Sunday, May 31, 2020

The Indifference Of George Floyd's Murder(er)

The most infuriating and horrifying thing about Floyd's murder is the indifference of his murderer. He just doesn't even give a shit. He's not even paying attention to the murder he's committing. He doesn't even notice the dying of his victim. That sonofabitch needs an ass-beating of absolutely Biblical proportions. It's been quite awhile since I've been filled with such loathing of a person. WTH is wrong with that SOB? What does he think he's doing? Why is his partner so indifferent, too? Why are the other three cops so indifferent? There just has to be more going on here than we can see. Or maybe not.

Rioters Attack Man In MAGA Hat, Fox News Crew

BRB--buying MAGA hat.

Trump To Declare Terrorist Organization Antifa A Terrorist Organization

Rot in Hell, Blackshirts.

Insta-Glenn: Has A Soft Civil War Begun?

Eh...pretty soft, if refusing service counts as having started... I'd rather not bake you a cake and We won't serve you here at the Red Hen are hardly Fort Sumter.
   What would make things better? It would be nice if people felt social ties that transcend politics. Americans’ lives used to involve a lot more intermediating institutions — churches, fraternal organizations, neighborhoods — that crossed political lines. Those have shrunk and decayed, and in fact, for many people politics seems to have become a substitute for religion or fraternal organizations. If you find your identity in your politics, you’re not going to identify with people who don’t share them.
   The rules of bourgeois civility also helped keep things in check, but of course those rules have been shredded for years. We may come to miss them.
   America had one disastrous civil war, and those who fought it did a surprisingly good job of coming together afterward, realizing how awful it was to have a political divide that set brother against brother. Let us hope that we will not have to learn that lesson again in a similar fashion.
Many people seem to think that the boog would just start right off with violence. My guess is that it'd start with secession by red states--which would probably be triggered by some major effort to infringe on the Bill of Rights by the blue team. Weirdly, the red states would probably just seek to adopt the, y'know, Constitution of the United States of America (including at least the first ten amendments). I've more-or-less always thought that the Tenth Amendment makes secession legal. In fact, I think it was legal the first time, despite its shitty motive. A fortiori it would be legal if it aimed to reinstate the Constitution in the seceding states. At any rate, violence would probably be initiated by the Feds aiming to thwart secession... And then everything would go to hell, of course. 
   It's unbelievable to me that we're even talking about this. But, then, it's unbelievable to me that we're in danger of basically chucking the First (and maybe Second...and maybe Fifth) Amendment(s)...but here we are. It's not the red team driving this, as should be obvious by now. It's the guys seeking to force their secular religion on the rest of us--and aiming to implement radical, "systemic," and in some cases unconstitutional, change.

Consequences Of The Riots?

Will the left have to start being at least a teensy bit honest about Antifa?
   I can't believe many progressives will be able to regurgitate the foreign provocateurs story with a straight face. Nor the white supremacists tale. Though, who knows? No one can be on the PC left without significant powers of self-persuasion/self-deception. And they have plenty of practice squelching the nagging voice of their logical conscience...such as it is.
   But, unless they dream up some baroque alternative, it seems that they'll have to either (a) start acknowledging Antifa or (b) acknowledge the responsibility of BLM and the local black population. And I really can't see them doing the latter. One measure of their absolute horror at the thought of doing (b) is the rapidity with which they began fabricating absolutely daft alternate hypotheses--e.g. It was the Rooskies again! and It was the cartels!! I was sorta surprised that they didn't suggest that it was the Illuminati...well...yet, anyway...
   As the consequences of progressivism / Orwellian leftism spin farther and farther out of control, I predict that they'll have to frantically grasp for more and more implausible straws (if that mixture of metaphor and non-metaphor makes any sense). They might come up with some other bit of make-believe/ They are, after all, adept at fabricating academic-sounding pseudo-hypotheses. Their ability to spit out fairytales puts even the religious right to shame. But if that doesn't work, and they're not finally willing to acknowledge the existence and actions of their Blackshirts...well, their reality-denial options become pretty limited after that. So I predict that they just don't have the political capital anymore to cover for Antifa.
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MN Officials Say Riots Are Caused By: White Supremacists! Drug Cartels! People From Other States! CNN, However, Knows It's Actually THE ROOSKIES

Yes, this is not delusional bullshit at all.
[I suppose I don't have to add: none of the groups actually responsible are being named by the Dems.]

Saturday, May 30, 2020

Dragon's Away!


CA Dems Want To "Reinstate" Racial Preferences

Except they never went anywhere--they merely mutated into "diversity" considerations.
I expect what they want is both straightforward quotas and the "diversity" BS.

Vox: "What We're Missing When We Condemn 'VIolence' At Protests"

For Vox, this ain't half dumb.
I mean, some of it's typical Vox nonsense--e.g. the part about how the cops do NOTHING in the face of VIOLENT RIGHT-WING protests...but turn out in RIOT GEAR for a FEW CHANTING TEEN LEFTIES!!!111111
So, y'know: Vox...except also some not-entirely-stupid parts.

U.S. Women's National Soccer *Deserved* To Lose Its Case; It Negotiated A Low-Risk Contract, Then Wanted To Be Given The Advantages Of A High-Risk Contract, Too

Jeez, what a bunch of entitled babies.

Don't Forget Your Mask When You Go A-Rioting

And "social distance"--practice safe rioting.
Contemporary progressivism in a nutshell.

Police Murder...Riots, Looting, Arson...Who Knows What To Think?

  • We just apparently watched the more-or-less equivalent of a cop murdering a handcuffed guy--in public and broad daylight--by standing on his neck until he died.
  • This happens against a backdrop of progressivism, including the press, having spent years brainwashing people--mostly blacks and other white progressives--into falsely believing that whites and cops kill black men routinely and with impunity.
  • Then we see mobs--mostly black, but with a healthy dose of white Antifa-Communist totalitarians mixed in--loot and burn down what seem to be--largely black-owned--businesses and buildings in their own neighborhoods.
How to think about all this?
You tell me and we'll both know.

Declassified Flynn-Kislyak Transcripts Falsify Key Mueller Claims Against Flynn

And still the media refuses to acknowledge this monumental political scandal.

Trump v. Twitter Et Al.

Now Trump wants to narrow the scope of First Amendment protections... 
   Twitter is evil and stupid. It has not only reduced much of public discourse to even smaller sound bites, but to mob rule as well. It promotes the heckler's veto. And it blatantly and outright censors "conservatives"--which mow means: those to the right of the extremist left. It's been about as bad for our efforts to reason collectively as any such thing could be. But I can't see (layperson that I am) any grounds for legal action against it for any of this.
   Leave those stupid assholes alone. Make your arguments. Hope for the best. What else is there to do? Lest we become like them.
   Looks like Trump is dropping this. But he should never have said it in the first place.

Friday, May 29, 2020

Van Jones: Every White Person Has Racist "Virus" In His Mind

Eh, look.
   This is a pretty ****ing stressful "moment" in the USA, race-wise.
   Jones's isn't the greatest comment. But I think it's excusable, at least. Right now, anyway.
   I have a high opinion of Van Jones. I think he's smart and reasonable. I think the things he says usually ought to be taken seriously--this among them. I mean...I'm not sure he's right about the comparative threat posed by Democrats and the Klan... Though, TBH, the latter group has usually overlapped substantially with the former...
   I will point out that, were the racial roles reversed, and had a white person said anything even vaguely like that about black people, the howls from the progressive left would rise to shatter the celestial spheres.
   Which doesn't make it false. Hell, of course he could be right...though I very much doubt it. 
   It'd be great if we could have a real discussion of this stuff, but I fear that the stupid right and the stupid left have queered that well and good. 
   IMO reasonable blacks in America are fighting against three implacable foes: (1) extremist white racist asshats, (2) the substantial black criminal underclass, and (3) the radical left / critical race theory progressive cult. Sorry, you guys, but you're basically screwed. Much of what gets counted as "racism" by (3) is actually inductive conclusions by ordinary non-blacks partially based on (2). In fact: not just non-blacks. Who was it--Jesse Jackson?--who said: if I'm walking down a dark street and see a group of young black males approaching, I cross the street. And (3) spews ludicrously stupid false accusations of racism around so indiscriminately that it's hard to take any accusations of racism seriously anymore. 
   Seriously. American blacks just can't catch a goddamn break.
   Anyway. I think Jones is mostly (though not entirely) wrong. Ignoring particulars about A. Cooper, what generally kicks in in most whites (and everybody else, including blacks) is inductions based on (2). There is no way for reasonable black people to be entirely free of excess suspicion so long as (2) does the things that (2) does. It ain't fair, but it ain't entirely unreasonable, either.

Four Jackson, MO Boys Save Girl From Drowning

She was about to be sucked into a culvert, but they pulled her out. 
Bonus: her folks own a burger joint, award the kids free burgers forever.

Ex-Minneapolis-PO Derek Chauvin (Who Killed George Floyd By Kneeling On His Neck) Arrested (!)

I predicted that we'd see some missing footage that made Chauvin's actions somehow explicable (though almost certainly not justified)--e.g. Floyd biting someone, going for someone's gun, headbutting someone...something. Or we'd at least find out that there was a warrant out for him for a brutal murder or something. But I guess not. Which raises almost the opposite question: what on Earth could drive even an evil SOB o do this right out in public and on video? I mean--even if he's an extreme racist or some other kind of asshole...he's got to realize that there's not a great chance of getting away with this. No matter how corrupt things are in Minneapolis, there's no way the chance of going to prison for a long time for this falls below 1 in 3. And it's almost certainly a hell of a lot higher than that. 
   There's speculation on some conservative sites that George knew something he wasn't supposed to know--e.g. had some dirt on somebody. Oh, say: Chauvin. In the absence of some sort of extenuating circumstances, that dude is either a murderous psycho or a complete f*cking idiot or both.

The Racism Hypothesis: George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Cooper v Cooper

The racism hypothesis is a legit hypothesis in bizarre interactions like the Copper vs. Cooper interaction, the Ahmaud Arbery case, and the Minneapolis police killing (murder?) of George Floyd. The waters are muddied to the point of near-opacity by the fact that false, irresponsible, stupid and outright loony accusations of racism are the bread and butter of the progressive left...but that in no way means that the hypothesis isn't often legitimate. But when one political faction shrieks "racism!" basically whenever anything happens, it becomes difficult not to just epistemically demote all such accusations.
   In the case of Cooper v. Cooper, we don't even seem to know all the facts yet. A. Cooper certainly acted weird in the video. She kept saying that she would call the police and report "an African-American male" threatening her. Aaand her inflection was a bit weird. This was immediately declared to be racist, on the grounds that she should have just said 'male.' But, analogously, wouldn't it be sexist to describe him as male? Were the police to ask me to describe Smith, and Smith were a black man, I'd probably say "He's a black man." Perhaps her inclusion of 'African-American' was the effect of racist attitudes, perhaps it wasn't. Perhaps it was just the standard tv description template that sprang to mind (a white male...a black male...). Of course the PC left's leading principle in such cases is: if there is any possibility it's racism, then it's racism. But in actual fact, in the world of sane people, it's clear that this case isn't clear. Even if there was some small admixture of racism in there, it's bizarre to make a big deal out of it, when part of the left insists that we all simply assume that everyone's a little bit racist. (The other view is: all and only white people are racist--basically by definition.) Maybe everyone's a little bit everything--who knows? Do A. Cooper's actions show that she's a little bit of an anarchist? Should we, then, proclaim her to be an anarchist? She was upset enough that she basically began (inadvertently--probably) choking her dog. Maybe she's a habitual animal abuser, too. But that doesn't seem to be all that likely. 
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Thursday, May 28, 2020

Has The Left's Takeover Of Higher Ed Undermined The Quality Of Education?

Their answer: maybe.
My answer: how could it not?
Here's a pretty interesting chart:

It raises more questions than it answers. But that's progress, too.
   A different point: note that the left that's taken over academia isn't (as they say) your father's left. This is a left that's farther left than the ordinary American left--which has, itself, lurched much farther left than the left of even 5-10 years ago.

Jennifer Rubin Mainlines The Kool-Aid

She's right about a couple of very obvious things--e.g. Trump's demeanor is a goddamn train wreck. And Pubs in Congress haven't restrained him.
But blaming WuFlu deaths on Trump...and the cringeworthy encomium to Biden...shudder.

The Burned House Horizon

   In the archaeology of Neolithic Europe, the burned house horizon is the geographical extent of the phenomenon of presumably intentionally burned settlements.
   This was a widespread and long-lasting tradition in what is now Southeastern and Eastern Europe, lasting from as early as 6500 BCE (the beginning of the Neolithic) to as late as 2000 BCE (the end of the Chalcolithic and the beginning of the Bronze Age). A notable representative of this tradition is the Cucuteni-Trypillian culture, which was centered on the burned-house horizon both geographically and temporally.
   There is still a discussion in the study of Neolithic and Eneolithic Europe whether the majority of burned houses were intentionally set alight or not. 
   Although there is still debate about why the house burning was practiced, the evidence seems to indicate that it was highly unlikely to have been accidental. There is also debate about why this would have been done deliberately and regularly, since these burnings could destroy the entire settlement. However, in recent years, the consensus has begun to gel around the "domicide" theory supported by Tringham, Stevanovic and others. 
   Cucuteni-Trypillian settlements were completely burned every 75–80 years, leaving behind successive layers consisting mostly of large amounts of rubble from the collapsed wattle-and-daub walls. This rubble was mostly ceramic material that had been created as the raw clay used in the daub of the walls became vitrified from the intense heat that would have turned it a bright orange color during the conflagration that destroyed the buildings, much the same way that raw clay objects are turned into ceramic products during the firing process in a kiln. Moreover, the sheer amount of fired-clay rubble found within every house of a settlement indicates that a fire of enormous intensity would have raged through the entire community to have created the volume of material found.
It's Wikipedia...but on stuff like this they seem to usually get at least the basics right. 

Trump Should Appoint A Special Counsel To Investigate Obamagate

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

'Human Capital' Is RACIST, Racist

This nonsense has gotten downright hilarious at this point...but the left never seems to pay a price for it. In a just world, saying shit that stupid would make you burst into flames.
Here's how the game is played:
(1) I can think of a convoluted, impressionistic way to link some word or phrase up to TEH RAZIZM!!!111
(3) YOU ARE TEH RAZIZT, RAZIZT!!!!!!!!!1111111one

Any Disagreement With Progressivism Is BACKLASH, Bigot!!!!!!11111

Wow, that's a really dumb article.

Central Park Dog Lady (Amy Cooper): A More Complete Account

Yeah, I should have known we weren't getting the whole story:
Life is filled with nuance, with complexity. Take, for example, the case of Amy Cooper. Cooper is a 41-year-old white woman who worked at Franklin Templeton, an asset management firm. She was walking her dog without a leash in the Ramble section of Central Park when she was confronted by a black man named Christian Cooper (no relation). He told her to leash her dog; she refused. According to Christian, he then stated, "Look, if you're going to do what you want, I'm going to do what I want, but you're not going to like it." She asked what he meant. He then summoned her dog, planning to give the dog treats. "I pull out the dog treats I carry for just such intransigence," he explained.
So in this apparently isolated section of the park, a guy says to a woman he doesn't know:
"Look, if you're going to do what you want, I'm going to do what I want, but you're not going to like it."
Then he starts recording. Maybe she's an asshole. Maybe she's scared/flustered--likely a bit of both. What he said sounds more like a threat than what she said sounds like racism. Of course neither person may have understood what his/her own words seemed to suggest. People get flustered pretty quickly when even minor conflicts arise.
   Also: were the roles reversed, and were she confronting someone about violating a leash law, is there any doubt that she would be labeled a "Karen"? (That meme/trope irritates me. It's not even apt and not even funny. Shouldn't the left be bent out of shape about "name-ism" or some shit?)
   The progressive left basically makes it all up as it goes along. In a slightly different social mood, it might well side with her rather than him, claiming that he's a sexist or someone threatening a woman with the suggestion of sexual assault in response to a pretty minor breach of park rules.
   Well...OTOH...women always come last among favored groups on the left. Of course they're not like evil straightwhitemales--the worst of all possible demographic groups. But once you leave the basement of the progressive stack, women come last. Sexism has long been common on the extremist left. And now women--white women, anyway--come below even men pretending to be women. Will they ever come to recognize their low place in the hierarchy?
   Anyway. It's perfectly clear that it's not perfectly clear what happened. 

[Addendum: it does seem a little off that she keeps saying "African-American man"...but there's nothing overtly racist about it. As usual, it requires an act of interpretation/hypothesis. And, since the left sees racism everywhere, it "sees" it here. Her actions are far from exemplary. Hell, she could be a raging racist for all I know. But you can't prove it from this video. I mean....she doesn't come across as a pleasant person--but who does at their worst? And now she's lost her job. As a result of ambiguous--to say the least--actions unrelated to her employment. Worse, she lost her dog--though that's more clearly justified. WTH was she doing there? Pulling up on the leash/collar is a recognized way to keep the dog from pulling on the leash...but damn, she was hanging that poor little guy...]

Trump Doubles Down On Crazy Scarborough Accusation

Yeah, this is the kind of frothing-at-the-mouth BS that makes Trump unfit for office.
It's just nuts.
Though: it's not a "conspiracy theory." Stop freaking using that term to just mean false and/or unreasonable belief.
Though on at least one version of the story, there is, I guess, a 2-person conspiracy between Scarborough and the coroner(?), if that counts.
Anyway: you can't have a president who makes such rabid accusations against his enemies. It's unhinged.
Look, even if Trump had some kind of super-secret proof of the accusation--even if he knew for a fact that Scarborough were a murderer--it is not the sort of thing you spew out on the Twitter. Especially after the dead woman's husband asks you to stop.
None of this changes the fact that the other team has completely lost its collective mind. Nor that Trump has many strengths that the TDS crowd refuses to acknowledge. But there is just no way that, under normal conditions, someone who says such things should even be considered for high office--much less for the presidency.
Though, OTOH, it's worth pointing out that the above-the-water part of the blue team spews false accusations basically nonstop... They're capable of making lunatic accusations with a kind of veneer of pseudo-civility. And they have legions of academicians and journalists who provide a battery of sophistical arguments and theories aimed at giving the illusion of defensibility to their accusations. One might argue that that makes them more dangerous... In fact, it almost certainly does make them more dangerous. The masters of the cultural superstructure categorically reject everything Trump says--but they uncritically accept the at-least-equally crazy, but superficially more civil, stuff that comes from the left. 
That's no defense of Trump--though it's grounds for a defense of voting for Trump. It's just a reminder that, in principle, Trump's no worse than his opponents. That is, a reminder of the terrible choice that looms out of the fog ahead of us.

NYC Woman Falsely Accuses Man Of Threatening Her Life

This nut job should go to jail. 
   She falsely accused him--to the cops--of threatening her (and her little dog, too...). A woman can ruin a man's life with an accusation like that.
   Of course people like de Blasio are saying things like "this is racism, plain and simple"--but that's clearly in no way clear. She says he's "an African-American man." Which he, apparently is. Is it sexist for her to identify him as a man? She said nothing at all about his race other than describing it accurately. And in which of the following cases would she have been more likely to have acted similarly:
A black woman was recording her.
A white man was recording her.
   I mean, racism could have been an element. But--contrary to the invariable progressive/media assertions about such cases--it's neither clear nor simple.
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After Months Of Apocalyptic Overpredictions, Media-Fueled Hysteria, And Largely-Self-Inflicted Economic Damage Exacerbated By Blue-State Authoritarian Overreach, Many People Are Anxious And Depressed

It's not like this has been easy. 
Many people and institutions have performed amazingly well.
But the prevalence of unforced errors and self-inflicted damage has been dispiriting.
The jabbering class has, as usual, been the worst of the lot, IMO.
Though of course Trump's chaotic, antipresidential input was detrimental, as usual.

NYT/WaPo Update: Orange Man Bad; Russiagategate Does Not Exist

At this point, they are not so much sources of information as of disinformation. 

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

The "Implicit Bias" Racket Goes Zoom

"Implicit bias"! Like the rest of progressive postpostmodern superstition, it's a game where the rules are made up and the points don't matter. When they even have a point. Which is a lot less than always. Just make up whatever you want! Your wedding photos assert that whatever kind of marriage you are in is the best kind! And best kinds of things are NOT OK. Regular old heterosexual marriage? Your pics assert that's best! Same-sex? Your pics assert that', wait. That is best. Hm. Consistency is the patriarchy, bigot! The point is, whatever it is you do, if it's not at the very tippy top of the progressive stack, then IT'S PROBLEMATIC, BIGOT!!!!
   Blue walls? They say that blue walls are the norm! Green walls? Vertonormative, vertonormative bigot! White walls? Need I even explain why white is the most problematistical color of all? Pictures?!?!?!? Totally videonormative. They discriminate against blind people not only because they can't see them, but because they assert that visual perception is best perception! Bigot! So what if they can't see them? Just having them there is like using a racial slur behind someone's back! It's worse! Even using Zoom at all is asserting that vision and hearing are important in communication. Soooooo f*cking problematisticalistic. Bigot. Even the act of thinking indicates that rationality is better than arationality. And sentience is, of course, the most problematic thing of all...

K-Mac Reduces The Doughey Pantload & Co. To Pearl-Clutching And Name-Calling

My word! Why, if that insolent little trollop (get it? troll-op? get it?) had said that to Sam Donaldson and me, why, there'd have been hell to pay REEEEEEEEE!
   The DP's face got so red I thought he was going to blow a gasket.
   Here's the way it is: the news media--including, I suppose, Fox News, at least to some extent--has become a collection of DNC propaganda organs. They refuse to even cover what is, apparently, at least the biggest political scandal since Watergate. It's probably bigger than Watergate. It's certainly much bigger than Russiagate, given that Russiagate was a hoax--and this scandal is about the previous administration fabricating that hoax. Russiagate was their number one story for more than two years. The NYT has admitted "building its newsroom" around Russigate. Now actual evidence of an actual scandal has been revealed...and the media's response has been a combination of (a) ignoring it and (b) ridiculing it. That ridicule has commonly taken the form of calling it a "conspiracy theory"...which it is in the literal sense that it's a theory to the effect that there was a major conspiracy. Russiagate was also a conspiracy theory--but in both senses: (a) it was a theory about a conspiracy, and (b) it was laughably, preposterously false. But the media never called it a conspiracy theory. Even after it was proven to be one. 
   Look. Unless I'm missing something, the permissibility of McEnany's  actions depends on whether or not she's right--whether there are important questions that the press is refusing to address. And: she is right. There is no doubt that she's right. This is not a close call. There's is no real question here. The press is failing to meet its journalistic obligations. Because it's not composed of journalists anymore. It's Pravda, except every day it's the same headline: Orange Man Bad. 
   Maybe Russiagategate will turn out to be a big misunderstanding. That's fine. What's not fine is "news" organizations refusing to even investigate what could be the biggest U.S. political scandal in at least 50 years.
   Or, y'know what? Maybe this is good. Maybe this would be an opportunity to shout from the rooftops that the news media isn't about news anymore. That's fine. They want to be propagandists? That's their right. But it needs to be made clear to everyone that that's what they actually are.

In These Difficult and Fortean Times...

8% of people believe the Illuminati conspiracy? 
9% believe chemtrail theory?
23% believe the U.S. gub'mint has proof of extraterrestrial visitation, but is hiding it? Eh, maybe.
Apparently 10% believe in Bigfoot...and Faux News viewers are 5 times more likely to believe than...normal people... CNN: 6%; MSDNC: 8%; Fox: 39%!!! Jeez, that's gotta tell you somethin', doesn't it? I've rarely watched Fox. Is it really that much crazier than CNN and MSDNC??? That's pretty hard to believe, because they're godawful... But it could be.
And shouldn't faking the moon landing be higher than 4%? Isn't that more likely than the Illuminati stuff? 
Also: I guess they think we faked all of the moon landings? Or just Apollo 11?


Oh dear God no.

Monday, May 25, 2020

The COVID-19 Shutdown Will Cost Americans Millions Of Years Of Life

Hey, maybe this shutdown thing wasn't the very smartest idea anybody's ever had...

VDH: The Doctrine Of Media Untruth (Or, We Might Better Say: Anti-Truth)

CNN: Trump's Tweets Worse Than Biden's "You Ain't Black" Remark

I don't think all the "tweets" (God what a stupid term) are that bad. E.g. the media needs to get off its anti-hydroxychloroquine jihad. It's bullshit to say that advocacy of HCQ as a treatment for the WuFlu is "contrary to science." It isn't. It's perfectly consistent with the informal, quasi-scientific observations and conclusions of thousands of doctors--though its efficacy hasn't been proven in formal experiments. The left has basically adopted a moral position against HCQ because Trump is pro-. And there certainly is reason to believe that massive use of mail-in ballots will increase voter fraud. At any rate, there's all the TDS one would expect in that article. And: there's probably better reason to believe HCQ works than to think lockdowns do at this point...
   But: he's right that Trump's tweets are worse than Biden's stupid "gaffe." 
   Trump's tweets long ago crossed the line from gross and stupid to outright deranged. Grotesque. Making those kinds of public statements is disqualifying for high public office, in my opinion. Or, for that matter, low public office. Though, again: so is advocating the policies and ideas of an unhinged, anti-rational, anti-Constitutional totalitarian leaves us in a Kobayashi Maru-type situation...
   As for Biden's "you ain't black" thing: no, it's not that bad. It was a cringey, jokey comment gone wrong. The point red-team types are making, however, is that the blue team would never, ever in a million zillion years, cut Trump the kind of slack they're cutting Biden. This comment of Biden's is more nearly racist than anything Trump has actually said (as opposed, of course, to the things the left pretends that he said.) There's no sense trying to appeal to the logical conscience of contemporary progressivism. It doesn't have one. Bruce/Caitlyn Jenner is a woman...and you're a bigot if you question it!...Rachel Dolezal is not, however, black...and you're a bigot if you question it!...and a bigot if you point out the inconsistency... Believe all women! Extra-specially especially Blasey-Ford...except not all women now that Tara Reade is on the scene...not her...also we never said to believe all women anyway! Also, not Juanita Broaddrick...nor any of those other anti-Clinton rednecks. Or, well, believe her then...but vote for Biden anyway...even if he boils and eats babies... (The Biden campaign turned into a Cormack McCarthy novel so gradually I didn't even notice...)
   ...And now, of course: everything anyone on the right has ever said is racist...but basically no matter what our side says, it's basically cool...
   But anyway, none of that changes that what's-his-name at CNN is right: Trump's gibbering, drooling tweets are way worse than Biden's clumsy attempt at humor. Trump has demeaned the office. On the actually that bright given the alternative...side: this is self-correcting. He's alienating voters he's going to need in November.

HMD: A Short Guide To The Coming Calls For Re-Lockdowning; Or: Don't Let The Bastards Lock You Down

(Eh, I took some liberties with the title.)
   Expect the following additional strategies this summer, besides the creative massaging of good tidings into bad: [My emphases above and below.]
   – Hiding the numbers. We will hear about ‘surges,’ ‘spikes,’ and the ‘ballooning of the case count,’ without learning the numbers behind those spikes. A state will be reported as being in the grip of an exponential outbreak; if that outbreak meant going from five new cases one day to nine new cases three days later, say, those details will be omitted.
   – Specious parallelism. This strategy combines ‘hide the numbers’ with the irrelevant ‘as’ construction: President Trump is calling for an end to the lockdowns even as there are ‘worrisome reports of spikes in infections in countries like China, South Korea and Germany,’ the New York Times put it on May 12.
   – Coy double negatives and strained constructions. The risk of outdoor transmission is ‘not zero,’ according to a lecturer at the Yale Jackson Institute for Global Affairs quoted by the New York Times on May 16. (To be precise, outdoor infection accounted for .01% of 7,300 cases in China.) Caseloads are not rising but remain ‘steadily worrisome.’
   – Scary new models, revisionist models, and the continuing citation of discredited old models.
   – The conflation of new cases with new deaths, and no information about the recovery rate.
   – Concealing the locus of mortality. This is the mother of all fear-mongering strategies. Every coronavirus story that does not acknowledge the prevalence of nursing home deaths among coronavirus decedents is a story that deceives the public. It is now impossible to attribute the lack of such information to mere oversight. Preliminary estimates of the share of nursing home deaths in the national count range from 35 percent to over 50 percent. At the state level, the share of nursing home deaths among coronavirus deaths is 80 percent in Minnesota and West Virginia; 73 percent in Rhode Island; 66 percent in Pennsylvania; 59 percent in Massachusetts; 58 percent in Virginia; 57 percent in Colorado; and 55 percent in Connecticut. Abroad, 57 percent of all coronavirus deaths in Spain were in nursing homes; 53 percent in Italy; and 50 percent in Sweden. Add to those deaths people outside of nursing homes who are also elderly and/or infirm with serious preexisting comorbidities and you account for nearly all coronavirus deaths. Neil Ferguson, director of the apocalyptic Imperial College model that triggered lockdowns in Great Britain and the U.S., has conceded that as many as two-thirds of all people who die of coronavirus in 2020 would have died by the end of the year anyway.
   The corollary of those usually suppressed facts is the equally suppressed fact that the middle-aged and the young are at minimal risk from the coronavirus. The median age of coronavirus death in most countries is 80. Political analyst Phil Kerpen found that Pennsylvania has more Covid-19 deaths among people over 100 than among people under age 45, more deaths over age 95 than under age 60, and more deaths over 85 than under 80. An analysis of Spanish data found that the fatality rate for the infected was .052 percent for people under 60 — half of that for the seasonal flu. The typical coronavirus case is asymptomatic, and appears to have no lasting effect on the sufferer. Recent outbreaks in the U.S. have occurred overwhelmingly in nursing homes, prisons, and meat packing plants. And yet, virus coverage leaves the reader thinking that everyone is at equal risk.
The final point is the most important, to my mind. This information should have been shouted from the rooftops. Instead, it simply wasn't mentioned for weeks. I first read about it on conservative sites, and thought it had to be wrong--because even the MSM with which we are stuck would never suppress such information. Ignoring this information would be tantamount to intentionally creating a nationwide panic. And at that point I still thought that the MSM--again, even in its current degenerate state--would never go that far. But we didn't hear this from Trump's WuFlu team, either! WTH? Of all the crazy things I've seen in American public life in my lifetime, the suppression of this absolutely crucial information, and the resulting exaggeration/creation of groundless fear--and wrecking of the economy--may be craziest. The only things I can really think of that compare are the closely parallel cases of the Satanic Panic of the late '80s-early '90s and contemporary transgender madness. Even the crazy lead-up to Gulf War Episode II: The Phantom Menace doesn't compare.

Sunday, May 24, 2020

WuFlu Predictions Wildly Exaggerated

But, hey, at least we wrecked the economy for nothing...

"Biden's Progressive Gamble: Will Americans Sign Up For Fundamental Transformation?"

Not if they have the brains God gave a goose they won't.
Nobody's ever had it as good as we have it right now. The vast, vast majority of changes are worse. And as for "fundamental change"...that's an absolute no-brainer. 
There's basically no reason to think that anything the Dems have to offer will be notably better than what we have, and odds are it'll be worse.
And that's without even mentioning their plans to, in effect, scrap the Bill of Rights...

CJR: "Why The Left Hates The New York Times"

Aside from the Marxist bullshit, this is kinda interesting. 

Is The Wuhan Virus Dying Out?


Support HK / China Is Assho

Go to hell, CCP.

Lockdowns Saved No Lives / Cost Lives?

Saturday, May 23, 2020

McEnany With The Thermonuclear Mic Drop Re: Russiagategate

OMG this is a thing of absolute beauty. 
I was a fan of McEnany even when I was inveterately anti-Trump. Back in those days, she dropped some truth bombs that made me stop and go Hmm
She's just flat-out freakin' smart.

Northam Signals Mask Order Coming

If we don't have a mask, can we paint our faces instead?

[Incidentally: I have concerns about how power-mad certain blue-team governors seem to be...and I suspect we should have all told them to go **** themselves a month ago. So I have doubts about complying with any new "orders" that aren't obviously warranted. But I don't have any particular objection to masks. I've gotten slack about wearing 'em, but I do most of the time when I go somewhere I expect a lot of people. It seems pretty clear that lockdowns have to end, and I think we should just end them. But wearing masks, keeping our distances, washing our hands...these are all low-cost measures. I think we should be willing to do those things and more to end these catastrophic lockdowns.]

Were Lockdowns Massive Wastes Of Money And Lives?

(via Instapundit)

Big Tech Censorship: Wuhan Coronavirus Edition

Big Tech / "social media" routinely censors politically incorrect arguments and information. 
This is just part of the broad effort by the totalitarian, progressive left to control your thinking. 
Funny how the progressive left and the CCP end up on the same side of so many disagreements...

Don't Forget: The MSM Is Lying To You: Russiagategate Still Being Suppressed

   There's still virtually no discussion of Russiagategate (aka Obamagate) in the MSM.
Don't forget how they flogged and spun and exaggerated Russiagate for three year, colluding with lying liars in the DNC, the Clinton campaign, and the FBI to get you to believe a lie in order to undermine--and, if possible, remove from office--a duly-elected president. 
   And now they've been busted...and the MSM is actively suppressing the story, mentioning it only to ridicule it as a "conspiracy theory."
   If you're still getting all of your news from the progressive media, you basically don't know what's going on.

Thursday, May 21, 2020

"The Susan Rice Email Isn't Any Sort Of Smoking Gun"

I dunno--what's a smoking gun?
It's certainly not proof of all the worst allegations--no doubt about that. But did anyone think it was?
What it is: yet more non-conclusive, fallible evidence of shenanigans. Most evidence of most interesting hypotheses is non-conclusive/fallible. The email is undeniably striking in its weirdness. It's not even close to being nothing
I still doubt the worst of the Russiagategate allegations. 
What's undeniable at this point is the MSM's dedication to ignoring and ridiculing the hypotheses.

Are Infection Rates Decreasing In States That Ended Lockdowns?

...the pandemic and COVID-19 likely have its own dynamics unrelated to often inconsistent lockdown measures that were being implemented.
Does this count toward the hypothesis that conservatives have better judgment about this sort of thing? Or is this just luck? 
I incline toward the latter hypothesis. But that explanation starts wearing thin pretty quickly.
Also: I trust J. P. Morgan in this matter because they just want to make money. In an era of pervasive politicization (on one side, anyway...), that's a motive you can rely on.

Biden Plague Advisor Emmanuel: U.S. Must Stay Locked Down 12-18 Months Until Vaccine Is Available

Honestly, the blue team has got hold of some general tendencies of thought that seem to lead it into error about just about everything these days.
Again: 'twas not always thus.

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Kamala Harris Introduces Resolution Declaring 'Wuhan Virus' And Simlar Terms "Racist"

Because today's extremist left isn't satisfied merely making stupid, unsound, ****ing laughable arguments...nothing less than stupid, unsound, ****ing laughable Senate resolutions will do!
   Government by contemporary progressives is another step down the--ever-shortening--road to totalitarianism. And this, incidentally, is what you'll get with "hate speech" laws: they sell them to you by making you think they'll only be used against things like racial slurs. Next thing you know, every jot and tittle of ever-changing PC fashion is forbidden or mandatory. Next thing you know, you're in reeducation camp for mis-speciesing the dragonkin who was getting you coffee.
   If these people get control of the government, that's the beginning of the end for freedom of speech. And the end of free speech is the end of America. We started it, and we're the last (or approximately the last) country to still defend it. 
   Don't vote for the totalitarians just because Trump's shitty demeanor makes you feel all sad inside. He's a train wreck--but a train wreck who will by-God defend the First Amendment and who will nominate judges who will defend it. Similarly the Second Amendment--whereas we know for a fact that the blue extremists will do their best to narrow its protections. Biden's said he'll put Beta in charge of that. And Biden has already said that he'll roll back the due process protections DeVos has just put back in place for guys accused of sexual assault at universities.
   Your sad fee-fees do not stack up against the Bill of Rights.

The Politics of Fear: Is COVID-19 Just The Latest Emergency Justifying Expanded Government Power?

According to economist Robert Higgs: yes.
   In the political response to the Covid-19 pandemic, everything is proceeding just as economist Robert Higgs has foreseen. But that doesn’t make it any easier for him to watch it. “I have an overwhelming feeling that I am reliving a bad experience I’ve lived through several times before, only this time it’s worse,” Higgs says. “I have no doubt that even if the current situation plays out in the best imaginable way, it will leave an abundance of legacies for the worse so far as people’s freedom is concerned.”
   Higgs sees government, as usual, vastly expanding during the crisis, and he’s sure that it will not shrink back to its former scale once the crisis is over. It never does, as he famously documented in his 1987 book, Crisis and Leviathan: Critical Episodes in the Growth of American Government, and in later works exploring this “ratchet effect.”

   “I believe the crisis will produce a net increase in the government’s size, scope, and power,” he says. “That includes regulations. Some may be scrapped, but those that have been set aside in response to the crisis will likely be reinstated after the crisis has waned, because the political forces that caused them to be created in the first place will still exist—same special-interest lobbies, same politicians selling favors to the highest bidder, same capacity to slip anti-competitive clauses into huge statutes, and so forth.” The only way to curtail such overreach, he adds, is to “shrink the power of the state, and it will be a cold day in hell when that happens.”
   It certainly won’t happen any time soon, given the unprecedented shutdown of the economy and abrogation of civil liberties—mostly done with widespread approval, according to public-opinion surveys. It may seem astonishing for Americans to surrender their freedom so willingly, but Higgs isn’t surprised.
   “Americans, for the most part, are so liable to being terrified by government agencies and their kept media that they lose almost all judgment when told that a horrible threat of mass death hangs over them,” he says. “I foresee the worst depression since the Great Depression right around the corner. That alone would be enough to bring forth a host of bad government policies with long-lasting consequences. Many such policies have already been adopted. But much more awaits us along these lines.”

It Must Hurt (Esp: Journalists) To Have To Admit: Jerry Falwell Jr. Was Right

    And that dude always seems drunk to me when I see him on the teevee.
   I'm also back to thinking that Trump was pretty damn right when he suggested reopening on Easter. Almost certainly righter than our cultural betters who think we should stay locked down indefinitely.  
   That's one of the weird things about Trump: when it comes to actual things--i.e.: when it comes to things other than running his mouth or Twittering--dude actually has pretty damn good judgment. Which shouldn't be much of a surprise, given that he's a billionaire. Contrary to what many people on the blue team think (and explicitly say): dude has strengths as well as weaknesses. Anybody who thinks he has no strengths and has no virtues just isn't paying attention to the guy. 
   He's not exactly my cup of tea...but, TBH, he's a better president than you'd be likely get if you randomly sampled academia--especially the humanities and social sciences. A very large percentage of academicians would absolutely flip their shit if you said that to them...but it's absolutely true and no doubt about it. He at least has the virtue of not being brainwashed since the age of 18... That alone is worth an enormous amount.
   Also, I've heard a lot of blue types say--and I used to say myself--that Trump was a chump and if he'd just have put his inheritance in a savings account he'd be richer than he actually is. I have no idea whether that's true. But here's something I'd be willing to bet on: what he actually did was much harder than being a professor--especially in the humanities or social sciences. Let's say that all he managed to do is tread water, i.e. keep his billion dollars or whatever. You think that's easy? I don't. 

"The Tide Is Turning Back To Biological Definitions Of Gender"

   'Gender' is ambiguous, sometimes meaning sex (maleness/femaleness) and sometimes meaning, well, gender (masculinity/femininity). It's also sometimes assigned a range of other meanings ad hoc, depending on what feminists and progressives want it to mean to accomplish different ends at different times. Which is a major reason transgender ideology is a conceptual train wreck. It's virtually impossible to make heads or tails of it. 
   What the author ought to say is: people are starting to stand up against the patently and provably false claim that 'man,' 'woman,' 'boy' and 'girl' are gender terms at all. Unless, of course, 'gender' means sex. All four of those are species/sex/age terms that mark species-sex-and-age categories. They're analogous to 'buck,' 'doe' and 'fawn' or 'stallion,' 'mare,' 'colt' and 'filly.'  A man is an adult, male human, a girl is a juvenile female human, etc. There's simply no doubt about that. If, somehow, you doubt it (perhaps because you're not a native English speaker) you can check the definitions of the terms in the OED. Transgender ideology, to the extent it makes any sense at all, is an attempt to pretend that words mean things they don't mean. 'Man,' 'woman', etc. have never meant Person who believes himself/herself to be a man nor Person who believes himself/herself to be a woman. For one thing, those are self-referential definitions. You'd have to know what a man was before you know when someone things of himself or herself as a man. It'd be like defining zlorg as: anything that's a picture of a zlorg. Since we have no idea what a zlorg is, we can't distinguish pictures of zlorgs from pictures of non-zlorgs. 
   Well, I've said this all before. 

Michelle Goldberg: "The Phoney Coronavirus Class War;" Or: The Peasants Are Acting Rationally Instead Of Accepting Our Diktats! Follow The Science, Bigots!

The clueless is strong in this one:
Donald Trump and his allies have polarized the response to the coronavirus, turning defiance of public health directives into a mark of right-wing identity. Because a significant chunk of Trump’s base is made up of whites without a college degree, there are naturally many such people among the lockdown protesters.
One hardly even knows what say. It's as if Goldberg hasn't the foggiest idea that there's a disagreement with two sides. 
   Disagreements about the pandemic arose quickly and the two sides oriented themselves largely along existing political fault lines. As has become routine: the red team seems to have been significantly righter than the blue team. They have apparently been righter about the dangerousness of the virus, and about the costs and benefits of shutdowns, and they seem to be righter about the civil liberties issues. The blue team became hysterical, hitched its wagon to apocalyptic predictions, ignored--and suppressed--clear evidence that only unhealthy people were much at risk, and now seem to be simply ignoring the fact that red states that either didn't close or that have reopened are doing just fine.
   Furthermore, how could someone write such a piece without noting that #LaResistance has turned slavish compliance with often nonsensical governmental decrees into a mark of left-wing identity? 
   Furtherfurthermore, Goldberg does here what progressives have turned into basically a reflex: decreeing their side in any dispute to be the Science! side. usually isn't. I don't see how it can claim to be in this case.
   I try to like Michelle Goldberg. She seems like a nice person. But she's drowning herself in a whole giant vat of Kool-Aid.

Hemmingway: GOP Should Stop Cowering Before Bad-Faith Race-Card Attacks

   The left's mindless, indiscriminate, false and irresponsible accusations of prejudice--especially racism--are one of the biggest political-cultural problems we currently have. It's the modern equivalent of "She's a witch!" 
   Though also: they aren't nearly all cynical, bad-faith accusations. Many of them are sincere--loony, but sincere. And that's an even bigger problem.
   I also agree with her that the Pubs have to work to do more for lagging minority groups. As I've often said, there are tangible, thus-far-damnably-intractable problems like the low net worth of black families and the academic achievement gap that we really have to figure out how to crack. Hysterical screeching about 'Wuhan virus' and other such groundless complaints have no place in serious public discussions. Also more interesting are the very cogent arguments that liberal policies and obsessions have made things worse for lagging minority groups. There are weighty reasons to believe that welfare policies contributed significantly to the decline of the black family, as well as very powerful reasons to believe that lies and spin by the progressive media have created the myth that white people--especially white cops--are out there gunning down black people indiscriminately. Not only is that false, there can't be any doubt that it's especially harmful to blacks. In general, the progressive myth of pervasive, "systemic" racism cannot but be harmful to everyone, but to blacks in particular. Then, of course, there are the counterproductivity arguments: it's very difficult to keep real, actual problems about race in clear focus in the face of repeated, irrational, unfair, indiscriminate and false accusations of racism. It's hard to keep the threat of real wolves firmly in mind and clearly in focus when everybody on the left side of town is constantly and falsely crying "wolf!" 

Are Men Ruining Higher Education?: Big-Time College Sports

   There's been this discussion of the question Are women ruining higher education?
   It's actually an interesting question.
   But if we're going to think about that--since we're already in the neighborhood--we should also ask whether men are ruining--or have already ruined--higher education, too. Seems to me that there's at least one powerful consideration in favor of the claim that they are--or already have: big-time college sports. Now, I love college hoops as much as the next Tar Heel...and I'd cry real tears if it went away. But I don't see how anyone can deny that there's a strong case to be made against big-time college sports. Football is much more expensive and more unfair to the athletes on account of being more dangerous and harder on the body--but in even more important senses, basketball seems just as bad. Both are corruptive of higher education and at odds with its purposes. They've taken on a life of their own, and a very large percentage of "student-athletes" as the NCAA invariably insists on calling them are athletes...who are students only because that's where the athletics are. Standards are lowered to admit them, their coursework is often, apparently, an afterthought, and they contribute to the amusementparkification of the institution.
   And, though many women enjoy college football and basketball too, I don't think there can be any doubt that they are--by far--mostly a guy thing.
   So there's that.

How To Write Headlines: A Washington ComPost-Based Tutorial

Here's what we get:
How Far Would A Million N95 Masks Go? It's Complicated, And This Is Why.
How Far Would A Million N95 Masks Go? It's Complicated, And This Is Why.

You don't have to tell us that you're going to tells us about the topic of the article. We get that. That's what topics are. 
But of course this can also easily be improved:
How Far Would A Million N95 Masks Go? It's Complicated, And This Is Why.
We can ascertain that it's at least somewhat complicated on the grounds that the thing is unlikely to be on the front page of the Washington Post--even in its current fallen state--if the answer is entirely uninteresting. 
This is a pretty trivial complaint...but it's my blog.

Arthur Milikh (Heritage): "Free Speech And The New Tyranny Over The Mind"

This is chilling.
Everybody should read it.
   When I was young, it was the right that was the main threat to freedom of speech; now it's the left--and they're a much bigger threat than the right ever was. The U.S. is one of the last holdouts against this new wave of totalitarian thought-policing. But the progressive left has control of almost all the cultural high ground, including, crucially, universities and the news media. There's already a powerful movement advancing the fight for politically-motivated restrictions on speech, which is a big step toward restrictions on thought and inquiry--and, as Milikh argues, on self-government. Within the next 20 years, there will be a major push to significantly narrow First Amendment protections. The groundwork is already being laid, and trial balloons are already being sent aloft.
   It's crucial, IMO, to recognize that the progressive left is profoundly antiliberal. That's not merely some rhetorical talking-point. The leftier wing of contemporary progressivism is far, far more anti-free-speech and generally antiliberal than the rightier wing of the conservatism of my youth. Erratic, antipresidential train wreck that Trump is, he's far more liberal than contemporary progressivism. And there will certainly be at least one SCOTUS appointment in the next four years. Trump's appointments to the court have been solid. And trusting a neo-Democrat with such an appointment right now is, IMO, simply not a risk we can afford to take.
   Read the Milikh piece.

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Did Lockdown Orders Save 250,000,000 Lives?

But it's kinda hard for me to believe that anybody's still buying this bullshit.
From the story:
The report, from the Urban Health Collaborative at the Dornsife School of Public Health at Drexel University, found the stay-at-home orders likely reduced the number of coronavirus deaths by 232,878 and prevented 2.1 million people from requiring hospitalization.
That certainly is a lot of lives saved!
The analysis calculated the number of deaths caused by the coronavirus versus a model compiled by mathematicians Gabriel Goh and Steven De Keninck that showed what might have happened had Americans not taken the drastic social distancing steps that governors and local elected officials have ordered and encouraged over the last few months.
A model? Showing what might have happened? Gosh, I could hardly be more convinced.
   But, hey, as long as they're investigating this objectively and not...
The figures are estimates, but they are meant to illustrate the positive effects such sacrifices have created, said Jennifer Kolker, associate dean for public health practice at the Dornsife School. [My emphasis]
Ah. Well, that's different, isn't it? I'm sorry...I thought this might be science...
Though it's only the dean. In fact, it's only an associate dean. Stupid to interview a deanling rather than one of the researchers.
   Dean Kolker continues:
"What we really wanted to do was to say this matters. Doing nothing is in fact doing something," Kolker told The Hill. "We really wanted to give city leaders the opportunity to say to their residents and their jurisdictions, 'Hey folks, look what you did, you saved lives, you kept people out of the hospital.'"
This is what we call 'propaganda,' not science. Supposing the dean knows what the hell she's talking about.
Even in hard-hit areas like New York City, where tens of thousands of people have died, the figures could have been worse. Under the city's stay-at-home order, issued by Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) on March 23, the researchers found 24,062 lives were saved and nearly a quarter million people who might have been hospitalized were not
Were? Or might have been? The latter, of course. How likely? We're not told. Of course it's possible that everyone might have died!

In Los Angeles County, where a stay-at-home order took effect March 19, almost 40,000 lives were saved compared to what was likely under worst-case scenarios. More than 8,800 lives have been saved in King County, Wash., the epicenter of one of the first big coronavirus outbreaks. Philadelphia's stay-at-home order saved 6,202 lives, the analysis found, and Chicago's order has saved 10,635 lives.
The missing modal term in 3/4 of these claims: 'possible.' The crucial phrase they actually bothered to finally include halfway through the story? The ungrammatical: "under worst case scenarios."
   So, to summarize: the number of people who actually died is much smaller than the number of people two guys at Drexel think could have died if everything had gone completely pear-shaped. 
That's rather too uncharitable...but I'm getting sick of this shit.
The analysis, conducted in conjunction with the Big Cities Health Coalition, focused on only the nation's 30 largest cities, meaning the actual number of lives saved across the nation is likely substantially higher. Early models that compared death counts if no preventative action was taken versus those that would occur under strict lockdowns showed a difference of millions of potential lives saved.
Great. Now do a full cost-benefit analysis for the other 99% of the United States, including economic harm.
Now, many of those cities are taking ginger steps toward reopening some businesses. In many cases, they still do not possess the testing capacity necessary to continue their progress in stamping out the virus.
Another way we might have described the situation: 
Much of America remains under lockdown, despite the fact that opening up seems to reduce cases and deaths, and despite the fact that lockdowns are wrecking the economy.

Then we get:
That puts the onus on average Americans to continue to limit their activities, even if their governments allow them to open up again. Kolker said she worried that loosening restrictions could put many of those lives saved at risk once again.
"Allow." Also: it's not clear that there is any such onus. All we've got here is an unscientific model allegedly developed for propagandistic purposes, telling us about only the costs, but not the benefits, of one course of action in a worst-case scenario.
"We're now moving into this very strange phase where states are starting to reopen, and whether or not reopening makes the most sense," Kolker said. "Lives have been saved. It doesn't mean we won't backpedal."
Or we might have said:
Were' now remaining in this very strange phase in which states are staying locked down despite the fact that being locked down doesn't seem to make sense. Lives have been wrecked. But it's possible that this is the best course of action.

Jesus, what a train wreck.
I sure hope the dean just botched the explanation.

Monday, May 18, 2020

Biden: If They Believe Tara Reade They Probably Shouldn't Vote For Me

Props to him for that answer.
I'd probably say the same thing. I mean--it's true. Waddaya gonna do? It's perfectly consistent with saying that you didn't do it.
The righty sites are trumpeting this as some kind of "gaffe" (I hate that word). But it isn't. It's honest. Which, tbf, probably caught them off guard.

   Update on my fascinating take on the Reade allegations: I don't know. I was inclined to believe her initial story about neck-kissing or whatever it was, but disinclined to believe the revised, much more serious story. It seems implausible that you wouldn't lead with that were it true. 
   But I don't know. I thought it was imperative to figure out what was up with the Blasey-Ford allegations. I don't feel the same urgency with the Reade allegations. I'm not considering voting for Biden, so there's no practical reason in play, either.
   Incidentally: the blue team never has admitted that we basically have proof that B-F lied, have they?

VDH: The Left Is What It Once Loathed

This is good.
   What I think is best about it is his summary of Russiagategate.
   His diagnosis of the fundamental nature and failing of the contemporary left is insightful, but I don't exactly agree with it.
   It's insightful and accurate enough to be worth quoting:
  What is the Left, then? Mostly a Jacobin party that operates ad hoc, without consistency.
   Its two guiding principles are now reduced to simple agendas.
   One, nothing matters unless one has power. The means to obtain it are always after the fact justified by the supposedly noble ends they once served.
   And two, what exactly are those noble ends? Or what unites the Google and Facebook zillionaires, the full professor of English, the Washington Post senior editor, Barack Obama, George Soros, the head of a major network, Harvey Weinstein, Robert De Niro, or Don Lemon?
   It is a desire to sound off about mandated equality, but only as long as one has the resources to be unaffected by the necessary consequences of one’s loud egalitarian advocacy. As a general rule, the more one is insulated from the downside of one’s abstract progressivism, the louder and more vehemently he expresses it.
There's also this:
Contemporary progressivism is an illiberal abettor of unconstitutional operations that are state-sanctioned rather than merely rogue.
I mean, it's done those things--that's more than bad enough--but I wouldn't say that's what it is... I include the quote mostly because I initially read it as ...abattoir... Which I thought was funny and maybe even kinda made sense in a way.

Trump Twitterant Update: 5/18/20

I intentionally avoid ever looking at Trump's Twitter output.
I presume it is gut-wrenchingly antipresidential today, as always.
As you were.

Mollie Hemmingway: Media Must Report Truth Of Anti-Trump Spy Operation Before It's Too Late For Them

Hemmingway is a freaking national treasure:
   The less deft at pushing out the partisan talking point include MSNBC’s Brian Williams, who literally asked implicated former CIA chief John Brennan if he could “once and for all” explain to people who had heard about the scandal despite his corporation’s best efforts why it was no big deal. Josh Marshall of Talking Points Memo complained that a biased NBC News piece that itself attempted to wave away the scandal was not biased enough for his liking. The Daily Beast’s Sam Stein begged Axios not to cover the issue lest it help Trump, in the way that covering Hillary Clinton’s email scandal may have helped Trump.
   Susan Glasser at the New Yorker suggested that acknowledging the Obama administration’s recorded attempts to undermine a duly elected administration through spying and leaking was a form of political agitprop. Her husband Peter Baker over at the New York Times took the same line but went with the authoritative gaslighting approach in which he suggested it was odd that Trump would want to correct the false narrative that he was a traitor to his country and replace it with the truth that he was the victim of a coordinated attack to spy on his campaign, criminally leak against him, and force him out of office. CNN’s Jake Tapper, a journalist implicated in one of the early Russia hoax stories, reported for duty to spread this partisan talking point as well. 
   Many of these people are simply in too deep. They’re not giving back the awards they got for peddling the false story uncritically. To do so is a level of honesty they are not currently capable of. ...
Here are the parts I doubt:
   First, that this can be fixed by an appeal to the self-interest of leftist journalists. I doubt that they'll pay much of a price for their naked propagandizing and suppression of the truth. First, because I don't see much evidence that they paid any price for it with respect to Russiagate. Second, because I think there's a booming market for progressive groupthink. I don't see any evidence that the supply exceeds the demand.    Second, that we ought to be appealing to their self-interest anyway. We ought to appeal to their better natures, if such things exist. If that doesn't work, then **** 'em. Among other reasons, you can't rely on there always being some self-interest angle that will induce someone to do their ****ing job. These people are supposed to have some sacred obligation to report on the facts. But it seems that only about four of them actually believe that. "Report the truth"--rather like "follow the science"--now just means produce progressive-left propaganda and insist that anyone who denies it is a troglodyte
   Oh and don't forget: the fundamental belief of the PC left is that questioning the beliefs of the PC left is morally wrong. The central method of "inquiry" and persuasion of the PC left is: stifling disagreement. From campus speech codes, "deplatforming," and liberal use of the heckler's veto, to Antifa violence to hysterical, indiscriminate accusations of racism, misogyny, etc., to censoring of social the stuff Hemmingway discusses in this piece, the PC left aims to prevent its opponents' case from being made and heard. They are totalitarians. The fact that they are, perhaps, the most powerful cultural and political force in the country right now should horrify us all.

Investi-Gate: Do Note Investigate Obamagate!: Vox, Yet Again, Edition

Vox is cringeworthy, sophomoric bullshit...but another shrieky demand that we all pretend there's nothing to Russiagategate showed up on RealClearPolitics, so I provide a link. Again: warning! Vox link! Not an actual source of information or analysis: Vox link. Read it if you want. You're all growed up and whatnot.

Times/Postwatch: Ugh

I'm not wasting real time on them. 
First I was suspicious, then I was incredulous, then I was amused, then I was mad, then disgusted, now exasperated.
Among the rest of the dreck, both seem to think that the Pompeo dog-walking story is much, much more serious than Russiagategate. Pompeogate gets major inches at both papers. "Obamagate" is mentioned only in op-eds that ridicule the very idea.

What "Fact" Checks Have Become At the ComPost

   What Trump Jr. II clearly meant was that the media would stop flogging the WuFlu story--which it's undeniably used to advance its anti-Trump case. Everything was spun, spun, spun to be as awful as possible, absolute measures were used when they sounded worse, per capita measures were used when they sounded worse, everything was represented/misrepresented so as to maximize hysteria and seemingly support the conclusion that Trump had done everything wrong. 
   He's saying: they won't have any reason to keep doing that after the election. (Especially if whoever-the-Democrat-is-by-then wins.) Honestly, he's likely right.
   What this becomes in the hands of the ComPost: Trump Jr. II is saying that the virus itself is a "hoax," and that it will actually cease to exist after the election. 
   But TEH SIENZE says that it is "inevitable" that the virus will still be here next winter! Trump Jr. II's comments are "reckless" (?)!...
And on and on.
This isn't even nearly the crappiest crap in the MSM this morning. This stuff isn't even funny anymore. Trump Jr. II is making a--not at all implausible--point about the media. The Post bends over backwards to misinterpret it. Then deploys one of progressivism's THE SCIENCE! argument: THE SCIENCE supports whatever progressives prefer that it supports. Fauci says it's "inevitable" that the virus will still be a major problem next Winter. I doubt it's inevitable. They've been wrong about so much thus far that I'm not going to be at all surprised if they're wrong about this. And inevitability claims make me laugh out loud at this point. 
   The relentless drumbeat of this nonsense in the flagship national media is appalling. 

Sunday, May 17, 2020

Biden's Veep? Time To Place Bets

He said he was going to pick a woman "of color" or something like that.
So I'm guessing Beto. You might object that Beto doesn't meet the criteria--but don't forget, Beto's Hispanic or whatever.
So that's my guess.

Is It Too Late To Save Liberalism?

Perhaps liberalism, as the academic left likes to put it, "was a moment." 
Perhaps the left will just continue to get leftier/crazier.
And perhaps the right will get rightier...and next time they'll elect an actual strongman. 
Perhaps liberalism will just be lost in rain...

Berenson: The Optimistic Right Was Right; The Pessimistic Left Was Wrong

That's not the way he puts it. It's my gloss.
When was the last time the left was right about anything significant?
Asking for a friend...

And Speaking Of Expertise...

Conservatives aren't so much skeptical of expertise as they are skeptical of nonexperts represented as experts. They go to doctors when they have ailments, they go to the mechanic when their car isn't running, they hire accountants. They trust actual experts. I certainly trust actual scientists--natural scientists, that is. Physicists, chemists, biologists, geologists, paleontologists and so on. I trust some social scientists--economists and political scientists on the economics-like end of polisci… What's up is that progressivism colonizes most of academia and any science or social science that impinges on politics and culture. The humanities are largely a lost cause, in the main. Conservatives trust weather forecasts--they're observably accurate or inaccurate. They don't trust far-future climate predictions pervaded by patently obvious progressive bias. They don't trust pseudoscientific gender studies bullshit about transgenderism that anyone can see is nonsense. They stopped trusting the BS we were told about COVID-19, starting with the hysterical leftist nonsense about 'Wuhan coronavirus' being "racist." Typically, that was a nonsensical leftist political preference represented as some kind of science...though...God knows what kind... 
   Perhaps conservatives are overly skeptical about quasi-expertise...perhaps not. But here's the real problem: progressivism colonizing science and Lysenkoizing it--turning it to their nefarious political purposes. Conservatives are right to be skeptical of such crap. Fault lies with progressivism for corrupting science, not with conservatives for recognizing the corruption. 

Progressive Pseudoexpertise: CNN Thinks Greta Thunberg Is An Expert On The Wuhan Virus

[1] Red Team Right / Blue Team Wrong: Yet Again; [2] Our Fact-Independent Yet Infallibilist MSM

Ed Driscoll rounds up a couple of links at Instapundit.
There was much hysterical shrieking about GA and FL among the jabberatti… And they were exactly wrong...yet again. But don't hold your breath for apology. Actually, I don't care about apology; it's the absence of any acknowledgement that matters.
   Another point in the Commentary piece: contrast the MSM's fawning coverage of Cuomo--despite the disaster that was NY--with their angry derision toward the governors of GA and FL--despite their apparent success.
   Journalism isn't rocket science. It would be the easiest thing in the world to do better than they're doing.

How Inflated Is The COVID-19 Death Count?

Sound to me like: a lot. And I think that's what we have to conclude at this point. We should plan our actions and policies accordingly.

READ THIS: Taibbi: Democrats Have Abandoned Civil Liberties

If you care what I think (not that you should): you really have to read this.
   There's so much right in there that I can't even pick out a passage or reasonable length to quote.
   Lots of people have recognized this stuff. More and more seem to be recognizing it by the day.
   As I keep saying: you may think that Trump's anti-presidential, erratic demeanor is more dangerous than the anti-Constitutional goals of the left-wing extremism that's now fighting for the helm of the Democratic party. I don't think that's a crazy view. Demeanor--or, more substantively: personality and character--matter. A lot. But IMO: you absolutely must reflect deeply on the fact that left-wing extremists who, inter alia, reject important Constitutional principles are largely in control of that party. I absolutely understand someone who says: "Both are awful and dangerous; in the end, I think Trump is more so". To him I say: go in peace and vote your conscience. But someone who thinks that this is good vs. evil, and that there's no great danger on our left...they're simply not paying attention, or not understanding what they're seeing. (Though the worst case: I know people who seem to think that the Dems' real failing is that they aren't left enough...)

Saturday, May 16, 2020

F-22 Crash And The Monetary Value Of A Life

So we all heard about the F-22 crash
Always gut-wrenching, as goes without saying, even when the pilot ejects safely. 
Since the WuFlu has me thinking about the monetary value of a human life, I immediately thought about our diminishing number of Raptors...and the estimated 335-or-so-million dollar cost of those mofos. The monetary value of a human life seems to be estimated at more-or-less between 5 and 10 million dollars. Making the loss of a Raptor (well...a new one, anyway...which this one wasn't) at let's say 30 human lives. Which means, inter alia: it would have been better to lose the pilot and keep the plane (almost certainly...despite the fact that fighter-pilot lives are worth more dollars than, say, philosophy-professor lives...)
I don't have a point. 
I was just thinkin'

Jonathan Turley: There Was A Time When Russiagategate Would Have Been The Story Of The Century

Turley is the voice of sweet reason:
  Yet none of this matters. A Democratic administration using a secret court to investigate the opposing political campaign does not matter to many in Congress or in the media anyway. An investigation continuing despite the lack of credible information supporting collusion does not matter to them either. A president and a vice president who take personal interest in the surveillance of their political opponents also does not matter.
   There was a time, however, when all of this did matter. There was once a time when this would be viewed as the story of the century, including the unmasking of Biden himself in this investigation. But these are not those times, and this cannot be the story. Russian collusion is the story and, as Biden stressed, the rest is just a diversion. It is up to the public to decide who has been ultimately unmasked by the Flynn investigation.
Russiagategate could turn out to be fairly minor. I don't understand it very well yet. But this seems undeniable: it's prima facie alarming as all hell, and demands a full investigation. That the Dems deny this is predictable, because politics is bullshit. That the press denies is also alarming--because it's merely the latest proof that, in a sense, we don't have much prominent. mainstream journalism anymore. Our popular mainstream media has turned itself into the propaganda arm of a rising, extremist political faction and the (formerly fairly centrist) political party that faction has hijacked. They not only have no interest in investigating this astonishing story, they've decreed that there's nothing to it. And, of course, that the mere suggestion that there even might be something to it is a right-wing conspiracy theory. 
   And Turley makes a point here that seems right, but that I haven't really seen that clearly: the left and the MSM (standard 'but I repeat myself') have never quite given up on Russiagate. They put all their hopes in the Mueller report...but seem to have, in some important sense, just shoved Mueller's conclusions aside. They still seem to think that there was some sort of widespread Russian manipulation of the '16 election, and they still seem to allow the collusion fairy tale to float around in the back of their minds, influencing their thinking. 

Dems' New Stimulus/Relief Bill Is A Joke

Nothing detailed: it's just a joke.
I continue to think that they can't have always been this bad... I'd have noticed, wouldn't I have?

Friday, May 15, 2020

Remy: Surfin' USA--Lockdown Version

At Reason, of course.

Are We Entering A Solar Minimum?

IIRC, Judith Curry has been concerned about this for quite awhile.
So much for global warming--if you still believe in that sort of thing.

David Azerrad: "The Social Justice Endgame: What Do Social Justice Warriors Want?"

This is exactly right--absolutely right on target. 
Everybody ought to read it.

Shutdown Might Have To Save 700K Lives To Be Worth It

Harsanyi: What The Dems Are Asking Us To Believe About Russiagategate

The great David Harsanyi hits the bullseye that I've been fruitlessly taking pot shots at:
  According to the standards now set by Obama-administration defenders, it would be no big deal if Donald Trump’s Department of Justice opened criminal investigations into high-profile Democrats such as John Kerry (now a member of Joe Biden’s campaign) who met with Iranians officials over the past four years in an effort to undermine the foreign-policy goals of the duly elected government of the United States. These are potential Logan Act violations, after all.
   It would be no big deal, either, if Trump’s DOJ opened up investigations into Democrats who have ever taken any money from foreign powers, because these are potential FARA violations. Sure, only six such convictions have been pursued by the DOJ since 1966, but no one says your pretext has to be solid.
   It would also fine if, three weeks before Election Day, the DOJ filled out surveillance warrant applications — applications that excluded vital exculpatory evidence — to spy on the Democratic Party’s presidential campaign.
   If Joe Biden were to win the presidency, it would be no big deal if Trump’s DOJ snooped on the incoming national-security adviser John Kerry, taped his completely legal calls with foreign dignitaries, simply because Trump suspected that Kerry would disagree with his administration’s stance on Iran, a nation that threatens the sanctity of our democracy and murders hundreds of soldiers.
   Then, once Kerry was spied on by the NSA, and unmasked by dozens of high-ranking partisan Trump officials — one of them a future presidential candidate — it would be no big deal if any of them illegally leaked Kerry’s name to the press. They would do this in an effort to smear Kerry and railroad him into a plea — not over any risible FARA or Logan Act abuses, but over an innocuous lie about a lawful call told during an ostensibly friendly conversation — so that the Trump administration could fortify a waning investigation into the Democratic Party.
   It would be no big deal if that waning investigation itself was predominately based on a fictitious document paid for by the Republican National Committee. It would be no big deal we if we found out that Trump allies within multiple law-enforcement agencies had referred to the investigation — an investigation based on fictitious evidence paid for by the RNC — as an “insurance policy” against the incoming president. It would be a no-big-deal investigation if the entire thing was propelled by fabricated evidence in FISA warrant applications — and if nearly all FISA warrant applications contained serious errors.
I say go read it.

There Is No Such Thing As Obamagate; Or: Move Along Citizens--Nothing To See Here

Ha ha! It's totally a joke, that thing about railroading a former National Security Advisor and promoting a hoax to discredit and torpedo a duly-elected American president! Funny, right? 
No wait, I mean: it's not even a joke! It's not a thing at all! It never happened and you never heard anything, so just go back to cowering in your house.
Seriously, just forget you ever heard about it, ok?

How A Flynn [Conspiracy*] Theory Became Central To The Trump Reelection Campaign

The Washington Post barely even pretends that its anything other than a DNC press-release at this point.
Funny how Russiagate, built on DNC oppo fiction built on Russian disinformation was obviously the biggest scandal in the history of scandals. The walls were closing in on Trump again at least once a week. It required a two-year, $32 million investigation...and we were assured that there just wasn't any other possible explanation--Trump was a "Russian asset."
   Despite being based on much more solid evidence, however, Russiagategate is mentioned only in the context of deriding it and insisting repeatedly in the strongest possible terms that there is absolutely nothing there so no investigation is needed so let's just drop the whole thing right now. Russiagate, a conspiracy theory in every sense, was never described thusly. Russiagategate almost always is. 
   In this article, it's represented as nothing more than a cynical strategy to use a conspiracy theory to win an election. Though that's what Russiagate actually was, it was never described that way in the MSM.
   I say you ought to read the Post piece linked-to above just to see (again) how astonishingly biased the Post has become. 
   Of course, as I've admitted, this could all turn out to be a big misunderstanding. But that's not the way it looks right now. And we certainly aren't in a position to conclude that we don't even need an investigation. Even if it does turn out to be nothing, I think we should all be concerned that the mainstream media has become a progressive/Democratic propaganda operation.

*The 'conspiracy' is implicit.

Thursday, May 14, 2020

The NYT Surrendered To An Outrage Mob In The Bret Stephens "Secrets Of Jewish Genius" Debate; Journalism Will Suffer For It

Wow, bringin' out the big guns for this one.
But there's no surprise here. The NYT is not an objective source of information. It's progressive Pravda. Do not--ever--expect it to treat any subject objectively if that subject impinges on progressive dogma. 
Ashkenazy Jews have, on average, ridiculously high IQs. That is undoubtedly largely because of genetics. My own guess is that there's a cultural component as well...but that's speculative. There's really no denying the genetic component.
The centerpiece of progressivism is the subordination of facts and evidence to political dogma.
That's exactly and all that's going on here.
Again, the important journalistic point to keep in mind: the NYT is not an objective news source.

Jonathan Chait: LALALALALALALA I Am Not Listening To You

Remember when Chait used to be good? 
   I think the progressives beat it out of him a couple of years back when he dared to question Saint Ta-Nehisi of Coates. 
   Thus tamed, he's now just another progressive hack screaming "Orange Man Bad" at every opportunity.
Well, this is a slight variation on the theme--yet another piece from the left pretending to be able to conclusively prove there's no there there in Russiagategate.
   Nothing to see here, citizen!
   Just keep moving...right back to your house where you are to "shelter"...
   No investigation necessary.
   Of course anybody can see that we are far short of conclusive proof that Obama did anything illegal. All we know is: it didn't take much to reveal that there were a whole lotta shenanigans that stink to high heaven. Well, lower-middle heaven anyway. Maybe that's all there is. Maybe a lot is misleading. Maybe all sorts of things. But the leftists who insisted that there was no possibility that Russiagate was nothing are now insisting that there is no possibility that Russiagategate is anything.
   There's prima facie evidence of shenanigans of an extremely serious kind. It is very unlikely that there is any possibility of finding the whole truth of the matter on the basis of a few, preliminary bits of evidence. So there needs to be an investigation. Which there already is. The Durham investigation is proceeding. My view on this is the same as my long-standing view on the Mueller investigation: wait for the goddamn results. 
   Of course, well before the Mueller report actually "dropped" (as all the kids say now), IMO it became very clear that Russiagate was a pathetic fraud. That conclusion seemed so obvious that I abandoned my wait-and-seeing. In this case, say again: wait and see...but that doesn't mean turn your brain off. Even just the preliminary evidence looks worse than I could have guessed. Especially to someone, like me, who invested a fair bit of faith in Obama--especially in his character. But concerns are not proof. So wait and see.
   I suppose Chait could say the same: I'll wait, but it looks like a joke at this point. That seems wrong to me--but I do hope he's right. If he's not, then this isn't quite the America we thought it was. And I've had more than enough of American turning out to be not quite what I thought it was for one lifetime.
   So I'll wait and see...unless, hilariously, my WuFlu skepticism gets me killed before I can see. You've gotta admit, that would be pretty damn hilarious...