Wednesday, April 29, 2020

COVID mortality less than the flu

According to the US CDC web site, 61,000 Americans died of the flu in the 2017-19 season (ie, 2 years ago). This year's total for COVID-19 is 55,258, as I write this. It might be more when you access the page.

You might also look for evidence that the lockdowns have done any good. You will not find it.

This SciAm article says that the CDC flu numbers are estimates. Okay, but it is also true that about 95% of the COVID-19 deaths have had other contributing causes. Hardly anyone has died from just the virus.

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Max Boot sides with the Commies

Max Boot pretends to be a conservative American, but he is not. He is a Russian Jew who primarily wants to destroy the Republican Party. In the past, has been mainly known for promoting Mideast wars. I have criticized him in the past, but I had no idea he hated my mom so much.

He writes in the Wash. Post:
In searching for the origins of our current madness, you can start by watching the historically accurate drama “Mrs. America” streaming on Hulu. It tells the story of the 1970s battle over the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) that pitted feminists such as Bella Abzug (Margo Martindale), Gloria Steinem (Rose Byrne) and Shirley Chisholm (Uzo Aduba) against a woman named Phyllis Schlafly who would become the godmother of modern conservatism. ...

Schlafly’s victory over the ERA, an innocuous constitutional amendment guaranteeing men and women equal treatment under the law, was highly improbable. ...

Now the wing nuts at last have the president they have always wanted. Before her death on Sept. 5, 2016, Schlafly endorsed Donald Trump’s presidential run as “the only hope to defeat the kingmakers.” Trump, in turn, spoke at her funeral service, calling her a “hero.”

Defeating Trump is essential to save not just the country but also the Republican Party.
He attacks Trump for endorsing research into medicines to disinfect coronavirus infections, and attacks Phyllis for supposedly being a member of an anti-Communist organization between 1959 and 1964.

Boot is probably not a Commie, but it sure is funny how Jews like him go so far out of their way to attack anyone who is pro-American or anti-Communist.

I don't usually play this guilt-by-association game, but this is all Boot does, as he tries to smear those he does not like. He associates with left-wing Jews who are anti-American at every opportunity. He pushes what is good for Jews, and calls everyone else a racist or some such slur.

Update: Googling Max Boot, I find that he does not feel like an American, and that he said, "I Would Sooner Vote for Josef Stalin Than I Would Vote for Donald Trump". He is also one of those Jews who hate Christians so much that they favor increasing Muslim immigration into Christian countries.

Monday, April 27, 2020

Experts refuse to consider data on low fatality rate

The Wuhan coronavirus lockdown orders have been based on lousy data, and now it turns out that the authorities don't want better data.

Now we are getting better data anyway, and the studies show that the virus is no more deadly than a bad influenza strain.

The NY Times reports:
A survey of New Yorkers last week found that one in five city residents carried antibodies to the new coronavirus ...

Few scientists ever imagined that these tests would become an instrument of public policy — and many are uncomfortable with the idea. ...

On Friday, the World Health Organization warned against relying on these tests for policy decisions. ...

(The W.H.O. on Saturday backed off an earlier assertion that people with antibodies may not be immune at all.) ...

The goal of most of these projects is to get a handle on the size and nature of the epidemic here, rather than to guide decisions about reopening the economy.
Got that? Scientific studies show that millions of people have gotten the virus without having to be hospitalized, that the fatality rate is far less than what we have been told, that it is no worse than the flu, and all the experts say that the new info should not guide public policy!

The lockdowns and the other public policies have been based on the claims that (1) the virus has a high fatality rate; and (2) the rate will be much higher if hospitals get overwhelmed and run out of ventilators.

We now know that these claims are not true. The fatality rate is similar to the flu. The hospitals are not getting overwhelmed. Some of them may even be bankrupted from a lack of patients. And the ventilators do more harm than good, and are not saving any lives.

And yet the NY Times tells us that all the experts say the scientific evidence on the low fatality rate should not be used to guide public policy.

This is like generals fighting a losing war and arguing that info about battlefield losses should not be used to influence war strategy decisions.

Our leaders have gone mad.

Of course the NY Times blames Pres. Trump on every page, such as this in today's paper:
Mr. Trump’s performance that evening, when he suggested that injections of disinfectants into the human body could help combat the coronavirus, did not sound like the work of a doctor, a genius, or a person with a good you-know-what.
Are they really this stupid? Trump was referring to an earlier statement by an expert talking injecting a medicine to disinfect the infection. That is what a disinfectant is. Yes, the word is also used for some common household cleaning products, but Trump was not referring to that. That should have been obvious to anyone with an IQ over 90.

Okay, maybe they just pretend to be stupid in order to score some anti-Trump political points. But why are they arguing that data on the spread of the disease should not be used to guide public policy?

They are either mad or evil.

Sunday, April 26, 2020

Bad is stronger than good

One of the most robust psychology findings is this:
Bad is stronger than good refers to the phenomenon that the psychological effects of bad things outweigh those of the good ones. Bad usually refers to situations that have unpleasant, negative, harmful, or undesirable outcomes for people, while good usually refers to situations that have pleasant, positive, beneficial, or desirable outcomes for people. Bad things have stronger effects than good things for virtually all dimensions of people’s lives, including their thoughts, their feelings, their behavior, and their relationships. Few topics in social psychology have approached the generality and validity of bad is stronger than good across such a broad range of human behavior.
For the technical details, see this paper.

Nearly all academic child-care experts advocates something called positive parenting. But is there any research to show that it gives better outcomes? Not really.

Good acts just don't make that much of an impression on a child. Kids from families with model positive parenting parents don't turn out much different from average parents who do not do anything unusual.

Sure, some bad acts are harmful, so an absence of bad acts is beneficial in that sense. Any benefit to positive parenting is probability entirely due to avoid certain bad acts.

The so-called bad acts are not necessarily harmful. For example, overcoming adversity can be character building. If you look at the lives of great men, many have overcome all sorts of adversities that would be considered bad acts. These bad acts were probably more influential than the good acts.

Saturday, April 25, 2020

Professor wants to abolish homeschooling

Daily Wire:
In a shocking essay for Harvard Magazine, a professor of law and director of Harvard Law School’s child advocacy legal clinic, claims homeschooling is a threat to children’s rights, a method of promoting white supremacy, and a drain on democratic society — and even goes so far as to suggest a national “presumptive ban” on the practice.
The paper is here.

Thursday, April 23, 2020

Much of popular genetic science is wrong

Jerry Coyne points out that a lot of popular writing on genetic science is wrong, such as this:
On page 221, Saini says, “The question of whether cognition, like skin colour or height, has a genetic basis is one of the most controversial in human biology.”
No, it is not controversial. It has been confirmed by 100s of studies.

Coyne explains the errors well, as well as the errors in those who say that race does not exist, or that there are no mental differences between men and women.

Update: Coyne has a technical correction. His main points remain.

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

The horror of the Invisible Enemy

The Jewish Forward writes:
When President Trump uses the phrase “invisible enemy” to describe the coronavirus, he is using the vocabulary of medieval libels against Jews. ...

There is no other way to say it; just like “America First,” the phrase “invisible enemy” has an ugly history that is now being revived and exploited at the kind of moment when such ugliness thrives—when everyone is scared for their lives and their basic survival. ...

“In 24 chapters, or protocols, allegedly minutes from meetings of Jewish leaders, the Protocols “describes” the “secret plans” of Jews to rule the world by manipulating the economy, controlling the media, and fostering religious conflict,” the US Holocaust Museum explains on its website.

Fortunately, the ratcheting-up of the “invisible enemy” rhetoric by the President has been met with a swift response by editorial writers and anti-Semitism watchers who recognize historical strains of hatred when they see it. The Anti-Defamation League’s deputy national director, Ken Jacobson, immediately responded to Trump’s language with a detailed editorial on the connection between the phrase “invisible enemy” and centuries of dangerous anti-Semitic rhetoric focused on this idea of “secrecy”: ...

And The Chicago Sun-Times ran a scathing piece with this eye-catching headline: “Donald Trump is the virus: His coronavirus response confirms how toxic he is for our nation.”
So Trump called the virus and invisible enemy, Trump supports America First, a newspaper called Trump a virus, Trump is not Jewish, and a Jewish magazine calls all this anti-Semitic.

I am just describing Jewish religious beliefs. Weird conspiracy theories, paranoia, accusations of persecution.

Friday, April 17, 2020

Checking predictions from 17 days ago

Fox News reported on a March 31 White House briefing:
The extension of the social distancing guidelines comes after Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and other public health officials on the White House coronavirus task force ominously warned that even if the U.S. were to continue to do what it was doing -- keeping the economy closed and most Americans in their homes -- the coronavirus could still leave 100,000 to 240,000 people in the United States dead and millions infected.

Without any measures in place to mitigate the contagion's spread, those projections jump to between 1.5 and 2.2 million deaths from COVID-19.
So we have been locked down for the last 17 days in order to reduce American deaths from 2 million to 200 thousand.

I don't believe it. I think that without any lockdown, the death total would be less than 100k. And I don't think the lockdown will have much long-term reduction in Wuhan virus deaths. (It might decrease deaths from traffic accidents, and increase deaths from suicide and economic damage.)

Experts are still predicting doomsday, as this MIT model suggests that we need to be locked down for another year.

As I see it, most people are going to be exposed to this virus eventually, no matter what is done, and it will be just another common cold to the vast majority of them.

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

The world has gone mad

ABC News reports that Coronavirus California: COVID-19 may have been spreading in Bay Area since late 2019.

Hydroxychloroquine may be a cure, but authorities are impeding its use. Ventilators may be doing more harm than good.

If you want the facts, I recommend this Swiss doctor summary. He documents what he says.

It is increasingly clear that the justifications for the lockdowns were bogus. The scare stories were wildly exaggerated, such as in this widely influential article. Contrary opinions such as this were censored. In the end, the mortality will probably be less than the flu season two years ago.

I didn't believe that so many otherwise-sensible people would go so crazy. Listening to Dr. Fauci is painful, as he regularly expresses opinions about things way outside of his expertise, and he has been often wrong about what is in his expertise.

Of course the experts will claim that things are not so bad because their policies have reduced the harm. But they have no evidence to back up what they say. There is available evidence, such as by comparing policies of different areas of the world. It appears to me that lockdowns have made things worse.

We would have been much better off if the authorities simply treated the Wuhan virus like a nasty cold virus. I think that it will be eventually proved to be less dangerous than influenza.

I could be wrong about that, but we shall soon see. And I am sure that our world has had a hysterical overreaction to a minor disease, and that the analyses leading to the lockdowns are bogus.

Monday, April 13, 2020

Biden finally gets full MeToo attack

After sitting on the story for several years, the NY Times finally reports:
Last year, Ms. Reade and seven other women came forward to accuse Mr. Biden of kissing, hugging or touching them in ways that made them feel uncomfortable.
I think these accusations are ridiculous. But there is video of Biden touching girls inappropriately in public events, so I don't think these accusations surprise anyone.
Of course, the NY Times blames it all on Trump:
President Trump has been accused of sexual assault and misconduct by more than a dozen women, who have described a pattern of behavior that went far beyond the accusations against Mr. Biden. The president also directed illegal payments, including $130,000 to a pornographic film actress, Stormy Daniels, before the 2016 election to silence women about alleged affairs with Mr. Trump, according to federal prosecutors.

Mr. Trump has even boasted about his mistreatment of women; in a 2005 recording, he described pushing himself on women and said he would “grab them by the pussy,” bragging that he could get away with “anything” because of his celebrity.
No, this is just partisan libel. Trump should file another libel lawsuit.

No, there is no accusation that Trump forced an employee against a wall and digitally penetrated her. Trump did not make any illegal payments. His lawyer Cohen made a plea deal on some crooked deals that had nothing to do with Trump, and promised to implicate Trump to prosecutors, but nothing came of it. There is nothing illegal about making a payment to settle a claim, whether the claim is true or false. Daniels was extorting money out of Cohen, but she does not claim anything like the accusation against Biden. That 2005 recording was a an out-take to a TV comedy act. Trump jokingly said that women let TV stars grab them by the pussy, but he never said he did that himself.

This business of taking down public figures with ancient and unverifiable sexual allegations has become the dirty practice of the NY Times, Democrats, and mentally-disturbed creeps like Ronan Farrow. Biden helped start this nonsense, and he was the one to let Anita Hill testify against Clarence Thomas with her bogus accusations. Biden deserves what he gets.

Again, I don't agree with any of this, and this accuser Reade is very unlikely to be telling the truth. But the NY Times has published about 1000 articles with false accusations against Trump, and it is about time they admit that there are charges against Biden also.

Saturday, April 11, 2020

The Plot Against America

I tuned into HBO TV, and was surprised to find a pro-Nazi TV show, called The Plot Against America. It is described as alternative history, where America goes fascist during World War II. Amazon Prime TV also has an alternative history series where America goes Nazi, called The Man in the High Castle.

I watched a couple of episodes, and I was surprised at how pro-Nazi it is. Charles Lindbergh is portrayed as a fascist/nazi, but he is the only one telling the truth about President FDR plotting to get America into war. There are many Jews on the show, but they are portrayed in a negative light. The most sensible ones support Lindbergh.

According to the terms of service of most social media today, hate speech is prohibited. Anything pro-Nazi is especially prohibited. But there is a big exception -- hate speech is allowed if it is part of a message that criticizes the hate speech.

So that is the formula for publishing hate speech today. Just couple it with criticism. The HBO show has an occasional comment indicating that this is a nightmare alternative history that we were lucky to avoid. Okay, but FDR really was dishonestly trying to get America into war, and Lindbergh really was a patriotic American.

Just consider: if HBO and Amazon were run by neo-Nazis who wanted to put out a pro-Nazi message, how would they do it? I cannot think of a better way than to broadcast these alternative history shows.

It is unlikely that they are really Nazis, because there aren't any Nazis alive today. You can find some web sites that superficially pro-Nazi, like the Daily Stormer, but they are also using Nazis as an attention-getting device. They do not have much in common with Nazi Germany. They do have political views, but their views are about issues today, like the Wuhan China virus, not Hitler.

Tuesday, April 07, 2020

Australian Catholic bishop exonerated

The is a world-wide plot to destroy the Catholic Church with bogus accusations that cannot be verified.

The NY Times reports:
MELBOURNE, Australia — Australia’s highest court on Tuesday overturned the sexual abuse conviction of Cardinal George Pell, the highest-ranking Roman Catholic leader ever found guilty in the church’s clergy pedophilia crisis.

Cardinal Pell, 78, who was the Vatican’s chief financial officer and an adviser to Pope Francis, was sentenced to six years in prison last March for molesting two 13-year-old boys after Sunday Mass in 1996.

He walked free on Tuesday after a panel of seven judges ruled that the jury ought to have entertained a doubt about his guilt. The judges cited “compounding improbabilities” to conclude that the verdicts on five counts reached in 2018 were “unreasonable or cannot be supported by the evidence.”
Apparently all seven supreme court judges were convinced that Pell was innocent.
His case had dragged on for years. His first trial ended with a hung jury; his second carried on with a heavy shroud of secrecy as suppression orders limited what could be reported or even scrutinized.

The testimony of the case’s most important witness, a former choirboy who had stepped forward with his claims in 2015, was never made public, not even in transcripts. Legal experts said that made it difficult for the public to comprehend the complexity of the case, as well as the High Court’s ultimate ruling.
This is so obviously bogus that no one should have taken it seriously. Secret testimony based on recovered memories of incidents that supposedly occurred 20 years earlier? Seriously? With no corroboration of anything the accuser said?

This is the only bishop to be convicted on criminal charges, and he was supposedly the best example of misbehavior in the Catholic Church. And the case against him turns out to be bogus. I am wondering if there is any merit to any of the sensationalized charges against the Catholic Church.

Monday, April 06, 2020

Hungary is for Hungarians

Quillette has a lot of good essay, but I am puzzled by this attack:
Nevertheless, they are birds of an authoritarian feather who pose growing threats to US security interests, and they should be treated as such by all Americans.

In response, the United States should create a coalition of allies to isolate Hungary diplomatically and condemn his autocratic rule. They should engage the Hungarian liberal opposition and increase public diplomacy with the Hungarian people through the US Agency for Global Media and its subsidiary organizations Voice of America and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. And, along with its European and non-European partners, the US should establish a clear red line to assure Orbán that any further moves against US interests will result in sanctions.
Okay, he had some authoritarian responses to the Wuhan virus, but so has America and most other countries.

The article's main complaint is that Orban has criticized George Soros, and a Jewish publication says it is anti-semitic to oppose what it calls "a wealthy Jewish financier". And also some Jews have some ideological complaints about plans to open a Holocaust museum.

The article compares Orban to a Moslem dictator, but of course he is nothing of the kind.
His most controversial maneuver, however, was the 2011 Fundamental Law, ..., and changed the name of the state from the Hungarian Republic to Hungary. This last amendment was the most controversial part of the new constitution.
So all I get out of this is a complaint that Orban is not taking orders from Jewish elites who want to turn Hungary into something else than a Hungarian nation.

Sunday, April 05, 2020

Toilet paper mystery solved

I finally figured out the toilet paper crisis. Apparently millions of Americans are secretly huge consumers of toilet paper. They use several rolls a week or more. It is so much that they are embarrassed to buy so much at the grocery store.

So they either shop at Costco, and buy 30-roll packages, or they steal toilet from the facilities at work. This has been one of the secrets to Costco's success, as toilet paper is their biggest selling item.

Once people saw the possibility of lockdown orders, their first thought was that they would no longer be able to steal toilet paper from work. They had to buy their own. So in a panic, they all rushed out to stock up with enough to supply their needs. Soon the grocery stores were sold out, and everyone else was in a toilet paper panic also.

The only way to solve this is to revise our unemployment insurance program. Those who were laid off can get cash benefits, but there are also many millions who are still getting paychecks, but not toilet paper. They desperately need toilet paper. No one will admit to this problem. We need the government to step up, and just deliver industrial toilet paper to everyone's home. This should be easy, because the shut-down businesses are not using any toilet paper, and would gladly release their excess supplies. There is plenty of toilet paper to meet the demand, but it is not being distributed well.

Update: The Freudians at the NY Times have another theory:
Which brings us back to the panic buying of toilet paper. Psychologists say it’s more than a little Freudian, what with the anal personality being tied to a need for order, hoarding and fear of contamination. “The characteristics align with obsessive compulsive tendencies, which get triggered when people feel threatened,” said Nick Haslam, a professor of psychology at the University of Melbourne in Australia and the author of “Psychology in the Bathroom.”
They say that toilet paper was only invented in 1891, and we don't really need it. This is a good illustration of the sort of backward thinking out of that paper.