Patterico's Pontifications


Weekend Open Thread

Filed under: General — Dana @ 7:09 pm

[guest post by Dana]

Hello. Let’s get started!

First news item

If you don’t want a Covid vaccine because you think it’s unsafe, then why on earth would you turn to a drug not specifically designed to treat Covid-19?

Ivermectin, an anti-parasite drug commonly used in livestock, is not approved by the Food and Drug Administration to prevent or treat COVID. The FDA and the CDC have warned against taking the drug in such instances — adding that there has been an uptick in calls to poison control centers across the U.S. by people who have ingested it. Misinformation and unsubstantiated claims touting the drug have spread widely on social media.

While the “FDA has approved it in humans to also treat some parasitic worms and external parasites like lice,” there is no evidence that it helps with Covid-19 but rather it can be harmful when used on humans. Thus, the American Medical Association is calling for an “immediate end” for the use of ivermectin to treat Covid-19:

The American Medical Association (AMA) is calling for the immediate end to the use of ivermectin to treat COVID-19, and for doctors to stop prescribing it for that purpose, amid a spike in the use of the drug.

Ivermectin, often used as a deworming agent in animals and sometimes for humans, is not approved to treat COVID-19 and has not been shown to work for that purpose. Poison control centers have recorded a five-fold increase in calls related to ivermectin, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The AMA, the country’s largest doctors group, is now joining in warning against use of the drug, joining the Food and Drug Administration and the CDC.

“We are alarmed by reports that outpatient prescribing for and dispensing of ivermectin have increased 24-fold since before the pandemic and increased exponentially over the past few months,” the AMA said in a statement, joined by the American Pharmacists Association and American Society of Health-System Pharmacists. “As such, we are calling for an immediate end to the prescribing, dispensing, and use of ivermectin for the prevention and treatment of COVID-19 outside of a clinical trial.”

Convince me that the Egyptian study and the Argentine study demonstrate a majority viability and effectiveness of Ivermectin as a treatment for Covid. Because it seems pretty clear that they don’t. And let’s not forget that we have already learned that Ivermectin really isn’t effective when combatting Covid-19…

Second news item

California residents continue to be harmed by homeless crisis and D.A. Gascon’s policies:

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department responded to a call on Dan Blocker Beach on Sunday. Deputies were told a man was with four family members when they were approached by two suspects, both believed to be homeless.

The two homeless people confronted the dad, saying they were not allowed in the area, sparking an argument between the three people. One of the suspects, later identified as Richard Franck, whipped out a machete and began slashing the dad multiple times.

The other four family members were chased by Franck and the other homeless person, LASD said.

Both suspects were eventually found and arrested. Both are being charged with attempted murder, assault with a deadly weapon.

NOTE: In April of this year, Franck had pulled a knife on a police officer, but due to Gascon’s new policies, he was released on a lesser charge.

Third news item

Sen. Ben Sasse rightfully shoots a mouthful of sass at President Biden for trying to change the conversation:

President Biden desperately wants to talk about anything but Afghanistan, but Americans who are hiding from the Taliban, ISIS, and the Haqqani network don’t give a damn about news cycles, long weekends, and polling — they want out. The Biden administration has a moral obligation to give a full accounting: What is the exact number of Americans trapped in Afghanistan? What is the exact number of legal permanent residents? How many SIV allies? Without answering those questions, they’re just doing political propaganda.

Fourth news item

Retiring senator says “no” to Trump in 2024:

Retiring Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.)…does not believe former President Trump should be the Republican presidential nominee in 2024, calling his behavior after the 2020 election “completely unacceptable.”

Toomey largely supported Trump and his agenda during his first term, but became one of seven Senate Republicans to vote to convict the former president after he was impeached for his role in the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection.

“I think after what happened post-2020 election, I think the president’s behavior was completely unacceptable, so I don’t think he should be the nominee to lead the party in 2024. I’m a conservative Republican by any objective measure, by looking at the voting record, by looking at my views compared to that of a traditional conservative Republican. It is President Trump who departed from Republican orthodoxy and conservative orthodoxy in a variety of ways. I stuck to the conservative views that I’ve had for a long time, he had a different point of view on matters such as trade and sometimes immigration and other things.”

Fifth news item

O say can you see what’s happening in Texas:

Professional sports teams in Texas will lose out on government funding if they fail to play the national anthem before the start of every home game, per a new law signed by Gov. Greg Abbott (R) on Wednesday, months after the Dallas Mavericks drew scorn from Republicans by briefly taking the song out of its pregame festivities.

Starting in September, the law — known as SB4 — will require all new financial contracts between professional sports teams and government agencies to include a “written verification” promising to play the national anthem at the teams’ home stadiums.

If teams violate these written agreements, their contracts with the government will go into default, possibly leading to financial penalties.

The law doesn’t mention any specific agreements between teams and the government, but it’s fairly common for state and local governments in Texas and elsewhere to lease publicly owned sports stadiums to teams or underwrite arenas’ construction costs.

Sixth news item

Eh, Jesus would like a word with you, Buster:

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.

Seventh news item

He understands you can’t maintain control over people and outcomes by loosening things up:

President Xi Jinping has called for a “national rejuvenation,” with tighter Communist Party control of business, education, culture and religion. Companies and the public are under increasing pressure to align with its vision for a more powerful China and healthier society.

The party has reduced children’s access to online games and is trying to discourage what it sees as unhealthy attention to celebrities.

Broadcasters must “resolutely put an end to sissy men and other abnormal esthetics,” the National Radio and TV Administration said, using an insulting slang term for effeminate men — “niang pao,” or literally, “girlie guns.”

That reflects official concern that Chinese pop stars, influenced by the sleek, fashionable look of some South Korean and Japanese singers and actors, are failing to encourage China’s young men to be masculine enough.

Broadcasters should avoid promoting “vulgar internet celebrities” and admiration of wealth and celebrity, the regulator said. Instead, programs should “vigorously promote excellent Chinese traditional culture, revolutionary culture and advanced socialist culture.”

Xi’s government also is tightening control over Chinese internet industries.

Eighth news item

Australia takes pandemic protocol to extreme lengths:

In a bid to keep the coronavirus out of the country, Australia’s federal and state governments imposed draconian restrictions on its citizens. Prime Minister Scott Morrison knows that the burden is too heavy. “This is not a sustainable way to live in this country,” he recently declared. One prominent civil libertarian summed up the rules by lamenting, “We’ve never seen anything like this in our lifetimes.”

Intrastate travel within Australia is also severely restricted. And the government of South Australia, one of the country’s six states, developed and is now testing an app as Orwellian as any in the free world to enforce its quarantine rules. Returning travelers quarantining at home will be forced to download an app that combines facial recognition and geolocation. The state will text them at random times, and thereafter they will have 15 minutes to take a picture of their face in the location where they are supposed to be. Should they fail, the local police department will be sent to follow up in person. “We don’t tell them how often or when, on a random basis they have to reply within 15 minutes,” Premier Steven Marshall explained. “I think every South Australian should feel pretty proud that we are the national pilot for the home-based quarantine app.”

Ninth news item

Apple puts the brakes on:

“Based on feedback from customers, advocacy groups, researchers, and others, we have decided to take additional time over the coming months to collect input and make improvements before releasing these critically important child safety features,” the company said in an update. The company had planned to scan both iCloud photos and encrypted messages for sexually explicit content, but the move drew flack from privacy advocates over concerns the system could be fooled.

Matthew Green, a cryptography researcher at Johns Hopkins University who had criticized the move, told the Associated Press: “You need to build support before you launch something like this. This was a big escalation from scanning almost nothing to scanning private files.”



Have a great weekend.


California Democrat Legislators and Their Priorities

Filed under: General — JVW @ 1:50 pm

[guest post by JVW]

COVID. Recall elections. Homelessness. Wildfires. Drought. Racial unrest. Housing shortages. Unaffordable pension obligations. All of these are huge problems plaguing the Golden State. So what is our state legislature, controlled entirely by Democrats from the more leftish flank of the party, working on in the final days of this legislative session?

California could soon force large department stores to display some child products in gender neutral ways after the state Legislature passed a bill on Wednesday aimed at getting rid of traditional pink and blue marketing schemes for items like toys and toothbrushes.

The bill would not outlaw traditional boys and girls sections in department stores, but it would require retailers to have a gender neutral section to display “a reasonable selection” of items “regardless of whether they have been traditionally marketed for either girls or for boys.”

The bill would only apply to department stores with 500 or more employees, so most small businesses would be exempt. It also wouldn’t apply to clothes, just toys and “childcare items,” which include hygiene and teething products.

The state Senate passed the bill Wednesday, sending it back to the Assembly for a procedural vote before it heads to Gov. Gavin Newsom’s desk. If it becomes law, California would become the first state to require these sections in stores, according to the office of Assemblyman Evan Low, the bill’s author.

Because females, who comprise 58% of bachelor’s degrees earners and are now over 50% of doctorates conferred each year, are truly being held back by big block toy stores. There is almost no problem too picayune for progressives to pursue government-imposed solutions. More on this lunacy:

This is at least the third time California lawmakers have tried to pass this bill, with previous versions failing to pass in 2019 and 2020. Low, a Democrat from Campbell, said the measure was inspired by a 10-year-old girl named Britten whose mother works in his legislative office.

“Britten asked her mom while shopping why certain things in a store were ‘off limits’ to her because she was a girl, but would be fine if she was a boy,” Low said. “Thankfully, my colleagues recognized the pure intentions of this bill and the need to let kids be kids.”

But of course the toys weren’t at all “off limits” to young Britten: there’s hardly a toy store across the fruited plain from sea to shining see (and you too, Alaska and Hawaii) which would refuse to sell a “boy’s toy” to a little girl. In a functional world, Britten’s mom would have told her this and dissuaded her from the notion that she isn’t free to shop in whatever toy aisle she chooses, but of course Britten’s mom is a political employee for a far-left Democrat and so there’s a pretty strong chance that she is entirely unacquainted with reality to begin with.

And when a Republican senator tried to point out that perhaps this matter is too piddly even for hyper-sensitive California to deal with, the intersectionality matrix and the litany of past unconscious toxic heteronormativity reared their ugly heads:

Sen. Scott Wiener, a Democrat from San Francisco, said that while both he and Low are “childless gay men,” he defended their right to have opinions about children and families.

“We know what it was like to grow up not conforming to the way that your gender is supposed to be,” he said, adding: “This is about making safe spaces for all children in today’s society and not pushing, sometimes forcing children to conform.”

And so there you have it. Once Gavin Newsom signs this bill (and why wouldn’t he?) into law, these big box retailers will face fines of up to $250 for the first offense and up to $500 for the second offense. There’s no word on what a third and subsequent offenses will set back the user, but if it doubles each time then the dreaded thirteenth offense should come in at about $1 million. So as we slide into this Labor Day Weekend nervously tracking the rise in COVID cases, fretting about wildfires, worrying about the homeless people as the weather cools, and wondering where we’re going to get the money to pay for pensions down the road, take heart that in just 27 short months from now our state’s children will no longer have to deal with the heinousness of segregated toy aisles, and Barbie and G.I. Joe can at last share the same shelf at your local Wal-Mart. Progress.


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