June 25, 2020

Posted by orrinj at 12:42 PM


The US has reached a tipping point: The Southern 'rebels' who fought to keep slavery are finally being recognised for what they really are: traitors. (Larry Beinhart, 6/25/20, Al Jazeera)

Those that we were taught to be heroes - not just in the South, in West Point, in our high schools - are now recognised as traitors. It is as shocking as it is true. It has suddenly become not only undeniable, but also unevadable, that they fought for slavery. 

We have reached a tipping point. It is partly because Trump has taken the worst of our political nature to the point of absurdity. It is partly because COVID-19 has exploded the myth that we do not need government and shown us that inept governance kills people. It is partly because everyone has cameras and they have exposed the police state. That third is, of course, the one that comes most directly from the legacy of slavery and the racism needed to live with it.

But it is the toppling of the statues, the renaming of the bases, and saying out loud that the "heroes" of the South were actually traitors fighting to keep people enslaved, that shows how deep and profound this change is. 

Posted by orrinj at 12:37 PM


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Posted by orrinj at 12:00 AM


Posted by orrinj at 12:00 AM


Florida's IdiocracyCome and witness the wisdom of The People. (CHARLES SYKES,  JUNE 24, 2020, The Bulwark)

One woman accused the county commissioners of wanting to "throw God's wonderful breathing system out the door" by mandating masks. "You are all turning your backs on it."

But this was the mild stuff.

"You literally cannot mandate somebody to wear a mask, knowing that mask is killing people," insisted one woman. "It literally is killing people." Literally. (This is super important, if true.)

She followed up this disquisition with a threat:

We the people are waking up. And we know what citizen's arrest is. Because citizen's arrests are already happening, okay? And every single one of you who is obeying the devil's law are going to be arrested. And you, doctor [here she is addressing the county's health commissioner], are going to be arrested for crimes against humanity.

And not just arrested. The woman, who does not understand the meaning of "literally" but is an expert on international law, also dropped some theological bombs on on the board:

Every single one of you are going to get punished . . . by God.

You cannot--you cannot escape God. You cannot escape God. I'm a say that again: You cannot escape God. Not even with the mask or six feet.

The six feet, you see, is the tip-off for the real agenda at work here.

"Six feet, like I said before, is military protocol," the lady insisted. "You are trying to get people to train them, so when the camera, the 5G comes out, what, they are going to scan everybody? We gotta get scanned, we gotta get temperatured? The kids are going to have to go school with masks?"

"Are you insane?" she asked. "Are you crazy? I think all of you ought to be a psych ward right the heck now."

And irony wept.

Imagine believing in a deity who would punish you for being courteous of the health of others?

Posted by orrinj at 12:00 AM


AOC Spent $6.3M to Defeat Primary Challenger (David Catron, June 25, 2020, American Spectator)

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, for all her strident rhetoric about the malignant influence of money in politics, won Tuesday's Democratic primary in New York's 14th District the old-fashioned way -- she drowned her opponents beneath a tsunami of campaign cash. According to the Federal Election Commission (FEC), Ocasio-Cortez spent about $6.3 million of $10.5 million raised, more than any other Democrat up for reelection in 2020. Her only serious primary challenger for the NY-14 seat, longtime CNBC journalist Michelle Caruso-Cabrera, spent about $1 million of $2 million raised. As of Wednesday afternoon, with 88% of precincts reporting, AOC had garnered 73 percent of the ballots cast compared to Caruso-Cabrera's 19 percent.

All comedy is conservative.

Posted by orrinj at 12:00 AM


Posted by orrinj at 12:00 AM

MINE CERTAINLY WAS (self-reference alert):

Was my diabetes a symbol of moral failure?Lockdown seems to have cured my diabetes -- and taught me a lesson about over-indulgence (GILES FRASER, 6/25/20, UnHerd)

According to the WHO, the number of people with diabetes globally nearly quadrupled between 1980 and 2014 -- from 108 million to 422 million. It's a disease of affluence. Bodies schooled by evolution to store energy to survive periods of famine are badly adapted to manage extended periods of plenty. Type 2 is nature's way of saying we have had enough. Our prosperity is killing us.

So, since lockdown began, I have been on a mission. No bread, no pasta, no rice, no potatoes. And I have been pretty religious about it. I have allowed myself the breadcrumbs around a fish finger and the body of Christ, but apart from these I have cut out bread and those other foods completely. I have lost over three stone. Where low fat diets have never worked for me, low sugar (ie low carbs) really makes a difference.

Yesterday, I received a letter from my GP which said that my blood sugar average over the past three months has been 6 -- compared with the 12 it was this time last year. I have dramatically reduced my diabetes medications. And, hopefully, I am getting close to pushing it into permanent state of remission.

Before lockdown, I was too scared even to verbalise the fear that I might not be around to see my youngest children into their teenage years. Now I can watch my little one learning to walk without feeling guilty. The relief feels wonderful.

I used to find it so reassuring when other people would fail at their diets, thus justifying my own repeated failure. There is nothing quite so comforting as the thought that deep change is impossible because, well, I am the way I am. Change is scary, failure a relief. So there's no need to try too hard. I'm glad I was forced to confront that.

Because there is a deeper question of moral philosophy about the management of what we eat, and that involves our whole approach to limit and privation. If diabetes is the disease of over-supply, then to address it we need to think very hard about our attitude towards the very idea of having enough, to limit.

Too much sugar and too little fitness.

Posted by orrinj at 12:00 AM


Oh, the irony: Fossil fuel financier signs major solar contract with fossil fuel producer (Joshua S Hill, 25 June 2020, Renew Economy)

According to The Washington Post, writing on Tuesday, Wells Fargo has signed a varying Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with Shell Energy for 150MW of solar power in the United States, which will be purchased from three locations in Virginia and one in California.

Posted by orrinj at 12:00 AM


Sweden didn't impose a lockdown. Its economy is just as bad as its neighbors who did. (Steve Goldstein, 6/25/20, Market Watch)

It is a common refrain from critics of the lockdown. Don't let the cure -- locking down the economy -- be worse than the disease it is preventing.

If that is the case, then, Sweden should be a case study in how to manage the disease.

It famously didn't lock down. Bars and restaurants remained open, as did hairdressers and gyms. The University of Oxford's government response tracker puts into numbers the light-touch effort, showing Sweden was one of the least restrictive countries in the world.

On the health front, Sweden has paid a heavy price. According to Johns Hopkins University data, Sweden has suffered 50.7 deaths per 100,000 people. That isn't the worst in the world -- Belgium and the U.K. are higher, for example -- but far above the 10.4 deaths per 100,000 in Denmark, the 5.9 deaths in Finland and 4.7 deaths in Norway.

But there is also an economic question. Did Sweden benefit economically from avoiding the lockdown?

The economic data doesn't suggest that.

...is that most of us aren't members.