Predictably, the mainstream media types are out to get Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany. Enter reliable tool Bill Grueskin, who claims she is undermining the credibility of the press. While Paul Bedard does a good take down of the gruesome column, I will simply note is that she has simply cleared the smoke and allowed all to see the loathsome state of modern media. For me, she has reinforced all the reasons for my decision to leave that trade. I will note simply that PRSA and marketing organizations have a far stronger code of conduct and actually — unlike the media — enforce it.
Over at Powerline, John Hinderaker shares some excellent words from a candidate for Congress. These need a far wider audience, so I’m sharing them here and hoping others will as well.
Dezinformatsia. Period. Full Stop. Origin unknown, but it is yet another effort to meddle in our election/prevent a free and fair election. I hope that any competent authorities we have will look into the origin and possibly do something about it if it is of domestic origin. As for the Shady Lady who “broke” this “exclusive” all I can say is the Spirit of Duranty lives…
Rational discourse and the Marketplace of Ideas is a philosophical cornerstone of our Republic. It is also under attack like never before as Progressives/Socialists (no real difference) can’t stand the concept of competing ideas. I want to pull some key points from pervious posts here that were mirrored at Blackfive.
Yet it was still a core part of my beliefs, but recently there was some discussion by author John Ringo that caught my attention. He recounted and amplified on the concept of persuasibility as presented by former professor and current author John Barnes. Dr. Barnes states categorically that much of his presentation is nothing more than classical rhetoric, but if so it is an excellent summation of same.
It also is a very clear example of what I feel rational discourse to be about. Rather than try to distill it down, I am with his permission going to quote the key points as he presented them to me.
“Where it is: The obligation of persuasibility is a moral and ethical obligation that flows from the enthymeme of reciprocity, which in turn is one of the quasi-logical structures of informal logic. It is therefore itself enthymemic, so it’s more firmly rooted than a mere preference or value (like the rules of baseball, driving on the right, “the Backstreet Boys suck”, “patriotism is good”, “all you need is love”) but less so than an empirical law or a mathematical theorem.
What it is: the obligation of persuasibility is the requirement that if you enter into a dialogue with another person or persons, your purpose will be not only to refute their arguments or to convert the arguer, but to consider their arguments as candidates for your own belief. That is, you will not reject the possibility that it may be your mind, rather than theirs, that needs changing; or in utilitarian terms, the greater good may be for you to be persuaded, rather than them.
What it ain’t: Although, obviously, if someone converts, they were persuasible, the other side’s not being persuaded does not prove that they violated the obligation of persuasibility — it may be, for example, that you made a poor case. It is perfectly possible for people to disagree throughout their entire lives while still upholding the obligation of persuasibility. (Indeed, it is likely).
Why it matters: because ethically, two people who have placed themselves under mutual obligation of persuasibility can co-participate in a political and social order peacefully and of their own free will. The obligation of persuasibility is thus a possibility condition for liberal democracy. The areas in which the obligation of persuasibility holds, within a given society, are the ones where society can be both individually free and socially ordered. Or, as I used to put it to my class, tell me how much of the obligation of persuasibility your society is willing to undertake, and I will tell you how much peace and freedom you’re going to get.”
To me, this is the heart of rational discourse as practiced in the colonies. It may or may not have been the correct interpretation of the continental philosophers of the day, but is built on the foundations laid by Aristotle and still taught at that time. The sad state of education today is a topic for another day.
That said, there are some things that will invalidate rational discourse/persuasibility. Again quoting Dr. Barnes, the things that do this are:
“1. communications aimed entirely at conversion; that character on your doorstep in the cheap suit, who is not there to find out what you might think about God or God’s nonexistence, but to deliver a single-sided message and try to knock down your objections. 2. communications aimed entirely at expression (or maybe “venting” is a better word, since the legal term ‘freedom of expression” covers much that is intended to be persuasive), e.g. shouting “N-word” into a bullhorn on a crowded city street, 3. communications whose purpose is to dismiss any need to listen to the other side (e.g. ad hominem, sponsor boycotts, a habit of characterizing the other side as morons or dupes), 4. therapizing speech (treating the other person’s opinion as a symptom of disease or vice), 5. listening solely to refute, 6. some kinds of extreme relativism (“that might be right for you but it’s not right for me”), 7. apathism (the position that the other sides’ distinctions are without differences).”
John Ringo also brought up a concept that deserves mention, because it is an area in which rational discourse/persuasibility has no bearing. This is the concept of a “religious” belief, i.e. one that is held on a matter of faith such that no amount of evidence, data, or other will change it. These are beliefs that can be core to a person, or are simply such that they will not be discussed or modified. A former co-worker and I discussed this point at some length in some rather fun discussions, and the term we had settled on to describe such was “prejudice.” For such beliefs are just that, they are subjects on which a preconceived opinion exists that is not subject to rational discussion or debate.
Note the seven types of invalidation. Then, look at current media reports and what is coming out of various political leaders at all levels. It really does say it all about the goals of current efforts. The freedoms we take for granted are under attack, and if either the first or second amendment falls, all fall. Keep this in mind over the next several months as efforts to eliminate free speech grow rapidly and potentially exponentially.
This effort to overthrow the American Revolution and the Constitution must be fought in the Marketplace of Ideas, in Congress, in legislatures, and even in council meetings. Heck, even in HOA and other organizational meetings. It must be fought in the courts. It, most of all, needs to be fought at the ballot box and efforts to ensure a free and fair election without fraud must be overwhelming. For if it fails at any of these levels, what happens will be a choice between slavery or watering the Tree of Liberty.
John Hinderaker has the first part in a series of articles looking at the differences between small- and mid-sized businesses and big business in terms of politics. This is a good start, and starts laying out the case between capitalism, crony-capitalism, and what lies beyond including the boycott of Facebook by big business because it is backing free/free-er speech versus other platforms. Well worth the read, and I’m looking forward to the next in the series.
First up, a study has been released by the IHU that looks at 3,737 patients treated there using HCQ-AZ (primary) and other treatments. The results are quite interesting, and it is worth noting that the death rate of those treated was 0.9% (35 deaths), and only 6.2% had a poor clinical outcome. You really should read the study since it gets into the underlying conditions and other factors that went into the poor outcomes. Their conclusion notes that early testing, diagnosis, and treatment are key to successful outcomes (more than 93 %).
It is a shame that HCQ has been politicized the way it has in the U.S., and it is worth noting that studies overseas that do honest reviews of HCQ-AZ (plus zinc) show very different outcomes than the limited, and somewhat questionable, studies done here. As such, it worth noting that only 4.5% of the patients treated at/through the IHU has problems with the treatment and most of those were mild (GI). Really, go read the whole thing.
Next up, how many really died of COVID-19? It’s less, possibly far less, than the 121,809 claimed by the CDC. Why? Read this and the linked article. As I noted when discontinuing the daily updates, the numbers being fed the public are worthless, and will remain so until corrected. Even if that number could stand, which it can’t, new data from the CDC saying that the number of cases may be 10 times what is reported. Which means that it is even less deadly, and/or debilitating, than reported. Now, take a look at the number of people who die from the regular flu in a given year. Go on, look it up as you might not believe it if I just tell you. For this we have gutted our economy and freedoms?
Speaking of the lockdown, guess what was ineffective? And as for herd immunity, this study indicates that less than half of the population would need immunity to create herd immunity, as opposed to the 60 % that is the current/classic standard.
Finally, the elephant in the room that the MSM, CDC, and the usual suspects do not and will not talk about. The surges and spikes that are happening? Guess where they probably came from. Yet another signal failure of our so-called elites.
I want to thank two people for their tireless and even bulldog work on the science of COVID-19. First is Glenn Reynolds, the Instapundit. While his co-bloggers have done good work, Glenn has been tenacious on the science and has earned multiple hat tips here and on social media from me. Second, I want to thank Dr. Didier Raoult at the IHU for his efforts to get not only his own data out, but who has tirelessly shared studies and information from multiple other studies. His sharing, and informed commentary, has been everything our own experts have failed to do.
I can’t believe people are still sending out (and people falling for) the scam claiming to have hacked your computer and recorded you masturbating to porn. If you don’t pay up, they will post it.
Got news for you dipshit. You could make a real fortune by having people pay to not see me if such existed. The market for that is huge compared to one fairly poor blogger.
If nothing else, it gave me a laugh this morning. May this make you smile if nothing else, we need all the smiles and laughter we can get right now.
This is a fascinating read on tracking COVID-19. If other studies back this up, we may find that COVID-19 was even more widespread than believed. That’s important to know, since it would also likely push the survival rate up well past 99 percent from the current (roughly) 98 percent. It would also show that it was not as contagious as presented. Hat tip to Instapundit.
Two quick thoughts to share.
First, I’m wondering if the COVID-19 that hit the world was/is a weakened version of what first spread in China. The reports that got out from China (as opposed to the lies of the Chinese government) present a much grimmer picture and the response of the Chinese government was/is extreme given what we know of COVID-19 elsewhere. It also raises questions about what the CCP thought got loose.
Second, I wonder if — once the dubious death statistics are corrected/updated — we will see that the death rate was actually significantly lower than the normal death rate from the seasonal flu. There is data that shows it is the same or lower right now. Another fact that is being studiously ignored by the MSM.
BONUS LINK: He’s right you know… /Morgan Freeman Voice
I followed the 48-hour rule on the case of the NASCAR noose. I am unsurprised to find out that it was a fake hate crime. The fact that no one released a photo was a major red flag, and there were others. I was going to write a bit on the fact that if we truly were a systemically racist nation there would be no need for all the fake hate crimes. And, yes, look it up, most, almost all, of the so-called hate crimes that hit the news turn out to be fake. However, there is no need to write, as John Hinderaker has done so with some eloquence.
Now, turn from the fake hate to the real hate and barbarity that has not just become common, but is now the standard for our so-called civilization. Two cases show exactly how brutality is the new norm. First, there is this story of a teen girl who does something good for society by making special teddy bears for the children of policemen killed in the line of duty. That she has long gotten threats of violence and death is sad, but they’ve hit a point in the last few weeks that she’s had to effectively hide by taking the wrap off her jeep and undertaking other precautions. Then you have the loss of a science blog after the Shady Lady threatened to doxx the owner/author. There were both ethical reasons for him to be anonymous, as well as safety since he’s received death and other threats.
Sadly, such threats come with blogging, and have for a long time. I’ve had my share of them from terrorists and psychopaths foreign and domestic for my work here and at Blackfive, though my latest appears to be related to my China coverage and doesn’t appear to have originated in the U.S. The problem isn’t that I or anyone else has gotten these for a while, it is the explosion of such threats against almost every type of blog out there simply because they post opinions, coverage, and even data with which the unhinged mob disagrees.
As bad as such is, and it is getting worse and worse with real harm to those threatened growing daily; but, we are also seeing it in everyday life. If you are on social media, you no doubt have seen a number of videos posted showing people being attacked, often without warning, simply for the color of their skin. Many/most of these attacks are savage, and could easily have ended in the death of the victim. Some are likely to have permanent damage. I’ve seen Asian, Caucasian, and others I’m not not sure what they are, nor is it really important. What is important is that in almost every video the perpetrators are being egged on, encouraged, and protected. It is the new norm, and bodes ill for what is left of civilization.
More is needed than having each of us simply prepare and be ready to defend ourselves and others. After all, when we do we will be vilified as evil right-wing racist extremists, even if we are an African-American woman fleeing an armed threat on her life. NPR has yet to apologize to the woman and to the public for that ‘misrepresentation’ that should be called a lie.
What is needed is for law enforcement and the prosecutors offices to start taking such threats seriously, and to treat the attacks that are themselves racist as serious crimes and even hate crimes. Given the politics involved, the prosecutors are pretty much a no-go from the start. Law enforcement has many other things on it’s plate, and few there take such threats seriously. That said, I wish to thank LE where I used to live for taking one real threat seriously and working with me to deal with it.
Unless such crimes are taken seriously and dealt with firmly and publicly, the norms of civilization are ended — just as those encouraging such behavior want. The Marxists behind much of what is going on have no hope of getting what they want so long as the norms of civilization stand, and the Republic, which is founded in large part on those norms, also continues to stand. Civilization and the Republic are interlocking, and both need to be defended. The ability to do so via reason and persuasion is being systematically and deliberately destroyed. It’s not just the large sites, this war must be waged against the greater whole since no trace of dissent can be tolerated. Besides, the public elimination, if not soon a real execution, of those who dare disagree serves as a warning to others and to make many cow in submission. It is a deliberate feature, not a bug.
And there lies the real problem and the real threat. If you eliminate the soap box, that leaves few non-violent alternatives. The Marxists believe they have the edge on violence because they’ve been willing to, eager to, use it from the start. I believe they are gravely mistaken. They are pushing hard to get someone, anyone, particularly on the so-called right, to over-react to one or more of their stunts. So far, both President Trump and those who are not Marxists have refused to play along. For how much longer that will hold for the Citizens of the United States is the question. Even if we avoid the false-flag efforts to provoke such a response, the time will soon come when there is no other choice but to respond with force to the actions of the Marxists and the mob they incite. While I still hope for efforts through the courts, sane leadership at the State and local levels, and even the ballot box, I am not optimistic. I see no sign of any actions that will force the progressive Marxists to change their operations.
I’ve talked several times about what is to come, and how the Great Silencing and other activities are planned, coordinated, and executed. There is more planned, and it is not good. Parts have kicked off sooner than I expected, but that is not letting a good crisis go to waste.
I ask you to stop, look around, get outside the MSM/political bubble, and see for yourselves. Then, do what you can and prepare. If things continue as they are, what happened in the 1960’s will seem as an ice-cream social. We appear to be headed for the worst upheaval since the Civil War. I hope I, and others, are wrong about that. I hope the ballot box and the rule of law will prevail. But, given what is happening in prosecutor’s offices across the nation, in the courts, and in the halls of Congress, that hope is faint.
To quote the late, great Robin Williams on Jimmy Carter when the Martians invaded earth: “Good evening. You’re on your own. Good Night.” Prepare accordingly.