Getting Woke before Woke Was a Thing

Beginning in the 1960s, most Southerners walked away from racism and embraced true equality.

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A lot of things changed for us in the coming years. All over the South, people were making the choices that my father and community had made. It was one person at a time, family by family and town by town. We realized that much of what we believed was simply wrong. It was not what God wanted and it was not reasonable.

The political realignment was only a small part of this. The South has not become solidly Republican because of race. The move to Republicanism in the South is more about liberty. The Southern people tend to be fiercely freedom-loving people who want all people to share in the dream of the Declaration of Independence: Life, liberty, and freedom from government oversight as we pursue happiness. The free market is an integral part of this liberty.

My memory throws up one final, defining moment in my becoming “woke” before there was such a thing. One day there was an African-American lady visiting my mother in our home. (I am not using her real name.) A news program on TV was discussing the preferred words for the people we now call “African American” or, if we’re really progressive, “BIPOC.”

Back then, the discussion was whether we should change from the technically correct “Negro” to the coming-into-vogue “Black.” I embarrassed my mother by asking our guest what she wanted to be called. With great wisdom and seriousness, she said, “You can call me Mary, but your parents would probably prefer that you call me Mrs. Smith.”

I understood perfectly.

Source: Getting Woke before Woke Was a Thing

A City Prepares for a Trial

(John Hinderaker) Derek Chauvin goes on trial for murder in the death of George Floyd on March 8. His trial has been separated from that of the other three officers who have been charged; theirs will begin in August. Chauvin is the principal defendant.

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I believe it was the day after Floyd’s death when Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey publicly questioned the fact that the four police officers were still free men. Why weren’t they already in jail? And Governor Walz has publicly pronounced the officers guilty of “murder.” Meanwhile, though, it has come out that Floyd’s blood contained two or three times a lethal dose of fentanyl. He also showed the classic symptoms of a fentanyl overdose, complaining repeatedly of an inability to breathe and foaming at the mouth. His autopsy revealed that his lungs were heavier than normal, reflecting the accumulation of fluid that occurs with a fentanyl overdose. So it is far from clear that Derek Chauvin murdered anyone, or indeed that the four police officers had anything to do with Floyd’s death, which apparently, based on the evidence now available, was caused by a drug overdose.

But it is much too late for the authorities to acknowledge that their case against Chauvin et al. is far from airtight. They are committed. What we don’t know is whether an impartial jury can be empaneled, and whether any jury will have the courage to return a verdict of not guilty. Everyone in Minneapolis knows that the authorities were not able to defend even the Third Precinct Station House, which was taken over and burned by rioters. Nor were they able to defend a two-mile stretch of Lake Street, or other areas in Minneapolis and St. Paul that were destroyed by mobs. What juror will be willing to count on the authorities to protect his own house from being burned down, if he fails to return the verdict that is demanded by the mob?

Source: A City Prepares for a Trial

The CDC gets life expectancy wildly wrong

According to a CDC spokesman, U.S. life expectancy has fallen by a year as a result of Covid. A little arithmetic shows that that cannot be close to correct.

Total deaths so far are about 500,000 out of a population of about 330,000,000. The average death cost 12 years of life. Multiply that out and the average person lost not one year but .018 year of life. That’s an error of almost two orders of magnitude. Including deaths indirectly caused and additional deaths over the next few months might increase it a little, but there is no way it can be one year or even close.

Dr. Peter Bach explains the error on his blog. What the CDC apparently did was to calculate what the effect on life expectancy would be if mortality rates stayed at their 2020 level,  how much Covid would reduce life expectancy if the pandemic was repeated every year forever.

Source: The CDC gets life expectancy wildly wrong

More on Officer Sicknick’s death

[NOTE: Please see my previous posts on this subject.]

Here’s a recent interview with Officer Sicknick’s mother. Note that it’s in the British paper The Daily Mail. It’s not unusual for British papers to cover events in the US more thoroughly than our own MSM, and to publish things the left wouldn’t be enthusiastic about here:

The mother of the US Capitol police officer who died following the riot on January 6 believes that her son succumbed to a fatal stroke – that he was not bludgeoned to death by a fire extinguisher as reported.

Yet more than one month after Officer Brian Sicknick’s death on January 7, she has admitted that they are still in the dark as to what exactly caused that catastrophic episode.

Speaking exclusively to DailyMail.com Gladys Sicknick, 74, was unequivocal in her assertion that Officer Brian Sicknick was not struck on the head and that as far as the family knows her son had a fatal stroke.

She said, ‘He wasn’t hit on the head no. We think he had a stroke, but we don’t know anything for sure.

‘We’d love to know what happened.’

Please let that sink in: apparently the family has not been told the results of any autopsy. Has there been an autopsy prior to Officer Sicknick’s cremation? I have never read anything that indicates an answer to that question.

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Please read the whole thing. You probably know most of it, because it’s been covered on this blog several times since January, but here’s an excerpt:

…January 8, Sicknick’s father, Charles, 81, told Reuters that on January 7, as they rushed from their homes in New Jersey to DC, the family were told that Sicknick had a blood clot on his brain and had suffered a stroke. He was being kept alive on a ventilator but was dead by the time they got there.

Yet these few publicly available facts were bulldozed over by political fervor and it was the unattributed account of a brutal attack, also reported by the Associated Press, that gained traction.

Less than 24 hours after his death, with no autopsy, no confirmation of any sign of blunt trauma, no investigation nor due process, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called for the ‘perpetrators’ of Sicknick’s ‘attack’ to be brought to justice and vowed, ‘We will not forget.’

Despite the family’s earnest desire to the contrary, Sicknick’s death was politicized and seized on as an exemplar of all of the savagery of the pro-Trump mob’s assault on the temple of American democracy.

There’s a helpful timeline at the article, too.

Source: More on Officer Sicknick’s death

Again, Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is or Shut Your Mouth Up

So let me support my claim by pointing to evidence that doesn’t appear in a study but that is as conclusive as evidence on such matters gets. The evidence is your own behavior – specifically, your failure to start a business that employs at least some among these legions of workers who you insist are today underpaid.

If you really believe that America is filled with legions of underpaid workers, you can make a sure fortune by taking a year or two away from school and starting, say, a chain of restaurants or lawn-care companies. Entry into these industries is easy. And with a large pool of underpaid workers currently toiling away at the likes of McDonald’s, Home Depot, and Aunt Myrtle’s Country Kitchen, you’ll easily be able to hire away these workers at wages above the exploitation wages they now earn yet still at levels that enable you to earn a handsome profit by employing each one.

You’ll grow rich as you raise the pay of the workers about whom you care so deeply. It’ll be a win-win.

But if you do not put your time, effort, and money where your mouth is, then I’m left with only one of two possible conclusions. Either you don’t really believe what you assert to be true, or – more likely – you haven’t thought with sufficient seriousness about the meaning and implications of your assertion. No third conclusion is plausible. (Note: The fact that your assertion is made also by some PhD-sporting economists doesn’t save you from my criticism here. Those economists’ failure to start firms that employ these allegedly underpaid workers means only that they, too, either don’t believe their assertions or that they haven’t thought seriously enough about what those assertions imply.)

Source: Again, Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is or Shut Your Mouth Up

Number One Pick going for W, M

Scott Alexander writes about Freddy DeBoer’s The Cult of Smart.

If the season had started, and if DeBoer were on someone’s team, Alexander would get a Win. In response to DeBoer’s case for the Null Hypothesis that successful school reform is not scalable, Alexander writes

These are good points, and I would accept them from anyone other than DeBoer, who will go on to say in a few chapters that the solution to our education issues is a Marxist revolution that overthrows capitalism and dispenses with the very concept of economic value. If he’s willing to accept a massive overhaul of everything, that’s failed every time it’s tried, why not accept a much smaller overhaul-of-everything, that’s succeeded at least once?

Later in the essay, Alexander creates a candidate to score a Meme.

School is child prison. It’s forcing kids to spend their childhood – a happy time! a time of natural curiosity and exploration and wonder – sitting in un-air-conditioned blocky buildings, cramped into identical desks, listening to someone drone on about the difference between alliteration and assonance, desperate to even be able to fidget but knowing that if they do their teacher will yell at them, and maybe they’ll get a detention that extends their sentence even longer without parole. The anti-psychiatric-abuse community has invented the “Burrito Test” – if a place won’t let you microwave a burrito without asking permission, it’s an institution. Doesn’t matter if the name is “Center For Flourishing” or whatever and the aides are social workers in street clothes instead of nurses in scrubs – if it doesn’t pass the Burrito Test, it’s an institution. There is no way school will let you microwave a burrito without permission. THEY WILL NOT EVEN LET YOU GO TO THE BATHROOM WITHOUT PERMISSION. YOU HAVE TO RAISE YOUR HAND AND ASK YOUR TEACHER FOR SOMETHING CALLED “THE BATHROOM PASS” IN FRONT OF YOUR ENTIRE CLASS, AND IF SHE DOESN’T LIKE YOU, SHE CAN JUST SAY NO.

He also has a lot to say about charter schools.

Source: Number One Pick going for W, M

Some Covid Links

Phil Magness recalls Anthony Fauci’s reckless fear-mongering, nearly 40 years ago, on AIDS. A slice:

The damage was already done though, as the media went to work stoking alarm about AIDS transmission through simple routine contacts. Hundreds of newspapers disseminated the distressing theory from Fauci’s article. Writing a few weeks later, conservative columnist Pat Buchanan enlisted Fauci as the centerpiece of a rebuttal against Health and Human Services Secretary Margaret Heckler, who told him “there is no evidence…that the general population is threatened by [AIDS].”

On July 14, both Buchanan’s column and its excerpt of Fauci’s article were entered into the congressional record along with moralizing commentary that assigned blame for the disease to homosexual establishments and gatherings. Unfounded fears of transmission risk through simple contact, and accompanying social ostracization of the disease’s victims, became one of the most notorious and harmful missteps of the entire AIDS crisis.

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And here’s David Harsanyi on Fauci.

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This story of American ineptitude in the face of a pandemic, popular among statists, pessimists, and left-wingers pining for federalized control over states, is a myth. The United States has performed just as well as most Western nations, where fatality rates are between 100 and 190 per 100,000, with variations most likely due to density, climate, inherent social behavior, or, one imagines, reasons yet to be figured out. This is true before we even begin taking into consideration the disparity in ways nations count fatalities, the meticulousness with which they count them, or the transparency with which they report them.

 

Source: Some Covid Links

Are lockdowns one of the most catastrophic policy errors of the century?

Dennis Prager has arguedyes“.

When respected scientific experts sitting on prestigious governmental advisory committees warned citizens early last year that the only way to protect themselves against Covid-19 was to shut down their businesses and stay at home until public health officials deemed it safe to come out again, most complied, even at great personal and economic cost.

The result has been one of the most far-reaching and unprecedented social experiments of modern times: the systematic and mandatory paralysis of a large swathe of normal social activity, including schooling, work, leisure, and mobility. If this giant experiment had been run on a one-off basis for a few weeks, the impact might have been moderate; but as it morphed into “rolling” lockdowns, the cure became far worse than the disease.

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The question is, what have been the fruits of this giant public policy experiment? Have lockdowns actually been vindicated by their net benefits?

In order to adequately address this question, we must be clear on one thing: the appropriate benchmark for assessing the merits of lockdown policies is not just their capacity to reduce Covid infections or deaths, but their capacity to advance the overall health and well-being of affected populations.

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The predictable harms of lockdowns, which will have to be carefully documented and tallied over the coming months and years, are extensive.

They include the worst global recession, according to World Bank analysts, since World War II, and dramatic increases in poverty and unemployment (currently at 25% in Ireland, including recipients of Covid payments according to the Central Office of Statistics), which are known to bring in their train declines in mental and physical health. This is also resulting in reduced public funding for healthcare due to a depressed economy; and an increase in social inequality, as day labourers and contract workers are uniquely vulnerable to the economic shock of lockdowns.

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