URLs du Jour


  • Mrs. Salad and I got our second shots of Moderna last week, so we're almost out of the woods. We paid attention when the CDC brought out its Official Guidance for folks like us. Fortunately we also have Our Eye Candy du Jour from xkcd: Vaccine Guidance:

    [Vaccine Guidance]

    Mouseover: "I can't wait until I'm fully vaccinated and can safely send chat messages in all caps again."

  • But I'm also looking at Jacob Sullum essentially saying the CDC is all wet: Contrary to What the CDC’s New COVID-19 Advice Implies, There Is Strong Evidence That Vaccination Curtails Virus Transmission.

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) today issued new guidance for people who have been vaccinated against COVID-19. The agency says fully vaccinated people should feel free to forgo face masks and physical distancing while mingling indoors with each other or with people from "a single household" who are at low risk from COVID-19. But it says vaccinated people should continue wearing masks and practicing physical distancing in public places or when visiting unvaccinated people in high-risk groups.

    The CDC notes "the rapidly evolving science on COVID-19 vaccines." While there is ample evidence from clinical trials that vaccination dramatically reduces the odds of serious disease, hospitalization, and death, there are still some questions about the extent to which it prevents infection and transmission. Yet several studies provide strong evidence that vaccination protects not only people who receive shots but also unvaccinated people in their vicinity.

    I believe the bottom line is: (1) I don't have it; (2) I'm not going to get it; (3) I'm not going to infect anyone with it.

    I'll wear the mask, but I'm not going to pretend I'm doing it for any scientific reason.

  • This would be a good idea though, as reported by Ron Bailey: Researchers Call for ‘Full and Unrestricted’ Investigation Into COVID-19 Origins.

    The Chinese government has not been forthright about the origins of the novel coronavirus that sparked the ongoing global COVID-19 pandemic. On January 5, 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) issued an emergency preparedness notification reporting that Chinese officials had alerted the agency to an outbreak of pneumonia of unknown cause in the city of Wuhan. The alert noted that "some patients were operating dealers or vendors in the Huanan Seafood market." The dominant narrative was that the virus most likely jumped from bats to humans (possibly via an intermediary species) at a wet market in Wuhan.

    Doubts about the market being the initial source of the outbreak soon surfaced. Some articles in late January 2020 cited the possibility that the virus might have escaped by infecting a worker associated with the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV), a laboratory known to conduct research on coronaviruses. In April, the U.S. Office of the Director of National Intelligence issued a statement declaring that "the Intelligence Community (IC) also concurs with the wide scientific consensus that the COVID-19 virus was not manmade or genetically modified." However, in January 2021, the U.S. Department of State released a fact sheet that suggested, among other things, that the outbreak could have been "the result of an accident at a laboratory in Wuhan, China."

    I'm buying the accidental lab release story.

  • Kevin D. Williamson notes something interesting: Civil War is the Dominant Political Fantasy in America.

    The Q cultists — and a great many mainstream Republicans — will never be able to admit their defeat in 2020, because doing so would force them to tacitly acknowledge that they got hornswoggled by a low-rent con artist and have nothing to show for it except a closet shelf of dopey red caps. And so there was Trump at CPAC, claiming he’d actually won the election, and belittling those Republicans who in reality, back here on Earth, did win their most recent races — Ben Sasse, Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski, Pat Toomey, Mitt Romney, etc. — as though he had not just gone down in ignominious and humiliating defeat to a fried-baloney sandwich and a pair of discount-rack Ray-Bans. Trump did his act, and Republicans clapped like demented seals, made Tusken raider noises, and then paid obeisance to a golden idol.

    Losing is hard, and it is harder still if you sold your soul and pawned your self-respect for a mess of “so much winning!” pottage.

    But the Q kooks aren’t the only ones on the lookout for flying saucers, because Q is only one side in a dialogue. Those who see themselves as the heroic protagonists and Q as their dastardly antagonists need Q there as an emotional foil, because they are deep into a feverish role-playing game of their own. Consider these reader comments at the end of an unremarkable account of the most recent Q shenanigans published in Newsweek, which still exists. (Comments sections are moral and intellectual sewers because they offer a genuinely representative sample of what a certain class of Americans believes.) In the comments, you will see Americans fantasizing about the government’s slaughtering other Americans (“mow them down”), you will see people who no doubt think of themselves as nice progressives indulging in racist (“Tyrone”) fantasies about their cultural enemies being subjected to prison rape and sundry fantasy violence of all other kinds. This isn’t the Slack channel at Mother Jones or an MSNBC staff retreat; these are the readers of Newsweek, who sway in the wind like a field of moronic corn.

    The "Flight 93" syndrome is alive and well on both sides. The survival of America is at stake because the other side are a bunch of terrorists, so we gotta storm the cabin.

  • Okay, one more Covid article, from Tim Rice: F. A. Hayek’s Covid-19 Lessons. (Yes, to Pun Salad, that's irresistible clickbait, baby!)

    Free-market advocates have responded to the Covid-19 pandemic relatively quietly. They should speak up. The pandemic and its fallout show the virtues of market forces while revealing the dangers of relying on bureaucratic central planners and shortsighted regulations.

    An opposition to central planning grounded in the understanding that we can’t predict the future, a healthy skepticism of bureaucrats and experts who fancy themselves philosopher-kings, an awareness of the dangers of outdated and unnecessary regulations: these are the tenets of free-market thinking as espoused by the patron saint of libertarians, Friedrich Hayek. America’s response to Covid-19 reinforces their wisdom, and conservatives should take note.

    Maybe it's time to reread The Road to Serfdom. The cheap punchline, sorry: "… because politicians are using it as a how-to manual."

  • The headline makes it sound as if they're talking about Covid, but no, it's about something else. John Daniel Davidson: Big Tech Thinks You’re An Idiot Child Who Can’t Govern Yourself.

    Last week, YouTube removed videos of former President Donald Trump’s speech at the recent Conservative Political Action Conference, citing violations of its rules about “misleading election claims” under its “presidential election integrity” policy.

    Also last week, Ebay blocked all sales and purchases of the half-dozen Dr. Seuss books recently deemed unfit for children because they allegedly “portray people in ways that are hurtful and wrong.” Amazon blocked access to a documentary about Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.

    Twitter suspended the account of former House Speaker Newt Gingrich. Facebook continued its purge of QAnon-linked accounts, which began back in October. And the cable network TCM announced a program to reframe classic films like “Breakfast at Tiffany’s,” “The Searchers,” and “My Fair Lady,” which it considers “problematic” and “troubling.”

    It goes without saying that left-wingers won't be affected by this, they'll be perfectly free to babble their claptrap.

  • And now for something completely different, from the Google LFOD New Alert: ART IN THE OPEN Memorial To The Maquis, Glieres Plateau. (And, reader beware, the link goes to the UK's Morning Star Online whose motto appears to be "For Peace and Socialism".)

    OUT of the snow-covered landscape, an outstretched hand catches the circular setting sun in a constructivist concrete sculpture at the centre of the Glieres Plateau.

    North-east of Annecy, it commemorates a memorable battle fought here by the Maquis in March 1944 against German and French fascists.

    The largely communist Maquis numbered around 300 and were led by the legendary Tom Morel. They were pinned down by 2,000 Vichy police and militia and 4,000 regulars of the infamously murderous Ordnungspolizei (Orpo), commanded by the SS.`

    And LFOD comes up here:

    There is a secluded chamber inside the V designed to offer respite and invite reflection. The motto “Vivre libre ou mourir” (Live free or die) of the Bataillon des Glieres, given to it by Morel, is set in its concrete walls.

    I'm getting a little cognitive dissonance hearing about a "largely communist" resistance adopting the LFOD motto. Maybe it loses a little in translation?

    Still, if you're in southeast France, might be worth checking out.

Last Modified 2021-03-11 4:44 AM EST