No end of scoundrels

We’re plagued with idiots.

sullivanEmmett Sullivan. Judge Emmett Sullivan, from General Flynn Trial, Arranged Speaking Gig for James Comey at Howard University for $100,000. The confused judge who has unconstitutionally inserted himself into the Justice Department’s case against General Flynn made some actions behind the scene that are just as troubling. Judge Sullivan helped Jim Comey get his speaking gig at Howard University for $100,000.

bidenFrank Biden. After dodging creditors for decades, Joe Biden’s slimy grifting brother Frank Biden finally agreed to pay part of the $ 1 million he owes the family of a man killed in a car accident in 1999. Frank Biden was sitting in the passenger seat when he shifted the 290hp car into manual and told the driver to ‘punch it’ before hitting and killing Michael Albano in Cardiff, California. Biden allegedly told the driver to ‘keep driving’ and fled the scene of the accident. A passenger reportedly said everyone in the car was drinking. Frank Biden has made millions of dollars off of his family name and has a long history of securing contracts in Florida thanks to big brother.

cuomoAndrew Cuomo. How many months have we known about and been reporting on the Wuhan coronavirus nursing home deaths in New York and Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s March 25 order, requiring nursing homes to take patients who were positive for the virus into the nursing homes? Several months now. But now Cuomo is denying that it ever happened. Seriously.

torresLeah Torres. An abortion doctor from Alabama, Dr. Leah Torres,  had her medical license suspended by the Alabama Board of Medical Examiners on 27 August  for lying on her application. Two years ago Torres attracted huge attention after posting a now-deleted tweet, bragging about cutting a fetuses “cord” before they have an “opportunity” to scream.

Chirlane McCrayChirlane McCray. New York City is facing a serious budget crisis amid the coronavirus lockdowns. Trash pickups and city park maintenance are taking the hit and 22,000 city employees face losing their jobs. In response to this, Mayor Bill de Blasio and his wife — when not overseeing massive Black Lives Matter paintings in front of Trump Tower or trying to cancel 9/11 memorials — are keeping their personal expensive and bloated staff. McCray, the mayor’s wife, has a staff of 14 that cost city taxpayers $2 million per year. This includes a $70,000 videographer and a $117,000 speechwriter.

~ Zoonosis

 

Why the Kung Flu kills some, not others

genes

It’s a genetic luck of the draw. Here is some explanation:

Genetic or immune defects may impair ability to fight Covid-19.

Genetic or immune defects may impair ability to fight Covid-19. A significant proportion of patients who develop life-threatening forms of Covid-19 have genetic or immunological defects that impair their ability to fight the virus, research has found. The Covid Human Genetic Effort international consortium describes two glitches in severely ill Covid-19 patients that prevent them from making a frontline immune molecule called type 1 interferon. The patients would have carried these glitches for years before the pandemic, or in the case of the genetic errors, all their lives. The discovery may help to explain a mystery surrounding the coronavirus: why it leaves some sufferers sick or dying in intensive care, while others remain barely affected or asymptomatic.

Defects in early immune responses underlie some severe COVID-19 cases.

COVID-19 kills some people and leaves others relatively unscathed. But why? Age and underlying health conditions are risk factors, but scientists are trying to tease out other differences, including in people’s genes or immune systems, that may play a role. Two new studies show that flaws in the body’s early response to viral infection, one caused by genetic defects and one by traitorous immune responses, are behind some severe COVID-19 cases.

In one study, published online September 24 in Science, researchers identified certain genetic defects in some people with severe COVID-19 that make the body produce fewer interferons, proteins that are part of the immune system’s early warning system. In other people with severe disease, however, the body’s own immune responses disable interferons, a second study published online in Science the same day finds.

Covid-19 scientists flag key immune function as a turning point in life threatening cases.

Genetic analysis of Covid-19 patients published in the same journal revealed two dozen gene mutations that had been “silent” until patients were infected by SARS-CoV-2. Researchers — many of them also involved in the antibody study — sequenced the genomes of 659 patients with life-threatening cases of the disease; 3.5% carried genetic variations that inhibit interferon production.

Those genetic flaws were similar to the ones that Hoischen and his colleagues from a dozen Dutch centers described in the Journal of the American Medical Association two months ago. The two sets of brothers had inherited a gene mutation that impaired the interferon response, keeping their immune systems from fighting the coronavirus until it had replicated for days.

You don’t get to choose your parents.

~ Karamenderes

So is this the revolution?

History of RussiaHere’s what the Russian revolution was like, writes Gary Saul Morson, Professor of the Arts and Humanities at Northwestern University.

Between 1900 and 1917, waves of unprecedented terror struck Russia. Several parties professing incompatible ideologies competed (and cooperated) in causing havoc. Between 1905 and 1907, nearly 4,500 government officials and about as many private individuals were killed or injured. Between 1908 and 1910, authorities recorded 19,957 terrorist acts and revolutionary robberies, doubtless omitting many from remote areas. As the foremost historian of Russian terrorism, Anna Geifman, observes, “Robbery, extortion, and murder became more common than traffic accidents.”

Anyone wearing a uniform was a candidate for a bullet to the head or sulfuric acid to the face. Country estates were burnt down (“rural illuminations”) and businesses were extorted or blown up. Bombs were tossed at random into railroad carriages, restaurants, and theaters. Far from regretting the death and maiming of innocent bystanders, terrorists boasted of killing as many as possible, either because the victims were likely bourgeois or because any murder helped bring down the old order. A group of anarcho-­communists threw bombs laced with nails into a café bustling with two hundred customers in order “to see how the foul bourgeois will squirm in death agony.”’

riotsWhat’s going on today in the United States? Look at the headlines:

Back to Russia. How did educated, liberal society respond to such terrorism? Morson writes. What was the position of the Constitutional Democratic (Kadet) Party and its deputies in the Duma (the parliament set up in 1905)?

Though Kadets advocated democratic, constitutional procedures, and did not themselves engage in ­terrorism, they aided the terrorists in any way they could. Kadets collected money for terrorists, turned their homes into safe houses, and called for total amnesty for arrested terrorists who pledged to continue the mayhem. Kadet Party central committee member N. N. Shchepkin declared that the party did not regard terrorists as criminals at all, but as saints and martyrs. The official Kadet paper, Herald of the Party of People’s Freedom, never published an article condemning political assassination. The party leader, Paul Milyukov, declared that “all means are now legitimate . . . and all means should be tried.” When asked to condemn terrorism, another liberal leader in the Duma, Ivan Petrunkevich, famously replied: “Condemn terror? That would be the moral death of the party!”

How are our elites responding to the violence in our streets?

Morson conludes: In Russia, Stalin proclaimed “the intensification of the class struggle” after the Revolution, entailing an unending series of arrests, executions, and sentences to the Gulag. What meets no resistance does not stop.

~ Palouse

How to get a steam of accurate news

newsI wrote a while back about some alternate sources for The Drudge Report, which has gone over to the dark side.

Here I’ll show you how to set up a stream of news into your inbox every day. These are good sources, and all offer a daily email newslettter. Recognize that the journalism we knew over the past decades is dead. Just accept that and create your own new journalism.

The Epoch Times. This excellent newspaper offers several email newsletters. You can get politics, of course, but also health and other news.

Breitbart. An old standby.

PJ Media. Lots of newsletters available here.

Disrn. Stands for “discern” — get it? The site was created by Babylon Bee founder Adam Ford, who does solid work tracking (and sometimes lampooning) the happenings within Reformed Christendom. It offers several newsletters.

The First. This new venture is actually a TV provider, but it offers two emails, both of which I get. One is news, the other about journalism. The First has information on a number of topics, including faith and preparedness.

Not the Bee. This is, as it sounds related to the satirical site The Bee, except it’s not satirical. Its content is slight off center, however. It’s also related to Disrn above. You can pay $89 a month for a premium subscription to this and The Bee. I don’t.

You should also get something other than politcal news. Here are two science and health sites with newsletters: LiveScience and ScienceNews. For purely medical news, try WebMD.

~ Pactolus

 

 

How to Be the Two-Billionth Most Important Person Who Ever Lived

stoneVinay Prasad, MD, hematologist-oncologist and associate professor of medicine at the University of California San Francisco, offers advice on work/life balance.

1. Your value as a person is not linked to your career. Promotions and accolades don’t make you a better partner, child, parent, or friend, and in the end, these matter most.

2. Things you don’t want to do matter less than you think. There are undoubtedly things you do not want to do, but feel obliged to. Often, a senior person asked you to do something that makes you cringe, and you feel you can’t say no. The truth is you can. People will forget faster than you imagine because others do not think about you as much as you believe they do (the universal truth of life).

3. Extra money is rarely worth it. Of course, the entire reason to work is to make money. If I had enough, I would be on the island of Maui. There may, occasionally, be opportunities to make a little extra. Stay late or cover the weekend, and pick up a few extra bucks. A small honorarium to participate in a Saturday event. Money to take an extra overnight shift. These are almost never “worth it” in the long run. They rob you of downtime, and the additional money is usually not enough to change anything about your life. You may pay back your loans 0.00001% faster, or have 0.00001% more in your bank account when you die.

4. It’s OK to make a career change. If you are deeply unhappy and frustrated at work, the right answer may be to do something else with your life. It is OK to say: this isn’t for me. I am going to change. It is OK to quit — ideally in a blaze of glory — and do something else. The more we stigmatize making life changes, the more we let people sit in situations where they are unhappy.

5. If it is truly important, they will email twice. Don’t get me wrong. I aspire to be polite and punctual and responsive by email, but the truth is, inevitably, we all fall short. Don’t beat yourself up. If it is really important, the sender will email twice. And, if not, well, the earth still revolves around the sun.

6. Most things will happen without you. It is hard to hear the bitter truth that 99.99999% of us are replaceable at work, but none of us are replaceable at home.

7. If you achieve everything you want you will be the 2,245,234,235th most important person who lived; if you fail at everything you will be the 2,245,234,236th most important. Sometimes, it is valuable to view the world from the vantage of all of human history. There are few great people, whom I define as those who changed the course of civilization, for better or worse. Think about your place in the history of the world. Most of us are not leading the Roman Empire, or contributing to its fall. If all the world’s a stage, we aren’t just players, we are bit players.

8. Don’t compare yourself to your peers. No one took your opportunity. Recently, I was speaking to a college-bound senior. He lamented that he did not get into his top-rank school, and noted that a classmate was selected. “He took my spot,” he mused. The comment is practically unhelpful because time spent thinking of yourself as a victim is time that could be used for productively living your life.

9. When you love what you do, it isn’t work. The opposite of being willing to decline some things you don’t want to do is to acknowledge the sheer pleasure it is to be paid to do some of the things that you do. In the course of human civilization, it is a rare pleasure to wed doing something that you might otherwise do anyway with earning a living for doing it. Thinking about this, and trying to maximize it in your life, may help achieve the elusive balance.

10. Spend less time wanting to be known, and more time having something to say. Like a watched pot, aspiring to be respected is the surest way to never achieve it. Improve yourself internally. Figure out what you have to say. What you believe in. Read more, talk less. If and when you have something to say, say it, and if it doesn’t come, then relax. Authenticity can be spotted from an airplane. We all want to escape the person who aspires to be known, but we can’t get enough of people who have something to say.

~ Seppuku

The Observers: America can’t breathe

Opinions of those whose opinions matter.

throwLet’s Hold On to the Throwaway Society. Now that their reusable tote bags are taboo at grocery stores and Starbucks is refusing to refill their ceramic mugs, they’ve had to face some unpleasant realities. Disposable products aren’t merely more convenient than the alternative; they’re also safer, particularly during a pandemic but also at any other time. And they have other virtues: the throwaway society is healthier, cleaner, more economical, less wasteful, less environmentally damaging—and yes, more “sustainable” than the green vision of utopia.

America Can’t Breathe. Mobs stalk the streets of American cities loudly bellowing, “We can’t breathe!” Sometimes they shoot or stab someone who then actually can’t breathe. Or they set a building on fire and anyone breathing in the smoke quickly discovers what it’s like to really be unable to breathe. When you actually can’t breathe, you can’t shout and you can’t tell anyone. The people who actually can’t breathe or speak are the victims of the ones shouting that they can’t breathe.

Ginsburg flap shows Supreme Court, justices are too important. When your political system can be thrown into hysteria by something as predictable as the death of an octogenarian with advanced cancer, there’s something wrong with your political system. And when your judicial system can be redirected by such an event, there’s something wrong with your judicial system, too.

journalismHow American Journalism Died. The news as we once understood it is dead. It has been replaced by the un-news: a political narrative created by partisans who believe the noble ends of destroying Trump justify any biased means necessary — including destroying their own reputation and craft.

Do Goblins Go To Hell? Ginsberg was the example of everything that has gone wrong with America. Her tenure as a justice was defined by her doctrinaire screeds against ordered liberty. The only reason she was on the court was due to the unwritten rule that at least four justices must be Progressive fanatics, preferably Jewish ones. Her career on the lower court made clear that she would always follow orders from the Left. She did not write a single opinion that was not known in advance.

Reality has been Cancelled. These days, if you go to university you’ll encounter radical scepticism about whether objective knowledge or truth is obtainable, along with a commitment to the notion that real things — like sex and race — are culturally constructed. Your lecturers will impress upon you the idea that society is formed into identity-based hierarchies and knowledge is an effect of power. Your position on a league-table of oppressed identities determine what can be known and how it is known. If you disagree you will at least be marked down, and sometimes formally disciplined.

Kallikrein

The Reporters: Masks, Booze, Generals

A closer look at the passing parade.

falling manThe Falling Man. Do you remember this photograph? In the United States, people have taken pains to banish it from the record of September 11, 2001. The story behind it, though, and the search for the man pictured in it, are our most intimate connection to the horror of that day.

Unmasked. Here’s the problem with “the science” about masks: the media cited studies are built on a foundation of sand. They are based on computer models, anecdotal stories, theoretical mechanistic (non-biological) analysis, or hypothetical contra factual scenarios. There are a number of studies in the literature from the pre-Covid era regarding real world mask effectiveness at limiting contagions. In short none of them demonstrated any statistically significant diminishment in real world viral spread.

There is something very wrong with some in the top ranks of America’s military. It began to be clear last October that the Obama administration had seeded the Pentagon with leftist generals whose allegiance was to the Deep State, to cultural leftism, and to the infamous and profitable “military industrial complex” that Eisenhower warned about in 1961.  In only five years, Obama had conducted a major Pentagon purge, firing almost 200 senior officers who held the old-fashioned belief that the military exists to protect America and should not be a social justice institution with limited firepower.

The NFL’s Ratings Are Falling Even As They Are Renegotiating Their TV Deals. The ratings from NBC’s Sunday night game fell 16.1% from the ratings of the first 2019 Sunday game (and that game’s ratings had fallen from the year before, too). Now the ratings for the Monday night games falls 17.2%.

brainEven moderate drinking proves to have damaging effects on the brain — study. However, the liver isn’t the only organ that can be damaged by drinking – the brain can be damaged, too. Drinking over the current UK low-risk guidelines is associated with an increased risk of dementia. And a recent study, published in Scientific Reports, found that even moderate drinking is associated with decreased brain volume.

The Secret Life of Joe Biden. Biden isn’t always reliving memories of his own life. And I don’t mean his political life, which is filled with momentous but imaginary accomplishments. I mean that he has a habit of engaging in Walter Mitty-like episodes of delusion that he retells with great élan and specificity. During one congressional hearing, Biden told a civil-rights activist that “Joe Biden was a lawyer who did work for the black community, represented the Black Panthers at the time they were burning down my city.” Joe Biden did neither of these things.

Your Definitive Guide to Understanding Polling (and Why Most Polls Are Garbage). When reviewing polls in 2016, I came across bad poll after bad poll as a result of oversampling problems as well as push-poll lines of questions or questions that are framed in a way to influence the way someone answers. For instance, if a polling firm asked a question “Do you agree with Joe Biden’s call for all Americans to unite?”, it doesn’t leave any room for someone saying they disagree with the premise of the question, that is, Joe Biden even having that ability in the first place.

~ Excursus

The non-woke gentleman from North Carolina

“One of the finest speeches you will hear in this or any other year.” ~ Gerard Van der Leun

robinson
This dude is going places.

You could do worse than check in on The American Digest every morning to see what Gerard Van der Leun has come up with.

Today I found a speech by one Mark Robinson, a candidate for lieutenant governor in North Carolina. He grew up in an impoverished house as the 9th of 10 children abd experienced alcoholism and domestic abuse first hand.

I prefer the written word to videos, but a text doesn’t do justice to oratory if it’s real oratory. And Mark Robinson does real, old-school oratory.

What’s really interesing, however, is that he’s black, but his audience appears to be mostly white, and they are cheering like crazy. His message is explicitly evangelical Christian, and I contend that nothing can bring the races together like a share Christian faith.

He speaks about the black experience, and he is decidely not woke. Enjoy:

~ Toxophily

The Donald’s just solving problems

chess

We can not solve our problems with the same level of thinking that created them”
~ Albert Einstein

You don’t become a multi-billionnaire building buildings if you can’t solve problems. Exactly how The Donald approaches problems, I don’t know. I do know he looks at them differently than politicians do. Thomas Sowell explains:

“No one will really understand politics until they understand that politicians are not trying to solve our problems. They are trying to solve their own problems — of which getting elected and re-elected are No. 1 and No. 2. Whatever is No. 3 is far behind”.   

Today, for example, he is hosting leaders from the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Israel to sign accords that would establish normal diplomatic relations between the countries. 

How many other presidents did that?

This week Trump also signed four executive orders aimed at lowering the high cost of prescription drugs in the United States.

How many other preidents did that?

“The Democratic convention, you’re going to see a lot of politicians who have been doing this for a long time, complaining about problems that quite frankly they haven’t solved so you’ll hear a lot of complaints,” Jared Kushner, senior adviser to President Trump, said. “But what you’ll hear about during President Trump’s convention is a lot of the successes that he’s had,” Kushner added. “He’s a results president. He’s a businessman president.”

There you go.

The list of the problems he has solved is astonishing. Give that list a skim.

You won’t know this because of the unrelenting anti-Trump bias in the media. Search for “Trump problem solving” and you’ll get headlines like these:

  • Donald Trump’s Abysmal Problem-Solving Skills
  • Analysis: President Trump creates problems and then rushes in to solve them.
  • Trump Seems To Think TV Can Solve His Coronavirus Failures
  • How do you solve a problem like Donald Trump?

Back in 2013, in Des Moines, Iowa, Trump said. “We have a country that’s going to hell, and you know, I know the reasons why. I know how to fix them. A lot of people don’t. And I watch politicians, and you know, very rarely would you find anybody that would know how to fix it.”

~ Kallikrein

GoldbergGate: The art of the big lie

troops

The accustaion by The Atlantic that President Trump disparaged World War I troops is, on its face, a lie. It’s well known that Trump has initiated significant improvements for our soliders and that he is quite fond of those who serve.

So why would editor in chief Jeffrey Goldberg engage in such an obvious fabrication?

Perhaps he was persuaded by, and then perpetrated, The Big Lie. Adolph Hitler explained:

All this was inspired by the principle—which is quite true within itself—that in the big lie there is always a certain force of credibility; because the broad masses of a nation are always more easily corrupted in the deeper strata of their emotional nature than consciously or voluntarily; and thus in the primitive simplicity of their minds they more readily fall victims to the big lie than the small lie, since they themselves often tell small lies in little matters but would be ashamed to resort to large-scale falsehoods.

It would never come into their heads to fabricate colossal untruths, and they would not believe that others could have the impudence to distort the truth so infamously. Even though the facts which prove this to be so may be brought clearly to their minds, they will still doubt and waver and will continue to think that there may be some other explanation. For the grossly impudent lie always leaves traces behind it, even after it has been nailed down, a fact which is known to all expert liars in this world and to all who conspire together in the art of lying.

And, you know, Trump is just so bad, so bad, that it must be true. It may be fake, but it’s true. Guess who jumps to Goldberg’s defense? None other than Famed Fabricator Dan Rather. “Whether he said it or not, it is believable,” Rather said. Of course Danny once said, “I think that you can be an honest person and lie about any number of things.” Danny destroyed his career with a Big Lie.

Goldberg must be delighted that Dan Rather has now come out publicly to support him.

Goldberg is definitely pleasing the owner of his magazine, Laurene Powell Jobs, who has donated more than $1.2 million to nearly 70 Democrat politicians since 2019.

And this isn’t Goldberg’ s first foray into anonymous Trump bashing. Consider these recent articles:

It goes on.

The blowback was so fierce that writer David Frum undertook to support his boss with a piece affectionately entitled , “Everyone Knows It’s True.”

Sure we do, David. Thanks.

Dan Rather’s self-immolation came to be known as Rathergate. Perhaps what we’re witnessing now will come to be known as GoldbergGate.

~ Brady Kinin