Writing ruthlessly

PBS correspondent Yamiche Alcindor apparently does not believe that there are anarchists participating in the protests.  See link here on Foxnews.com.

At least for now (2-June-2020, 6:55 pm), I found it here.  The rebuttals are also in the Twitter link.

The Other McCain weblog quotes Arthur Koestler, “”One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up.”

Excellent advice for Ms. Alcindor.

 

Do Police Precincts Have Destruction Plans Like Embassies?

Extensive videotape of Minneapolis riots and invasion of 3rd precinct here.   You know, like fall of US Embassy in Saigon and attack in Iran.

  1. Shredding of files
  2. Securing side arms, rifles
  3. Chemicals, eg tear gas
  4. Computers and their hard drives

Looks like all cops pulled out with all of their patrol cars.  Was anything important left?  My guess is yes.

  1.  Always always some stuff gets overlooked.
  2.  Perhaps the precinct has an evacuation plan, but doubt there were any drills or refresher courses because such evens are, fortunately, rare.

Limited Choice Fallacy at USAToday

‘Draconian’? ‘House arrest’? Coronavirus lockdowns prompt raft of lawsuits against states

Apparently you can only believe ‘public health’ experts during the lockdown.  Opposing lockdowns mean you are anti-science.

“The cases test where the lines are safely drawn, as governors balance protecting public health against individual liberties. ”  Presupposes the outcome.  The plaintiffs says  that governors have not appropriately balanced the two competing goods.

To me the cases are about unfair treatments: churches closed but liquor stores open.  I expect a lot of the churches are willing to implement restrictions during services, eg, distancing and masks.  Nope.  “The eventual rulings could redefine the balance between state police powers and constitutional rights that advocates contend are too important to sacrifice even temporarily. “[my emphasis]

Failing to accept lockdown rules means you deny health science is text limited choice fallacy.  “Edward Richards, a law professor at Louisiana State University who has a master’s degree in public health for disease control, said health restrictions have been held paramount since the threat of yellow fever hung over the Constitutional Convention. But he said businesses have always been skeptical and political leaders now openly question the legitimacy of health science.”  [my emphasis].  The writer fails to acknowledge a middle ground, that lockdowns must be applied fairly.

More here: ““The legal picture doesn’t give us a real portrayal of the long-term ambivalent support toward public health,” Richards said. “We’ve never had the governmental authorities starting with the president actively undermining the public’s trust in public health, actively questioning whether the diseases are actually serious.” [my emphases].  Translation: accept lockdown, peasants!

Fortunately the writer acknowledges at least 1 constitutional right trumps lockdowns.  ““We do not uphold an injunction against state action lightly, much less during a public health crisis like the one our nation is experiencing now,” Judge Karen Nelson Moore wrote for the 6th Circuit, favoring flexibility for governors and legislatures to balance rights. “Affording flexibility, however, is not the same as abdicating responsibility, especially when well-established constitutional rights are at stake, as the right to abortion most assuredly is.”” The constitutional right referred to in this paragraph is abortion.

The writer also discusses the successful pushback from some gun shops, though only the plaintiffs, not the judges’ decisions, are quoted.

Another limited choice quote (2 paragraphs):

Dr. Irwin Redlener, co-director of the National Center for Disaster Preparedness at Columbia University, said the country needs leadership to explain why lifting shutdown orders would be dangerous before developing tools to ensure public health.
“Opening stores before we have ability to do on-site daily testing is just playing Russian roulette with our families,” said Redlener, a clinical professor of health management. “We don’t want to take a step or many steps backwards where economic or political interests can override the public’s health.”

my emphases.  The limited choice is that public health comes first ‘economic or political interests’ cannot be allowed to override.  Such an issue may be debated.  I regret to see hardline ‘public health uber alles’ cited.

Pritzker [Gov. of Illinois] told reporters May 12 that more people would be hospitalized and would die if people don’t follow science in reopening gradually.

I would love to see the ‘science’ on the reopening schedules, ie, the regression lines, the two-way tables, etc.  Are governors making reasonable decisions?  Likely.  Is there hard science to define the Phase 1-4 unlockings?  I very much doubt it.

 

Lockdown over 21-May-2020

How do I know? Because while out running errands I saw 1 guy without a mask. I also saw numerous cyclists, which is nothing amazing, except 4 (!) were not wearing helmets. Not only is the lockdown being flouted, all previous regs are also now being ignored.

Likely complicated

I am referring to https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2020/05/19/florida-covid-19-coronavirus-data-researcher-out-state-reopens/5218897002/

which is story about Rebekah Jones and her work on reporting COVID-19 cases in Florida. Apparently she is using ArcMap (or, more generally, ArcGIS), which I just so happens to have been subject of a course last semester.

1) It so easy for me to imagine that her complaint about her refusal to ‘manipulate’ the data is a) true b) not true c) somewhere in the middle where reporting issues or decisions are areas where reasonable people can reasonably disagree.

2) re quote “she single-handedly created two applications in two languages, four dashboards, six unique maps with layers of data functionality for 32 variables covering a half a million lines of data”: I half-believe this. a) 2 ‘applications’ might mean 2 different analyses or scripts for presentation. b) ‘two languages’: did she write text in English and Spanish? It is possible. c) 32 variables: sounds like program pulls in demography datasets with lots of variables (population, %race, housing, etc). d) ‘half a million lines of data’ sounds believable. e) ‘single-handedly’: possible, but then she works in department, has 1 or more managers, and has to respond to them. So possible, but also possible that other people supplied input which she incorporated, but I doubt this is all her project independent of anyone else.

3) re quote “I worked on it alone, sixteen hours a day for two months, most of which I was never paid for, and now that this has happened I’ll probably never get paid for”. Not sure what to believe about this. She could be paid hourly, or could be a salaried employee. Maybe she is salaried and thinks she should bet raise or reward for extra hours put in. I doubt ‘alone’ for reason above (ie input from managers). I am inclined to doubt 16 hours/day for 2 months: never bought groceries?

4) re ‘her data users sounded the alarm that government might be censoring science. ‘ USAToday has to be USAToday. All quotes from 3rd parties are in supported of this contention.

Weather spin and I do not mean cyclone

Headline: First tropical storm of hurricane season may develop near Florida, Bahamas by this weekend  (date 12-May-2020)

Sounds scary for these reasons (emphases mine)

  1. “Weeks ahead of schedule, the hurricane season’s first tropical system could develop near Florida and the Bahamas this weekend, forecasters said Tuesday.”
  2.  “The official start to the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season is June 1

Oh, but not to worry.

  1. “As of midday Tuesday, the National Hurricane Center said  there was a 50% chance of development within the next five days. “
  2. ” . . . although storms often form before that date, as they have in each of the past five years.

So not much there.

Kudos to NJ.com

For covering this deeply distressing and terribly sad story.

The headline is the story: https://www.nj.com/middlesex/2020/05/catholic-church-buries-infants-found-dead-at-nj-recycling-center.html

Forget the ambiguity of the headline (were the infants found at recycling center or were they buried at the recycling center – the former is correct).

I am a little surprised that NJ.com covered a story that makes the Catholic Church look good, but here we are.

Also noting the strong statement re attendance: “In attendance were Bishop of Metuchen Rev. James F. Checchio and New Bunswick (sic) Mayor James Cahill.” [my emphasis].

USA Today on China’s Side

I am referring to today’s article.

In aggravation (all emphases mine):

“This is such a dangerous dynamic for the world,” said Rachel Esplin Odell, a China expert with the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft, which advocates restraint in U.S. military policy.

“This is kind of the archetypal issue on which you would hope to have cooperation among the whole world – but especially among leading powers – because the downside is so high when you don’t have it,” said Jacob Stokes, a senior China policy analyst with the U.S. Institute of Peace, a nonpartisan institute.

But U.S.-China relations are “the worst they’ve been in nearly 50 years,” said Stokes, a former national security adviser to Vice President Joe Biden.

Yong Wang, who directs the American studies center at Peking University in Beijing, said relentless rhetoric from the Trump administration blaming China for the coronavirus outbreak risks a new “Cold War.” It could also undermine the view of America among the Chinese public, he said.

Does Trump need to tread carefully? (subhead; no corresponding ‘Does Xi need to tread carefully?’ headings).

Wang, the Peking University expert, said that if the U.S. pushes ahead with threats to seek coronavirus-related damages against China or to “decouple” the two economies, it probably would backfire. China is already starting to show signs that it will be the first economy to recover from the crisis, putting Beijing in a stronger position to retaliate if relations deteriorate further. (straight up propaganda, no evidence submitted)

In mitigation:

China has also come under fire for its lack of transparency over the outbreak, particularly in the initial stage, when it censored information about the virus and silenced doctors who tried to raise alarms. That sparked an intense backlash inside China – which Xi quickly moved to stifle – as well as abroad. 

Even now, U.S. officials and health experts have questioned whether China’s infection rates and death toll can be trusted. Raising further concerns, Beijing has restricted access to its research on the virus, according to a CNN report.

In a startling propaganda video, China’s government has openly mocked Trump’s attempts to down play the virus.

Paean to Governor Andrew Cuomo

Published in lohud.com, natch.

Quotes follow, my emphases.

“While the video has a political subject, its real purpose is to cheer us up, not stir us up, as it pokes fun at everyone who has the luxury of going stir crazy while being sheltered safely in place.”

“Titled ‘KoCuomo,’ the video rewrites the Beach Boys’ ‘Kokomo’ into a musical tribute to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo.”

“The video shows life dragging in the house – dishes pile up, showers are optional. But when Cuomo comes on for his daily news briefing, everyone is rapt and riveted, ‘in love with words of our take-charge guv.‘”