Tuesday assorted links


4. It's racist to think the protests caused a spike in Covid cases.

On a brighter note, my 10 year old son said at lunch yesterday, "You know, Daddy, you can't say anything anymore, because everything is racist."

It's also contradicted by outcomes in NYC, where massive daily protests for over a month haven't moved the needle in either direction.

It is not contradicted by that.

First, NYC has a 20-30% positve rate for the antibody tests, which is in the range where the infection is saturating in many locations. It could well be that NYC has something akin to herd immunity already so that the protests have a different result there than they would in other places.

There are many locations where the protests do correspond to increases in infection rate. Moreover, the infections seem to be concentrated among younger people, who are more likely to have been to protests.

I'm not completely sure that protests have caused the recent spikes, maybe it's air conditioning. But to be certain that they had no effect is ridiculous.


There are lots of places other than NYC that had protests but no spike. If this were data and not just propaganda one would make an attempt to include a wide variety of cities and maybe even provide suggestions as to why many places that had protests had no spike. It might be part of the cause but just picking 4 cities out of many isn't useful.


There was a major article on this today in WaPo. It did not mention LA or Cincinnati, but apparently in Portland there was study of new cases, and they did not come from protests. Houston is a mixed bag, but they were probably a minor part of the spike, if at all.

The only place where it is clear protests led to an outbreak is Columbia, SC, where organizers halted the protests after this was discovered. There have indeed been many places with large protests and no spike, including NYC, Philadelphia, and Minneapolis. Along with Portland, Seattle and Oakland did similar studies and no relation of protests to Covid-19 infections.

Major factors in most places seem to be widespread mask wearing plus out doors with lots of movement.

I am truly thankful to the holder of this web site who has
shared this impressive piece of writing at at this time.

It is contradicted by that. Antibody tests are notorious for overinflation, the false positive rate is whole percentage points, meaning if you test 100,000 people youll get more false positives than accurate positives. Cut those numbers in half and youre still overestimating. So more like 10-15%, which is about 50% short of herd immunity.


Massive protests in NY under lockdown, no increase.

Minnesota had massive protests under lockdown, no increase. Remove lockdown procedures, 5-6 later days a big spike.

"I'm not completely sure that protests have caused the recent spikes, maybe it's air conditioning. But to be certain that they had no effect is ridiculous."

Of course they've had a effect, no doubt, I'm also not ridiculous. But there is a massive wealth of evidence suggesting that the lifting restrictions is having the *largest* effect on the spike, its by far the most powerful mechanism driving it.

To suggest otherwise is more than ridiculous, its willful blindness. There were far more people at the beach than there were at the protests after all....

In a presentation about his culture, my son said "I'm Chinese". His classmates roundly criticized him because that's racist.

Is he the responsible for this Kungflu virus Trump keeps talking about (in a very non-racist way of course)?

I haven't noticed children' speech was the standard we were using to judge our culture. If it makes you feel better, I am sure CNN and the Department of State concede the fact President Xi is Chinese.

Hey, that's a nifty trick there. "Chinese" != "Kungflu".

Really. You think he was referring to which nationality? German, maybe? Chilean?

And he doubles down.

Ok. What do YOU think the President was referring to? He called the coronavirus Kungflu. Do you have any guess what he meant? It only infects martial artists? Has it starred a TV series with David Carradine? Don't you Nazis ever tire of making up excuses for the guy?

Just a reminder, we're talking about my 10 year old son here.

Thank goodness that we can be confident that 10 yr olds don't pick-up and reflect the attitudes of their parents, huh? By the way, his classmates should be disciplined for creating a hostile learning environment (bullying). The fact that the teacher (apparently) didn't do this, is solid grounds for termination, if not criminal charges. I assume your kid's school district requires teachers to wear body-cams, so you need to get your lawyer involved before the footage is "lost".

My son is Chinese. All animals are equal, but some animals are less equal than others.

Again, what do you think Trump means by Kungflu? Aren't you tired of making up excuses for the White-Supremacist-in-Chief?

this just in
democrats declare 4th of July racist

Why is your son's culture not American? Immigrants are expected to assimilate not form ethnic ghettos in this great country.

Well, his father is Chinese and raised in China. His mother is Chinese and raised in China. He is Chinese, born in China, raised by Chinese, and spent significant parts of his life in China. I would think that "I am Chinese" is just a statement of fact.

Godwin in 3 moves.


Yeah, I don't know why I have discussion with people with no interest to discuss in good faith.

You mean, people who pretend "Kungflu" is yet another of Trump' racist moves. Seriously, you Nazis never tire of being scumbags?

I have no idea what you’re talking about. Joeuser is talking about his son. You jumped from ten year old to Hitler for some inane reason

I’m Chinese American, although I would say Taiwanese American as a personal preference, or just shortened to Taiwanese. Seems to be a generational thing.

Anyways, you’re the only non-Chinese person in this thread, apparently outraged on all whites’ behalf on account of our kids referring to our culture as Chinese.

I’d say yikes but honestly it’s too stupid to take seriously

Hrm. I didn't realize comments are curated. Is this a recent change?

They’re very lightly curated.

Apparently the line was commentor “O.” calling a ten year old Chinese kid Hitler because said child had the audacity to say “I’m Chinese”

A Brave New World indeed.

That was an absurd threadjack. I’m glad it was curated into oblivion.

I am both a bigot and a potty-mouth, but only occasionally censored.

"Hrm. I didn't realize comments are curated. Is this a recent change"

Nope, the comments have always been lightly curated. Most of the time the really obnoxious comments are removed promptly.

4. It is my understanding that any discussion of infection rates must be met with a response about testing frequency.

Positivity, on the other hand, is exceedingly useful information.

The usefulness of information apparently depends on who you ask, and when, and why. And on the source.

And on what it implies.

8. I think the thing most people miss about the Woodrow Wilson story is that Princeton is renaming the school to the Princeton School ..

At the top level the institution is prioritizing the institution, and emphasizing the brand.

Who is WW? A dead guy with a brand value declining over time. This is regardless to controversy.

The same applies to John Wayne and our airport. We hit the "kids don't know who he is" problem before we hit any controversy problem.


I guess generally I'm not for protecting the feelings of dead people.

Sure same about Martin Luther King.

In another 50 or 100 years, sure.

Especially if his dream is achieved.

Has Woodrow Wilson's vision been fully realized?

Thankfully, no.

Au contraire! Progressivism has progressed to the point where previous Progressives are deemed to be too conservative/reactionary.

Wilson also did much to give us the modern presidency, which Progressives criticize now only because someone was elected whom they find repulsive (and accordingly they deserve being hoisted with their own petard).

"Especially if his dream is achieved."

He'll be around for a while then. We're going backwards.

MLK has to be cancelled pronto and his statue toppled. Don’t you know that the alt-right has been going around citing his dream, plus, he used the word “riots” not infrequently to refer to mostly peaceful protests. And I don’t feel safe when alt-fighters quote him on peaceful non-violence. All his talk about non-violence is far-right extremism. Burn his books so that mostly peaceful protesters will no longer suffer such micro-aggressions.

There was a professor who recently got into quite a bit of employment-related difficulty after he read the Letter From Birmingham Jail in class, because in that letter, King used the N-word.

today the democrats musta gotta in a little trouble after declaring
July 4 racist because the tweet was quickly deleted

Excerpts from King's Letter from a Birmingham Jail: https://www.africa.upenn.edu/Articles_Gen/Letter_Birmingham.html

"I had hoped that the white moderate would understand that law and order exist for the purpose of establishing justice and that when they fail in this purpose they become the dangerously structured dams that block the flow of social progress. I had hoped that the white moderate would understand that the present tension in the South is a necessary phase of the transition from an obnoxious negative peace, in which the Negro passively accepted his unjust plight, to a substantive and positive peace... In your statement you assert that our actions, even though peaceful, must be condemned because they precipitate violence. But is this a logical assertion? Isn't this like condemning a robbed man because his possession of money precipitated the evil act of robbery? Isn't this like condemning Socrates because his unswerving commitment to truth and his philosophical inquiries precipitated the act by the misguided populace in which they made him drink hemlock? Isn't this like condemning Jesus because his unique God consciousness and never ceasing devotion to God's will precipitated the evil act of crucifixion? We must come to see that, as the federal courts have consistently affirmed, it is wrong to urge an individual to cease his efforts to gain his basic constitutional rights because the quest may precipitate violence. Society must protect the robbed and punish the robber."

King always condemned violence but he was the target himself of attempts to equate what he described as "direction action" campaigns with disorder or riots.

I gotta feel like that might have a negative impact on charity. Vain as it is, some people donate to put their names on things. If that 'honor' only lasts as long as the mob allows it, those donors might just go elsewhere.

8. By the way Tyler, if Ross is "completely" correct, how does it map into Noah on American decline?


I tend to think the stickiness we have for bad names is connected to the stickiness we have for bad solutions.

4. It’s interesting to look at more granular data. Take Cincinnati, the first of Vance’s graphs. The upsurge in Cincinnati is highly concentrated on the west side of the city: https://www.cincinnati-oh.gov/health/covid-19/. The west side is a more traditionally working class family oriented area, whereas the kind of “cool” millennials who might be most likely to participate in protests mostly live on the east side (see this discussion http://www.city-data.com/forum/cincinnati/394081-westside-vs-eastside.html).

Given the demographics, if the protests were the main cause of the upswing, it would be odd for the new caseload to be concentrated on the west side where the people were probably least likely to be at a protest, and not in the city center, around the university, in the east side areas with lots of yuppies, or in the all-black neighborhoods.

The west side is increasingly Hispanic:
Roberts Paideia Academy had one Hispanic student in the 2005-06 academic year.

By September 2014, the Latino enrollment in the East Price Hill elementary school had grown to almost 50%, 343 of 697 students.

Today, because of a surge since January and an unexpected spike since April 1, the number of Spanish-speaking students at Roberts has ballooned to 67% of 829 students.

Hispanics aren’t a major factor in Cincinnati; they’re overrepresented in public schools due to higher fertility but they are less than 4% of overall population according to the Census. Moreover, Hispanics are also not a demographic I really associate with the protests—they seem to be more blacks and progressive whites.

I'm not talking about protests. I'm talking about why the West side would have more cases. Representation doesn't matter with the cirus. Concentration does. A large population living in close quarters, many working essential jobs, leads to higher case counts.
The data below shows a jump in cases HAS been in Black and Hipster communities, per the Ohio Department of Health.

Preliminary data from the Ohio Department of Health, which tracks daily reported infections statewide, suggests a rise in cases for these and ZIP codes:

Warren: 45036 (Lebanon/Monroe), 45040 (Mason/Kings Mills)
Hamilton: 45231 (North College Hill/Mount Healthy), 45240 (Forest Park/Springdale), 45238 (Delhi Township/Cincinnati).

Or we could go with more accurate and granular data. The Hamilton County outbreak is currently centered in zip codes:

The last of those is a nursing home outbreak so likely just dumb bad luck. 45240 is 60% African American. 45231 is 40% African American. Both are substantially younger than national average and have higher rates of single female headed households. Hamilton County as a whole is around 69% white per the census.

So assuming the Cincinnati Enquirer has good zip code data, these outbreaks are in exactly the sort of places where you might see an outbreak after an anti-racism protest that drew disproportionately young African Americans out.

Oh and for other fun, Google shows quite nicely that the East Side was the epicenter of the Cincinnati outbreaks back in April so we are even more likely to see this result.

But hey, why let useful data get in the way of a good narrative.

Those are suburban-ish zip codes that tend to have fewer young people of protesting age as opposed to teenagers and younger. See the relative bulge of people aged 20-35 in 45240: https://www.unitedstateszipcodes.org/45240/. Moreover you’d expect fewer protestors in the suburbs simply because it’s harder to get to the city center where the big protests are. That’s why the original chart, and my comment, was focused on Cincinnati city, not Hamilton County. There are large swaths of Cincinnati city mostly north of Downtown that are almost all black, yet don’t have any kind of COVID siege right now.

45238 is also next to the west side of Cincinnati which is having the biggest outbreak so that’s not dumb luck. And if you’re suggesting the east side of Cincinnati has some kind of herd immunity, that’s absurd given that a Cincinnati had very few cases in the first wave.

What exactly is "protesting age?" The area you link to has a large population of 15-25 year olds. Care to define your terms?
"Moreover you’d expect fewer protestors in the suburbs simply because it’s harder to get to the city center where the big protests are."
Why would you expect that?
" That’s why the original chart, and my comment, was focused on Cincinnati city, not Hamilton County."
But I don't think Vance's was. It looks like he was using an MMA, rather than a strictly city limits graph.

Which zip codes, exactly do you think are "almost all black" north of downtown? 45217, 45220, and 45219 are the ones due north of the downtown and not one is even black majority.

East of downtown and Northeast you have 45206 and 45229, but as noted that was the site of the initial outbreak in Cincinnati. If anywhere is going to have herd immunity from April, it would be there.

And ultimately, disease progression is a lot of luck. Why exactly if 2 of the 5 most heavily African American zip codes are at the center of the new epidemic would say the other three are proof that protests did not matter? It is quite possible that people protested with their friends and whoever the super spreaders were happened to be in close proximity to folks from these neighborhoods by dumb luck. All of those folks then go home and spread disproportionately in their community. Some places randomly inoculated and others spared followed by widening of the gap through exponential growth is exactly what we expect from this sort of infection scenario.

Now maybe it is all coincidental, but these are not suburban in any real sense given local geography.

6. You mean that MR is printed, has audited circulation figures and costs £3.95 a copy?

4, Why hmm? And as always, reading the first comment is always enlightening - J.D. [email protected]
Replying to @JDVance1
This is all complicated, of course. Reopenings haven’t always caused spikes. Protests haven’t either, at least at this early stage. We still aren’t certain about many things, including the incubation period. But over interpreting a single early paper is absurd.

Seems self-evident, actually. Just like 3 does, at least if one notes that the U.S. has been at a basic plateau for deaths for several weeks.
Youyang [email protected]
Replying to @youyanggu
We take forecasts from 4 weeks ago (June 1 in the example above) and compare them to the baseline, which simply uses the previous week's (May 26-June 1) average daily deaths to make all future forecasts.

This is equivalent to extending a straight line on the daily deaths chart.

It's a well-known fact that on MR 20% of the pageviews and 30% of the comments are left by either Thiago or one of his sockpuppet aliases

Glad to see someone tried to bridge these circulation/readership apples and oranges. The circulation numbers on the other side of that TLS link are very different from what I'm guessing (but don't know) is being labeled as readership.

I don't have much expertise, but being in media (but not in edit!) for too long now prompted me to comment that #6 is off the mark.

9. Because temporal velocity hurtles us along terrestrially the way tech permits these days: this week, this very week, we are already hearing about the prospects for a fresh new pandemic of swine flu emerging in China. People are talking about it. It's being written about, and some of the alerts have already begun appearing online.

Swine flu turned out to be a big joke in late 1976. Today, it already begins to look like the very next large accident just waiting to happen.

Pah! A Chinese sniffle. It won't affect Murrcans.

I didn't know you had gotten a side job as Trump Admin speechwriter. Congratulations!

Maybe those arguments for disease related "international social distancing" make more sense than I thought. Seemed disproportionate for a once in a lifetime pandemic, but if the frequency will rise...

That's comforting, Thiago. Are there any other mass-murderers you'd like to quote?

1) Sure. "Never was so much owed by so many to so few" - - Winston Churchill

2) I am not Thiago. I am Peter Calvin, from Alabama.

3) "In 1987, UNESCO officially recommended that its member states 'join in the commemoration of the centenary of the birth of President Hồ Chí Minh by organizing various events as a tribute to his memory', considering 'the important and many-sided contributions of President Hồ Chí Minh to the fields of culture, education and the arts' who 'devoted his whole life to the national liberation of the Vietnamese people, contributing to the common struggle of peoples for peace, national independence, democracy and social progress'." -- https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ho_Chi_Minh#Legacy

we think Thiago might actually be our crazy uncle paulie

#8. I generally like this, but I think there's room for Tyler's previous writings on standards for statues to be used to argue for removing Wilson's name from the school. "Second, focus on the future, and third, don’t be afraid to make some changes." (https://www.mercatus.org/%5Bnode%3A%5D/commentary/forget-past-statues-represent-who-we-want-be)

So to Ross, don't be afraid to make some changes.

Or is Tyler supporting Ross's more radical claim, that the real route to redemption is for Princeton to do away with the whole school, and for Yale to close shop and give its billions to the ancestors of the slaves its namesake made money from?

I don't support this route, but Ross seems to be giving it more support than he realizes. I'll definitely take the change-the-name-bandaid if this other option is seriously being considered.

But the most problematic is this claim by Ross: "Which means, in turn, that the school will remain his school, whatever name gets slapped upon it, so long as it pursues the projects of enlightened progressive administration and global superpowerdom." Okay, but didn't Ross also say part of Wilson's policy program was "solidification of Jim Crow under a scientific-racist guise"? Is Princeton's policy school still Wilson's school is that part of his legacy isn't being pursued? Also, is the policy school still pursuing an interventionist agenda? I suspect many of its professors were opposed to the second Iraq War. I'm sure others had misgivings about going into Afghanistan even after 9/11. It doesn't sound like it's Wilson's school.

So maybe the real issue here is that we should be more reluctant to name things after people. Ross kind of gets at this, but misses the mark by saying that "our monuments and honorifics exist primarily to honor deeds" as if this is the case and rather than the ideal that we should be shooting for but often don't. He downplays how often statues are do canonize individuals and are about elevating group status.

So lets do more to honor those deeds and ideals and events more and stop slapping one particular person's image or name on it (especially a president's, half or more of whom are scoundrels, just really ambitious ones).

Also, the Columbus statues were all about elevating Italians' status back when they were a mistreated racial minority in the early 1900's. There's an irony that they're coming down now to assuage a different set of racial minorities. But I'm not necessarily sure they shouldn't come down. Don't be afraid to make some changes.

Ross presents a jumbled web of contradictions everywhere.
When will he learn to write more clearly?
His main target was administrators so why not lead with that rather than the tortuous written route he took?
The moral consistency he asks for could be the foolish consistency that Emerson counsels against.
This is the closest I've seen his views to Pol Pot ("Year Zero") so why am I surprised that TC calls this "completely correct"?

Afghanistan was Charlie Wilson's war, not Woodrow's.

"solidification of Jim Crow under a scientific-racist guise"

It could be argued that public policy from Affirmative Action onwards still shows rather a lot of Jim Crow thinking.

All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.

You might spend some time reading about affirmative action. You seem to have confused Orwell's allegory about the perfidity of the Russian Communist leaders with attempts to recompense for past atrocities presenting current effects.

Yes, I see how that can be important. Should Oprah's or Obama's kids benefit from affirmative action?

Not in my version of affirmative action; maybe in others. You should ask them.

How about affirmative action as it is normally implemented? Is it currently means tested?

As a descendant of a victim of Nat Turner’s murder and rape fest I really don’t feel like blacks need to recompense me for a historical atrocity. Also recompense is a super gay way to say that.

As funny as the image of my maid paying me a portion of her wages each month in recompense might be to to fans of edgier humor.

You would think as a vitally connected descendant, you might know Mr. Turner's spree was not state-sponsored, nor reflective of multi-century social injustices. No affirmative action needed.

That’s a lot of new qualifiers that just popped up. You said atrocities. You are something of a qualifier fire eater it appears.

Rofl I got too much IQ and wit for this shit.

Absorb... process... calculate... you can't compete with me. I'm too strong.

Follow your own advice. Affirmative action is constitutional only on grounds of "diversity", not as recompense for past discrimination. And regardless of the rationale, it's still a stupid policy.

Not arguing its constitutional status. Just pointing out it has nothing to do with Animal Farm.

Why is it "stupid"?

Read Thomas Sowell (Happy Birthday!):


+1 happy 90th! birthday

O/T. I'd like to see more discussion of the affluent's role as infection spreaders.

It was international travelers who brought it out of China and spread it around to other nations. And resort regions like ski areas got hit early - a place where the wealthy mingled, spreading infections and also leaving some behind in the host area.

And as the epidemic has spread, it is the wealthy who still have the wherewithal to travel around. Many have gone to their second homes in rural areas to ride it out. But of course many don’t stay in one place, they go back and forth.

And now as the summer easing has unfolded, they are traveling in droves. Those with the means are leaving the cities, and leaving Texas and Florida for places with lower infection counts.

The rich being the ones to truly spread pestilence widely, that's a twist.

Actually I did take an interesting online course on disease and learned that respiratory diseases have long been considered a rich man’s disease relative to other contagious diseases because hygiene plays a relatively smaller role and social interaction and travel a bigger one. One reason so many pandemics are now respiratory is the same reason so many deaths are now of heart disease and cancer—the world through affluence has eliminated many diseases previously associated with poverty.

Indeed. It's gotten worse, with the explosion of second homes, wealth-catering convenience travel, and remote-work technologies.

At this point, some significant number of the affluent are flaunting their ability to spread germs around.

I'd be interested to see some data on that.

by far most pneumonia deaths are in Africa (magnitudes more)

When you get into deaths, you are talking about other factors. In fact, deaths are generally the inverse of affluence.

And of course, once germs get into a community, it is the poor who tend to be congregated at home and work, who work in service industries facing the affluent, and so who start passing it around among each other.

My question is more about initial migration of germs. And about the subversion of various sheltering regimes by people with the means and desire to move around, and the means to obtain housing wherever they want to go.

"deaths are generally the inverse of affluence"
as are infectious diseases (mostly)
but good luck with your "subversions of sheltering regimes theory"
it sounds very postmodern


Herd immunity here we come.

5. Why hasn’t coronavirus been worse in Haiti?
"We had expected to reach the peak during the 27th week of the epidemic," which would have been the last week of June, "yet, on the basis of our observations, from the 22nd week, at the end of May, we saw a downward tendency in the numbers we are counting," said Dr Dely.
No air conditioning. Folks getting sun (Vitamin D) and slowing aerosols (heat and humidity), windy warm sea breeze. Ultra violet cracks the sphere. No mass transit, windows always open.

8. Ross is completely correct here (NYT).
Who was an indentured servant at the founding? Lot of white folks. Who had black slaver laws? Virginia. So, down comes Jefferson and Washington, keep Lincoln.

I have priors, a rich southern, and famous, uncle from the ante-bellum.

" So, down comes Jefferson and Washington, keep Lincoln."

Just for this turn of the wheel. Lincoln will be guilty of some unforgivable crime on a later turn.

Wouldn’t the Daily Mail be the more accurate comparison with MR?

It’s too bad the article about training auctioneers wasn’t written by a more curious person. Much of the auction business has moved online and the typical auction school curriculum has become progressively more irrelevant. COVID-19 has accelerated the migration of the business to online platforms. Most auction schools wouldn’t exist without educational requirements mandated by state licensing authorities. There are many interesting things going on in the auction business now including a significant struggle over the regulation of online auctions. 25 states currently regulate outcry auctions. Six have passed laws extended their regulatory framework to include online auctions. One interesting benefit of the growth of online auctions is, oddly, that the quality of competition at the three major outcry auctioneering contests has skyrocketed. Champions can usually count on being picked up for a permanent job with one of the remaining companies using outcry auctions at scale.

No, the Daily Mail is far too serious to be compared with MR.

On a serious note - the comparison was not to the Times, but the Times Literary Supplement.

8. Actually, Douthat overlooks the conflicted view of Wilson by the modern conservative movement. On the one hand, Wilson had an historically contingent perspective on American government—one in which government was not grounded on certain unchanging truths about human nature but would instead evolve to fit ever-changing historical circumstances. "It was this assertion of historical contingency over the permanent principles of American constitutionalism that animated the main tenets of Wilson’s political thought. It is also the view that today pervades academia, where the idea of a permanent standard of right has been replaced by the ideologies of multiculturalism and “value-neutral” positivism." Ouch. And lest a conservative forget, Wilson signed the national income tax into law in 1913, and in the same year, he pushed the Federal Reserve Act through Congress (early plans for this Act had envisioned a private board, but under Wilson’s leadership, the Federal Reserve was created as a government enterprise).

On the other hand, Wilson had a negative view of the separation of powers, and believed that the separation of powers was the source of much of what was wrong with American government. Wilson would be right at home with Bill Barr and the modern conservative movement's belief in broad and unbridled executive powers.

Douthat is aware of this conflicted view of Wilson, but it doesn't quite fit the purpose of his essay. Or maybe it does: "conflicted" is how he and many of us view American history.

And Douthat is totally wrong to say that the policy school is still following in Wilson's agenda. He lays out that agenda early on and it included advancing Jim Crow. Later, when he says that to change the name but not the focus of the school is a greater sin, he conveniently leaves off the Jim Crow part of Wilson's policy legacy. Hmmm..... Maybe it's not just Wilson's school anymore.

Too bad Ross didn't have space for a couple of grafts about the evils of progressivism, it's repudiation of the American founding and the Constitution. This is Wilson's true legacy, and it should be acknowledged and remembered. But I agree that even this should not cause his erasure from history .

Not celebrating someone is "erasure from history"? You Nazis are really desperate, aren't you?

Progressivism presents no repudiation of America's founding, unless you are talking nostalgia for slavery, not impossible in these comments, or of the Constitution. What possible argument do you have in this regard?

If you read Wilson's academic writings, his "political science," you will see his rejection of the founding.

Aahh, the Claremont natural rights argument of the Founding?

Preferencing Madison over Jefferson is not repudiation. And I think many progressives today do not look at Wilson for inspiration.

Too much there for blog comments. I actually agree there was a strong natural rights belief among many Founders, especially jefferson. I do not think it settles much as to policy today.

Seems like progressives never want to talk about progressivism as it was conceived by it's founders, especially Wilson and Dewey. Most simply have no clue. They DO look to Wilson, they just don't know it. Let's reexamine Wilson, by all means.

4. Christian, husband, dad. Sorry, but a Christian would never call someone "stupid": actually, the despised word is "fool", but it has the same fate as calling someone stupid, which is a fate in the hell of fire. "But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire."

#8: In a way, the defenestration of the flawed greats from the past is a way to deny progress. It makes our public space a perpetual slave to the present, denying that things were ever different in the past, that things change.

Maybe many were never 'greats'? And maybe that is the point. And I expect public space is never going to be suitable for any nuanced presentation of anything. Put up our heroes of today, but don't cry when they are taken down tomorrow.

#1 is excellent. I like the way vine talks about learning the chant, the repetition, the halting, the automatization. Getting to the point where the "filler" takes care of itself while she attends to the bid numbers, being able to increase them at appropriate intervals. And then, finally, that becomes automatic and she can concentrate on the bidders.

#8. Completely right? Come on, dude. No one is completely right. It makes me wonder if, were today to be the first day I read MR, I'd be so discouraged at the lack of subtlety that I'd swipe left on it. It takes a certain lack of maturity of perspective to assign to a person all of the foibles of a culture (or at least a generation). It's especially the case with elected leaders who by definition reflect (if not mirror) the people who put them into office. Although, perhaps this is like the difference in perspective between those who view alcoholism as a disease and those who view alcoholics as weak-willed. To the extent that racism is a disease, its sufferers need to be helped, not blamed. To the extent that its been going on for far too long, Einstein was right: repeating the same experiment and expecting a different outcome isn't sane. A new (or a change in) course needs to be made. I am certain that those who are throwing stones at the establishment are just as flawed as those in power. It is too bad that virtue-signalling has replaced virtue as a characteristic to strive for.

#5. Quick guess ... homes do not have air conditioning, so the windows are open and there's a lot more air conditioning. And people spend more time outdoors given the undeveloped state - more agriculture, more rural population.

sorry, "there's a lot more air circulation".

I believe Haiti made mask wearing mandatory in May. Something both the US and Australia should have done. Climate should also help.

Multi-million dollar institutions
One unfunded MIT data scientist

Who would win?

4. The health department for Pittsburgh, another city seeing a surge, is attributing it to bars after saying that only a few isolated cases were traced to protests: https://www.cnn.com/2020/06/30/us/allegheny-county-covid-spike-trnd/index.html

Self-reporting of protest attendance strikes me as potentially of questionable accuracy, though.

The non-politicized studies of viral spread seem to all indicate significantly lower risk outdoors versus indoors, so I tend to disbelieve both the protests and everyone's favorite crowded beach pics as significant causes behind sharp increases in cases

To be fair, when they reopened bars and restaurants, it wasn't just the ones with outdoor patios that reopened, the picture notwithstanding. They then decided to "surgically" ban alcohol sales on the premises, as if that had anything to do with anything ...
(You can't really call it "surgical" if you are just removing random bits off tissue in the hope that maybe one of them is a tumor, can you?)

What they should do is ban *indoor* bar and restaurant seating. Outdoor seating only.

O/T. National Review - Cover June 22.

"We Worked to Make China a Global Power: It was a mistake."

lol - that's the mea culpa of the century.


Foreign investment helped China on the margin but it’s pretty implausible and condescending to think that China would be marred in backwardness forever. Given China’s large population, it only had to achieve Latin American or Middle Eastern levels of economic productivity for it to become the world’s largest economy with the geopolitical power that inevitably entails. Unless the US was willing to invade, occupy, and conquer China like European powers and Japan did in the 1800s, it was inevitable that China would become the world’s biggest economy at some point. The only question then is do we have a good China that feels secure in geopolitics and focused on getting rich or a bad China that feels it needs to acts like the US to ensure its national security?

That's a pretty generous read on how the West's manufacturing and IP flowed to China.

So is it inevitable that India will become the world's largest economy at some point?

Not inevitable, but likely if it doesn't partition (again) any time soon.

How much geopolitical power would Brazil with 7x the population have? Maybe not so much.

"The only question then is do we have a good China that feels secure in geopolitics and focused on getting rich or a bad China that feels it needs to acts like the US to ensure its national security?"

What, like the US in shielding pacifist allies (Germany, Japan, etc) and checking the spread of Communist superpowers and other authoritarian smaller powers? It would be great if China were a capitalist liberal democracy which was like that...

A communist version thereof less so.

But ultimately, how much China acts beyond it's borders is not down to how much Chamberlainian appeasement the USA engages in. It's down to internal dynamics in the PRC. The rise of Xi was not any sort of "reaction", for example.

The "West" have no ability to change or even predict the course of China's internal power dynamics and ideological dynamics either way. Only the ability to slow or advance its economic growth relative to the Asian neighbours who it might bully, most of whom are, even when not allies of the United States, comparative wholesome compared to what obtains in China.

Btw, Zaua, your previous position on this topic has been that it's only been globalization and the advance of trade that has "lifted poor countries out of poverty" which otherwise could not catch up or develop.

Is this now a volte-face to the position that this was in fact marginal and unimportant?

#8...“Madam, don't bring up your sons to detest the United States government. Recollect that we form one country now. Abandon all these local animosities, and make your sons Americans.

Advice to a Confederate widow who expressed animosity towards the northern U.S. after the end of the American Civil War, as quoted in The Life and Campaigns of General Lee (1875) by Edward Lee Childe, p. 331. Also quoted in "Will Confederate Heritage Advocates Take Robert E. Lee’s Advice?" (July 2014), by Brooks D. Simpson, Crossroads, WordPress. This quote is sometimes paraphrased as: "Madam, do not train up your children in hostility to the government of the United States. Remember, we are all one country now. Dismiss from your mind all sectional feeling, and bring them up to be Americans."

Look him up.

That's a great sentiment. But is that's what is being memorialized or considered when people see Lee's statues? I'm very confident that's not what southerners were thinking when they put up his statue everywhere to celebrate the end of reconstruction and the state of Jim Crow.

That statement is actually very important historically. After the war ended, many Northerners wanted Lee tried for Treason. Lee wrote to Grant to find out if his understanding of the surrender terms were still in force. Lee's understanding was quite simply that the South adopt the sentiments Lee stated above. Grant replied that if the Southerners accepted this agreement, then they were not subject to treason. Grant's view prevailed. Such is the understanding of the surrender terms between Lee and Grant.

Later, the disgraceful Compromise of 1877, which is purely a political deal, came to be accepted by some people as if it could possibly supersede the surrender terms. Jim Crow only existed because the South did not honour the surrender terms, and, instead, along with some Northern help, rewrote the terms of the surrender. Lee's honourable position was not followed, and so CSA monuments, something he abhorred, were built all over the South.

One other thing. When Eisenhower defended Lee, he made the, dubious, in my mind, statement, that the South's position was was at least arguable until 1865, when the war ended any such constitutional dispute. Somehow, the people building the CSA monuments didn't even agree with Ike, and kept arguing CSA principles. Sadly, sometimes the US Supreme Court abetted this asinine view, and some idiots argue it still.

Thanks for sharing this. I need to read up more on the Reconstruction era.

1. Training the professional auctioneer, good story.

The song if you want.

9. Thomas Sowell turns 90 today. Happy Birthday!


#8- Almost agree with Douthat. The difference between Wilson and, say, Cecil Rhodes or Elihu Yale is that Wilson didn't actually fund the Woodrow Wilson school. I think that matters. Having said that, I grimace at the idea of giving up anything to these Maoists under pressure. And of course, since they are Maoists, anything given is pocketed and then it's "Now that you've Admitted Guilt, Apology Not Accepted and Keep Going." (which is also why one should not apologize for anything to them in certain careers).

+1. In a sense, don't cast pearls before swine, especially when the pearls are stained and cracked. Real pearls are always imperfect.

TC, any thoughts on the Mexican, Somali, Ecuadorian, Vietnamese, and various African businesses in downtown Minneapolis that look like the aftermath of an Afghani wedding US drone strike?


I hope they find the white supremacists that did this!

#8. It seems to me that honorifics of historical figures perform important service regardless of the virtue of the honoree. If they are worthy of the honor, then they perform the service that most observers expect. If they are not worthy, then they still perform a service by creating the context for important discussion about their values and why we don't share them. If a city, therefore, wants to relocate a statue of a Confederate general to a less prominent position than the town square, then so be it. That seems sensible and appropriate. But to remove the statue entirely is to remove a reminder of the city's sinful past. Keep the statue, I say, and keep the memory of the sin. Of slavery, I say never forget.

It is never a good idea to whitewash history, even when intentions are noble.

In my hometown in Georgia there is a confederate statue on the court square of some guy who did something during the Civil War. I don't know because I never bothered. I dare say the vast majority of my fellow citizens didn't either.

The first sentence of Douthat's column is a pretty good reminder that, no Ross is never correct about anything, even incompletely. A lost goatee looking for a face to land on.

#3 But does anyone make policy on the basis of IHME, or any model.

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