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April 26, 2020


Is "censorship" any time you decline to publicize something? Or when you merely refuse to publicize things that have been presented as fact and shown not to be? Or is it when you use the power of the state to keep something from being published?

Personally, I incline to option C. But I'm aware that redefining words for convenience is currently all the rage in some quarters, so YMMV.

Biden was a genius to announce that he would only have a female VP candidate. It's the perfect vaccine.

Perhaps a too perfect vaccine. A number of the potential VP candidates have spent parts of their careers advocating for victims of sexual assault.

As I watch the left scramble to distinguish Tara Reade's allegations against Biden and its self-righteousness otherwise, I'm reminded once again just how convincingly the left prizes principle over politics.

my emphasis

Providing a channel for bad medical advice during an epidemic most likely poses a variety of risks for the channel provider.

It doesn't seem to stop them from running ads by various kinds of quacks.

quacks are more likely to hurt the sucker. C19 is likely to hurt the sucker and everyone the sucker has breathed on in the last 10 days.

I'm still waiting in all of this for someone to suggest what The Left should be doing differently than it is already doing with the Tara Reade story.

And, further, I'm waiting to see if those policy/procedure/protocol suggestions are taken to heart and implemented across the board, or if this whole thing is a tactical, rather than a strategic, concern.

Lot's of forensic framing, but the problem needs deliberative framing.

Just now, from Worldometer, including only countries with > 10000 cases, sorted by most to least.

On the whole, there seems to be an inversed correlation between the number of deaths and various freedom indexes.

I'm still waiting in all of this for someone to suggest what The Left should be doing differently than it is already doing with the Tara Reade story.

obviously then only honorable thing to do would be to immediately abandon Biden and sit the election out.

getting the facts before acting is only something we do for Republicans

Exactly right, cleek.

long time hater of this blog, Patterico, doesn't believe Reade either.

As I watch the left scramble to distinguish Tara Reade's allegations against Biden and its self-righteousness otherwise, I'm reminded once again just how convincingly the left prizes principle over politics.

There are plenty of people on the left who are horrified by the allegations. The are plenty on the left who don't much like Biden regardless of the allegations. Maybe it's establishment Democrats you're thinking of, many of whom aren't all that left. Maybe left of you.

I don't know one way or the other if the allegations are true, but they strike me as being credible. I think it sucks that we're stuck with the choice we now have. Absent the allegations, I was lukewarm about Biden. Not bad, but nothing to get excited about.

I don't have to vote for him, because I don't live in a state that's up for grabs, so I might not. If I lived in a swing state, I'd probably have to hold my nose because Trump has to go.

Is there some way out of this? I don't see it.

The clear implication of this fact free assertion is that we're all in the same boat when it comes to COVID response.

It may be a case of once bitten, twice wary. Some countries near China were hit hard by China's mishandling of the SARS outbreak. And were better prepared for when China mishandled another virus outbreak.

I'm repeatedly censored at The American Conservative, even as I spare their tender Christian bullshit ears the cursing, which is quite giving of me.

Ask Rod Dreher. The self-righteous twit can't handle me.


If we are to follow the same logic of the drive-by allegations of rank hypocrisy here today regarding this and that, it stands to reason (magazine) that McKinney lining up with the Bernie Bros pushing these allegations against Biden can only mean that McKinney is a closet Sanders pinko socialist who looks upon the PRC with sympathy.

I also look forward pointlessly to McKinney retracting his unfounded (I know where they came from, Russia with love, probably via Drudge) allegations during the Fall 2016 that Hillary Clinton was hiding the true terminal and fatal nature of her flu symptoms for political purposes.

Imagine! Political hypocrisy on the Internet!

What a cheap shot.

Run with it. Maybe Hillary was the Vector for the Covid-19 and this pandemic is her fault entirely.

Biden is a ham sandwich. Even is the ham is off, I'm voting for him.

Not that it worked in 1932. There were at least three other candidates, all ham sandwiches one way or another along with Hitler in that election.

My vote for Paul Joe Bidenberg was useless, it turned out.

Turns out I should have shot Hitler in his brain pan and then started in on his base.

I've learned my lesson.

If attorneys can be disbarred by their State Bar, thus stifling their free expression why can't YouTube take their bogus, perhaps lethal counsel off the air.

If the Justice Department, the FDA, and other agencies can censor these bogus little publicly traded drug companies for lying to and ripping off bonehead consumers and investors with Covid-19 miracle and investors, then why not a private sector outlet like YouTube?

The two doctors are yelling FIRE! in a crowded theater after loosing a smoke bomb on the audience.

If the two doctors (where is Doctor Fine?) had their admitting rights at local hospitals in their area revoked for pushing bullshit on Youtube, is that permitted?

If one of McKinney's law partners or legal assistants showed up on YouTube raking a certain law firm across the coals, while doing so pants less, how long would they be employed after expressing their free speech?

FOX News just banned these two fat black conservative movement welfare queens from the air for pushing the company line:

They replaced them with the two mask-less doctors.

This fake blonde had her speech censored as as well:

It never fucking stops.

I'm a hypocrite. I'm full of shit.

Joe Biden is OK at those two pursuits.

But neither of us measure up against Trump in those categories, so, in bullshit America, Trump wins.

Every fucking time.


I'm still waiting in all of this for someone to suggest what The Left should be doing differently than it is already doing with the Tara Reade story.

I have no way to know whether this is already happening or not. But I would hope that The Left (whatever that means), or at least the Democratic Party, is thinking hard about what they do if a) the National Archives do turn up a complaint from Ms Reade from back in the day, or b) other facts/documents surface which add credibility to her claim, or c) something else, that I haven't thought of. And how that changes, depending on when, between now and January, that happens.

Of course, there may be nothing to her claims. But they damn well ought to be figuring out what they will do if it turns out that there is, rather than just being in denial (if they are). Even if their decision is to just think "Well, Trump is out of comparison worse on this issue" (which he unquestionably is) and stick with the guy they've got.

What does the First Amendment say about this?

I guess we'll have to ask the Supreme Court to make something up, because neither the Framers ('dem who framed us in the first place) nor we 2020 in-the-moment rubes have any idea.

The law in an ass ridden backwards by a howler monkey.

I have a different question from nous'.

Who is it that is supposed to "do something" about the Tara Reade story? Who is this "left" that apparently is supposed to come to some kind of consensus on the issue, and then speak yeah or nay with one voice?

People are going to, and do, have all kinds of opinions about it. People will do all kinds of things about it, including nothing.

Reade's claims should be looked into, with the full benefit of the doubt that we should extend to anyone else who says they have been sexually assaulted. If a persuasive case can be made that Biden assaulted her, then he should stand down and be liable to whatever criminal penalties apply.

If no such case can be made, then Biden and whoever else is involved in running and supporting his campaign will engage in some kind of calculus to figure out if his viability as a candidate has been sufficiently compromised to warrant his stepping down. And who knows what happens at that point.

As a so-called "lefty" here, itself kind of a laughable claim, I don't see that there is much else to say about it. I have no further opinion about it, because I don't have sufficient information to have one.

Did he do it? I don't know. So I don't know what should happen.

Let the cops figure out if there is a "there" there, and then we do whatever comes next.

The rest is noise.

There are doctors all over the web telling us, if we want to live a full life free of flatulence, to fer gawdsakes get rid of this ONE VEGETABLE in our diet.

It's free speech for the doctors (no, it's not the avocado in the photo tease), but once you click to the "presentation", it not free speech for us to HEAR the name of the vegetable.

It's roughly $49.

The reason Dr. Phil can't be hauled before the medical licensing boards in his state is because he spews his bullshit far and without actually being licensed to do so in the first place.

The two doctors in question here should try that gambit.

It works in bullshit America.

But they damn well ought to be figuring out what they will do if it turns out that there is, rather than just being in denial (if they are).

so far: Biden denies it and Reade's story is an ever-changing kaleidoscope. read that Patterico link above. his points are tough to dismiss.

but, the Democratic Party has a process they will follow if it becomes impossible to go with Biden - and it doesn't involve Sanders automatically moving up to first place, in case anyone was hoping.

but, before we get there, maybe we should wait for actual evidence. there is absolutely none, right now.

More attorneys on the Biden/Reade allegations:

For the record, I can be full-in on the ME-Too Movement, vote for Biden, and destroy Trump and the entire conservative movement that wants to see BOTH Biden and the Me-Too movement go down in flames.

Marty's not the only one who can multitask and juggle flaming torches, bowling balls and machetes simultaneously around here.

Who has ever lived a full life without committing acts of hypocrisy, I ask you?

In fact, it seems a substantial bullet point on the resumes of the winners in America.

I can live to see another day unless the Covid gets me.

Send Jesus Christ himself into any job interview in america and I'll show you a homeless, jobless get with no health insurance bucking for a Crucifixion.

One thing I know the left shouldn’t do is threaten Tara Reade’s life and force her to go into hiding. Gee, I wonder why I would even think of such a thing? Has that happened to someone in the last couple of years?

Too true, hsh.

if we want to live a full life free of flatulence, to fer gawdsakes get rid of this ONE VEGETABLE in our diet.

Is it the Orange One ?

Is it the Orange One ?


The Orange One is not a Vegetable, let alone This ONE Vegetable. And is rumored to be allergic to them (with the possible exception of potatoes, especially in chips and French Fries).

Someone must stop children and republicans from drinking those bleach chasers.

Now eat yer peas!

Talking about the US response and McT has the chutzpah to saw well what about Tara Reade. That is Jedi level what-aboutism.

No, I am pretty sure he was enraged about the Chinese cartoon, its accuracy, our (and other liberals') acceptance of its accuracy, the responsibility for the ongoing debacle by all the Republicans supporting Trump et al, and he therefore had to hit out with anything at his disposal which was a) we love and defend the PRC and b) we are such hypocrites because Biden is possibly an assaulter. Have a heart, lj. The man is in pain.

One thing I haven’t seen the so-called left do is claim that Reade’s allegation were cooked up by Republicans. Again, why would such a thing even occur to me? Who’s giving me these strange ideas?

No, although to be fair russell did note the interesting coincidence of these allegations surfacing just when Biden is the nominee. However, I have also seen people on that other link, Patterico, suggesting it could be Putin/Russia. But that might put us in a fix, because if we love the PRC don't we love the Russians too? Or maybe not, because we are such lefties, and they aren't proper commies anymore? Oh, it's all too complicated for my little lefty head to keep track of.
(Do I really have to use a sarcasm font? Isn't it all too hideously obvious?)

Actually, I don't like that last post of mine at 07.09 much, and would like to take it back. Sarcasm really doesn't much suit me, whatever the provocation.

Have a heart, lj. The man is in pain.

ha, good point. He'll demand that my lefty card be taken away if I don't give him sympathy despite acting like a berk. Wouldn't want to be threatened with that!

I just hope all of McT's unindicted Republican coconspirators don't go to this thread at April 07, 2020 at 11:06 AM and find out that he is really McKinney ‘we do not live in a binary world’ Texas. Probably drag him behind a pick up truck.

The joys of asynchronous communication. GftNC, your 7:39 suggests that your 6:38 wasn't sarcastic. Sorry about reading sarcasm into it.

No lj, you were right, in part. The second half of that one was mainly sarcastic, but I didn't hate it like I hated the following one!

I do appreciate McKinney dropping by once and a while to tell me what I believe. Sometimes I forget. At my age it happens.

5/1 US data added to the other thread.

There's an awful lot of haste to "re-open" -- based apparently on magical thinking, since the numbers really aren't going down that much. They're down from the highest phase, but sort of stalled at a new, slightly lower plateau.

By heaven, isn't it great to have the freedom to die for other people's stupidity and greed?

UK remains to be re-done.

I don't like that last post of mine at 07.09 much, and would like to take it back. Sarcasm really doesn't much suit me, whatever the provocation.

We shall avert our eyes.

Everybody gets at least one unwanted snark get-out-of-jail-free card.


In the interest of fairness, I went and watched some of the CA doctors video. I kind of gave up when they were "extrapolating data points" about NY.

In context, while they were extrapolating data points, folks in NYC were stacking corpses in refrigerator trucks. So, really, and I say this in the context of trying to tone down my use of the word 'fuck', fuck them.

Just fuck them.

Of course we all want to re-open businesses. We all want to be able to get a haircut. We all want to go to dinner at our favorite restaurants.
We all want to buy paint and garden supplies. We all want to hang out with our friends, without that happening in a Zoom session.

We all want the businesses, small and large, that make up part of the fabric of our own livelihoods, and of our communities, to be able to return to operation.

We all want that. Nobody doesn't want that.

It's a freaking virus. Nobody really has a complete handle on what it does to us, nobody has a really solid handle on how to treat it, nobody has an accurate idea of how many people it will kill if we all just go about our business as usual.

Some people have no symptoms. Some people with no symptoms can pass it along to other people.

Some people get over it, and then seem to get it again. Some don't.

Some people can't breathe. Some people feel fine and then die suddenly from heart failure or a stroke.

Some people, like a good friend of my wife and I, don't have the respiratory thing, they just have a horrible fever and spend a week or two feeling like they're on the freaking rack.

We don't know that much about COVID yet. We don't know that much about how it makes us sick, or all the ways it can make us sick, or what to do about it. So as far as I can tell, any talk about "re-opening the economy" has to occur in the context of testing, data collection and analysis, incremental re-opening of industries where some kind of safety practices can be defined and enforced, and careful monitoring so we can respond if there are resurgences of infection and death.

I don't see that anything else makes sense. "How bad is the damage gonna get" is not really in our control. It'll get as bad as it gets, medically and economically. I'm not in favor of putting people's lives at risk to "save the economy".

So, bozo brain had his fifteen minutes of fame on Fox yesterday, did as he threatened to do with the collaboration of 150 or so other bozo brains, and you know what? His bluff, it was called. He lost his health and liquor licenses.

From the 2nd article, he decided he could open up despite emergency orders from the governor...

...partly because he was enforcing distancing guidelines that other businesses have adopted during the pandemic. If Home Depot, Lowes and Walmart “can do 6-foot spacing and be open,” then his restaurant could as well, he said.

“I really don’t believe it. I don’t believe it at this point,” he said, when asked if it might be dangerous to let those diners into the restaurant. “I’m not a medical expert. I serve food, you know.”

As for the many diners standing less than 6 feet from each other while waiting for a seat, he said, “I can’t tell them where to stand and what to do. We’re America. If they want to isolate, they can isolate.”

That second paragraph is a gem of, well, certainly not logic.

“Make America stupid again!” one woman yelled out the window of a passing car.

Truer words.

I do appreciate McKinney dropping by once and a while to tell me what I believe.

He's a lawyer, that's his job...

We’re America.

James Madison wept.

Thomas Jefferson, writing from his rooms in Paris, cheered bozo on.

What they don't seem to grasp is that their hero-bozo could do dumb stuff like this and thereby bankrupt his businesses over and over. And just go out and do it again. But they, not having a rich daddy to bail them out over and over, cannot.

Waiting for the CharlesWT Reason clip telling use that this is an overreach and indicates the creeping authoritarianism that was just waiting for COVID-19 to descend on us. In 3, 2, 1...


"A U.S. assault-weapon ban was in place from 1994 to 2004, though it did not try to sweep up the guns already in circulation. As The New York Times has reported, it had no noticeable positive effect on American public safety. (Yes, that includes its impact, or rather its failure to have an impact, on mass shootings.) Such weapons' role in murder and crime is tiny, both in the U.S. (where shotguns and rifles of any kind, not just "assault weapons," are used in only 4 percent of murders) and Canada (where the larger category of non-sawed-off rifles and shotguns were used in 2018 in only 8 percent of murders)"
Canada Bans 'Assault Weapons' by Executive Order: Such bans have already proven to be essentially valueless for crime-fighting.

from your link
Trudeau also intends to buy back banned weapons from their owners. That will require legislation, so the specifics aren't in place yet.

Reason isn't Tucker Carlson depths of stupidity and bullshit, but it is the constant drip of 'unconventional wisdom' that does it for me.

I could be wrong, but my guess is that if we look at cases where somebody wanted to kill a lot of people all at once, the role of military style weapons would be more than tiny.

And for threatening violence against the government and/or your neighbors, they are de rigeur.

It would be great if we could simply ban madmen and assholes from owning guns. That's not really practical. Could be that banning the favorite firearm of madmen and assholes is a reasonable proxy.

Compliance with the gun buyback in Australia was about 20%. Now they have a violent firearms black market. The homicide rates in both Australia and the US have been declining for decades while there has been a large increase in the number of guns in the US.

the US has 6x as much gun crime as AU.
the murder rate in the US is 57x AU's.


As a True Libertarian, you must be in favor of Liberty(TM) for other people. Any asshole can be all for his own Liberty. If that's all it takes, then Kim Jong Un is a True Libertarian.

So I infer you want your neighbors up and down the block, or across town, or in the "inner city", to be free to own as many guns of any type as they like. Or maybe, if you're a Free Market Libertarian, as many as they can afford. If you had your way as a True Libertarian, I suppose you'd be in favor of Liberals and Socialists, as well as Libertarians and drunks in MAGA hats, to be able to buy pistols in blister packs and loose ammo out of converted pickle barrels at any "convenience store", and order full-auto machine guns from Amazon.

Correct me if I'm wrong.

Wiki on gun violence in the US. You and Wikipedia can duke it out, arguing about how many AR-15 magazines can dance on the head of a pin depresses the hell out of me.

From the Wiki page:

Compared to 22 other high-income nations, the U.S. gun-related homicide rate is 25 times higher

Marginal declines in "25 times greater" just don't make me feel any better about the whole thing.

And for some reason or other, suicides by firearm never seem to be of interest. I can never figure that one out.

Violent, tragic death is violent, tragic death, no matter who pulls the trigger.

Americans like to shoot themselves and each other, at rates that would alarm the hell out of any reasonable nation. Nobody but us would put up with this level of consistent ambient violent behavior for more than a freaking minute.

We could ban all the guns and we'd still find a way to kill ourselves and each other. We'd just have to try harder. Maybe that would be an experiment worth trying, maybe it wouldn't.

In any case, it's academic, because we love guns and we aren't gonna give them up, no matter what. The main reason I'd be against banning particular kinds of firearms is (a) it would just make a bunch of people go out and stock up on them, and (b) any attempt at buy-backs or attempts to - god forbid - take them by force of law would just get a lot of well-meaning government employees killed.

Americans freaking love guns, and we make an astoundingly regular practice of shooting ourselves and other people. I don't know why, it's just another one of those inexplicable FUBAR things about being American.

I look forward to the ensuing stream of "strain at a gnat and swallow a camel" Reason magazine cites.

It's a nice day out, my wife and I are gonna spend the day outside working on the yard and garden. No guns will be required, no guns will be involved. We will maintain proper social distance from our neighbors. When we're done, we'll wash our hands vigorously for at least 20 seconds with soap and warm water.

And we'll look forward to better days.

Stay safe everyone. Don't shoot anybody, including yourselves.

SOME Americans freaking love guns

Nobody but us would put up with this level of consistent ambient violent behavior for more than a freaking minute.

Absolutely true. The only exception I can think of is some of the very lawless, anarchic conditions in certain African nations, at certain times of tremendous temporary, or ongoing, political upheaval. Your level in the US is unthinkable in any other stable first world democracy.

(AP) The White House is blocking Dr. Anthony Fauci, a key member of the administration's coronavirus task force, from testifying before the Democratic-led House next week, according to a spokesman from a key House committee. "The Appropriations Committee sought Dr. Anthony Fauci as a witness at next week's Labor-HHS-Education Subcommittee hearing on COVID-19 response. We have been informed by an administration official that the White House has blocked Dr. Fauci from testifying," House Appropriations Committee spokesman Evan Hollander said in a statement Friday.

this is all the left's fault, because they love China so much.

Compliance with the gun buyback in Australia was about 20%.

No link? You're slipping! But if a 20% reduction gets this

First," Hemenway and Vriniotis write, "the drop in firearm deaths was largest among the type of firearms most affected by the buyback. Second, firearm deaths in states with higher buyback rates per capita fell proportionately more than in states with lower buyback rates."

There is also this: 1996 and 1997, the two years in which the NFA was actually implemented, saw the largest percentage declines in the homicide rate in any two-year period in Australia between 1915 and 2004.

Pinning down exactly how much the NFA contributed is harder. One study concluded that buying back 3,500 guns per 100,000 people correlated with up to a 50 percent drop in firearm homicides. But as my colleague Dylan Matthews points out, the results were not statistically significant because Australia has a pretty low number of murders already.

However, the paper's findings about suicide were statistically significant — and astounding. Buying back 3,500 guns correlated with a 74 percent drop in firearm suicides. Non-gun suicides didn't increase to make up the decline.

There is good reason why gun restrictions would prevent suicides. As Matthews explains in great depth, suicide is often an impulsive choice, one often not repeated after a first attempt. Guns are specifically designed for killing, which makes suicide attempts with guns likelier to succeed than (for example) attempts with razors or pills. Limiting access to guns makes each attempt more likely to fail, thus making it more likely that people will survive and not attempt to harm themselves again.

The buyback also may have reduced the rate of mass shootings. A 2018 study found that, in the 18 years before Port Arthur, Australia experienced 13 mass shootings; in the 22 years since, the country has only suffered one such incident.

seems like pretty good value...

But you can't really compare a nation descended from lowborn convicts with one founded by highborn pioneers. ;-)

'highborn' in the sense of gentlemen, not necessary blueblooded nobility.

Compliance with the gun buyback in Australia was about 20%.

No link? You're slipping!

"In Australia, it is estimated that only about 20% of all banned self-loading rifles have been given up to the authorities," wrote Franz Csaszar, professor of criminology at the University of Vienna, after Australia's 1996 compensated confiscation of firearms following a mass murder in Port Arthur, Tasmania. Csaszar put the number of illegally retained arms in Australia at between two and five million.

"Many members of the community still possess grey-market firearms because they did not surrender these during the 1996–97 gun buyback," the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission conceded in a 2016 report. "The Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission continues to conservatively estimate that there are more than 260,000 firearms in the illicit firearms market."
Noncompliance Kneecaps New Zealand's Gun Control Scheme: As of last week, only around 700 weapons had been turned over.

Gun violence varies greatly in the US with most of it in large inter cities and a lot of it related to the war on drugs.

I live in one of the safer areas of a city rated as the second safest in the US. Although, some months ago, there were two murders in the apartment complex I live in. With a knife.

the only thing that can stop a bad guy with a knife is a good guy with a knife.

and who in the US doesn't have multiple knives in their house?

hell, i've got a drawer absolutely full of them, and another draeer with a set of eight identical little daggers that we use to cut up food with sometimes.

nobody's gonna knife us!

But how good are you at sniper knifing?
And what, if someone comes at you with an electric breadknife ( )? There are cordless ones, so just keeping away from the socket-outlet won't save you.

Don't forget narwhal tusks! Statistically proven to lessen knife crime.

i've got axes and pocket knives and saws and chain saws in my garage. i've got a saw that can cut through steel. it's a goddamned arensal up in here.

i'm surprised The Man hasn't come around to take me to jail for being a terrorist.

Don't take your knives to London...

"It turns out that when you pass laws disarming people in an attempt to prevent violence, criminals who habitually disregard all laws don't make exceptions for the new rules. In London, crime still thrives despite the U.K.'s tight gun controls and the British political class is now desperately turning its attention to restricting knives."
British Politicians Declare War on Knives: Having failed to thwart crime with gun bans, British officials now want to restrict what may be the most useful tool ever invented. (04/24/2018)

I haven’t read all the comments since yesterday, but will respond to the one ( I think by nous) about banning lies or bad info in a pandemic. The problem with that is that you would have to keep the government of Sweden off YouTube if they wanted to post a defense of their approach ( I don’t know if they have).

I very much prefer listening to epidemiologists to, say, that idiot libertarian law professor Richard Epstein, but yes, idiots should have the right to spout destructive nonsense on subjects where, if their views have influence, people will die. So on pandemics, US ( bipartisan) support for war crimes and mass murder and most important of all, global warming, the people who are wrong, sometimes in good faith and often not, should have free speech. ( Often the problem is that the people who are right don’t get much of a hearing.)

Besides, you really do have to be cautious about elevating the notion of expertise. It applies best in narrow ways, typically involving math and science, but the more complex the problem is the less valid it is to talk about expertise. On foreign policy, for instance, you need expertise, but for the basics. You need people who speak foreign languages and understand the history and culture of other countries but “ expertise” too often means that people have advanced degrees and are articulate as they impose sanctions or support some brutal war or act like we can remake the political culture of an occupied country at gunpoint— yes it worked after WW2, but in general it doesn’t. Also, the people in the mainstream press and the Beltway talk about competence and incompetence rather than ask whether we have the moral right to do something in the first place. It is taken for granted that we are the good guys— the only question is one of tactics and who has the expertise needed to impose our will successfully.

And political partisans of every sort tend to live in bubbles. IMO rightwingers live in bigger bubbles because there are more facts that discredit their views but every faction ( mine included) deludes itself or avoids certain topics to some degree or engages in ad hominem attacks on people whose views make them uncomfortable.

And there are many more than two political tribes. In elections in the US there are only two that have a chance of winning, but when talking about issues it’s a huge mistake acting like everything has to be viewed through that filter.

I am being vague and general because I don’t have much interest in having long arguments, but I can think of 9 foreign policy issues in the past decade off the top of my head where I would be extremely critical of most Democrats and Republicans and I am probably missing some. And on Biden and Reade , it was obvious that the mainstream press was using a different standard to cover her allegations than they used with Ford and Kavanaugh. It looked like they were hoping it would go away. It is understandable. Trump is worse. But it was also obvious.


London Population 2019: 8.982 million
London homicides 2019: 149

Cannot find homicides by knife for the whole year, but on September 14th 2019 there had been 110 murders, of which 67 were by knife. We are very horrified by these numbers, and there is an ongoing public outcry and attempts being made to stem the violence.

It looked like they were hoping it would go away.

just on a whim...

WaPo had 10 articles with "Reade" in the headline, yesterday. 6 the day before.

NYT has had 42 articles about her in the past week.


Donald's post is rather reasonable, IMO, so not surprising from him.

In London, crime still thrives despite the U.K.'s tight gun controls and the British political class is now desperately turning its attention to restricting knives."

US murder rate is 18x the UK's

say... when your average right-wing lunatic storms his state capitol building, which weapon is the centerpiece of his ensemble? is it:

A) his sunglasses, which could focus the sun's rays into a raging inferno fire, given sufficient kindling and a bright clear windless day
B) the utility knife he keeps holstered somewhere on his belt
C) the military-style rifle he holds like he wants everyone around him to know he'll use it, just give him a reason!

also... which of those weapons has literally no other use besides being a weapon?

Besides, you really do have to be cautious about elevating the notion of expertise. It applies best in narrow ways, typically involving math and science, but the more complex the problem is the less valid it is to talk about expertise.

I respect experts and the "notion of expertise". Political actions usually don't follow the precise advice of experts, and clearly in areas such as foreign policy, there are various elements that are informed by expertise.

People who get degrees in medicine generally know more about medical procedures than I do. People who get advanced degrees in statistical analysis know how to do that better than I do. I know more about certain aspects of the law (and other things) than people who haven't studied those things. People who have had day to day job experience in some fields know more than people who don't have that background.

Obviously, opinions differ on the best way forward in many circumstances. Opinions can be based on expert analysis, and still differ. That doesn't negate the importance of the expert analysis. Of course, experts make mistakes, and the state of the art in any field might be untested or flawed. That doesn't mean that people who do their life's work studying and working on problems should be ignored by people whose agenda is based on ignorance (or even much less experience), even with the best wishes.

In London, crime still thrives despite the U.K.'s tight gun controls

To the best of my knowledge, nobody, repeat nobody, has ever claimed that gun control would reduce (let alone eliminate) all crime. It's only meant to address violent crime, specifically homocide. Which, in fact, it does quite effectively. Especially if the penalties for crimes involving a gun, as opposed to just possessing an unlicensed gun, are sufficiently serious.

You deal with a black market in guns by making it just not worth the risk. There may still be one for those who are religious about their guns. But that's a limited market. Unlike things like drugs, very few people get high from a gun.

Gun violence varies greatly in the US with most of it in large inter cities and a lot of it related to the war on drugs.

The profile for suicide by firearm is basically the opposite of this. Nobody ever wants to talk about suicide when they talk about guns. I don't know why.

Donald, thank you for a sensible post, your comments here on the CA doc's video was far more sane then my own.

Basically, my issue with folks who make a huge point about how low the rate of death is, is that we're still looking at 60K people dead in the US, in a couple of months, from one cause. I guess it's better that it's a low rate of mortality than if it isn't, but that hardly seems to justify a lack of caution.

NYC is also a sore point for me. It's where I was born, it's the city I grew up in and around. Everybody freaking hates the place - like really hates the place - except when they want to put a Twin Towers bumper sticker on their car. Right? We've heard a ton of "Yeah, but that's just NYC" talk regarding the virus. So hell yeah, it's just NYC, and in NYC they've been stacking dead people in refrigerator trucks because the morgues are overloaded. An ER doc killed herself last week or so.

Maybe just be glad it's not your city.

We've heard a ton of "Yeah, but that's just NYC" talk regarding the virus. So hell yeah, it's just NYC, and in NYC they've been stacking dead people in refrigerator trucks because the morgues are overloaded.

What people somehow miss is that we hear a lot about NYC because it's a media center. Of course the national news shows talk about it; it's the daily life of the people doing the broadcasts!

In fact, there are other places in the US which have equally bad (per capita) problems. They just don't have the big megaphone. (Some of them also suffer from having governors who are idiots and in denial.)

It applies best in narrow ways, typically involving math and science, but the more complex the problem is the less valid it is to talk about expertise.

It's in the social sciences, like economics, that you can lay the experts end to end and never come to a conclusion.

There seems to be a cultural component of a country's homicide/suicide rate ratios. European and Asian countries tend to have lower ratios than Latin American and Middle Eastern countries. But there also appears to a positive correlation between a low ration and how free a country is.

List of countries by intentional death rate

No, we hear about NYC because it alone accounts for as many cases and deaths as some countries. Because it is the center of the contagion in the NE and because it represents the US to the world in ways few cities can claim.

It is the antithesis of how millions of people in the country want to live, and it's on almost everyone's bucket list of places to visit.

It is the epitome of how millions of other people want to live. Vibrant, busy, multicultural.

It is hated, and loved, by America.

It is no less tragic in NYC than Omaha, it just effects more people.

The mortality rate is important to watch, imo, for mental health reasons. As we continue to roll out more tests across the country all the graphs based on cases will continue to go up, dramatically. Having visibility to hospitalizations and mortality rate are going to be important in keeping some perspective. Simply from a mental health perspective.

Yes, it's important to get an accurate understanding of the mortality rate. For all kinds of reasons.

Two dudes in CA talking about hey, the models are wrong, not that many people are dying, when something like 2000 people a day are dying of a single disease, rubs me the wrong way. It makes me angry, and sad, and it makes me shake my head because we're unable as a nation to get the hell out of our way and deal with anything in a remotely effective way.

The businesses that are locked down tend to be those businesses where the risk is high, and the overall necessity of that work being done is relatively low. That puts a lot of people out of work, and is going to cause a big dip in our economic outlook for some period of time. Opening those businesses to "save the economy" means putting people at risk, to do work that is relatively less essential. I'm not minimizing the value of what they do, I just mean they aren't keeping the lights on and the water running.

What I take away from the arguments pro and con, and who the people are that are making the arguments pro and con, is that we're gonna end up making a lot of people who don't have a lot of choice about it go back to work in environments that are going to put them at risk of getting sick, from COVID. Because some people, many of whom have bags of money, don't want to lose money.

And that seems wrong. To me.

Hopefully I'm done with this topic, it's profoundly depressing. I'm gonna go do something else for a while.

Marty, you never came back on the mortality stats from Germany. You did say they did better on earlier testing etc, but at that stage you did not know about their startlingly low mortality rate from the virus. Can you see why people are so down on the US (and the UK) response, based on the timing of the testing, the efficiency of the rollout of the testing and tracing (as russell originally proposed) and consequently their mortality stats? Germany, of course and FWIW, is led by a sensible middle-aged ex-scientist who was not playing politics.

I also said I hadn't been watching closely, by the time I got back the next day the thread had moved on. But no, not really. US is at 196, didnt really look at the UK. Germany is good at 80. If anything is good or bad. If you look at that metric across states it varies a lot.

So, no, I'm not sure that understand why anyone is down on the US. Unless you tell me that the middle aged ex scientist told the hospital system to start preparing then I'm not sure she gets a lot of credit for it. From the article I read the hospitals prepared early which rationally seems to have impacted the mortality rate.

Very much like SF shut down quickly and had one of the few systems in the country with experience in tracing. So better at the start.

South Korea had more recent experience so they fared much better, should they be complaing about Germanys response?

I do get why we should do the best each day and keep the lessons that may or may not be applicable to the next emergency.

Popping in here, like Donald, outside of the topical flow to comment on what can or should be done about information and the internet.

I don't know.

I taught a research class for a few terms a few years back that was set up to explore the information ecology of the Web. (Interesting class to teach to a highly mixed class with sometimes over 50% Chinese internationals, especially at the height of the anti-vax autism backlash.) Before that I was teaching a cyberpunk lit class where a number of the class readings were techno-libertarian and cypherpunk manifestos.

I've read widely on both sides and have played devil's advocate to students arguing for "the right to offend" as well as those arguing for governmental regulation of the Internet on public health grounds.

I still don't know how to thread that needle.

What we need is more, better, slower deliberation and a media that works actively against the click-bait media environment that is geared towards blowing past reason and deliberation and straight through to conditioned limbic response.

I want slow media and slow news and deliberative spaces. I want a greater public recognition of expertise and of methodology - to understand the edges of what is and what can be known and how to check one's own assumptions.

I also believe that these things can only exist in speculative fiction at this time. We aren't (yet - and maybe won't ever be) that people.

I'm still a monthly member of the EFF and of the ACLU. I think freedom of speech and of the press are important. Sometimes it's more important than having the right information. Sometimes it's less.

Deciding which is which is art, not science.

What can I say? I'm a digital humanist.

Shit's complicated.

FWIW, Reade now says she's received death threats.

well ain't that America, home of the free, baby.

But no, not really. US is at 196

you can probably double that.

you can probably double that.

But those would be experts saying that.

one reason the US response sucks is that we're not testing. we're not testing the dead, we're not testing the living. we don't even have the tests.

we don't have the capacity to test everyone, even for things like temp and blood oxygen levels regularly, so we can maybe catch people when they start to become symptomatic. which wouldn't even address asymptomatic carriers.

and there's no way to safely "re-open" if we can't tell who has it or not.

Just reported deaths, which can be taken as a minimum, in my home state between April 1st and May 1st were a bit over 7000. That's getting pretty close to a tenth of a percent of the entire population of New Jersey - in a f**king month!

A week or two ago, I questioned the value of testing as the panacea. I still believe that, although testing would help, it also needs to be accompanied by quarantining positive people, and contact tracing.

With testing only, responsible people would self-quarantine, and that would be very helpful, since most adults are responsible. But how many people would not be tested, and would not self-quarantine? How many positively tested people would return to work if they still would not be compensated?

I have changed my mind to believe that testing is a necessary first step.

CharlesWT wrote

Which is why you simply post excerpts of articles with no analysis of why you think they are right or wrong? The reason you get proposals for censorship is because that kind of behavior...

This isn't to deny Donald's reasonable post, it is just to note that your citing of it it is so you can avoid looking at your own behavior.

Testing, in itself, isn't a panacea. But without testing, your only real alternative is to try to vaccinate the entire population. (That, or just let everybody get it and live or die in the best Dark Ages fashion.) Oh yes, and that includes vaccinating the anti-vaxers. Probably at gun point, since on past evidence rational argument isn't going to work on them.


"If you think KNOWLEDGE is expensive,

The folks in GA are learning the cost of ignorance. Maybe.

The folks in GA are learning the cost of ignorance. Maybe.

Sad to say, there are folks in GA who already know. They voted (or tried to vote) for Stacey Abrams. The other folks may learn. Probs not.

Mainly, but not exclusively, for Marty.

OK, I freely admit that, as well as knowing nothing about economics, I am practically innumerate, unlike the rest of you. Our educational system allows people to drop all maths and science pretty early, with predictable results (see C P Snow's The Two Cultures, about the lamentable split between arts specialists and science specialists). Anyway, that's enough disclaimer about my ignorance. So one of you boffins tell me how I'm wrong:

US population 2020: approx 331,002,651
US deaths from Covid approx 66,746

German population 2020 approx 83,783,942
German deaths from Covid approx 6812

Am I going mad? Marty, they developed a test by mid January, and started aggressively testing, tracing and isolating, and treating cases very early in the symptoms. Do you think all this was independent of the political leadership?

Germany is led by a pragmatic middle-aged ex-scientist, who is about to retire and has not played politics.

The USA is led by Trump.

Marty, do these facts really not tell you anything? (Plus, I will not be offended, anybody else feel free to jump in and tell me what I'm not seeing.)

And of course, none of that helps with the present, or with what should happen next. I'm just addressing Marty's (and by extension the White House and the GOP's) absurd pretence that the response to the pandemic in the US has not been especially bad, leading to the unnecessary deaths of thousands of people who were entitled to expect their country's leadership to try and protect them.

Germany is led by a pragmatic middle-aged ex-scientist, who is about to retire and has not played politics.

A woman. An expert. How many fatal electability flaws do I need to name if she, instead, lived in the USA?

GftNC: Plus, I will not be offended, anybody else feel free to jump in and tell me what I'm not seeing.

There is nothing to jump in about in terms of your numbers or your analysis. Sorry, but you said you wouldn't be offended, so I will just say that the only thing you seem not to be seeing is the uselessness of butting your head up against a stone wall. You are not going to get what you're looking for.

I am not offended! I am grateful. I honestly assumed I'd made an error so obvious and childish that everyone was too embarrassed to tell me about it.

Trump stands there and tells the American public how brilliantly he has handled the pandemic, and how well it's all going compared to other countries. And, apparently, lots of them believe it. Marty dislikes Trump, so he has no incentive to go along with it, or even think the US response has been sort-of-OK, and yet still he denies the plain truth. I am at a loss. And stubborn :)

But thank you, Janie.


The deaths per million for each is in the table at Worldometer. 81 for Germany, 206 for the US as of today.Getmany has kept its number down, its close to the best on large western countries. Germany also had an advantage that I had forgotten, they have decentralized healthcare, on the testing lead they had:

"They could do this in part because Germany doesn't have a centralized diagnostic system so labs around the country were free to establish tests." In fact, as of April 2, private labs in Germany have helped the country test 1 million people for COVID-19. "

From here:

It seems Germany has done well so far, but the difference seems to be in the number of hospital beds available, which does far exceed anyone else in the West.

they have decentralized healthcare

and universal.

we - the US - have 4% of the population of the world.

we have a third of the COVID-19 cases and a quarter of the fatalities.

per Janie, I expect nothing of this exchange, I just feel obliged to lay out the most obvious and basic of data points.

Say what you want about billionaires, but at least if you're a billionaire, you can choose what policies go forward.

Yes, my ideal is that we have a vibrant democracy, with government (we the people) funding the projects we believe in. Sad that we couldn't keep it.

Graphs in "For hsh" updated to today, including revised UK numbers.

If the trail of bodies isn't persuasive, perhaps the ROI will.

Make of it what you will.

What are ya'll expecting from this exchange? I went and looked at the facts, read the details of what happened to date in Germany, agreed with GftNC that they have achieved a better mortality rate than anyone in the west. Their tests per million are at 30k most everyone else is around 20k,

I looked at why that was and saw that their were a couple of key things that helped that.

GftNC asked me specifically about Germany. I looked at Germany. I posted a link that discussed all of that.

GftNC, did I address what you asked?

If the trail of bodies isn't persuasive, perhaps the ROI will.

Likely not. Because those making the worst decisions seem to work on extraordinarily short planning horizons. What would leave them in a better position a year or more out is a total irrelevance. What would (maybe!) look better in 3 weeks is apparently all-important.

If their constituents have sufficiently short memories, and adequate blindness when presented with comparisons to politicians who behaved differently? Their approach may even work out for them. If not for many of those who live there -- AKA "the marks."

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