Teach Men not to Rape

Facebook: “Tell men not to rape”
Me: “I think you just did.”

The Writer in Black

Saw the claim yet again on the Book of Faces that instead of teaching women how to protect themselves we should teach men and boys not to rape or be abusive.

That’s a great idea. There’s just one problem. There are over 3.9 billion men and boys in the world. That’s a lot of individuals to teach. And how effective can we expect that teaching to be? If we are 90% successful with a mere 10% not being willing to get the message, that’s still 390 million abusers and rapists out there. If we are 99% effective, with only one person in a hundred proving resistant to our efforts, that’s still 39 million abusers or rapists. If we’re 99.9999% effective, that’s still 3900 abusers or rapists.

We’ve been trying to teach people not to murder since Moses supposedly came down from the Mount and yet…here we are. Some people just…

View original post 409 more words

Those Nasty White People

If you search for references to potlach you will find gobs of positive portrayals of it as a gift giving festival with great symbolism as the giving or destroying valuables shows how wealthy you are.  Both the Canadian and American governments banned potlaches for many years because of those mean old missionaries.   I had a vague memory of the potlach that was so dark that the laws made sense.  With a little digging, I found it here.

The destruction of goods as a show of wealth could include either the freeing or killing of slaves, who were usually acquired specifically for potlach.

Source: Those Nasty White People

OUT ON A LIMB

OUT ON A LIMB: Rolling Stone’s ivermectin fiction shows why Republicans don’t trust media.

It isn’t just one article — it’s the entire media eco-system that article like that create: Drew Holden: “We’ve got to talk about the Rolling Stone ivermectin article. Turns out the story about rural hospitals so flooded with ODs that they couldn’t treat other patients was made up, entirely invented. A lot of people took the bait, and I’ve got the screenshots.”

Source: OUT ON A LIMB

At least a dozen “news” agencies parroted the story.

Crazy Government Responses to COVID Part 1: Understanding Incentives

Briefly, the case against masks

There are people I talk to that assume that the entire history of science consists of a march towards more and more certainly that public masking is essential to stopping respiratory disease spread and that the only people who oppose this NPI are doing so because Donald Trump or the Baptist Church told us to oppose them.  But there are actually really good reasons to be skeptical of masks as a mandated NPI for this respiratory disease:

  • The body of public health research prior to 2020, on balance, held that public masking (and large scale lockdowns, btw) were not effective and generally not recommended (at least once the outbreak is past a very small group).
  • People usually respond to this by saying, well, you wouldn’t want your surgeon to operate on you without a mask.  Of course, this use case comparison is absurd, since standing next to someone in line at Walmart for 60 seconds is not really anything like hovering over someone’s open incision for 3 hours.   But it turns out that the scientific support for masks even in surgery to reduce post-op infection is surprisingly equivocal.
  • The weave of your mask looks to a COVID virus approximately what a chain link fence looks like to a mosquito.  It is not stopping the virus itself.  And this is even before discussing the total lack of sealing against the face I see on pretty much every mask.  And the fact that many people are reusing the same mask for days.
  • The argument is thus made that the mask is stopping saliva droplets.  But we have known pretty much since last March that droplets don’t spread the disease.  Droplets end up on the floor, not floating around for hours.  The disease is spread best by aerosols, and masks are only marginally effective at blocking these aerosols
  • Everything I have said above is EXACTLY what the CDC has said for years.  Here is their info-graphic, still up on their web site.  (Here is a copy I have archived in case they ever take it down: understanddifferenceinfographic-508 )
  • A case can be made that masks can make spread worse.  Imagine being on a plane for 4 hours and you have COVID.  Before you ever even get on the plane, you mask is saturated with COVID virus and moisture.  You then spend the entire flight blowing COVID-laden aerosols out through the mask like bubbles from a bubble wand.

Incentives of Government Agencies

But within weeks of the start of the pandemic in 2020, government agencies like the CDC threw out all this history and decided to mandate masks.  Masks were mandated for people outdoors, even when we knew from the start that transmission risks outdoors were nil.   Officials are still mandating masks for children, who have lower death rates from COVID than the flu and despite a lot of clear research about the importance of facial expressions in childhood development and socialization.  Officials are even starting to mandate masks for the vaccinated who, if they are not effectively immune from the disease, are nearly perfectly immune to hospitalization and death from the disease.  So why?

One needs to remember that the officials of government agencies like the CDC are not active scientists, they are government bureaucrats.  They may have had a degree in science at one time and still receive some scientific journals, but so do I.  Dr. Fauci has seen about the same number of patients over the last 40 years as Dr. Biden.  These are government officials that think like government officials and have the incentives of government officials.

I will take the CDC as an example but the following could apply to any related agency.  Remember that the CDC has been around for decades, consuming billions of dollars of years of tax money.  And as far as the average American is concerned, the CDC has never done much (at least visibly) as we never have had any sort of public health emergency when the CDC had to roll into action.

If you think this unfair, consider that the CDC itself has recognized this problem.  For years they have been trying to expand their mandate to things like gun control and racism, trying to argue that these constitute public health emergencies and thus require their active participation.  The CDC has for years been actively looking for a publicly-visible role (as opposed to research coordination and planning and preparation and such) that would increase their recognition, prestige, and budget.

So that is the backdrop.  And boom – finally! – there is a public health emergency where they can roll into action.  They see this new and potentially scary respiratory virus, they check their plans on the shelf, and those plans basically say — there is nothing much to be done, at least in the near term.  Ugh!  How are we going to justify our existence?  Tellingly, by the way, these agencies and folks like Fauci did follow a lot of the prior science in the opening weeks — for example they discouraged mask wearing.  Later Fauci justified his flip flop by claiming he meant the statement as a way to protect mask supply for health care workers, but I actually think that was a lie.  His initial statements on masks were correct, but government agencies decided they did not like the signal of impotence this was sending.

There was actually plenty these agencies should have been doing, but none of those things looked like immediate things to make the public feel safer.  Agencies should have been:

  1. Trying to catalog COVID behavior and characteristics
  2. Developing tests
  3. Identifying and testing treatment protocols
  4. Slashing regulations vis a vis tests and other treatments so they could be approved faster
  5. Developing a vaccine

If we score these things, #1 was sort of done though with a lot of exaggerated messaging (ie they communicated a lot of stuff that was mostly BS, like long covid or heart risk to young athletes).  #2 the CDC and FDA totally screwed up.  #3 barely happened, with promising treatments politicized and ignored.  #4 totally did not happen, no one even tried.  #5 went fabulously, but was an executive project met with mostly skepticism from agencies like the CDC.

Instead, the CDC and other agencies decided they had to do something that seemed like it was immediately affecting safety, so it reversed both years of research and several weeks of their own messaging and came down hard for masks and lockdowns.   And, given the nature of government incentives, they had to stick with it right up to today, because an admission today that these NPI aren’t needed risks having all their activity in 2020 questioned.

Incentives for Government Officials

Pretty much all of the above also applies to the incentives of government officials.  Our elected officials of both parties, but particularly the Democrats, have been working to have the average American think of them as super-dad.  Got a problem?  Don’t spend too much time trying to solve it yourself because its the government’s job to do so.  Against this background, the option to do nothing, at least nothing with immediate and dramatic apparent potency, did not exist.  We have to do “something.”

It might have been possible for some officials to resist this temptation of action for action’s sake, except for a second incentive.  Once one prominent official requires masks and lockdowns, the media began creating pressure on all other government officials.  New York has locked down, why haven’t you?  Does New York care more than you?  We had a cascade, where each official who adopted these NPI added to the pressure on all the others to do so.  Further, as this NPI became the standard government intervention, the media began to blame deaths in states with fewer interventions on that state’s leaders.  Florida had far fewer COVID deaths, particularly given their age demographics, than New York but for the media the NY leaders were angels and the Florida ones were butchers.  For a brief time terrible rushed “studies” were created to prove that these interventions were working, generally by the dishonest tactic of cherry-picking a state with NPI mandates that was not in its seasonal disease peak and comparing it to another state without NPI mandates that was in the heart of its seasonal peak.  (We are, by the way, starting to see a similar cascade around the most recent delta-driven mandates — just today a random Arizona county with no uptick in COVID hospitalizations just required indoor masking for the vaccinated).

And then the whole thing got polarized around party affiliation and any last vestige of scientific thinking got thrown to the curb.   Take Chloroquine as a possible treatment protocol.  Personally, I have not seen much evidence in its favor but early last year we did not know yet one way or another and there were some reasons to think it might be promising.  And then Donald Trump mentioned it.  After that we had the spectacle of the Michigan Governor banning this treatment absolutely without evidence solely because Trump had touted it on pretty limited evidence.  What a freaking mess.  In addition to giving us all a really beautiful view of the hypocrisy of politicians, it also added another great lie to the standard list.  To “The check is in the mail” and “I will respect you in the morning” is now added “We are following the science.”

Incentives for the Public

I won’t dwell on this too long, but one thing COVID has made clear to me is that a LOT of people are looking for the world to provide them with drama and meaning.  The degree to which many folks (mostly all well-off white professionals and their families) seem to have enthusiastically embraced COVID restrictions and been reluctant to give them up has just been an amazing eye-opener for me.

Source: Crazy Government Responses to COVID Part 1: Understanding Incentives

Legos: Destroying The Republic

LEGO: Let’s End Government Outright?

Stately McDaniel Manor

Contemporary Federal lineup…

Well over 500 Americans have been arrested for the “insurrection” that was nothing of the kind at the Capital on January 6, 2021.  Among them, a man who merely stood inside looking around–for 13 whole minutes–and another who entered the building merely to use a bathroom.  Then there is the case of one Robert Morss, potentially the most dangerous insurrectionist our republic has ever faced: he had Legos at home.  The Hill reports:

View original post 1,740 more words

Indicting the Trump Organization

Democrats of all stripes have devoted years to investigating Donald Trump and finding very little. The latest example is Thursday’s indictment of the Trump Organization and its chief financial officer for classifying employee benefits as business expenses rather than compensation.

Manhattan D.A. Cyrus Vance Jr. and New York Attorney General Letitia James subpoenaed millions of documents and years of tax returns, and that’s all they’ve come up with. The indictment lists 15 criminal counts, including second degree grand larceny. But the evidence in the indictment boils down to misreporting compensation to the Internal Revenue Service and New York tax authorities.

Prosecutors allege that Allen Weisselberg, the 73-year-old accountant and CFO, received as much as $1.76 million in compensation over a 16-year-period—for cars, an apartment rental, and tuition for Mr. Weisselberg’s grandchildren at a private school—in a way that kept them off the books for tax purposes. The indictment says he avoided paying $901,112 he owed in taxes and collected federal and state tax refunds of $133,124 he wasn’t entitled to.

If true and willful, this is rotten behavior. But it isn’t Teapot Dome, and disguising compensation as expenses is far from unusual in corporate America. It’s typically handled as a civil matter and settled with the payment of back taxes, interest and fines. It is rarely the basis for a criminal indictment.

The prosecutors are throwing the book at Mr. Weisselberg to get him to turn state’s evidence against the former President. The same goes for the highly unusual decision to indict the Trump Organization, which is presumably intended to squeeze its business prospects. Notably, neither Mr. Trump nor his children who run the business were charged.

The political motives at work are transparent. Mr. Vance has pursued Mr. Trump and his tax records for years, even as street and violent crime proliferates in New York City. Ms. James campaigned on a promise to shine “a bright light into every dark corner of his real estate dealings, and every dealing, demanding truthfulness at every turn.” She all but promised a selective prosecution—that is, pick a target, then search for a crime to allege.

….

The expectation among Democrats is that the charges will finally diminish Mr. Trump’s political appeal, but will they? Like impeachments one and two, the case gives Mr. Trump another chance to portray himself as the populist knight taking on the corrupt powers that be. If the charges fail in court, and prosecutors have nothing else, Mr. Trump will claim blanket vindication.

Source: Indicting the Trump Organization

This week is why. Mr. Trump, who is not the fool some imagine, knew winning the presidency was a dangerous mishap from a personal legal standpoint. Mr. Trump, until then, mainly tussled with sharpies who wanted only some of his money, not his destruction. He also knew that in our overgrown regulatory state, prosecutors can find something on anybody, even those who conduct their affairs with a scrupulousness foreign to Mr. Trump.

It’s “political,” Mr. Trump says of this week’s charges. Yes, inevitably and partly. That’s why people with Mr. Trump’s deep pockets and checkered history are unwise to go into politics, however much it might benefit the nation to have a broadly welcoming presidential talent pool.

The charges brought by Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. and New York Attorney General Letitia James are over the top for what amount to tax violations related to employee compensation. Larceny? Who stole what from whom? Mr. Trump’s company and its major-domo, Chief Financial Officer Allen Weisselberg —though not Mr. Trump himself so far—are accused of doling out perks as normal business expenses, thereby avoiding personal income and payroll taxes.

Mr. Trump’s lawyer said, probably accurately, that such complaints usually are settled as a civil matter with the Internal Revenue Service for the reasons alluded to above. The IRS cares mainly about getting maximum money at least cost for its enforcement efforts. Not so elected officials such as Mr. Vance and Ms. James. If the prosecution is a giant net loser financially for the state of New York, that’s fine with them.

If the charges are right, among the expenses Mr. Trump picked up for his employees to maximize the bang for his compensation buck were school tuition, a company Mercedes, and free apartments for employees and their family members.

The Trump Organization’s Political Prosecution

Questions for Joe Biden

I guess AR-15 rifles are totally inadequate to topple a tyrannical government, but face paint and a Viking helmet constitute a weapon of mass destruction capable of wiping out the mighty U.S. government.

But as a public service, let me ask a few, some of which I posed recently in a Twitter thread that was greeted with both conservative acclaim and generous liberal panty-wetting.“

1) “Are you saying that you would use bombers like F-15s against Americans? Would you ever use nuclear weapons against Americans?”

That seems like an important couple of threshold queries. Say “No” and you look like a fool. Say “Yes” and you’re a fool and a psycho.“

2) “Mr. President, since using force against American citizens is on the table, can you tell us how many BCTs the American military has currently deployable within the United States? Do you know how many troops are in a brigade combat team? Do you understand the logistical needs of a BCT and its vulnerabilities in an insurgency environment?” 

A “BCT” is a brigade combat team, 4,000-5,000 troops and the basic ground combat unit. Now, if you are going to pick a fight with 165 million Americans, specifically the half who like America and who own a whole bunch of those accursed AR-15s, you might wanna know how many dudes you have on your side first (I estimate about 80 active and reserve BCTs and equivalents in the whole active and reserve force, including the Marines). One might also want to understand why you would have problems using them here at home.“

Townhall.com

3) “How many BCTs do you think you would need to secure an urban area the size of Los Angeles. Didn’t it take three divisions, about 12 brigades, to secure it during the Riots? How long could you logistically support that?”

It did take three divisions (approximately 12 BCTs) to quell the riot in LA in 1992. I was there. Now, that was largely idiots burning and looting. What if the next time it is guys shooting back with evil AR-15s? And America is a zillion times bigger than Los Angeles. How do you hold all that ground? You don’t.“

4) “Have your generals staffed exactly how many American military personnel they could count on to attack American citizens if you ordered it? What percentage do you believe would comply and why?”

Oh, awkward. I was informed – by them, the geniuses in the Pentagon – that “extremists in the ranks” are our gravest threat (except for the weather, of course), so I assume they will have analyzed the number of “extremists” in the ranks who would be averse to killing their own friends and family at the behest of coastal elitists and who would desert or go full Niedermeyer on the guys urging them to wage war on the American people. This would be a good number to have as a planning factor, since when 50% of his troops go *poof* overnight, it would mean a significant reduction in the *’s combat power.“

5) “You mentioned F-15s. How many bombers of all types does the United States have deployable within the continental US? How many are operational? How many sorties could the military fly a day against American citizens? Can you explain how you would employ bombers to hold territory, like a city?”

Bombers are nice. But if they were decisive, you could walk around Kabul without a dozen guys with AKs keeping your Schumer safe. We bombed Afghanistan back into the Stone Age – albeit, it was not much of a trip, but the point remains. You control dirt by having a guy with a rifle standing on it, not plinking at targets from 30,000 feet. And speaking of targeting…

6) “What means would you use to identify targets to bomb within the United States? What would the rules of engagement be when using bombers against American citizens?”

How many of you think the average MSNBCNN viewer would hesitate to bomb Texas or any other red enclave flat? And how many of you feel like giving up your means of self-defense against tyranny at the behest of people who would not hesitate to bomb Texas or any other red enclave flat?

7) “How would you protect the supply lines to the fighter bases from attacks by armed citizens? How many of your limited ground forces would you allocate to securing supply lines between bases and protecting complicit forces living off post from retaliation?”

You know what the most vulnerable part of an F-15, or a tank, or any other combat vehicle is? The people and stuff, like fuel, who make it go. Why would * think that he’d not have to devote most of his force to defensive operations as opposed to offensive ones? Oh wait, it’s because he’s a fool.

8) “Have you considered that the military forces of the National Guard in red states, which include aircraft, artillery and infantry, may refuse or even oppose your campaign against American citizens? Would you attack those forces?”

Oh, that’s a twist. So, does that desiccated clown think that Greg Abbott’s or Ron DeSantis’s National Guard units are just going to join in the oppression fun? Keep in mind, those weekend warriors are a reservoir of wartime experience (many guys like me did a tour in a war, then stuck around in the Guard forever – active-duty units’ turnover is huge, because many are first-termers). Reservists have to maintain exactly the same training standards as the active-duty components and they use much of the same equipment. So, that’s a problem. Oh, and then there’s the most important question…

9) “Mr. President, how many American would you kill to maintain your hold on power?”

Townhall.com

Even the WaPo Can’t Stomach Biden’s Cannon Comment

His supporters will claim it’s only an effect of his stammer.

President Joe Biden delivered an infamous gun control speech last week, claiming that Americans “need F-15s and maybe some nuclear weapons” if they want to restrain government tyranny. Yet he also used a flat-out lie to justify his gun control agenda — a lie that led even The Washington Post to deliver Biden a scathing rebuke.

“The Second Amendment, from the day it was passed, limited the type of people who could own a gun and what type of weapon you could own. You couldn’t buy a cannon,” Biden declared last Wednesday.

The Washington Post‘s Glenn Kessler fact-checked this statement, giving Biden a whopping Four Pinocchios.

“Everything in that statement is wrong,” David Kopel, the research director and Second Amendment project director at the Independence Institute, told The Washington Post. After 1791, when the Second Amendment came into effect as part of the Bill of Rights, “there were no federal laws about the type of gun you could own, and no states limited the kind of gun you could own.” Not until the early 1800s were there any efforts to pass restrictions on carrying concealed weapons, he said.

Source: Even the WaPo Can’t Stomach Biden’s Cannon Comment