Worthwhile Reading & Viewing

It is unwise to let your dislike for certain individuals to run away with you to the point that you publish attacks that can be refuted with a few seconds of research.

Speaking of publishing dumb things…

Philosophers and philodoxers

Thoughts on personal productivity from Marc Andreessen

This 19th century French philosopher sounds worth reading.  From Tyler Cowen’s summary:

He explicitly considers the possibility that the rate of scientific innovation may decline, in part because the austere and moral mentality of semi-rural family life, which is most favorable for creativity in his view, may be replaced by the whirlpool of distractions associated with the urban lifestyles of the modern age.

The 10 worst colleges for free expression…the 2020 edition.

Using albatrosses to track down illegal fishing boats.  A little advice for the captains of those boats: do not, under any circumstances, shoot an albatross.

France’s most beautiful stained-glass windows

13 thoughts on “Worthwhile Reading & Viewing”

  1. Do you think John Roberts knows how much the right hates him, and how much the left holds him in contempt?
    What a disgusting vile man. Someday someone will tell the story of whatever is going on with him. It’s not going to be pretty, whatever it is.

  2. Although the same could also be said for Mitt Romney…what a loser.

    The GOP is making a massive mistake in not punishing the Dems for this farce. After watching Schifty run his scam for months, we were supposed to get our chance to punch back in the Senate. The Dems have a green light to immediately impeach every GOP president now, since they know there will be no repercussions.

  3. Brian — Democrat insiders have known for a long time that they are protected. The despicable woman at the IRS who successfully targeted the TEA Party was allowed to retire on a hefty pension for which you and I are paying. Personally, I would much have preferred to pay for the leg irons she would wear while breaking rocks, but who cares what a voter thinks?

    Republicans are the big disappointment. They know the bureaucracy is stuffed with untouchable Far Left activists — but Republicans refuse to make them “touchable”. It would be very popular to bring senior Federal civil service pay levels down to private industry levels; and to make those bureaucrats easily terminatable for incompetence; and to make abuse of their positions carry very heavy personal penalties. Republicans had all 3 elected elements of the Federal Government under their control for 2 years, with a President that was not in the squishy Mitt mold or in the dishonest McCain mold, and yet the Republicans accomplished nothing.

    The Congressional GOP is getting what it deserves, good and hard. We citizens are merely collateral damage.

  4. I don’t think the GOP needs to prolong the trial in the Senate to “punish” the Democrats.

    I think we are seeing a very similar phenomenon to BREXIT in Britain. Labour acted in a way some=what similar to the US Democrats. They showed disrespect to their voters who had voted to leave the EU. The Democrats have done the same to their voters who crossed over and voted for Trump. The huge rallies that Trump has been holding have contained about 25% Democrat voters. Rush Limbaugh pointed out recently that those attendees, even the ones who cannot get into the hall, are being interviewed by Trump campaign staff. They know who is there, and have probably recruited many for the fall.

    The election will be the test. We will see how this impeachment ploy has worked with voters. I think the news media is losing credibility badly.

    This CNN clip illustrates their contempt.

    We will see how this plays out in November. I don’t think prolonging the Senate affair is worth the trouble. I feel 1972 coming on. Remember that Nixon got 60% of the vote and won 49 states.

  5. Mike: A military member of the NSC leaks to a CIA agent who coordinates with senior Democrats and the ICIG how to bring about impeachment, the Dems take secret testimony that they suppress or release at their pleasure (I’m still not aware that Congress has the right to classify everything, as far as I know that ability completely belongs to the president), and the entire political establishment, including the Chief Justice of the freaking Supreme Court, says that the CIA agent gets to maintain complete anonymity, even suppressing free speech rights of Senators with absolutely no legal or constitutional basis, and absolutely no repercussions can come to anyone involved in this atrocity. To say nothing of the FISA abuses or the absurd “Mueller” investigation. Sorry, “we’ll hopefully beat them in the next election” doesn’t cut it.

  6. Mike: A military member of the NSC leaks to a CIA agent who coordinates with senior Democrats and the ICIG how to bring about impeachment,

    The Vindman twins were hired by Bolton who is very much a swamp creature. Another of his NSC hires is now a staffer for Schiff. See a pattern?

    Roberts identified the “whistleblower” by blocking a question about Ciaramella, by name but no mention of “whistleblower.” Neatly done by Rand Paul. I could see him running with Trump’s support in 2024. Pence is weak.

    Carter Page is now suing DOJ and FBI for millions. Discovery will be important. He is filing AWAY FROM DC. to avoid DC juries.

    Flynn has withdrawn his plea and the senile judge will have to accept the massive evidence of criminal actions.

    Flynn may have a big civil action coming up to recover what this cost him.

    I expect nothing from the government on these abuses. The only chance is civil lawsuits, like the Covington kids. Away from DC.

    Remember, it was the civil trial lawyer who found OJ’s picture in the Bruno Magli shoes. The DA did everything he could to lose that case.

  7. Mike: Do you have any way to tell if this seems legit at all–even just the source, not necessarily the conclusions, etc.:

    Uncanny similarity of unique inserts in the 2019-nCoV spike protein to HIV-1 gp120 and Gag
    We are currently witnessing a major epidemic caused by the 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV). The evolution of 2019-nCoV remains elusive. We found 4 insertions in the spike glycoprotein (S) which are unique to the 2019-nCoV and are not present in other coronaviruses. Importantly, amino acid residues in all the 4 inserts have identity or similarity to those in the HIV1 gp120 or HIV-1 Gag. Interestingly, despite the inserts being discontinuous on the primary amino acid sequence, 3D-modelling of the 2019-nCoV suggests that they converge to constitute the receptor binding site. The finding of 4 unique inserts in the 2019-nCoV, all of which have identity /similarity to amino acid residues in key structural proteins of HIV-1 is unlikely to be fortuitous in nature.

  8. I am no virologist but the same story has been interesting.

    This is what I find in a pubmed search.

    These findings indicate that MERS-CoV variants with reduced neutralization sensitivity were transmitted during the Korean outbreak and that the responsible mutations were compatible with robust infection of cells expressing high levels of DPP4.IMPORTANCE MERS-CoV has pandemic potential, and it is important to identify mutations in viral proteins that might augment viral spread. In the course of a large hospital outbreak of MERS in the Republic of Korea in 2015, the spread of a viral variant that contained mutations in the viral spike protein was observed. These mutations were found to reduce receptor binding and viral infectivity. However, it remained unclear whether they also exerted proviral effects. We demonstrate that these mutations reduce sensitivity to antibody-mediated neutralization and are compatible with robust infection of target cells expressing large amounts of the viral receptor DPP4.

    Not sure of the significance of all this.

  9. For what it’s worth, here’s a nicely done, periodically updated summary (in the handle). I simply don’t trust any number coming from the Chinese government, even if they are trying to be straight, the chain from ground truth to the mouthpiece in Beijing is hopelessly unreliable.

    As someone who has never needed to even see a doctor for “flu”, the unknowable number of people infected that never sought out a doctor seems key. There are likely a number of fatalities that innocently won’t make it to the statistics assuming there is no systematic cover-up going on.

    The cost has already been staggering, no doubt we are about to see the inception of another indeterminable war on virii.

  10. Do people believe that if China has accidentally released a weaponized virus, that they, or Western governments, would admit it?
    Because I kind of don’t.

    The rhetoric and the actions have not lined up since day 1 of this thing. I think the most likely truth is that China is “just” facing a natural horrific pathogen that they are desperately covering up. That seems slightly more plausible than an escaped bioweapon. But the cover story, that a somewhat-more-deadly-than-normal version of the flu has caused whole regions of China to be placed on lockdown, and most countries to now close their borders with China and/or cut off travel with China, and check travelers for fever by people with biohazard suits (to say nothing of the numerous videos of people falling down dead in the streets), is clearly complete BS.

  11. I suppose it’s possible that this was from some sort of laboratory accident. The fact that none of the deaths have occurred outside of China argues against it being some sort of weapon. To be useful as a weapon, there would need to be some way of directing it and protecting their own personnel. China’s medical infrastructure, out side of the cities, is primitive. The quarantines are probably best thought of as experiments to see if it is possible to contain something like this in a mobile population. I can’t think of any other action that they could take that would stand much of a chance.

    This is what has so far prevented any sort of useful bio-weapon from being developed.

    Here is a discussion that includes a possible timeline to some sort of treatment or vaccine:

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