Archive for science

Twisted approaches

David Horowitz: The Democrats’ Twisted Approach to the Virus – “Trump is deadlier than the virus.” … In the war against the Wuhan virus, Democrats’ have had a laser focus. But it’s not on the virus. It’s on Trump. Their blame Trump attitude was crystallized in a breathtakingly nasty and preposterous statement by Democrat Senator Chris Murphy, who said: “The reason that we’re in the crisis that we are today is not because of anything that China did. It’s not because of anything the World Health Organization did. It’s because of what this president did.

“Pelosi’s repeated claim that Trump is responsible for the economic disaster the shut down has produced is a prime example of her one-track vindictiveness. All the shut down orders came from governors, and the most consequential from Democrat governors in New York,

I am myself a Trump admirer because when Trump sees a problem as dangerous and deadly as this he attempts to do something about it. He doesn’t sweep it under the rug, and embrace the deceptions of our enemies, and use them to destroy his political rivals as Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats do.

Jim Hoft: “Nancy Pelosi’s Away on Vacation… She’s Not Doing Her Job… Nothing Unusual About That” – President Trump Rips Pelosi for Not Passing Extension to Help Small Business (VIDEO) Compare and contrast to Pelosi’s repeated claim.

Matthew Haag: They Filed for Unemployment Last Month. They Haven’t Seen a Dime. – “Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo has repeatedly promised to fix New York’s archaic unemployment-insurance system, which has been overwhelmed by an unprecedented wave of claims.” Remember the brouhaha when the Obamacare web site went live? Deja vu …

Jeff Reynolds: Battle Lines Drawn: Texas Opts for Liberty, While Washington State Makes Liberty Illegal – “Several states have banded together to oppose President Trump’s framework for getting America back to work, while other states have shown a willingness to protect individual liberty and the livelihoods of Americans.

David Ng: Hollywood Lashes Out at Trump for Calls to ‘Liberate’ MI, MN, VA : ‘He Is Going to Get More People Killed – “Celebrities recoiled at the president’s show of support on Friday, calling the commander in chief “deranged,” “terrifying,” and a “madman.

Deborah Franklin: Q Praises Shocking Out of Shadows Documentary and Millions Watch it – “On April 10, an underground documentary with no publicity landed on YouTube and amassed one million views in 24 hours. Despite YouTube’s efforts to hide it, Out of Shadows continues to attract more than a million viewers a day, lifting the mask “on how the mainstream media and Hollywood manipulate and control the masses by spreading propaganda throughout their content.”

New York Post: Facebook’s ‘fact checkers’ are the real fake news after censoring Post story – “The social media giant’s “fact checkers” decided this was not a valid opinion. If you tried to share Mosher’s column on Facebook, the social network stuck a “False Information” alert on top” … “this was an opinion column, not a news report.

“As a significant source of news for much of the world’s population, Facebook has a clear responsibility to do better: If it’s going to block “false” information, it needs better fact-checkers — and more people watching over those watchmen.

When your defense against “fake news” all but kills free discussion, your system is worse than no defense at all.

Byron York: How to get the economy back into gear – “What has caused the economy to grind to a halt is not some governor or mayor’s order, or some public health bureaucrat’s recommendation,” said Arkansas Republican Sen. Tom Cotton, who warned of the coronavirus’s danger back in January. “It’s just the fear of the virus.” … “But now, it is time to look at the reverse scenario. What will have to change to reduce public fears to the point that people will accept the easing of restrictions?

John Hinderaker: Good COVID-19 News – “At this point, it seems clear that the epidemic has assumed the bell-shaped curve predicted by Farr’s Law in the 19th Century:” It’s really a skewed population curve but that minor distinction is covered in the discussion.

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The mystery of the three shells

I&I editorial board: Hillary, Comey And Brennan Must Face Justice For Deep-State Spying On Trump – “Let the irony of that sink in. U.S. officials knowingly colluded with Russian intelligence using tainted evidence to prove that Trump colluded with the Russian government to weaken Clinton’s campaign.” … “For a nation based on the idea of one standard of justice for all, this reckoning is long overdue.

George Neumayr: Hillary Bought Russian Disinformation – “The latest revelations about the Steele dossier reveal who the real colluders were.” … “The ironies of Spygate continue to pile up. It becomes clearer and clearer that those who yelled the loudest in 2016 about “foreign interference” in our election facilitated it the most.

Mark P. Mostert: Asking Tougher Questions – “It’s clear as day that the Democrats are fighting the President tooth and nail over the Wuhan virus, despite their own staggering smugness and ingrained illogic. They’re smug, in part, because people don’t ask them some tough questions.” … “Let’s start asking the tough questions. I’ll bet legitimate answers will be in short supply — unless you call character assassination, intellectual dishonesty, and more lies a response to anything.

Michael Nadler: Rahm Emanuel can’t help himself, but what about the Wall Street Journal? – “It seems to me that the WSJ opinion page editors should do a better job vetting supposed facts in the opinion pieces it chooses to publish, especially when it comes from a political hack under the guise of making constructive public health recommendations.

Moritz v. Sivers: The Three Shell Mystery Finally Solved! – “this handwash timer by [Agis Wichert] is a very creative version that also tries to solve the long outstanding mystery of how to use the three seashells. Unfortunately, in contrast to those in the original movie, these three seashells do not replace toilet paper which many people are seemingly so desperate in need of at the moment.

Tyler O’Neil: Trump Releases Evidence-Based Guidelines to Reopen America in Three Phases – “This is a gradual process,” Trump said. He explained that federal guidelines will allow governors to take a “tailored approach that meets the diverse circumstances of their own states.” Trump said some of the governors told him their states have already crossed the threshold to start reopening.

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Doesn’t add up. Doesn’t make sense.

Chuck Dinerstein: COVID-19’s Math: Why Don’t the Numbers Add Up? – “The numbers associated with COVID-19, its infectivity, hospital admissions, deaths, are all being studied like tea leaves for any pattern or trend.” … “the problem is really two old cognitive difficulties, numbers appear far more precise and concrete than they actually are and a number by itself has little meaning, it requires the context, often another number – ratios.

Roger Kimball: The Seventh Seal on the Hudson – “If you are worried about human lives, you should focus your attention not on this year’s respiratory virus but on the wild, herd-like overreaction to the virus. That’s where the real danger lies.” … “The truth is, the advent of the coronavirus is less a health emergency than it is a failure of nerve.

Augusto Zimmermann: In the State You Will Trust – “Australia has effectively become a police state. … I have never witnessed so much hatred in this country.”

“I also note that many Australians have developed an utterly distorted view of what governments can do for them. Such individuals now blindly worship at the altar of the all-powerful State, expecting it to be their almighty saviour, seeing in government the ultimate provider for all things. Perhaps this is a result of society’s lost faith in the God of Christianity. Be that as it may, the undeniable truth is that far too many Australians have acquired an unshakable faith in their political class. Call it a form of idolatry if you wish.

Indeed, the Prime Minister, premiers, senior advisors and politicians have never had such an energising time as the present. They are so full of importance and power that one can only expect them to continue running the country in such a heavy handed manner once this current crisis is over.

No free and democratic society can possibly exist without the rule of law. When a legal system turns out to be so much anti-freedom, instead of government under the law there will be only arbitrary rule by “law” and by brute force. The basic question is, which authority? The authority of the law that is equitable and valid for all, or the authority of the political ruler that is arbitrary and devoid of any accountability?

Michelle Rindels, Riley Snyder: Sisolak touts expanded unemployment insurance programs, backdating of claims to help people locked out of system – here’s how it’s done. See Megan Messerly: Coronavirus contextualized, 3rd edition: Exploring, through data, COVID-19 in Nevada and beyond for where uncertainty in data is used by politicians like Sisolak for enhancing their controls and edicts both in invoking edicts as precautionary and then demanding certitude before ‘thinking about’ letting them go.

I & I Editorial Board: Who Will Get Blamed If Coronavirus Shutdown Turns Out To Be A Massive Overreaction? – “What if we learn that trillions of dollars in economic costs from the coronavirus shutdown bought us little or nothing in terms of public health?

“We are the first to admit that, because this coronavirus is new and early signs about its lethality were worrisome, extra precaution was warranted as coronavirus spread. But not everyone was hitting the panic button, it’s just that voices of calm were ignored. If it turns out that the risks were far less dire, and the disease far more manageable without draconian restrictions, how will the public react? Who will they blame for needlessly crashing the economy?

We know who Democrats will blame, of course. But if the evidence shows that massive shutdowns weren’t needed, there must be a reckoning. And it should start with the public health “experts” who brought them about.

The market is speaking. Hospitals bought in hook, line, and sinker and are now sharing in the financial suffering as the expected mobs of disease stricken have not appeared.

Jonathan F. Keiler: The Media Controls the ‘Crisis’ – “No matter what the President and his experts want to do, or even his congressional and gubernatorial rivals, the media largely dictates the extent of public cooperation or panic, which is true power.

“From the get-go, at least in the West, and especially in the United States, the coronavirus pandemic has been more a media event than anything else. Coronavirus is a serious international public health concern, but the weight of evidence currently suggests that it is also not an unusually dangerous one.

In theory, an objective media might have probed these disparities, but instead it simply latched onto the most dramatic and destructive ideations, dismissing anything else. Then — with social media platforms adding heat — it stoked public hysteria to such an extent that governmental authorities were forced to take draconian public measures whether they wanted to or not.

The media’s power is enormous, and unmitigated by constitutional checks and balances. And it’s in the service of a party — the Democrats — not the government or the people. Yet the media’s actions are entirely legal, and constitutionally protected, making it effectively unstoppable.

Regardless of the epidemiological science or governmental initiatives, the “crisis” probably won’t end until the media itself starts running out of money, or has or gotten what it wants.

John Hinderaker: Another Dishonest Smear By the Washington Post – “The Post’s article is popular on Twitter, as liberal “blue checks” use it to express their hope that lots of South Dakotans die as punishment for their temerity in electing a Republican governor.” This one is about a slaughterhouse where the employees got sick versus a governor who was not sufficiently fascist for the Left. “The entire point of the article is that the Smithfield experience proves Governor Noem was wrong not to order a mass closure of businesses.

“The point of the Post story is to convey the impression that Governor Noem’s reliance on voluntary measures, education, persuasion, and close cooperation with federal agencies, other governors, and the private sector is a failure. Strikingly absent from the Post’s hit job, however, is the bottom line: how many South Dakotans have actually succumbed to COVID-19? The answer: 6, and none have been reported within the last week. South Dakota has one of the best coronavirus records of any state, but the Post didn’t tell its readers that. It would have ruined the narrative.

As usual, the Left’s smears are boring, but what is actually happening is interesting.

neo: Dean Baquet of the NY Times turns himself into a pretzel trying to explain the paper’s “coverage” of the sexual allegations against Biden – “the utter inconsistency of the Times and its differential treatment of the two sets of allegations (against Biden and Kavanaugh) is glaringly apparent to any thinking person. Unfortunately, Baquet’s utterly weaselly excuses will probably be just fine with a lot of Times readers.”

The New York Sun: The Governors’ ‘Mutiny’ – “a bloom of stories in the press suggests states have begun doing just what the Constitution says they can’t.

“What gets us, in any event, is the way the Democrats are dragging out of every constitutional saloon some law professor to declaim on what an ignoramus the president is — while also ignoring the way the states are blowing past the compact and agreement clause. In respect of the Constitution, it seems to us, one needs to be in for the goose as well as the gander.

Wilfred McClay: A Radical Pseudo-historian Meets His Match – “it would be a grave mistake to neglect the singular influence that a single 1980 book, Howard Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States, has had over Americans’ broad conceptions about the shape and meaning of their own history.

“The handful of professional historians who have deigned to comment on his work over the years have been dismissive of it as simplistic and one-sided, despite the fact that many of them shared Zinn’s general political outlook, if not his activist leanings.

You will find the book being used in U.S. History courses across the land, not only in urban and suburban public high schools, but in tony independent schools, charter schools, religious schools, and even some survey courses at colleges and universities.

So the influence of Zinn’s book is wide and deep, and yet the book itself has remained surprisingly unexamined, notwithstanding the casual dismissiveness that so many historians show toward it.

Thankfully, that is now no longer the case.

Howard Zinn isn’t the only person who has gotten rich off of anti-Americanism, but he is surely one of the most galling.

Sundance: Terms and Conditions – California Outlines Six Requirements Before Lifting Home Detainment and Reopening The Economy…Please remember the key words that all totalitarian minds use in their language. When you see the code-words: “challenge“, “opportunity“, “partner” or “support“, pay extra attention.

“The publication of this decree is actually quite remarkable. I was floored when I read it.

Notice within the six terms and conditions there is ZERO CONSIDERATION for rights of the individual. Every condition is framed around the interests of the state. The individual is literally framed as adverse to the interests of the state.

Your rights as an individual are dissolved by the state, where the state interests begin.

The State of California is accomplishing this without even attempting to create a single law; or have a single representative vote… This is all being carried out by decree.

It’s mind blowing.

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Little tyrants. Being relevant as well as right.

Monica Showalter: One heck of a dishonest report from CBS’s 60 Minutes on the medical mask shortage – “With a record like CBS’s on this crisis, you’d think they’d be extra careful about facts, particularly since their top brand, 60 Minutes, is involved. But nope, they’re still promoting the same dishonest narrative that drove those previous credibility killers

“The ‘why’ of it is where the shoddy journalism came in. As 60 Minutes painted a picture of doom and gloom, and then featured a gotcha interview with White House advisor Peter Navarro, with argumentive questions in strong contrast to the credulous softball questions thrown out to the individual Bronx doctor and nurse (they didn’t ask anyone running the actual hospital what might be going on), other stuff around the country suggested other things:

60 Minutes has converted what’s essentially a hospital failure into a federal obligation to subsidize the hospital’s poor planning.

It was a dishonest as heck report that revolved solely around blaming Trump. How happy the hospital mismanagers and out-the-door inside crowd must have been to have read about this — do whatever you want and blame Trump. The rest of us can only see a lot of dishonest journalism, creating quite a tapestry pattern of error, and a growing credibility problem for CBS, as this nonsense keeps happening, again, and again, and again.

David Catron: What the Media Can’t See About COVID-19 – “If it causes a genuine economic collapse, they don’t get to keep their stuff.”

“Oddly enough, Irwin’s employer explains why journalists are no exception: “Finding a sizable audience has not been a problem for publishers … But with businesses paused or closed—and no longer willing or able to pay for advertisements—a crucial part of the industry’s support system has cracked.” This has led to thousands of furloughs and pay cuts at the country’s largest newspaper chains. The media should welcome good news about COVID-19 and join the rest of us as we pray that the pandemic did indeed reach its peak during Easter, and that there will be a public health and economic resurrection in May.

Scott Johnson: The limits of free Geach – “By early Saturday afternoon,” Dr. Geach writes, “it had 50,000 thousand views and was going viral. All of a sudden, however, I started getting notifications from people that my article had been taken down.” The link now brings up a 410 error. He received this message from Medium:

Hillary Chabot[Instapundit.com]: Sexual assault allegation against Joe Biden splits Democrats: Deleted NYT tweet fuels uproar over accusations. [Cites Boston Herald which is nagware and worse.] Also provides a favorite quote from Jim Treacher about this sort of reporting.

John Daniel Davidson: The Coronavirus Is Exposing Little Tyrants All Over The Country – “Some mayors and governors seem to think their authority is limitless in the face of the pandemic. They need a remedial lesson in the Constitution.”

“We’ve now witnessed local and state governments issue decrees about what people can and cannot buy in stores, arrest parents playing with their children in public parks, yank people off public buses at random, remove basketball rims along with private property, ticket churchgoers, and in one case try—and fail—to chase down a lone runner on an empty beach. All of this, we’re told, is for our own good.

That these officials need to be reminded of that, and in some cases restrained by federal judges, bodes very ill for America. Now more than ever, we need leaders who don’t just care about protecting us from the pandemic, but also care about preserving liberty in a time of crisis.

Roger Kimball: Herd Immunity vs. Herd Mentality – “Although we do not yet know every detail of the end of our infatuation with the coronavirus, it’s clear that the historian of this episode will include a chapter called “Mistakes Were Made.”

““Herd immunity” is a settled concept in epidemiology. It occurs when “a large percentage of a population has become immune to an infection, whether through previous infections or vaccination, thereby providing a measure of protection for individuals who are not immune.”

“Herd mentality,” on the contrary, provides immunity from independent thought. It protects a population from thinking clearly by spreading a spirit of conformity. It increases a people’s docility, thus rendering them more susceptible to the blandishments of usurping authority.

Herd immunity I regard as a good thing. Herd mentality, not so much.

Are you worried about human lives? Then focus your attention not on this year’s respiratory virus but on the wild, herd-like overreaction to the virus. That’s where the danger lies, as you can see by the sixteen million people who, over the course of just a few weeks, find themselves out of a job. Ponder the thousands upon thousands of businesses that have been shuttered by the draconian panic stirred by the president’s misguided counselors.

Rbradley: Climate Intelligence Foundation to Poynter Institute: Debate Climate Science, Don’t Insult – “Global Climate Intelligence Group (CLINTEL) is an EU-based organization promoting climate realism in the face of climate alarmism.”

Jussi: Your statement is 100% correct but misses the entire point – “In the real world being right is not a merit by itself. In any debate being right is important, of course, but the much more important feature is being relevant.” … “Being right is easy. Being relevant is extremely difficult.”

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Gullible offense and government funded media

Geoffrey Luck: We’ll Pay in Pain When the Bill Comes Due – “What went wrong? We live in an emotional and sentimental age. Too often we heard the government and its ministers talking of saving every life (as if that were possible).

“When this is over the statistics will reflect merely a premature “harvesting” largely of the old and infirm, balanced by a decline of deaths in the subsequent period. Deaths from the Wuhan virus will prove to be only a blip on the scale of the normal 160,00 deaths a year. But Australia will be beginning to face the real crisis – an unnecessarily weakened economic and financial position in a crippled world.

Tim Blair: The ABC’s Beclowned Fact Check Unit – “Apply the investigative intensity of the ABC’s Fact Check Unit to just about any broadly accurate claim—or precisely accurate, in Kelly’s case—and it could be shown as faulty.” … “The ABC, a faith-based organisation that redistributes middle-class taxes to the wealthy, needs to be privatised.

Andrea Widburg: Racial warrior offended when the Surgeon General tells minorities that behavior affects virus risks – “PBS’s Yamiche Alcindor has distinguished herself as one of the media figures most engaged in the “gotcha” game at COVID-19 press conferences, especially when she can work race into the issue.” PBS is the U.S. version of ABC.

Lubos Motl: Most Czech physicians consider permeation desirable and/or unavoidable – “The fake news media have acquired so much influence – and the ordinary people have become so incredibly gullible and robbed of the last traces of critical thinking – that the talking heads are able to confuse a large portion of the Westerners – and perhaps a majority – and make them believe that the laymen’s irrational and unscientific superstitions are the solid science and vice versa.”

“Even when it comes to the “smart quarantine”, i.e. non-permeation approaches to the virus, I feel that the discussion is much more rational and well-informed in Czechia than it is in almost all other Western countries where the dominant discourse still seems to be “mindless hysteria controlled by irrelevant factoids, cherry-picked and fake anecdotes, uncontrolled data, aconspiracy theories, and uncritical worshiping of the Flat Curve Society”.

Is California permeated?

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Hospitals, paganism, and progressive destruction

James L. Swofford: The Flu, the Coronavirus, and Hospital Beds – “The bottom line is that we didn’t hear about the U.S. hospital system being overwhelmed during the peak of the 2017-2018 flu season. It has handled surprisingly big influxes of patients then and seems to be doing so again this time.

Stuart Lindsay: The Express Road to Serfdom – “Before the Wuhan virus I radically underestimated both the cohesion with which the leftist ideas operated in every sphere of our social and political life and their effectiveness in neutering dissent, both within and without their class.

“Every day during this lockdown I encounter friends whom I never thought would surrender the glorious privilege of being independent. I refer to independence of thought, and speech, and preference, even of mere unreflective habit. But they have done just that.

I look back at this article and ask myself why I wrote it. The answer I give is that I have re-assured myself that I have not yet forfeited that hold on who I am and who my forbears were nor on my Christian faith,and that gives me my bearings again. That is important because these last weeks have been a time, not of dangerous medical emergency, but rather, of precipitous cultural decline.

Tyler Durden: Pope Francis: Pandemic Could Be ‘Nature’s Revenge’ For Ignoring Climate Change – “The remarks were cited in a Wednesday interview with The Tablet and Commonwealth magazines, wherein the pope further described the crisis as an opportunity for mankind to “slow down the rate of production and consumption.” The Pope is a pagan obsessed with socialist ideology? (see also Is The Pope A Pagan?)

Elizabeth Fortunato: Pope Francis and Mike Lindell: Two Men of Faith Confront the Pandemic – “At a time when the world needs Pope Francis to rise above secular politics and agendas and captain the boat that Jesus left in the hands of Peter’s successors, Francis clings to his secular-socialist mast, repeating outdated tropes found in ’70s-style liberation theology as if they were prayers.” … “The role Francis has unwittingly chosen for himself is that of the ancient Pharisee.”

“Meanwhile, in striking contrast to Pope Francis’s despondent, solemn, solitary procession in a deserted Saint Peter’s Square, doggedly maintaining his self-censorship, was the brief—and for reasons mysterious to all serious Christians—apparently incendiary March 30 appearance of Mike Lindell, CEO of MyPillow Company, at the White House coronavirus briefing.

Mark Tapson: Progressive Destruction: The Pandemic is the Perfect Time to Abolish the Family – “There’s no nightmare the Left won’t pursue to achieve its earthly paradise.”

Brian C.Joondeph, MD: Medical Advances Minus the Full Research Apparatus – “A real doctor, a Mayo Clinic cardiologist warned, “Inexcusable to ignore hydroxychloroquine side effects.” No one is ignoring side effects. Unlike the brainiac who took fishbowl cleaner, hydroxy is available only via a prescription from a licensed physician. It’s the doctor’s job to weigh the risks and benefits of any prescription they write.” … “Has Trump derangement syndrome so afflicted the media and the left that their hostility toward hydroxy is based solely on the fact that President Trump promoted it? It sure seems that way.

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Agitprop

Stephen Kruiser: Dems Are Suddenly Fans of Due Process Now That Crazy Joe the Wonder Veep Has Been Accused – “The double standard here is wearisome, and just another item on the very long list of why the media can’t be trusted.

I & I Editorial Board: Stop Comparing U.S. To South Korea On Coronavirus – “Rather than compare a small Asian nation to the entire United States, why not compare it to individual states?” Because that would lay bare the flaws in the desired narrative? Here’s a case study about agitprop and why the oath for a witness in court is not only to ‘tell the truth’ but to tell the whole truth.

Valuewalk: And just like that; everyone stopped laughing at preppers – “it was only about decade back that some agencies and people were actually mocking and laughing at ‘Preppers’ who were training in disaster preparedness and laying aside a measured amount of food and supplies, including N95 masks.” … “Some agencies, and people are trying to shame citizens who are prepared into giving-up their preparedness supplies” — ridicule, shaming, … these are ad hominem arguments, personal attacks, 

Monica Showalter: Bitter Hillary plays backseat driver to Trump’s leadership on coronavirus – “More than three years after her stinging loss, she’s still at it, sniping from the sidelines against Trump’s leadership in the coronavirus crisis on Twitter” – no shame? None at all? Not externally applied as above but internally as in self awareness.

sundance: ABC’s Jonathan Karl Invites Chinese Communist Party to Attend White House Coronavirus Briefing…Remember when President Trump said the U.S. media were the enemy of the American people? Well, consider this… In another clear example of how the U.S. media will do anything in their effort to undermine President Trump, yesterday they held hands with Chinese communists.”

Cal Thomas: Negative vs. Positive – “Everywhere you look — from newspaper headlines, to TV “alerts,” to those too-long White House briefings, to people wearing masks in public places, there is hardly any news that isn’t negative.

Scott Johnson: Coronavirus in one state (6) – “Minnesota Governor Tim Walz ordered a widespread shutdown of normal life on March 25, effective (11:59 p.m.) March 27. In his remarks explaining the order, he premised his order on 74,000 projected deaths from COVID-19. Last week we learned that, if the order worked out as hoped, it would save 24,000 lives. We have yet to see the model. Maybe someday he’ll let us in on the secret. … As of the moment I write this morning, Minnesota has experienced a total of 30 deaths attributable to COVID-19.”

Brian C. Joondeph: Trump vs. the Coronavirus — What the Polls Say – “If you watch cable news, … you will be told that Barney Fife is in charge of the country, that the President lies, mismanages, exaggerates, and has totally botched America’s response to the coronavirus pandemic. Yet an honest observer sees much the opposite, rather than the fake news peddled by agents of doom in the media.”

John Hinderaker: Ventilators Are No Panacea – “That is the theme of this article in the Spectator by Dr. Matt Strauss, a critical care physician.

David Bernstein: ANNALS OF IRRESPONSIBLE REPORTING: Washington Post (free link):  Grocery Workers are Beginning to Die of Coronavirus. … “So here is some quick math. About 2.5 million Americans work in grocery stores. About one in every 30 thousand Americans has now died of Coronavirus. Taking the simplest route, you would expect approximately 83 grocery, or 2.5 million/30 thousand, grocery store workers to have died of the virus.

John Hinderaker: A Party of Haters – “Democrats are doing what they do best: they are resorting to hate. They rely on blind, irrational hatred of President Trump to win back the White House and empower their socialist dreams. Examples could be multiplied endlessly–just go on Twitter!–but here are a couple.” 

“There isn’t much point in trying to talk rationally to a guy in an asylum who thinks he is Napoleon. Likewise, there probably isn’t much point in trying to talk rationally to a Democratic politician or activist in 2020 America.

Is it possible that American voters will give power to a party running on a platform of the crudest, most ignorant hate? I doubt it. The Democrats know that they have the press on their side; the Washington Post, for instance, is just one short notch above Ms. Stevens and Ms. Galonski. But the days when the press could choose a president are long gone, if they ever existed.

Anthony Watts: Science team points out a new failure of climate models – “From Nature Climate Change: Ill-sooted models by Baird Langenbrunner” but a lie repeated often enough often takes the place of truth and serves as axiomatic for the unwary and gullible … whether it’s a climate model or an epidemic model trust but verify applies.

Coyote blog: Parallels Between COVID-19 Alarm and Global Warming Alarm – “I think the reason for my skepticism was pattern recognition — I saw a lot of elements in COVID-19 modelling and responses that appeared really similar to what I thought were the most questionable aspects of climate science. For example:

  • We seem to have a sorting process of “experts” that selects for only the most extreme. …

  • Computer models are converted from tools to project out the implications of a certain set of starting hypotheses and assumptions into “facts” in and of themselves. …

  • Defenders of alarmist projections cloak themselves in a mantle of being pro-science. …

  • Alarmists who claim to be anti-science have a tendency to insist on “solutions” that have absolutely no basis in science, or even ones that science has proven to be utterly bankrupt. …

  • In both cases, advocates of the precautionary principle seem to rule the day. …

  • And of course there is the political polarization of what should be scientific opinion. …

And both sides are supposedly equivalent in these behaviors …

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Data, facts, numbers, and immunity to them

John Merline: Trump Derangement Syndrome Is Immune To The Coronavirus — And The Facts – “The truth is that, for the left, no matter what Trump does, it’s wrong.

Patricia McCarthy: President Trump needs to set the country free now – “For weeks now, nearly every media outlet has behaved as though the Covid19 virus was a cause for celebration.” … “The American mainstream media is the most dangerous enemy of America. There can no longer be any doubt about that fact.

“Wake up Americans! We are by nature a civil and law-abiding people, but what we are being subjected to is monstrous. As VDH reminded, 740 people die in California each day for a vast variety of causes. The virus has upped that number by four people a day. California has a population of forty million people. Is that a viable justification for destroying the livelihoods of multi-millions which will no doubt lead to far more death and destruction?

Victor Davis Hanson: Some Coronavirus Humility – “The pandemic may prove as bad as some warn; it is also possible that our response could prove as harmful as the virus itself.” … “In our current hours of Covid-19 despair, we must fight both the virus and the panic that the disease instills, given that the two can be equally deadly.” … “But the problem with all such educated guesses is that we simply don’t have hard data, at least not yet.

“Issuing dramatic warnings can be as much about life-and-death decisions as not issuing them. Not going to work for those under 65 can pose as much a collective societal risk as going, and panic may be as deadly for a country of 330 million as infection is for those not in high-risk groups—and all such suppositions can change by the time this essay is read.

Humility, not certainty—much less accusation and panic—should be the order of the day.

Scott Johnson: No one here gets out alive – “we are at substantial risk of inflicting catastrophic damage on our economy with literally no benefit in lives saved.” … “If the virus doesn’t get you first, you may be lost in the murder of the economy. In war, I think they call it collateral damage.

Joseph Moore: Data & Numbers: COVID 19 – “Before one can start talking about numbers, what exactly one is counting should be spelled out.” … “The first thing to note, and the thing to keep in mind, is the vast amount of uncertainty in all this. We don’t know, and are very unlikely to ever know, how many people are infected with this virus.”

“Of course, I could be wrong. I’m just a numbers guy. This thing could explode tomorrow, mutate into something really deadly, and kill us all. It just doesn’t look like it will, from the available evidence and history.

So, WHY is everybody panicking over this? WHY is dominating the news and causing us to commit economic seppuku? Those are very good questions.

Andrea Widburg: There’s another side to the story of the fired Navy Captain – “To many people, he was a lone man fighting a hardened bureaucracy on behalf of the men and women in his care. To others, though, he was a dangerous malcontent who placed his entire ship at risk by ignoring rules that exist for a reason.

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Numbers and deception with statistics

Matthew Vadum: New York City is lying about Chinese virus death rates – “The mass hysteria over COVID-19 in the U.S. is driven in large measure by misleading statistics and bad math about the disease’s body count. … The problem starts with the fact that the highly influential statistics from the Big Apple paint a false picture of what is actually happening.”

“In New York City, the death of anyone who dies who tests positive for COVID-19 is counted as a coronavirus death. This is the case even if the coronavirus failed to play a significant role in the person’s passing or illness.

This calculus violates established scientific standards.

Andrea Widburg: Chuck Schumer just got a reminder never to pick a fight with Trump – “Schumer’s attack on President Trump was not only a lie from start to finish, it represented an unadulterated will to power. If this were 1942 and Schumer thought that rooting for the Nazis would win him the White House, that’s what he’d do.”

“For Trump, the counterpuncher, Schumer’s vile accusations on Senate letterhead required a knockout blow and Trump’s responsive letter to Schumer is that blow. The opening line sets the tone: “Thank you for your Democrat public relations letter and incorrect sound bites, which are wrong in every way.”

Following that first blow, Trump proceeded to pummel Schumer. In his terse response, Trump reminded Schumer of the following:

Paul Mirengoff: A letter to Chuck Schumer – Mirengoff has to get in his digs – “There’s no merit in this claim. Impeachment had nothing to do with the New York’s level of preparedness for the Wuhan coronavirus.” Flat statement but rather missing the point that Trump’s letter described the Senate impeachment brouhaha as a distraction and, considering the timing, it hard to see how this was wrong as Mirengoff so flatly states. Then there’s “I don’t doubt that most of Trump’s barbs have a strong basis in reality. Schumer is, first and foremost, a world class grandstander.” Mirengoff is letting style fantasies get in the way of his judgment. Truth and reality seem to bother him when it comes to President Trump.

George Neumayr: A Sick Media – “They use the coronavirus crisis to play propagandistic arbiters.”

George Avery: The Severity of the CoVID-19 Epidemic is Not as Bad as You Think, According to the Numbers. – “Ascertainment bias is a systematic error in statistical estimation of a population parameter resulting from errors in measurement – usually, in undermeasurement of a parameter. In this case, we are underestimating the actual number of cases in the population” – The Diamond Princess cruise ship is cited among other eamples.

“What is needed now is for politicians and the population to pause, take a deep breath, and address the epidemic with rational measures, such as social distancing of the older population, ring screening around identified cases, quarantine of identified infected individuals, and adequate hospital triage systems to protect other patients and health care staff [f]rom infection in order to preserve our ability to treat the most severe cases. This is a strategy identified by myself and colleagues at Purdue in 2007 to ensure adequate capacity to deal with another true influenza pandemic, and it applies to this one as well.

Greg Mankiw: Viral Exposure – cites the NYT “From a policy perspective, we need to consider that not all exposures to the coronavirus may be the same. Stepping into an office building that once had someone with the coronavirus in it is not as dangerous as sitting next to that infected person for an hourlong train commute” … low dose exposures may help understand California’s numbers.

Glen Reynolds noted another interesting factoid at Instapundit. Office TP is a different supply chain than home TP and the cloistering at home has shifted TP usage from office to home disrupting normal supply considerations. Hence, the run on TP and vacant shelves at retail sources.

Timothy Burke: Dershowitz Matters (Unfortunately) – “The terrible thing about what has happened in the Senate is this: the intellectual and institutional infrastructure of legal and political systems can confer a kind of revenant legitimacy even on claims and verdicts that destroy those systems.” First, he distorts Dershowitz. Then he brings in Nazi Germany. Then he makes suspect assertions like “Dershowitz–and thus the GOP–are now fully committed to single-party rule, to an assertion that if they believe themselves the only legitimate rulers of the United States then it is so and they need fear no law nor principle as a barrier to their continued hold on power.” then he fails to follow up on his issue: If the people, via elections, cannot be the ultimate resource for governance, then who is? His ‘misperception’ of Dershowitz also shows an ignorance or avoiding of the many accountability mechanisms built into the Constitution and in law and custom. Getting into those is problematic because it involves exposing, as is indeed happening, the efforts of the Left to circumvent those mechanisms and abuse them. Impeachment was one example. The virus as an excuse to curtail personal rights is another.

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Inability or unwillingness to think. Unwilling to see.

Geoffrey Luck: One Dozen Dissenting Second Opinions – “Australians are being taken for a ride by well-meaning but blinkered bureaucratic experts and subservient politicians. How can the curtailment of human rights and freedoms be justified? Where is the Marc Antony we need to remind us that we are not “men of wood” and call for the very stones to rise and mutiny?

Megan Messerly: Coronavirus contextualized: Exploring, through data, COVID-19 in Nevada and beyond – “numbers can be difficult to parse without context. Below, The Nevada Independent explores that data and puts it into context, walking through what we do and don’t know about coronavirus in Nevada, how Nevada stacks up against other states and projections for the future.” One item noted is just how small the numbers still happen to be both for statistical validity and in setting a reference for comparisons to similar events.

I & I Editorial Board: Some Much-Needed Coronavirus Perspective – “On its own, 3,000 fatalities might seem like a tremendously large number. But that’s before you learn that an average of 7,700 people die in the U.S. every single day. ” … “Then there are all the scary stories about hospitalizations and how the health care system will be overwhelmed. Here, too, there’s no context.” … “But in any situation, context matters. Unfortunately, that’s the one thing missing from the 24/7 coverage of the coronavirus pandemic.

New York Post: Does Nancy Pelosi know about the coronavirus outbreak? – “Someone ought to tell House Speaker Nancy Pelosi about the coronavirus outbreak, because her laser focus on pushing her political agenda suggests she’s unaware of it.

Patricia McCarthy: Nancy Pelosi: Cancer on the body politic – “Those are the words of Mark Levin and he is profoundly correct. It is actually an understatement.” Impeachment, Schiff, Wuhan, the state of San Francisco, … “Anyone paying attention to anything Pelosi has to say at this moment in time is mentally challenged.

Andrea Widburg: The mysterious case of the people who ate fish tank cleaner – “As a dedicated murder mystery reader, I didn’t blame Trump. My suspicions were focused elsewhere. It turns out my instincts may have been right on the money. Here’s the story the drive-by media didn’t tell you:

“Here’s an excellent rule of thumb when navigating stories that are hostile to President Trump: Assume everything you hear is a lie, whether it’s from the media or from the anti-Trump source about which the media is reporting. Also, you can learn a lot about human nature and sneaky crimes by reading murder mysteries.

Alex Kouskolekas: The coronavirus and character – “The old adage is that “tough times build character.” The old adage is wrong. The reality is that tough times reveal character, and a stunning number of people come up woefully lacking in this department:”

“It’s a remarkably enlightening time in our history, not because of things being learned, but because of people being exposed for who and what they really are. There have been multiple stories documenting serial failure across all levels of government to restock certain supplies, a failure that predates Trump. Yet the talking point that the Trump administration responded so poorly continues being repeated. Poorly compared to whom?

The inability or unwillingness to think outside the Trump lines colors everything, to the point of being a meme unto itself. … And somehow, it’s the fault of one Donald Trump. This isn’t just losing the ability to debate; it’s losing the ability to reason at all.

Inability or unwillingness to think!

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Pick your fights carefully: inciting panic or avoid it?

Mollie Hemingway: Media Reaction To Yamiche Alcindor Dustup With Trump Shows Why Their Approval Ratings Are Low – “Her peers rushed to defend her, but Alcindor has a track record of partisan commentary and unnecessarily hostile and silly questions.”

“The ongoing dysfunctional codependent relationship between the political media and President Donald Trump flared up again on Sunday afternoon during a Rose Garden press conference on the government’s handling of the Wuhan virus that has swept the globe.

Trump needs the media to act the way they do so he can dunk on them and look good by comparison. The media are enjoying the short-term rush of their war with Trump, wearing his abuse as a badge of honor among their peers.

Trump flourishes the more the White House press corps is riddled with political activists posing as journalists. But the country might fare better with more informed questions from reporters able to think through issues less politically.

Thomas Lifson: Trump-haters’ heads exploding in the wake of his masterful Rose Garden coronavirus briefing yesterday – “President Trump is redefining himself as a wartime president, boldly acting to sweep away obstacles and mobilizing government and business to fight together to get us up to speed in overcoming a threat that nobody anticipated.

Jim Hoft: “Instead of Asking a Nasty, Snarky Question like that, You Should Ask a Real Question” – TRUMP Unloads on #FakeNews Hack Jim Acosta After Gotcha Question (VIDEO) – “The CNN hack wasted the American public’s time by asking a horrid, gotcha question at the White House presser today.

Ace of Spades: Presser Reactions: Trump v. Acosta, Gutfeld v. Williams, and All of the Leftwing Media Versus Mike Lindell from MyPillow.com – “Trump shut him down by saying that CNN’s goal was to incite panic, whereas Trump’s goal, as President, was to avoid it.

Eddie Scarry: Trump’s not scaring people about the coronavirus: The media are – “They have reported on this pandemic and the administration’s response to it as though it were something out of the Book of Revelations. Every single death is characterized as an avoidable tragedy — something that we should have been able to stop if not for an inept president. In fact, the experiences of many countries not led by Trump has been strikingly similar.

“Reporters can keep people in a panic as long as they want. But their worthless nagging about the administration’s response to a health scare nobody yet completely understands is just that — worthless.

Richard Benedetto: An Epidemic of Media Partisanship – “Leafing through the first section of Sunday’s print edition of the Post, nearly every headline seemed designed to scare the bejesus out of readers already nervously confined to their homes because of the coronavirus crisis.

“I am reminded of a course I took in graduate school that focused on the responsibility of the media. I recall the professor noting that with the American press enjoying such great freedom, it becomes even more important that it wield that freedom judiciously.

Cassandra Fairbanks: LEAKED AUDIO: Kennedy Center President Deployed Lobbyist to Secure $25 Million in Coronavirus Stimulus, But Not a Cent for Workers – “During the leaked conference call, which took place on March 26, Rutter repeatedly makes excuses for why they are laying off their employees despite knowing that they will be receiving $25 million in the stimulus package.

Brian C. Joondeph: The Coincidental Chinese Virus – “When everything from professional sports to entertainment award shows have become political forums, it’s no surprise that an infectious disease outbreak moved from the realm of science to politics.” Many coincidences all heading along the same path tend to breed conspiracy theories …

“In politics there are few coincidences, defined as “Remarkable concurrences of events or circumstances without apparent causal connection.” What to the casual observer appears random are events actually created or steered in a certain direction for political objectives. The Trump presidency provides a timeline of such examples, including the current viral pandemic, suggesting that these are not simply serendipitous events.

I & I Editorial Board: Some Much-Needed Coronavirus Perspective – “It’s unprecedented, to be sure. But the problem with all the numbers being bandied about is that they lack any context.” … “Then there are all the scary stories about hospitalizations and how the health care system will be overwhelmed. Here, too, there’s no context.” … “But in any situation, context matters. Unfortunately, that’s the one thing missing from the 24/7 coverage of the coronavirus pandemic.

Victor Davis Hanson: Viral Prerequisites and Nationalist Lessons in Time of Plague – “Trump’s prior initiatives eased the implementation of many of his most effective orders during this crisis.”

“since the outbreak of the virus, Trump’s idiosyncratic sixth sense has come in handy. The country is united in its furor at China—even if it is giving no credit to Trump for being years ahead of where it is now.

What made Trump a renegade Republican was his appeal to the deplorables, irredeemables, clingers, and dregs, whom the national media and elite had derided as toothless, smelly, fat, superstitious, bigoted, racist, superfluous, addicted, and toxic.

We are learning, belatedly, that Trump was also rightly wary of transnationalism.

At such times as these, was it smarter to trust in bureaucracies like the CDC to issue test kits or to encourage private enterprise to step forward and become creative producers? Could counties and states adapt better to the local and regional differences of the virus’s manifestations than a monolithic federal government?

When the jails are emptying, was it then wiser to have a pro-Second Amendment president or one who wished to restrict the availability of guns and ammunition, Beto O’Rourke style?

Sundance: Federal Judge Rules Killing Babies is an “Essential Service” but protecting the 1st and 2nd amendments isn’t? “Strange times we live in… Earlier today in Tampa, Florida, the county sheriff let the criminal inmates out of his jail, and then went to arrest a pastor for delivering Sunday church services and put him in the same jail. …

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Problems and barriers

I & I Editorial Board: How Bad Regulation, Bureaucracy Slowed The Fight Against Deadly Wuhan Coronavirus – “our main regulatory, research and policy-making agencies at the national level are divorced from their true mission: To protect Americans. Their actions arguably contributed to the current quarantine and to the rising deaths from the Wuhan coronavirus across the country.

Stephen Kruiser: The Morning Briefing: Bloated Bureaucracy Is Going to Have a Coronavirus Body Count – “Trump is basically in the position of an NFL quarterback who’s being blamed for two decades of management and franchise failures that preceded him.

David Bessis: Coronavirus: the key numbers we must find out – “The model is worthless unless you get the core parameters right.” … “In just a few months, China has produced massive scientific knowledge on Covid-19 that will benefit the rest of the world. But as far as epidemiology is concerned, there is one big problem: China’s numbers just don’t add up.

“Italy, Spain, France, the United States and all significantly impacted democracies should immediately open-source their day-to-day raw mortality metrics, in real-time, with maximum geographic and demographic granularity. They should share this data for 2020 from at least as far back as 2019, and ideally from prior years so that statistical noise can be estimated. Governments should also share any available ’cause of death’ statistics.

The stakes are too high. The disconnect between official tallies and what people see on social networks is too obvious. Compared to China, Western democracies have underdelivered on preparedness and decisiveness. They must beat China on transparency, or they will lose credibility.

Unless we quickly learn the most basic facts about our new reality, the only certainty is that we’ll make bad decisions that will inflict unnecessary harm on a lot of people.

John Hinderaker: An Optimistic Projection of COVID-19 Deaths [with comment by Paul] – both the yin and the yang – “Maybe there will be a silver lining to the Wuhan virus: it might focus attention on the main killers of Americans and others. According to the CDC, these are the principal causes of death in the U.S.:” Paul adds “We keep the number of annual deaths from the flu well below 81,000 through a vaccine.” The impact of social distancing on flu data is not considered. – also see neo.

neo: Conversations with friends: “Trump did nothing” – “Ever since the COVID phenomenon began, though, I’ve noticed that most of them can’t seem to resist dropping little political statements into the conversation, usually about Trump.” … “I’ve noticed that these statements seem to take one (or both) of two forms. The first one can be summed up as “Trump did nothing and that let coronavirus get a grip here.” The second is “Trump hates science.” … “It’s really quite impressive to see the coordination and scope of the effort to get the word out. And my friends have certainly received the message, loud and clear.” This anti-Trump thing goes well beyond TDS or politics and is perhaps more dangerous than any pandemic in the long term. When people avoid intellectual integrity, society suffers and one only has to look at communism in the 20th century to see extreme examples.

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The hostility is destructive and instructive

Andrea Widburg: Once again, Trump was right and the media were wrong – “As always, when it comes to the media’s obsessive need to contradict Trump, the media were wrong.” … as were -are- a couple of governors.

“Indeed, the chloroquine and azithromycin treatment was so successful that Dr. Raoult refused to use a control group. He believed that doing so would be unethical insofar as it would deny people a proven life-saving treatment.

And Trump once again scores against a hostile media.

Peter Wales: The Case for a Nationwide Lockdown – “What we do know is that of tested and diagnosed cases which have run their course, more than 15 people out of 100 have died.” 15%? His cite doesn’t even support this is it’s worst cases. Then there’s the note that “it was no more than a few days’ inconvenience, as suggested by the latest figures out of Iceland, where mass testing has indicated the virus had a much wider and largely unnoticed spread in the community than “we would have assumed,” in the words of the chief tester.” Doomsday alarmism supported neither by its citations nor its observations and we are supposed to take it seriously?

Clarice Feldman: Numerators and Denominators in the Coronavirus Saga – “To ascertain how fatal a virus is, we need an accurate picture of how many people have it (the denominator) and how many have died as a result (the numerator), we have neither, but the data is improving and with it some substantial shifts away from the original model, which predicted far more deaths as a result of the Wuhan virus than we are seeing.”

“Early models also could not accurately predict how quickly the virus would spread and what tools could be brought in to limit mortality. As the data comes in, we have reason to be more optimistic that the death rate will be lower, the extreme efforts to control its spread should soon be relaxed, and that efficacious treatments are already underway. (Unfortunately, I can be far less sanguine about the end of Democratic rapaciousness in the face of national emergencies or media disingenuousness.)

Yes, special protection must still be in place for the elderly and immune suppressed, and we must continue to practice good hygiene, and yes, all available personnel and supplies must go to those areas hardest hit, but I’m not shoving my Amazon boxes into the autoclave any longer and I firmly believe we need to get back to more normal commercial activity in most of the country as soon as possible, and no later than Easter, or the consequences to the nation’s health and well-being will be worse than that of the virus.

Hannah Smothers: Every Grocery Store Should Be Handling the Pandemic Like This Texas Chain – “Whole Foods, local grocery chains, and probably the federal government could take a page from HEB’s emergency preparedness book.” … “HEB probably had a head start because it operates solely in a state where hurricane season means nearly annual emergency situations,

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Been had? Can’t figure out what the raw score means?

Geoffrey Luck: Flatten the Curve, Fatten the CrisisIf war is too important to be left to the generals, epidemics are too critical to be entrusted to the doctors. That is the only conclusion to be drawn from Australia’s foolish rush to hysteria over Covid-19.” … “Unfortunately, policy still seems to derive from raw score-keeping, and health departments better at tally-keeping than analysing.

New York Post: Media meltdown over Trump’s suicide warning shows the press can’t let its hatred go – “There’s nothing incorrect — or even controversial — in those remarks. (Though Trump, sigh, went on to be more dramatic.) But media outlets that would normally echo any concern about higher mental-health risks proceed to be outraged.

“Back in the real world, the National Suicide Prevention Hotline has reportedly seen incoming calls triple.

Much of the media would rush to contradict Trump if he announced that the sun will rise in the east tomorrow. At a time of national crisis, it’s beyond pathetic.

Robert Bryce: Why Dems are so bent on passing wind amid corona crisis – “Renewables live or die by subsidies, in fact. That was proved yet again this week

That Congressional Democrats would push so hard for solar and wind subsidies at such a critical time for the US economy is particularly galling for two reasons. First, the wind industry already stands to collect some $33.75 billion in subsidies between now and 2029. Second, wind-energy development in some of the most-heavily Democratic states in the country — Hawaii, California, New York and Vermont — has been effectively stopped due to local opposition.

This economic-rescue bill will likely not include Big Wind pork. But given the wind industry’s shamelessness, the nonsense is certain to return. Indeed, Politico is reporting that subsidies for solar and wind “could be pushed to a later corporate rescue package.”

Matt Margolis: What the Media Isn’t Telling You About the United States’ Coronavirus Case Numbers – “In a visual presentation titled “Where the U.S. Stands Now on Coronavirus Testing” the New York Times even used whole numbers for confirmed cases in one slide, and then in the next slide used per capita numbers for testing, in order to paint the United States in the worst light.” It’s deceit by statistics and ignorance either willful or unknowing.

Geoffrey P. Hunt: We’ve been had, and Trump knows it – “Most telling, the two U.S. public health icons, Drs Fauci and Birx, are both saying the extreme models that provoked extreme measures bear little resemblance to the actual data on the ground.” … “Perhaps Trump had no other option than to go with the flow when this crisis unfolded.” … “Trump wants America to reopen by Easter. Despite his ambition being ridiculed and criticized, he’s right to pivot from hysteria to rebound.

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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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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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