04 Sep 2020

BMS ep. 143: Eric July on Making Music, Debating Socialists, and Reading Comics

Bob Murphy Show 31 Comments

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31 Responses to “BMS ep. 143: Eric July on Making Music, Debating Socialists, and Reading Comics”

  1. random person says:

    If any current Democrat accuses a member of any other political party or philosophy of hating poor people, the accused should probably retort by pointing out the effects of lockdowns on the poor. (E.g., I’ve heard some people who have lost their homes because of the lockdowns refer to the lockdown policy as “Stay home until you lose your home.”) Unless there’s such a thing as Democrats against lockdowns. I searched Google for “democrats against lockdowns”, and Google told me:

    No results found for “democrats against lockdowns”.
    Results for democrats against lockdowns (without quotes):

    One of the results (without the quotes) stated, “Democrats risk becoming the lockdown party.” That result was dated May 15th. I think by now, in September, we can decidedly say that Democrats are the lockdown party. (At least in the United States.)

    I sort of get the impression that any former Democrat who is against lockdowns has probably left the Democrat party by now and become a Republican or a Green or a Libertarian or an Independent or anything else besides a Democrat. But who knows, there’s probably someone living on a remote farm someplace who’s never even heard of the lockdowns and still considers himself or herself a Democrat.

    P.S. I am against private property. Not to say that people can’t have their own homes and stuff, but the idea of calling your home your “property” seems to me like an attempt to override natural law (or, from a more religious perspective, God’s law).

    To avoid a long argument about what natural law is, let us assume for the sake of argument that natural law / God’s law is the 10 commandments. (I choose this example because it is well known, not because I am personally convinced that the 10 commandments are natural law / God’s law.)

    If (for the sake of argument) the 10 commandments are natural law / God’s law, then it doesn’t make sense that someone can just say, “This house is my property, therefore, I have the right to kill trespassers and/or guests I don’t like and/or my wife and children because it’s my property and I choose to legalize any killings that are committed by me,” because the 10 commandments specifically say, “Thou shalt not kill,” and just because someone builds or otherwise acquires a house, does not mean he can override the natural law / God’s law, any more than he can override the laws of gravity.

    • Harold says:

      “At least in the United States.”

      It does seem to be only in the USA that this issue is quite so partisan. There are differences in other countries, but nothing like the politicization we see in the USA. Even wearing masks is seen as a political statement.

      From Politico

      “But for all their impatience, Europeans have viewed temporary hirsutism as a necessary evil for which regimes and governments cannot reasonably be blamed. Broadly speaking, the mentality is one of people versus the virus.

      Not so in the United States, where the people’s right to a haircut has become a three-way proxy war between state governments struggling to enforce lockdowns, right-wing extremists who feel that access to barbers is an inalienable right, and people on the left opposed to making low-paid workers like barbers to expose themselves to danger.”

      Some real data.
      Masks do reduce the amount of virus exhaled to the atmosphere. Universal mask wearing is a sensible measure and will very likely reduce community spread. To reject this now is denialism.

      Wearing masks does not stop you catching it, but it does seem to result in milder symptoms. Thus is because you are likely to get a smaller inoculum.

      Some “natural” experiments supporting this are cruise ships where everyone wore a mask and meat processing plants where everyone had to wear a mask at work had very high asymptomatic or minimally symptomatic cases 95%).

      Wear a mask, folks!

      Vitamin D
      Vitamin D metabolite may be effective as a treatment for Covid-19. Small, double blind pilot trial (76 people) showed good effect with treatment with calcifidiol ) the active metabolite of Vit D). They used the metabolite because it takes time for the body to convert Vit D into the active form.

      Of 50 treated people, 1 required admission to ICU. Of 26 non-treated people, 13 required admission to ICU. That is impressive, even on a small sample like this.


      Take your vitamin D supplements, folks. Winter is coming!

      • random person says:

        Regarding masks, see attachment B on pages 289-298 of this legal document.


        • random person says:

          A sample from that document:

          Wearing a Mask Blocks Oxygen

          •Wearing a mask is hazardous to your health. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZqRL1GXu5DE

          •Kao, Tze-Wah, et al. (2004). The physiological impact of wearing an N95 mask during hemodialysis as a precaution against SARS in patients with end-stage renal disease.” J Formos Med Asso. 2004 Aug;103(8(:624-8

          •Thirty-nine patients (mean age, 57.2 yrs) in the study. 70% showed a reduction in partial pressure of oxygen (PaO2), and 19% developed various degrees of hypoxemia. Wearing an N95 mask significantly reduced the PaO2 level, increased the respiratory rate, increased chest discomfort, and respiratory distress. Wearing an N95 mask for 4 hours during HD significantly reduced PaO2 and increased respiratory adverse effects in ESRD patients. [DOES THIS DO THE SAME IN OTHER PATIENTS WITH HEALTH CONDITIONS?]

          •OSHA documents: https://www.osha.gov/laws-regs/standardinterpretations/2007-04-02-0

          •“People begin to suffer adverse health effects when the oxygen level of their breathing air drops below 19.5 percent oxygen. The rule-making record for the Respiratory Protection Standard clearly justifies adopting the requirement that air breathed by employees must have an oxygen content of at least 19.5 percent.

          •Beder, A et al. (2008) “Preliminary report on surgical mask induced deoxygenation during major surgery.” Neurocirugia (Astur) 2008 Apr;19(2):121-6. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18500410/

          •A study on 53 surgeons using a pulse oximeter pre and postoperatively. Pulse rates increased and SpO2 decrease after the first hour. Since a very small decrease in saturation at this level, reflects a large decrease in PaO2, our findings may have a clinical value for the health workers and the surgeons. [NOTE: SpO2 {O2 sat} is the saturation of hemoglobin with oxygen measured with a. pulse oximeter. PaO2 is amount of oxygen in the blood, determined by an arterial blood sample. Once the O2 sat falls below 90%, the PaO2 drops quickly into the dangerously hypoxic.

          •Ong JJY et al. (2020) “Headaches associated with personal protective equipment- A cross-sectional study among frontline healthcare workers during COVID-19.” Headache 2020;60(5):864-877. https://www.technocracy.news/blaylock-face-masks-pose-serious-risks-to-the-healthy/

          •Study involving 159 healthcare workers aged 21 to 35 years of age found that 81% developed headaches from wearing a face mask.•Shehade H et al. Cutting edge: Hypoxia-Inducible Factor-1 negatively regulates Th1 function. J Immunol 2015;195:1372-1376 // Westendorf AM et al. Hypoxia enhances immunosuppression by inhibiting CD4+ effector T cell function and promoting Treg activity. Cell Physiol Biochem 2017;41:1271-84 // Sceneay J et al. Hypoxia-driven immunosuppression contributes to the pre-metastatic niche. Oncoimmunology 2013;2:1 e22355 https://www.technocracy.news/blaylock-face-masks-pose-serious-risks-to-the-healthy/

          •The importance of these findings is that a drop in oxygen levels (hypoxia) is associated with an impairment in immunity. Studies have shown that hypoxia can inhibit the type of main immune cells used to fight viral infections called the CD4+ T-295
          lymphocyte. This occurs because the hypoxia increases the level of a compound called hypoxia inducible factor-1 (HIF-1), which inhibits T-lymphocytes and stimulates a powerful immune inhibitor cell called the Tregs. . This sets the stage for contracting any infection, including COVID-19 and making the consequences of that infection much graver. In essence, your mask may very well put you at an increased risk of infections and if so, having a much worse outcome.

          •Blaylock RL. Immunoexcitatory mechanisms in glioma proliferation, invasion and occasional metastasis. Surg Neurol Inter 2013;4:15 // Aggarwal BB. Nucler factor-kappaB: The enemy within. Cancer Cell 2004;6:203-208 // Savransky V et al. Chronic intermittent hypoxia induces atherosclerosis. Am J Resp Crit Care Med 2007;175:1290-1297 https://www.technocracy.news/blaylock-face-masks-pose-serious-risks-to-the-healthy/

          •People with cancer, especially if the cancer has spread, will be at a further risk from prolonged hypoxia as the cancer grows best in a microenvironment that is low in oxygen. Low oxygen also promotes inflammation which can promote the growth, invasion and spread of cancers. Repeated episodes of hypoxia has been proposed as a significant factor in atherosclerosis and hence increases all cardiovascular (heart attacks) and cerebrovascular (strokes) diseases

        • Harold says:

          From the start of that document
          “It begs the question; how does the death count increase by nearly five times in one week, which is more than that of the previous seven weeks combined?”

          I guess that meaning of “begs the question” is well established. The answer is quite easy – there was a pandemic with exponential spread and possibly a delay in reporting and testing.

          The mask section is a classic example of quote mining and cherry picking. there is no attempt to review the evidence, only to select parts of articles that seem to support he conclusion. The main section is titled “Conclusions regarding masks they do not work”

          The cite a section from a paper from 2016 in a subsection headed “Healthy persons do not spread illness”

          The quote from the 2016 paper is
          ““…Among the samples collected without a face mask, we found that the majority of participants with influenza virus and coronavirus infection did not shed detectable
          virus in respiratory droplets or aerosols… given that each exhaled breath collection was conducted for 30 min, this might imply that prolonged close contact would be
          required for transmission to occur, even if transmission was primarily via aerosols..”

          Now, as this was 2016 it is obvious that Sars-cov-2 was not being tested. The coronavirus mentioned is the common cold virus.

          What was the conclusion from the paper they cited?

          “Surgical face masks significantly reduced detection of influenza virus RNA in respiratory droplets and coronavirus RNA in aerosols, with a trend toward reduced detection of coronavirus RNA in respiratory droplets. Our results indicate that surgical face masks could prevent transmission of human coronaviruses and influenza viruses from symptomatic individuals.”

          So masks do work after all! How could they have read that paper and concluded that masks do not work? The only answer is that they were looking for quotes to be taken out of context that appear to back up their desired conclusion.

          What is the conclusion from another paper they cite to justify that healthy persons do not spread illness? The study was based on *one* individual.

          “we conclude that the infectivity of some asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 carriers might be weak.” Not quite the definitive conclusion suggested. The paper prompted a letter to the journal which states “We appreciate the authors’ effort to answer a very important question about the infectiousness of SARS-CoV2. However, their methodology is severely flawed. Further, their conclusion can, and is, being easily misinterpreted by the lay public. Such misinterpretation may carry dangerous consequences.”

          They also claim that the virus is too small to be filtered out by masks. Viruses are spread in droplets, so the size of the virus does not matter if you filter out the droplets.

          They cite a study about COPD which has nothing to do with masks at all.

          A critical reading of this section shows it to be a collection of cherry picks and out of context quotes designed to back up a conclusion already reached.

          It is a very large document, so impossible to go into everything, but if the rest is as weak as the mask section I don’t give it much chance of success. I mean, they even pointed everyone to a paper that concluded masks do work in their section titled masks don’t work.

          • Tel says:

            <blockquote.So masks do work after all! How could they have read that paper and concluded that masks do not work?

            There’s that keyword: symptomatic individuals, meaning people with obvious symptoms.

            The question is whether mandatory masks forced on everyone is of any benefit. For example a perfectly healthy jogger in the park, with open air all around and no one nearby … in what way does chasing that guy down with police drones assist the situation?

            Regarding the current coronavirus, it does have some “stealth” capability making it different from the common cold. Firstly, the normal immune response to a virus is that the infected cell puts up MHC markers to alert the immune system which then uses gradually ramping cytokine signals to fully activate (and these signals cause most of the symptoms people associate with being sick). However COVID uses a small protein called ORF8 as a method to suppress the MHC markers and temporarily delay the cytokine signals … leaving the person feeling only a bit tired with without clear symptoms. How contagious the person is at this stage is still unproven … but the entire worldwide “lockdown” was based on the “asymptomatic carrier” concept as justification … and forcing people to wear masks is based on similar justification.

            Secondly, COVID attacks T cells directly in some cases, typically people with weaker than normal immune system to begin with. This further weakens the immune system capabilities.

            Both of the “stealth” techniques deployed are similar to what HIV uses, and not normally seen in any coronavirus which is why there’s a persistent suggestion that some “gain of function” engineering was involved. Several RNA studies have pointed out that there are a number of unusual “inserts” in this RNA when compared with more commonly known coronavirus and by coincidence the ORF8 happens to be associated with one of these unusual inserts … and sure that could be natural evolution at work but seems to have happened quite rapidly.

            Getting back to the question of the masks … Japan is probably the best example of where everyone wears masks and also they don’t have much open space and spend a lot of time in crowded situations. They were able to slow the spread … but not stop the spread, and they have recently had a fair wave of cases, with fortunately few deaths.

            If you think that masks “working” means stopping the spread of the virus, then it failed in Japan.

            If you accept the reduced criteria, masks “working” means somewhat reducing the risk, and making the spread less sudden so there’s time to deal with the sickest cases, then Japan has achieved this … mostly voluntarily and without the need for violent police (e.g. Victoria, Australia).

            If you search out what the Victorian police have got up to recently, there plenty of videos out there … and all I can say is this does not bode well. I hope there are consequences for the people doing this stuff but apparently the orders are coming from the top to be brutal. That’s government for you huh? Getting off topic from the masks but it is kind of related to the whole “ideas so good they need to be mandatory” way of seeing the world.

            • Harold says:

              They were not looking at Covid-19. The study concluded that masks work when a person is infective with flu and colds. It is absurd to conclude from this paper that masks do not work. It would be amusing if it did get to court. I can picture Dr Tenpenny getting totally taken apart on the stand.

              “If you accept the reduced criteria, masks “working” means somewhat reducing the risk”

              Yes, I think this is totally clear. Nobody suggests wearing masks is 100% effective, but it does reduce the spread. The control of the spread is about reducing R. Several measures can be taken at the same time, and wearing masks is one of them. More masks means you can have more social contact for the same R.

              We must distinguish between asympotomatic and pre-symptomatic. Some people never get symptoms, while others later develop symptoms. It has been documented that pre-symptomatic carriers likely contribute significantly to disease spread, although there are still uncertainties. It is therefore very likely that people can spread the disease when they don’t have symptoms, even if the genuine asymptomatic people are not able or less able to do so.

              The paper I linked to above suggests that even if you do catch Covid-19 whilst wearing a mask you may get less serious disease due to lower inoculum. This could be part of the story we are seeing with reducing death rates, as well as Vit D levels being higher in summer and demographic factors. It also fits with low death rates in countries with a culture of universal mask wearing.

              Sticking to the “one thing at a time” principle, I am not arguing about the wider justifications for lock-downs and mandatory mask wearing. Even if masks were 100% proven to work and it was accepted by everybody there would still be an argument to be had over mandates. What I object to is people misrepresenting the science to promote their argument. This is an example of arguing that masks should not be mandated because they do not work, when the evidence is the opposite.

              In Japan they have a culture of mask wearing. Many countries that suffered from Sars-cov-1 do. They can achieve high levels of mask wearing without compulsion because it is seen as irresponsible to not wear one. The USA and much of Europe cannot achieve this so easily. What makes it just about impossible to achieve is the large number of people lying about the evidence to claim that they know masks do not work and are dangerous, when the opposite is the case. Dr Tenpenny is a good example. Had she wanted to represent the science, she could have said this paper concluded that masks appear to work for flu and colds, but we do not think it will work for Covid-19.

              Represent the science as it is and allow people to make up their minds is one way to do it. The best evidence we have is that masks are safe for nearly everyone, they do limit the spread of disease and may reduce the severity of disease. If you want to argue against mandating masks then do so, but do it with proper arguments.

              Back at the start of this pandemic, Bob said that downplaying the severity of the disease makes you easy to dismiss, everyone will see through you and your argument will be weakened (Podcast 5 April). I argued that the opposite would be the case – people would accept the stories because it fits with what they want to believe. These tactics have been very successful in the past and there is no reason to think they would not be now. Now we see random person arguing that Covid-19 is no more dangerous that the common cold. I think my position has been vindicated.

              Some libertarians know that an argument based on “masks work but we should not be told what to do” is not very effective, so they have to make the case that masks don’t work. You were very pro masks working early on, I presume your position has not changed?

          • random person says:

            It’s not a contradiction to say that while something may work in the short run, it makes things worse in the long run, or to summarize such a situation by saying, “It doesn’t work.” (Because, even if something works in the short run, it’s not desirable if it makes things worse in the long run.)

            Most of the arguments that masks do work focus on their droplet-catching ability, and most of the arguments that they don’t work focus more on how they make it harder to breathe, which, according to some, leads to decreased oxygen and therefore decreased immunity.

            For the sake of argument, consider, for a moment at least, that both of these are true — that masks do catch droplets with viral particles in them, but they also lead to decreased oxygen intake and therefore decreased immunity. If both of those things were true, then it would make sense that masks might decrease your infectiousness in the short run (by catching the droplets) but increase your infectiousness in the long run (by decreasing your immune response, thus making you get sick when you might not have gotten sick, or get sicker than you would have otherwise gotten). And, if that were the case, I do not think it would be wrong to summarize the situation by saying that masks don’t work.

            An example of something known to work in the short run (for the purpose of losing weight) but generally make things worse in the long run is dieting. The basic reason is that, yes, burning more calories than you consume will cause weight loss, but it also tends to mess up your metabolism, leading to weight gain in the long run. (And there are also a whole bunch of psychological factors.) This is explained in great detail in Intuitive Eating: A Revolutionary Program That Works by Evelyn Tribole.

            If my hypothesis about masks catching droplets but also reducing immunity is correct, then short term studies on mask use will appear to show that masks work, but long term studies will be more likely to show that they don’t work.

            The example you gave, from the article titled, “Respiratory virus shedding in exhaled breath and efficacy of face masks” seems to be a 30 minute study, and during those 30 minutes, it does seem that masks appeared to work. However, here’s a 6-month study of surgeons not wearing masks, and during those six months, wound infection rates decreased compared to the times they were wearing masks.


            I realize this is not a comprehensive analysis, but I think it at least supports my hypothesis. Hope to have more time to write to you later.

    • Rory says:

      This strikes me as less of a killshot and more of just normal (and if you’ll excuse me, futile) political wrangling. To the opponents of the Democratic Party, they’re the anti-freedom/lockdown party. But to supporters, they’re the safety/scientific party (and correct me if I’m wrong but they’re the ones that championed regulations around staying evictions). Who’s right? Seems to me that it does make sense that one would be safer to some extent if they just stayed inside their home forever. The question – I would think – is: what are the costs and benefits? And that assessment is subjective to each individual. I’m no expert on convincing people, but any modicum of success I’ve had doesn’t so much reframe the issue from one value to another (“you are worried about security/safety, but did you consider you’re giving up freedom?”) as it reframes the assessment of that particular value (“you are worried about security/safety, but did you consider how those are actually negatively impacted for business owners, people in abusive households, those with mental health issues, etc.”). Even then it’s rarely a slam dunk.

      I would say the framing you’re talking about only works if you’re already inclined to value freedom over security. Otherwise tying Democrats to the lockdowns gets you “yeah, and …?”

      • guest says:

        (I’m still in favor of the framing because I think it can work, and also because I believe that our arguments need to work in terms that are deliberately hostile to altruism in order to be truly effective. It’s nice when we can cause lefties to favor free markets for the kind effects that the profit motive can cause, but at the end of the day, there are people who *will not* see kind effects unless they are an intended goal, and that requires viewing people as servants of others; and people just don’t, cannot, and ought not to work that way – reality is otherwise.

        (I would add that the reason it is otherwise is, interestingly, precisely due to the value that human beings have that causes lefties to want to help everyone with other people’s money – except they can’t see that it’s a contradiction to value others but not yourself first and foremost. After all, if humans are valuable, they are valuable to the individual human first and foremost. Or, in oherwords, you cannot care for me more than I care for myself – nor should you try; also it’s creepy to even try.)

        “(and correct me if I’m wrong but they’re the ones that championed regulations around staying evictions). Who’s right?”

        For one thing, constitutionally, those opposed to staying the evictions are right. The reason is because the government is constitutionally prohibitted from interfering with contracts.

        They can bleed their hearts with other people’s money all they want, but the fact is that it was the government that enforced the lockdowns and therefore those who need to be evicted ought to be angry at the government that forcefully removed them from their employment and not the landlords who offer their places of dwelling for a profit.

        And the only reason tenants *didn’t* get angry at the government is because the government had money printed out of thin air to funnel resources to those who the government threw out of work and it was at the expense of holders of existing money (the Cantillon Effect).

        Democrats are not the party of helping people, they are the party of stealing from one group to give to another. The logical effect of taking things that other people produce for themselves is that the producers stop producing for trade, and only produce for themselves, which reduces opportunities for profit for many.

        (I am not saying the Republicans don’t do the same things, they do, and it’s wrong when they adopt left-wing policies.)

        • random person says:

          “Many have pictured republics and principalities which in fact have never been known or seen.” – Niccolo Machiavelli, The Prince, Chapter XV

          While it would probably be an exaggeration to say that a free market has never existed, it probably has existed in some places where peaceful, isolated tribes or villages were present, I have never known of a free market to exist on a global scale, nor even over a large geographical area.

          I’m not trying to compare the lockdowns to a utopia that never existed (on any large scale at least). But they are bad even relative to what existed before.

          And the only reason tenants *didn’t* get angry at the government is because the government had money printed out of thin air to funnel resources to those who the government threw out of work

          Errr… I know people who did lose their homes from the lockdowns, and were sensible enough to blame whichever government officials instituted the lockdowns. If you don’t, maybe try talking to some of your local panhandlers. Ask them if they or anyone they know is homeless because of the lockdowns… you’ll probably get a yes (if not them personally, probably someone they know at least).

      • random person says:

        My argument is that, in Machiavellian terms (Machiavellian, in the sense of, actually examining the effects of what happened and not just the stated goals), the lockdowns and other policies put in place by Democrats (and other pro-lockdown politicians elsewhere in the world) have failed at protecting human life, have in fact lead to the deaths of many of the people the lockdowns were allegedly intended to protect, and additionally, have caused a great deal of harm in the form of loss of income, homes, food (often most severely affecting the poor).

        It’s not a killshot, of course, because it takes awhile to make this argument, and the audience has to be willing to listen. (And I don’t even have time to type the full argument right now anyway, although you can see some of my previous discussion with Harold on some of the Potpourri posts.) However, even if someone doesn’t have the patience or the time to listen to the full argument, or I don’t have the patience or time to make the full argument, it’s still possible to choose just one negative effect of the lockdowns to bring to people’s attention. For example, “I personally know people who have become homeless (or houseless, if you want to use the more polite term) because of the lockdowns.”

        Or if you don’t personally know people who have become homeless because of the lockdowns, here’s an article. (It applies to the UK, but it’s the first one I found.)

        “Reports of rough sleeping in UK rose sharply during lockdown”

        Reports of people sleeping rough rose sharply during lockdown, despite claims by government that more than 90% of homeless people had been helped off the streets at the height of the pandemic, the Guardian can reveal.

        While the government launched a multimillion pound scheme to rehouse people during the Coronavirus crisis, charities said the pandemic had also led to a new cohort of people being made homeless as the services and facilities that they normally relied on closed.

        Many were forced on to the streets when they lost jobs as the economy closed down, with those who did not have access to public funds – such as some foreign nationals – particularly affected.

        The government’s Everyone In scheme – which saw £3.2m spent on getting people off the streets and into accommodation – was held up as an example of what could be done when homelessness was made a priority. Housing, communities and local government secretary, Robert Jenrick, boasted they had successfully taken 90% of rough sleepers off the streets to protect them from the virus.

        However, new figures from the homelessness charity Streetlink show the picture was a more complicated one. Alerts by members of the public about rough sleepers increased by 36% year on year between April and June 2020, reaching 16,976. Notifications were also higher than the previous quarter which is unusual as they tend to rise in winter months, charities said.

        Yes, the Democrat party favored regulations to prevent evictions, but it doesn’t take a great deal of effort to see that those regulations aren’t particularly effective. For one thing, some landlords will ignore those regulations. (Especially landlords who have tenants without formal, written leases.) Additionally, sometimes there are loopholes, e.g. selling the house out from under the tenant. For another, there’s the increase in domestic violence — some people are fleeing their homes because they have become unsafe due to the rise in domestic violence. For another, even when these eviction freezes seem to be working in the short run, it’s not hard to see they can’t work forever. A lot of landlords have expenses (mortgages to pay, land taxes, etc) and if they don’t receive a least a good percentage of the rent, they can’t pay those expenses. So… either a) landlords will only put up with these eviction freezes for so long before they start doing what they have to do to avoid going out of business, even if it means ignoring eviction freezes or b) a lot of landlords will go out of business and there will be a lot of foreclosures or c) some combination of a and b. (Not to speak of the long-term effects this might have of people’s willingness to even go into the rental business and make housing available to people at all.)

        For example, there’s an article titled, “Renters Are Being Forced From Their Homes Despite Eviction Moratoriums Meant to Protect Them” by Alana Semuels on time dot com. So, it’s public knowledge that the eviction freezes aren’t working.

        And if you look around, it’s often the rich – the people who can work from home, have a decent amount of savings, and basically aren’t worried about being evicted or running out of food or whatever – who favor the lockdowns and other restrictions the most. A lot of the poor have been complaining about or actively disobeying lockdown orders and other restrictions. For example, Bernard Kalu, on the Lancet, in an article titled, “COVID-19 in Nigeria: a disease of hunger” states, “A large number of citizens have disobeyed the lockdown order in the hope of making sales or trying to earn money through other services, but they were apprehended by the police.” But you see this even in the United States, to some extent — people at risk of homelessness (or who have already become homeless) or other adverse effects of lockdowns and other restrictions are the most likely to disobey them.

        So no, it’s not freedom versus security. Lockdowns give neither freedom nor security. It’s just a matter of explaining the details to people willing to listen.

      • random person says:

        For some previous discussion, covering some points I didn’t make in my reply to you just now, see here:

      • random person says:


        legal document of supporting documents for Ohio lawsuit alleging that there is no emergency

        A brief sample of the document,

        The COVID-19 mitigation efforts were not aimed a lowering overall suffering and death but instead were blindly focused on “stopping the virus”. There was no clear cost-benefit analysis conducted or presented which would have considered two critical positions: whether the mitigation would work and whether the cost of it working would create more harm, at which point other options should have been considered. As Kristina Kristen (2020), guest editor for the Children’s Health Defense, stated, “If a so-called solution “works” but in doing so creates massive, disproportionate collateral damage and increases overall harm, then clearly it cannot be called a solution, and certainly should never be mandated onto a population.”

        One example of a COVID-19 response that had catastrophic impact was that of the mismanagement of nursing homes. In mid-March, several governors issued orders to require COVID-19 patient placement in nursing homes thus exposing the most vulnerable population. On March 25, 2020 New York Governor Andrew Cuomo prohibited nursing homes from requiring incoming patients to be tested for COVID-19 or to inquire as to their COVID-19 status (New York Department of Health, 2020). Five governors (MI, NY, PA, NJ, and CA) ignored protocols and forced COVID-19 patients into nursing homes (Scalise Congress of the United States letter, 2020). Republican Whip Steve Scalise, the Ranking Member of the Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis, wrote, “While nursing home residents make up 0.5% of the U.S. population, they account for 42% of nationwide COVID-19 deaths.” These nursing home deaths were predictable and preventable and come at the hands of governors making poor COVID-19 mitigation policy decisions.

        • random person says:

          Another sample of the legal document.

          On May 12, 2020, the Lancet published an article, A wake-up call: COVID-19 and its impacton children’s health and wellbeing, discussing the expected 1-2 million child deaths and56,700 maternal deaths in 188 countries as a result of the mitigation efforts if efforts are nottaken.Building on lessons learned from previous outbreaks of Ebola virus disease and severe acuterespiratory syndrome (SARS), the authors estimate a devastating increase in the numbers ofmaternal and child deaths resulting from reductions in routine health service coverage.Left unchecked, these reductions (due to, for example, disruptions in medical supply chainsor the availability of human and financial resources) along with declines in the uptake ofhealth services by communities fearful of infection will be more catastrophic for mothers andchildren than COVID-19 itself. The projection of an additional 1·2 million child deaths and56700 maternal deaths in 118 countries if coverage of essential services drops by around45% for 6 months is alarming. It is also avoidable if we act now.https://www.thelancet.com/pdfs/journals/langlo/PIIS2214-109X(20)30238-2.pdf

        • random person says:

          And also:

          A letter sent from 600 physicians on May 22, 2020 to President Trump stated that the lockdowns are a ‘Mass Casualty Incident’ and discussed the estimated this mitigation impacts on suicide, cancer, heart attacks, etc.“The downstream health effects…are being massively under-estimated and under-reported.This is an order of magnitude error,” according to the letter initiated by Simone Gold, M.D.,an emergency medicine specialist in Los Angeles.“Suicide hotline phone calls have increased 600%,” the letter said. Other silent casualties:“150,000 Americans per month who would have had new cancer detected through routine screening.”From missed cancer diagnoses to untreated heart attacks and strokes to increased risks of suicides, “We are alarmed at what appears to be a lack of consideration for the future health of our patients.” https://www.forbes.com/sites/gracemarieturner/2020/05/22/600-physicians-say-lockdowns-are-a-mass-casualty-incident/#33715bc350fa; letter https://www.scribd.com/document/462319362/A-Doctor-a-Day-Letter-Signed

  2. Harold says:

    “the 10 commandments specifically say, “Thou shalt not kill,” ”
    Or is it Thou shall not murder?

    Exodus 22:2-3 ““If a thief is caught breaking in at night and is struck a fatal blow, the defender is not guilty of bloodshed; 3 but if it happens after sunrise, the defender is guilty of bloodshed.” (NIV)

    So you are specifically allowed to kill a housebreaker after dark.

    • random person says:

      Well, they are both technically translations.

      But, even if you prefer the “thou shalt not murder” translation, the example you give from Exodus still shows that it is God’s law / natural law, not the alleged landowner’s law, that determines whether a specific instance of killing is moral or not.

    • random person says:

      Jewish/Christian doctrine is not the only sort which proposes limits on what sort of killing is or is not justified.

      In the ancient Greek myth of Hercules, Hera sends Hercules a madness which causes him to kill his wife and children. Hercules then goes to Apollo to learn what he must do to cleanse the evil from his spirit. According to the Greek myth, Apollo doesn’t let Hercules off the hook simply because he killed his wife and children on his own alleged property. (In fact, at the moment, I’m having trouble even finding a version of the myth that specifies whether or not Hercules committed the killings on land he claimed to own.) Instead, Apollo commanded Hercules to perform ten to twelve labors for Eurystheus of Tiryns.


    • random person says:

      “ ‘Do not pollute the land where you are. Bloodshed pollutes the land, and atonement cannot be made for the land on which blood has been shed, except by the blood of the one who shed it. Do not defile the land where you live and where I dwell, for I, the LORD, dwell among the Israelites.’ ”


      This also implies that, from a Christian perspective at least, it doesn’t make sense to own land. You can live on the land, but certain types of moral pollution go against God and cannot be justified simply by virtue of living on the land or doing anything else on it.

  3. random person says:

    Not sure I follow the objections to defunding the police, but for an excellent example of a revolution gone horribly horribly wrong, see:

    The Young Turks’ Crime Against Humanity: The Armenian Genocide and Ethnic Cleansing in the Ottoman Empire by Taner Akçam

    Or for a briefer summary, see:

  4. Tel says:

    On the topic of DC vs Marvel … I would say Marvel is less risk adverse.


    There was a brief exchange that stood out to me and a lot of other people as somewhat edgy … the Grandmaster who does not want to hear the “S” word so Topaz his offsider says, the “prisoners with jobs” have armed themselves.

    I’m curious to know what the general libertarian community makes of that one, is there a deeper message to it? Some of the dialogue in that movie was ad-lib and got worked out as the scenes were put together but I got the impression that little bit was quite deliberate. On the whole DC are way too terrified of offending anyone … but Marvel quite often get away with it.

    • random person says:

      Would anyone care to guess, without looking it up, where the following quote is from? Also, how convincing do you find the argument made? What impressions do you get about the writer or speaker and their movement?

      Bolshevism has attacked the foundations of our whole human order, alike in State and society, the foundations of our conception of civilization, of our faith and of our morals: all alike are at stake. If this bolshevism would be content to promote this doctrine in a single land, then other countries might remain unconcerned, but its supreme principle is its internationalism and that means the confession of faith that these views must be carried to triumph throughout the whole world, i.e., that the world as we know it must be turned upside down. That a British headline-writer refuses to recognize this signifies about as much as if in the fifteenth century a humanist in Vienna should have refused to admit the intention of Mohammedanism to extend its influence in Europe and should have objected that this would be to tear the world asunder – to divide it into East and West. Unfortunately I cannot escape the impression that most of those who doubt the danger to the world of bolshevism come themselves from the East.

    • random person says:

      Would anyone care to guess, without looking it up, where the following quote is from? Also, how convincing do you find the argument made? What general impressions do you get about the writer or speaker and their movement?

      Bolshevism has attacked the foundations of our whole human order, alike in State and society, the foundations of our conception of civilization, of our faith and of our morals: all alike are at stake. If this bolshevism would be content to promote this doctrine in a single land, then other countries might remain unconcerned, but its supreme principle is its internationalism and that means the confession of faith that these views must be carried to triumph throughout the whole world, i.e., that the world as we know it must be turned upside down. That a British headline-writer refuses to recognize this signifies about as much as if in the fifteenth century a humanist in Vienna should have refused to admit the intention of Mohammedanism to extend its influence in Europe and should have objected that this would be to tear the world asunder – to divide it into East and West. Unfortunately I cannot escape the impression that most of those who doubt the danger to the world of bolshevism come themselves from the East.

      • Harold says:

        My first guess was correct, but I thought it could have been one other.

        It seems a classic case of projection – accusing the other of what you intend yourself.

        • random person says:

          No, my point was just that the person in question was, in spite of being very evil, an excellent propagandist. He told people what he thought they wanted to hear.

          A lot of evil people rise to power by saying things they may or may not mean (and often don’t mean), but other people want to hear. It doesn’t mean you have to change your beliefs just because someone evil said something you agreed with, it just means it’s a good idea to be suspicious of anyone proclaiming to agree with you because they want you to help them rise to power.

          It was sort of in response to the thing in the interview about agreeing with the slogan “Defund the police” in principle, when taken literally, but not in how people were actually applying it. I didn’t totally follow (maybe because I haven’t been paying enough attention to the news), but there are a lot of examples in history of people saying things that many people might well agree with, but then doing things that I hope most moderately sane people would not agree with at all. So he’s not wrong to be suspicious of people chanting to “Defund the police”, even if he agrees with the slogan when taken literally.

        • random person says:

          By “he” I mean Eric July.

  5. random person says:

    For reason to be skeptical about propaganda (especially when coming from government officials or others in positions of power) that these lockdowns, mask requirements, etc. are intended to protect the elderly/vunerable, see:

    Stealth Euthanasia: Health Care Tyranny in America
    by Ron Panzer

    • random person says:

      The same website also publishes a nurse’s account of how a hospital in New York saw numerous COVID patients die because they provided an extraordinarily low quality of care.

      At my hospital in Florida, we saw just a few coronavirus patients. They came in, we treated them, and they left to return to their families. The one man that we actually admitted had a preexisting condition, but he ended up being fine.

      Back in April, as New York was at the height of its outbreak, I volunteered to go to the frontlines as a travel nurse. Not too many people were volunteering to go INSIDE the hospitals in NYC – the epicenter of corona deaths in the US, but my background made me an ideal candidate for this mission. Once There, I was placed at Elmhurst Hospital: The epicenter of the epicenter.

      Before I even got there, Elmhurst had become notorious for “apocalyptic” conditions. They didn’t have enough ventilators. They didn’t have enough nurses. They didn’t have enough PPE. But that wasn’t why patients were dying. Patients were dying because the hospitals seemed to be more concerned about making money than treating the patients.

      I knew from the very first day I stepped foot in that hospital, something was seriously wrong. Trash bins were overflowing. Cockroaches scuttled across the floor. Nurses and doctors took naps at their desks while patients were dying in the background.

      Some of it was basic negligence: clean-up crews skipping certain rooms, residents wearing their PPE in the wrong way, patients getting pumped full of the wrong medication. A lot of it, though, was straight-up gross-negligence, malpractice and disregard for human life. I saw patients test negative for COVID, only to be shuttled off to an all-COVID floor where they were sure to contract the illness. I saw residents write off a 37-year-old man as “do not resuscitate,” when his family had explicitly told us to try to save him at all costs. One of my favorite patients died thirty minutes after I left the room, when an untrained doctor botched a simple procedure.

      Medical horror stories were unfolding before my eyes, and I wasn’t the only one who noticed. My fellow nurses and I shared our shock, frustration, and outright anger about what was happening to our patients, but all of it fell on deaf ears. It is my ethical responsibility – as a nurse – to advocate for my patients. Now I’m telling their stories, and I’m telling it as LOUDLY as I can. I’m carrying the fight forward for them.

      The people who were leading the hospital—the very ones who were supposed to be saving these patients—were instead consigning them to their deaths by treating them as billing codes instead of people. With patients’ family members and friends banned from visiting, these people were given a free pass to do whatever the hell they wanted behind those hospital doors, and they took full advantage of it. Countless people died unnecessarily as a result. They didn’t have to die.


      It’s as I was saying on a previous occasion: case fatality rate is a measure of quality of care, not an inherent, immutable feature of any paricular virus or other disease.

      • random person says:

        Note that even those who claim to debunk Erin Marie Olszewski’s account do not deny that mistakes were made — the points of contention seem to be which decisions actually qualified as mistakes, and what the intent was behind the mistakes.

        For example, from an article giving the opposing view,

        “Have we done everything right? No, it’s an unknown disease and mistakes were made. I know for a fact that everyone here has worked their hardest and done everything possible to treat the patients here.”


        So, even from the perspective of those who disagree with Olszewski’s account, there were definitely mistakes that were made.

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