Archive for Mind Games

Pandemic models versus ground truth and reason

Aynsley Kellow: Logic, the first casualty – “In the US Donald Trump is being excoriated for daring to consider the costs by those who consider risk management to be solely a matter for natural scientists, and to be decided without regard to cost. He is one of the few leaders (if not the only one) who is including some consideration of the human and economic costs of the responses dictated by the medical experts who have no expertise in risk management as it should be practiced.

John Merline: COVID-19 Is Killing The Case For Socialized Medicine – “we actually have a way to compare how various countries have been dealing with the coronavirus. We can compare death rates from the virus, and deaths as a share of total population and contagion rates.” … “The mantra among socialized medicine advocates is that the U.S. spends more for health care but delivers lower quality than other industrialized nations. The experience with the coronavirus is showing that the last thing we should do is import health care systems from abroad.

John Hinderaker: Covid-19 Deaths So Far: Where Is The Crisis? – “I have updated this chart a number of times, based on data from the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control, and will continue to do so. It shows, for one thing, how far COVID-19 has to go before it equals the average seasonal flu mortality,”

Scott Johnson: Deborah Birx: About those models – “the predictions of the model don’t match the reality on the ground in China, South Korea or Italy.” Just like the climate models?

Monica Showalter: A stupid little political stunt to Get Trump goes awry in Nevada – “Steve Sisolak, the leftist governor of Nevada, decided to play doctor by banning the use of hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine” … “It’s ironic, because Sisolak couldn’t do anything better to incentivize hoarding than to initiate bans and conditions and prohibitions.”

“It’s nothing but Democrat administrative-state mentality at work here — first, the slap at Trump, and second, the move to crush the wreckers and hoarders — all coming at a time when the private sector is stepping up production of necessary things in a pandemic, the innovators are going gangbusters with new solutions, doctors are experimenting in uncertainty as never before and the regulators in Washington are getting out of the way in a bid to hasten solutions.

What Nevada needs, he seems to be saying, is more bureaucrats, more enforcers, and more regulations, because there’s just too much freedom and in a pandemic, people are escaping “all proper control.” He’s moving against the Zeitgeist, led by President Trump. Expect a lot more self-justification and backtracking from him, he’s not making himself popular.

neo: The flexible opinions of the left – “Seems that within just a few years’ time, leftists have completely reversed their position on saving money vs. maximum preservation of the elderly’s lives.

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Pushing panic and doom?

Two ideas came up today in various essays. One highlights the fact that social distancing has an impact on all communicable diseases and the decrease in flu cases skews Wuhan virus handling capability. Another is comparing the assault on hospital capacity of a disaster like 9/11 to the epidemic and wondering about the ability to handle disasters.

John Podhoretz: Watch out for the Chicken Littles gleefully pushing panic and doom – “For Americans especially prone to that specific fear, there is almost no piece of coronavirus news that doesn’t trigger a renewed sense of panic.” … “There is something peculiar going on in the way certain people are discussing the coronavirus — journalists, pundits and the armies of “influencers” endowed with a blue checkmark for no obvious reason. It’s almost as though they are taking a salacious pleasure in the grimmest and most haunting possibilities.

Ryan Sasscer: Let’s not Swat the Mosquito but get Hit by the Train – “The COVID-19 pandemic is a legitimate crisis we should take seriously, but our response to this virus is putting us on course for a far worse disaster.”

Augusto Zimmermann: Dear PM, a Word to Ponder, ‘Proportion’ – “Dr Katz suggests that governments should depart from the “total war” strategy that your government and others are employing – disrupting businesses and restricting the movement of people with no regards to the variance in the risks of contracting the infection – and start adopting instead a rather more “surgical war” approach to the problem.

Scott Johnson: Coronavirus in one state – “The order is premised on modeling performed by state and University of Minnesota public health experts” … “The implication is that we have been “doing nothing.” We have been “doing something” for the past few weeks.” … “There is reasonable ground to wonder whether the projections on which the governor has relied comport with reality.” … “Current data compiled by the Minnesota Department of Health reflect these numbers: 11,000 tests, 287 positive, one death. The data also reflect a total of 35 cases requiring hospitalization, including 26 hospitalized as of today.

John Hinderaker: COVID-19 Fatalities So Far – “The Diamond Princess experience–virtually a laboratory experiment–suggests that around 80% of the population is naturally immune to COVID-19, that half the people who get the disease will experience no symptoms, and that in an elderly population, something like 1% of those who contract the disease will die. So far I don’t see anything in the reported U.S. or global fatality numbers to contradict the Diamond Princess experience.

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The good word isn’t welcome

Scott Johnson citing Kevin Roche: My struggle with the Star Tribune (3) – “We need to immediately embark on a different course, before the damage we inflict on ourselves is beyond repair. … So we should call on Governor Walz, our legislators and other political leaders, to consider that they are only delaying, that is right, not preventing, only delaying, the loss of a few lives, while promulgating measures that likely will lead to, indeed have already led to, enormous job losses and financial ruin, creating widespread anxiety and emotional distress.”

Meanwhile you have Larry Hogan: We’re going to listen to our scientists on when we go back to work, not the White House and Allahpundit proclaiming “I wonder if Trump realizes how ferocious the pushback will be if he follows through on encouraging people to go back to work next week.” Both Hogan and the Pundit expose a deep TDS bias in proclaiming conclusions as assumptions without evidence to support them. Another one is Breaking: Trump says aiming to reopen America by Easter; Update: Can’t reopen until health care system is prepared, says … Liz Cheney where Ed Morrissey misses what the President said about Easter as a goal and completely avoided the problem (along with Cheney) of trying to decide what a prepared health care system might be. Why is the health care system unprepared for a respiratory disease whose numbers are in the noise when compared to the annual flu onslaught? i.e. the health care situation is fear driven, not fact driven.

Coyote: COVID-19 And Some Thoughts on Data Analysis – [caution: moral preening on display] “Frankly, I am done with the Precautionary Principle. This does not mean I am against taking precautions, even strong and expensive precautions, against bad things. But I am done with the notion that one should ignore the costs of these precautions and not make sensible tradeoffs. This is even true when trading off the risk to life on one hand with reduction of economic outcomes on the other. This is in part because reduced economic activity has real effects on human misery and has direct correlations with lifespan and well-being.” His thoughts:

“The data we have sucks, and thus any conclusions we are drawing mostly suck too. …

The media is constantly confusing changes in measurement technique and intensity with changes in the underlying progress of the virus itself. …

The data we are getting sucks worse because the media has decided, as one big group, that for our own good they are going to limit all facts about the virus to only the bad ones. …

The media is never more dangerous than when it understands a little about a scientific topic. …

Many of the computer model results I am seeing make no sense to me. I am exhausted with people talking about computer models as if they are some fact, rather than a really opaque calculation on some researcher’s set of non-transparent hypotheses. …

Mario Alexis Portella: No, Trump is not in Violation of the Emoluments Clause – “Unless we believe that the Framers intended to prohibit any presidential secondary source of income that could, even incidentally, do business with a foreign government or official, then clearly “emolument” is a term of art that covers specific types of payments and gifts.” It’s a good rundown on one of the ongoing lawfare attacks.

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Opportunity or solution? What’s the focus?

Monica Showalter: Journey to Surrealville: What’s really fueling Pelosi’s shutdown of America’s relief package? – “As Roger Simon noted in his excellent piece, they’re using a pandemic for political aims, suggesting they have no limits on how far they’ll go to use any crisis for political gains. They’d do the same in a nuclear attack, he points out, because they are that far gone

“Not surprisingly, Twitter hashtags such as #PelosiHatesAmericans and #DemocratsAreDestroyingAmerica are leading trends on Twitter. It’s a sign that this is going to leave a mark on Democrats and isn’t going down well. … American workers have seen $1,200 checks dangled in front of them…and are now seeing them pulled away from them like Lucy’s football.

Not a biggie to Nancy Pelosi, who, after all, has called thousand-dollar checks to workers “crumbs.”

This brings us to the real question here, which is, what are they thinking? How could they treat lifeline aid during a massive crisis that has shut down the economy of the entire country as such a political football? How could they betray the blue-state governors whom President Trump is working so well with — California’s Gov. Gavin Newsom, New York’s Gov. Andrew Cuomo, and Washington’s Gov. Jay Inslee — three lefti-est of lefties — who have nothing but praise these days for President Trump? How could they betray Democratic moneybags financing sources such as Google and Facebook and even Walmart, which have done so much good as their part of the collective effort?

A look at Christine Pelosi’s Twitter feed offers some clues … More important, take a look at that Moscow Mitch designator — something McConnell reportedly does not like, so she uses it. There’s no bipartisan spirit there to start, not even any hope of it with this kind of talk, just a desire for political slugfesting. More important, the Moscow Mitch thing is a reference to the Democrats’ continuous hobbyhorse: finding some way to overturn the results of the 2016 election. This is pure partisanship at its most disgusting, business as usual for the rabid and embittered Democrats.

It’s a journey into the surreal. Yet it’s valuable to know what talking points they are pushing, given the pliance of the mainstream media and groups such as JournoList which repeat talking points in unison. This is the freak show coming at us, and it’s beyond disgusting.

Scott Johnson: Dems gotta Dem, Pelosi style – “The absurdly irrelevant provisions that Dems seek to incorporate to further the progressive takeover of the United States are meant to remain a deep secret. The current crisis — it’s not meant to go to waste, in the usual reckoning of the thought leaders of the Democratic Party.

Paul Mirengoff: Public health and economic prosperity – “On the public health side of the equation, I don’t think anyone has come up with a reliable model for forecasting the fatalities that would result from various levels of social isolation and business cessation. Similarly, on the economic side, I’m not aware of any reliable model that forecasts the amount of economic damage that would result from various levels and duration of business cessation, or that tells us how long recovery would take.

Lubos Motl: Who was Feynman’s Mr Young and what was his rat paper?When I watched this irrational behavior, the mindless promotion of “what must be done to fix the epidemics”, I couldn’t forget about the wonderful 1974 Richard Feynman’s Caltech commencement speech that is included as Cargo Cult Science,”

“a chapter in his popular book Surely You’re Joking, Mr Feynman. In that speech, Feynman mentioned some medieval superstitions and charlatans. How could people believe those gurus when it was rather clear that nothing really worked? However, Feynman continued, it’s a silly question because people are still behaving equally stupidly in the modern era.

Jack Cashill: Reflections on a Century of Junk Science – “In my 2009 book, Hoodwinked: How Intellectual Hucksters Have Hijacked American Culture, I documented a century’s worth of scientific misinformation, disinformation, half-truths, and lies disseminated almost inevitably to advance a progressive agenda.

“The numbers stunned me. Not following the news closely, I presumed, based on the hysteria in the air, that the numbers had to be at least ten times that high both nationally and internationally.

285? According to the Centers for Disease Control 185 Americans died of drug overdoses every day in 2018. According to the CDC, 315 people died of the flu every day during the six-month 2018-2019 flu season. And if protecting life is the goal, we could save about 400 young lives every work hour by shutting down America’s abortion clinics.

No sooner did I get home with my pizza than the news broke that the bi-state metro Kansas City would be subject to a stay-at-home order effective Tuesday morning. “After 30 days,” the TV News station reported matter-of-factly, “the jurisdictions will consider whether to extend the order.” That is how easy it is in 2020 America to suspend the U.S. Constitution and wreck the economy.

I would feel better about the order and my fellow citizens if some horrible plague were ravaging the metro. That is not exactly the case. As of Saturday night, there had been a total of four Covid-19 deaths in all of Kansas and Missouri, only one of which was in the KC metro area, a “man in his 70s with underlying health conditions.”

The science establishment was just warming up. In the decades ahead, they would serve up global cooling, nuclear winter, the alar scare, second-hand smoke, global warming, climate change, and a host of other contrived doomsday scenarios. When the predicted doom failed to materialize, the prophets of doom shifted the date of doom forward and bought more beachfront property.

Never before, though, has a mania wreaked so much havoc so quickly as the Covid-19 scare. Many of the predictions are as incredible as those for heterosexual aids, and even if accurate, they do not justify the assault on our economy and our very freedoms.

Someone please warn the president about the scientists in his midst.

Looks like Dr. Fauci may be a bit over the edge in pushing medicine without due consideration for other social issues like the economy or individual responsibility. His role is being re-assed’ and the media is jumping all over that to support its anti-Trump narrative and agenda. This suggests a Fake News Alert may be in  order.

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He’s got the panic

Robert Pearl: 7 dangerous myths about the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic – “Avoiding many of the worst consequences and doomsday predictions will depend, in part, on the ability of Americans to act according to the facts.” He needs to follow his own advice. Much like Berezow on the ‘hoax’ described earlier, Pearl also has perception and bias problems. As with several ‘concerns’ at KevinMD, doctors are fearful and often loose sight of the present in imaging a future and then use their doomsday fears to bias their perceptions and conclusions.

As we now know, the coronavirus is far more lethal than the president first indicated.” Another post illustrates that the lethality depends upon where you look and an examination of the reference used. Exaggerations like “far” indicate the bias and start off Pearl’s column with an indication that he suffers from the panic and is another part of the cause and not the resolution. Several of his other 7 tend to illustrate just how far he is willing to go to impugn the President, which is another indicator that reason and integrity have left the building.

It is sad when reputable and professional resources fail in reason and integrity and you often have to go back to source material to find out what is actually going on. 

See Sabine Hossenfelder on youtube: How scientists can avoid cognitive bias.

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A failure to serve on two fronts

Ned Ryun: Failures of the Administrative State in the Pandemic Crisis – “This isn’t the time to change our leadership in the White House. It’s time to change the government the person in the White House oversees. The American people deserve better.”

“Despite Democrats’ insistent focus on making this pandemic crisis about President Trump and his Administration—and the media happily jumping on that bandwagon—there are facts that cannot be ignored, and many of them are things the Democrat members of Congress (or former members of the Obama Administration) don’t want the American people to know.

Scott Johnson: Waiting for the FDA – “The WSJ reported yesterday that President Trump has “considered issuing an executive order greatly expanding the use of investigational drugs against the new coronavirus, but was met with objections from Food and Drug Administration scientists who warned it could pose unneeded risks to patients[.]

Kurt Schlichter: The Media Is Even More Garbage Than Usual – “And remember, we are supposed to respect these people, to treat them as brave firefighters who risk it all to bring us the truth. Instead, they are cheesy little liars, and not very good ones.

“This was the media’s time to shine, a moment when we needed clear, objective information delivered by intelligent people who asked the important questions people care about so Americans could protect themselves and their families. It was a critical juncture when the media could step up and show us all that yes, the media is still important. It still matters. It still deserves our respect.

Instead we got, “Mr. President, isn’t accurately pointing out that the coronavirus originated in China racist?”

Scott Johnson: Kung Flu fighting – “The White House press corps performed at a shamefully low level in yesterday’s daily briefing, yet they represent the top ranks of their profession.” Also see Situation critical: WH press at work.

Donna Rachel Edmunds: Israeli Nobel Laureate: Coronavirus spread is slowing – “Michael Levitt praised Israel for its preventative measures. He said most people are naturally immune, and that since the infection rate in China is slowing down, “the end of the pandemic is near.”

Kristinn Taylor: Target Stores’ Chrissy Teigen To First Lady Melania Trump – but it’s Trump, who doesn’t use language like this and is not mean and ugly in his rhetoric who catches the flak.

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perspective and reason MIA?

Andrea Widburg: The Democrats are trying to create another “fine people” hoax against Trump – “We all know that Democrats, in the media and politics, lie about Trump. The most famous is the assertion that President Trump called white supremacists “fine people.” … “If you’re taking the mainstream media and the Democrat Party at face value, you are almost invariably misinformed.”

Tommaso Ebhardt et al: 99% of Those Who Died From Virus Had Other Illness, Italy Says – “After deaths from the virus reached more than 2,500, with a 150% increase in the past week, health authorities have been combing through data to provide clues to help combat the spread of the disease.

Alex Berezow: Coronavirus: U.S. Is Not The Next Italy – “There are two false narratives emerging on social media that need to be addressed. The first is that the virus is a hoax. The second is that the U.S. is “the next Italy.” Both are wrong.” Whoops … Berezow blew it with a ‘both sides do it’ fallacy on his first assertion. He swallows a misdirection by the Left for his ‘hoax’ assertion and, in doing that, tends to illustrate and compound the problem rather then relieve it. He misses the point that his second assertion, and the call for his column, is a direct result of the first.

Anna L. Stark: A little perspective helps – “What’s worse? The rapid spread of a novel virus which originated in China or the media hysteria created and broadcast around the world?

“If it was the intent of the American media to create a state of fear and panic, they’ve succeeded brilliantly. The dissemination of information pertinent to the virus has morphed into a murky river of rumors, innuendo, outright lies and blather proffered by pundits who are neither doctors nor experts on much of anything other than opinionating.

Whether or not the coronavirus originated in a Wuhan province wet market, possibly transmitted to human hosts via the consumption of infected animals or accidently leaked from a Chinese infectious disease research facility may never be determined. The Chinese government won’t be forthcoming. Coronavirus won’t be the last pandemic in human history, but the number of fatalities will be greatly diminished by 21st century medical technology, research, and vaccines. It’s also worth mentioning that in comparison, deaths in the United States due to influenza has already topped 20,000 for the 2019-2020 flu season and for which there has been no media hype, nor panic.

Ed Driscoll: The Manchurian Media – “I’m pretty sure that John Frankenheimer didn’t intend for The Manchurian Candidate to be a how-to guide. But if the media were paid Chinese agents, could they do more to harm this country than they’re already doing now?

Victor Davis Hanson: America In a New Upside-Down World – “Who can game the election-year politics of these chaotic times, especially the more macabre calculations of the electoral beneficiaries of the media-driven hysteria over the COVID-19?”

Scott Johnson: Notes on the pandemic – “As we continue to seek out noteworthy information and analysis, contrarian or otherwise, on the COVID-19 pandemic, I want only to recommend the items below to your attention.” … Ionaddis on “making decisions without reliable data”; Libsker “Humanity will survive”; Stern on vaccine progress; others

Luboš Motl: Can freedom, prosperity return at all? – “The Covid-19 hysteria has shown us that many people – including many of those who pretended something else – actually hate the civilization as it existed up to 2019, with some freedom, technological achievements, culture, sports, human contacts, religious events, and other things. In fact, many people – including TRF commenters – literally love the idea to spend their lives in a cage.

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The virus is a minor problem compared to the panic

Matt Margolis: 10 Ways the Left Has Politicized the Coronavirus Pandemic – “It was disgusting to see the way Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders politicized the coronavirus pandemic during their debate Sunday night. I expected as much, to be honest.” A list of ten with chapter and verse, as if that makes any difference to the perpetrators. When will it make a difference to the voters?

Terry Jones: Will The Real Victim Of The Wuhan Flu ‘Crisis’ Be Your Rights? – “we’re told repeatedly that, out of “an abundance of caution,” we must shut down our economy. From New York to California, state and local governments have declared “emergencies.” So has the federal government, part of a much-broader “crisis” response.

“This should be a concern to all Americans. Yes, we need to take reasonable precautions agains the Wuhan coronavirus to minimize deaths. We’re all for being careful. And, no, we don’t believe the Wuhan coronavirus is a hoax or anything like that. But the media focus has been hysterical to the point of absurdity, encouraging government to impose the most stringent controls in modern history.

That’s bad enough, given the mainstream media’s undisguised contempt for President Donald Trump. But they’re providing cover for those who would deprive us of our rights permanently.

Jazz Shaw: Coronavirus is the new excuse for universal basic income – “The latest installment in our series on Never Letting a Perfectly Good Crisis Go To Waste comes to us courtesy of Democratic Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii ”. Romney is in on it, too.

Cal Thomas: Is this panic over coronavirus justified, or not? – “Mainstream media loves fueling the fear factor

“Are we being subjected to doublespeak when, on the one hand, we are told the coronavirus is nothing to be afraid of, if we take precautions and, on the other, we are told to run for the hills? Is this a biblical plague or a manageable ailment? Are we facing the judgment of God, or will this, too, pass like the flu or a cold, or other ailments from which most of us recover? …

I am no prophet, but just as other challenges have confronted America, we will recover from this one. The stock market will revive because the economy remains strong. Schools that are closed will reopen. Broadway lights will go back on. Sports contests with fans in the seats will resume. Church doors will reopen. Normalcy will return.

Andrea Widburg: The American press’s entire energy is bent towards destroying Trump – “The latest example comes from The New York Times, a once-respected institution that now would offend the birds whose cages it might line.” … “It turns out that the New York Times was engaged in a lie by omission something that, at common law, is every bit as wrong as an affirmative fraud.” See also John Hinderaker: More Lies From the New York Times – “One question that millions have asked is, if Donald Trump does so many terrible things, why do leftists constantly have to make up things he didn’t actually do?

Andrea Widburg: Jennifer Rubin’s death wish for Republicans is factually wrong — and the maps prove it – “Once upon a time, Jennifer Rubin was an intelligent woman. Things started to go downhill when she went to work for the Washington Post, but what really flipped the switch in her brain was seeing Donald Trump become president.”

John Solomon: Obama DOJ officials privately told Mueller they were alarmed by FBI treatment of Flynn – “A little-noticed letter from special counsel Robert Mueller’s office divulges Obama DOJ concerns about FBI treatment of ex-Trump national security adviser.” Scott Johnson also has another hit on team Mueller: Escape from the Mueller miasma – “A lawyer for Concord said the case had ‘fundamental problems’ and said prosecutors wouldn’t have been able to prove at trial that the defendants knew they were violating U.S. laws. ‘The purpose of this indictment was to make a political statement regarding the outcome of the 2016 election that was grossly overstated.

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Gaslighting behavior to watch for

Anthony Watts: The 11 gaslighting characteristics of the climate debate – “This was originally from Psychology Today by Stephanie A. Sarkis Ph.D. but I immediately recognized how this is wholly applicable to the climate debate.” The term is making enough of an impression the Left has it moving up to joining accusations of racism as popular in smearing its opposition. Projection, anyone? “Gaslighting is a manipulation tactic used to gain power. And it works too well.” Here’s a summary:

1. They tell blatant lies.

2. They deny they ever said something, even though you have proof.

3. They use what is near and dear to you as ammunition.

4. They wear you down over time.

5. Their actions do not match their words.

6. They throw in positive reinforcement to confuse you.

7. They know confusion weakens people.

8. They project.

9. They try to align people against you.

10. They tell you or others that you are crazy.

11. They tell you everyone else is a liar.

Brian C. Joondeph: Remember the H1N1 Pandemic? I Don’t Either – “Swine flu came and went, leaving a far greater swath of destruction compared to the current coronavirus outbreak. Yet the reactions are far different.

Frederic Lardinois: Trump says Google CEO Sundar Pichai called to apologize – “Google has 1,700 engineers working on this right now. They have made tremendous progress

“What is clear, though, is that Google and Alphabet CEO Pichai today posted an update to Google’s blog that outlines Google’s efforts. In it, Pichai clears up some of the confusion and describes the work the company is doing to get more information about the virus and COVID-19 to its users, as well as the work Alphabet’s Verily life sciences unit is doing to build a screening site for the Bay Area (and potentially for a nationwide rollout).

On Friday, Trump promised a nationwide website, developed by Google, that would be at the core of the government’s screening process. Google wasn’t ready for that announcement. The site didn’t exist yet. Even the limited version of that site, which wasn’t developed by Google, was ready and for the most part, a lot of us in the media probably now regret ever taking the president at his word. As of now, this is one of the most bizarre Google stories I’ve covered in recent years.

Now, it’d be great to hear more about what Pichai apologized for.

Perhaps if Lardinois got past his bias, realized that the situation is fluid, that misunderstanding is not unusual in fluid situations, and that jumping to conclusions (e.g. Trump lies. Always) in spite of wondering about Pichai does not help anyone. Trump’s word is still valid. He relayed what he understood from Pichai and the reason there is a bizarre Google story and a Pichai apology is because of the nature of the communications. Assuming lies and deceit in a rapidly evolving reveals a dangerous bias. In this case Google appears to have been a little ahead itself and unprepared for Trump speed. “Google wasn’t ready for that announcement.”

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Hysteria is no replacement for facts

Where does the false history and cultural rot lead? Columbus did it!This is another case where a racial subgroup of the population is distinguished by unpleasant statistics and trying to shift blame. That results in greater social discord as problems are not addressed and solutions are distanced from reality.

“Douglas is an indigenous American artist, activist and registered member of the Las Vegas Paiute Tribe. For her, the dance is more than a performance. She created it to process her experience of sexual abuse as well as the crisis of missing and murdered indigenous women (MMIW), which she says began with European colonization and has more recently been gaining attention through social media campaigns and hashtags such as #MMIW and #NoMoreStolenSisters.

Tabitha Mueller et al: Nevada officials, native community members grapple with high rate of missing and murdered indigenous women – “Legislation and other governing bodies have allocated more resources toward addressing MMIW, but those efforts are hampered by incomplete data and a tangled web of jurisdictions between federal, state and tribal law enforcement and prosecuting authorities.”

Terry Jones: Time To End Coronavirus Hysteria And Focus On Saving Some Lives – “is the hysteria warranted? What do we really know about this virus?” What we do know at this moment doesn’t warrant the hyperbole. 560,000 hospitalizations last year from the flu and there is uber-angst about a pandemic overloading the medical system with a current total, after three months, sick census of only 20% of that? For example of the FUD mongering see “No State Is Prepared” – Mapping Where Hospitals Will Run Out Of Beds First If Virus Cases Spike – “A USA Today analysis of American Hospital Association (AHA) hospital bed data shows that if confirmed Covid-19 cases and deaths follow similar growth curves as in China, Italy, and Iran, there could be six patients for every existing hospital bed.” What’s wrong with this picture?

More of where this came from by Tyler Durden: A 70-Year War On “Propaganda” Built By The CIA – “The CIA really does not have the best track record for their role in “managing” foreign wars and counter-insurgency activities. In fact, they have been caught rather red handed in fueling such crisis situations. And these are the people who are deciding what information is fit for the American public, and western public in general, and what is not fit for their ears.” Therefore the ‘cold war’ is all America’s fault and the USSR is the model of truth and justice in its methods of keeping the public informed.

Tyler Durden: The S**t Might Actually Be Hitting The Fan But Somehow It Doesn’t Feel Real – “I’m sharing this because I bet a lot of people are feeling the same way. Second-guessing themselves. Doubting themselves. Feeling like they aren’t good preppers. You aren’t alone and I’ll bet a whole lot of folks who won’t admit it feel this way too.” i.e. I am feeding the panic to comfort myself with ‘vox populi’ logical fallacies.

“We don’t believe it because we don’t want to believe it. We never actually wanted to be right when we stockpiled and learned skills and bought more supplies that we actually had room to house.

But the thing that puts us ahead in this situation is that we prepared anyway. We learned anyway. And when we see the more obvious signs of a societal breakdown we will be able to accept it a lot faster than those who never even considered it.

Rational people don’t believe it because the numbers aren’t there and the FUD Mongerers, like Durden today, are cherry picking worst case scenarios and using logical fallacies for their views. Rational people are stepping all over themselves to explain that this isn’t a binary issue (calling out another common logical fallacy),that prudence isn’t a chicken little thing, and that the panic and hysteria are destructive rather than constructive.

Katherine Rodriguez: Judge Cites Coronavirus as Reason for Blocking Trump Admin Food Stamp Work Requirements – “a preliminary injunction blocking the recent Trump administration rule on food stamps, which the USDA estimates would have reduced federal spending by $7.9 billion over five years and gradually weaned 755,000 people off the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), the government program in charge of food stamps.” The Left worries about Trump being a dictator, facist, etc. but cannot find where he doesn’t follow the law. Here’s a judge using a current social panic to dictate national policy rather than the law. Hysteria should be no replacement for facts but here it is and it does support Durden’s broader fear about societal breakdown but from the judiciary and not the executive.

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The art of the smear

Dov Fischer: The Real Threat to Our Democracy During Coronavirus – “Pelosi, Schiff & Co. were too busy dragging the country through impeachment to pay attention to ominous developments in Asia.”

“From the moment that President Trump was elected, we have been battered by the percussion of a steady drumbeat amplifying the repeated mantra that “Donald Trump is a threat to our democracy.” We hear all the lies over and over:

But Trump is a Constitutionalist, and he also happens to play by rules.

Rarely — if ever — before has a President’s fealty to the Constitution been as sorely tested as Donald Trump has encountered.

If there ever was a real threat to our democracy in today’s rancid political climate, it emanates from Pelosi, Schumer, and the Democrats who follow them like lemmings.

The CDC further announced at that time that the genome had been posted on the NIH genetic sequence database. It is a matter of public record that the Democrats, the Washington Post, the New York Times, NBC, ABC, CBS, PBS, CNN, and MSNBC all were obsessed at the time with the nonsensical still-born Pelosi impeachment, doing all they could to focus public attention on that foolishness in their never-ending effort to take down Trump, while the gigantic story under their noses — the emerging coronavirus plague — went virtually unreported.

These endless internecine efforts by Democrats, aimed not at advancing the public’s needs or the common weal but solely at gumming up the machinery of government and sabotaging the Trump Administration, are proving to be the single greatest threat today to our democracy.

neo: This video shows what the MSM is about – “I realized that they could deny it and that they would deny it. They’d say that the news people involved used the phrase “Wuhan coronavirus” or “Chinese coronavirus” innocently and descriptively, but when Trump used the same words it meant something entirely different and was a racist dog whistle because racism engulfs his heart and mind. – I can’t watch the video without becoming furious and yet being impressed by what it reveals so succinctly about the MSM members involved: their poisonous hypocrisy and treacherous mendacity, delivered with such sober serious faces:

Vivek Saxena: Ben Rhodes slapped with reality check when he longs for Obama leadership under coronavirus outbreak – “Repeatedly disgraced former Obama administration national security adviser Ben Rhodes stepped in it mightily Wednesday by daring to suggest without evidence that the coronavirus outbreak would have been handled better under his former boss.” … “Why? Because during the former president’s eight year veritable reign of terror, millions of Americans were infected by and at least 12,500 died from the swine flu.

Willis Eschenbach: The Math Of Epidemics – “Now, this particular “s-shaped” curve is called a “Gompertz Curve”. It is a curious curve, in that it is not symmetrical. It goes up faster than it levels off.” The curve fits China and Korea data. What does it suggest about virus deaths elsewhere?

Greg Mankiw asserts that there will be a recession and demands that “President Trump should shut-the-hell-up” because he is an ignorant idiot. Hubris is dripping and that is, perhaps, more of the problem that is facing the issue than what the government is doing under the President’s leadership.

David Harsanyi: Joe Biden owes Clarence Thomas an apology — and so does the entire left – “For contemporary Democrats, the court exists primarily to safeguard the only constitutional “right” that really matters to them anymore: abortion.” … “the patriarchy must unilaterally surrender to the poetic truth, rather than to the evidence

“If Biden should apologize to anyone, it’s Clarence Thomas, or maybe the American people, for allowing judicial confirmation hearings to be turned into partisan-fueled character assassinations, weaponized to destroy the legitimacy of the Supreme Court — all in the service of nothing more noble than the killing of the unborn.

So many smears, so little time …

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Virulent social panic

Terry Jones: Time To End Coronavirus Hysteria And Focus On Saving Some Lives – “These are people who would rather get rid of Trump than save your life. Please remember that.

John Merline: A Tale Of Two Pandemics: Media Downplayed Swine Flu Outbreak Under Obama – “When the WHO declared the swine flu “unstoppable” on June 11, 2009, CNN didn’t even lead with that story on its homepage. It was in a pile of links on the side of the page.

Douglas MacKinnon: The Media-Induced Coronavirus Panic Is Worse Than The Disease – “In addition to the massive financial loss to our nation and the world is the haunting psychological trauma inflicted on untold millions now terrorized by the prospect of getting the virus.”

Roger Kimball: COVID-19 is terrifying — as a weapon of political propaganda – “The Wuhan Panic is a textbook case of the Rahm Emanuel principle that you never want a good crisis to go to waste.”

Matt Margolis: Joe Biden Blasts Trump’s Coronavirus Response, Then Plagiarizes Trump’s Plan – “Hey, guess what happened in January while Democrats were all focused on impeachment? The Trump administration fast-tracked the development of a vaccine with the goal of clinical trials to begin within months.” … “Plagiarism is hardly a new thing for Joe Biden, but this example truly takes the cake.

Steven Hayward: The Great Toilet Paper Pandemic of 2020 (And TWiP Preview) – “This shows how crazy ideas (like socialism) can be more contagious than a virus. Talk about epidemiology: how does the idea that you need to hoard toilet paper get started and spread? How, exactly, does a big supply of toilet paper help you ward off a virus? Has circulation of the New York Times fallen so low that you feel compelled to stock up on toilet paper?

neo: It literally represents an exponential existential threat – “Have you noticed that these three words – “literally,” “exponential,” and “existential”- have become more popular, while at the same time they’ve nearly lost their original more narrow meanings and have come to be used as mere intensifiers?

Peter Skurkiss: The silver lining in the Wuhan Virus – “The Wuhan Virus is causing major disruptions in the U.S., from the stock market to the economy to social gatherings of all sorts. The virus itself is still not nearly up to the disease standards of the common flu or swine flu, even though the media hype of it has been off the charts.”

Kimberley Strassel: Adam Schiff’s surveillance state – “Mr. Carr doesn’t dispute that Congress may, “in at least some circumstances,” have the legal authority to obtain call records under the Communications Act. The offense, he writes, was denying his targets the right to fight the subpoenas:” … “This history is what made Mr. Schiff’s subpoenas so devious and abusive. He issued them secretly. He didn’t notify his targets, and Republican committee members were barred from telling the public what they knew about the subpoenas.

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Pandemic warfare

Joel B. Pollak: Trump on Coronavirus: ‘Put Politics Aside, Stop the Partisanship, and Unify as One Nation and One Family’ – “Trump spoke calmly and in measured tones from a prepared text as he recounted the administration’s steps thus far to fight the spread of the illness, which the World Health Organization declared a “pandemic” earlier Wednesday.

Helle Dale: Coronavirus Fears Fed by Soviet-Style Agitprop From Russia, China, and Iran – “Never letting a crisis go to waste, propagandists are using the coronavirus to spread disinformation and conspiracy theories about the United States.” … “Not only do these falsehoods distract from identifying the real source of the problem (the Chinese government’s delayed public acknowledgement of the epidemic), they also slander the image of the United States globally.

“Today, the U.S. government will have to be equally deliberate in its efforts to fight not just the spread of the virus itself, but also the conspiracy theories spread by foreign actors.

Barnini Chakraborty: Inside China’s high-stakes campaign to smear the United States over coronavirus – “If you listened to Chinese state-run media, you’d think President Trump went to China and released vials of COVID-19 on groups of unsuspecting men, women and children.” … “It’s more than just some disinformation or an official narrative,” Xiao Qiang, an adjunct professor at the University of California at Berkeley’s Schools of Information, told The Washington Post. “It’s an orchestrated, all-out campaign by the Chinese government through every channel at a level you rarely see. It’s a counteroffensive.”

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TDS Magnitude Level 9 in medicine, media, and law

Victoria Taft: The Media Succumb to Raging Case of Katrina Virus in Hopes of Infecting Trump. Trump Isn’t Having It – “As you may be aware, “Katrina moment” is to disasters is what Watergate is to corruption.” … “Trump’s fighting back, but will it be enough to give him immunity to the media virus?

The “Katrina moment” never quite stuck to any number of President Obama’s missteps from Benghazi to the H1N1 outbreak. That’s what a fawning press will do for a president.

Since the outbreak of the coronavirus (COVID-19), the media has been waiting for President Trump to do or say something in order to pin the Hurricane Katrina label on him.

The only thing the Katrina virus-infected mob hasn’t pulled at this point is arranging for a coronavirus whistleblower, leaking to Adam Schiff and calling for a special prosecutor.

There’s still time.

David Catron: Politicizing Coronavirus Will Cost Dems the House – “Their rhetoric concerning COVID-19 has been both irresponsible and politically inept.”

“Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer, for example, issued a joint press release Sunday that included the following fiction: “President Trump continues to manufacture needless chaos within his administration and it is hampering the government’s response to the coronavirus outbreak.” Predictably, Pelosi and Schumer fail to provide any objective facts to support this claim.

These Democrats are particularly vulnerable after the impeachment debacle because they explicitly promised their constituents during their 2018 midterm campaigns that they would eschew hyper-partisan politics and work with Republicans on issues that mattered to real people. Predictably, most of these “moderate” Democrats forgot that pledge immediately after they migrated to the swamp.

President Trump is right when he accuses the Democrats of working “to inflame the coronavirus situation.” They regard the outbreak as an opportunity for scoring political points. Moreover, they have behaved so irresponsibly during the past three years that what little credibility they enjoyed has evaporated.

Neo citing A doctor [who] counsels calm – “But mostly, I’m scared about what message we are telling our kids when faced with a threat. Instead of reason, rationality, openmindedness and altruism, we are telling them to panic, be fearful, suspicious, reactionary and self-interested.”

Brett T. Fake news: Daily Mail reports that President Trump stormed out of coronavirus briefing (very slowly) – “Daily Mail US goes on tirade of TDS Magnitude Level 9 threatening total implosion!!!!

Anna Gaddy, MD: What COVID-19 taught me about autonomy – “When I self-reported my symptoms to the health department and my institution’s infection prevention department, things moved impressively quickly.” For those who worry about treating the disease seriously but not with panic, here’s a story of one experience.

Elizabeth Vaughn: Here’s How Eric Holder Helped the Obama Administration Transform the Democratic Party into a Party of Thugs – “It was during the Bush Administration that Democrats, overcome by Bush Derangement Syndrome, stopped trying to maintain the traditional veneer of civility. That turned out to be child’s play compared to what came next.

Walter Olson: Trump campaign files round of defamation suits – illustrating assumptions indicating ‘professional’ TDS – “Given the broad protections for writing about public figures enunciated by the Supreme Court in the case of New York Times v. Sullivan, few if any of these suits are likely to prevail at final judgment. Still, a suit like this serves “to drag people into court and imposes the time, burden, distraction, and cost of having to defend themselves, with the added benefit that it may make people and the press less willing to criticize these people. ” [Howard Wasserman, PrawfsBlawg] Time for state legislators to consider enacting stronger protections against unfounded suits?” Olson shows absolutely no consideration for issues of libel in major media and appropriate responsibility in publication of libelous stories or ‘opinions’ for broad audiences.

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Skepticism runs deep

Daryl McCann: The Trump Doctrine and the Return of Pax Americana – “What informs Donald Trump’s decision-making, according to most narratives, is nothing more than an incongruous compendium of braggadocio, narcissism, opportunism and impulsiveness.”

“to talk earnestly of a Trump Doctrine is to suggest a degree of lucidity in Donald Trump’s actions where none exists. As a consequence, the targeted killing on January 3 of Qasem Soleimani, commander of Iran’s Quds Forces, foreign legion division of Tehran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, can make no strategic sense in the eyes of the experts, though it could—and still might—trigger general war in the region. Maybe it is the anti-Trump narrative that lacks credibility.

Scepticism about President Trump’s judgment in foreign affairs runs very deep.

If even those close to him—or, at least, those who were close to him—have no confidence in President Trump, then why should anybody else make the case for a cogent Trump Doctrine? Haley’s disclosure gives credence to this sentiment, expressed in the aftermath of the Qasem Soleimani killing by the reliably anti-Trump journalist Joel McNally: “The most dangerous day of his presidency is always tomorrow.”

The fact remains that the Third World War has not erupted on the provocateur-in-chief’s watch.

Trump’s America First framework borrows from the best of the two preceding foreign policy doctrines and omits many of their delusions.

One of the secrets of the Trump Doctrine is that it eschews the pie-in-the-sky “new world order” fantasies of both the Bush Dynasty and the Obama Doctrine. The world is what it is.

Jacob Solis et al: Like the coronavirus itself, much remains unknown about its effect on health care system, tourism sector – “no one knows how widespread the coronavirus will emerge in Nevada or how long it will last, making public health and economic predictions difficult, if not, impossible.

“My biggest concern is hospitals really both north and south that are already operating at capacity,” said Packham, who also chairs the Patient Protection Commission. “They already have disruption with just seasonal influenza, much less trying to think about how they’re going to deal with or isolate patients that have tested positive and so forth in their current operations.”

“I think I’ve had a flu-like illness once in the last three to five years and all I do is see sick patients,” Carrison added. “I’m certainly not superman.”

The proceed-as-normal mindset appears to be prevailing in the sports world as well — at least for now.

Then there’s ZeroHedge: All Hospital Beds In The US Will Be Filled With Patients ‘By About May 8th’ Due To Coronavirus: AnalysisHow To Avoid Getting Infected By The Coronavirus‘Grand Princess’ Passenger Who Died Of Covid-19 Probably Caught The Virus In California, Carnival SaysElon Musk Says Panic About Coronavirus, Which Has Killed Over 3,400, Is “Dumb”Forget Covid-19, San Diego Faces Critical Quake Danger From Long-Inactive FaultlineAmtrak Suspends Some Non-Stop Acela Service Due To Virus“It’s Like Scenes From A Mad Max Movie” – Americans Continue Epic Run On Costco“We Are In An Adverse Feedback Loop”: How To Track The Coronavirus Hit To US Consumer Spending

Remember anything like this with H1N1? Swine Flu? Legionaire’s Disease? 

Leslie Eastman: Maybe it’s time to dial back the coronavirus drama – “Let’s begin by starting with some perspective. The current flu season has hit 32 million Americans, resulting in 18,000 deaths, and the vaccine that was selected for the flu season was limited in its effectiveness. Yet, we are not doing a daily flu death countdown.

“The press is currently ginning up fear about the lack test kits. However, Pence noted that all the state labs that had requested test kits have received them. And because of the changes in the regulations implemented by the Trump administration last week, the state labs can actually run the tests.

Scott Johnson: Walton’s Whack – “The Journal editorial concludes with the understated observation Judge Walton’s “decision to add his political broadside [to his opinion] raises more questions about the judge than about the Attorney General.” More broadly, however, Judge Walton’s opinions seems to me yet another episode in the sorry saga of Trumplaw.”

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Harsh Words and Big Lies

John O’Sullivan: When the Left Lies, Conservatives Plead Guilty – “It controls all the cultural institutions, and it intends to use that power to determine what words mean, what political ideas will be allowed in public debate, and what people it is respectable to associate with.

R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr.: Tired of Being Mocked? – “America has broken down into two different countries. One lectures us, mocks us, and lies to us. It is about to experience four more years of us.

Bruce Thornton: Progressive Big Lies – “Who controls the past controls the future; who controls the present controls the past.”

“This penchant for accepting lies as truth, however, has warped the minds of Leftists both hard and soft ever since New York Times correspondent Walter Duranty lied about Stalin’s engineered famines in the 1930s. They have accepted the Marxist, as in Groucho, stance “Who you gonna believe, me or your lying eyes?”

Worse yet, today’s progressives believe lies to be true despite their egregious falsehood.

These lies and their dangers have been worsened over the last few decades by the degeneration of education from grammar school to university.

we might see for ourselves what George Orwell famously prophesied in 1984 as the consequences of the big lie:

The progressive corruption of history demonstrates their control of the past. Their dangerous policies currently control much of the present. If they triumph in November, we all may have to experience the grim wages of their control of the future.

George Parry: Chuck Schumer, Wise Guy – “Yet his threats against Supreme Court justices are no laughing matter.”

John Sexton: Trump: Schumer Should ‘Pay A Severe Price’ For Threatening Supreme Court Justices – “Ed wrote about Schumer’s threats earlier today and Allahpundit wrote about Schumer’s follow up statement claiming he was being misconstrued (or something)” – What is missing is the comparison and contrast between Schumer’s and Trump’s comments directed at SCOTUS. One is a threat, the other is criticism. Conflating the two is deceit. Neo takes note of this: “There is no equivalence between a threat and a criticism. And trying to argue for a certain policy does not excuse making a threat.

“What Schumer said earlier today was different. Supreme Court Justices aren’t elected; they are appointed for life. They won’t face the voters ever. So saying “you don’t know what will hit you” clearly can’t be a reference to the Justices being surprised at their comeuppance in the next election. In fact, the only way Justices Gorsuch and Kavanaugh will leave the Court is if they a) resign or b) die. Obviously it’s more than a bit problematic to suggest either of those two things will be made to happen if they vote the wrong way on an abortion case.

Karen Townsend: “Out of line”: GOP chair responds as Donna Brazile doubles down – “harsh words were in response to Ronna McDaniel’s completely accurate description of 2016’s Democrat primary process.” Brazile is a Fox News employee.

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Feed the frenzy

Ross Clark: The most dangerous thing about coronavirus is the hysteria — “It is the latest phenomenon to fulfil our weird and growing appetite for doom.”

Coronavirus (Covid-19) is a pretty virulent virus all right, but not in the way you might imagine. It is less our respiratory tracts it has infected than our inner sense of angst.
  … 
Coronavirus hysteria occurs because we confuse precaution with risk.
 … 
There is something more to the Covid-19 panic. It is the latest phenomenon to fulfil a weird and growing appetite for doom among the populations of developed countries. We are living in the healthiest, most peaceful time in history, yet we cannot seem to accept it.
 … 
Very soon we are going to have to find another thing to agonise about. Asteroids? The next ‘freak’ weather incident, now the storms have died down? Who knows, but we will certainly find something.

The search goes on to feed the FUD mongering machine to overwhelm reason and prudence.

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Making things up when the need for accuracy is most important

Alex Berezow: Cell Phones, Cancer, And Coronavirus: Tucker Carlson Spreads Conspiracy Theories – “Tucker Carlson doesn’t know much about science, technology, or public health, but he definitely has an opinion about them. And he knows a conspiracy when he sees one.

“There are several other basic points to consider: (1) If China did accidentally release a virus to use as a bioweapon, it would probably be capable of killing more than 2% of those it infected. (2) Why create a bioweapon that is essentially a really bad cold when there are so many “better” options (e.g., plague or smallpox)? (3) The genome of the virus was sequenced and released to the public, which would be a very strange thing to do if the virus was actually a weapon. Why would the Chinese government hand over the recipe?

Tucker certainly can opine and espouse conspiracy theories, but to do so from such a public platform is somewhat reckless. He would be more persuasive if his speculation was grounded in scientific facts.

Additionally, nonsense has consequences. The Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post reports that the conspiracy theories are hurting the Wuhan lab’s ability to research the new coronavirus.

Back in October, Tucker ran a segment about evidence for UFOs. Maybe they brought the coronavirus?

Kristyn Leonard: Program aims to raise awareness about cybersecurity, misinformation risks to elections – “This narrative was a result of both very real issues in Iowa and a rampant spread of misinformation on the internet that party leaders were unable to control. Conspiracy theories flourished.” … “While doomsday predictions about the Nevada caucus largely failed to materialize, Americans’ faith in democracy has dwindled amid perceptions that elections are insecure and the speed at which falsehoods can spread over social media.” Rather typically,they take a swipe at the President by mischaracterizing his statements but the bias is rather mild. But then the Russian Collusion fake axiom creeps in, too.

“In this volatile climate, the University of Southern California has introduced their Election Cybersecurity Initiative, a program that teaches individuals who work on elections and campaigns how to secure their devices and accounts, combat misinformation, and prepare for and address a crisis in an effort to instill a “culture of cybersecurity” and restore faith in democracy.

The program offers common sense advice about password security and the dangers of phishing, presented by Justin Griffin, the program’s managing director. It’s advice everyone’s heard before

People don’t necessarily need to gain access to a campaign staffer or candidate’s device to digitally endanger the security and integrity of an election or campaign. Another portion of the program addressed the rampant issue of misinformation and disinformation on the internet.

The program emphasizes an important difference between the two. While misinformation refers to inaccurate information that may have been shared in error, disinformation is, specifically, inaccurate information that is shared deliberately, when the propagator is aware that the information is false.

The topic of election interference from Russia came up multiple times during the one-day conference.

It’s nice to see people talking but the first thing they need to do is to look in the mirror and face their own culpability. Look, for instance at how many stories are also at The Nevada Independent about the coronavirus in a FUD mongering vein alongside this election scare story …

consider “This Is Serious” – Virus Hunter Who Discovered Ebola Discusses ‘Worst-Case Scenario’ For Coronavirus – from one who claims “I’m not the scaremongering type…” This might have more weight if properly compared to the annual flue statistics where there are millions sick instead of tens and tens of thousands of fatalities instead of none (U.S. statistics to date, not worldwide). The claim is qualified: “But I think this is serious in the sense that we can’t afford not to consider it as a serious threat.” Any communicable disease warrants this sort of concern until knowledge and precautions can be obtained to indicate otherwise. FUD mongering is competing with prudence.

Joel B. Pollak: New England Journal of Medicine: Coronavirus Could Be No Worse than Flu – “Citing an analysis of the available data from the outbreak in China, the authors note that there have been zero cases among children younger than 15; and that the fatality rate is 2% at most, and could be “considerably less than 1%.

“The vast majority of patients recover, and among those who are hospitalized, the median stay thus far is 12 days.

Coronavirus, they note, does spread easily, and the average infected person has infected two other people. That means the U.S. should expect the illness to gain a “foothold.” But they note travel restrictions on China (imposed by President Donald Trump over the objections of some critics) “may have helped slow the spread of the virus.”

John Hinderaker: Is Coronavirus a Hoax? – “Democratic Party media are claiming that last night in South Carolina, President Trump said that the coronavirus epidemic is a hoax.” … “Did Trump actually say the corona virus is a hoax? Of course not. The claim is idiotic. If the president thought the virus is a hoax, why did he do a press conference on it last week, along with various medical personnel? And why did he ban travel to China at the beginning of the outbreak?” … “The hoax, obviously, is the Democrats’ unfounded criticism of the Trump administration. Never in American history have we seen such nakedly dishonest criticism of anyone in public life.

Jeff Stier and Henry I. Miller: Nothing’s ‘Impossible’ When It Comes To Innovation – “The only side effects from the Impossible Burger are headaches, heartburn, and panic attacks in the self-designated food elite who demand that we eat “naturally” to protect the planet.

“Improvements in agriculture are typically continual and incremental, but cumulatively they can make a big difference, especially to those at the bottom of the food chain – subsistence farmers. But there are always naysayers, such as the activists who reject farming with state-of-the-art pesticides and crops developed with the most precise and predictable genetic techniques. Why would anyone do that? Simple – they are mouthpieces for the purveyors of inferior, overpriced competing organic products, which are made with primitive practices that are wasteful of water and arable farmland.

Truly disruptive innovation is not only rare, but as Impossible Foods is learning, bringing game-changing products to market requires overcoming resistance from entrenched interests that pretend to represent the public interest.

Making things up is easy. Dealing with reality can be difficult,

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Projection, Propaganda, driven ideologues flailing

Robert Kraychik: Tom Cotton: Sonia Sotomayor Falsely Accused GOP-Appointed Justices of Doing What Democrat-Appointed Judges Do – “I’ve read [Sonia Sotomayor’s] dissent, and this is a classic example of the president’s critics and opponents projecting onto him exactly what they and the other critics are doing.”

Ed Morrissey: 70 Former Senators: Form A “Bipartisan Caucus” To Return The Senate To Its Constitutional Vision – “Right idea, wrong solution. Or, better yet, right idea and no solution.

“It’s both craven and hypocritical to demand a return to the framers’ vision of the upper chamber while refusing to address how the 17th Amendment destroyed it. Unfortunately, that’s par for the course in Washington too, just as is the futility of bipartisan gangs, and the tiresomeness of occasional calls for reform from those getting their own ox gored at the moment.

Getting a lot of these ‘voice of many experts’ logical fallacy based propaganda efforts substituting for reasoned arguments these days … will it register? Will the voter be suckered?

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Schizophrenia trying to accommodate conflicting rationalizations

Thomas McArdle: The Democrats’ Strategy Against The Trump Economy? Schizophrenia – “There are two tacks from which to choose in confronting this politically. Democrats can argue that our prosperity is grossly exaggerated. Or they can claim they deserve the credit for the Trump economy.”

“Which of these strategies, both decidedly dubious in their chances of success, have the Democrats picked?

Both.

It’s quite remarkable that Obama is brandishing his so-called Recovery Act today, over a decade after he signed it. That’s because two and a half years after its enactment it was so clear to him and everyone else that it was a failure – a stimulus that wasn’t stimulating – he requested an emergency address before a Joint Session of Congress in September, 2011 to call for action. Democrats were in a state of panic because of how obvious it was that their stewardship of the economy was failing.

Democrats are going to have to decide which side of their split personality they think gives them any chance of ousting President Trump in November. Unfortunately for them, as we’ve seen, both Clyburn’s claims that the jobs boom is a slave economy, and Obama’s assertion that the policies he admitted were failing two and a half years after their implementation are now succeeding under Trump, are equally absurd.

Theme of the day starts with Susan Jones: Day After Dem Debate, Headlines Warn, ‘Russia Is Meddling to Re-elect Trump’ – “Here we go again with Russian meddling.”

Jim Hoft: Here We Go… Fake News Media Says Putin Is Looking to Help Trump Win in 2020 – “Their media had only one thing to do — launch a new Russia conspiracy.”

Sister Toldjah: Donna Brazile Gets Reminded of Some Inconvenient 2016 History After Saying Trump Will ‘Cheat’ in 2020 – “Though predictable, one of the most frustrating things about how Democrats have behaved since 2016 is their penchant for undermining election results simply because they don’t like the outcome.”

Trent Baker: John Kerry: Trump’s logan act accusation a ‘presidential lie’ – “In a tweet earlier in the day, Trump said the two “grossly violated the Logan Act,” noting there would be “very serious ramifications” if it had been done by Republicans.” interesting calling this a lie after the meeting with the Iranians. Then Kerry went after a duly appointed representative along with rationalizations and character assassination. Loaded labels and diversion do not an argument make.

“If [Trump] knew anything about the law, he’d know I didn’t negotiate with anybody. I did what every senator and secretaries of state in history have done, which is continue to go to conferences abroad or have meetings in order to be well-informed. We engaged in no negotiation.”

Ben Weingarten: Why Richard Grenell As Director Of National Intelligence Is A Loss For The Deep State – “Richard Grenell has doggedly pursued the president’s agenda in the face of unrelenting defiance from the European Union’s most consequential power.”

“President Donald Trump’s pick of U.S. Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell for acting director of national intelligence (DNI) is an inspired one of great symbolic and substantive significance.

In staffing another crucial position in the executive branch with someone who genuinely shares his worldview, instincts, and tenacity, President Trump is signaling to the Trump-haters of the administrative state, and its Deep State apotheosis, that those who reject or actively seek to undermine his America First agenda will no longer be welcome in meaningful positions.

The level of hatred is commensurate with the merit of the pick. It is a feather in Grenell’s cap, and only further validates the wisdom of the president’s decision.

J.B. Shurk: How Trump Made the Federal Courts Blink – “rather than cowering in intimidation, President Trump took the opportunity of an “emergency meeting” of the federal judges to publicly ask that they look into the well documented FISA Court fraud and the Judiciary’s role in perpetrating the greatest political scandal in our nation’s history

“The judges have postponed their planned “emergency meeting” indefinitely. Like most things the president says that cause alarm for the D.C. establishment, it is not the recklessness of his words, but their truthfulness that rattles them, and the more truth he slings their way, the more rattled they become. The judges realized they were about to make a consequential mistake by taking on directly the one person in the country not afraid to put the Judicial Branch in its place.

Curses, like chickens, come home to roost. When federal judges decided long ago to become lawmakers with lifetime tenure, rather than impartial adjudicators adhering to the Constitution, they cursed themselves. This country’s first act was to expel the most powerful king in the world. When the federal courts chose to become kings, they daringly did so without a navy. Hiding behind the sanctity of priestly robes was going to protect them for only so long; eventually, Americans would realize that tyranny with a gavel is not at all different from tyranny with a crown.

With President Trump unafraid of standing up to a coequal branch of the federal government, the Judiciary may finally receive the comeuppance it deserves. One thing is certain: if he is ever to receive justice of any kind, President Trump must first take on the justice system.

Justice transparency and awareness.

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