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  • I may just put that Marcus Aurelius quote on every post from now until Election Day… Jacob Sullum notes the latest from the Loose Cannon: Trump Promotes the Outlandish Claim That COVID-19 Has Killed a ‘Minuscule’ Number of Americans.

    Last spring the White House warned that COVID-19 could kill between 1.5 million and 2.2 million Americans with "no intervention." But "with intervention," it said, the death toll would be somewhere between 100,000 and 240,000. "By very vigorously following these [social distancing] guidelines," President Donald Trump declared, "we could save more than 1 million American lives. Think of that: 1 million American lives."

    Forget all that, Trump implied today by retweeting a message claiming that the official COVID-19 death toll, currently about 187,000, is off by a factor of 20. "So get this straight," says the summary of an August 29 Gateway Pundit post that was originally tweeted by Trump attorney Jenna Ellis. "Based on the recommendation of doctors [Anthony] Fauci and [Deborah] Birx the US shut down the entire economy based on 9,000 American deaths [due] to the China coronavirus." Trump thus implicitly rebuked his own COVID-19 advisers (and himself) for grossly overstating the danger posed by the disease.

    Jacob, being tethered to reality, explains how and where things went wrong.

  • At Liberty Unyielding, Hans Bader notes a left coast slide into dystopia: California moves toward reparations.

    Reparations took a step closer to becoming a reality. California’s state senate just voted 33-to-3 to create a reparations commission. The commission will “study the effects slavery had on California and recommend to the legislature no later than 2023 what type of compensation would be appropriate, how it might be dispersed and who could be eligible to receive it,” according to Fox News.

    Supporters of reparations assume the racial wealth gap between blacks and whites is the result of slavery, and thus, something to be fixed through reparations. “If the 40-acres-and-a-mule that was promised to free slaves were delivered to the descendants of those slaves today, we would all be billionaires,” state Sen. Steven Bradford (D-Gardena) said. “I hear far too many people say, ‘Well, I didn’t own slaves, that was so long ago.’ Well, you inherit wealth — you can inherit the debt that you owe to African-Americans.”

    Finding the fallacies in Bradford's theories of intergenerational debt are left as an exercise for the reader. I'd just like to point out that "reparations" will do nothing to heal racial animosity in the country. If anything, they will turn a whole bunch of white people into actual racists, full of resentment and condescension toward the beneficiaries, who just have different DNA.

  • But as far as actually enacting policies that might move the needle toward betterment for the differently-DNAd, California says… nah: Police reforms face defeat as California Democrats block George Floyd-inspired bills. The Sacramento Bee editorializes:

    So much for the moist eyes and feigned empathy some California Democrats showcased during the Black Lives Matter marches that followed the police killing of George Floyd. Despite performative emoting by powerful members of California’s ruling party, a slate of necessary police reforms may be headed for full or partial defeat in the California State Legislature.

    The bills, which met strong resistance from law enforcement groups and some weak-kneed legislators, teetered near the brink of failure this week.

    Details at the link. Nevertheless, California will keep electing Democrats.

  • And Slashdot reports something for our "I Can't Even" Department: 'Divinity Consultants' are Now Designing Sacred Rituals for Some Corporations. Quoting the New York Times:

    They have degrees from divinity schools. Their business is borrowing from religious tradition to bring spiritual richness to corporate America. In simpler times, divinity schools sent their graduates out to lead congregations or conduct academic research. Now there is a more office-bound calling: the spiritual consultant. Those who have chosen this path have founded agencies — some for-profit, some not — with similar-sounding names: Sacred Design Lab, Ritual Design Lab, Ritualist.

    They blend the obscure language of the sacred with the also obscure language of management consulting to provide clients with a range of spiritually inflected services, from architecture to employee training to ritual design. Their larger goal is to soften cruel capitalism, making space for the soul, and to encourage employees to ask if what they are doing is good in a higher sense. Having watched social justice get readily absorbed into corporate culture, they want to see if more American businesses are ready for faith. "We've seen brands enter the political space," said Casper ter Kuile, a co-founder of Sacred Design Lab. Citing a Vice report, he added: "The next white space in advertising and brands is spirituality...."

    Were I an active stock market trader (I'm not) I'd try to find out which corporations are spending money on this and sell any stock I happened to own. And maybe get some short positions…

    [If it turns out that Fidelity Investments is a "Divinity Consultant" customer sucker… well, please don't tell me, I'd rather not know.]

  • And in our (increasingly common) "<voice imitation="professor_farnsworth">Good news, everyone!</voice>" Department: Nancy Pelosi Says Tax Dollars Will Fund Free Abortions for Medicaid Recipients in 2021.

    The LA Times reported on Friday afternoon that House speaker Nancy Pelosi has privately committed to fellow Democrats that the House will vote next year to provide unlimited taxpayer funding of abortion for Medicaid recipients:

    The author, John McCormack, quotes estimates that the current ban on Medicaid-funded abortions saves about 50,000 babies per year. As serendipitous web-browsing goes, I noticed that around the same time I noticed that Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy was tweeting…

    "Deliberately". But what do you want to bet that the Senator will enthusiastically and proudly vote for putting an additional 50K babies/year into medical waste bins, and shoveling more money to Planned Parenthood?

    Let's just say it.

Last Modified 2024-01-23 5:01 AM EDT