Rescheduling for thee, but not for me

When Wisconsin Republicans refused to move their election day, Democrats, experts, and various media types decried the decision as immoral and dangerous during a pandemic. “Regularly scheduled, orderly elections with direct governmental consequences were either too dangerous, or insufficiently compelling,” Adam wrote in a late-night email. “Contrast that, of course, with Democrats’s evident belief that we absolutely must not delay these protests against police brutality. The protests—spontaneous not scheduled, disorderly not orderly, emotive not concretely consequential—simply had to go on.”

Protests and demonstrations are more important and indispensable than elections. The deliberate act of voting, essential to a democracy, can be put on a schedule delay but political catharsis must proceed on its own schedule. Mario Cuomo used to say that “We campaign in poetry but we govern in prose.” Now it’s poetry or nothing.

Here is more by Jonah Goldberg.  I am not looking to attack or make trouble for any individual person here, so no link or name, but this is from a leading figure in biology and also a regular commenter on epidemiology:

As a citizen, I wholeheartedly support the protests nonetheless.

My worries run deep.  Should the original lockdown recommendations have been asterisked with a “this is my lesser, non-citizen self speaking” disclaimer?  Should those who broke the earlier lockdowns, to save their jobs or visit their relatives, or go to their churches, or they wanted to see their dying grandma but couldn’t…have been able to cite their role as “citizens” as good reason for opposing the recommendations of the “scientists”?  Does the author have much scientific expertise in how likely these protests are to prove successful?  Does typing the word “c-i-t-i-z-e-n” relieve one of the burden of estimating how much public health credibility will be lost if/when we are told that another lockdown is needed to forestall a really quite possible second wave?  Does the author have a deep understanding of the actual literature on the “science/citizen” distinction, value freedom in science, the normative role of the advisor, and so on?  Does the implicit portrait painted by that tweet imply a radically desiccated, and indeed segregated role of the notions of “scientist” and “citizen”?  Would you trust a scientist like that for advice?  Should you?  And shouldn’t he endorse the protests “2/3 heartedly” or so, rather than “wholeheartedly”?  Isn’t that the mood affiliation talking?

On May 20th, the same source called a Trump plan for rapid reopening (churches too, and much more) “extraordinarily dangerous” — was that the scientist or the citizen talking?  And were we told which at the time?  Andreas’s comments at that above link are exactly on the mark, especially the point that the fragile consensus for the acceptability of lockdown will be difficult to recreate ever again.

If you would like a different perspective, bravo to Dan Diamond.  Here is his article.  And here are some better options for public health experts.  Here is a useful (very rough) estimate of expected fatalities from the protests, though it does not take all-important demonstration effects into account.  I can say I give credit to the initial source (the one I am criticizing) for passing that tweet storm along.

We really very drastically need to raise the quality and credibility of the advice given here.


The dumbest of us dumb Trumpsters can see right through the hypocrisy of the "experts", from coronavirus to climate change.

Let's not forget the clown that led the circus parade, Neil Ferguson, the author of the crappy code that is the Imperial College SIR model, off by two orders of magnitude, used to justify the disastrous looney left lockdown, broke the rules to play hide the salami with a married woman. I wonder if he wore a mask when he was ******* her. I doubt it.

We don't believe anything the experts say, from the great recession to covid to climate.

They're toast.

I don't think it is hypocrisy. I think there is a definite trend here. The public health officials have long used their research to push a particular political agenda. They have tried, basically, to make life for the Deplorables miserable. I assume it is revenge for the horrors of their Middle School life. They want to make all the popular boys suffer now they are adults.

So it is no surprise that they have used their advice to pursue the Culture Wars. They have said that Churches should be closed but not Gay nightclubs. They have said that fishing should be prohibited but not rioting. Anything that Republicans enjoy they have tried to stop.

But they have also tried to trash the economy. They have created a situation where Trump is blamed if he shuts down the economy but also where he will be blamed for every death if he does not. He has steered a middle course.

So the Left is simply trying for a more complex coup - a Color Revolution. They have pushed up unemployment. They have let as many criminals out of prison as possible. They have told rioters that their violence is fine. They have tried to resurrect the cynical BLM campaign through another perfect legitimate use of police force a la Ferguson. They have promised not to charge anyone for looting. They have even got another bunch of former RINOs from the military to come out and call for Trump to go.

It looks like the Dem's polling is not good for Biden.

Scientists should stick to the science and let the chips fall where they may. But science has been corrupted for political ends since, at least, the Nuclear Winter fairytale and perhaps longer. For DDT, certainly longer.

Daily Dem Derangement Syndrome from SMFS. About as regular as my morning bowel movement.

I am pleased to hear you are so regular Horace. You ought to live to 100.

Can you name one thing the Democrats could have done to encourage these riots that they did not? Can you point out anything public health officials have recommended recently that is not an attack on the sort of poor working class Whites that voted for Donald Trump? When was the last time they warned about the public health risks of salads?

Announced by the FDA, and current as of 03/05/2020 - Today we are releasing the 2020 Leafy Greens STEC Action Plan, which spells out the actions the FDA plans to take this year in the areas of prevention, response and addressing knowledge gaps. STEC stands for Shiga-toxin producing E. coli, which can cause potentially life-threatening illnesses. The most common STEC, E. coli O157:H7, is most often associated with outbreaks.

Further, one assumes that when the FDA issues a recall for your region, it is not too subtle to miss.

People who think that strong statements typed from their keyboards are enough to stop police violence, ALSO believe it's okay to risk grandma's life because they can't think of another way to temporarily organize the economy until a vaccine or a cure is found? And they have decided to blame OTHER peoples' personal preferences, politics and "mood affiliations"?

People who think that strong statements typed from their keyboards are enough to stop police violence, ALSO believe it's okay to risk grandma's life because they can't think of another way to temporarily organize the economy until a vaccine or a cure is found? And they have decided to blame OTHER peoples' personal preferences, politics and "mood affiliations"? (Just another interpretation.)

That seems to be a fairly short, for Prior, blather that is irrelevant to anything I said. I wonder, what do you think is the point of posting something that has nothing to do with the Democrats or anyone in public health? And is aimed at Trump voters actually. E. Coli is all about making meat more expensive.

Wow, Really enjoy Marginal Revolution. Not so sure about the right wing bunker boys in the comments section.

What color is the sky in your world, So Much for Subtlety? I fear that someone has switched your meds while you were busy cleaning your gun and burning masks, no doubt an agent from the CDC who is has heard of your disdain for the preferential treat Gay clubs are receiving during the the coup.

Maybe Carl T. Bergstrom understands that there are taxes he must pay that are not financial and do not go to lawfully constituted governments.

There again maybe he's just a four letter word.

You're dumber than a fundamentalist preacher, EdR.

1. experts beat non-experts, in chess and in life. You play me in chess, I'm about expert level, and I will win, on average. I may indeed fail to see the 'truth' in a chess position compared to Leela Zero or some other chess engine with almost perfect knowledge, but when compared to you, I am superior and I will win. That's what expert means. Otherwise we just use first-graders to make important decisions.

2. R0 = R0(t). Ferguson's code was indeed crappy, not OOP, all Fortran style coding where there's but one translation unit, but R0=R0(t), and Ferguson's solution probably, I am almost certain knowing what I know about R0=R0(t), probably fell within the equilibrium solution for Covid-19. I'll dumb it down for you EdR: Ferguson's nightmare scenario was probably possible if nobody did social distancing and flattened the curve. And anyway neither the UK nor the US did what he suggested, so 'no harm, no foul', and thus did not achieve a Greek/NZ/South Korea solution where there's nearly no C-19 in the wild, where more or less people freely circulate, post-lockdown, without even wearing a mask (I myself stopped wearing a mask since nobody else was, and Greece has just a dozen daily C-19 new cases, mostly among poor people and possibly more in those island refugee camps which are quarantined anyway, thanks to EU money)

3. Your personal attacks are a sign of stupid debate, stupid. "Play the board, not the man" is a chess maxim you should apply in life (look at the objective facts, not who is making the moves, although at top level chess there's lots of 'playing the man' , GM E. Lasker style.

Bye. Public service post, back to lurking...

I am a huge fan of your work Ray but I think you are off here. Experts may beat non-experts most of the time. But not always. As Napoleon once said, in war and prostitution the amateur is often better than the professional. Investing might well be another one too. However you mistake these people. Public health is not a field full of experts - how do you become "expert" at public health anyway? It is full of people who are credentialed. And the two are not the same.

In many fields we would be better off with first graders.

I'll dumb it down for you EdR: Ferguson's nightmare scenario was probably possible if nobody did social distancing and flattened the curve. And anyway neither the UK nor the US did what he suggested, so 'no harm, no foul',

This is a classic case of having it both ways - either they did not implement NF's advice *or* they did not so it doesn't matter. But you cannot claim both.

Johnson was clearly headed towards the Swedish solution when NF's bogus predictions forced him to impose a lock down. It is possible that whatever advice NF gave and BJ took helped. It is also possible that my tiger-repelling rock is responsible for the n early complete lack of fatal tiger attacks in my neck of the woods. But I would not bet on it.

3. Your personal attacks are a sign of stupid debate, stupid.

If ever anyone deserved it, Neil Ferguson does. How many billions of damage does someone have to do (without believing it themselves) before they are open to a little bit of criticism?

@SMFS - Napoleon had an expert army, stock advisers are worse than monkey darts but are providing an expensive service, namely, hand-holding, UK = Sweden with their halfway measures, which admittedly was the worse of both worlds (harm falling mostly on small businesses), and Ferguson is a jerk (as well as Mercatus prize winner, lol)

Ray, your maxim doesn't apply to politics --a "game" without rules, one in which the recourse to violence is always latent, one in which to win the top players must be astute and opportunistic but also mendacious and hypocrites. How should an "expert" analyze the "game" of politics? Well, it depends on what stage the "game" is. There are at least three stages (any similarity with "mafia's games" is intentional): one in which the winning faction rules with the expectation of being in power "forever" (then the focus would be on the probability of rebellion), one in which at least one challenging faction has a probability of being the winner tomorrow (focus on the probability the factions agree on rules to determine the winner), and one in which at least two factions fight until conditions for an agreement change (focus on the probability that the fight becomes violent and prolonged).

Yes, in politics, we have to go beyond Emanuel Lasker's struggle.

BTW, the "Public Choice" approach to politics --the "constitutional" one of Jim Buchanan based on the assumption that opposing factions were rational (in Churchill's old story that they can agree on the price, and in the Edgeworth box that an equilibrium exists and it's unique) -- failed because it couldn't accommodate the "dark side of the force" as Gordon Tullock and Jack Hirschleifer, among others, argued long ago (in practice, such accommodation means how to contain the dark side). Unfortunately, Tyler and Alex have shown no interest in discussing recent research on attempts to accommodate it.

@EB - they have experts in politics, they're called poly sci majors, and GWU has some good ones. Read a Jack Hirschleifer paper from 2001 but fail to see how it's relevant to the debate of, for the USA, #FlattenTheCurve, ie, should grandma die in a hospital hallway early or with dignity in a hospital bed later? I do concede the US probably can not equal South Korea, too late for that.

Ray, we should distinguish between politics and government. Politics refers to the competition to access and keep power, whereas government to how power is used. My previous comment referred only to politics because what has been going on in the U.S. (I live in Chile) since Trump's election is an open fight to get rid of him, not the normal bargaining between elected officials. You talk about professors of political science as experts but my point is that they don't have an analytical approach to explain how that game/fight is played. I open to read any reference you may have.

Your concern about flattening the curve relates to how the government uses power. In the U.S., the relevant power is divided among many units of government (at least three levels of government and two branches at each level) and it is expected and desirable some "political diversity" in the control of these units. No model of government can explain and predict the "output" of that structure, that is, the decisions and their proper and timely execution. Yes, we can claim that biologists and epidemiologists knew little as an important reason why that structure failed to take "good" decisions and to execute them properly and timely. We know, however, that the political fight mentioned above has been a major deterrent for the units of the government's structure to coordinate and cooperate in dealing with an "exceptional" shock.

OK thanks for that clarification EB.

Bonus trivia: I saw Greek graffiti in downtown Athens saying, during the Chilean riots of last year, 'solidarity with Chili' which I thought was interesting since I assumed many Greek leftists probably did not follow current events outside of Greece that much.

"Experts are good because I bet I can beat you at chess! ....but not if you have the help of a computer, doh :-("

Ray, your nonsense is even more nonsensical than usual..... and you forgot to ctl-f for patents!!!

@N49: what is your point, other than trolling? Stupid nym btw, makes no sense except to you. Bet you only read your own posts too.

The long march through the institutions has left in control of the media, the universities and the cultural creators. Had Hillary Clinton been elected, they would have the means to seal the deal politically. Like Horatio, Trump stopped the forward motion and we’ve had four years of hysteria, lies and now violence. All the pus of the left is exploding an orgy of anger and violence which is more and more aimed at each other. The idiot mayor of Minneapolis was booed because he declined to agree to defund the police. George Floyd has been retrofitted with wings and a halo, when he was a thug with an extensive criminal record who was working recently as a bouncer in a bar. Now that the cop has already been tried and convicted, how violent will the protests be if he is acquitted, when all the facts of the case are brought out? Remember Michael Brown, also described as a Gentle Giant, he of “Hands up, Don’t Shoot”? Wholly fraudulent, brought to you by the media and BLM.

The left is unable to restrain itself and will drive on to its destruction, at its own hand or in a fateful collision with the opposition. I hope collateral damage is not great.

It's delicious.

I can't wait for November, and I hate November - my least favorite month.

Ferguson didn't break the rules; don't libel people on someone else's blog.

IiRC, the UK was under lockdown at the time that his passion called. But he probably made the calculation that pussy > pandemic. “Oh Doctor, lock me down again, with your deadly pandemic!”, she was heard to say.

Right, now you're just arguing against men wanting to have sex; a losing battle.

Men wanting to have sex .... with other men's wives in this case. An activity that is now specifically illegal in Britain under the quarantine rules.

Ferguson broke the rules. Presumably, like Al Gore buying a beach front property, because he knew they were nonsense.

Even if these protests were to lead to higher deaths, or worse, a propagating second wave, such news will never make it into the media and therefore not exist in the elite consciousness.

I can't see any way for coronavirus to continue to as an issue in the public consciousness. Unless they can somehow completely sidestep the protesters and blame it on Trump.

I realize how dumb thing sound when explained in this way, but that's just how the world works these days.

It must be torture for a guy who writes books explaining how much future happiness is generated by 10bps of GDP growth.


Coronavirus is gone from the public consciousness, and I think will stay that way. Last week Virginia started its mask requirement for indoors, it worked for about 2 days... then the protests happened and now *nobody* wears masks indoors.

What happens when a hurricane goes onshore near Miami, and several million people evacuate to safer areas, where social distancing will be impossible. Should the original lockdown recommendations have been asterisked with 'corona virus transmission can actually be less important than reacting to a specific situation?' Which is the actual case, with the NWS pointing out that going to a tornado shelter overrode social distancing concerns in terms of priorities of saving lives.

This entire post has a truly strange framing - the anti lockdown protesters made use of their constitutional rights, just as the current protesters (worldwide, actually) are using their right to protest. The fear that seems to grip some people when talking about this pandemic has been a revelation.

For such people, please just stay inside a fenced off bunker complex until a vaccine is produced (maybe time to turn it up to Warp 11). The idea that the U.S. is effectively handling the first pandemic wave is absurd on its face, and the effects of either anti-lockdown or anti-police brutality demonstrations are unlikely to make much difference in broad strokes to what happens as the disease runs its course. The number of new cases and deaths in the U.S. has been at a plateau since mid May anyways - it isn't as if any major American public health gains regarding covid19 have been noticeable since then.

Though it is easy to agree with this, with a different framing - We really very drastically need to raise the quality and credibility of the advice given here.

You're overstating the hypocrisy here. This is like me advising my friend not to get back together with her ex; and then later, when she does anyway, I tell her that he actually has lots of good qualities, and she made a reasonable choice.

In other words the epidemiologists want to avoid giving advice that contradicts actions that are already set in stone, which would inevitably degrade their influence. If they speak out against the protests and the protests happen anyway — which they definitely will — it creates a pretty strong precedent of the public ignoring expert advice. Whereas if they make concessions to popular will, they can avoid setting that precedent and perhaps retain the legitimacy to enforce a second lockdown, should the need arise.

This is still mealy-mouthed, obviously, but in a way familiar to all politicians and political figures. Familiar to anyone who operates in the real world, even.

By the way, this should not be read as an actual endorsement of epidemiologists. I have almost nothing good to say about them as far as COVID goes. But IMO your criticism is off-base here.

sorry but this is nuts. Most people are not protesting, and do you think we're raising or lowering our view of the influence of these "experts"?

In the cold light of day, I did get a little out over my skis on this one. Some of the logical contortions happening are pretty extreme and likely will lead to loss of credibility. And perhaps it's appropriate to accuse the entire field of hypocrisy.

At the same time, I still think there's a fair amount of theoretically defensible realpolitik going on here.

But the experts denounced reopen protests that happened anyway. There was recently an open letter signed by over 1 thousand 'health experts' saying BLM protests posed no significant risk of spreading covid, but reopen protests do. I don't see how it's possible to overstate the hypocrisy.

if covid cases spike after the riots, that public health expert letter is gonna be bigly jab in the nads to public health credibility

+1 but also if cases don't spike. They really painted themselves into a corner on this one.


Yup, you right, but none are so blind as those that refuse to see. h/t to Ray's preacher comment. Lol!

But the experts denounced reopen protests that happened anyway. There was recently an open letter signed by over 1 thousand 'health experts' saying BLM protests posed no significant risk of spreading covid, but reopen protests do.
North49, can you provide link(s) to the 'health experts' open letter?

When it comes to public health, 80% of the effort should be going into the 20% of the population least likely to comply with the guidelines. I can get around 90% of the population to not use IV drugs just by telling them the likelihood of catching something deadly and these folks are predisposed to listen to me. The 10% who are not require me to be far more nuanced. They likely are distrustful of doctors and I can expect that I will have to make my case on their terms.

When looking at the public tribes in America, one defines itself as the tribe that "listens to experts", the tribe of "collective action", and the tribe of "science". If anyone, at all, is going to listen to "experts" merely by virtue of their positions, it is going to be the liberal tribe. As such we should expect public health officials to devote maybe 20% of their efforts to getting liberals to comply with public health recommendations.

If anyone is going to be skeptical it might be, exactly those folks willing to protest against lockdowns. This is our naturally skeptical population and in most any other context we would be devoting 80% of communication efforts at convincing them. We would do so while be respectful of their cultural values. We would agree with whatever points have any basis of agreement and try to show that the common ground extends to public health compliance (e.g. we would be saying that "you're right normalizing the economy is important, but you cannot do that as long as many people are fearful of disease spread so the best way to reopen the economy is with slow, measured steps"). Instead of any of the culturally competent public health stuff they teach in medical school we got "Grandma killers".

If you are going to make a cut-your-losses argument it was far, far more important for epidemiologists to do so with conservatives than with liberals. Yet they did not. I can only conclude that their actions are not being driven by making professional concessions, but by political tribalism.

'their actions are not being driven by making professional concessions, but by political tribalism'

+1, excellent analysis as usual.

big boldly unsupported claim no. 1
"-If anyone, at all, is going to listen to "experts" merely by virtue of their positions, it is going to be the liberal tribe. "
1200 leftist public health experts wont even listen to their own
public health experts.


I am quite prepared to believe that no one will functionally listen to these experts. That might even be the wisest call.

But the odds that a given liberal will listen are higher than for a given conservative. If you doubt you can get the liberals to listen then we are talking about purely political posturing rather than public health communication for certain.

we know incoherence,
we served with incoherence,
incoherence was a friend of ours,
you sure are incoherent


In retrospect, we should have been tipped off several years ago when "public health" officials tried to classify gun control as a health issue. Then, we had the whole mask fiasco where we were told masks were ineffective before they became mandatory.

Throughout, public health officials have proudly and openly violated the most sacred rule of advising: an advisor carries a fiduciary obligation to give the best advice that *puts the interests of the advisee first*. On the masks, these officials instead considered everyone else *except* the advisee! First, they told advisees that masks were ineffective to advance the interests of health care workers. Then, they told advisees to wear masks for the benefit of everyone else besides the advisee. That's because they viewed their advisees with disdain: people that would take valuable masks or threats to spread disease rather than people who were looking to these "experts" for guidance and help.

Imagine if an attorney advised his client to plead guilty even in the absence of incriminating evidence because that would be helpful to the prosecution. Or, a doctor advising a patient against a potentially life-saving treatment because another patient was awaiting an organ transplant. Would anyone trust such advisors?

The kicker is that these smug "public health" officials show no understanding of just how unethical their conduct has been. There can be no redemption without remorse.

As you rightly note, the masks issue has some potential ramifications here.

If masks and being outdoors are enough to prevent a second spike following the protests, then there are obviously some questions to be asked about whether that was predictable earlier in the year. If it was predictable, then it seems quite likely that public health has an anti-business, anti-religious bias that leaped first to the options that were most restrictive to business and religious gatherings, in order to "Show them who's boss here!". Rather than trying to balance business with disease prevention (the contrast a thought experiment counterfactual of "Sweden with more masks and care home protection" may be instructive).

If on the other hand, the masks are not effective to prevent super-spreading during these protests, there are huge questions about why public health seems to have simply acquiesced with the implication that masks mean that the risk is low, when just a little earlier in the year leaping directly to the option most restrictive to business and religious activity.

(I expect they'll claim it was "fog of war", "precautionary principle" and "Now we know the truth, but couldn't possibly before" other such stuff. Which will damage trust in them again; either they were incompetent and couldn't know, or they did know and made a biased choice. There's no good way out here for them.)

The scientific way to determine which kinds of activities lead to the spread of SARS-CoV-2 would be to recruit infected and uninfected volunteers, randomly break them into groups, have them do the activities we are concerned about, and then test everyone after. Given that this virus has been around for seven months and there would be serious ethical questions about this sort of research, there isn't anything suspicious or particularly surprising about the fact that we don't have scientific certainty on which activities are high risk.

Economists still debate whether higher minimum wages lead to increased unemployment and epidemiologists have a similar causal inference problem when it comes to the spread of the virus. They need to wait for natural experiments to come along and then wait much longer for the results of those natural experiments to be debated endlessly in the public sphere by people with ideological axes to grind.

The initial case seemed to be made on what were presented as high certainty estimates and models! It was not "Maybe masks are effective, maybe not, everyone better wear them anyway just to be sure", for example. There were some strong claims that they were flatly ineffective and bad policy.

But even if original estimates and models weren't and were simply a worst precaution, where's the precautionary principle now (surely we still don't know)?

Add, if we're arguing that causal inference is limited by "natural experiments", then the suggestion that countries all engage strong lockdown policies to mute all "natural experiments" is itself... ethically questionable. Some number of excess deaths is worth having more information, when that extra information can be expected to lead to better causal inference and protection; this is not an unavoidable calculation.

"The initial case seemed to be made on what were presented as high certainty estimates and models!"

I don't share that impression.

"where's the precautionary principle now (surely we still don't know)?"

It hasn't gone anywhere. A Tianenmen-style crackdown on protesters of any sort (whether they are anti-lockdown or anti-police brutality) in a democratic society would cause any remaining goodwill the public has toward the government to evaporate. Protests will continue until enough protesters decide to stop, anything else is virtue signalling.

"Add, if we're arguing that causal inference is limited by "natural experiments", then the suggestion that countries all engage strong lockdown policies to mute all "natural experiments" is itself... ethically questionable"

Whose view is that? I haven't seen anyone criticize, say, South Korea for its liberal social distancing policies and try to insist they imitate Spain or Italy.

We can't dispute impressions, but as you well know that South Korea, perceived as having "done well", is an outlier on proclamations that mandate lockdown for all. India and Belarus less so (to no apparent advantage to India).

"Economists still debate whether higher minimum wages lead to increased unemployment."

Economists overwhelmingly think raising the minimum wage by any notable amount increases unemployment.

"Notable" is a weasel word. Card and Krueger's work from 1994 ignited a debate that is still burning. "The debate among researchers about the employment effects of minimum wages remains intense and unsettled. There is clear variation in the magnitude of estimated employment effects across studies, with the debate often being between an elasticity for low-skilled groups equal to (or indistinguishable from) zero, or an elasticity in the range of −0.1 to −0.2. However, there are larger negative estimates in the literature (see Table 1), and occasional large positive estimates (Card and Krueger 1994). That the debate remains unresolved is demonstrated by the recent exchange between Allegretto et al. (2017), who claim no evidence of ‘disemployment’ effects, and Neumark and Wascher (2017), who claim there is job loss."

“Imagine if an attorney advised his client to plead guilty even in the absence of incriminating evidence because that would be helpful to the prosecution....”

That sounds a little like General Flynn. Now we know how that turned out.

In this case, they've skipped the waiting for evidence step and moves right on to the ideological axe grinding.

This hypocrisy is even worse for us in the UK where media threw all the hate and condemnation they are capable of at a government advisor whose child caring plan may have violated lockdown rules, but a few days later celebrate these protests. Insufferable.

There is an asterisk though - driving 30 miles to 'test your eyesight' to see whether you can drive back to London is remarkably stupid, even assuming one accepts such a lame excuse at face value.

It's stupid if you think you'll crash immediately (in which case you shouldn't be on the road). It's not really stupid if you think you and your sight may get fatigued after a long haul, and want to test out if that will happen on a shorter one, pulling to the roadside and giving control of the car to your wife if it gets too bad.

I don't really know if I buy Cummings' excuse really, this is just a commentary that the British Left's leap into "Taken at face value Cummings endangered the life of himself, his wife and his child!" is pretty rabid, bonkers, frothing, swivel eyed stuff.

Of course he endangered life by driving 30km while concerned about his eyesight, but the main issue was his incredible excuses, and the affected credulity of his partisan supporters made them look weak supplicants.

This is a ridiculous and exaggerated claim largely made by sore die-hard losers who believe Cummings is some dark svengali behind Brexit, and are obsessed with removing him on any pretext, in order to somehow win a fight to remain in the European Union that they've repeatedly lost for 5 years.

When the reality is that the Remainers largely fucked up their argument, and it was always on a knife edge.

Who can trust medical personnel too, after this? "Hundreds of doctors gathered in Central Park’s East Meadow on Saturday afternoon, many wearing white coats and scrubs while holding signs that read, “Please don’t kill our patients” and “You stayed home for me, now I’ll kneel for you.”

It was part of a rally organized as a show of support by members of the medical community for the protests against police brutality.

“We know that black lives matter, we know that our patients matter, we know that our colleagues of color matter,” said one of the organizers, as she spoke through a megaphone to kick off the demonstration. “It’s time to shed light on the racial injustices and disparities in health care and to take action and do something about it.”

The organizers were two physicians who created a Facebook group several days ago, after seeing the number of health-care workers who attended the protests. Suraj Shah, a physician in Manhattan, told The Washington Post that the event was a stand against the systemic racism that they feel has contributed to health disparities in underserved minority communities.

“There are obviously two pandemics, one of which has been going on for centuries, and it’s time to take a stand against that,” Shah said."

Inability to connect dots.
It is beyond the usual mirage. A mirage is when Tom Cotton, who represents chicken farmers from Arkansas, now wants to be a neocon hero, that is true psychosis. He has no clue.

But there is something about connecting dots in life, like the immunologist who just steps out of normal logic like it is a privilege earned. I would think the normal intellectual or scientist would be proud of connecting dots, they would never give up the practice. I dunno? Maybe it is impossible to avoid acting out, like a disease of civilization.

Tom Cotton, a Harvard and Claremont graduate, is no dummy and represents all the people of Arkansas, not just the chicken farmers. Although I do not agree with him at this time, some of the actions of protesters are strongly suggestive of an actual attempt to overthrow the U.S. government, and the Insurrection Act should at least be discussed. We should hear him out.

Calling him psychotic does not add to the discussion.

'some of the actions of protesters are strongly suggestive of an actual attempt to overthrow the U.S. government'

lol. a couple of college kids dressed up as ninja turtles won't overthrow anything. they can barely do the laundry.

a couple ninja turtles blew up the federal building in Oklahoma

Trevor Bedford has dramatically increased his estimate of the downstream death toll of the protests since this post was written (!) which is now high enough to meet or exceed the WaPo estimates of total annual fatal police shootings at the low end and would exceed all the police shootings since 1/1/2015 tracked by WaPo in the middle of his range. Rapidly compounding tragedies in all directions.

And even from that, the subset that is unarmed, not-attacking-police fatal shootings are, what <1% of total police shootings...?

Would people be out there protesting like this if they really understood potential increases in disease fatality relative to *actual* excess deaths of innocent people, and how weak the evidence there is for a racially specific excess of deaths of innocent people? (Hopefully those deaths don't come about, although if they don't, there will be serious questions to be asked here about what role a "Lives vs economies" bias and political signalling played in those models.)

But this lack of understanding of the absolute size of deaths and then the relative error that follows on, is something BLM has stoked for years. For years, defenders of BLM on here and elsewhere have argued that it's influence is not so bad, but this kind of statistical lack of understanding of relative scale, I would argue, is *exactly* the consequence of failure to challenge their claims robustly enough (and if this exact material consequence was not a predictable outcome, some bad consequence certainly was).

Why would you assume cops willing to murder innocent citizens wouldn't also be willing to lie about the circumstances of their murder? Very 1D thinking.

True; we know they've murdered innocent citizens because people are dead, and therefore they are sort of people to lie about it. I stand clearly corrected /s.

Some reporting quoting what the police initially said regarding Floyd - "According to a police statement, officers were responding to reports of a “forgery in process” at the Cup Foods grocery store and “were advised that the suspect was sitting on top of a blue car and appeared to be under the influence.” When the officers arrived, according to their report, they found Floyd sitting in his own car, at which point they ordered him to step outside. According to the incident report, Floyd then “physically resisted arrest.” Police say it was only after they cuffed him that they realized he was “suffering a medical distress” that prompted them to call an ambulance. Police say he died shortly upon arriving at the Hennepin County Medical Center."

Then came the second, and third, and fourth video - "Last week, a second bystander video began circulating that clearly shows Floyd did not physically resist arrest, disproving the police incident report’s claim that he had done so. The video, taken through the windshield of the onlooker’s car, shows two officers furiously cuffing Floyd, but Floyd himself appears just to be standing by his car.

Another video from surveillance cameras provided by a local restaurant owner shows what happened next: Floyd sitting on the ground handcuffed. Then a couple of police officers stand Floyd up and press him against a wall before walking him off camera. Floyd looks distressed, but there’s no sound to indicate what anyone on camera is saying.

In an interview with CNN, Cup Foods co-owner Mahmoud Abumayyaleh said footage from the store’s surveillance cameras, which has not been released to the public, also shows Floyd not resisting arrest."

The American police are adept writers of fiction, and have been for decades. The odd thing is, just like the results in pro wrestling, that anyone takes such reports seriously. There is a reason one of the reforms so seriously pushed by many people willing to vote is to have the police record their interactions, instead of asking anyone to trust their written reports.

The example of the shoved 75 year old protester in Buffalo 'tripping' is another example. One that led to the suspension of the two police officers directly involved. Followed by the entire unit quitting, as a reaction to a critical public response to their fiction writing.

Many, many more examples available, but who are you going to believe - a dedicated public servant of the forces of law and order, or a video recording? These days, a majority of American have started believing their lying eyes instead of talented fiction writers. Must be because of sensationalized social media - like the reporting from Layafette Park just before Trump took a Monday evening stroll to visit a church.

re- no video of Floyd resisting arrest?
does anonymous have retinal degeneration
free eye test no. 54
looks like your narrative has omitted the part of the arrest video after handcuffs where he is forcibly resisting being put into the police car&
before he is prone on the street

To be clear,I don't think the vast majority of police are lying in these incidents. The vast majority of cops get low numbers of complaints (as previously discussed).

Say the real rate of those who were attacking is like 3 or 4 x the estimated <1%.

Still almost nothing compared to plausible excess deaths from corona spread driven by these protests...

Yes. Anyone who has not been convicted by a jury is *by definition* innocent under United States law. If you can't understand that, it explains a lot about the rest of your reasoning.

Link to Trevor's update toll:

"Again, these 200-1100 deaths per day of protests will be disproportionately among black individuals."

I have about as much faith in this calculation as I did in the many models that predicted ¡MILLIONS DEAD! from the Deep State Fever, but one thing I know for sure is that, if these protests do lead to an increase in coronavirus deaths in the black community, we'll be told it's because of racism.

It tells you something about the weighting the supporters of protesting right now are placing on political action and activism in the streets vs electoral and democratic process, yes.

One related point is I haven't seen the activists yet demanding local or state or national referenda, to put any programmes they propose to an electoral test before implementation.

Again, that probably tells you something about the degree to which getting legitimacy through a democratic exercise, even on that goes outside the normal channels of US representative democracy (state,federal, etc.) simply isn't a major part of their calculation.

A lot of the broader left's "brand" has been about being the pragmatic, competent party that has clear ideas of the functioning of government, the continuation of its institutions, and how to use established mechanisms to legally implement programs of policy, and doesn't simply respond to a mob in the streets (for which they decry the "Populist Right"). How do these protests interact with that?

And with Joe Biden's electoral campaign. Does he face pressure to integrate their demands into his program? If he doesn't, it's hard to see how he can act to implement anything based on them, if he does win on a "No malarky - no radical changes, business as usual" platform. If he doesn't, then he's going to face some questions about that. (As far as I know his major comment of note here so far was "shoot them in the leg instead of the heart" as a means to ameliorate police brutality. Which doesn't seem what the protesters want.)

Well, there seems to be some consistency between protestors who don’t seem to have any desire to try to influence or win elections and a Democratic Party that bills itself as competent and non-mob driven.

There's not if they're also supposed to represent the same constituency that votes for the Democratic Party.

The “Democrats” protesting are the Bernie-wing that are barely Democrats. They often vote 3rd party or not at all. They are prone to conspiratorial thinking, like blaming big corporations and killer cops. It is a bit like Trump & GOP’s “good people on both sides” position. They can’t risk de-energizing 5-15% of crazies they need to vote.

Got a chuckle out of this. The people I see on the news Nora overwhelmingly do not look like those I saw rooting for the burn.

Accidentally or on purpose the protesters made Trump jump the shark. That trip to the church really was the bridge too far.

To over-use the military metaphor, he has lost territory all the way back to Roger Goodell and NFL standards. He lost territory all the way back to "take a knee."

And as a result Biden can be more direct in his messaging that Trump is an idiot, because everyone understands now.

It's just true.

And poor dumb Trump continues to make it worse, surrounding the White House with chicken wire making it look like a chicken coop.

Which at this point it is.

And yet 70% of Americans agree with him on this subject. Someone here is and idiot.

You are misusing the numbers. Something like 70 percent think troops should put down violence. Nothing like 70 percent think this is the violence to be put down.

"In a Monmouth University poll released this week, 76 percent of Americans — including 71 percent of white people — called racism and discrimination “a big problem” in the United States. That’s a 26-percentage-point spike since 2015. In the poll, 57 percent of Americans said demonstrators’ anger was fully justified, and another 21 percent called it somewhat justified."

What TMC is really trying on here is what Trump tried and failed at, the idea that peaceful protesters are really antifa, send in the troops.

As I say, that failed so bad that Trump lost the NFL, etc.

someone is burning the buildings.
who do you think is the arsonist?
mebbe colonel mustard in the library

Americans Are More Troubled by Police Actions in Killing of George Floyd Than by Violence at Protests, Poll Finds

(At the WSJ, you might hit fewer firewalls if you search the same title at Twitter and click through there. They apparently give Twitter users more free peeks.)

would rather pay kronas for the wsj than twitter.
that article was good but it didn't talk about who the arsonists
some of our kronas are bet on the "mostly" peaceful protestors
as arsonists

I have no issue with the peaceful protesters and have never writen that I do. Please stop speaking for me.

-10, lying again

Link to your fantasy group calling for military troops to crush peaceful protestors with violence

See things positively! People are doing great to construct herd immunity in these demonstrations. They remind all of us of our unalienable right "to assemble peacefully". They are not hypocrites: they are blind people finally seeing light.

People who go to Las Vegas right now are "balancing" personal risk and personal reward.

People who protest right now are at least balancing personal risk and social responsibility.

That was true of the "open up" protesters too of course, but it's possible to think two things about that:

1) the open up protesters were wrong

2) the open up protesters paved the way for this

You got to admit, it's hard to hold this hypocrisy in your head, that it's fine to protest just opening up, but bad to protest anything else, later on, further into "the opening."

When the governments forbid the people to assemble peacefully,
under futile pretexts like the Cold 19, it is a good and civic act to defy the orders and protest, whatever the cause. My respect for all protesters, against the lock-downs or against the police.

There are two conflicting "goods." Freedom is good generally, and in very specific circumstances, quarantine is good as well.

I don't think you'd be down with "Ebola Carriers For Ebola" marching in your town?

"Ebola Carriers for Herd Immunity"

Pro reopening people are not against anyone protesting the police. They were doing plenty of protesting the police themselves! (Opposing riots, looting, and murdering business owners is a different thing) You can't be a hypocrite unless you contradict yourself. It's the anti-reopening crowd that changed their tune when it was the 'correct' politics in action.

Judging by the numbers, the US and UK have been running something like the Sweden model all along anyway.

It's quite possible that we tick along at ~1,000 deaths per day right through the summer. It's possible that the thing tapers off and runs its course. And it's quite possible that we run into a bigger wave this fall, and, based on the experience this year, we ain't locking down again. There is lots of evidence to suggest there's a million corpses between here and herd immunity.

Seems like we're playing with fire here. Really pulling for a vaccine.

Dark, but sadly possible.

"It's quite possible that we tick along at ~1,000 deaths per day right through the summer."

Highly unlikely. So far, the drop in Covid-19 deaths is continuing:

May 16 to May 22: 1,300 per day
May 23 to May 29: 960 per day
May 30 to Jun 5: 880 per day

“Someone went to a public gathering this weekend, got coronavirus, and then spread to to 15 people at the grocery store, 4 of whom died. Isn’t that irresponsible?”

“It depends, what was the protest about? From a public health perspective, those lives might have been worth losing.”

First, do no harm. Well, second, do no harm. First, be woke.

This whole thing vindicates you starting shit with the epidemiologists. Should've gone harder on them.

This chance for change might not happen again for a long time. The feelings involved can't be bottled and released after Covid 19 has gone.

Not true, since apparently these triggering events occur in a constant flood. Surely you believe someone will be murdered by police after the pandemic is over.

This is an true point; since the claim is that this is continuous and not kind of an unusual event, then rationally there's not must cost to waiting.

But I guess the thing is that the protesters feel they must be "Never again", not "Perhaps 4 or 5 again, then when it's safer to protest you'll really hear us say Never again". No matter how much better that, rationally speaking, would be.

If now is the only time for protest then people are protesting because of the trigger, not the cause. Otherwise they would have been protesting in April. And if they protest only from the trigger and triggers are continuous... yes, I completely agree this could and should wait if protestors are telling themselves the truth.

They aren't. Much of this is pent up frustration from the lockdowns coming out in a peer supported manner.

Yes, the lockdown is the confounding variable.

The risk of passing on covid 19 in church is far far greater than it is outside. Spending time close to people inside is the main risk.

And going to church is not even close on the scale of importance of these protests. That is not to devalue religion or going to church, which is clearly very important to many people. But Church will still be there after. This moment in history will not be.

You may not think so. But some people think the state of their immortal soul depends on them going to Church. You know, confession, absolution that sort of thing.

So it is vastly more important to them. And it is also clearly protected by the First Amendment. Which I am not sure looting and throwing bricks at policemen is. I may not have read the small print closely.

I am absolutely positive that the 1st Amendment does not protect looting and throwing bricks at the police, as reading the text is not hard - "or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances"

And Chief Justice Roberts is also clear that the 1st Amendment does not protect church going during a pandemic, as the 1st Amendment does not actually prevent public health measures involving churches as part of a larger measure.

v. GAVIN NEWSOM, GOVERNOR OF CALIFORNIA, ET AL. - Although California’s guidelines place restrictions on places of worship, those restrictions appear consistent with the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment. Similar or more severe restrictions apply to comparable secular gatherings, including lectures, concerts, movie showings, spectator sports, and theatrical performances, where large groups of people gather in close proximity for extended periods of time. And the Order exempts or treats more leniently only dissimilar activities, such as operating grocery stores, banks, and laundromats, in which people neither congregate in large groups nor remain in close proximity for extended periods.

The precise question of when restrictions on particular social activities should be lifted during the pandemic is a dynamic and fact-intensive matter subject to reasonable disagreement. Our Constitution principally entrusts “[t]he safety and the health of the people” to the politically accountable officials of the States “to guard and protect.” Jacobson v. Massachusetts, 197 U. S. 11, 38 (1905). When those officials “undertake[ ] to act in areas fraught with medical and scientific uncertainties,” their latitude “must be especially broad.” Marshall v. United States, 414 U. S. 417, 427 (1974). Where those broad limits are not exceeded, they should not be subject to second-guessing by an “unelected federal judiciary,” which lacks the background, competence, and expertise to assess public health and is not accountable to the people. See Garcia v. San Antonio Metropolitan Transit Authority, 469 U. S. 528, 545 (1985). That is especially true where, as here, a party seeks emergency relief in an interlocutory posture, while local officials are actively shaping their response to changing facts on the ground. The notion that it is “indisputably clear” that the Government’s limitations are unconstitutional seems quite improbable.'

This may not be the final opinion on the matter, but as one would expect, the 1st Amendment does not allow violent protests, nor does it grant special rights to churches to evade public health measures.

There is no small print to read.

Amendment I

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

No small print, much briefer than your comment, and I’m guessing what the Congress can’t do, neither can the states.

Roberts is no originalist.


Let's apply your originalist thinking to the
Ten Commandments.

Ok, give me your answer below,
The ten commandments clearly say
Thou Shall Not Kill

OK, that is the commandment,
Thou Shall Not Kill

Interpreting the Commandment as you would the First Amendment,

Can I kill in self defense....NO, strict interpretation says so. The words are clear. And, you can't go out and take out anything else from historical context to interpret this.

Can I fight a in a war and kill someone....Yes, you must...Sorry, No you cannot. God's word is clear. She gave those commandments to Moses for a reason.

If you disagree with the strict interpretation, please post below. You may not rely on history, debate, and you must not interpret based on the internet because that did not exist at the time. You may make references to goats and sheep, however.

'and I’m guessing what the Congress can’t do, neither can the states'

You would be wrong. Of course laws can be passed that affect a church precisely the same way that laws would affect any other institution. Churches are not a place where prostitution can be legally practiced simply because a religion claims that exchanging money for sex is part of their tenets.

The same applies to fire regulations, or health inspections if a church has a kitchen that is used for public events. Religion is not, and has never been, an excuse in the U.S. to not obey the same laws as everyone else. Welcome to originalism - which this modern attempt to somehow claim that religion is exempt from whatever laws it wants to be is the opposite of.

As noted by Roberts, of course, pointing out that the same restrictions apply equally to secular and religious organizations, ensuring religion the protection granted by the 1st Amendment. A municipality making occupancy rules relating to fire exits has every right to apply such rules to all buildings in that jurisdiction. What they are not allowed to do is make a special set of rules that only applies to churches, and most particularly if those rules only apply to the buildings of a single religion.

Churches are not a place where prostitution can be legally practiced simply because a religion claims that exchanging money for sex is part of their tenets.

As usual Prior, you are wrong. I don't know of any sect that practices prostitution, but there are religions in America that take drugs for religious purposes. They are allowed to do so. The consumption of various mushrooms is illegal for you and me but not if we join the right religious group. I may not kill a chicken in my kitchen. But I can if I practice Candomblé.

The First Amendment is clear. Roberts clearly prefers smart dinner parties.

Your grasp of how the law works is really awful

Many people's businesses are bankrupt, and more every day. I'm sure making a living and feeding their children is more important to them, and their livelihoods are not waiting for them on the other side of a vaccine discovery. Here at marginal revolution, I assume we all are familiar with subjective value theory, so far be it from YOU to decide whether these protests are more important or less than other things other people would like to do.

I've been wondering about this. Blacks are more likely than any other Americans to attend weekly religious services.

Are religious blacks upset about having a central part of their lives disrupted for three months? Maybe not, but I've heard zero reporting on the subject, and I suspect most of these folks would rate going to church as more important than street protests organized by the new religion.

yours is a bold claim that might not be true
"The risk of passing on covid 19 in church is far far greater than it is outside"
a lot of the churches are doing the social distance , mask and other recommended precautions.

1) Yes, some epidemiologists were hypocrites. Most were not. I am watching Fauci on TV right now saying that people are at increased risk if they go to protests.

2) The voting in Wisconsin occurred close to the peak of the infection rate. The protests are occurring at a time when rates are at their lowest for most states.

3) A lot of states are essentially open already. In states not fully open a lot of areas are ignoring restrictions. I expect so see an increase in infection rates but will be hard to pick up from the background. A lot of that will depend upon if there really is a seasonal effect, which I am leaning towards.

Saying people should be able to make an informed decision about their personal increased risk vis-a-vis certain activities is *not* not being a hypocrite. That was the whole message of the roundly criticized reopen protests.

This exactly. On the days I went to protest, I could have gone to a restaurant, or had a haircut, or relaxed with hundreds or thousands of others at the beach.

Instead, I wore a mask, maintained distance, and protested.

I guess you must just want black Grandmas to die? 🤷‍♀️

People who think that strong statements typed from their keyboards are enough to stop police violence, ALSO believe it's okay to risk grandma's life because they can't think of another way to temporarily organize the economy until a vaccine or a cure is found? And they have decided to blame OTHER peoples' personal preferences, politics and "mood affiliations"?

Sometimes you find the fish
By shining a bright light
Into the dark
And find what types of fish
Rise from below the surface.

This post, and yesterday's post,
Give me an idea of the fisherman
And the type of
Fish that lie beneath the surface.

Coronavirus isn't the only thing the experts are getting wrong (or, "not even wrong" as the saying goes).Tyler's whole cognitive elite class is looking at a huge credibility loss. Just a quick rundown of the whoppers they're telling:

Diversity is our strength - What a knee-slapper.
Cities enable economies of scale - Haha! Good one.
Classical liberalism - Oh my sides.

Tyler, using the same framing, can you write about the alleged hypocrisy of the protestors in Hong Kong that are tired of Beijing's tightening iron grip and their need to avoid the Wuhan flu?

When did the Hong Kong protestors ever insist on authoritarian lockdowns??

Is there hypocrisy when
Governor DeWine (R Ohio) reschedules
An election for the same reason a Democratic
Governor reschedules an election.

Is there a difference between scheduling a
Governmental function where governors
Of both parties do it for the same reason
With court review
Than a third party or parties
Exercising free speech
When some in the government
Would prefer they were silent,
At least go home and stay off the TV.

Is there a difference when you ask
Infectious disease physicians
And those responsible for public health
What should be the guidelines and policy
That will not kill you or your neighbor or your wife.

I have a 58 year old friend who spent 11 days in the hospital. Very fit. Very lucky.

Sorry, one mistake in the comparison of Ohio and Wis.
One restricted the franchise by delay, the other arguably expanded it.

In both cases, the choice would not be necessary if there were robust mail in voting or other alternatives (such as extended voting, weekend, etc) so difficult health choices would not have to be made.

For the mathematical folks in the audience, compute how long voting line will be in November if each voter has to stand six feet apart. Then, think back and ask: What was the weather like the last time I voted in a Presidential election. Then ask, would I stand outside or wait in that line.

You decide.

Oh, and if the line is long,
How long can I wait
Before I have to go to
The bathroom.

False equivalence. A primary election is something scheduled and organized by the state government and could easily be rescheduled, as several states in fact did. These protests are spontaneous mass movements that are not centrally organized—the only way you could reschedule them is through a pretty tyrannical level of state control.

Hypocrisy would be something like demanding that the in-person Republican National Convention be shut down for COVID but still holding an in-person Democratic National Convention. That hasn’t happened; the question of whether there will be an in-person Democratic National Convention is still up in the air, whereas the Republican National Convention will definitely happen in-person though possibly not in North Carolina. Based on that apples-to-apples comparison, the greater concern for COVID among Democrats seems genuine even if perhaps more than optimal.

There is no reason at all to think that these are spontaneous mass movements that are not centrally organized. In fact they look very centrally organized. A good example being that looting was not playing well on TV and so orders seem to have gone out to make it stop.

They can be rescheduled by someone close to the DNC simply telling them to stop.

I would guess the DNC would also like to cancel the in-person Convention to make sure Bernie's friends do not kick up a fuss or try to stymie Biden at the last moment. A coronation is much easier to organize on line.

There is nothing magical about these protests. They were organized on facebook and could easily have been scheduled for later in the summer. (Btw, fb is not banning blm protests like they did for reopen protests.) Don't worry, there will be more tragic deaths of black men at the hands of white cops later in the year too, it's sadly not a unique or even rare event..... I mean, that's kinda the whole point of the protests....

If the protests keep up, maybe we can get something better than the cops pushing a 75 year old white man to the ground so he bleeds from the ear. You know, another Chauvin-style atrocity to help crank up the flagging protest enthusiasm. If we keep poking, surely some good video will come of it.

In reality, it's been 12 days of protesting, looting, rioting, and cops behaving badly in a miniscule proportion of encounters.

You are heard. You are seen. We are listening. What do you want? The answer: defund the police.

OK then, maybe it's time to wind up the protests. Don't you know there's a pandemic on?

Shutting down "non-essential businesses" and restricting travel out of one's home, among other edicts issued as part of the lockdowns, is "a pretty tyrannical level of state control", but that didn't stop any of our overlords from doing just that.

And as far as concern goes, let me remind you which party the protestors belong to.

Pew Pew Pew! Here is your random disposable email address - without login or registration! Test it out, try sending an email to it - new emails arrive instantly to the inbox below. Give it to entities who you don't trust and keep spam away from your regular email. So far, our network processed 12,799,672,662 emails (+0), (56147 / hour). Sharks with laser beams attached to their heads FTW!

Zaua's only able to posit false equivalence by ignoring the response to the lockdown protests.

Fauci said both types of outdoor demonstrations posed risks.

Did the Floyd protesters carry guns?

Probably, but they have definitely caused more death and injury than the ones who carried them openly.

Whose the "they"--white suremacists driving around in truck with gas containers? The guy who was indicted in MN?

The NRA is taking donations for Floyd demonstrators to openly carry guns...I read that somewhere on the internet...we'll all be safer if everyone packs heat.

Well called. It’s a complete sell out from those guys, Twitter epidemiologists and doctors. For weeks , they told us how scary the virus is , how it attacks the lungs, the heart , clots the blood , gives children Kawasaki disease and we should do everything to stay home, that nothing was more important than fight the virus, certainly not the economy.
Well it wasn’t so important after all . a better woke cause came along and they did a 180, turned on a dime. Now they’re Citizens fighting systemic racism first and epidemiologists/doctors distant second.
The irony is they also told us how disproportionately minorities have been affected by the virus especially African Americans who have died in large numbers in New York for example.
Not important anymore, Black lives matter but not for the virus victims.

Our problem is that professional-managerial types in our time tend to be of low character. This is just one manifestation of that.

And here is a (seemingly) justifiable response.

Several public health professors were even openly advocating for not providing medical care to anti-lockdown protestors who contracted COVID while not "following the rules":

+1 news cycles spinning so fast, I forgot about that.

Apply that now and I wonder how many "concerns" would come out about names of protesters going on a list / people being "punished for doing their civic duty".

I would be unsurprised if the opposite argument even came out now from exactly the same people - arguing that those that attended protests should be prioritized, if anything, for medical care, as the "civic" betters of the rest of the population.

--from which point we might expect "public health professionals and policy experts" to advocate withholding all medical treatment for any citizen who failed to exercise enough civic care and concern over the past two weeks to risk participating in media-approved (media-instigated?) protests, riots, arson, and looting.

Our corrupt and corrupting Media Establishment continues NOT to have any Constitutional license, privilege, or monopoly on public discourse management: all media assertions to the contrary bear strict citizen challenge and public repudiation.

"Freedom of speech" in the American context henceforth must consist at least in part in silencing the leveraged voices privileged by our corrupt and corrupting Media Establishment: no legislation required, citizens can effect this simply by tuning out and turning off. (No LSD required, either, unless that really makes cutting media tentacles that much easier.)

What might happen amidst widespread outbreaks nationally of "pure locality"--local discourse pertaining to whatever subject, COMPLETELY untainted by corrupt and corrupting nationally-leveraged "public discourse management"?

The UK's NHS issued a new policy letting doctors refuse care to people who are determined to be 'racist' or 'sexist'.

The ethics standards in the medical professions are very strict about providing medical care where there is some emotional attachment to the patient.

These epidemiologists who opined on these things political, and gave medical advice need to be sanctioned or fired.

I understand there is a list of names. That would be a good start.

The ethics standards in the medical professions are very strict about providing medical care where there is some emotional attachment to the patient.

Is that a Cannuck thing? I've known doctors who declined for prudential reasons. One doctor of my acquaintance declined to doctor his family for time management reasons. His wife was a hypochondriac.

Nah, its in the AMA code of medical ethics as well.

In general the big hangups are that a very small number of physicians have used this as a way to feed a substance dependence, there is some concern that patients will be less candid (e.g. teenage children), and that physicians will make inappropriate decisions at the expense of everyone else (e.g. here have this restricted antibiotic because I don't want you to risk continuing to be sick with something resistant).

Even in Canada they still recognize that you can treat common things with low stakes without bad outcomes (e.g. prescribe yourself a Z-Pak rather than finding time to have another doctor read off the same symptoms for a low stakes antibiotic script and waste everyone's time).

In general, these concerns seem quite silly to me. If I want my family to get a specific treatment that is remotely warranted I could just coach them through the magic buzzword bingo to force it. If I wanted a ready supply of narcotics I know of dozens of ways to set them up that are less suspicious than prescribing in the name of family members. In the main if you are comfortable treating family and family is comfortable being treated by you it is very easy to do so without bad outcomes.

Taleb called Bergstrom a bullshitter, and I defended Bergstrom. I was wrong and I recant.
Irony overload

Taleb called Bergstrom a bullshitter


I said here early that protesting in a pandemic was not such a great idea, and that I thought people should just go home and be safe.

But it's easy here, where not many of you are supporting the protests anyway, and the few that are would not view it as an attack.

I can see how, especially if you are a prominent person, it would be hard to say that quiet part loud, even when the quiet part is correct, moral, even empathetic.

Even people who believe that there should not be mass protests in the pandemic are going to have difficulty saying so because they do not want to be perceived as attacking a movement.

I think it is a complexity more than it is a hypocrisy. If it is very hard to communicate all you believe, you might just be quiet about part of what you believe.

And yes, some people did jumble their messaging worse than that.

That’s the problem, people feel compelled to support BLM out of fear of the PC mob. It’s now on the page of Amazon and Uber.
If black lives matter so much why are there so many killings of young black men by young black men ? And why isn’t that also in the focus of these protests? It’s a much higher cause of death.
Policing is local in the US. Police departments vary in size from tiny to huge. They all have their own policies and idiosyncrasies. That they can do better is not in dispute but there’s no systemic racism just heterogeneity. Black people commit more crimes and interact more with police so they deal with these problems more.
Asians are also the victims of some racism but somehow their risk to be killed by police is 1/10 of African Americans.
I suspect it’s because they’re more law abiding.

If you think that people only support BLM "out of fear of the PC mob" then you will naturally process all these events differently.

People want to be part of the “in” group. It’s human nature. And now, if you’re younger and don’t play along, there goes your job And advancement potential since they’ll search your personal accounts.

If you don’t think there’s self-preservation going on, you haven’t paid attention to the last 3 years.

The true test is the aftermath. Will they stay To live with the consequences of their beliefs and actions or move?

It’s like being a Hollywood celebrity. Those who live behind walls, can afford private security who may carry those bad guns but want open borders. Or during a water restriction tweet photos of themselves lounging by or in their full pools and jacuzzis.

Some no doubt are genuine and these mostly are not new to the movement, others go with the group think and want to appear PC.
I don't think police brutality is the main problem facing African Americans today. It's mostly a mediatic topic that once again presents AA as victims of repression and racism instead of self motivated agents in charge of their own destiny. I am all for solving it but I am under no illusions that it will change significantly the lives of the average AA.
Another issue with the PC hysteria , is that police officers in the future may become reticent to engage with African American criminals for fear of appearing brutal or racist. We saw that in the aftermath of Ferguson. Law abiding AA will be the ones to suffer most from this.
There is crime in African American communities and they need police help. Policing sometimes includes chaotic situations and physical responses.
I think improvement of policing tactics is needed in areas such as how to deal with mentally ill people who may not be able to respond correctly . Also statistics and tracking of complaints and action against habitual problem officers who cause most of the problems.

As far as I can tell the dynamic is:

1. there are some smart and cool-headed people who can think about things like how the prevalence of crime across groups could inform rates of relative violence, or about what the real causes of divergences in the wealth of nations are.
2. there are some emotive people who simply would get caught up in any would be romanticized struggle for liberation and exploitation and oppression that they can get attached to.

Group 1 would normally (or at least mostly from 1960-2008 more often than not) check some of Group 2's worst tendencies. But they've been systematically intimidated to the point that they won't, so it's full on romantic liberation struggle revolution mode for society as a whole.

Some of Group 1 have acclimatized themselves to this situation by reconciling themselves psychologically with explanations they know are not really true but can sort of rationally believe in for a second or two.

But there are plenty of romantic liberation struggle revolution true believers. Being part of a social justice revolution gives their lives meaning, purpose and community which is otherwise lacking, and this is a powerful force. Even if the ideology is fundamentally irrational and built on speculation (if not directly contradicted fiction).

I clicked on one of the links and can't believe
Twitter feeds
Guide a discussion.

Next it will be

Surely everyone understands that Twitter is now our first draft of history.

Surely we all know
Is not
Peer Reviewed!!!

lol, or too much peer/bot review.

I will say this, if the little green man had gone in and beaten up the peaceful protesters in mass, then I would have put on my mask and gone to a protest in my city.

I had already made that decision, even though I knew as an old man it would put me at higher risk. I'm glad I don't have to.

At this point, I think the protest is adequately represented with young people, and as Tyler said in his Bloomberg piece, young people who should also think about staying home.

Here is Ross Douthat on the bankruptcy of both the left and the right and the resulting victory of the coronavirus (Douthat bases/devotes his column to an essay by a George Mason University Ph.D. candidate in computer science): Douthat must be the most political apolitical writer ever, his pox on both their houses his usual diagnosis for whatever is wrong. That approach is recognizable to readers of this blog. The problem is that if everybody is in the wrong nobody is in the right. Of course, that's Douthat's (Cowen's?) point. This is Trinity Sunday. "We have left undone those things which we ought to have done; And we have done those things which we ought not to have done; And there is no health in us."

+1 Goldberg (goucher college?)
"people today have an addiction to subtext but a cavalier, even dismissive, attitude toward text. "
best definition of postmodernism ever!
goldberg was bigly wrong about bigly brained and hypercompetent
K MecEnany

+1. I am forever trying to find common ground with my lefty friends, but rather take my arguments at face value, they always tell my what I really think. I fear it's an impenetrable bubble.

Given level of cultish behaviour, malice towards opponents and disconnection from reality one sees, if the worst socio-political-economic consequences over the next 10 years are decrease in % of people who trust scientific advice and a reduction in police presence that leads to a significant increase in crime, I would say that is a lucky break.

So apparently Tyler sees status as overvalued at the moment and is willing to trade for credibility, which is currently deeply discounted.

" ... raise the quality and credibility of the advice given ..."? Really? That's what we need? For [some people] to thread the needle on the advice better?

Since I don't support the cause of BLM or its auxiliary attachments, methinks they doth protest too much, given the actual dearth of fascists around, unless it's themselves; but I've got to hand it to them - by marching, stealing, and spitting on each other 24/7 for a week, they figured out a way to give new lease to these fascist stay-home, wear-a-mask orders. Brilliant.

My bleeding heart liberal perspective: I mostly agree with Tyler here, but believe he is underestimating the potential benefit of the current protest movement for future generations. The movement seems to be about more than the issue of police reform and I believe it is prompting many Americans to decide that racial inequalities are no longer acceptable.

So, while I think the public health risks are very large, I think the potential upside is enormous. That's why I am participating in outdoor demonstrations while wearing a mask and keeping a safe distance. For what it's worth, I think that is the experience of most demonstrators.

Look at the pictures of the dance parties at the protest in DC yesterday. No masks anywhere. And however much those dance parties may have moved some people in the fight for racial equality, they caused others to question why it's ok for these protestors to have their dance party but they couldn't have a graveside service when their grandfather died.

"You can have a street party... if you politicise it to the appropriate ideology". What an interesting message to send.

Perverse incentives rule (even when the intended incentives are perverse enough themselves!)

Ironic to see the comments that used to be against the lockdown for economic reasons citing low R0 and low CFR now all of a sudden screaming tut-tut at protestors for not self-quarantining. These protestors have to buy signage for display, masks, cams for streaming, and all kinds of goods and services which puts money back into the economy. A few days ago, they would have praised that.

And, there would have been much bigger numbers of people interacting had the lockdown not been in effect.

Let's say a state as a population of say, 30 million (Tex) and 20 million (Fla) and they all interact with each other in the state, everyday for three weeks.

Compare that to a demonstration with 3-5 thousand people outdoors for a short time.

Yes, there will be effects, but the magnitude is different.

Is the disappearance of all of the commenters who used to say that sunshine, heat, and humidity meant that the danger of outdoor viral transmission was essentially nil.

What never was present cannot disappear, prior.

Again I have to say, you really have a massive hate on for this strawman of people arguing heat meant no possibility of transmission.

No one really argued that (not here), just that hotter countries might have lower R0, more favourable Vitamin D etc initially, and this helped them beyond pure policy, bureaucracy, etc advantages, esp in early stages of growth when speed was very important.

April 25 - saturday-assorted-links-255, April 24 - friday-assorted-links-259. to give a couple of examples. There was also all the Florida comments and the Bali heterogeniety post. Any number of commentors were wedded to the idea that the outdoor transmission was meaningless when talking about spring break, for example.

Maybe you just ignored them.

That is the most bizarre way to link anything, ever.

While people are out protesting in crowds, the state allows our pool to reopen with only one adult lap swimmer per lane. In other words, no kids, and no more than six adults at any time.

I've seen pictures of a Hasidic school in NY that themed its carnival as a rally for George Floyd so that DeBlasio couldn't arrest them. Maybe we can do something similar in our pool.

Naw, it's the police.
They just wanted to get outdoors.

I am actually more worried about the police during the demonstrations. There are EMT people in their ranks who come in contact with covid, police officers get exposed to if there were a population that started with potential spreaders in the mix who then interacted closely with each other, changing clothes at police stations ,etc. this would be it. They also have people in their 30s and 40s who are not in such good shape.

And, don't forget the National Guard who are going back to their communities. They also probably sleep in quarters and interact with the police and each other. More of a mixing chamber than you can imagine.

It should be obvious to anyone with a brain that public health "experts" are nothing more than political hacks. Some of us in the alternative medical and vaccine-skeptic communities have been saying this for years. Now everyone knows it.

Yes, and science should not be believed,
My political hacks that I listen to are better than yours.
So there.

That should be obvious to everybody.
Now everyone knows it.

The world is flat, and
Penicillin doesn't work
On your
Syphilis because you do not believe in doctors, either.

How many “public heath experts” rely on taxpayer money for income?

They have a vested interest in keeping that money flowing.

When you use the word "public" that
Probably implies employment by the "public"

If you thought about that observation above,
You would also recognize that they get poor job approval
for having deaths.

Not necessarily.

I concluded early on that Bergstrom could not be trusted. If you disagreed with anything he said, you were a right wing troll.

Public health officials might be getting their money from the US taxpayer one way or another. They have a vested interest in keeping the money flowing.

How isn't it the worst kind of false equivalency to suggest that street protests can or should be managed and executed the same way elections are?

Tyler has jumped the shark the last couple weeks. Either than or he (and a bunch of the righty-sphere) have contracted BLM-DS

Talk to any friends you have who immigrated from the Soviet bloc as adults. Gain their trust, pick their brains, and you'll find that they're all terrified by this emerging dynamic. They recognize a rise in totalitarian thinking/subservience in academia and our governing institutions and they're terrified. Several I know have, independently, compared what is happening (in general--not in the example noted in this post--and especially in reference to gender/sexuality) to Lysenkoism.

Don't be so dramatic, comrade! Just some silly college kids isolated on their campus bubble. They'll grow out of it once they get out into the real world!

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