Archive for science

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.

Leave a Comment

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.

Leave a Comment

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.

Leave a Comment

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.

Leave a Comment

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.

Leave a Comment

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.

Leave a Comment

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 …

Leave a Comment

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.

Leave a Comment

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.

Leave a Comment

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.”

Leave a Comment

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.

Leave a Comment

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,

Leave a Comment

Shut up! … and pushback

Alex Berezow, PhD: Editor At Journal ‘Science’ Doubles Down On Double Standard – “The scientific publishing industry is thoroughly dishonest and corrupt, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the journal Science are now also a part of the problem. Here’s a disturbing case in point.”

Peter O’Brien: The Further Fictions of ‘Dark Emu’ – “my quarrel with Dark Emu is not a disagreement with Pascoe’s interpretation of history. It is with his shameless distortion of facts and sources.

“If Aborigines were essentially sedentary agriculturalists, as Pascoe claims, Dark Emu provides scant evidence of this. The four main elements of agriculture would be tilling or preparing the soil, planting or sowing seeds, tending the crop and harvesting it. Pascoe provides ample evidence of Aborigines harvesting various foodstuffs– which is, of course, a facet of hunter-gatherer societies. He provides no reliable examples of explorers – from whose journals he claims to have gathered his evidence – observing the activities of tilling of soil, sowing of seed or tending crops.

Dark Emu is propaganda. It is not history and it should never be permitted to enter our educational institutions under that or any other guise.

Jonathan Turley: The Death Of Free Speech: Zuckerberg Asks Governments For Instructions On “What Discourse Should Be Allowed” – “The problem is that his comments were received as accepting that government will now dictate the range of free speech. What is missing is the bright line rule long maintained by the free speech community.” … “he is accepting the fluid concept of “balanced” regulations that has always preceded expanding speech codes and criminalization.

Andrea Widburg: Trump makes the 62nd Daytona 500 something special as media heads explode – “For leftists, though, Trump’s mere existence is a political affront:” … “People pushed back, reminding the Leftists that, while Obama never used the “official apparatus of government” to thrill actual Americans, he used those same apparatuses, plus a chunk of taxpayer money, for his own benefit.

Karen D. Hurvitz and Ilya I. Feoktistov: Criminalizing Dissent – “Louis was horrified to recognize the woman who stole his MAGA hat as Beth Peller, a 36-year-old grad student who would be teaching his mandatory freshman writing class.

“Louis’ ordeal is a glimpse of the far left’s “cancel culture” as it pushes the Overton Window on free speech from Twitter bans to outright criminalization of dissent. We believe that more malicious prosecutions like Louis’s are likely; brought, at first, in progressive enclaves like Northampton where the far left holds real political power. Much as occurred in the Jim Crow South, authorities in such places are increasingly choosing to enforce their political ideology instead of the rule of law entrusted to them. The American left these days is unable to accept defeat under fair rules of play, whether in elections or in judicial proceedings. To avoid defeat, leftists will continue searching for ways to criminalize dissent. Indeed, Beth Peller’s attorney argued to the court in Northampton that defamation and offensive speech can and should be criminalized. This is a dangerous trend, and is becoming one of the major civil rights issues of our time.

Robert Gorkin: Good Grief! – “It is a shame when a professional organization gets hijacked (by presumably well-meaning individuals) to take extraordinary positions on subjects that are manifestly well outside of its arena of competence.” The American Psychiatric Association provides this example.

“I have seen no evidence in these reports or on the APA website of any (let alone substantive) debate. Not only as to the validity of the underlying science, the inherent problems with climate models, natural variability, etc.; but even more fundamentally, there is no acknowledgement of the concept of weather as distinct from climate. Nor is there any consideration of the potential benefits of more temperate conditions on health, nature, biodiversity, agriculture, and economics, not to mention the potential and well-documented adverse environmental and economic consequences of the solutions proposed by CAGW activists.

Most unfortunately for Dr. Zilber and her like-minded comrades, her emotional endorsement of ecological guilt and other climate-related pathologies only serves to create, validate, and legitimize new mental disorders that have no basis in reality–this in a profession that has a sorry record of past iatrogenic abuses.

I suggest, rather than engaging in a self-imposed lobotomy, the APA should have a real debate. Rather than potentially following in the footsteps of Trofim Lysenko, the APA should welcome a Devil’s advocate. Perhaps suspending premature judgment but “Be Prepared” is, in fact, the best of all possible worlds.

Finally, it would be hard to find a better precept to guide the APA in its deliberations than Immanuel Kant’s descriptive credo for the Age of Enlightment: Sapere Aude! (dare to know, or more loosely, dare to think for yourself!).

1776 – “an assembly of independent voices who uphold our country’s authentic founding virtues and values and challenge those who assert America is forever defined by its past failures, such as slavery. We seek to offer alternative perspectives that celebrate the progress America has made on delivering its promise of equality and opportunity and highlight the resilience of its people. Our focus is on solving problems. … We do this in the spirit of 1776, the date of America’s true founding.”

Leave a Comment

violence acceptance and education

Monica Showalter: Leftist thuggery: Political violence accelerates against Trump supporters – “There’s a climate of political violence against Trump supporters and the press is giving it little more than disjointed and cursory coverage at best, if not ignoring entirely.

“The press is refusing to cover it. The cops are refusing to investigate and enforce. The laws are letting them off anyway. The Democrats are denying so much as a problem — in Sanders’ case, his nasty little thug operative in Iowa is still on the job.

It’s as if a whole universe of incompetence and malevolence is conspiring against Trump supporters. President Trump has his bag of snakes to deal with among the Obama holdovers in the White House. But Trump supporters have their own physical attacks to deal with.

Something is very wrong in this political climate, which is seeing ever stronger and more frequent physical attacks, with little recourse for the victims.

Jack Hellner: It was Obama, not Trump, who weaponized government against political opponents – “We are hearing from the Democrat talking points that Trump is weaponizing the government and exacting revenge.”

“The media frequently buries stories that might hurt political candidates or policies they support and will continually run false stories against political candidates and policies they oppose. How else can it explain the years of fake stories on Russian collusion, seeking to destroy white Christian boys for wearing MAGA hats, trying to destroy Supreme Court Justice nominee Brett Kavanaugh with no evidence, the false “Hands up, don’t shoot” narrative?

How else do you explain the burying of stories about all the mental and sexual abuse of women by the Clintons and the burying of stories or the lack of investigation into the clear corruption and kickbacks of the Clintons and Bidens if not pure bias?

How many people are the media willing to destroy in order to get power back for the Democrats? Isn’t that pure weaponization and revenge?

But Trump is the problem as he seeks to move the power, purse and freedom back to the people as fast as he can because that is where the power and money belong. He is the opposite of a dictator but the media doesn’t give a damn about the truth. They are also consumed with power and revenge.

On the education front —

John Hinderaker: Global Warming In A Few Charts – “Climate change hysteria has been dialed up to 11 over the last year or two. Greta Thunberg, the Swedish teenager who knows little or nothing about the subject, apparently will continue being nominated for a Nobel Prize until she wins one. But, hype aside, what is actually going on with the Earth’s climate?”

Katarina Schwarz and Jean Allain: Slavery is not a crime in almost half the countries of the world – new research – “Legal ownership of people was indeed abolished in all countries over the course of the last two centuries. But in many countries it has not been criminalised.” … “Legal ownership of people was indeed abolished in all countries over the course of the last two centuries. But in many countries it has not been criminalised.” This one gets into the legal weeds about definition of terms and scope of definitions.

Trevor Klee: How to fix how people learn calculus: make calculus exciting again – “I only realized in college that I had been cheated out of a deep understanding of math and given a shallow collection of tricks instead.” A good rundown on the position of calculus in the intellectual understanding of mathematics.

Jazz Shaw: Biologists Propose Radical Concept That There Are Only Two Genders/Sexes – “The authors describe in brutal detail how the current claptrap about “gender identity” that’s been making the rounds actually serves to undermine the rights and safety of women, children, gays, and lesbians.

Leave a Comment

History distortions for modern ideological propaganda

A twofer from down under in the Quadrant … But first a bit about the phenomena in academia.

Roger Kimball: Civilization Is History at Yale – “Great art is too ‘white, straight, European and male,’ so it’ll have to give way to the latest agitprop.” (behind WSJ paywall so see Instapundit to get the ghist.)

Roger Franklin: Aboriginal History Goes to Pot – “One of the many curious things about Bruce Pascoe’s Dark Emu is its dearth of references to Aboriginal pottery, evidence of which one might expect to be found in profusion.” This is an example of gross evidence that often gets shoved under the rug because it doesn’t fit the desired narrative.

“The firing of clay to produce rodent-proof containers for storing grain, as well as cooking pots and drinking vessels, is a hallmark of even the earliest agrarian settlements — settlements of exactly the sort Pascoe claims the explorers encountered.

Find pottery shards and, as archeological evidence everywhere in the world establishes, what the trowels and brushes will have uncovered is a site where former residents had progressed from paleolithic hunter-gatherers to the more settled neolithic lifestyle Pascoe insists Aborigines attained and, indeed, exceeded.

Jeremy Black: Rethinking the History and Value of Empires – “discussing empire is not simply a matter of objective assessment but also an aspect of the culture wars that are so important to the modern politics of identity. Moreover, this is the case pretty well everywhere, as most countries are one-time empires, as with Britain and Hungary, or remain empires, as with China and Russia, or have experienced imperial rule.

“The discussion of empire is generally today part of a standard anti-Western “discourse”, one that was honed by the Left before, but even more during, the Cold War from 1945 to 1989, and that is painted thickly onto the British past and the American present. From those original sins of empire comes the use of imperialism as a standard critique of “the West”, past, present and future.

This approach needs unpicking if we are to understand the past of a range of states, including Britain, Hungary and, indeed, Australia, which has been accused of being an empire in the South-West Pacific. Moreover, the use of empire as a building-block in the Left’s dominance of culture wars also requires attention.

A similar point about anachronistic judgments can be made about slavery. In practice, coercive labour systems have persisted for most and probably all of human history, just as they are now very much on display in dictatorial states such as North Korea.

Moreover, the choice repeatedly, across history and area, was not that of cruel empire versus pleasant, benign, self-governing peoples, but rather of empire versus empire.

This approach to global history is one that has to be recovered from the presentist tendency to focus on empire as a Western cause, condition and pathology.

Mark Anderson: Mitt Romney: The Dumbest Smart Person? – “The Democrats’ strategy is (or should be) clear to one and all: use the impeachment trial as the means to retake the Senate.”

“The Democrats have always known they do not have the votes to remove the president — especially not based on these weak and vague articles. The weakness of their case belies their actual strategy: retake the Senate.

How? By using the tools they always use. Innuendo. Suspicion. Accusations of “hiding” the truth. The snowballing effect of people “suddenly” convinced of the case to add even weight to the charges.

None of these tactics is new. They’ve been used in the Russia collusion hoax. They were used in the Mueller probe. They were most recently used in the Ukraine “whistleblower” rollout. (Note especially how Trump blew up their planned snowballing of “other whistleblowers” who were all going to come forward — until he released the transcript.)

The best answer is to dismiss the articles of impeachment solely on constitutional grounds. It’s simple: the merits of the case do not meet constitutional standards. That’s the vote. Do these charges rise to the level of constitutional grounds for impeachment? No.

Doing so changes the dynamics and public perception. Instead of “they’re hiding something,” it becomes “this isn’t constitutional.” The case should be scoffed at because it truly is weak.

Brock Simmons: Can’t Make This Up… New York State Is Now Mandating “Stargazing Permits” For Looking At The Sky – “So what happens when an illegal alien wants to look up at the sky, and can’t get the permit because he doesn’t have proper ID? ACLU would no doubt sue the state for millions, and the taxpayers would be on the hook for it.” This is not the Babylon Bee … (e.g. Scholars Now Believe Jesus Spent Time With Prostitutes, Tax Collectors Just To Avoid Hanging Out With Loathsome Journalists.

rbradley: Friedman on Friedman on the Carbon Tax (remembering Bob Inglis’s faux pas) – it’s about Forbes trying to establish the logical fallacy of attribution to authority posthumously to support a questionable conclusion.

Leave a Comment

Does the argument hold together? Impeachment or AGW oxymoronic issues? Masterful.

sundance: Jim Jordan: “Adam Schiff’s ‘Abuse of Power’ is What The Founders Called ‘Separation of Power’”

Nick Arama: Watch ‘Objective’ Liberal Media Fall All Over Themselves to Praise Schiff, Get the Mocking of their Lives – “Grabien put together a great supercuts video, with some of Cillizza’s colleagues at CNN, as well as folks from MSNBC and elsewhere.” … “It’s enough to make one hurl. Yet not one of them will get/admit how compromised, how lacking in objectivity and how contrafactual they actually are.

David Catron: Same Schiff, Different Dais – “The media fawn over him, but he’s the same guy who bungled the House impeachment inquiry.” … “By some marvelous coincidence, dozens of major news organizations were able to conjure but one word to describe it: “masterful.”

“He is a masterful liar who long ago learned to control his body language and voice production such that his most outrageous lies seem plausible. Yet, as E. Donald Elliott wrote in this space Thursday, “Schiff provided absolutely no factual support for the crucial premise on which his entire case depends.” In the end, the evidence is against him and his mendacity will destroy his credibility. He’s the same Schiff on a different dais, and every senator knows it.

Eric Worrall: Nature Predicts Worsening Climate Driven Forest Fires – Burning What? – “My point is, predictions that fires will get worse apparently without limit are absurd.” There is another oxymoron buried in the argument that climate control is needed to prevent wildfires. Like with the ‘impeach Trump’ mania, the argument is deeply flawed but only for those who can exercise critical thinking.

Leave a Comment

There is no happy face to put on this episode.

James Jeffery: Bushfires and Climate Change: No Link Whatsoever – “Whilst the cataclysmic nature of the inferno is unanimously acknowledged, a chorus of Australians has hastened to the conclusion that global warming is the cause, and CO2 emissions the culprit. Sadly, this is exactly the sort of behaviour to expect in our post-Christian nation.

“Since we have abandoned God, we are constantly trying to find someone — some thing — to blame for the disasters that naturally and tragically occur. It is almost unbearable that we accept the reality that we live in a broken world in which nature is often hostile, and that this truth is more apparent at particular times in history. …

The truth is that the climate is,— and has always been — changing. Likewise, bushfires have always been part of Australia’s history, and the recent bushfires are not an historical anomaly. Long before the era of modern industrialisation, bushfires occurred sporadically due to factors beyond the control of humans

We live in an age when earnest debate is often exchanged for superficial slogans, and the climate change movement is a clear example of this. … let us not sacrifice our brains on the altar of a hysterical political movement. What the victims of these fires really need is not social commentators blaming ‘climate change’ for their suffering, but rather a helping hand to restore their lives.

Frank Watt: Two Possibilities in Trump Wiretapping, and Neither Is Good – “Either scenario should anger and frighten every fair minded citizen who takes the time to read the report and understand its implications. To comprehend the magnitude of the wrongdoing, consider the following”

Richard Fernandez: Death of Privacy and the Curse of Secret Investigations – “The reason why public business should be conducted in the open, according to Cheryl Chumley of the Washington Times, is that abuse and conspiracy thrive in the dark.

Leave a Comment

Tactics of deceit and propaganda – repudiate it?

Andrew I. Fillat: Impeachment Makes the Best Case to Unseat Dems – “The debacle in the House has laid bare the shortcomings and self-interest of the Democratic Left. The 2020 election offers an opportunity to begin a repudiation of their behavior.”

“The problem with the current wave of Democrats and their constituency goes far deeper than this farce. In the pursuit of political power, they are advancing policies that are inimical to American interests. They have taken to dizzying heights the behavior they accuse President Trump of exhibiting.

Andrew Klavan: ‘Watergate’ Doesn’t Mean What the Press Thinks It Means – “I look back now and the whole thing seems a sham, a self-congratulatory illusion created by leftists in both the news media and in Hollywood.” A political hack job as moral preening is being exposed at Time puts context and Reality on Truth.

Thomas Lifson: Pathetic NYT spin on Horowitz report – “The New York Times is operating in a pure propaganda mode, attempting to minimize the impact of the forthcoming (Dec. 9) report of the Department of Justice Inspector General, Michael Horowitz.” sundance is cited in dissecting the “highly structured obfuscation” in the artful misleading of NYT.

Mollie Hemingway: Media’s Latest Anti-Nunes Smear Is Michael-Cohen-In-Prague All Over Again – “Their latest effort against the top Republican on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence is to accuse him, without evidence, of secretly meeting in Vienna with a former Ukrainian official ‘to get dirt on Biden.’”

“Incidentally, if there is one thing we have learned from the media in the last couple of months, “get dirt” is their code for Republicans doing investigations. “Investigate” is their code for Democrats trying to get dirt on political opponents. It appears the same term could be used regardless of the political views of those doing the investigations.

It should be noted that the story about Nunes is not just objectively stupid but also extremely likely to be false. For one thing, Nunes denied the claims. “These demonstrably false and scandalous stories published by The Daily Beast and CNN are the perfect example of defamation and reckless disregard for the truth,” he said.

Made-Up Stories about Nunes Are a Cottage Industry

Sean Gallagher: Navy corruption and the Gallagher case – “I have one question for these people: Where in the hell were you the past year and a half?

“Eddie’s case and court-martial trial revealed a massive cancer within the military justice system, doing irreparable damage to troop morale that may last decades.

I didn’t hear a damn thing from these harbingers of moral decency when that was exposed.Where was their outrage when the Naval Criminal Investigative Service agents dragged my brother’s kids in the street at gunpoint in their underwear? (A fact NCIS denied to this very publication until under oath admitted that, yes, they did drag my nephews nearly naked into the streets of San Diego when Ed wasn’t home).

Where were these critics when investigators admitted Eddie’s entire pretrial imprisonment was based on a lie, forcing him to spend eight months in a sex offender brig for nothing?

President Trump was right to intervene on Eddie’s case, and that should terrify every person wearing a uniform.

Monica Showalter: Fired Navy secretary Richard Spencer manages to remind us why Trump needed to get rid of him – “In a swiftly executed Washington Post op-ed less than a week after President Trump’s defense secretary had him fired, he’s now telling everyone how much smarter he is than President Trump and making it clear he never liked the guy anyway.” This is a military officer blabbing about his Commander in Chief …

John Dale Dunn: Can You Trust What Medical Journals Publish? – “I have repeatedly questioned the validity of medical journal claims in regards to politically charged issues like air pollution and climate change, as well as global warming here at AT. More recently, I showed how a major medical journal violates basic rules on scientific inquiry.”

There are some basic rules to help avoid being taken in by charlatans.

  1. The study should be a human study, or, if it is an animal study, the limits of such a study should be declared.

  2. The study should follow basic rules about how to determine causation, and avoid the trap of claiming that “association” or “coincidence” is proof of causation.

  3. The study should avoid surveys and questionnaires as a source of “evidence” since recall bias is always a problem in survey or response studies.

  4. The study should always be measured in terms of the magnitude of the “effect,” and the rule is that magnitude of effect should be “robust” — at least 2 or 3 times the increase in effect over the baseline.

  5. The study should establish a mechanism to explain the causal effect asserted — for example, ice cream consumption is associated with an increase in drowning deaths, but it is not a cause of those deaths.

  6. Although I could argue that peer review and publication are not a good standard for reliability, the source of the research and the reputation of that source as well as the reputation of the journal the research was published in is often worth something. How much it is worth is the question.

The important thing is that professionals and citizens should be careful to question and evaluate what is pronounced by medical journals. Too often, they are overwhelmed by self-esteem and ambition.

Dr. Ileana Johnson Paugh: The Toxic Pandora’s Box of Solar Panels? – “Considering all the toxicity in the production and recycling of solar panels, how is that net-zero carbon working out?” … “The solar energy advocates, who only see cheap electricity with rose-colored glasses, are oblivious to the reality of cost, toxic chemicals, environmental pollution, and health hazards to humans and animals. Here are some immediate concerns about solar panels.

Leave a Comment

Clear thinking privilege?

Steve Stockman: Hunter and Joe Biden’s Democrat privilege – “The Democrats keep saying that President Trump wanted dirt on Joe Biden. This raises the question: “Is this an acknowledgement that there is dirt?” … “Yet, in response to the President’s simple request for an investigation, the Democrats pulled out a proven, well-worn tactic. A long-standing maneuver of accusing the accuser.

Nikola Tesla: “The scientists of today think deeply instead of clearly. One must be sane to think clearly, but one can think deeply and be quite insane.”

J. Frank Bullitt: Global Warming Politics Are Dividing Us, Because That’s The Way The Alarmists Want It – “It’s astonishing that the West is filled with people, many of them quite bright, who simply have to believe unquestioningly in the global warming narrative.

Leave a Comment

Exposure and transparency

John Merline: Trump Just Made His Case For Reelection, While Dems Play Impeachment – “if he tells the same story to the nation over the next 12 months that he told to the members of the Economic Club of New York on Tuesday, whoever the Democratic nominee is will be left holding aces and eights.”

Tyler Durden: Paul Craig Roberts Rages At The Latest ‘False’ Trump Impeachment News – “We all need to ask ourselves why it is Trump who is under investigation and not Biden and Obama. We already know the reason. The American media is corrupt beyond the meaning of the word.

Jack Cashill: How Journalists Became Fahrenheit 451–Style ‘Firemen’ – “Not too long ago, ambitious journalists, local and national, prided themselves on gathering information, and their editors prided themselves on publishing it. About 50 or so years ago, however, progressives started to seize control of universities, J-schools included, and newsrooms shifted leftwards with each new graduating class.

“By 2016, even major newsrooms had become firehouses. Their goal was not to report information but to manage it. In February 2017, MSNBC’s Mika Brzezinski unwittingly admitted as much. Said Brzezinski of President Trump, “He could have undermined the messaging so much that he can actually control exactly what people think. And that is our job.” Yes, sadly, that is their job.

Bryce Buchanan: The War on Trump Represents Fear, Not Hatred – “They fear that their many criminal actions will be exposed, so their nonstop campaign against Trump represents self-love more than anything else.” … “The following is a brief list of some of the Deep State’s actions that its denizens are fighting to keep hidden.

Karin McQuillan: Democrats Are Failing the Reality Test – “Democrats push fake impeachment, fake issues, fake candidates, and fake solutions.”

“Fake is fine with their voters. “Fauxcahontas” is a leading candidate. Fake news is all the news they’ll read.

Something has gone terribly wrong with previously normal Democratic Party voters. They have abandoned common sense and reality testing. They even claim to believe human beings are not divided into male and female.

Real impeachment has one basic requirement: evidence of a high crime comparable to treason or bribery. The only crimes in President Trump’s Ukraine phone call were those he is rightfully investigating: the attempted coup by the Obama Administration and Vice President Biden’s corruption.

The question that haunts me is why aren’t Democrats revolted at this assault on their liberal values and love of America?

“It is not only the road to hell that is paved with good intentions,” Alan Dershowitz ominously concludes. “It is also the road to tyranny.”

Victor Davis Hanson: What Happened to California Republicans? – “[Prop 187] In effect, two judges nullified the wishes of more than 5 million California voters.

“This tripartite demographic revolution proved disastrous for the Republican Party. The GOP lost much of its base to other states. Many conservative voters left for small-government, low-tax alternatives. Republican efforts to reduce taxes, limit some abortions and fund additional roads and dams had little appeal to the new gentry classes on the coast.

Those most hurt — and growing the most angry — are the immigrants who once fled to a different California that now no longer exists.

 

Tony Thomas: Climate Science Proves Scams Don’t Die of Exposure – “Call me an optimist, but I see warming extremists alienating voters with a panoply of far-left “social justice” issues attached to their climate narrative — causes that make Greenpeace seem traditionalist.” Ten year on since the East Anglia communications exposure and yet the conspiracy continues. Thomas lists events yet still has optimism?

Ronald Bailey: Is Trump’s EPA Seeking To Gut Good Science? – “Congress wants to know if the agency is strengthening transparency or silencing science.” … “Surely everyone can agree that open science should be the default for research plans, data, materials, code, and outcomes for all science, not just science used by Federal regulatory agencies.” But Democrats are having problems with this idea.

Leave a Comment