We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Our Recent Essays Behind the Front Page
Saturday, February 4. 2023
OPERA, OPERETTA, OR MUSICAL?
Got to get to NYC this weekend. I do not ski anymore.
The First Ordinary Woman in English Literature - The life and legacy of the Wife of Bath.
The Crack-Up - How individual and civilisational identities collapse.
"The American Medical Association put out a 54-page guide on language as a way to address social problems — oops, it suggests instead using the 'equity-focused' term 'social injustice.'"
Like the ABA: The slow march through the institutions
Biden Admin Moves to Ban Gas Stoves. Again. “This approach by DOE could effectively ban gas appliances”
France Hit By Strikes, Protests Amid Outrage At Hiking Retirement Age To 64
What does "retirement age" mean? Are we not made to work?
I do not understand this "We have always been at war with Eastasia" thing. Of course they want to be important, like the US. Power games.
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Are there any institutions that have any credibility left at all or have all of them fallen victim to Pournelle's Iron Law of Bureaucracy? Why should the AMA be any different than any other group of rent-seekers?
Jerryskids: Are there any institutions that have any credibility left at all or have all of them fallen victim to Pournelle's Iron Law of Bureaucracy?
Pournelle's Iron Law purportedly applies to all bureaucracies. However, there are countervailing influences. Government bureaucracies often have to respond overseeing powers. Democracies, in particular, have an accountability and renewal process due to having to respond to the electorate.
The American Medical Association is a private bureaucracy, but it still has to respond to its membership. The bureaucracy can only go so far before its membership is riled up enough to cast them out.
There is a great deal of inertia, though. So, Pournelle's Iron Law is more of a strong tendency or force that can take a significant effort to overcome.
I think that many practicing doctors are going to the AAPS. I get their literature and even support most of their lobby efforts to remain independent of the government medical bureaucracy.
indyjonesouthere: I think that many practicing doctors are going to the AAPS.
That is certainly one check on private bureaucratic organizations. However, the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS) only has 5,000 members compared to 272,000 members in the American Medical Association (AMA).
You should be made aware that the American Medical Association does not represent doctors at large. I have been a physician for almost forty years and not only l have I never been a member of the AMA, I've never met a physician that is a member. It's membership is small but somehow it has gotten the image that it represents American physicians rit large. Long ago it veered left and away from the views of most physicians.
Greg Andreassian, MD: I have been a physician for almost forty years and not only l have I never been a member of the AMA, I've never met a physician that is a member.
About one in four physicians belong to the AMA making it the largest trade association of physicians. They also publish the high-impact medical journal, Journal of the American Medical Association.
Greg Andreassian, MD: Long ago it veered left and away from the views of most physicians.
AMA political contributions generally lean right.
I enjoyed the Canterbury tales. First read them in the 8th grade almost by accident. Our 8th grade teacher spent the entire year on Shakespeare which I also enjoyed. But she one day compared Shakespeare to Chaucer and she read part of the Canterbury tales and it was intriguing. I think it was their subdued and odd humor.
Why conflict with China? . . . In today’s Wall Street Journal Robert Kagan argues, persuasively, that China ought not to underestimate American resolve. It also ought not to overestimate America’s decadence.
That was the question of the early twentieth century. Fascists bet that democracies could not unite to stop aggression, but would quibble and debauch themselves to death. But then, FDR led America to thread the needle between the extremes of the political left and right, while still marshaling resources to sustain the people during the Great Depression and, thereby, creating a great reservoir of trust. When war became inevitable, the American people and the West rallied behind the effort to defeat fascism.
Kagan assumes that history will repeat itself and that America will not rise to the challenge of an ascending China. He might be right. He might be wrong. Surely, the leaders of China are as well aware of the possibility as anyone else.
They certainly are aware of American history. Everyone in the Imperial Period of classical antiquity knew who the Emperor was in Rome. However, people see everything through the prism of their own experience.
You might ask how America is responding to the challenge of Chinese scientific and industrial prowess. Apparently, the answer is-- with more diversity. And with trash talk about how China is bad. Evidently, this was not what happened in the world wars.
Actually, that is much how America acted during the interwar period, though the conflict was more about class than race, more about socialism and capitalism.
a revived China should have at least an equal say in setting the norms and rules of international life.
If you believe in a world where everyone has a say in its future, then China should certainly have a big part to play.
If time is on your side you do not need to press your case.
True. However, countries often miscalculate or respond to internal forces in what would seem to be irrational acts. China, though, has experienced uncontrolled outbreaks of violence, so has acted cautiously to build its power and influence.
Perhaps China is convinced that its way of doing things, its authoritarian capitalism, will eventually win out over the decadent west.
Authoritarianism is self-limiting. While authoritarianism can work with early industrialization, innovation in the modern era requires an open society.
He believes that the sleeping giant of America will be roused, as it was in the world wars, and will smite the enemy.
Smite? Probably not. The center of power is shifting. America can still lead as the first among equals, but it can't and shouldn't act as hegemon or provoke an unnecessary and destructive war. Nor should China.
"France Hit By Strikes, Protests Amid Outrage At Hiking Retirement Age To 64"
Very French. Some years ago, the French government brought in a 35-hour work week for the civil service. A French Army officer I worked with in the Balkans told me a joke making the rounds of the barracks:
Q: "Why are all the civil servants so upset about the 35-hour work week?"
A: "They don't think it's fair that they'll have to work for an extra five hours a week."
It is time for the government, the scientific community and the MSM to admit that they were wrong about Covid and the vaccine and that those decisions they made and the mandates cost lives.
Anon: It is time for the government, the scientific community and the MSM to admit that they were wrong about Covid and the vaccine and that those decisions they made and the mandates cost lives.
Of course they were wrong about some things: It was a novel coronavirus. However, the fundamentals were right; that the pandemic had the potential to kill hundreds of thousands of Americans, and that rapid deployment of a vaccine could save thousands of lives.
Meanwhile, some Americans continue to try and tear down their scientific infrastructure, even as H5N1 influenza virus is spilling over into mammals (including mink).
The increases found are from 2021, compared to the five year average from 2016 to 2020.
Myocardial infarction: 269% increase
Miscarriages: 300% increase
Bell’s palsy: 291% increase
Congenital malformations: 156% increase
Female infertility: 471% increase
Pulmonary embolisms: 467% increase
Neurologic abnormalities: 300% increase
Cancers: 300% increase
As of now, the CDC has not explained this data.
"the pandemic had the potential to kill hundreds of thousands of Americans"
And it did kill hundreds of thousands of Americans. There is no evidence that the lockdowns, the mask mandates or the vaccine prevented any of those deaths or hospitalizations.
There is considerable evidence that Ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine would have saved lives but the hate for Trump caused the "science" to be perverted for political purposes and as you point out hundreds of thousands of Americans died.
Arguably the harm caused by our government in response to covid was intentionally harmful and the scale of harm was probably worse than slavery was. More deaths, more lives ruined, more economic suffering.
Our leaders and experts screwed up spectacularly. The Democrats used and abused their power to steal an election give billions to supporters and friends, destroyed the economy and they did this knowing it would cause hundreds of thousands of deaths. They all have blood on their hands and should be tried in a court of law for murder.
JustMe: There is no evidence that the lockdowns, the mask mandates or the vaccine prevented any of those deaths or hospitalizations.
Multiple empirical studies show that the probability of hospitalization or death from COVID is significantly reduced by vaccination. For each 200-300 doses one life was saved in the first year the vaccine was available.
JustMe: There is considerable evidence that Ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine would have saved lives
Blind, randomized trials show no beneficial effect on COVID for either of those drugs.
These experimental "vaccines" are likely going to end up killing and/or disabling more people than the virus itself. The authorities seem to be scrambling to hide as much information as possible while simultaneously playing CYA. Nobody knows the long term effects, but between excess mortality and the impact on women's reproductive health starting to emerge, the mRNA gene treatment is likely going to be judged a flaming crime against humanity.
And nobody can trust anything being said about ivermection or HCQ, given the enormous financial pressures to install and maintain the EUAs. But the experience of nations such as India and continents like Africa indicate they are highly effective.
ruralcounsel: These experimental "vaccines" are likely going to end up killing and/or disabling more people than the virus itself.
The evidence is that the COVID vaccine saved hundreds of thousands of lives, and side effects are rare. There is no reason to suppose that mRNA technology will cause more side effects than other vaccines, and side effects are almost certainly much less likely than actual infection which involves the same spike protein that the mRNA produces.
ruralcounsel: And nobody can trust anything being said about ivermection or HCQ
Blind, random trials are the best way to determine efficacy. Such trials find no evidence that those drugs are effective in the treatment of COVID.
Two Years of U.S. COVID-19 Vaccines Have Prevented Millions of Hospitalizations and Deaths. Also, see Watson et al., Global impact of the first year of COVID-19 vaccination, The Lancet 2022.
See Naggie et al., Effect of Ivermectin vs Placebo on Time to Sustained Recovery in Outpatients With Mild to Moderate COVID-19, Journal of the American Medical Association 2022. See Avezum et al., Hydroxychloroquine versus placebo in the treatment of non-hospitalised patients with COVID-19 (COPE – Coalition V): A double-blind, multicentre, randomised, controlled trial, The Lancet 2022.
The news is that Cracker Barrel has a code word for when black people enter their place of business. Obviously the story was intended to smear Cracker Barrel in conjunction with black history month, year, decade, whatever. But I suspect this is another faked racism claim. Or a few dummies in one Cracker Barrel who made a really dumb joke.
But lets assume you own a restaurant and have also watched the youtube and twitter videos of a couple thousands examples of black people destroying a restaurant or beating up a waitress or other customer for no reason or really dumb reasons. Maybe you should have a code word for when black people enter your place of business. You know, just in case they throw chairs or take out a gun and shoot people. Or maybe they are just there to rob you and maybe pistol whip you for awhile. What are the odds?
Code words. Meh.