is Trump's Fault Edition

His fault! His fault!
   Seems to me that he's done some things better than I'd think others would and some things worse. But overall I, anyway, have little reason to think he's done an irresponsibly bad job. We don't even have much to compare it to. And since it's a steady drumbeat of Orange Man Bad no matter what he does, I don't see any reason to allow Williams's arguments to influence us about this. They're pretty superficial/thin/half-assed. E.g.: how fast should testing kits have been available? How much of the alleged lag was Trump responsible for? I have no idea and neither does Williams.

UBI During The Wu-Tang Flu?

Far be it from me to advise inviting the camel's nose into the tent...but, honestly, this thing about implementing a UBI during the pandemic isn't--prima facie and in all my economic ignorance--the absolute stupidest idea I've ever heard. Even if AOC did endorse it.
   But I have no idea whether we could afford it nor what unintended consequences would follow on it. Nor whether it could actually be implemented that fast--something I doubt, actually. Also: seems like a blueprint for inflation to me. Though maybe that's not something to worry about right now.
   F*cking economies--how do they work?
   Anyway, I'm clueless. Wonder whether it'd drive a bunch of people unused to having that much disposable income dropped in their laps all at once out to the restaurants and bars? Cutting taxes doesn't really help lower-income people much, does it? Well...maybe not income taxes. What about suspending all sales taxes? Might be a huge headache for retailers for all I know.
   What the hell? Go ahead and Yang Gang the Wu-Tang! Money for nothin' for everybody! Laissez rouler les temps de la peste!
  Eh...maybe I better stick with I don't know...

Sunday, March 15, 2020

Trump/Pence/Fauci Press Conference

Trump, unsurprisingly, was the weakest link. But overall the thing was reasonably informative and reassuring. Some of the press was predictably loathsome. Pence was solid. Fauci was solider, unsurprisingly.
   I was actually kinda freaking out after some of the stuff I read earlier this afternoon. I felt a bit more confident now that things are proceeding in a reasonable way. So I suppose it did at least part of its job.
   That's all pretty emotive and impressionistic, though.

Gettin' All Masque Of The Red Death Up In Here

What could go wrong?

What's My Guess About Reacting To The Wuhan Pandemic?

I absolutely do not know.
I'm inclined to think that overreaction is better than underreaction, for what that's worth. Perhaps that's an obvious point. I don't even know whether that's right or not.

South Korea Developed An Efficient Testing Infrastructure In 17 Days

All we had to do was copy it.
What's the problem?

Well, Samantha Bee Is A Moron, So...

Wow she's an idiot.
   I mean, if she hadn't gotten sucked into The Cult, she might have been just fine. She may have learned stupidity. They program you with a stupidity emulator--it's the only way for them to suck you in.
   How long will people tolerate this kind of idiocy? We've got some rather serious shit going on right now, and all the left can do is run around shrieking RACISM!...which, tbh, is all they ever really do, come to think of it...
   While the grownups are actually trying to save the world, the narcissistic juveniles are running around shrieking Look at me! Look! Look! I'M SO WOKE! Look! It's racism! Racism! Racism!!!!
Racism is actually a real thing with real consequences. Which is not at all what the lefties are talking about. In Leftyworld, whatever they say is "true" just in virtue of them having said it...which means that they've given up on actual truth. While normal people are addressing the actual facts, the left is shrieking about its made-up world of religious dogma and facts by fiat. It's stupid, repulsive and distracting to people trying to deal with reality. It's like we're being attacked by wolves and that one guy is running around in circles pulling his hair out and screaming We're sinners! Sinners!!! It's God's just revenge! Let the demons eat us for our siiiiins…..
This is doing nothing but distracting and undermining those in the party who are trying to deal with the actual, flesh-and-blood wolves.

Two Kinds Of Stories

Here are the two kinds of stories I seem to be reading everywhere:
[1] Nobody knows what's going to happen...but it's just a flu so chill.
[2] Nobody knows what's going to happen...but it's going to be horrible and we're all going to die.
"One thought too many" in each case, I suspect.

The ZMan: Modeling Failure

You'd best not click on this link, given that the ZMan is a terrible, awful, unPC naughtythinker.
But it's a very interesting post:
   Now, the experts all say these numbers will explode in the near term. Just as the flu or the common cold starts small, person to person contact causes the infected population to grow quickly. Currently, the claim is the infected population will double every five days, with no end in sight. Italy, for example, could have 200,000 cases by the end of the month, if that prediction is correct. By May a little under one third of the population would have the virus and by June everyone is infected.
   This is, of course, exactly what did not happen in China. In fact, we have no reason to think this will happen at all. We have examples of prior infections, some very serious like the Spanish Flu. We even have a good sense of the infection rate from the Black Death in the middle ages. As far as we know, there has never been a virus with an infection rate like what is being predicted. Maybe this is different. Maybe modern urban life makes us unusually susceptible to a pandemic. Maybe.
   Further, we don’t know as much about pandemics as the army of experts in the media would have us believe. Most of the model makers are assuming the experts on this stuff have their facts right, but there is no evidence to support that claim. For example, the Spanish Flu remains a mystery. We know the strain of H1N1 and we have some sense of where it started, but we have no idea why it ended. We know it ended long before it reached the infection rates predicted for this virus.
   In the fall of 1918, 4,597 people died in Philadelphia in the week ending October 16th from the Spanish Flu. By November, deaths dropped to zero and by mid-month the flu had disappeared from the city. No one knows why. Maybe it mutated into something very mild. Maybe it simply ran out of victims. Maybe limiting social contact finally stopped the spread. No one knows. That’s an important thing to keep in mind about these predictive models. They as yet cannot predict the past.
Read more »

Saturday, March 14, 2020

Bernie: We Must Seize The Means Of Toilet Paper Production!

Funny...and yet not funny...

We Probably Don't Have The Kung Flu

JQ and I are both sick. Our symptoms are mainly consistent with COVID-19, except insofar as we don't currently have fevers. I think I had a fever yesterday, but we didn't have a thermometer at the time. We're not young enough to be basically immune, but we're not old enough to be in danger, so far as we know. She's a smoker; I'm not. We're staying in the house (or the back yard), just in case. Without a fever we aren't eligible for testing here. Apparently we're being advised to wait out what's probably a cold in self-imposed quarantine. So that sucks.

NYT Makes A Small Concession Re: The 1619 Bullshit

This bullshit is such a snapshot of progressive insanity.

Mexico May Close Border To Prevent 'Mericans From Bringing Wuhan Coronavirus

So....is that racist / xenophobic?
Sounds reasonable and smart to me. Only a moron would blame them. Hell, I'd do it if I were them. I think they ought to.
Wonder what the Voxosphere will have to say about it?