Category Archives: Reason

UPDATED (7/5): ‘Systemic Racism’ Or Systemic Rubbish? The Latter!

Argument, Logic, Political Philosophy, Race, Racism, Reason

A media person made a ponderous comment on Twitter about the tiff between Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan, who “transmitted a letter to the City Council, urging members to take action against Councilwoman Sawant.”

In response, I summed up the empty fracas, paraphrasing “The Barbarians Are In Charge: Scenes From The Sacking of America“:

The Sawant and Durkan dynamic gives new meaning to the ‘broad’ sweep of ideas in Seattle: A socialist calls on a progressive to resign over abuse of power (what power?) and systemic racism (a meaningless abstraction), while the city is sacked.

William Barnes replied on twitter to the “systemic racism” (meaningless abstraction) refrain: “This is an important point. If someone tells you racism is systemic, they should be able to provide specifics.”

Indeed, operationalize the nebulous variable of “systemic racism,” or get out of my face. Until you have methodologically and statistically operationalized the abstraction that is “racism”—it remains is nothing but a thought crime. And even when you have, thought crimes are nobody’s business in free societies.

UPDATE (7/5):

On CNN, comedian DL Hughley had compared the THOUGHT CRIME of racism to the BODILY ASSAULT that is COVID19. Illogical. He says that whitey can be an asymptomatic carrier of racism. Just because you haven’t done anything racist, ventured Hughley, it doesn’t mean you AIN’T RACIST. It’s ironic that the nebulous abstraction that is “systemic racism” comes out of the West (postmodernism). After all, such “thinking” flouts Western law and logic.

‘Mercy For Animals’ Contaminates Worthy Message With The Illogic Of Racial Politics

Argument, COVID-19, Environmentalism & Animal Rights, Free Speech, Logic, Political Philosophy, Politics, Propaganda, Race, Racism, Reason

All good people would intuitively support “Mercy For Animals,” if the organization refrained from veering into racial politics. Such fuzzy, imprecise thinking, as expressed in this fortune-cookie quality notice above, will only serve to weaken the appeal of the worthy causes of “Mercy For Animals.”

In connecting the cause of animals with the “Black Lives Matter” production, “Mercy For Animals” has ridiculously and irrationally conflated unrelated issues. It’s akin to the epidemiologist who suddenly starts rabbiting about racism as a pandemic.

Racism is generally a thought crime—the crime of thinking politically impure thoughts.

COVID-19, the pandemic, is the spread of a physical, contagious disease that affects the body.

Logically, never the twain shall meet.

Aside from spouting irrational stupidity, such “medics” have crossed over into politics—policing thoughts, in particular—and should forthwith, as a result, lose all medical credibility.

Likewise, “Mercy for Animals” should stick to their needy charges: abused and misused animals.

Told You So About Testing: Now, Italian Experts Are Getting Testy, Too

Argument, Critique, Europe, Healthcare, Intelligence, Reason

Today, April 17, Dr. Anthony Fauci finally explained what I EXPLAINED on April 9, a week ago, in the column, “Kung Flu Is A Killer, All Right, But So Are The Bureaucrats“:

“… COVID testing [is not] an amulet against the dreaded disease. It isn’t. All testing does is give an individual a snapshot in time of his COVID status. As soon as he drives out of the testing facility, a COVID-free person could become infected. Unless they engage in prevention, a single testing in time doesn’t in any way give individuals a clean bill of health.
Prevention protects people.”

Testing is, however—at this stage of spread—helpful in giving medical researchers a grip on the symptomless-sick phenomenon, as well as an idea of how the disease is disseminated and distributed in the population.

Test and keep testing large enough representative samples, and you’ll get good prevalence data.

Maybe Anthony Fauci got a whiff of what his Italian colleagues in Lombardy were saying, for they preceded his belated, simple, overdue insight about the limits of testing:

“… some doctors at the Italian epicentre of the health crisis doubt that testing is their way out of confinement.”

It is a nonsense,” Milan’s Polytechnic Institute professor Davide Manca said. “Conceptually, I am sceptical.”

The reason for Manca’s scepticism is plain to see in the math.

Milan’s Lombardy region has 10 million people and 11,142 officially registered COVID-19 deaths.
The economically strong area, the size of Belgium, has been under one of the world’s strictest lockdowns since early March.

Yet Lombardy has been conducting just 6,500 tests daily over the past 10 days.

Manca estimates it would take more than five years for everyone in Lombardy to get tested just once.
And you need people tested every 15 days for it to have any meaning,” Manca said in a phone interview. [My point here exactly.]”

“Even if you raise that number 10 times, that would still take 200 days for one test. That’s six or seven months.”

“Manca said he still did not understand how the end of confinement would work.”

“Herd immunity is very difficult to achieve with COVID,” the professor said.

“You need 90-95 percent (of the population) to have COVID for immunity. That number is too high to reach.”

More candidly, in Italy, they are not talking dishonestly about “opening up the country.” They are talking about “coexisting with the coronavirus.”

Well, yours truly beat the good doctors to it on April 9, with “Kung Flu Is A Killer, All Right, But So Are The Bureaucrats.

However, these medical heroes were busy saving lives. Bless them.

* Photo by Miguel MEDINA / AFP

NEW COLUMN (UPDATED): Unmasking Statist, Socialist Propaganda About ‘Face Masks’

Argument, Capitalism, Democrats, Economy, Free Markets, Healthcare, Ilana Mercer, Political Economy, Propaganda, Reason, Regulation, Socialism, The State

NEW COLUMN is “Unmasking Statist, Socialist Propaganda About ‘Face Masks’. For fans of the site, it’s on Townhall.com, now, but also on WND.COM and The Unz Review, too.

As Townhall.com reader “defendingfreedom” exclaims, “What an excellent article! Interesting information about N95 masks and even better perspective about capitalism vs socialism.”

An excerpt:

Some clear thinking is required to counter incessant, statist propaganda against the use of N-95 filtering facepiece respirators, to protect against the spread of the novel coronavirus.

The message has been seconded at every turn by the Center for Disease Control, a cumbersome bureaucracy, which tightly controls both testing capacity and criteria. Such centralization is everywhere and always detrimental to the screening and segregating of the infected, and, ultimately, to disease containment.

The State and the agents of America’s highly centralized healthcare system categorically don’t want the citizen to purchase “face masks.” The surgeon general is already “warning Americans” to stop exercising their sovereignty as consumers and quit buying face masks.

Hence the incessant, near-neurotic discrediting of N-95 respirators, which, by previous CDC accounts, can be protective.

Before the outbreak of COVID-19, on its website, the CDC had asks and answered the following question:

“What makes N-95 respirators different from facemasks sometimes called surgical masks?:
“… N-95 respirators are tight-fitting respirators that filter out at least 95% of particles in the air, including large and small particles. … These respirators filter out at least 95% of very small (0.3 micron) particles. … including bacteria and viruses. … [thus reducing] the wearer’s exposure to airborne particles, from small particle aerosols to large droplets.”

By logical extension, properly made and fitted, the N-95 respirator is better than nothing and may certainly be protective. Here’s why:

While the coronavirus is indeed minuscule, smaller than 0.3 microns (likely between 0.1 and 0.2 microns), COVID-19 is delivered in a larger medium of bodily fluids or spray.

Certainly, some barrier to the spittle in which the coronavirus is dispersed is better than none.

No surprise then, that world health authorities can’t seem to get their story straight on masks. At times, they concede “that N-95 face masks are protective.” More frequently, they scratch the proverbial proboscis (ostensibly a sign of lying) and say “No, of course, they’re ineffective.” In other words, “they work for me, the healthcare worker, but not for thee.”

For honesty’s sake, the country’s health-care functionaries might appeal to consumers on the ground of dire shortages. But on the basis that no protection is better than some protection? Please!

In a free society in which the market for goods and services is free, the citizen, not a central planner, decides what purchase is in his best interest.

So, one must be especially stupid to allow a socialist like Bernie Sanders anywhere near the free market, in general, and that for surgical masks, respirators and other pandemic prophylactics, in particular.

Trust me: If the country’s health-care overlords could, they would prohibit people who want to wear N-95 respirators, during the COVID-19 pandemic, from purchasing these.

In their universe, masks are a zero-sum commodity. The more of them sovereign consumers purchase, the fewer remain for healthcare workers.

But that’s not how the glorious free market works.

Provided politicians, especially Sanders, stay out of it, here’s how the market for surgical face masks and respirators will work:

A rise in consumer demand for this product, reflected in empty shelves and relatively higher prices, will galvanize business to hire more workers and produce more of the coveted commodity.

Prices are crucial. They are the street signs of the economy. The thing the socialists will soon insist on controlling (“price-controls”) and suppressing are the vital signs of the economy …

MORE glorious free-market economics in the NEW COLUMN. “Unmasking Statist, Socialist Propaganda About ‘Face Masks’ is on Townhall.com, now, but also on WND.COM and The Unz Review, too.

UPDATED (3/7/020):

Writes defendingfreedom @townhallcom: “What an excellent article! Interesting information about #N95 masks and even better perspective about #capitalism vs. #socialism.”

Writes: I always enjoy Ilana’s writing. She’s so refreshingly honest and says just how it is. This is another pearl of wisdom you need to think about, and ACT on her recommendations.”

“…the primary issue Ilana Mercer raises — the perfidiously mixed messages from the ‘authorities’ regarding the use of #N95Masks — is right on.”

Whereas I’m not a libertarian and the supply/demand/price issues I regard as secondary, the primary issue Ilana Mercer raises — the perfidiously mixed messages from the “authorities” regarding the use of N95 face masks — is right on.

In particular, the CDC & the surgeon general say that “only the infected people should wear them.” But the authorities ALSO say that the incubation period is 2 weeks and that one might be infectious BEFORE exhibiting the symptoms. Meaning that anyone potentially could be infected with Coronavirus AND that therefore everyone might benefit from wearing the mask. How’s this for a contradictory message.

So far I don’t wear a mask and I rely on my immune system, but I despise dishonest and/or incoherent directives from the “Authorities.”

Again, on that score Ilana is 100% correct.

I’m impressed with her courage to deal with politically incorrect topics and to speak the truth

  • I always enjoy Ilana’s writing. She’s so refreshingly honest and says just how it is.

    This is another pearl of wisdom you need to think about, and ACT on her recommendations.