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May 19, 2022


one could wish that it might be less unpreventable.

Of course, preventable doesn't do much good if one refuses (individually or collectively) to do the things which would prevent it. And on all too many fronts, that seems to be where America is at.

wj -- that was my point, sorry if it was couched too allusively to come through.

I've read estimates that from a quarter to almost a third of the US covid deaths were "preventable" from the medical/scientific point of view. Apparently they were not preventable from the point of view of collective human psychology. The gun deaths are even more clearly in that category.

If you know how to "prevent" lethal human stupidity, we could all use some enlightenment on that score. Otherwise, these deaths were not preventable except from a very narrow point of view that doesn't reflect our wider reality.

And it isn't just the US.

When I went past the US consulate in Berlin on Monday, flags were flying on half-staff there too.
I had guessed it was because of Buffalo.

If you know how to "prevent" lethal human stupidity, we could all use some enlightenment on that score.

To some degree, that is already happening: at this point, covid deaths are disproportionately among the anti-vaxxers. Not all of them certainly, and protecting the vulnerable from the folly of others is a challenge. But the stupid are killing themselves off on this one. And, perhaps as important from an elections perspective, killing off the elderly among them, who are disproportionately political supporters (for other reasons) of their politicians.

Gun deaths, ditto. The deaths of those who are stupid/insane on this are much closer to proportionate, unfortunately, because it's so much easier for them to shoot up (deliberately or accidently) others. But the numbers I have seen on gun deaths suggest that the stupid kill themselves far more than the rest of us, simply because they have guns available to do it.

Now, if you want to know how the rest of us protect ourselves from them while they are killing themselves off, that's a harder job. Although we don't have to wait for them to finish the job . Just carry it along to the point where we can decisively out vote them.

Can we do that soon enough? On that, I am (as usual) optimistic. But far from certain.

What did we do before there was the internet?

What did we do before there was the internet?

a) we spent more time in libraries, looking stuff up.
b) we had much larger home libraries (physical books, of course), so we didn't need to go to a public library to do the lookup.
c) we cultivated networks of people who were good resources for facts on various subjects.
d) we more often decided we didn't care enough to spend the time required to dig out a particular factoid.

Speaking of rampant stupidity, this
Oklahoma lawmakers pass bill banning abortions after ‘fertilization’

The bill defines “fertilization” as the moment a sperm meets the egg. It explicitly allows for the use of the Plan B pill, a widely used form of emergency contraception often provided to rape victims, but would prohibit medicated abortions. The bill exempts from its definition of abortion any procedure to “save the life or preserve the health of the unborn child,” to “remove a dead unborn child caused by spontaneous abortion,” or to remove an ectopic pregnancy.

The bill makes exceptions for abortion if it is “necessary to save the life of a pregnant woman in a medical emergency” or if the pregnancy is the result of rape, sexual assault or incest that has been reported to law enforcement. [Emphasis added]

Can anyone explain to me the rationalization, IF the objection to abortion really is that it is murder, why there should by ANY exception (except, maybe, to save the life of the mother)? Are you less human if you are the result of rape or incest? Less human, presumably for the rest of your life. Shouldn't the law, on what rights you have, what you are allowed to do, etc., reflect that elsewhere?

Any time someone writes, or celebrates, one of these laws with exceptions, it's pretty much a certainty that either they haven't given the topic any real thought, or they are flat lying about their motivation.

Much the same question, from another source

Does this Red Faction have contempt for its elders, as indicated by who has taken the brunt of the casualties? Is this country prepared for any crisis requiring communal action?

There is another question that seems the most unexpected, at least to me. Since death rates for vaccinated people are fully 20 times lower than for the unvaccinated, what force, what faith, what ideology has led a large portion of the country to live so recklessly? We are dealing with a form of polarization that is stronger than self-preservation — a kind of populism that causes populists to die.

Are you less human if you are the result of rape or incest?

Unfortunately, many traditional conservatives would answer that question with 'yes'*. Children born out of wedlock ('bastards') also used to have less human or citizen/civil rights and conservatives fought tooth and nail to keep it that way. Those same people are anti-abortion of course. It's not just that they do not care about the child once it's born, they would go out of their way to make its life miserable by legal means. Many would also love to make bearing children out of wedlock illegal again. It's telling that a couple marrying only after a child is already born is still called 'legitimizing' the child.

*I have a great-aunt with that view, so it's not a hypothetical for me. She was livid when my older brother sired a child with his longterm girlfriend and future wife (and the pregnancy was not the reason for marriage. They were a committed couple for several years by that time).

For one blissful nanosecond, when I saw the title of this thread, I thought we were still talking about James Joyce. But no, and I fully understand the impulse.


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