Patterico's Pontifications

11/16/2020

Why “If the Left Gets to Have Their Dangerous Gatherings, We Get to Have Ours!” Is the Wrong Conclusion

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:29 am



It’s happened so often it’s a running joke with conservatives: public health experts decried mass public gatherings . . . until those gatherings were motivated by George Floyd’s death and calls for racial justice — and all of a sudden the gatherings were OK. But there was never really a clear explanation as to why.

Catherine Troisi, an infectious-disease epidemiologist at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, studies Covid-19. When, wearing a mask and standing at the edge of a great swell of people, she attended a recent protest in Houston supporting Mr. Floyd, a sense of contradiction tugged at her.

“I certainly condemned the anti-lockdown protests at the time, and I’m not condemning the protests now, and I struggle with that,” Dr. Troisi said. “I have a hard time articulating why that is OK.”

Mark Lurie, a professor of epidemiology at Brown University, described a similar struggle.

“Instinctively, many of us in public health feel a strong desire to act against accumulated generations of racial injustice,” Dr. Lurie said. “But we have to be honest: A few weeks before, we were criticizing protesters for arguing to open up the economy and saying that was dangerous behavior.

“I am still grappling with that.”

This is old news, and the linked New York Times story is an old story, from July 6. I am thinking about it now because I am reading Nicholas Christakis’s book Apollo’s Arrow: The Profound and Enduring Impact of Coronavirus on the Way We Live (affiliate link). I was reminded how bizarre it was to see some conservatives’ reaction to the verdict of public health experts like those just quoted: OK, then, if they get to have their gatherings then we get to have ours!

It was as if, as long as you could find hypocrisy among some public health experts, that meant that all public health advice was suddenly worthless.

As Christakis makes clear, it is not. Social distancing, mask wearing, hand washing, and similar common sense practices have been around forever. And despite what you might see in the fever swamps — Alex Berenson, Scott Atlas, and the people who quote them — these measures work. They do not make a virus disappear. But they do reduce transmission significantly.

And yet too many people want to deny that, citing the hypocrisy of the above-mentioned public health experts as evidence.

I see this all too often in any discussion about science where politics enters the picture. If you can find one scientist with whom you politically disagree who is caught saying something contradictory, or silly, it means their point of view is wrong. That’s actually a perfect description of the ad hominem fallacy, but people still use that sort of reasoning every day.

Radical thought here: maybe the best idea is not to cast aside all public health advice, but to find better and more reliable people on whom to rely. Was Dr. Fauci saying “go ahead and protest because racism is a more important public health issue than COVID-19”? No. He was saying he was “very concerned.” And what was Christakis himself saying when the above-linked New York Times article was published? Well, he happens to have been extensively quoted in it. So let’s look!

Others take a more cautious view of the moral stakes. Nicholas A. Christakis, professor of social and natural science at Yale, noted that public health is guided by twin imperatives: to comfort the afflicted and to speak truth about risks to public health, no matter how unpleasant.

These often-complementary values are now in conflict. To take to the street to protest injustice is to risk casting open doors and letting the virus endanger tens of thousands, he said. There is a danger, he said, in asserting that one moral imperative overshadows another.

“The left and the right want to wish the virus away,” Dr. Christakis said. “We can’t wish away climate change, or the epidemic, or other inconvenient scientific truths.”

He said that framing the anti-lockdown protests as white supremacist and dangerous and the George Floyd protests as anti-racist and essential obscures a messier reality.

When he was a hospice doctor in Chicago and Boston, he said, he saw up close how isolation deepened the despair of the dying — a fate now suffered by many in the pandemic, with hospital visits severely restricted. For epidemiologists to turn around and argue for loosening the ground rules for the George Floyd marches risks sounding hypocritical.

“We allowed thousands of people to die alone,” he said. “We buried people by Zoom. Now all of a sudden we are saying, never mind?”

If public health experts turn on a dime, and suddenly minimize the importance of public health measures they advocated until yesterday, it doesn’t mean public health measures are unnecessary. It means those particular “experts” are unreliable and you should not listen to them. But there are plenty of experts who didn’t take the wokeness bait.

Yes, it’s an old discussion, but as we head back into a nasty COVID season, it’s an important one. Find the good experts, and listen to those folks.

99 Responses to “Why “If the Left Gets to Have Their Dangerous Gatherings, We Get to Have Ours!” Is the Wrong Conclusion”

  1. For thee, not for me. That’s my problem.

    Kinda like when Newsom decided to have his get together, while telling everyone else not to.

    Or when politicians look the other way when the left riots while handing out tickets to regular citizens or ensuring businesses remain closed.

    If certain members of the electorate are immune from the rules, or when the political class can sidestep whenever they want, then you’ve lost a large swath of the electorate, including me. Because it tells me you aren’t serious about what you say.

    Hoi Polloi (7cefeb)

  2. I keep thinking that the virus doesn’t care about your politics or your opinions or whether the other guy is being a hypocrite. It takes advantage of the opportunities provided. And right now it’s really taking advantage. Everything is up, infections, hospitalizations and deaths.

    Anybody joining any demonstration or rally right now is making a calculation that the issue involved is more important than the risk of infection. The only thing you can say about some involved in protests is that they’re taking knowing risks. What can be a little more irritating are those who deny that the infection is a thing at all or there’s any risk to be run.

    Victor (4959fb)

  3. You can call out the hypocrites but then what? The advice to avoid large gatherings is either right or wrong and you should act not based on whether some people are being hypocrites but whether the advice to avoid large gatherings is correct.

    Stephen (52823b)

  4. Hoi Polloi,

    The mindset you express is a perfect example of the reason I wrote the post. I guess it was a waste of time, at least as to you. It’s as if you read the headline and comprehended literally nothing in the body of the post.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  5. Stephen,

    Exactly!

    Patterico (115b1f)

  6. I was reminded how bizarre it was to see some conservatives’ reaction to the verdict of public health experts like those just quoted: OK, then, if they get to have their gatherings then we get to have ours!

    Who? Who is Mr./Mrs. Some Conservative?

    Are these the same “some conservatives” who prompted the boarding up of windows? Because if the left can have their riots and looting and violence, we get to have ours! Those conservatives?

    beer ‘n pretzels (042d67)

  7. Anybody joining any demonstration or rally right now is making a calculation that the issue involved is more important than the risk of infection

    I don’t think this is a correct framing, though, even if that’s how these people are rationalizing it to themselves. Risking infection isn’t just about the personal health risks involved; it’s also about the risk you then pose to your community as a transmission vector, and it’s the height of selfishness for protest attendees to ignore that.

    (Not That) Bill O'Reilly (6bb12a)

  8. In my opinion, there is some conflation of issues here, Patterico.

    Sure, Dr. C. is correct about a lot of things. But if you read his social media feed, you will discover that he casts aside all kinds of impartiality when his own politics intrudes.

    The difference is that he does not hate people—at least not much—for disagreeing with him. I know this to be true.

    But it is also true that the media pushes partisan hypocrisy on the mask issue often. That is entirely separate from the utility of wearing masks. And just as you don’t care for hypocrisy (nor do I), MANY Right leaning voters have become quite sensitive to it. And then they overreact to it.

    I still do not understand how people who claimed that maskless protests against DJT and similar venues did not count can look in the mirror. And there are plenty of people online (I can start you a list of names, very famous names) who seem to feel exactly that. And in term, Eric Hoffer, style, it feeds more over the top partisanship.

    Yes, people should wash their hands, wear masks, try to keep six feet away from others. Vaccines are on the way, but not yet. This should not be partisan, at all.

    So two things are at play here. I also sent you an email about it.

    Simon Jester (b58231)

  9. The whatabout stuff, the need to license your own side with the sins of the other side, has become so tedious. Local leaders pretending BLM protests were COVID safe is very annoying. And it doesn’t protect your family to do the same stuff. The need to knock Fauci down a peg when he’s trying to play it straight and working with a lot of BS and constant problems like shortages and back stabbers… it’s really something to see.

    I’m interested in the Apollo’s Arrow book. I remember the profound change in March. We are separated from others, but everyone has a phone with a camera, we are really fortunate. And some businesses were smart. Everyone uses Amazon now. Even family who said they never would, are using it all the time. Our phones, our work email, we’re even more attached to them, even closer to the day they start putting them in our glasses or something more intrusive. Working remote is harder for folks who have to resist the temptation to open a tab for some distraction.

    On the other hand, why in the world would people choose to commute (in Austin at least) if they could just work from home? I feel like there was always this potential, perhaps this interest, in pushing everyone to tele-commute, to use grocery delivery, to be smarter, and COVID made that happen. It’s good that it happened, but also convenient in a cynical sense.

    Dustin (4237e0)

  10. Ptterico, good post. It won’t reach people who are obsessed with the feeling of persecution above all else. But honestly, I don’t think they’re open to a new or different ideas. There are still some ppl on the margins who care about the facts. But a lot of the are just a waste of time.

    Time123 (5a44ea)

  11. Another thing that is painful to listen to is the criticism of doctors and scientists for allegedly giving conflicting advice over time.

    As more is learned about the virus, that’s exactly what they should do, when appropriate!

    This is a key difference between science and politics, and it’s used by ignorant and disreputable politicians to mislead their partisan tribes and discredit medical experts.

    If scientists ever stop reassessing their beliefs in the face of new evidence, they stop being scientists.

    Dave (1bb933)

  12. @1-
    Or when Republicans do it:

    Minnesota Senate GOP held large, in-person dinner party just before COVID outbreak
    ………
    A GOP spokeswoman confirmed the Nov. 5 victory dinner party this weekend in response to FOX 9’s questions about it. Republicans had not previously disclosed it, even as controversy erupted over the outbreak. The spokeswoman, Rachel Aplikowski, did not say why she had not disclosed the party in earlier public statements about the situation.

    At least three senators, including Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka, have now tested positive. Gazelka revealed his positive diagnosis on Sunday and said he was quarantining while on an out-of-state trip. Sen. Dave Senjem told FOX 9 he had tested positive last weekend. Sen. Paul Anderson has also tested positive, Aplikowski said.
    ……..
    But Democrats said the GOP never notified them about the COVID-19 outbreak before Thursday’s special session at the Capitol. Senate Democratic Leader Susan Kent said it was a ‘blatant disregard” of the health of other senators and Senate staff.

    The GOP’s Nov. 5 dinner party was held at a Twin Cities event center with between 100 and 150 attendees, including most Republican senators, a source told FOX 9 on the condition of anonymity.

    In response to FOX 9’s questions, Aplikowski did not dispute the person’s account of the event. She did not say how many senators who attended the party then attended the special session in person seven days later, but said no one who tested positive went to the special session.
    …….
    Sunday morning, Minnesota health officials reported 7,559 new cases of COVID-19 and 31 more deaths. So far, the state has seen a total of 223,581 cases and 2,905 deaths.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  13. You’re correct that anybody attending a rally has to also think about the costs they are imposing on others if they get sick. I’ve been reading from a fair number of nurses and doctors exhausted right now and despairing about the current state of hospitalizations.

    But on another note, if Trump and his supporters are so intent on his clinging to power wouldn’t it be nice if he actually demonstrated some interest in using the powers of his office with respect to Covid. How many months since he’s attended a meeting of his task force? Five.

    The only thing he’s shown an interest in lately are the vaccines and that’s only to take credit. But there’s a lot of time between now and when vaccines will be widely available. And during that time a lot more people will die. And during much of that time he’s still theoretically president and claims he should continue to be. For what purpose? At this point it appears solely to ensure that nobody else is.

    Victor (4959fb)

  14. Dave, that was a good thought. Fauci is not a bad guy at all, and has decades of political experience. I have seen folks in the press cherry pick things he says to fit the narrative that they are trying to push.

    I think that scientists need to say “I don’t know” more than they do. I suspect they fear people will not listen to them if they do.

    Simon Jester (b58231)

  15. Mask wearing in this country has not been around for ever. The CDC recommends health care workers NOT use cloth masks because there is no evidence they are effective at disease prevention.

    Why is the “Party of Science” pushing a course of action for which there is no scientific validation.

    Frank (bcb576)

  16. I’m all for Trump supporters jumping off a cliff if Antifa and BLM do too. Literally.

    The problem is the innocent people they fall on. Metaphorically, I mean, that they super spread the virus to.

    nk (1d9030)

  17. I think that scientists need to say “I don’t know” more than they do. I suspect they fear people will not listen to them if they do.

    Science could be viewed as a process aimed at expressing “I don’t know” in the most precise terms possible…

    It’s a difficult line to walk, for just the reason you mention. Given an excuse, a lot of people will substitute their (far less informed) judgment if it suits them. “I don’t know” is easily misinterpreted as “I have no idea,” or “your guess is as good as mine,” which is very rarely the case.

    I think “This is our best estimate right now, and as we get more data it could change” may be right approach.

    In addition, I think they/we should do more to help people understand why the tentative nature of scientific knowledge is a feature, not a bug.

    Dave (1bb933)

  18. Risking infection isn’t just about the personal health risks involved; it’s also about the risk you then pose to your community as a transmission vector,

    Yes, and the study focused on a small-town wedding in Maine demonstrates the point. (Emphasis added.)

    A wedding reception in a small rural town was the likely source of COVID-19 outbreaks in the local community, an LTCF, and a correctional facility, leading to 177 cases, seven hospitalizations, and seven deaths, highlighting the importance of adhering to recommended mitigation measures even in communities where transmission rates are low. None of the persons who were hospitalized or died had attended the event.

    Radegunda (20775b)

  19. If scientists want to be taken seriously, then they need to practice what they preach.
    These decisions, these lockdowns have tremendous negative consequences aside from anything COVID. These negative consequences are NOT born by the people enacting the lockdown. So they have no skin in the game, and I think that is the main issue.

    Decisions cannot be trusted by those who are not effected by them. These experts need to put their money where their mouths are, and take no pay while the lockdowns are in effect.

    Mark G. (163c90)

  20. You should act based on what you believe is the best information using facts and logic. Decide for yourself.

    I remember when we supported limiting what the government could do to her citizens, not using it to dictate imperatives within an individuals home.

    It’s your life. Make the best of it.

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  21. The coronavirus discussion in a nutshell…

    #17

    A wedding reception in a small rural town was the likely source of COVID-19 outbreaks in the local community, an LTCF, and a correctional facility, leading to 177 cases, seven hospitalizations, and seven deaths, highlighting the importance of adhering to recommended mitigation measures even in communities where transmission rates are low. None of the persons who were hospitalized or died had attended the event.

    #18

    These decisions, these lockdowns have tremendous negative consequences aside from anything COVID. These negative consequences are NOT born by the people enacting the lockdown. So they have no skin in the game.

    Appalled (1a17de)

  22. You should act based on what you believe is the best information using facts and logic. Decide for yourself.

    An ER nurse from South Dakota talks about people who have decided for themselves that Covid-19 is a hoax and keep insisting it can’t be real to their last dying breath in the hospital.

    not using it to dictate imperatives within an individuals home

    What imperatives are currently being applied “within an individuals home”?

    It’s your life. Make the best of it.

    And if you carry a deadly infection to people around you, tough luck for them?

    Radegunda (20775b)

  23. For thee, not for me. That’s my problem.

    Kinda like when Newsom decided to have his get together, while telling everyone else not to.

    Or when politicians look the other way when the left riots while handing out tickets to regular citizens or ensuring businesses remain closed.

    If certain members of the electorate are immune from the rules, or when the political class can sidestep whenever they want, then you’ve lost a large swath of the electorate, including me. Because it tells me you aren’t serious about what you say.

    Hoi Polloi (7cefeb) — 11/16/2020 @ 8:50 am

    While I understand the frustration this presents, does this actually change your behavior because “if they can do it, so can I”?

    Dana (6995e0)

  24. Jonah touched on this last June.
    Taking a more global view, it’s all the more important to check your sources and check your facts. There are whole media ecosystems out there dispensing one piece of hypocrisy and disinformation after the next, and right now I’m looking at the Fraud Truthers at places like Hotair, Instapundit and Townhall.
    A note about protests. One, Fauci has always cautioned people to take precautions and avoid close proximity to large groups. He didn’t sacrifice science for politics. Two, some protests are done better than others because the participants were taking proper measures. I’m not optimistic about the aftermath of the mostly maskless Million MAGA March. I can’t speak about anywhere else, but there were a lot of protests last summer in Portland/Seattle, but there were no outbreaks to speak of because most masked up, but it was still a risk. WA and OR are in the bottom quintile in cases and deaths per million.

    Paul Montagu (fe439e)

  25. It’s your life. Make the best of it.

    If this very sort of thinking, assuming it ignores social protocols, is not the root of why our transmission rates are going through the roof in so many places, what do you think is?

    Dana (6995e0)

  26. Why are people oblivious to blatant hypocrisy these days? First, there’s very little filtering of stupid ideas….people are posting, texting, tweeting, and chatting stuff before taking a second to consider if it makes any sense. Second, we are saturated in political garbage…..with an outlet or web site available to rationalize every half-baked action or opinion. Third, a lot of people are selfish….and they can’t get beyond what they want and will twist the truth until they get it. Fourth, a lot of people struggle with critical thinking…..and regularly use logical fallacies because….that’s all they honestly have. So…..yeah….people are impulsive….lazy….selfish….and ignorant…..and strident in it all. And it’s too easy for malevolent actors to take advantage of it….trying to keep people angry and/or fearful. Both sides are fine with fanning the flames.

    AJ_Liberty (ec7f74)

  27. I agree with thrust of this post. I wrote back in April:

    Health officials who have deemed this cause to be worth a potential health risk, yet deemed protesting to open the economy and getting back to work as not worthy of a potential health risk, have lost a tremendous amount of credibility. By making a determination that one cause is more worthy than the other, renders judgment against Americans based not upon health concerns, but based upon an ideological one instead. Why would we trust them with future decisions about public health risks?

    Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater. The nature of the virus does not change, no matter who is being hypocritical.

    Dana (6995e0)

  28. A South Dakota ER nurse @JodiDoering
    says her Covid-19 patients often “don’t want to believe that Covid is real.”

    “Their last dying words are, ‘This can’t be happening. It’s not real.’ And when they should be… Facetiming their families, they’re filled with anger and hatred.”

    https://twitter.com/NewDay/status/1328319845012824065

    Davethulhu (6e0d47)

  29. If public health experts turn on a dime, and suddenly minimize the importance of public health measures they advocated until yesterday, it doesn’t mean public health measures are unnecessary. It means those particular “experts” are unreliable and you should not listen to them. But there are plenty of experts who didn’t take the wokeness bait.

    The mindset you express is a perfect example of the reason I wrote the post. I guess it was a waste of time, at least as to you. It’s as if you read the headline and comprehended literally nothing in the body of the post.

    Patterico (115b1f) — 11/16/2020 @ 8:57 am

    Maybe I didn’t express myself clearly. The only experts who matter are the ones that the decision makers listen to because in a situation like this, the only people who matter are the decision makers.

    Sure, you can listen to the experts who aren’t “woke” and act accordingly, but if the herd listens to the woke, as well as the decision makers, then you are more or less screwed in the end.

    And if the decision makers aren’t listening and enforcing good policies, again, what good does it do if you by yourself listen to the unwoke?

    Hoi Polloi (7cefeb)

  30. Simon Jester (b58231) — 11/16/2020 @ 9:53 am

    I think that scientists need to say “I don’t know” more than they do. I suspect they fear people will not listen to them if they do.

    They also may fear that if they tell the true length of time they think masks, and social distancing and other restrictions need to go on, people won’t listen to them, so they undershoot it, and they have done so consistently.

    They also tend to let people think that if social distancing is implemented, the virus will be gone, while in reality, it only sets the clock back to February or early March.

    There is also pretending that the virus can be stopped by testing and contact tracing when it probably can not..

    https://www.nytimes.com/2020/11/11/health/coronavirus-navy-parris-roosevelt.html

    … The 1,848 [Marine] recruits who volunteered for that study agreed to remain in quarantine for two weeks at home before reporting for duty; after arrival, they entered quarantine for two more weeks, at the Citadel, the military college in Charleston, which the Marine Corps took over for that purpose. They were tested for the virus on arrival, one week later, and again at two weeks.

    The containment measures were extensive on campus. Recruits were under orders to wear masks at all times, except when sleeping; to keep six feet of distance from others; and to sanitize toilets after using them. Most had a single roommate, and all training was outdoors.

    “Still, despite very strict procedures that were monitored 24 hours a day by Marine instructors, we identified six transmission clusters,” said Dr. Stuart Sealfon, a professor of neurology at the Icahn School of Medicine, the senior author of the study. Those clusters resulted from one recruit infecting a roommate, or multiple others in the same platoon, which have 50 to 60 members.

    The researchers determined that about 1 percent of the recruits had arrived infected with the coronavirus, almost all of them without knowing it. An additional 2 percent became infected during the quarantine period. By the end of the study, the team had identified 77 recruits with positive tests, each of whom was moved to another dorm room, to be quarantined alone.

    The testing capacity and accuracy that the authors of the paper call for does not exist and as long as the FDA continues with its routine, won’t exist for a long time.

    If containment through testing and tracing is possible, it is only possible when the number of cases is very low, and it is combined with travel restrictions.

    They also talk as if the vaccine is the answer, when it can only be an answer six months after it starts to become generally available. They also don’t factor in that no more than 60% or 70% of the people can realistically be expected to take a vaccine, and it’s no use pretending otherwise, so that, according to them, it can never end, and we can never step treading water, and we can never get off that hamster wheel.

    Sammy Finkelman (f6c6ee)

  31. While I understand the frustration this presents, does this actually change your behavior because “if they can do it, so can I”?

    Dana (6995e0) — 11/16/2020 @ 10:41 am

    Not particularly. I try to read the accumulated literature and make educated choices, even if some of those choices are frowned upon by the political intelligensia and Karens of today.

    Dana, we all take risks everyday. Most of the time, we don’t think about those risks (the chances me dying in a car accident are slim, so I’ll drive to the store) or the chances are so miniscule that we don’t even think about them.

    So there are times where I may do something that Fauci or my governor may frown upon, but again, the overall chances of me getting COVID and passing it are still quite slim. But for the most part, I wear my mask when needed (even though most of the decision makers live my different rules).

    But you have to understand, people are getting sick of the shutdown and the more they see the politicians not living by their own rules, the chances of others not living by them either increase.

    Hoi Polloi (7cefeb)

  32. There is however, something that will work. Right away.

    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-regeneron/regeneron-says-antibody-cocktail-prevents-and-treats-covid-19-in-animals-idUSKCN24Z2TB

    The U.S. biotech company said in the animal study, which has not yet been peer reviewed, that the cocktail of two monoclonal antibodies was able to “almost completely block establishment of virus infection.”

    Skip the human tests for this manner of use and start using the antibodies prophylactically immediately.

    If President Trump had both brains and guts, he’d be advocating that, and trying to sell that idea, and assembling some doctors to make their best guesses as to dose, and when and where, and/or just going ahead against the wishes of the company and invoking the Defense Production Act, not for PPE production, but for antibody production. And dare anyone to sue. And dare anyone to oppose it. And demand it be included in the coronavirus relief bill.

    And the epidemic would practically be over by Inauguration Day.

    Sammy Finkelman (f6c6ee)

  33. Skip the human tests for this manner of use and start using the antibodies prophylactically immediately.

    Hope you are joking…

    Hoi Polloi (7cefeb)

  34. While I certainly understand that we take risks, to a varying degree, every day, you and I both know the Covid risks (not following social health protocols) can put other people at risk and can help spread the virus. It’s not just about us. If I choose to take the freeway, I am not only going to follow the laws on the books (speed limit, seatbelt, etc) but I’m going to make sure to be attentive and watchful because, not only do I want to stay safe, I want others nearest to me to be safe as well. Because, what negatively impacts me while driving on the freeway, has a high likelihood of negatively impacting drivers nearest to me, and vice-versa. If some lawmaker said, eh, forget about wearing seatbelts on Southern California freeways, I’m still going to wear one because I know the risk if I don’t. This despite what that official might say. Just because he’s anti-seatbelt doesn’t eliminate the known risk factors in highly populated areas. Just because he’s an elected official saying it, doesn’t negate my own common sense and knowledge of risk involved.

    I think the point is, we know what the risks are, and we act accordingly to protect ourselves and those around us.

    And yes, I know that we are all sick and tired of the virus and the cautions we have to take. But my God, in the big picture, is wearing a mask and keeping one’s distance when necessary really that big of a deal? I seem to recall Americans being asked to give far more than that during WWII. And they did because there was a common enemy. I don’t see what’s changed other than the “enemy” looks vastly different, and Americans are big babies now.

    Dana (6995e0)

  35. 11. Dave (1bb933) — 11/16/2020 @ 9:37 am

    If scientists ever stop reassessing their beliefs in the face of new evidence, they stop being scientists.

    Ths is ow “science” really works:

    Initial conclusions are established on the basis of the most flimsy evidence.

    he the most rigorous standards are required to change anything.

    16. Dave (1bb933) — 11/16/2020 @ 10:11 am

    I think “This is our best estimate right now, and as we get more data it could change” may be right approach.

    That’s what Susan Rice said about the attack in Benghazi, and she was wrong.

    She was wrong because the CIA did not, in fact, have the best evidence It just was the most highly rated evaluator.

    Sammy Finkelman (f6c6ee)

  36. think the point is, we know what the risks are, and we act accordingly to protect ourselves and those around us.

    Yes, we do. And those risks are still pretty minimal.

    And yes, I know that we are all sick and tired of the virus and the cautions we have to take. But my God, in the big picture, is wearing a mask and keeping one’s distance when necessary really that big of a deal?

    I clearly stated that I wear a mask and take all the necessary precautions, with an occasion or two where I did not.

    But it’s not just about the masks, and you know it. First, it was large gatherings. Okay. I can do that. Now they are saying small gatherings too. Can’t have too many people at Thanksgiving. And eat outside too. Oh, okay. And no travel. Sure, no problem…

    Where does it end?

    And when do normal adults get to start managing their own risks without scolds telling them they are stupid Nazis?

    Hoi Polloi (7cefeb)

  37. @27 “Rugged individualists”

    Dave (1bb933)

  38. “I’m gonna shut down the virus” crowed the idiot-elect.

    How? ‘Course with 47-plus years of government experience, should be a breeze- especially as that’s how the virus moves around the planet.

    In 4 days, Ol’Joe turns 78 years old. ‘Folks,’ lets get him a present; maybe a record player with some Nat King Cole and Lena Horne vinyls. Because, you know, if you ain’t for him then you ain’t black.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  39. Hatzolah of Boro Park said in about a month ago that, for most people, the restrictions are too strong and, for a few people, too weak.

    It doesn’t help when the information put out by the government contains errors that people know about. They said that at most 20% of the people there had antibodies. Not true. It was more like 60%. Test results showing that had been reported. (but the thing is, 60% or 70% PROBABLY doesn’t give you herd immunity. And not everybody is in the same herd.)

    https://hamodia.com/2020/10/14/red-zone-hamodia-touro-roundtable-discussion-new-york-covid-uptick

    One of the points mentioned on the Governor’s call was the community’s perception that 50% of people have antibodies, when in reality it’s only 18%. Now, I am not qualified to address what level is needed for herd immunity, but to say that only 18% of the community has antibodies is simply false. We did antibody testing back in May which showed that between 50% and 70% of people had them, and more recent testing showed many areas are closer to 70%.

    They treated schools, including elementary schools, like possible dangerous assemblies. They’re not, at least compared to most anything else.

    Sammy Finkelman (f6c6ee)

  40. “I’m gonna shut down the virus” crowed the idiot-elect.

    He will do nothing. Start a commission. Talk. Wait for the vaccine and then take credit for it. Mission Accomplished!

    He may want to talk to Fauci, though, who was on CNN talking about the need for masks and social distancing after everyone gets the vaccine.

    Hoi Polloi (7cefeb)

  41. I clearly stated that I wear a mask and take all the necessary precautions, with an occasion or two where I did not.

    Apologies, I was speaking in general terms, not directing that at you.

    Where does it end?

    Ironically, I think it ends, most likely, when everyone follows the protocols. That is our best chance until a vaccine becomes available.

    And when do normal adults get to start managing their own risks without scolds telling them they are stupid Nazis?

    I don’t know anyone who believes that Americans doing their own thing are “stupid Nazis,” but the better question, I think, is when do Americans just use the tools in the toolbox to manage their risk (while minimizing their neighbor’s) as well? The thing is, this isn’t just about the individual. It never has been. And as much as Americans are guarded about “group” anything, especially those on the right side of the political aisle, this virus doesn’t care. So while you or anyone else resents having to follow protocols to keep safe, that’s just the way it goes. Try as you might, this isn’t just about the individual. And going with the theme of the post, even if someone declares that it is just about them and their own risks, doesn’t change the science and the fact that this impacts everyone, and everyone is at risk, and individual behaviors either helps to increase that risk or decrease it. That is unless you are not in contact with anyone else of course.

    Dana (6995e0)

  42. Whereas the idiot-reject wants you to believe it’s already shut down.

    Dave (1bb933)

  43. @39. You mean a 47 year government guy would form a committee to write a report to propose recommendations to submit with options to discuss or dismiss?

    Pshaw. 😉

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  44. you should act not based on whether some people are being hypocrites but whether the advice to avoid large gatherings is correct.

    Stephen (52823b) — 11/16/2020 @ 8:56 am

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/as-covid-19-surges-the-big-unknown-is-where-people-are-getting-infected-11605474874

    Hoi Polloi (7cefeb)

  45. He may want to talk to Fauci, though, who was on CNN talking about the need for masks and social distancing after everyone gets the vaccine.

    He certainly will talk to Jill first:’Hunny, what day is it?’

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  46. this isn’t just about the individual. And going with the theme of the post, even if someone declares that it is just about them and their own risks, doesn’t change the science and the fact that this impacts everyone, and everyone is at risk,

    Again, the overall risk from getting this disease is low. The chance of death, even lower. Minuscule, in fact.

    You are right, this isn’t just about an individual. But it’s also important to factor in the risk. A very low risk.

    Hoi Polloi (7cefeb)

  47. A very low risk.

    Wait until the overflowing hospitals have to turn people away.

    Dave (1bb933)

  48. I think the point is, we know what the risks are, and we act accordingly to protect ourselves and those around us.

    Most people are pretty good at taking care of themselves w/o mandates– or Cynthia:

    https://www.ispot.tv/ad/nBpP/geico-involved-hoa

    Welcome to Joe Biden’s America.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  49. Wait until the overflowing hospitals have to turn people away.

    Dave (1bb933) — 11/16/2020 @ 12:09 pm

    Then president Biden should institute a shutdown. But he said he wouldn’t do that. So then what?

    Hoi Polloi (7cefeb)

  50. The responsibility for some of the the rebelliousness belongs to petty bureaucrats who use the words “science” and “data” while describing your event a “super spreader” and then referring to their own events as neccessary to the very survival of “our democracy”.

    I’m willing to trade COVID for freedom. When Gov. Newsom in CA loopholed his own winery, every winery in the state should have promptly re-opened citing “the same science and data as the Governor is following”.
    When the husband of Michigans governor tried to move his boat for the season, everyone should have insisted on the same treatment.

    The misuse of “science and data” to stop a single unmasked paddleboarder out in the Pacific, or for closing the vegetable seed aisle at Walmart, spent all of the trust.
    We can read data ourselves. Mean age of mortality 80. Mortality rates below the age of 60 are extremely slight, below 18 negligible but schools are closed “for the safety of our children”.
    We can see that Cuomo is lying about the elderly care scandal and that many Governors got the safeguarding exactly backwards, but are spinning it as a win.
    We can see public health care leaders blaming vestigial racism for higher rates in majority minority enclaves… in LA county they are saying that if Bell Gardens has a high rate of infection, businesses in Montrose need to stay closed because of the equality.

    Most of the rebels know the risk of death by COVID is slight, they know how to mitigate risks to their elderly or at risk relatives. They will wear a mask in the store, what they will not do is acquiesce to a hierarchy of their alleged betters and would rather take the small risk of COVID exposure by having the family over on Thanksgiving for freedoms sake.

    Larger gatherings are extension of this. College students know their collective risk of death is nil. people all ages decide that their right to peaceful assembly in church or in the streets is more valuable than safety.

    The US has a long history of people risking life and comfort while holding a firm line on freedoms
    “What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty – or give me death!” was spoken by Patrick Henry when the King sent soldiers to America in a dispute over taxes.

    steveg (43b7a5)

  51. DCSCA 37. 11/16/2020 @ 11:36 am

    “I’m gonna shut down the virus” crowed the idiot-elect.

    He’s relying on what his experts are telling him. The true idiots are the people on his coronavirus task force.

    Wall Street Journal
    By The Editorial Board
    Nov. 9, 2020 6:04 pm ET

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-covid-vaccine-cavalry-11604963056

    Mr. Biden welcomed the Pfizer news in a statement, albeit without any credit to Mr. Trump, and he announced the members of an advisory committee on the virus. Our concern is that the list includes members who are highly partisan and believers in government mandates and slow drug approvals.

    Committee co-chair David Kessler ran the FDA during the George H.W. Bush and Clinton Administrations and paid more attention to Capitol Hill than to the imperatives of medical innovation. He fought silicone breast implants based on little scientific evidence and onerous delays in approving medical devices.

    Ezekiel Emanuel has advocated extreme lockdowns during the pandemic no matter the economic or public-health harm. On June 30 he told MSNBC: “You have to actually have people at home, close nonessential businesses, stop bars, stop indoor dining, have everyone wearing face masks. These are the things we need to do. And, by the way, just doing it in isolated places is not going to solve it either. You need to do it nationwide.”

    As recently as July 29, he wrote in the New York Times that “schools should open only in places that have fewer than 75 confirmed cases per 100,000 people cumulatively over the previous seven days, and that have a test positivity rate below 5 percent.” Even countries in Europe that are locking down again are keeping schools open as the evidence is clear that children are largely not vulnerable.

    New York Post Post Editorial Board November 12, 2020 | 7:19pm | Updated

    https://nypost.com/2020/11/12/joe-bidens-coronavirus-advisers-are-worse-than-the-disease

    Joe Biden’s COVID-19 Advisory Board looks pretty . . . sick.

    One of his top guys wants a six-week national lockdown, with mass borrowing to pay all the sidelined workers. Another wanted the country to go on lockdown for 18 months — and doesn’t believe life is worth living after age 75.

    Biden adviser Michael Osterholm said Wednesday that locking down America for four to six weeks is needed while we wait for a vaccine to begin rolling out. He’s an epidemiologist by trade but seems to consider himself an economic expert, too.

    Savings rates have shot up in the pandemic, he notes — somehow making it just fine for the feds to borrow yet more to put taxpayers on the hook for the economic catastrophe…

    …But then, Osterholm was arguing for a strict lockdown back at the start of August, when cases weren’t on the rise as they are now. He co-authored a New York Times piece, “Here’s How to Crush the Virus Until Vaccines Arrive,” that argued, “We should mandate sheltering in place for everyone but the truly essential workers.”

    Biden adviser Ezekiel Emanuel would go further. He argued months ago that the nation needs to be locked down for at least a year and a half, until a vaccine is widely available. Yet his predictions have been way off: He said in March there would likely be 100 million Americans infected with COVID by late April. In mid-November, the nation’s seen a total of 10.5 million cases.

    That’s not how he earned the nickname Dr. Death. In his Atlantic piece “Why I Hope to Die at 75,” Emanuel wrote that “death is a loss” but insisted that “living too long is also a loss” because old people aren’t as “vibrant.” Hmm: Biden is 77 . . .

    Pray that these guys don’t represent all the “science” that Biden listens to.

    Now Biden could come close to shutting down down the virus, if he were to use the antibodies as a prophylactic.

    It would take care of almost everyone except people who didn’t seek medical attention.

    By the way there are many people who probably see the current occupant of the White House as an idiot, because of the way he’s maintaining he didn’t lose the election.

    Sammy Finkelman (f6c6ee)

  52. Idiot-elect does teleprompter presser: taking screened questions; literally starts by looking in the wrong direction. Whines about no intel briefings [47 years of government experience worthless, Joe?]

    Guess who does get them: Kamala.

    President Harris, on deck.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  53. Aides calling screened reporters for questions. Even Reagan had the guts– and balls- and mental acuity to swing at pitches from reporters.

    This idiot-elect wouldn’t last 3 minutes w/a Sam Donaldson.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  54. Scranton or Wilmington: no questions yet on where he plans to be buried.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  55. Ezekiel Emanuel…said in March there would likely be 100 million Americans infected with COVID by late April. In mid-November, the nation’s seen a total of 10.5 million cases.

    But if there are 10 undiagnosed cases to every diagnosed one, then we have seen about 100 million cases.

    July 21/22 2020:

    https://khn.org/morning-breakout/true-number-of-covid-cases-could-be-10-times-higher

    https://www.npr.org/sections/coronavirus-live-updates/2020/07/21/893975880/coronavirus-infections-far-higher-than-confirmed-but-most-americans-still-not-ex

    The data appeared on both the CDC website and in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine on Tuesday.

    The CDC estimated the number of infections is about 10 times higher than the confirmed cases, based on blood samples analyzed for antibodies in 10 regions. Those regions included the New York City metropolitan area, parts of Washington state, Utah, south Florida and Missouri.

    Samples were taken from more than 16,000 people through the spring. Researchers relied on samples taken for routine tests, such as cholesterol tests, with more than a third coming from those aged 65 or older. Results for two rounds of sampling for eight of the 10 regions were released by the CDC.

    All the regions surveyed showed differences in estimates arrived at through the survey and confirmed cases. In Missouri, for example, that difference was 24 times in April. Though by the second round of sampling, in late May, that dropped to 13 times….

    ….The CDC is careful to point out, however, that it doesn’t know if the presence of antibodies prevents reinfection by the coronavirus.

    And why does that need to be proven?

    Sammy Finkelman (f6c6ee)

  56. DCSCA (797bc0) — 11/16/2020 @ 12:34 pm

    Whines about no intel briefings

    If hesaid that now, they must have told him to say that.

    Other people are whining about that. Biden said that while it would be helpful, it’s not too important

    All he would get is the State Department or CIA take on the constitutional crisis in Peru, or the loss of representative government in Hong Kong. (I think it’s keeping virus secrets that’s motivating Xi to increase his control of Hong Kong now.)

    Sammy Finkelman (f6c6ee)

  57. @55. Kamala gets them; he doesn’t: she’s on the Senate intel committee.

    Hilarious.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  58. We can read data ourselves. Mean age of mortality 80. Mortality rates below the age of 60 are extremely slight, below 18 negligible but schools are closed “for the safety of our children”.

    Those stats don’t make the news; the outliers do. So we hear the media talk about a grade school kid who died from COVID. They don’t tell you how rare that actually is, because that would ruin the sensationalism.

    Hoi Polloi (7cefeb)

  59. 49. steveg (43b7a5) — 11/16/2020 @ 12:31 pm

    but schools are closed “for the safety of our children”.

    I think the argument is that asymptomatic children can create deadly cases in adults.

    We can see public health care leaders blaming vestigial racism for higher rates in majority minority enclaves

    It could be less obeying of rules, less isolation due to smaller living quarters and larger families, jobs that involve interaction with many people, and lower Vitamin D levels.

    take the small risk of COVID exposure by having the family over on Thanksgiving for freedoms sake.

    There is a possibility one person could have it and it is the day before they get symptoms or they don’t say. Still way under a 10% risk. And then only an approximately 5% risk of very serious illness. It looks high because hospitals can’t admit 1% of the population at one time.

    Sammy Finkelman (f6c6ee)

  60. @35 There are a couple of things about modern society that do tend to interfere with managing our own risks.

    The first is that we live in a culture that needs someone to blame when something goes wrong. People don’t take responsibility for stuff that happens to them or things that may be an accident or even things that might be their own fault. (general and not personal use of “you”) You slipped on the floor, the store where you were didn’t cause you to have an accident, yet you sue the store. You didn’t study and don’t do well on a test, it wasn’t racism, but you accuse the teacher of it. You didn’t wear a helmet on your motorcycle and where there’s an accident you blame the other driver for your injury.

    The second is that we are all very interconnected. Lets take my motorcycle example from above. Guy doesn’t wear his helmet, gets in an accident and has a brain injury. Depending on his financial situation, all of society might end up being responsible for his medical care and then his long term care for the rest of his life. Or maybe he just gets a bug in his eye and mows down a bunch of 4th graders.

    The third is that everyone has a loved one that won’t make a good decision unless forced to by law and they either can’t or don’t want to confront that other person on their own behalf. Lets take my motorcycle guy again. Maybe he’s 21 and his parents still pay his insurance. His parents could say that if he doesn’t wear his helmet then they won’t pay for his insurance, but it’s a lot easier for them to blame the law and say how the law will take it away if he gets into an accident w/out his helmet. Or he turns 22 and is out of the house and they have no control any more, so they tell him the law says it instead of getting into an argument. A similar situation happens all the time at school where a parent wants us to tell a student they aren’t allowed to bring a cell phone any more because they won’t stay off of it, instead of the parent taking it away, or that we say the student has to come in after school for extra help because they are failing, instead of the parent telling them that. People want an external force they can use to apply to their loved ones, even if they say they don’t want one for themselves.

    So I guess my short answer (too late) is: For issues that can impact a swath of society? When people are adults who manage their own risks.

    Nic (896fdf)

  61. @59. See #47 and say hello to Cynthia: Joe Biden’s America.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  62. 49. This. I’d go even farther to say, some of you people are so wrapped up in your fear of “large numbers” absent any context, that the great American tradition of bull$hit detection is all but permanently broken.

    46. Hasn’t happened yet. Truth is, if wearing masks really does mitigate risk and there is a non-zero non-trivial number of people out there wearing masks, why are we panicking over a logarithmic spike at all? Unless masks really don’t work. But then again, you armchair epidemiologists out there will be quick to point out to me that if fewer people were wearing masks, it would be even worse than it is now or something. *COUGH COUGH*

    Gryph (f63000)

  63. @49 Schools are a petri dish. Students (even older students) have very little sense of personal space. And parents often do not or cannot take responsibility for themselves or their children. One of my sites is a jr. High. And we have kids arrive all the time with burning fevers and upset stomachs and when they are in the health office after having puked into the classroom trashcan, we often ask them why they didn’t tell their parents they were so sick. And the kid says “Mom/Dad said I needed to tough it out because there isn’t anyone to stay home with me.” And the parent is a no-show for picking the kid up because they work in farawayplace so we have sick as he!! student on campus all day and then walking home with their friends after school. Combine that with a virus that a fair number of my parents don’t even believe is a real thing? Nasty consequences for that.

    Also a good 1/3 of my students’ parents don’t intend to return them to school as long as there is a distance learning option unless a vaccine is available, in part because a lot of grandparents do the childcare.

    Nic (896fdf)

  64. A similar situation happens all the time at school where a parent wants us to tell a student they aren’t allowed to bring a cell phone any more because they won’t stay off of it, instead of the parent taking it away, or that we say the student has to come in after school for extra help because they are failing, instead of the parent telling them that.

    That right there is yet another example of the biggest problem with our education system: parents. As you know, my mother is a retired school teacher. She has made it very clear that parents are THE problem. She never had a bad Asian student; the Asian parents ride herd on their kids, whereas other groups do not. She said it would be easier to teach a class of 100 Asian students than 10 run-of-the-mill non-Asian students.

    It’s sad that parents are such wusses, and that the kids wield so much power. America is chock full of blame-shifting, participation trophies, watered-down consequences, and just overall indulgence.

    It’s time we grew a pair.

    norcal (a5428a)

  65. And parents often do not or cannot take responsibility for themselves or their children.

    And the kid says “Mom/Dad said I needed to tough it out because there isn’t anyone to stay home with me.”

    Gee. Maybe they should have thought of that before having children.

    I’ll bet a significant percentage of these “parents” are cases where mom and dad are both working because they’re horrible with money. Just listen to the Dave Ramsey Show sometime. It’s shocking how readily people go into debt to finance new cars, fancy homes, and all manner of assorted bullsh!t.

    norcal (a5428a)

  66. @63 Parents can sometimes be not super-helpful. Also, sometimes I wish we could have a manual labor class for non-academically motivated students. “You are failing your classes and not putting in an ounce of effort to pass? You can come clean the cafeteria dishes after lunch, empty all the big trash cans, and mow the football field for one period a day, and then Saturday you are going to spend 8 hrs in the tomato fields/ tamping down asphalt/ digging ditches/ hauling storm felled branches off the road/ standing alongside the freeway in the snow and cold to help put chains on/ etc.” See if it might make them a little more motivated to pass their classes. 😛

    Nic (896fdf)

  67. Parents can sometimes be not super-helpful.

    Thou hast a talent for understatement. 🙂

    norcal (a5428a)

  68. @64 I don’t live in those parent shoes, so I can’t say what happens to their money, but I can say that I have a parallel coworker and her husband who both work, who short-saled their house at the bottom of the market and lost money on it because they had to move to a Very Expensive place to live so that their son could go to kindergarten in a very specific school district (which, btw increased her drivetime and gas costs considerably), go out to dinner or get take-out at least 3 times a week, gets expensive coffee every day before work and sometimes at lunch, fly to visit family and friends almost every vacation, go to Disney twice a year, orders expensive European name-brand clothing off the net for her swiftly growing kids, and then she complains about being broke and marvels at the fact that I have the money to take a nice vacation every other year, paid off all my student loans, paid off my car, and own most of my own house, all on my own.

    @66 😛

    Nic (896fdf)

  69. @67: Who do you think is going to pay your pension? The lady you’re describing sounds like a two-legged version of CalPERS.

    beer ‘n pretzels (042d67)

  70. @67 Wow. You described the problem in detail, and much better than I could.

    I graduated from college debt-free (BYU is a bargain tuition-wise, even today, at just under $6,000 a year for church members, and double that for non-members–which is still a good deal). After graduation, I bought a ten-year-old Toyota Celica, which I proceeded to drive for another 14 years.

    This is another area where Asians excel. I know a lot of Chinese people. Virtually every one of them has significant savings.

    Hmm. Maybe there is a correlation between the financial adroitness of parents and the educational achievement of their children.

    norcal (a5428a)

  71. @68 We all are required to make pension contributions, it’s not her being profligate harms me any.

    @69 Her mom is asian and she was, er, invited not to return, to the college she originally started at, so don’t take the Asian stereotypes too literally. 😛

    I d think there is some correlation between financial adroitness of the parents and achievement in children in general. Self-discipline and the ability to self-deny can come naturally to some people, but they often need to be taught.

    Nic (896fdf)

  72. We all are required to make pension contributions, it’s not her being profligate harms me any.

    Her decision to have a kid means someone to carry the load for you. Your contributions cover the shortfall? Tell me another one.

    beer ‘n pretzels (042d67)

  73. Shorter: If all the leftists jump off a cliff, it’s still a bad idea.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  74. @71 You aren’t being very clear. Would you like to clarify?

    Nic (896fdf)

  75. @67: It becomes clear why they had to short-sale the house. I bet the lender for their huge LoC took it in the shorts. And yet they got a new mortgage?

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  76. Why manage risks? Let’s all be “Julia”

    https://archive.org/details/TheLifeOfJulia

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  77. New York City and State coronavirus statistics today.

    https://www.cityandstateny.com/articles/politics/new-york-state/new-coronavirus-numbers.html

    They’re telling people to get tested every week. I think that’s what a ad on television said)

    It’s higher on Staten Island which was not hit before. It;s that way in the entire United States, and that must be because of herd immunity.

    Oe problem with the statistics:

    16,876,843 – The number of people who have been tested for coronavirus in New York state, as of Nov. 163. {People? Tests!)

    7,149,079 of the tests have been conducted in New York City.

    Sammy Finkelman (f6c6ee)

  78. I have little to no respect for many politicians and some medical professionals due to their double standards and flat out hypocrisy regarding pandemic mitigation policies. I’ve also feel that choosing to be careless and endangering my family’s health by ignoring the social distancing and mask mandates(I never understood why so many on the right make mountains out of molehills over something simple like a mask in public places. It’s not like they are being mandated in our homes, cars, and out in the open), only gives the hypocrites undue influence over our lives and safety. Those who choose to ignore the rules for left wing woke protests or MAGA mass gatherings reasons will reap what they sow. The hypocrites are already paying a price with their damaged credibility and reputation. It’s not like I have to suffer or endanger myself and my family as a result of it. It’s just common sense.

    HCI (92ea66)

  79. @74 They short-saled literally to change school districts. They didn’t have to, they could’ve handled the mortgage. It was a (bad financial) choice. The district they were in was fine, it just wasn’t the fancy ultra-competitive one she wanted. They didn’t get a new mortgage, they’ve been renting for forever now.

    Nic (896fdf)

  80. Wait until they discover that forgiven debt in a short sale is taxable income.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  81. @79 I assume they found out at the time, it was during the housing crisis though, and there were some different rules for short-sales, so I’m not sure how things played out

    Nic (896fdf)

  82. It’s not like they are being mandated in our homes, cars, and out in the open

    It depends on your definition of “open”. Local and state governments are doing their best to one-up each other.

    In Alameda County, California, you must wear a mask outdoors if you are within 30 feet of another person. In other words, if you’re walking down a residential street, and there is somebody on the other side of the street, you have to wear a mask.

    You see, people in California and other progressive enclaves believe in big government. Officials in those places therefore have a large hammer, and everything looks like a nail to them.

    Unfortunately, people are all too willing to sacrifice their freedom for the barest possibility of safety. All must worship at the altar of safety, because the God of Safety is supreme above all other gods. It’s the same thinking that drives seat belt laws.

    Nanny state for the win!

    norcal (a5428a)

  83. Kevin M at 75:

    This video file cannot be played.
    (Error Code: 224003)

    Sammy Finkelman (f6c6ee)

  84. 79. Kevin M (ab1c11) — 11/16/2020 @ 3:54 pm

    Wait until they discover that forgiven debt in a short sale is taxable income.

    I think Congress made an exception for a few years.

    https://www.sdshortsaleexperts.com/default.asp.pg-WhatAboutTaxes

    Many owners are able to avoid taxes through one of three ways: “Insolvency”, the “Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act of 2007”, or if the loan is a “non-recourse” loan.

    …Under the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act of 2007 (H.R. 3648) signed by the President on December 20, 2007, IRS code §108(a)(1)(E), provides that a taxpayer will not be taxed upon cancellation of debt income if the following conditions are met:

    The property sold in the short sale is the taxpayer’s principal residence, as that term is used in IRC §121.

    The cancellation of debt is Qualified Principal Residence Indebtedness** under IRC Section 163(h)(3)(B).

    Applies to debt forgiven in calendar years 2007 through 2012….

    … In April of 2010, the governor signed Senate Bill 401 (SB401), which provides for relief of paying state taxes on debt forgiven by a lender. The qualifications of SB401 are very similar to the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act and should also be discuss with a qualified tax professional.

    ….For individuals that do not qualify for the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act, there may be another option for avoiding taxes after a short sale or foreclosure, and that is by showing “insolvency”. The term “insolvent” simply means that your debts exceed the value of your assets. If you are in a situation where a debt settlement is necessary, you are probably insolvent. In other words, you would have a negative net worth where your liabilities outweigh your assets.

    To let the IRS know about your insolvency, you must fill out IRS Form 982: Reduction of Tax Attributes Due to Discharge of Indebtedness. IRS form 982 says, “Generally, the amount by which you benefit from the discharge of indebtedness is included in your gross income. However, under certain circumstances described in section 108, you may exclude the amount of discharged indebtedness from your gross income”. The specific instructions are contained in section 108 of the Internal Revenue Code.

    One of the “circumstances” they are referring to is that if you are insolvent before you conduct a short sale then you may be able to “exclude” the forgiven indebtedness (the amount the lender forgave on the loan) from being added to your gross income for that year.

    ….Put simply, a home loan may be “non-recourse” if it is the original loan that was used to purchase the property. Once a loan has been refinanced, it is no longer “non-recourse”.

    In California, according to Code of Civil Procedure § 580b, a loan is non-recourse when either: (1) The loan is a result of seller carry back financing for all or part of the purchase price for any real property; or (2) The loan is made to purchase a dwelling for not more than four families (1-4 units) given to a lender to secure payment of a loan which is used to pay all or part of the purchase price of that dwelling occupied entirely or in part by the purchaser. (Code of Civil Procedure § 580b.) When a loan is non-recourse, if a borrower does not pay, a lender can take back (foreclose) on the collateral, but cannot sue the borrower to be personally liable for the money.

    Directly from the IRS regarding taxation:

    “A non-recourse loan is a loan for which the lender’s only remedy in case of default is to repossess the property being financed or used as collateral.That is, the lender cannot pursue you personally in case of default. Forgiveness of a non-recourse loan resulting from a foreclosure does not result in cancellation of debt income. However, it may result in other tax consequences.” Further information available HERE.

    Sammy Finkelman (f6c6ee)

  85. This reminds me of the time Brigham Young bought a $25 brooch for his sixth wife and it ended up costing him $650 because the other 41 wives he had living with him demanded one too, they “knew their rights” and household finances be darned. Or is it more like this:

    “Once a gentleman gave one of my children a tin whistle—a veritable invention of Satan, sir, and one which I have an unspeakable horror of, and so would you if you had eighty or ninety children in your house. But the deed was done—the man escaped. I knew what the result was going to be, and I thirsted for vengeance. I ordered out a flock of Destroying Angels, and they hunted the man far into the fastnesses of the Nevada mountains. But they never caught him. I am not cruel, sir—I am not vindictive except when sorely outraged—but if I had caught him, sir, so help me Joseph Smith, I would have locked him into the nursery till the brats whistled him to death.”
    Roughing It, Mark Twain, 1872 (Chapter 15, Brigham Young)

    nk (1d9030)

  86. Radegunda 21: “ What imperatives are currently being applied “within an individuals home”?”

    Calfornia for Thanksgiving in your own home:
    https://www.deseret.com/u-s-world/2020/11/1/21541820/california-thanksgiving-rules-guidelines
    https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2020-10-13/as-holidays-approach-california-unveils-new-rules-on-family-gatherings-social-events
    https://www.newsweek.com/coronavirus-california-gavin-newsom-new-rules-gatherings-thanksgiving-1541402

    no more than 3 households
    no more than 10 people
    eat outside
    clean the bathroom constantly
    collect the names
    less than two hours

    I am governor Gavin Newsom
    My aura smiles and is never gruesome
    Soon I will be president…
    Biden’s power will soon go away
    I will be Fuhrer one day
    I will command all of you
    Your kids will never be in school
    Your kids will never be in school

    California Uber Alles

    kaf (0ff60d)

  87. #62 Nic

    If you listen to what the LAUSD teachers and their unions say about COVID long enough, you will eventually get the distilled truth of the fact the unions are worried about the teachers, not the students even as they play on parent loyalties and fears. We are flush with young people with freshly minted college degrees. A smart system would be to sequester the older teachers and replace them with the young teachers given science and data that says the younger students are close to being irreparably harmed and the younger teachers would have much better survivabilty.
    The union has the power in the relationship and has shown again and again (just look at their results in the classroom) that they are in it for the union dues and give a rats behind about the kids

    steveg (43b7a5)

  88. 86. steveg (43b7a5) — 11/16/2020 @ 7:56 pm

    The union has the power in the relationship and has shown again and again (just look at their results in the classroom) that they are in it for the union dues and give a rats behind about the kids

    And they like distance learning because then there’s no standardized tests given to the children, and thus no way to measure the value of their teaching. All that counts is time put in.

    Sammy Finkelman (f6c6ee)

  89. it was during the housing crisis though

    Never mind. Obama waived those taxes.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  90. Sammy, yes, but that tidbit of information about the timing wasn’t available to me at #79.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  91. This video file cannot be played.
    (Error Code: 224003)

    The problem is at your end.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  92. @84 Very funny, nk! Do you have Roughing It memorized?

    norcal (a5428a)

  93. I’ve been reading it on and off since I was a kid, norcal, and constantly finding something new in it.

    nk (1d9030)

  94. Some other stuff of Twain’s, I have actively tried to erase from my memory.

    nk (1d9030)

  95. @93 Oh yeah? Like what?

    norcal (a5428a)

  96. I can’t remember, norcal.

    nk (1d9030)

  97. 87. According to William McGurn’s column in today’s Wall Street Journal, Joe Biden wll probably nominate a head of a teacher’s union (could be AFT president Randi Weingarten or former NEA president Lily Eskelson Garcia) to be Secretary of Education

    William McGurn says Joe Biden used to be friendly to modest education reform.
    `
    Jo Biden will probably describe his nominee merely as a “teacher” or professional educator.

    I think his coronavirus policy s heading toward agreeing to impossible to meet protection unnecessary for teachers and students as a condition for in school learning, which he won’t realize is impossible.

    If the Republicans maintain control of the Senate, confirmation may be delayed but will be hard to stop unless coincidentally they find some demerit, in which case there’ll be a substitute nominee just about equally bad.

    Sammy Finkelman (f6c6ee)

  98. The problem is that if the plebeians see the patricians not following their own advice, they are going to have serious doubts as to the motivations and wisdom of that advice.

    I have no problems with Dr Fauci or President Trump or Joe Biden giving me advice or asking me to do something in the interest of public health. I have a great deal of problem with the notion that they can order me to do certain things. And I have an even bigger problem with state governors issuing orders which violate the right to peaceable assembly or free exercise of religion.

    The Dana in Kentucky (facd7c)

  99. Mr Finkelman wrote:

    If the Republicans maintain control of the Senate, confirmation may be delayed but will be hard to stop unless coincidentally they find some demerit, in which case there’ll be a substitute nominee just about equally bad.

    Senate Republicans ought to adopt a different tactic: don’t oppose every nominee of Mr Biden’s, the way the Democrats did to President Trump’s nominees, but vote “Present” instead. That will not block nominees, but it will not approve of them either.

    The Dana in Kentucky (facd7c)


Powered by WordPress.

Page loaded in: 0.2451 secs.