Friday, September 25, 2020

Friday Links

  • To put things another way: If you find yourself taking precautions to harden your home against attack, modifying your routes to and from work to avoid carjacking, and refusing to leave the house after dark for safety reasons... that may be a sign that you should be leaving town instead. Similarly, if you find yourself issuing body armor to your employees for their visits to the ground floor... that too may be a sign that you need to leave. Finally, if you find yourself paying some of the highest taxes in the nation for the privilege of experiencing all of the above—it's time to go somewhere that doesn't hate you. [link]
  • These are the words that we all have been waiting to hear for years, and with good reason. The writers have been hinting at it for at least the past 3 seasons, but everytime it seemed to finally, maybe, be starting to happen she always somehow comes back. After so many false alarms most people seemed to have written it off. Waiting for Ginsburg to die while Trump was in office became the equivalent of preparing for ‘the big one’ to finally throw San Francisco off into the Pacfic ocean or ‘the justice of the volcano’ to burst through the earth’s crust in Yellowstone and reign hellfire on the sinners below: a theoretical, even inevitable, possibility but one that still seemed unimaginable. [The American Sun]
  • It seems clear to me that Ginsburg doesn’t agree with the idea of race neutrality. She believes that it’s always desirable to discriminate against whites, and presumably Asians as well, in order to benefit blacks and presumably Hispanics. But she dare not say this directly in her opinion, because such a direct statement of what the left really wants is unpopular with the majority of Americans, and it would also make her dissent irrelevant because it would be such an obvious misstatement of the current law, a misstatement of both the text of the statutes and judicial opinions interpreting the statutes. Her actual dissent is a lot more pernicious, because it undermines the holding of the majority by repeating and thus bolstering the standard liberal half-truths and lies. If you don’t believe my view of Ginsburg’s true motives, then try to imagine how she might have decided this case if the facts were the same except the races were reversed. After the city gave the test, too many blacks did well on the test, and white groups in the city complained that too many blacks were being promoted, and then the city threw out the results under the pretext of disparate impact. Does anyone seriously think that Ginsburg would agree with the city? Hell no! It would be an obvious case of discrimination against blacks! [Half Sigma]
  • Arbesfeld has been constructing for the Times for 40 years and while I don't want to shit on someone for their age, it might be time to cross some things off his wordlist. This felt like a pre-Shortz-era puzzle, mired in obscure trivia and painful crosswordese. I understand that sometimes you have to tolerate a weak grid in order to accommodate a great theme. But I'm shocked at how bad the gridwork and fill was for a theme this spartan and dull. Shortz clearly gave another pass based on tenure; I can't see a newer constructor getting away with something this awful. [r/crossword]
  • Because of the high false positive rate and the low prevalence, almost every positive test, a so-called case, identified by Pillar 2 since May of this year has been a FALSE POSITIVE. Not just a few percent. Not a quarter or even a half of the positives are FALSE, but around 90% of them. Put simply, the number of people Mr Hancock sombrely tells us about is an overestimate by a factor of about ten-fold. Earlier in the summer, it was an overestimate by about 20-fold. [Lockdown Sceptics]
  • Although excessive consumption of deep-fried foods is regarded as 1 of the most important epidemiological factors of lifestyle diseases such as Alzheimer's disease, type 2 diabetes, and obesity, the exact mechanism remains unknown. This review aims to discuss whether heated cooking oil-derived peroxidation products cause cell degeneration/death for the occurrence of lifestyle diseases. Deep-fried foods cooked in ω-6 PUFA-rich vegetable oils such as rapeseed (canola), soybean, sunflower, and corn oils, already contain or intrinsically generate “hydroxynonenal” by peroxidation. [Advances in Nutrition]
  • When combating a small problem, incompetence, corruption, systemic ineptitude and analphabetic idiocy turned out to be bliss. There has been a massive leak of internal e-mails from the swedish People’s Health Ministry and Contagion Institute, which is awe-inspiringly hilarious reading. After a few weeks of stubbornly stating there is no scientific evidence china flu could ever reach sweden (people travelling from china to sweden does not count as scientific evidence, and it is just speculation that they could carry the virus), the ministry started scrambling. Its first move was to re-hire the retired former leader, with a very lucrative under the table contract, and sending him around to speak to random people at great cost. The mails show completely that both he and his replacement could hardly communicate in written language, swedish or english, and as the top authorities of my proud country, were sending each other random twitter links on “herd immunity”, which none of them had ever heard of before, but it sounded good so they went with that. Wild public rage, sweden style, ie clenched fist in the pocket and an extra bottle of fire wine from the socialist monopoly booze dealer (the System Company), ensued, and the ministry hastily informed the People that they had in fact never said “herd immunity” and that it was a nazi conspiracy theory that they had ever said so. The e-mails are still, months later, debating various moronic attempts at fighting contagion, which all have a distinct air of “just winging it lmao”, occasionally with so many spelling and grammatic errors that parsing becomes an act of divination. The only actual strategy is making it seem there is a strategy, so the People would be less angry and scared. [Jim]
  • We are accustomed to choosing electors by popular vote, but nothing in the Constitution says it has to be that way. Article II provides that each state shall appoint electors “in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct.” Since the late 19th century, every state has ceded the decision to its voters. Even so, the Supreme Court affirmed in Bush v. Gore that a state “can take back the power to appoint electors.” How and when a state might do so has not been tested for well over a century. Trump may test this. According to sources in the Republican Party at the state and national levels, the Trump campaign is discussing contingency plans to bypass election results and appoint loyal electors in battleground states where Republicans hold the legislative majority. With a justification based on claims of rampant fraud, Trump would ask state legislators to set aside the popular vote and exercise their power to choose a slate of electors directly. The longer Trump succeeds in keeping the vote count in doubt, the more pressure legislators will feel to act before the safe-harbor deadline expires. [Atlantic]
  • The crowdsourced investigation caught the attention of Scott Van Pelt, an anchor on ESPN's SportsCenter. On the night of October 3, Van Pelt spent three and a half minutes discussing the drama at Stones, and he made clear where his sympathies lay. “If you were this good, why would you be playing in games only with a videofeed at $1/$3 tables at Stones' poker room?” he asked as he wrapped the segment. “Why wouldn't you be in Vegas winning all the money in the world?” [Wired]
  • Mid-20th-century USA was far more unified, due to the immigration shutdown in the 1920s that wisely ruled that no interest groups would be allowed to use immigration to change the country’s ethnic balance. Hence, the political system was more cooperative and functional than today when Democratic pundits like Yglesias’ partner at Vox Ezra Klein alternate between boasting that immigration will bury whiteness and complaining that whites are paranoid about being replaced. Now Democrats envision using immigration to alter the racial balance to achieve perpetual one-party rule. [Sailer]

No comments: