Thursday, April 30, 2020

Never Let A Good Crisis Go To Waste: Subgenre: COVID-19 --> Climate Change

Translation: it's not enough to beat the WuFlu--that would be a waste unless you use it as an excuse to leftify everything.
Some advice: if you want people to take something seriously, you might not want to link it in their minds to climate hysteria.
Anyway, I've got a better idea: how about if we just address this pandemic honestly and directly rather than using it as an excuse to implement our preferred politics?

What's The Right Up To, Anyway?

Probably no good.
But who can tell? Trump blocks out the stars on that side of the sky. They could be up to anything back there. How would we know?

Z Man's Depressing Take On The Flynn Fiasco

I wish I could rule out the more dismal parts of this.
I try not to even think about how successfully the media is downplaying everything about Russiagategate.

Pandemic Costs: Economic Cost Still Radically Outstripping Mortality Costs?

"GA's Experiment In Human Sacrifice"; or: Anyone Who Tries To Avert Economic Catastrophe Is A Murderer

I have no particular confidence that Georgia is doing the right thing.
   But part of the problem we face is that we're largely flying blind, largely because the media refuses to report on the situation honestly. Take the hysterical, not-even-vaguely-objective title of this piece, for example. Of course titles aren't generally the fault of the author...but this one captures the piece pretty well. ("Lungs...look like they were shredded with ground glass.")
   Not that this is the very best way to make the point, but: everything we do is "an experiment in human sacrifice" in that sloppy sense. Ever drive on the freakin' DC beltway during rush hour? That's trading years of life for money, too; something we do all the time.
   Experts and models have, so far as any layperson can tell, erred fairly consistently to the high side. The media hysterically/enthusiastically flogged the worst end of the predictions--MILLIONS TO DIE!!!!--and this helped set the tone. Perhaps because Trump erred fairly consistently on the side of optimism, the pandemic and reactions thereto are now politicized, with progressives consistently talking doom and gloom and more-or-less enthusiastically welcoming lockdowns, while conservatives have taken an anti-lockdown, let's-get-going attitude, arguing that it's more important to restart the economy.
   But my point here is really just that, so long as the media is politically committed to making the progressive case, that means we have to ignore what they say and look directly to the output of the experts...keeping in mind that they've been pretty consistently high.
   One more thing: Mull says, among other questionable claims, that we've been experiencing "overwhelmed hospitals"...whereas it seemed to me that the real story was how few such hospitals there have been. Instead, we're hearing of furloughs. But we're almost past the point of criticizing individual claims. Seems to me that we have to try to get a fix on the big picture: for whatever reason--almost certainly part of it being Trump--the MSM is going to continue to output systematically inaccurate information. So if we pay attention to them at all, we have to correct for that obvious bias.
   Mull also reports that almost no one in GA is going to immediately go back to work when restrictions are lifted--they're all terrified! I find this difficult to believe.

A Former Prosecutor Is Skeptical Of The Reade Accusations Against Biden

Some of these details I didn't know, some I'd heard but forgotten in the shuffle. When you put them all together, it does sound pretty fishy.
   Honestly, though, the thing I found most astonishing was the author's claim that in 27 years he only dropped charges against two people on grounds of having concluded they were innocent. It seems impossible that he only came across two such cases in more than 25 years...
   Anyway. "Me Too" never made any sense, of course. One of the most notable things about the second decade of the century was that progressives became convinced that no one had ever noticed racism, sexism, etc. before. (Of course "transphobia" was new, on account of having been just made up.) We had, of course, already lived through liberal hysteriae about these things--or, rather, were still living through them--when progressives elected to kick it all up another notch. Sexual harassment--in academia at least--is absolutely a real thing. Though in my experience, even during the first effort to extirpate it, the left's strategy mostly amounted to throwing standards of evidence out the window and accusing a large number of innocent men. The actual harassers were used to dodging detection and punishment. They were hard targets. And much of the goal was simply to retaliate against hated groups and political enemies...all relatively soft targets...nailing the actual perpetrators was just too much work. Also, there never seemed to me to be that many of them. Seemed to be a few hard-core serial offenders, so far as I could tell. Even if you get 'em, it's not going to get you the kind of head count you want. Also, many of them are lefties in good standing. And that really won't do. So anyway, what we ended up with was mostly a spike in false accusations...thus making everything worse. Before I saw the first wave of witch-hunts first hand, I had a natural inclination to give such accusations credence. 30 years later, I've learned better.
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"Trump's Triumphant Rhetoric On Coronavirus Testing": Wherein The WaPo Discovers Per Capita Numbers Are What Really Matter

Sometimes this stuff is funny, sometimes it's angrifying, sometimes it's exasperating... It's often embarrassing because I was so trusting/oblivious for so long.
[Also we get the now-standard The CDC screwed up = Trump screwed up. On top of that, a brand new gripe: we should have relied on the private sector from the beginning! That's a new one.]

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Study: In Papers, Grants And Hiring, Conservatives Face Discrimination In Philosophy Departments

It doesn't surprise me, though I never experience such a thing in my department. My colleagues are all very reasonable, and tolerant of my weirdness. Of course, until pretty recently I wasn't as far right of the mean in philosophy as I am now.
   The study, published April 16 in Philosophical Psychology, is one of many which reveal ideological bias is one of the central means of discrimination in colleges and universities.
   The new study was conducted by a “politically diverse” team of social psychologists and philosophers on 794 participants composed of philosophy professors, post-graduate researchers and graduate students mostly from North America and Europe.
   The study’s participants were 74.8 percent left-leaning, 14.2 percent right-leaning, and 11 percent moderate.
   Results found a majority, 56 percent, of the left-leaning philosophers expressed a willingness to discriminate against their right-leaning peers in hiring decisions at least occasionally.
   Left-leaning participants were also more likely to be willing to discriminate against their conservative colleagues in all four categories researchers studied: the review of papers, the assessment of grant applications, symposia invitations, and hiring decisions.
   Researchers wrote that 32 percent of the left-leaning participants indicated willingness to discriminate against right-leaning papers, 42 percent against right-leaning grants, and 38 percent against right-leaning symposia speakers.
   In contrast, right-leaning participants expressed a willingness to discriminate against their liberal peers in hiring decisions 46 percent of the time, and only 20 percent indicated willingness to discriminate against left-leaning papers, 23 percent against left-leaning grants, and 12 percent against left-leaning symposia.
   Here's the really weird part:
Some liberal philosophers were explicit in this section about their willingness to discriminate against right-leaning peers, the researchers said.
   “I would loathe to hire a colleague who had views that had classist, racist, sexist, or nationalist implications, due to workplace issues,” said a left-leaning respondent.
   The researchers also reported that “a number of respondents” claimed right-wing ideas could not stand up to philosophical scrutiny.
   “Conservative ideas tend to lose in fair competition in the marketplace of ideas. They are given their chance, and are generally shown to be bad. People who accept many of them tend to be bad philosophers,” said one participant.
   Another said: “I’d be inclined to negatively review a right-leaning paper for the simple fact that I believe, given the arguments, that the political right get things wrong. We’re talking about matters of objective truth here.”
   Another respondent said “the widespread rejection of conservative positions” in philosophy is similar to “bias against Creationists among biologists.”
   The researchers said there were no similar claims by right-leaning philosophers that left-leaning philosophy is “wrong” or “bad” philosophy.
Guess I'll have to read the paper to find out what lefty ideas they think are more well-justified than righty ideas. Certainly, say, Rawls's ideas and arguments aren't notably better than Nozick's. If God counts as a righty belief--well, arguments for that thesis are notably weak. It's really weird given the terrible--and obviously terrible--arguments promulgated by lefty philosophers for the "trans" stuff recently. That's a really prominent case of a recent, politically non-neutral view that's being pushed hard, and tolerated virtually without objection...even though the arguments for it are laughably awful. I guess I might have thought that case would have chagrined the lefties a bit. Maybe made them less likely to say something so dopey. I mean, we do tend to incline to think that we're asking about objective truth...but who is clueless enough to think that philosophers are much good at discerning it? If we're so good at telling the reasonable views from the unreasonable ones, how is it that we've made so little meaningful progress in 2500 years? I mean, we can often identify ostentatiously bad arguments--as in the case of the trans stuff. But even when we can, we're so controlled by the left that most people won't say out loud what we can all see to be true--that the arguments are the utterest shit...
   Anyway. Something that finally hit me over the head  couple of years back: a shit-ton of philosophers just aren't that good at philosophy.

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Turley On The Dems' WuFlu Travel Ban Contradiction

All they gotta do is keep talking.
People who want to believe 'em will believe 'em anyway.
The only rule is: don't say the words.
That is: just don't admit you were wrong.

Pelosi Filibusters When Nailed About Dem Contraditions Re: Trump's WuFlu Travel Ban

This is basically an admission of error.
When you're a Dem and even CNN is busting your chops for something, you know you done fornicated up.

Double-Standard Watch: "Developments In Allegations Against Biden Amplify Efforts To Question His Behavior"

Turley on the blatant double-standard.
Once again: this is not a specific problem about one, specific case, nor about a specific issue.
This is a problem that pervades the MSM.
There's a pervasive general tendency to represent just about everything in a way that's accepted by / favorable to the left. 
If you're only reading and watching the MSM, it's a lot like getting all your information from DNC press releases.

Twitter Suspends Account Of Company That Makes "Healight"; We've Always Been At War With Eurasia

So it's come to this.
   Trump babbles about something in a press conference. There is, as is so often the case, plenty to criticize. 
   Will it be enough for the "Resistance" media? Well, what do you think?
   Instead of leveling any of the easily-available, reasonable criticisms, the media /La Resistance axis of crapitude: (a) semi-intentionally misinterpret him and (b) pretends he said something dangerous and patently idiotic--entirely beyond the pale--anybody should be able to see it's crazy.!!! But wait! Big problem! (c) it turns out that something vaguely fitting his description is an actual thing on the cutting edge of biomedical research! (Not too surprising, as I noted before any of this even broke.) Will les journalists de la Resistance admit error? Hahahahahahaha sûrement vous plaisanter! (d) In fact, the big tech companies jump in to suppress information about it. If Trump is right about something, the facts must be changed to make him wrong.
   The 1984 into which we are slipping didn't originate in the government, but in the other parts of culture that the left can more easily and more completely control. Question for the reader: do you think it's a good idea for them to gain control of the government as well?

Monday, April 27, 2020

Reporter Asks Trump The Most Dumbass Gotcha Question Of All Time; Trump: Get That Weak Shit Out Of My House

I didn't know he had it in him.
That was a thing of beauty.

If Biden Wins, Your Guns Are History

Don't forget: if Biden wins, Robert Francis "Beta" O'Rourke will be in charge of firearm policy...and if so, then all your guns are belong to them.
For the record, I want to make it clear that I recently lost all my firearms in a tragic boating accident.

You want the boog? Because voting for Biden is how you get the boog.

Biden/Reade Sexual Assault: More Corroborating Evidence?

Christine Blasey Ford: Not At All Credible; Proven Liar; Lauded Breathlessly By MSM; Tara Reade: Significant Confirming Evidence; Ignored/Suppressed By MSM

This would be bad even if it were an isolated case.
But it isn't.
The media landscape is not a level playing-field.
IMO this should be a matter of concern even to the left.
IMO bias in favor of the position I tend to accept is still bias.

Group Calls For Lockier Lockdown In VA

Please take more of our terrible, terrible freedom.
   As evidence mounts that our errors were mainly in the direction of over-reaction, and that the best thing we can do now is to get the economy fired up again, this recommendation certainly sounds kind of ridiculous. And that's kind of an understatement.
   It seems to me that we still aren't all that sure what we're dealing with--this bug may have some nasty surprises left. But, given the available information as I understand it, I find this proposal more than a little bit frustrating/angrifying. It doesn't help that everything's tainted with politics, too, with the blue team arguing for more "distancing" and longer lockdowns, and the red team chomping at the bit to minimize the latter at least and get back to work. So it's hard not to wonder whether this proposal is, in part, a shot in that battle, a way of affirming the position of the blues and giving Northam a way to represent his 6/10 estimate as a compromise. But those sorts of arguments loom larger when you don't understand the technical details--so that's probably what's up with that.
   It really is puzzling, though, that anyone would make such a recommendation when it's clear that the country isn't going to opt for a two-week, total-lockdown, completely-squish-the-SoB strategy. I don't see how it can do any good for VA to do it when other states don't. That strategy just seems to me to be off the table.
   And, again, any medical argument of this kind that doesn't take the economic costs into account can't be taken very seriously.
   Here's the open letter. Most of the signatories seem to have no special, relevant expertise. Among them are a "self-employed illustrator," a "poet/musician/artist," a Target employee, and an "unemployed stagehand." That doesn't change the fact that many do seem to have relevant qualifications--though they don't state their areas of specialization. Your average M.D. probably doesn't know anything more about all this than a well-informed layperson. Weirdly, something like 2/3 of the signatories seem to be female. I'd be really, really interested to know their party affiliations--and I don't mean that as thinly-disguised snark...I really would. I'd be willing to bet at least a little money that around 70% are on the blue team.
   Needless to say, we could all look back on this in a month or a year and regret not having taken their advice...but as things stand now, I wouldn't.

Scott McKay: "Disinfecting The Left-Wing Media"

NYT Still Flogging The "Trump Said Inject Disinfectant" Lie

   It's not exactly a lie--his comments were garbled and indeterminate enough that some people undoubtedly actually convinced themselves that that's what he said. So, at least to some extent, it's a mistake. Hell, I thought that's what he was saying the first time I listened to it. Of course the NYT crowd desperately wants him to say things like their errors are largely motivated errors.
   Anyway, for those of us interested in figuring out the real Trump rather than the Straw Trump, the interesting question is: why would he muse (as Birx has insightfully characterized it) under such conditions? In a press conference about a pandemic? It just seems dumb, foolish and irresponsible. I actually don't think it's a terribly big deal. It's a drop in the bucket of evidence we have that he's not temperamentally suited to the job. If it were his only misstep, it'd be nothing. But he just doesn't seem to be capable of sustaining the kind of gravitas required by the job. Or, at least, it doesn't come naturally to him.
   Of course we are, to some extent, talking about our decision in November. And that decision is largely comparative. And the other guys have lost it. Their demeanor is uniformly better. And demeanor and temperament really do matter. But not as much as genuine substance. And despite the superficial trappings of reasonability, the blues are currently unacceptable on that score. It's bad enough that they've lost contact with reality on so many points...but to conjoin that with a commitment to "big, sweeping, systematic change"... That's not merely a blueprint for disaster, it's virtually an ideological commitment to it.

Sunday, April 26, 2020

The Return Of The Right-Wing Anti-Pr0n Crusade

Yeah, that's gonna go great.

Do The Pubs Need A Trump Win To Keep The Senate?

I've never really known what to think about "coattails."
I do agree that, if Trump loses, the Senate will likely be lost as well. But that'd probably be because Trump losing would be evidence of less overall red-team popularity. 
So, if you think that keeping the Senate is the most important goal, I'm not sure you'd be wise to spend much money on Trump. Spend it on Senate races.
But, again, I don't really understand this stuff. I will be surprised if the presidency and the Senate don't go the same way.
I think the red team needs to say, basically: Listen; you may not like us, and you probably don't like Trump. But you have to vote for us at least until the blue team comes to its senses again. Right now, a vote for the blues is just not an option. You probably won't admit that in public. You may even have a hard time admitting it to yourself. But your ballot is secret. And you need to be honest at least with yourself. Furtheremore, on a longer-range note: losing is the only thing that's going to straighten them out and make them remarginalize their fringe.

Yes, YouTube Removed A Video About A New Medical Treatment Because NYT's Davey Alba Flagged It As "Violating Community Guidelines"

Listen...eventually this sort of thing has to start mattering to significant numbers of progressives...doesn't it?:
How incredible is this? She’s literally tried to shut down a description of a possible therapy by enterprising scientists because it might actually back up what Trump said. And Youtube pulled it for “violating standards.” What standards? Being something that shows Trump might be right?
There are at least two problems here. First, TDS. Second, the big tech companies that now control much of the public conversation are eager to do the bidding of a political faction that has censorship of opposing views as one of its central ideals. Lies/Bullshit about Trump telling people to inject Lysol are broadcast from every megaphone in Broadcastia. But one obscure YouTube video suggesting that one of Trump's actual suggestions might not have been the abject crackpottery it seemed to be...too far!
   There is a deep, wide, diligent and often sophisticated (though often just brute-force) effort to control publicly-available information so as to relentlessly make one side look good and the other look bad. And there is very little reason to think it won't work.

Economist Quantifies Cost Of Shutdown, Concludes Cure Far Worse Than Disease

COVID-19: Strokes and Neurological Damage?

I'm seeing some stuff about this...dunno what to think. Seems obvious that if long-term neurological damage is common, that changes the calculations.
The media is highlighting youngish people dying of strokes. This may be more hysteria-mongering via unusual cases, but it may not be. Could also change calculations.

Crapification of Star

Remember how strangely important Star Wars was to some of us for so long? Y'know, before George Lucas and Disney killed it?
   Anyway, the next idea about how to kill it is apparently to make it "female-centric"... ( is that woke enough, leaving out the trans and all?)
   Part of that seems to involve basically demoting Yoda by introducing a set of pre-packaged woke characters for The High Republic that include a woman who'd be contemporaneous with Yoda, but who comes out of the box already described as, basically the greatest Jedi e-var. As if that weren't lame enough in god, the descriptions of the characters are just awful. Not a single interesting or original thing about any of them. Even the names are like bad parodies of Star Wars character names. And speaking of it...where are the disabled characters?? Including dead ones. Why is this so vivocentric?
   Ace speculates that they don't really think they'll attract that many female fans, but that's not the point. The point is to make a political statement by taking something away from the boys. I mean, they hate nerds, and nerds are mostly male, and they hate the things nerds like, and the things men like, and their vindictive political projects can now get funded by the progressive cultural superstructure...if not by academia, then by the news media...and if not by them, then by publishing...and if not by them, then by Hollywood... They pretend to like nerd culture, but they don't. They hate it, and they want to destroy it. This is basically GamerGate 2020.
   I've always liked sci-fi/fantasy/action stuff with female leads and whatnot. Buffy is (or was) basically my favorite show of all time. In fact, what I actually always liked was stuff where there were good characters that weren't invariably standard-issue white guys. But when those preferences became politically mandatory, dictated by our cultural overseers...f*ck that. The left ruins everything.

Jack Goldsmith / Andrew Keene Woods: Kiss Free Speech On The Internet Goodbye

Their title:
"Internet Speech Will Never Go Back to Normal: In the debate over freedom versus control of the global network, China was largely correct, and the U.S. was wrong."
   As surprising as it may sound, digital surveillance and speech control in the United States already show many similarities to what one finds in authoritarian states such as China. Constitutional and cultural differences mean that the private sector, rather than the federal and state governments, currently takes the lead in these practices, which further values and address threats different from those in China. But the trend toward greater surveillance and speech control here, and toward the growing involvement of government, is undeniable and likely inexorable.
   In the great debate of the past two decades about freedom versus control of the network, China was largely right and the United States was largely wrong. Significant monitoring and speech control are inevitable components of a mature and flourishing internet, and governments must play a large role in these practices to ensure that the internet is compatible with a society’s norms and values.
Beginning in the 1990s, the U.S. government and powerful young tech firms began promoting nonregulation and American-style freedom of speech as essential features of the internet. This approach assumed that authoritarian states would crumble in the face of digital networks that seemed to have American constitutional values built into them. The internet was a vehicle for spreading U.S. civil and political values; more speech would mean better speech platforms, which in turn would lead to democratic revolutions around the world.
   I'm not neutral, but it certainly seems to be conservative and (actual) liberal speech that gets censored by the tech companies. Reddit, Twitter, YouTube, Facebook...all tend to censor stuff that's right of the extreme left.

Saturday, April 25, 2020

Progressives Seek To Suppress Anything Contrary To The Dogma Of Their Cult: Healight Edition

This jackass of an NYT writer got YouTube to take down the Healight video because it was being linked to "by people asserting that it backs up Trump's idea throwing it out there that UV rays kill coronavirus."  ...Which...the mind reels...  Also...this person's a writer?

Apparently There Actually Is A Treatment That Uses UV Light In The Upper Respiratory Tract

See, now this is why I hedged my bet. (That clip seems to be for real.)
   It's just really not that goofy an idea. In part because Trump speaks so foggily, it's no big surprise that there's something that basically fits his description, such as it was.
   Which is not to say that this is what he had in mind--though it's entirely possible that this or something like it was mentioned to him at some point.
   It won't even surprise me if turns out that Bloodscrubbertm is a thing.
   'Nuther link.

VA Lockdown "Could Be A Two-Year Affair"

That crack-brained bullshit has already been walked back.
   I'm honestly a bit surprised people are still putting up with this as it is. My guess is that it's worth holding back a week or so if possible to see what happens in other states that are opening up. If it's a mistake, we don't want everybody doing it at once. And, on the off chance that those states get big spikes in hospitalizations that overwhelm capacity, we want other states to be able to help them out.
   But--like most everyone else by now--I'll be surprised if that happens.
   Also, Northam's a power-hungry authoritarian he can't be trusted to have good judgment about this sort of thing. There's a decent chance that the citizens of the Commonwealth will have to take matters into our own hands and just ignore the lockdown order.
   I'm going into week six on this bronchitis-or-whatever-it-is. Be kind funny if I got all Don't Tread On Me about this and then went out and got th' Batpox and died LOL. 'd serve me right.

Trump Forgetting Politics 101?

Codevilla is the kind of thinker that is seeing things--real or imagined--somewhat beyond the range within which I'm willing to draw conclusions.
   But I find him intriguing.
   And what he says here is, I think, at least plausible.
   I'm not sure in what way the left is using the pandemic...but I think it is safe to say that they're using it. More than a few have admitted as much. (Never let a good crisis go to waste, sayeth a blue sage...)
   I get frustrated with my friends for going along with it all...but it's so damn hard to see your way past. There but for the grace of a few lucky breaks and an excessively cantankerous nature go I... There went I until two years ago. It's hard to break with your church, hard to become the hated apostate. To become politically unclean. So hard that you may have to have one of my peculiar character flaws to do it--i.e., you may have to just enjoy pissing people off...

Have The Dems Decided To Get Rid Of Biden?

I mean...I've basically thought this is...not inevitable...but likely.
   The pandemic crashed the economy and Trump is kind of losing his shit in the press conferences...and the media is now even more shamelessly just the PR wing of the DNC...which one would have thought impossible. The Dems have a real opportunity here.
   Biden was already Biden. And now he's lost a step right before all our eyes. And corroborating evidence seems to have emerged about the Tara Reade sexual harassment accusation. Biden just seems like a bad bet. And the DNC controls their selection in a way that Pubs just don't control theirs.
   Anyway. I'll actually be surprised if they stick with him.
   The problem of course, is: who ya gonna tap as a replacement? Bernie's the obvious choice, but the DNC is anti-Bernie. But if they tap somebody other than Bernie, the Bernie bros (so called) are likely to stay home.
   Well, for that matter, Biden might just be pissed off enough to torpedo his replacement, too.
   Best-case scenario, the Dems self-destruct and reorganize themselves into a centrist party--or get replaced by one. Hey, a guy can dream, can't he?

Michael Moore, Planet Of The Humans

This is pretty interesting, if haphazard.
   The stuff about "green"/"clean" energy is interesting, if accurate--you've always got to double-check Moore. The main point: almost all such energy is really biomass, and that shit is neither green or clean. As for solar, it takes so many resources to make it that we'd be better off without it. Is this true? Dunno. But it seems contrary to his usual view, so perhaps worth checking.
   Toward the end, overpopulation suddenly pops up. I'm inclined to be concerned about overpopulation, so that was of interest to me...but it kind of comes out of nowhere in the video.
   Anyway, make of it what you will:
It ends with some gut-wrenching footage of that bit's pretty tough to watch.

Progressive News Media In A Nutshell

Hungary:, that's all completely wrong.

Szijjártó--who, as I don't have to point out, has one of the most badass names ever--completely takes Amanpour apart. Not with rhetorical tricks nor brute force, but with actual, rational analysis. E.g. when he points out that ordinary questions of legislation like the "trans" stuff have nothing to do with the issue of emergency powers. She keeps her cool--impressively, really. Because he completely hoses her. Undaunted by the fact that the entire predicate of her criticism is knocked out from under her, she just keeps on attacking. She does at least throw out a veiled, semi-admission of error in her "that's news to us." But, of course, what she ought to have said was "I'm so sorry, we were completely misinformed." Instead, she throws a generic (I originally typed 'genderic'...which is kinda funny) prog-bomb: but what about the trans?????
   I was sitting here marveling at the kind of brains and linguistic deftness it takes to reason that clearly in a second language...the mind, it reels... 
   This sort of thing is despicable. 
   But nobody on the left seems to care.

MSM Pushing The *Trump Said Inject Lysol* Story

My first thought upon seeing the video was Look, that's it. I realize the Dems will wreck the country, but that's it. No matter how bad they are, Trump's just no longer an option.
   Then I re-watched it. Jesus Christ it's painful. Pure cringe, especially the shot that you sometimes see, from the side, with Birx right there fighting to find some way to keep herself from exploding at the stupidity of what the guy is saying... And he just...keeps...going...
   But, no. He's not saying to inject Lysol.
   What he's saying seems like abject dumbassery. But he's absolutely, positively not recommending that anyone inject cleaning products.
   That's just a lie.
   He's not even recommending that we research that.
   What he says is:
“I see the disinfectant that knocks it out in a minute, one minute. And is there a way we can do something like that by injection inside or almost a cleaning? As you see, it gets in the lungs, it does a tremendous number on the lungs, so it would be interesting to check that.”[my emphasis]
   He's jabbering about finding some way to clean the virus out of the body in a way "almost" "something like" the way disinfectants clean it off of surfaces.
   And when asked about what he meant a few minutes later he clearly indicates that he's not saying to inject fucking Lysol.
   It seems embarrassingly stupid/ignorant...though, honestly I can't rule it out that some legit medical researcher somewhere might say "Yeah, we're actually investigating something that isn't entirely unlike that." I mean, you hear weird, unlikely analogies all the time from that world. (It's like a guided's like starving the microbe...) But at any rate: it just sounds stupid as hell to the layperson's ear--and, I'd guess...but it is a guess...also to all legit medical researchers.
   I mean..he almost seems to think that he might have some kind of pulled-out-of-his-ass idea that's going to make researchers sit up and say "We...we never thought of it like that before!!! To the Bat-lab!" (na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na...)

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Everything Is Racist: Making Fun Of The CCP Is Racist

   Progressivism has become a self-parody.
   I like the insistent/desperate "DESPITE THE PLAQUE'S OVERT RACISM..."...the cops said that they couldn't investigate it as a "bias crime" unless there was some evidence there was a racial motive... Maybe if Vice simply writes a few more stories about how it's obvious the cops will see the light...
   Thought-control is the cornerstone of contemporary progressivism.

Friday, April 24, 2020

Trump Says "Disinfectant" Comments Were Sarcasm

Nah...I've defended him a couple of times when the press refused to recognize that he was trying to be (and usually was actually being) funny...e.g. the "Russia, if you're listening" email comment.
But he wasn't trying to be funny this time.
He also wasn't suggesting that people inject Lysol...he was talking about "something like that"--i.e. something like disinfecting people's bodies.
It was dumb.
It wasn't about injecting Lysol.
It wasn't sarcasm.
It was just dumb.

Shirkers Of The World, Unite!

I didn't think of the joke, but my version is better.

Did Trump Say To Inject Lysol?

LOL no...
...or rather, and unfortunately: probably not...but...not clearly not...
   The real problem: dude speaks so imprecisely/inarticulately/incoherently that half the time you just can't tell WTF he's trying to say. This was one of those times. One longs for Obama now and again...
   Since you'd have to be a complete f'in moron to think that thing about Lysol, and he's not one--not complete, I mean--that's probably not what he was saying.
   Since he's notoriously inarticulate and full of shit and just says words when he shouldn't, and since this was pretty clearly one of the times when those characteristics were in the forefront, a fair-minded person who wasn't just trying to score political points would conclude that the not-entirely-psychopathically-stupid interpretation was the intended interpretation. And because: he said that later in the presser.*
   In case it helps: a mind-blowing degree of inarticulateness disqualifies one from being president, so far as I am concerned.
   But He is mind-blowingly inarticulate and full of shit and he won't shut his pie hole is not good enough--i.e. bad enough--for La Resistance and the media. I mean--it's good enough/bad enough for me...but YMMV. Anyway, they need HE SAID TO SHOOT UP WITH CLOROX!!!!!11  So that's what they gave themselves.
   Of course Trump did more than his part for the effort. He is La Resistance's foremost ally.
   Anyway. The Biden team seems worried about these pressers, and seems to want to find some way to compete with them. But why interfere when your enemy is in the process of repeatedly shooting himself in the ass?
   Also: Did you see Birx sitting in the background fighting to keep control of her reaction, thinking nonononononono…..

*What was he trying to say?
   What am I, the Rosetta Stone?
   Don't freakin' ask me... I guess it was something about disinfecting lungs from inside them, with something analogous to disinfectant--but not, y'know, actual Clorox...
   As for the sunlight stuff...I dunno, man. I just work here.

Everything Is Terrible: Progressive Pandemic Punditry Edition

And I thought conservatism was supposed to be the pessimistic political position...

The Data Is In--Stop The Panic, End The Total Isolation

I'm merely an obsessive observer.
   But this has been my inclination for some time now.
   Since, TBH, about, oh, Easter... (Regular Easter, not Orthodox Easter.) I've been thinking for a week or so now that I was wrong to say that Trump's seemingly-pulled-out-of-thin-air guess of Easter was wrong after all... Buuut...I guess it seems pretty good to me again now.
   In my not-even-close-to-being-an-expert, semi-well-informed-layperson's opinion, firing up the economy again is more-or-less an emergency. Sitting around on our asses day after day fretting about it isn't going to do the trick. Something needs to get done now. Burning money is burning lives, in case we have to speak to people who only understand things in such terms.
   This seems to conflict with my fret that GA was acting precipitously. I guess it does. I suppose I was thinking something more like: more sparsely-populated states should start with businesses that are more important than and require less personal contact than nail salons...which...what a concept anyway, right?
   But this thing has become a red-blue football, like everything else. It's now a matter of principle among many blues that we should all stay home and, well, honestly, do as we're told. And, as is their wont these days, they proclaim that to be Science!tm. Many reds think this it's now all very obvious that this was BS from the beginning, and by now it's matter of principle and individual choice and common sense: the cure is and has perhaps always been worse than the disease yadda yadda let my people go and so on.
  Also: we flattened the curve. We all bought the argument and did the thing. Now a lot of us think it's time to get things moving again. Though since I can do my job from home, I'll keep myself pretty scarce, except for food and th' Home Depot. No sense in extremely inessential people such as myself making things worse.

Thursday, April 23, 2020

Snapshot Of The Progressive Left: "I Teach At Oxford, But Don't Want It To Win The Coronavirus Vaccine Race"

Possibly the most progressive post of all time:
   The race is on and researchers at Oxford are doing vital, life-saving work. But races have winners and losers. If my university is the first to develop the vaccine, I’m worried that it will be used as it has been in the past, to fulfil its political, patriotic function as proof of British excellence.
   The story will be clear: China, once again, has unleashed a threat to civilisation. But the best brains of the UK have saved the world.
   Whilst I’m hopeful that I will be able to visit my Dad soon, this must not overshadow the key lesson of coronavirus: international cooperation saves lives. The research community knows this. Let’s hope our politicians do too.
"I'm worried that it will be fulfill its political, patriotic function as proof of British excellence."
That makes exactly no sense. What's the "it" here? Being the first to develop the vaccine? That has no function you complete dumbass.
And: if the Brits are the first to make a vaccine, that would be proof of British excellence, anyway. So what she's really saying is: I hope we're less excellent that we might be.
Well, in the sense of they.
Because she's not a medical researcher. She apparently "researches" "vulnerability" and "gender"... As if that were actual research. She's a bullshitter. She teaches nothing real nor difficult. She shouldn't be speaking of herself and medical researchers in the same breath.
Also, a quick Google search seems to indicate that she teaches at Oxford Brookes university, not Oxford.
At any rate, here's her point, more-or-less: I'd rather the development of a vaccine be delayed than that a British team should develop it. Because the would make the Brits seems excellent. And that could make some people feel patriotic. And, as a good progressive, I hate Western culture, and my own nation most of all.
The left has lost its goddamned mind.

Is The WuFlu Death Rate 0.5%?

"How The Left Lost Its Mind"

This seems kinda clueless now, post-Russiagate. It's clear--or should be--to anyone paying attention that the left has much bigger problems than those Coppins is fretting about. When America's "paper of record" spends two years flogging a transparently ridiculous conspiracy theory to the effect that the president of the United States is a Russian puppet who enjoys watching prostitutes pee on each other, your problem is not the free blogging section of HuffPo.  Oh, and don't forget that it barely acknowledged its two-year-long, humiliating, inexcusable error...but instead, shifted almost seamlessly to pushing a brainless, largely fact-free identity-politics fantasy--the so-called "1619 Project." And that's just one newspaper--it barely scratches the surface of the left's problems. 

Do As Coonman Says, Not As Coonman Does

This guy.

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Our Media Is A Force-Multiplier For Our Enemies

Including...the invisible enemy...
   Gosh, they're just terrible. They really are just a hair'sbreadth shy of being on the side of the virus.
I've been avoiding the press conferences because Trump is so agonizing to listen to.
   This time, we weren't even ten minutes in before the press was basically shitting their pants to pin the word 'devastating' on CDC's Redfield. Then to insist that the WuFlu will be just as bad if it comes back in the Fall. And so on.
   They're not quite rooting for the virus...but they're not quite not rooting for the virus.
   Trump is just awful. But the media is so very much worse.
   Jeez. I wish he would stop trying to reason with these people. It obviously simply cannot be done.

"The New Normal"


An Apt Analogy?

   A jumbo jet is cruising at full speed some 40,000 feet above the surface of the earth. The flight is smooth. The pilots are then suddenly ordered by a handful of armed passengers – the air marshals, we might call them – to shut off all of the engines.
   The goal of this unprecedented policy is to rid the aircraft of some genuinely dangerous debris that it recently encountered. Some well-meaning other passengers, upon noticing this debris on the surface of the plane, argued that stalling the plane as quickly as possible offers the best – really, the only – hope of ridding the plane of the debris.
   When its engines are stalled, the plane, of course, immediately goes into a mad tailspin. It hurtles dangerously toward the ground. “Don’t worry,” the armed passengers, who have now assumed great power, tell their fellow passengers. “We know that this tailspin is unpleasant, but it’s necessary for the safety of all of us. And we’ll restart the engines in time to get our aircraft eventually back on a smooth course. Trust us. We’re following the best scientific counsel.”
From comments:
I notice the scientific counsel has also changed during the plunge. At first it was to plunge until just enough debris is removed so that the plane's wings are not so overwhelmed that it can't maintain lift. Now we for some reason must continue plunging until there is zero debris on the wings, never mind the risk of soon not having wings to which debris can stick.

Biden Moves Left

Well, there go any hopes of him moving centerward for the general...
   Phrases that should strike fear in the heart of any reasonable person: "big, sweeping change," "systemic change" etc.
   Look, I don't think we have an optimal "system" (whatever that means). But we have what is possibly the best the world has ever seen. That's not (merely) jingoism, that's basically the real judgment of humanity. Lefty types and Europeans will sneer...but the world votes with its feet. This is where people want to come. (Which, incidentally, is part of why we have to keep a tighter reign on immigration--we can't bring in everyone who wants to come here; not by a long shot.) Most changes available to us are bad. We're pretty bad at this sort of thing, especially when we pull stuff out of our...hat...guided by tribal, political passions. To very loosely paraphrase Peirce from a very different context: we can't go on making such changes--let along "big, sweeping" ones--too long without ending in disaster.
   We're talking about a party that is now largely controlled by the passions and quasi-religious commitments of its most radical wing. ( least they have nominated one of their most-centrist candidates...which is great...) It's rapidly become the party of the bleeding-heart Orwellians. It's becoming more and more hostile to the First Amendment, the Second Amendment, elements of the Fifth Amendment, the Tenth Amendment (though that may be changing...) traditional American culture (that has given us the country everyone wants to come to) and even the idea of nations per se. It's Lysenkoist / PC in the extreme, and getting worse every day. The very last thing you want to authorize such a party to do is make "big, sweeping change." That is a blueprint for disaster and we can clearly see it coming. This is no secret. It's right freaking out in the open. It's barreling toward us, bearing right down on us.
   And the demands for big, sweeping change never stop and never will stop. That's not the way the left operates. The ACA was supposed to be the health-care statute to end all health-care statutes...and yet, before the ink was dry...
   Of course, OTOH is Trump. Real estate huckster, reality television star, loud-mouthed narcissistic con man. Spastically, incoherently misleading us through perhaps our greatest challenge since the Cold War.
   OTOOH is the vast, left-wing conspiracy arrayed against him... The VRWC may have been a myth (or not)...the VLWC is right out in the open...and Durham is about to drag some of the hidden parts out, too.
   I'm heartened by the fact that, at the time, I thought that Reagan was a joke, too. But he wasn't. In fact, he won the Cold War for us. And Trump makes some really good actual decisions. The problem is largely his words. It gets harder and harder to tolerate him...but I still think that on the other side lies virtually guaranteed disaster...especially given two likely SCOTUS appointments. I continue to hope that Trump doesn't beclown himself to such a degree that he ceases to be a reasonable alternative...but his antics during the pandemic have made that hope more and more difficult to sustain. Most people decide on the basis of the personality stuff...and that stuff is all coming up Biden...

Two Californians With No Relevant Chinese Contacts Contracted COVID-19 In January

Holy crap.
Both died.
What a puzzle. I'll bet a lot more students develop an interest in epidemiology after this. Not for careerist reasons, but just because it's interesting as hell.

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Babylon Bee's COVID-19 Translation Guide

We Were Asked To Flatten The Curve. We Did. Now The Goalposts Have Been Moved.

I saw this argument on twitter, and can't find the source.
But it's a solid point.

Senate Intel Committee: Russia Interfered To Help Trump In '16 Election

Think it amounts to more than sending around the beat it Jesus meme?

USA #1 In WuFlu Testing WoooHoooo! USA! USA! Us...uh...a?

So we've now administered more total tests than any other country in the world. Way more than the next two countries, Germany and Rooskiestan...even if you believe the Rooskies about...well...anything.
   So where's the fanfare? After all the hysterical shrieking, we're now #1 by far!
   Of course it's not much of a comparison. Per capita testing provides a much more meaningful comparison. But the media has been squealing about total deaths and ignoring per capita ones... What gives? Why are total deaths the relevant measure but not total tests?
   So weird.
   I can't think of anything that would explain that.

Ever Notice How Easy It Is To Be a Nazi These Days?; Also: Which Side Is Composed Of Cheese-Eating Surrender Monkeys?

Question the length of the lockdown?
   Disagreeing with any jot or tittle of progressive preferences now makes you a Nazi. And now, apparently, there's nothing more progressive than government-mandated lockdowns! If you are concerned about the unpersuasiveness of the evidence, or about First-Amendment issues, or about a depression or losing your business...well...that makes you...well, maybe not literally Hitler...but certainly literally Goebbels at least.
   Also, you're fat and like....this is almost too horrible to contemplate...chain restaurants dun dun DUUUUUNNN   Gauche, amirite?
   Aaaannnd….though I'd like to believe that we could still win something like WWII together if we had one side is surrender-prone...I think we all know which one it is...
   The most bizarre part is that this Shartlet fellow things that watching Hulu in his underwear is analogous to taking the Remagen bridge...

Georgia Busts Out

Too bad there's no middle-ground between draconian shutdown and opening up crap like nail salons.

Eh, I should revise that to: seems precipitous.
The rest of us likely ought to thank them--they're gonna be the point man here. The rest of us will learn a lot from this experiment.
Godspeed, GA.

Lowry: Trump Team's Ventilator Home Run

To repeat myself: there are lots of reasons to criticize Trump. Most of them have to do with his ridiculous, chaotic rhetoric. But substantively, he's been surprisingly good.
If this account is right, the Trump team's solution to the ventilator crisis was brilliant. The media, as is its wont, relentlessly criticized their response, fanning the flames of hysteria, exaggerating problems, refusing ever to give credit, just plain making stuff up.
   At a coronavirus-task-force briefing at the beginning of April, White House adviser Jared Kushner explained the approach that would -- as events proved -- get the country through its ventilator crisis.
   The media relentlessly pilloried and mocked him, distorting his words in the process.
   Kushner said at one point that states shouldn't be drawing on the federal stockpile just to hold ventilators in their own reserves (the administration was worried about ventilators sent to New York state not making it to hard-pressed hospitals in the Big Apple).
   This led to a flurry of media criticism alleging that Kushner wanted to hoard the federal ventilator stockpile. In a piece for The New Yorker, Susan Glasser predicted that the briefing would "surely go down as one of the administration's most callous Performances."
   Actually, the emphasis on data and shrewd allocation that Kushner discussed at the April 2 briefing has clearly worked.
   At the outset, the country was looking at a daunting, perhaps impossible challenge. A chilling briefing at the Federal Emergency Management Agency early on posited that the United States could be short 130,000 ventilators by April 1.
   The federal government had about 16,000 ventilators on hand in its stockpile and several thousand more from Veterans Affairs and the Department of Defense.
   A couple of insights drove the administration's effort to get its arms around the problem.
   Officials realized, as one White House adviser puts it, that there was "too much guesstimating" going on. Many governors didn't know how many ventilators their states had and were acting on the normal impulse to have more than enough, just in case.
   The administration created a data team. It used hospital billings to estimate how many ventilators were in each state and how many were being utilized, so it didn't have to depend on perhaps panicky, poorly informed requests from states.
   Another important realization was that FEMA could pull off just-in-time delivery. This created a lot of flexibility. The administration could wait to see how things really played out rather than making decisions based on projections weeks in the future.
   The media portrayed it as a failure every time the administration gave a state a fraction of its request, but this was a key element of the strategy.
   If the administration had tried to meet New York's initial estimated need for 40,000 additional ventilators, for instance, everything would have gone out the door --- and for no good reason. Another insight was that most ventilators out in the country weren't being used, since virus hotspots are geographically limited. That meant there was a tremendous capacity to be tapped. This led to the Dynamic Ventilator Reserve. States and hospitals with a safe margin of ventilators not in use could lend them to places that needed them.
   Seems to me that this is basically the sort of thing we get all the time. Nobody knows anything at all about the problem--including the press. You probably know what I know about ventilators and the medical supply chain. Nothing. So the media can make up some more-or-less vaguely plausible account that more-or-less vaguely fits some of the prominent facts, declare Trump an evil dictator + brainless incompetent + owner of stock in a coffin company, and his policies total failures. When it turns out that we didn't come even close to the hysterical predictions of disaster, there's no mention of success. They just move on to the next hysterical criticism. It's the PPE crisis that they're currently flogging him for. Of course we don't know anything about that stuff, either. Nor what a smart response would be likely to accomplish. Nor what a dumb one would. So we have no framework for realistically evaluating the administration's response. All we know is that the media will represent everything in the most Trump-unfriendly way possible. We're not even in an information vacuum, we're in a disinformation pressure chamber. Trump could be failing spectacularly, but we can't know whether he is or not because we don't have a reliable news media. This is what people might have felt like in the USSR. Maybe capitalism is failing in the USA...but even if it were, we couldn't know it. Because Pravda is going to run the same headlines about it whether it's happening or not.
   Blah blah blah.

Somebody Should Be Representing Likely Economic Costs Of Lockdowns Like We Represent Pandemic Data

The curves we're shown don't help much with decision-making when we don't also represent the economic harm being done. "Flattening the curve" is being represented as if it were the only goal. Ignoring costs is always a blueprint for disaster. As Sowell puts it: there are no solutions, only tradeoffs. Right now we have little reason to believe that we're doing more good than harm. Of course we might be--but we're flying virtually blind. We could be looking back on this ten years from now as our biggest mistake of the twenty-first century thus far.
   The stimulus is a way to flatten the economic curve, deferring the pain. But with interest. Also, in this respect, we're shifting the pain to younger generations.
   Somebody has to be working all this stuff out.

"The Invisible Enemy"

Wow that's cringey.
If it weren't so artless and risible it'd be sinister.

Trump Temporarily Halts Immigration

   Somehow I hadn't really focused on the fact that we're still permitting travel from a lot of places. I think I'd somehow tacitly been thinking there was no nonessential travel into the U.S. So I thought an immigration hiatus would follow from that. 
   If you care about American workers...and nobody does anymore...except insofar as the Dems care about support from'd throttle back on immigration in a longer-term way. I see the rationale for Trump's proclamation, but it strikes me as just another case of a politician using the crisis as an excuse for doing something he wanted to do anyway. And an abrupt, total ban seems draconian. There are people out there who've basically built their recent lives around their immigration schedule. 
   I'm sure almost nobody knows whether this is actually a good idea or not, since almost nobody knows much about immigration policy. But it sounds rather like a kind of mean-spirited stunt. Even if it isn't, that's the way it will be represented.
   Given the looming economic crisis, including skyrocketing unemployment, it could be a good idea. Just dunno.

Monday, April 20, 2020

George Packer: "We Are Living In A Failed State"

This is shit, so far as I can tell.
But, again, just couldn't finish.
I generally think Packer is pretty good. Better earlier, but still pretty good. But this seems like pure TDS, IMO.
We live in a failed state? Really? I don't see how that could be a whole lot farther from the truth. Excepting for NYC, our pandemic mortality rate is near Germany's--a country that liberals basically can't stop praising on this score. We've come in way, way, way under predictions. Ridiculously under. We were told that the sky was falling--it hasn't, and it isn't going to. We were told that we'd exceed hospital capacity all over the country. That was about as false as it could be.
   Here's a standard progressive line now:
Like a wanton boy throwing matches in a parched field, Trump began to immolate what was left of national civic life. He never even pretended to be president of the whole country, but pitted us against one another along lines of race, sex, religion, citizenship, education, region, and—every day of his presidency—political party. His main tool of governance was to lie. A third of the country locked itself in a hall of mirrors that it believed to be reality; a third drove itself mad with the effort to hold on to the idea of knowable truth; and a third gave up even trying.
   That's utter shit. What did Trump do that was intended to "immolate what was left of national civic life"? I do think there's some truth in the claim that he hasn't tried to be president of the whole country so much as president of the conservative rear-guard against progressive efforts to destroy the country. The same charge could be leveled at Obama, though with less justice. Progressives, of course, make no effort whatsoever to aim for the good of the whole country, nor even to see us as a unified country. Nor a country at all, really, since they now portray nationalism and borders as inexcusable evils. And those who believe in them as irredeemably evil. So...yeah, I do think there's some truth in the charge against Trump...but insofar as he's conducting a defense against the scorched-earth culture war the vanguard of the left is prosecuting against American and Western culture...that's an excuse.
Read more »

It's Permissible To Be Skeptical About Lockdowns

   I'm certainly skeptical.
   I'd think anyone would be given the experts' pandemic track record thus far...
But skeptical doesn't mean certain it's the wrong strategy.
   I'm still staying mostly on my own property, though not making any effort to stay inside. And I'm staying back from anyone I encounter when, say, walking the dog. I also keep the dog away from other people and other dogs, just in case the virus really does survive on surfaces significantly. I go out seldom, wear a mask, shed clothes and take a shower when I come back (If I've been around anybody). If we bring back groceries, we leave them in the car, put the ozone generator in there and let it run for at least ten minutes. I'd bet this is overkill. But we do it.
   I don't necessarily trust my judgment about such things. I have little doubt that the collective judgment of my fellow citizens is significantly better than mine. So I remain relatively compliant so long as they do.
   Also, I've had some kind of bronchitis or some crap for 5 freakin' weeks. I've had three videoconferences with my GP, and he continues to think there's basically no chance I have the plague. I agree. But I'm not wild about having a potential lung-based "comorbidity." Anyway, given all that, I have to be extra-careful on my own behalf.
   Anyhoo… Skepticism seems to me to be the rational position at this point. But skepticism is consistent with "watchful waiting."

Should We Aim To Keep The Mortality Rate At Average?

Other things being equal, would that be a reasonable benchmark?
I was reading (though I'm too lazy to look for the link) that our monthly mortality rate is currently below average--which wouldn't be that surprising given that nobody's doing anything.
Seems like if, say, we could resume all economic activity and bring the mortality rate up to normal, we could, perhaps, call it a draw. Or even maybe a win.
Seems like it'd be worth it also to accept a somewhat higher death rate if we could resume all economic activity.
After that, it's a matter for economists to figure out.
Of course epidemiological types are worried not only about current death rates, but future ones.
Still...seems like every day that both the mortality rate and the GDP are below average constitutes evidence of overreaction. (Does daily GDP make sense?)

Trump Emits More Inaccuracies; Media Emits More BS "Fact" Checks

I really don't know which is worse.
   Trump said he "inherited" bad WuFlu tests...but they were developed during his administration!
Of course, he had nothing to do with it, and probably means that he "inherited"--i.e. got stuck with them--from the CDC...but never mind.
   Then there's this one:
He falsely claimed, again, that "nobody ever thought" there would be a crisis like this; there were years of warnings.
So...some people warned generally that we could have a pandemic some day...probably from China...sorry...CHI-NA...because that's where they usually come from...though it's stigmo-xeno-racifying to admit it...  Anyway. Some people noted that it was a real and relevant possibility. They warned us. More-or-less like some people are doing for all sorts of disasters. Asteroid strikes. Yellowstone supervolcano. Rogue AI. High-energy solar flares. Global cooling. EMPs. Local GRBs... And lesser bad things like the bursting of the academic bubble, another housing crisis. If one of these happened, it'd be pretty much ok to say "nobody every thought it would happen." Which means: We knew it was possible, but we didn't really think it would happen. Which is true. Even though some people did think it would happen. "There were warnings" doesn't exactly show that it isn't true that nobody ever thought it would happen.
And he falsely claimed, again, that his travel restrictions on China and Europe, for which he exempted large groups of travelers, amounted to a complete "ban."
   Did he say "ban" or "complete ban"? Because those are different. The media and progressives (but I repeat myself) routinely say that we have "a Muslim ban" though it applies to fewer than 10 of the world's 50 Muslim countries--and not the biggest ones. Though he should have implemented a total ban...
Trump also claimed that all of the people protesting against pandemic restrictions have stood six feet apart from each other. Some have not.
See?!?!?!?!? SOME HAVE NOT!!!! SOOOOOMMMME!!!!!!11111
   It's bad that he speaks like he does. He bullshits. Sometimes he even lies. He speaks so imprecisely and inarticulately that half the time I can't even really tell what he's trying to say. (CNN: HALF the time? HE SAID HALF!!!!) He's a wreck. He's really not up to the job, IMO. He deserves criticism. Which excuses the media's shittiness to some extent, I think. But not near all of it. In a choice between Trump and the complex of illiberal, progressive interests that are arrayed against him...which includes the's in no way clear that the former is the shittiest nor the most dangerous of our shitty, dangerous options. Which doesn't excuse Trump's craptastic inaccuracies...but it does put them in perspective in a way.

Sunday, April 19, 2020

Trump: OD Dems' Gun Control Laws Example Of Too Much Control By Governors In A Crisis

Yet again, dude is right.
And that bullshit about insurrection is yet more ridiculous BS from the Dems.
Trump's superpower seems to be provoking Dems into being more ridiculous than he is.

WuFlu Reveals China's Anti-Black Racism

That's, like, not your American, snowflakey, largely hypothetical used-outdated-terminology-or-whatever racism... That's your full-strength, straight-up, no-bones-about-it racism.

Saturday, April 18, 2020

Furloughs And Pay Cuts For All University Of Arizona Faculty And Staff

Perfectly reasonable. 
I'm surprised this is the first I've heard of such a thing.

Downstate NY's Effect On U.S. COVID-19 Numbers


Kriss Vector Gen 2 10mm Review


NYT: "A Key GOP Strategy: Blame China"

You really can't make this shit up.
A key progressive strategy: defend even the Chicoms if it'll help La Resistance to take down Trump.
I've got nothing against opposing Trump. It's a reasonable position. But it has its limits.

Leiter On The Legal Problems With "Diversity" Statements

   It's clear that this all got started with the damnable Powell arguments in Bakke. (Though I'm fairly inclined to agree that the government has a compelling interest in fostering integration and mitigating segregative sorting. I'm less sure about the remedial goal.) 
   Universities should be loath to employ any criteria for hiring faculty that aren't intellectual/scholarly or pedagogical. 
   Worse, of course, is taking yet another step down the road of destroying universities qua universities by subordinating their scholarly and pedagogical ends to political ones. More and more they're becoming institutions for advancing the "social justice" ends of the progressive left. These loyalty oaths are another--and a major--step in the Orwellian left's long march through the institutions. The fact that any academicians would tolerate this is clear evidence of the dire straights in which we find ourselves.

Liberate VA Etc.

This is the story of Trump: surprisingly sane policies (a surprising amount of the time, anyway) + spastic rhetoric that makes everything worse.
   Not that I'm qualified to evaluate the three-stage reopening blueprint. But it sounds reasonable and notably conservative (in the non-political sense). And I've come to think we're kind of on our own in trying to evaluate such things anyway. I'm not longer very confident about which experts to trust--and when it's all filtered through the systematically distorting lens of the NYT et al...God knows. 
   There is some sense in which Virginia needs to be liberated from Governor Coonman & co. But Trump's already injected enough chaos and irrationality into the discussion without doing whatever his "LIBERATE" tweets were intended to do. What we need, it seems, is a determined, cautious, level-headed, cold-blooded move back to business.
   All he's really got to do is shut his mouth occasionally. But he can't do it.
   On an only somewhat related note: I'd think that younger people would start agitating for reopening. They're not in much danger, we're currently borrowing money that they're going to have to pay off, and their economic future is in more and more danger the longer the shutdowns last.

Friday, April 17, 2020

Trump Threatens To Adjourn Congress

Jesus that guy.
These kinds of authoritarian, dumbass threats are just not permissible by a president.
I fear the damage the blue team will wreak on the nation...but Trump just keeps upping the cost of keeping him around. It's already unclear that he's less dangerous than the other guys. He seems much less likely to implement disastrous policies...but you can't have a president that repeatedly says this kind of crazy stuff. And the more he says it, the more plausible it seems that he might do it.

The Hammer And The Dance

This was really a big article for awhile--maybe still. I'm not sure. I'm not sure how relevant it is since we didn't take the advice. Though maybe the strategy would still work--not exactly sure why it wouldn't.
   It does seem partially predicated on the premise that our healthcare system is already collapsing--which now seems false.
   The idea was/is that we should do a hard-core "lockdown" (that's probably a prejudicial term, actually...makes it seem authoritarian) or whatever you want to call it. That would minimize the time required to squash Batpox. Then we could go back to relatively normal much faster.
   Seems like a pretty reasonable argument, but I haven't thought about it enough.
   Also kinda seems like this should be the sort of plan we sort of need loaded up ahead of time and ready to go. Oh, well, maybe next time.

Adaptive Cyclic Exit Strategies From Lockdown

Comparison Of Exit-Strategies From Lockdown In The UK

This is rather more optimistic than I really expected:
The main findings from this research are the following:
• very little gain, in terms of the projected hospital bed occupancy and expected numbers of death, of continuing the lock-down beyond April 13, provided the isolation of older and vulnerable people continues and the public carries on some level of isolation in the next 2-3 months...;
• in agreement with [1], isolation of the group of vulnerable people during the next 2-3 months should be one of the main priorities...;
• it is of high importance that the whole population carries on some level of isolation in the next 2-3 months...;
• the timing of the current lock-down seems to be very sensible in areas like London where the epidemic has started to pick up by March 23; in such areas the second wave of epidemic is not expected...;
• the epidemic should almost completely finish in July, no global second wave should be expected, except areas where the first wave is almost absent....
Seems like we'd be pretty lucky if that turns out to be close to right.

Lockdown Rules That Don't Make Sense

There've been a lot of complaints about the shutdown rules in e.g. Michigan, where you can buy booze, but not garden seeds--even when they're right there next to the booze and donuts or whatever. It certainly doesn't make a lot of sense to be able to buy lottery tickets but not seeds. Especially when the future of the food supply is less than 100% certain.
   I'm not really going to defend those specific decisions, but I just want to suggest that I don't think we should expect laws like this to make perfect sense, especially when instituted in haste. There are always cases at the margins of such things that don't make sense. But it seems to me that the aim should be to produce rules that generally make sense and not sweat the details too terribly much. It's very unlikely you'll be able to formulate sets of rules with no peculiarities of this kind.
   One response might be to relax parts of the rules that are particularly galling or notorious--e.g. end garden seed prohibition. If you do, other anomalies will become notorious (what, we can buy seeds but not fertilizer?? we can buy candy but not running shoes?) but that's just the way this is going to go. Repeat ad hoc easing of restrictions as necessary. This all has to end pretty soon anyway, so states should just seek to fight a delaying action. If necessary.
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Thursday, April 16, 2020

Obesity Linked To Severe COVID-19

Bad news for America.
Especially for the South and Midwest...where the fewmets haven't actually hit the windmill yet.

The Bet On Trump

Incidentally, I've been thinking about this thought for awhile:
The bet on Trump maybe went something like this:

The Dems have lost their minds, and if they get the presidency again we know for sure that the country is going to go at least another mile down their preferred road to perdition. A bet on Trump is risky...he might lose his cool and get us into a war or something...but if everything remains more-or-less normal while he's in office, we'll be better off than we'd be under a Democrat. We won't go any farther down this particular road to perdition, at least. 

Which now seems like a pretty sensible argument to me. Though I thought it was crazy in '16.
   Thing is: everything didn't remain more-or-less normal. Trump was put to the test in an extraordinary way by the pandemic. He's failed the leadership test because he's kind of a nut who can't control his temper or his mouth. We needed an Obama--or some similar steady hand and voice--and we got, basically, the opposite.
   As for his substantive decisions: we don't know yet how he did. Our hysterical, cultishly progressive media is even less good at its job than Trump is at the leadership part of his job. So we aren't just in an information vacuum, we're in a mis-/dis-information pressure chamber. Certainly he closed down travel faster than a Democrat would have, since he's more immune to pervasive, bullshit accusations of racism, xenophobia and the like. And that undoubtedly helped a lot. I'm skeptical of the claim that, say, an HRC would have done better than Trump. She'd have been slower to shot down travel, and I don't know of anything she'd have been better at. But, again: we don't know. Maybe we'll have a good guess someday.
   But now my worry is this: if China actually did inflict this on us quasi-intentionally...which we know they did because we know they lied crucial lies...I fear that puts us in the Trump danger zone again--a situation in which war with a nuclear power is a real and relevant possibility. China will have to be punished somehow. And they're kinda ****ing crazy.
   Well, anyway, that's one of the things I've been fretting about.
   OTOH, Trump has maybe proven himself to be the best president long? Five decades? far as starting and ending wars goes. So that's not nothing.

The Great Scott Alexander On The Pandemic: "A Failure, But Not Of Prediction"

WHO Recommends Restricting Access To Alcohol

As if we needed another reason to dislike these guys.

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Hydroxychloroquine: Small Effects In Mild Disease

Colin Noir On Northam's And The VA Dem's Bullshit Gun Laws

Sounds Like Batpox Did Come Through A Lab

Totally racist, of course--a hatefact!
But likely to be true.

It's Xenophobic and RAZIZT To Call The Wuhan Coronavirus 'The Wuhan Coronavirus'

They just make up the rules as they go along and change them at will

Even A Pandemic Can't Quiet The Climate Change Fanatics

   First, how is it that the abject failure--and hyperbolic pessimism--of the WuFlu models haven't given these people any pause? Their faith in the--already and repeatedly disconfirmed--climate models is undiminished. Fortunately, a lot of ordinary people will be more rational about it.
   Second, seems much less likely that we'll be having a go at the Green New Deal than it did two months ago. The state of the economy and the stimulus spending probably means that there's no way that we're going to scrape up the money needed to achieve the requisite reductions in the next ten years. But we've been told (by activists, not scientists) that if we don't get it done before then, we'll hit a tipping point, and it's all over. Since it's not going to happen now, might as well chill out and hope for the best.
   However, the GND is not actually a climate-change plan. Mitigating climate change is just an aspect of the thing. It's a plan to push the U.S. toward a socialist economy, and to implement progressive social policies, including full employment. It's really more like a jobs plan than a climate plan. So actually--dishonest and idiotic as the thing is--at least it would make some kind of sense, if, say, we do slip into a depression. That's how I'd start selling it if I were the left. Climate change was always just a stalking horse anyway.

Is Cutting Off WHO The Right Thing To Do--And Now?

They hardly covered themselves in glory by carrying water for the CCP and contributing to the spread of the pandemic... I guess I might have thought that it might be good to give them a warning--tell 'em that if they don't straighten up, we're going to start reducing our contribution. Maybe take a little away just to let 'em know we mean business. But not: cut off funds entirely during a pandemic. OTOH, I don't really know how bad they are. Some degrees of badness might justify such an action.

Nicholas Kristoff Thinks Something Is Trump's Fault

So weird!
It would have been better if Trump the U.S. had taken it more seriously and sooner. Maybe Trump contributed his part, maybe not. Maybe he did more harm than good. Maybe he did more good than harm. None of us really know enough yet to know. I'm happy to give Trump his due, good or bad. But:
1. It's utter bullshit to say the WHO doesn't deserve a lot of the blame.
2. Nicholas Kristoff--like the rest of the NYT--can't be believed when it comes to Trump.

Things We Must Not Believe Update: Batpox: Origins

Just noting that we are, currently, not to believe that Batpox came from a lab--or came through a lab.
It's very naughty to believe that! So naughty that it has been declared a conspiracy theory. And conspiracy theories are, by definition, irrational. So if it's called that, it must be irrational. QED.
   From what I can tell, we're actually not in a position to rule out the lab hypothesis.

Northam Repeals Voter ID Law

And there's no reason to permit people to vote 45 days ahead of time with no excuse.
I hope the Dems go down hard here in '21.

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Why Are The NYT and WaPo Pushing Obvious Falsehoods?

Haha yeah just kidding.
As if that would be something so notable as to require an explanation...
Alex Berenson hopes to give them the benefit of the doubt. I don't see how anyone could believe that they deserve it at this point.
As should go without saying: neither publication will pass up any opportunity to make the crisis--ergo Trump--look worse. Furthermore, of course, neither will pass up any opportunity to argue for increased immigration. And advancing the latter project also advances the former.

Freddy Gray: Trump Should Shut Down His Press Conferences--Now

Yeah, I haven't been watching much of them for the last week. This last one sounds like the worst. The press is such shit that I can't even stand to hear them. But the press is permitted to be shit. The president can't lose it in response. Of course the left, including the major media, are portraying it as a "total meltdown"...which I doubt. But after seeing and hearing what I've seen and heard, I don't have the heart to watch it.
   God knows where this "total authority" stuff came from. Yoo explains why it's wrong. Wasn't Trump defending Federalism just, like, four days ago?
   All Trump has to do is throttle back and let the left continue to reveal itself to the country...but he doesn't have the self-control. And now that's what has become most salient about these press conferences. Gray is right that the press is basically a bunch of semi-sane, petulant teenagers, and that blowing one's stack at that isn't an entirely unreasonable response...but the President of the United States absolutely cannot act like that and say such things.
   In his defense, he's been the subject of the most unhinged attacks I've ever seen a president subject to. But the same progressive-media complex that conducted Russiagate and Ukrainegate is now, as Gray notes, conducting Impeachment Phase III: Impedemic! (Panpeachment?) Using this plague as just another political opportunity is loathsome. And since the press is both a major part of La Resistance and the group that gets to say what's happening, they're hard to beat. Rather than the victors writing the history, the people who write the history have a good chance of writing themselves into victory.
   Even though a Democratic victory in November would be a disaster, it'd nevertheless be a relief not to have the psychological weight of a Trump presidency weighing on us all the time.

OD Decriminalizes Weed

I suppose it would be churlish to say that VA Dems finally managed to do something right...right?
(Grudging) props to them.

Monday, April 13, 2020

The University As Ponzi Scheme

People on the outside either don't know or don't care how bad things are now at universities:
   Higher education today resembles a massive Ponzi scheme. Colleges desperately recruit ever more marginal students who stand little chance of graduating. Before their inevitable withdrawal, those students’ tuition dollars fuel the growth of the bureaucracy, which creates the need to get an even larger pool of likely dropouts through the door to fund the latest round of administrative expansion. Administrative positions at colleges and universities grew at ten times the rate of tenured faculty positions from 1993 to 2009, according to academic consulting firm ABC Insights. By the 2013 school year, there were slightly more campus administrators nationwide than faculty; spending on the bureaucracy was equal to spending on all educational functions, including faculty. Tuition rose to cover those bureaucratic expenses, regardless of whether families could afford to pay it. Tuition at private four-year colleges grew 250 percent from 1982 to 2012, while the median family income rose about 18 percent, adjusted for inflation, according to ABC Insights. Since the 2008 recession, tuition at four-year public colleges rose 35 percent.
   The coming higher-ed crisis would, in an ideal world, take out the student-services bureaucracy—that dizzying edifice of associate vice chancellors for student engagement and assistant vice presidents for student development—starting with its most destructive component: the diversocrats. Their job is founded on a patently false proposition: that colleges are filled with racists and sexists who impede the advancement of females, blacks, and Hispanics. To the contrary, virtually every college today is trying to admit, hire, and promote as many females, blacks, and Hispanics as possible. Belonging to those identity categories confers a large advantage on the academic job market and in admissions. Nevertheless, the diversity bureaucracy spends its days devising new ways to promote the culture of victimhood, at the cost of millions of dollars in student loans and private tuition.
   The frenzied desire to boost “diversity” creates the pretext for much of the bureaucratic bloat. Colleges admit so-called underrepresented minorities (URMs) with academic qualifications far below their white and Asian peers.
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Some States Already Revealing Restart Plans

8 Reasons To End The Lockdown ASAP

   If we remain on the same trajectory, I don't really see people keeping this up past the end of April. Not unless some new line of reasoning in favor of such a thing becomes available. I doubt I'll go much past that. People will shift from compliance to evasion. If even 1% of people just refused to comply, there's not much they could do.
   As the authors--and everybody else under the sun--is pointing out, we can continue to wear masks, wash our hands, keep our distance, reduce interactions--and people at risk can continue to shelter at home. We don't all have to remain on lockdown. And I doubt we'll continue to comply.
   Northam's lost what remains of his mind if he really thinks we're going to keep this up until June 10th. There's exactly no chance whatsoever of that happening...unless the WuFlu suddenly becomes a lot more deadly than it seems to be. Or unless some much more cogent argument gets made for keeping this up.

Totalitarian Dems Pass Still More Anti-Firearm Legislation

It's absolutely imperative that we get rid of them in '21. In addition to what they 've already passed, they're still trying to pass their loony "assault weapons" bill. What they really want is confiscation--they just can't quite get away with it yet. Though, of course, "red-flag" laws are a start... Perhaps I'll be surprised and they'll do some good. But my guess is that they'll be used mostly by nutty people to get at their enemies. We'll see, I suppose.
Some of the measures I'm not that opposed to. I don't see that one handgun per month is a terrible burden. The problem as I see it isn't that each of the particular measures is bad. It's rather that the Virginia Dems are piling on every piece of anti-firearm legislation they can get away with. It's clear where they want to go with this. So I now think they ought to be opposed at every point. I expect the Pubs will retake the GA because of this, and overturn the lot of 'em.
I am an idiot for having voted for the despicable Northam. 
Give give give to the RPV.

The Post So Desperately Wants Hydroxychloroquine Not To Work That They're Willing To Lie About It

Jeez the WaPo has become despicable.
   They're not quite rooting for the virus...but they're not quite not rooting for it.
   And, of course, we all know why.
   Here's them giving four Pinocchios to...what? They're never clear on what proposition they're bullshitting about this time...but, needless to say, Trump is the target.
   I don't think it's ever been in doubt that Trump was more-or-less talking out his ass about this, as usual. It's been made perfectly clear--though not by Trump of course--that we don't have sufficient scientific evidence that Hydroxychloroquine (or chloroquine, or these in combination with antibiotics) work. It's anecdotal evidence, collected on the fly, in an emergency situation.
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