Reason Roundup

The Government Was Wrong About Masks

Plus: "fictional pleas," COVID-19 in migrant detention centers, and more...


Masks make a difference. Stay-at-home orders. Social distancing mandates. Obsessively washing hands and wiping down groceries and packages with disinfectants. Health experts and state and city political leaders recommended or required these measures long before they started advising Americans to wear a mask when they leave home. But mask-wearing may be the measure that makes the most difference.

Scientists recently looked at the spread of the new coronavirus aboard the Navy's USS Theodore Roosevelt aircraft carrier and found that mask-wearing was the most important of a range of precautions taken by service members to prevent the transmission of COVID-19:

In April, the U.S. Navy and CDC investigated this outbreak, and the demographic, epidemiologic, and laboratory findings among a convenience sample of 382 service members serving aboard the aircraft carrier are reported in this study. The outbreak was characterized by widespread transmission with relatively mild symptoms and asymptomatic infection among this sample of mostly young, healthy adults with close, congregate exposures. Service members who reported taking preventive measures had a lower infection rate than did those who did not report taking these measures (e.g., wearing a face covering, 55.8% versus 80.8%; avoiding common areas, 53.8% versus 67.5%; and observing social distancing, 54.7% versus 70.0%, respectively). … This report improves the understanding of COVID-19 in the U.S. military and among young adults in congregate settings and reinforces the importance of preventive measures to lower risk for infection in similar environments.

Wearing a protective facial covering was more effective than increased hand-washing, slathering on the hand sanitizer, avoiding common areas, stepping up workspace cleaning, and trying to stay physically distant from others.

In addition, new research from scientists at Cambridge and Greenwich Universities suggests "population-wide use of facemasks could effectively control the coronavirus pandemic by substantially reducing the chances that an infected wearer will pass along his viruses to another person," writes Reason's Ron Bailey.

Co-leader of the study Richard Stutt, of Cambridge, said "our analyses support the immediate and universal adoption of face masks by the public." Widescale mask adoption could let places reopen even in the absence of a COVID-19 vaccine, he said.

Stutt's study, published in Proceedings of the Royal Society A, modeled a series of different conditions to determine which set of behaviors would lower COVID-19's R number below 1. (The R number indicates the average number of people a sick person will themselves infect. If each sick person infects fewer than one other person, the virus begins to die off.) Stutt's model suggests that when 50 percent or more of a population adopts face mask-wearing in public, R number will fall below 1.0.

Another study, this one out of Germany, also speaks to the efficacy of masks. "Depending on the region we analyze, we find that face masks reduced the cumulative number of registered Covid-19 cases between 2.3 percent and 13 percent over a period of 10 days after they became compulsory. Assessing the credibility of the various estimates, we conclude that face masks reduce the daily growth rate of reported infections by around 40 percent," the authors report.

Looking at data like this—and especially studies like the German one, which deal in compulsory mask situations—it's important to keep in mind that many Americans started wearing masks long before the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the White House, or state leaders told them to. Likewise, a lot of businesses began requiring customers to wear masks without the state having to mandate it. And this happened even as President Donald Trump and some conservatives tried to make masks a symbol of cowardice or culture war.

Yet, even as political leaders were sending mixed signals or downplaying the usefulness of masks in stopping COVID-19 spread, it just seemed like common sense that putting a barrier between everyone's spit, breath, sneezes, and coughs right now could make some difference. So—as with so much at the start of the pandemic—Americans started buying, making, and wearing masks without waiting to be told to (or allowing themselves to be discouraged) by people whose job is protecting public health.

This isn't to say that voluntary guidance from officials doesn't make any difference. More people likely would have started masking up sooner if health officials and politicians had preached it sooner and in unison.

But the converse seems to be true as well, if responses to lockdown orders are any indication. Attempts by governments to mandate mask-wearing will likely be met with backlash from businesses, individuals, and political groups. Plus, enforcement of mask rules would only invite more dangerous contact between citizens and police.

It would be nice if we could count on the people in charge to stake out a middle ground between mandatory mask laws and eschewing masks as unnecessary or even weak. Alas, as lockdown measures ease up and mask-wearing takes center stage, we can probably expect their role in overbearing law enforcement and performative partisan battles to only increase.


• A depressing look at how plea bargains work in practice. "Fictional pleas"—in which defendants who may have committed some crime plead guilty to a crime they didn't commit—"are pervasive. Every defense attorney I talk to says they happen so much they just call them pleas. It's not even worth naming. They're the norm, not the exception," said Vassar College's Barry Lam.

• Migrants detained in an Arizona facility with a high number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 are asking for emergency protection.

• George Floyd's family and Al Sharpton are planning a massive march in Washington, D.C., in August.

Know your Third Amendment.

• Republican Sens. Marco Rubio (Fla.), Josh Hawley (Mo.), Kelly Loeffler (Ga.), and Kevin Cramer (N.D.) wrote the Federal Communications Commission in support of Trump's total mess of an executive order on Section 230.

• In case you care about the latest J.K. Rowling controversy.

NEXT: How Fox's 1997 Sunday Night Lineup Ate the Universe

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  1. But mask-wearing may be the measure that makes the most difference.

    Much of Asia seemed to already know this.

    1. Hello.

      “.George Floyd’s family and Al Sharpton are planning a massive march in Washington, D.C., in August.”

      Don’t you mean shakedown?

      1. The Floyd family has recently become multi-millionaires thanks to charitable donations. The ghetto lottery is truly helping the poor, disadvantaged African-Americans in this nation.

        1. His coffin was gold plated, I believe.

          But I would think that if any of this money is used to buy things like houses or fancy cars, it would be heavily taxed just like other millionaires.

          I’ve heardthis money was being used to pay legal fees and bail for protesters.

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          2. If it’s being used for legal fees, they won’t get a deduction.

    2. But mask-wearing may be the measure that makes the most difference.
      That’s why you see doctors and virus lab techs wearing cloth masks hoods and respirators.

      1. There’s a huge difference between an environment where the virus is known and pervasive (and is aerosolized by medical equipment in the room like nebulizers) v a ‘normal’ environment.

        This virus mostly spreads in a normal environment by droplets (coughs, sneezes, spit-talking) not by aerosol (breathing). And yes – cloth masks do ‘catch’ many of those droplets. If the cloth is absorbent (cotton not plastic), then that virion dries out and fairly quickly decays (a half-life for cotton/paper of less than 2 hours v 8+ hours for plastic/steel).

        Further, simply catching that droplet in the mask prevents the droplet from landing on some other surface – and there has been research re how many other surfaces get contaminated and how quickly when ONE surface (like a bed rail on a hospital bed) is contaminated – up to 18 other surfaces within 10 hours. Which specifically means that frequent touch surfaces – ATM’s, checkout lines, gas pump handles – are exactly the areas where masks work best (reducing people coughing into their hands, reducing hand to nose/mouth contact, etc) to keep them less contaminated.

        1. But note that the study indicates masks protect the wearer more than other measures. That’s the key, since officials first told us masks don’t work outside of healthcare facilities. Then they told us masks don’t protect the wearers, they only protect others.

          Neither of those positions ever made any sense, of course. Masks aren’t one-way filters. If they can stop droplets getting out, they can stop droplets getting in. The fact that officials lied about this for so long indicates they had some ulterior motive. Probably they wanted to hoard the available masks for healthcare workers and other “essential” people.

          One thing is certain, a package of N95 masks is a good thing to keep in your basement at all times. Even if we don’t have another pandemic in our lives you can use them for drywall work and cleaning mold.

          1. I agree that the main motive was stopping the hoarding of N95 and surgical masks. Those were gone by mid/late March. Which did in fact mean that medical workers did not have PPE for most of March and a significant part of April. While those who were hoarding had storage closets at home full of masks that were not actually being used. That was a serious problem.

            If we had actually been doing any public health in this country, then seems to me that they should have been advising cloth/paper masks for the non-medical public (those who were hoarding) as soon as the first research re how long the virus is viable on different surfaces came out. IIRC, that was early/mid March when there were results from Singapore and South Korea (ie the places that actually did do public health).

            Unfortunately we clearly don’t do actual public health in this country. Unlike Asia, we didn’t already have a population with masks in the medicine cabinet already. Unlike a place like say Singapore, we did not actually distribute masks to the population (I believe half a dozen each). Nor do we do ‘militia’ anymore – so there was no organized sense among the population about how to cobble a specific solution together quickly – rather than just wait for a solution to appear on the shelf via the ‘market’. So we had to wait for those women who still sew/craft – to observe people start wearing cloth masks and bandanas in mid April – and then see an opportunity to make/sell masks for $5 or so. If we had had a militia muster when the ’emergencies’ first started being declared and that research first came out, that would have been done a month or more earlier.

            As it was – the only people wearing masks in March in places like grocery stores were Asians (Chinese and Japanese and Koreans). People who already had that cultural awareness. I clearly remember seeing that. Followed a week or so later by older folks. And my guess is those weren’t the folks who were actually hoarding masks.

            1. This is a mishmash of nonsense. It would be much funnier if you haven’t been taking this self assured tone of “obviously the facts say…” for the last three months of your pontificating.

              Singapore has a population of less than 6 million people packed into less than 300 square miles. Asian countries that have kept things under control have limited ports of entry and good contact tracing in place. ‘Militias’ weren’t going to cause 360 million to get protective face coverings spread all over the country.

              Further, there is no proof that had we somehow had 360 million people walking around with masks in March, that ANYTHING would be different. Certainly, intuitively, it *feels* like masks would make SOME improvement. It also *feels* like putting your arm in front of your car passenger when jamming on the breaks will prevent them from going through the windshield. But both are feelings, based on our intuition and not born out by empirical results.

              This attempt to paint Masks as a panacea is merely a reason to force people to do something they shouldn’t have to do. Should we be *encouraged* to wear masks when we believe we have the flu? Sure. Should we be required to wear them everywhere? No.

              1. So your excuse is – we’re Americans and we’re too stupid to figure out how to do public health. Is that what you’re going with?

                I actually agree with that. Which is why I said in the mask thread yesterday that I don’t think masks will work here. We’ll stop wearing them by late summer – just in time for sniffles season and the second wave.

                But I just want to finally hear one of you ‘this is just the flu and even if it’s not I can’t hear you lalalalala’ folks admit that Americans are just too stupid to figure out how to deal with an itty bitty bit of RNA.

                1. “So your excuse is – we’re Americans and we’re too stupid to figure out how to do public health. Is that what you’re going with?”

                  No, I’m saying that your “If only we all got masks” fantasy was a fantasy. We aren’t a small nation state with less than ten million people and one or two ports of entry. We are a massive continental nation with 150 ports of entry and people spread out over hell and gone. So trying to hold up Singapore as an example of what we could do is stupid.

                  1. Well here’s what South Korea did:

                    They had a face mask shortage and price increases starting in mid/late January and continuing thru to mid Feb. Caused by brokers from China flying into SK and buying up everything. So exports of masks from SK to China increased 200x month over month.

                    When the case load in SK ramped up fast in mid/late Feb, the lines to buy masks started at retail outlets. Online sales outlets were also sold out (indicating a global shortage by then). Retail outlets IMMEDIATELY limited sales per customer (to ensure wider distribution) – unlike here in the US where retailers didn’t do shit to spread out distribution in the face of obvious hoarding until April.

                    Within three days, ‘public health’ (govt) had their ‘solution’. Exports were limited to 10% of production and more than 50% of production had to be sold to ‘government designated sellers’ (the retail outlets where people ‘expected’ to find masks by their act of lining up to buy masks there). IOW – the ‘state’ explicitly limited new ‘bulk’ purchasers who had no distribution set up but who would have simply tried to corner the market. And govt purchased masks themselves (presumably the diff between current and 10% exports) – and distributed them at a subsidized price thru post offices and such.

                    Which is not to advocate their particular solution – but to point out that it occurred within three days because they were paying attention to public health. The public health problem (get masks into everyone’s hands so they can be put everyone’s faces) is very different from (let’s ignore this because we have faith in markets/pricing or we are Americans and this virus won’t dare mess with us)

                    Everyone here seems to remember (or misremember) my projection of fatalities in Feb. But the vast majority of my posts then had nothing to do with that. They were almost entirely about the virus itself as information began coming out – and what different countries were doing. The stuff I truly just assumed was also being done here.

                    Which is the ONLY thing I have been completely wrong about with all this. We weren’t doing any of that at all. We had to wait close to two months for our public health folks to even figure out what they were dealing with. And four months later, we STILL have a bunch of clowns who want to pretend this is the flu or that nothing that anyone else has done means anything because we are AMERICAN dammit and our shit is unique.

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                  2. Oh – and Japan also distributed masks. So did China. And Taiwan. All had done so by at latest early March. Vietnam, Thailand, and Taiwan (and I assume China too) had also banned/limited exports by then. Don’t play games and pretend this is simply not possible.

                    At minimum, ‘paying attention’ would have sent a very strong signal — masks are soon going to be in shortage globally. Hell – as early as Feb 17 an article in Nikkei Asian Review talked about a serious mask crisis for American hospitals. That had nothing to do with a possible surge in covid19 cases then. It was about the well-known reality that this was a virus that was being taken seriously throughout Asia – and hence, there ain’t no surplus of anything going to the US.

                    At a certain point, you have to face the fact that we failed because we CHOSE to ignore all possible problems. We are still in many cases choosing to ignore all info that makes us uncomfortable

                    1. If only daddy government had spanked us all real hard back in February and slapped masks on our faces the fatality rate of this mild cold might be 1/100th of 1% instead of the 1/20th of 1% that it is now! SAVE ME DADDY GUBMINT!

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              2. Should we be *encouraged* to wear masks when we believe we have the flu? Sure. Should we be required to wear them everywhere? No.

                I guess that depends on whether you think infecting someone else with a disease is a NAP issue. No doubt you R’s don’t. Hell most of you are OK with cops strangling unarmed people on the ground too. In fact I have a real hard time seeing what IS actually a NAP issue for any of you R’s.

                I’ve always thought (and said) that any implementation of anything should be local. Precisely because the difference between ‘encourage’ and ‘require’ DOES depend on the local circumstances – like are hospitals full, do you have someone at home who is vulnerable, etc. And any act by govt – the encourage to require move – requires public support or it is the difference between non-coercion and coercion.

                But ain’t no way in hell that this is an issue where a ‘veto of one’ applies. Where Typhoid Mary can spread disease simply – because – and FYTW. Where the very phrase ‘public health’ is deemed ‘socialism’ and can’t be discussed because ‘liberty’.

                1. “I guess that depends on whether you think infecting someone else with a disease is a NAP issue. No doubt you R’s don’t.”

                  As a libertarian I do not believe you have the right to require me to protect you from a fact of nature. If I live upstream from you, am I required to treat the water flowing through my property so that it is clean when it gets to you? Am I expected to prevent wolves from migrating across my property and attacking your livestock? No. It is a violation of the NAP to force me to mitigate a natural risk for you.

                  And this is the same whether it is a Little Tyrant (local) or Big Tyrant (Fed) that is forcing me to do these things.

                  If you purposely act in a negligent way with the knowledge that you are infected, then you are violating the NAP. But that is a far cry from requiring everyone in the country to wear masks. Or to get needles stuck in their arm. Or to lose their jobs despite having NO EVIDENCE of infection.

                  1. “If I live upstream from you, am I required to treat the water flowing through my property so that it is clean when it gets to you?”

                    No, but that is not a good analogy, I suspect you know that, judging by the awkwardness of that example.

                    A better analogy would be: Am I required to not dump pollutants into the water flowing from my property to yours?
                    And the answer to that is: Yes, you are required to abstain from polluting a stream that runs into others’ property.

                    1. How is purposefully, actively putting pollutants in the water anything like a natural virus that infects your body without you knowing it?

                    2. That is one fucktarded analogy. Knowingly harming someone or their property is in no way analogous with unknowingly passing on a natural risk.

                      Do better.

                    3. Lying Jeffy is also dumb.

                    4. Bad analogy. Once it is know there is an epidemic going on, you have some reasonable expectation that you might host the virus and be spreading it.

                  2. You sound like you would be a splendid neighbor. In addition to your polluted runoff and the wolf attacks, I could listen to you expound all day on your unique interpretation of the NAP.

                    1. You sound like someone who has never lived in a rural area. If you ever expected your neighbor to, say, remove giardia from the stream flowing through your property or to hunt predators to keep them off your property, they would laugh you out of the county.

                    2. I misread your very awkwardly worded scenario. You were not saying that you polluted the water.

                2. It’s not an NAP issue if you don’t know you have it.

                  1. Exactly. But it is an NAP issue for someone else to FORCE you to prevent it on their behalf. If you don’t want to get COVID, there are plenty of things you can do to protect yourself. But nature is a bitch, and it isn’t anyone else’s responsibility to do anything to protect you from nature.

                    And yet because viruses are a thing, scared people want you to be locked in your house, wear a burka, and stick needles in your arm to protect THEM on the off chance that a virus could use you as a transit to them.

                  2. So there can be no aggression as long as one is ignorant of it. That certainly explains R’s. Presumably that ignorance extends to willful ignorance as well. And denial.

                    did you know – Typhoid Mary also denied she had typhoid. To her dying day. Had no symptoms either. And every non-stool sample that was ever tested also came back negative. Asymptomatic carriers are in fact a major vector for typhoid, cholera, HIV, polio, TB, and various flus. So in fact you ARE asserting that the very idea of ‘public health’ is either ‘socialism’ or must arbitrarily exclude any disease with asymptomatic carry. And hey – maybe we can choose to remain ignorant of which diseases those are so have to exclude all other diseases as well.

                    The Johnstown Flood excuse – 2200 dead – was also ‘ignorance’. Course maybe the reason the US legal system adopted ‘strict liability’ in the aftermath of that was because common sense says this is horseshit. Only your wing of ‘libertarianism’ is still a useful idiot for the South Fork Fishing and Hunting Club.

                    1. “So there can be no aggression as long as one is ignorant of it”

                      No there can be no aggression IF I AM NOT DOING ANYTHING.

                      That virus is infecting and replicating under its own volition- whatever volition a virus can have. I am not aggressing anyone. Nature is nature, and the default condition is that something in nature kills us. That isn’t aggression from an individual, it is a fact of life.

                    2. You are literally arguing that you have the right to make people do something on the chance they could be a vector for a natural risk that they have no choice in getting or passing on.

                      Well shit, I guess we better just lock everyone up in little individual bubbles because Jfree wants to live in a world without risk of communicable disease.

                    3. Yes I am literally arguing that no legitimate society can or would simply continue to let Typhoid Mary walk around infecting/killing whoever she came into contact with merely because a)she is ignorant of it and b)it’s natural.

                      And you are full of shit re your argument because I can guarandamtee that you would be the type to call the cops if someone in front of you on the sidewalk, dropped trou and dumped a big steaming load. That’s natural too.

                  3. Oh, bullshit. If there’s a known pandemic going on, there’s some reasonable expectation you might have it, and you owe others precautions unless you know for sure that you are not infected.

                    You can’t just go around saying, “Der dee der dee der, I don’t know nuthin’”

                    1. “Oh, bullshit. If there’s a known pandemic going on, there’s some reasonable expectation you might have it”

                      In this latest fucking pandemic the odds were that you do NOT have it. If there is a pandemic and you exhibit symptoms, then self isolate. But forcing people who show NO symptoms to isolate is horseshit.

                      “and you owe others precautions unless you know for sure that you are not infected.”

                      No I do not. I am not responsible for protecting you. If you are worried about scary covid, stay at home, and then you won’t have to worry.

                    2. We were discussing masks, but now you moved the goal post to discussing isolation.

                  4. Did tobacco companies know that their product was a carcinogen? How about – what if they had done a better job hiding the memos?

                    how about patent medicine in the late 19th century? Arsenic was a significant ingredient in some of them? does ignorance work with that?

                    In 1936, Massengill Company sold Elixir sulfanilamide with diethylene glycol (basically brake fluid or wallpaper stripper) as a solvent. The main chemist did not know it was a poison – and the product wasn’t tested either to see if it was poison. Ignorance worked well as an excuse then (though the chemist himself committed suicide when the death toll became known). DEG poisoning in products is still a problem today – most recently earlier this year in both Brazil (in beer) and India (in cough syrup). Ignorance work for that too?

                    1. Your first paragraph, especially the second sentence, is bizarre. They did know.

                    2. It’s pretty easy to claim ignorance if there is no evidence showing knowledge

                    3. Whether you know that you are a risk or not doesn’t matter.

                      You know it is really hard to tell if terrorists are planning to bomb New York. Does this justify the Patriot Act? Mass surveillance of the entire country?

                      A person who knowingly goes out and infects people is violating the NAP. Whether it is feasible to identify such people and hold them accountable doesn’t change that. That isn’t reason to lock down the entire fucking country.

                    4. ‘Lockdown’ and ‘wearing masks’ are not even remotely the same or even similar policy option. Failure to even think about the logistics of the ‘wearing masks’ stuff may increase the odds of ‘lockdown’ – but afaik that was never mentioned anywhere as a rationale for ‘lockdown’.

                      And if it HAD been, then that rationale would have to be — We FAILED to get some supply of masks – and now there are no masks – so we are going to have to lock everyone down in their house where you don’t need masks. IOW – a lockdown is the consequence of an EXPLICIT FAILURE to do actual public health.

                3. I guess that depends on whether you think infecting someone else with a disease is a NAP issue.

                  Hey, remember when California repealed their law making it a crime to knowingly infect someone with HIV and you clapped like a trained seal because the law was oppressing the poor downtrodden faggot community?

                  But what am I saying. You can’t compare a trivial disease like HIV/AIDS to the deadly ‘rona, right you authoritarian cumguzzler?

                  1. I don’t live in CA nor am I gay nor have I even seen your handle beofre this thread nor do I know what the fuck you are on about.

                    But you have certainly already proven yourself to be an asshole

            2. The CDC used to keep an emergency stockpile of N95 and surgical masks, but when these were used in the swine flu of 2009, they weren’t replaced. Through 7 years of the Obama administration and 3 years of Trump, all the CDC heads were too busy with politics to remember their basic responsibility to prepare to control infectious diseases. _That_ is why the few good masks that the USA did have had to be reserved for medical personnel while the pandemic spread unchecked.

              Not that lying about their effectiveness was a good way to handle the mask shortage. It discouraged people from finding their own solutions; instead of improvised and re-purposed masks of varying effectiveness, most were going around with no mask at all – and that was worse than bad masks!

              Of course, there are plenty of other examples of government lies contributing to this disaster. The Chinese tried to cover up COVID-19 at first, robbing the world of weeks of time to prepare responses. (Or months, if those claiming that it started in October 2019 rather than December are right.) Then the Chinese claimed (and had the Commie revolutionary head of WHO repeat) that it wasn’t transmissible between humans until Jan 21 – and they had shut down internal travel in China long before that, while allowing millions of international flights. By that time, it must have been worldwide already.

              If you want to blame Trump, blame him for (1) treating head of the CDC as a reward for a series of short-timers rather than getting a hard-nosed problem-solver in there in 1917 to clean house _and then stay in charge_, and (2) not challenging the Chinese/WHO lies and quarantining incoming travelers at the first rumors of a new virus, rather than waiting for proof to escape the cover-up. But remember that the Trump-haters would have castigated him for taking either action…

          2. “One thing is certain, a package of N95 masks is a good thing to keep in your basement at all times. Even if we don’t have another pandemic in our lives you can use them for drywall work and cleaning mold.”

            I actually had a pack of them already left over from doing such things when this all started, which was nice. My wife has asthma so she likes to have them for any project that might involve shit in the air.

          3. Might simply be that those who were so concerned as to regularly wear masks ALSO did all the other preventative measures. This was not a test where one group wore masks but did nothing else and a control group didn’t wear masks. This was individuals with different options exercising zero or more of the preventative measures available to them.

            Admittedly just a guess, but wearing a mask probably correlates to higher levels of fear of infection, which might also tend to correlate with actively engaging in the other preventative measures. Choosing to not wear a mask might correlate with being less focused on other preventative measures. A proper study would try to isolate those effects.

            And masks are *mostly* about preventing spreading infection to others more than they are about preventing getting infected.

            1. There’s one trouble if you’re expecting masks to prevent spreading infection: none of them are very effective at filtering when you exhale. When you are sucking in air, the mask pulls into your face and it is easy to get a seal. When you are pushing air out, it is pushing the mask away from your face and breaking the seal. Even a loose knit (like people often wear for warmth in the cold temperatures where I grew up) will have enough resistance that a simple mask will let air out around the edges. (For me, it would mainly blow up around my long, thin nose into my glasses – so even at -25F, I have to leave my most prominent feature exposed or be blind from ice-covered glasses 30 seconds after stepping out the door.)

              With a filter fine enough or thick enough to catch much fine particles, the resistance to air moving is higher, and even a good (and expensive) gas-mask with a rigid frame and thick rubber seals would let air puff out around your cheeks – except that they put in a one-way valve to let out the unfiltered exhalations. (When I was in the Air Force, I once had a stuck valve during an exercise – and in a few breaths, the gas mask was leaking all around the edges on both exhales and inhales, and also filling up with condensation.) As I understand it, the medical N95 masks likewise have valves to bypass the filters on exhales. It should keep globs of mucus and saliva from flying straight out, but a portion of the particles light enough to turn corners with the air flow will always escape.

              And don’t forget the condensation. Your breath is moist. If you could force it to go out through a good filter, that filter would soon be soaked…

    3. Isnt the Roosevelt the carrier that had all of one death?

      The bigger news from this, than the mask wearing, is 60% of the sailors had covid antibodies while only one died.

      The proper reasoning here is to weat a mask of you want to mitigate risk. Isolate only the high risk communities (not the whole country).

      Stop trying to make excuses for the lockdown.

      1. If they all had masks, how did 60% get exposed?

        1. Because an aircraft carrier is a perfect place for a respiratory disease to rip through an immuno naive population because of close proximity, shared and cycled air etc etc.

          1. That doesn’t answer his question. The masks are being presented as a way to mitigate that kind of environmental risk.

            1. Mitigate means reduce the rate of transmission, not eliminate transmission altogether. Even if a mask blocks all virus particles, people aren’t going to always wear them properly and there are other methods of transmission than airborne droplets as well.

              1. Do you understand the complete incoherence of what you are saying? I totally agree that an Aircraft carrier is not a great place to predict general population effects. But that is what the Pro-Mask people are trying to do: They are presenting this case as proof that Masks are effective. And when we point out that the evidence is that they weren’t very effective, your response is “of course not, because this is different”.

                Either this is representative of the general public, in which case masks don’t seem to be very effective, or it is not, in which case shut up and stop saying it is proof that they are effective.

                1. Right in one overt. I wonder if any of the people commenting here ever deployed on a carrier? Anywhere from 4,500 to 5,500 people on the ship, living in close quarters, with a controlled ventilation system and isolated from outside sources. Masks would make sense there. Funny thing though, I served on carriers from 1984 to 1987. On one deployment, we had someone test positive for tuberculosis. I know I had three skin tests, but, we never wore masks. Someone mentioned a virus half-life of two hours on cardboard, what about the eight minute half-life in sunlight? Haven’t heard that one, have you? I have to wonder if they wore masks on the flight deck during ops. Let’s see that thing stay in place when you get around a jet engine. Of course it might block some of the soot from the jet exhaust. No more sneezing black when you leave the roof. Yes we did sneeze black.

        2. They didn’t all have masks and they didn’t all wear them. And as the study explicitly states (meaning – read the fucking paragraph in the article above), the mask REDUCES the likelihood of infection, it does not eliminate it.

          The only thing that does not actually seem to be true in the article is ENB’s assertion that ‘mask-wearing was the most important of a range of precautions taken by service members to prevent the transmission of COVID-19’. From how I’m reading the actual study results that are linked, it’s actually the least important of the mentioned measures. Avoiding common areas is the most important – followed by social distancing – followed by masks. Maybe I’m reading the stats wrong though.

          1. Maybe I’m reading the stats wrong though.

            That’s a pretty good bet since you’re still sticking with the 2 million deaths talking point 4 months after the fact and held up Italy as the global transmission model. To call you as dumb as dogshit would be an unbelievably cruel insult to dogshit.

            1. I projected 800k – 1 million dead. By roughly the end of the second wave – likely through much of next flu season. At which point I hope – and kind of project – that we’ll have either a proven treatment or the beginnings of a vaccine. And yes I am sticking with that.

              You asswipes seem to think I was ‘selling’ some other projections. Because most likely you are both illiterate and a liar. I’m not and have never ‘sold’ any other projections – because I made my own projections. I made those projections for my own reasons – to figure out how many deaths and over roughly what timeframe the stock market is going to have to incorporate that info. I’ve looked at some of those projections to see if I missed something important – but my agenda is different than theirs. I’m not trying to save a medical system or run for election. So ‘worst case scenarios’ do not really interest me. They only interest you Trumptwits who are only interested in an election.

              And the only thing I said about Lombardy – not Italy – is that Lombardy is what things look like when the hospitals are full and they have to triage patients at the door. And yes – that is going to happen here. In many places. Hell – a few days ago there was an article from Arizona – that the state’s largest health system [Banner Health] has reached capacity for patients needing external lung machines — and Banner Health notified the Arizona centralized COVID-19 surge line that Banner hospitals are unable to take any new patients needing ECMO — extracorporeal membrane oxygenation. ECMO (basically whole body blood transfusion to oxygenate when lungs and possibly heart too have failed) is more serious than mere ventilators but if ECMO is full now, then ventilators are next, and ICU next (and that story says Banner is close to ICU capacity), and hospital beds next. You get to hospital beds (or maybe ‘no more respiratory therapists’ is the real constraint) – and not just one hospital network but statewide – and you are in Lombardy. And we are not even in SUMMER yet. Just wait for sniffles season.

        3. From what I’ve heard of life on a carrier, I’m just surprised it wasn’t 100%. Either 40% were resistant to this virus to start with (perhaps from exposure to many other coronaviruses), or the masks did provide a substantial amount of protection.

          Nor is only one death out of perhaps 3,000 infected any surprise. Something freakish has to happen for a healthy, fit young person to die from this particular virus. The military services recruit healthy young people, mainly from those graduating high school or college, and exercises them to a peak of fitness before letting them out of boot camp. They closely monitor their physical condition, and anyone who doesn’t stay healthy is beached or discharged.

          More than half of the recruits quit when they’ve fulfilled their initial obligation – and this is just what the services want, to keep a majority of the force in their early 20’s. Those that choose to stay in must remain healthy, fit, and be promoted regularly. Those that don’t make rank fast enough are kicked out at the end of their 2nd, 3rd, or 4th enlistment. Those that make enough rank to stay in for 20 years are then offered retirement at half-pay – mostly at age 38-45, so they should be able to find a second career. Those that refuse retirement (if allowed to) must continue rising through the ranks. To reach 30 years and retirement at 2/3 pay, you must reach either the top enlisted or a high officer rank (like Captain/Colonel or Admiral/General). And at 30 years, everyone must retire. We won’t have any more Eisenhowers (who served 39 years from before WWI through the end of WWII, and may have been the single most valuable man in the Army for the last several of those years), but we also won’t have another “Old Fuss and Feathers” Scott, who served well as the highest-ranking general in peacetime, but had to look for a replacement for himself when the Civil War started because he was just too old. (That search did not turn out well, perhaps because Scott never realized that he could not go on forever and groomed a successor. OTOH, his chosen successor would have obviously been Robert E Lee, who went over to the other side…)

      2. The sailors experienced mild symptoms or were asymptomatic. Still the ship was removed from service and sailors were quarantined. I told you so. Masks are very wrong, as a contribution to the public health, for healthy people who can beat the virus. Masks are very right for vulnerable individuals.

        1. Why do you hate grandma?

          1. Ah yes, that new Navy program Bring Grandma to Work Day.

      3. The bigger news from this, than the mask wearing, is 60% of the sailors had covid antibodies while only one died.

        That is not bigger news. That is one fatality among 238 infected – where the median age was under 30, 50% aged between 24-35, and with virtually no comorbidities (7.3% had conditions like asthma, diabetes, immunocompromise). An IFR of 0.4%.

        For that rough age group (18-49), the 2017/2018 flu season had an IFR of 0.019%. Or put another way – if covid19 infects only as many people in that age group as the 2017/2018 flu season (14.4 million), then there will be 57,700 fatalities in that age group v 2800 for the flu that year. And of course the difference is that very few even now have been exposed or have immunity – unlike the 2017/2018 flu

        So no – this is not the flu

        1. Where the fuck does your bullshit 238 number come from? It’s a crew of 4500+ and 60% had antibodies. If you google how many active cases of COVID there are aboard ship, you get over 1,000. Even if you assume there’s some false positives in the antibody count, you know that there’s a large number of asymptomatic cases as well, so a low-end estimate would be 1300 infections, resulting in one death. The number of infections may be much, much higher depending on how you buy into the 60% antibody test.

          Don’t make up shit that is easily fact-checkable.

          1. He is right about one thing, this is not the flu it is the cold virus.

          2. From the link in the article – and the link a couple comments above – 382 crew were tested for antibodies. Of that 382, 238 had previously been known to be infected. That’s where the 238 came from.

            So yeah I should have paid more attention to the verbiage there. I made an assumption that they were actually testing the entire group of the known infected to see the types of antibodies that the known infected get. For reasons – like testing a damn vaccine – that goes way beyond this study. So I didn’t check to see whether that number was the same as the previously reported infection outside this study.

            Unfortunately now that I’ve read the verbiage more, the study looks like crap. The sampling was ‘convenience sampling’ (meaning whoever was close at hand) not random sampling or anything statistically valid.

            So yes – ignore my IFR calc. Or adjust it down. The CDC IFR for 18-49 age group from 2017/2018 flu is from here – 2803 deaths in 14,428,065 infections. But also – ignore all the conclusions of that study. Convenience sampling cannot lead to any valid conclusions. Maybe there’s something there deep in the weeds but if the Navy and CDC can’t put together a valid sample of military personnel, I’m not going into the weeds.

            1. It’s a crew of 4500+ and 60% had antibodies.

              THIS being one of the conclusions of that study. No there is no valid conclusion whatsoever about what part of the unknown-infected crew has antibodies. Only 382 were tested – NOT 4500. And most of that 382 – more than 60% in fact – either had already been known infected (I would normally assume they all develop antibodies – but who the fuck knows) or were still infected and had not developed antibodies yet. you wanna go into the weeds to find a valid conclusion fine. But it AIN’T remotely 60%

              1. I misunderstood as well. In my mind, I assumed they tested the whole crew because it’s a contained population, and obviously the whole crew is going to be at risk, so it’s a great place to run antibody testing. Unless these tests are in extremely short supply-which they might be-I don’t know why they didn’t just test the whole crew.

    4. They learned the hard way, by getting slammed by many epidemics. Their mask wearing goes back to the early 20th century.

      1. Oh, please. Wearing masks has nothing to do with health – they just want everybody wearing masks in public so Antifa can blend in with the crowd better. Next they’ll be claiming black hoodies and backpacks and steel-toed boots ward off the coronavirus as well.

        1. ” claiming black hoodies and backpacks and steel-toed boots ward off the coronavirus”
          Sounds like my work clothes. Oh! Wait! Antifa – work No those don’t go together.

        2. Those darned “They”! Always conspiring.

    5. It’d be nice if Liz Brown actually bothered to write a well-rounded, persuasive essay by citing at least one counter-argument for the reader. (Journalism 101- Present argument AND counterargument.) I’ll take it upon myself to do it for her.
      From BMJ.COM (British Medical Journal):

      “They concluded, “The evidence is not sufficiently strong to support widespread use of face masks as a protective measure against Covid-19. However, there is enough evidence to support the use of face masks for short periods of time by particularly vulnerable individuals when in transient higher risk situations.”

      Commenting on these findings, Simon Clarke, associate professor in cellular microbiology at the University of Reading, said, “There is only very limited evidence of the benefits of wearing face masks by the general public, no evidence that wearing them in crowded places helps at all, and no evidence at all yet related to Covid-19 . . . The authors also acknowledge that mass face mask wearing by the public would likely cause shortages among people who genuinely need protective equipment—healthcare workers on the front line in our hospitals.”

    6. It’d be nice if Liz Brown actually bothered to write a well-rounded, persuasive essay by citing at least one counter-argument for the reader. (Journalism 101- Present argument AND counterargument.) I’ll take it upon myself to do it for her.
      From BMJ.COM (British Medical Journal):

      “They concluded, “The evidence is not sufficiently strong to support widespread use of face masks as a protective measure against Covid-19. However, there is enough evidence to support the use of face masks for short periods of time by particularly vulnerable individuals when in transient higher risk situations.”

      Commenting on these findings, Simon Clarke, associate professor in cellular microbiology at the University of Reading, said, “There is only very limited evidence of the benefits of wearing face masks by the general public, no evidence that wearing them in crowded places helps at all, and no evidence at all yet related to Covid-19 . . . The authors also acknowledge that mass face mask wearing by the public would likely cause shortages among people who genuinely need protective equipment—healthcare workers on the front line in our hospitals.”

  2. “Fictional pleas”—in which defendants who may have committed some crime plead guilty to a crime they didn’t commit—”are pervasive.

    And every court officer involved should be removed. I would love to see the difference ending the entire practice of plea bargaining would make.

    1. Two big ones – mandatory minimum sentences for overblown charges would be in play a lot more. So expect our already outsized “average prison sentence” figures to balloon drastically.

      And the expenditures on the Judiciary and prosecutors would have to go up drastically – there is in no way the capacity to try that many cases.

      1. I think the latter would require the former to buckle.

        1. Yeah, a bunch of cases would just drag out forever (literally) as courts were forced to prioritize. Then you’d start getting cases thrown out for not happening in a timely manner.

          Of course, the easiest solution would be to end the war on drugs and other vices, thus eliminating like 95% of the case load immediately.

      2. At the lowest level, traffic courts operate entirely on this premise. Local attorneys have informal arrangements with prosecutors. Those specializing in traffic court will come in to court with stacks of cases and plead them out in huge bundles.

        I watched this happen on a trip to contest a bogus ticket for an expired tag. I watched from a few feet away as defense attorneys lined up at the prosecution table. Professional courtesy, they get to go first. They’d put down a stack of some 50 tickets…. these we are going to plead to “faulty equipment”… these are for “ten miles over the speed limit”…. etc. They had standard pleas for cases that met certain criteria. They had a trust arrangement… the prosecutor didn’t even review the cases. They cleared at least 75 percent of the cases for the day that way in less than 15 minutes. Probably more like 90 to 95 percent of the cases… but I didn’t have the actual numbers.

        1. This is the logical conclusion of rampant over criminalization of all aspects society. You make so many rules and you create an ever larger army of enforcers and you’ll get a court system that has no way to actually adjudicate the volume of cases they are creating for themselves. The prosecutors start having incentives to automate the process and savy defense attorneys have the incentive to help them. Once the process is as automated as possible and everything is reduced to fines, it becomes a pretty nice revenue stream for the state. Voila, laws for public safety now become laws for paying for goodies for municipal, county and state governments.

          We should start a “Don’t plea” movement. If they want to make me come to court so they can have a couple of hundred bucks for a frivolous violation? Great, give me my constitutionally guaranteed trial. See what happens when we all do it at the same time.

          1. Good idea, except they’ve also gotten really good at finding people who are less likely to have the means to go to trial and fight it. You need a good lawyer for that, and a good lawyer who can win an actual case is a lot more expensive than one who can get you pleaded down real quick.

            1. Well, this… and we’ve seen what they do to people who do not take the deal.

              Particularly at the federal level… not taking the deal can mean the functional equivalent to life in prison – when the alternative is maybe 6 months and probation.

              Just look at the “college admissions scandal”. The people who took the deal basically got what you describe, community service and a fine. The famed couple who did not got the full force of the law directed at them. Staring down the barrel of several years in prison, plus millions in attorney fees… they suddenly thought much better of the deal.

            2. In regulatory compliance, you end up with two options.
              If the agency requests that you comply with a fictional rule. Often this is nonsense by applying a regulation that clearly doesn’t apply to you.
              1: Just do it. Even if it costs a small fortune.
              2: You can take it to court. This is ludicrously expensive. In the Administrative Law courts, you are guilty until proven innocent. Spend large fortune on lawyers. Often, you will get a counterfactual verdict supporting the agency and you have to take it to the civil courts and spend an even larger fortune. Even if you win, you have gotten on the agency’s bad side and will be subject to punitive inspections for the foreseeable future.

              Heads they win, tails you lose.

              1. So what are the actual suggestions to stop this cycle. Currently law enforcement from the bottom up has every incentive to prey on as many citizens as possible. The cops have quotas, the prosecutors get promotions based on successful convictions, the prison guard unions get bigger budgets every time they pack another sardine into the can. All of this work going after cops will be for naught if we don’t look at the higher levels of this. For all the talk of compassion, lawyers and judges are 90% liberals and progressives. A cop may bust your face, but a prosecutor will lock you in a cage for as many years as they possibly can. Lets talk about that while we’re at it.

                1. Suggestion: Make it a rule that innocent (or even mostly innocent, compared to the charges filed) defendants must be made whole, out of the prosecution agency’s budget. Go ahead and double that budget – but it won’t still take too many cases collapsing, or men charged with capital murder when the jury finds only for manslaughter, before prosecutors have to be laid off to pay for the defense lawyers, lost jobs and work time, time locked away from families, etc.

          2. Traffic fines are basically buying indulgences from the new religion of the State. Some people even factor them into their budgets now.

            1. Most city budgets would now collapse if they couldn’t collect these predatory indulgences.

            2. Note that if you can’t pay the traffic fine, you go to jail. Even minor offenses that most people never even think about can land you in county for a few days or weeks.

              Most people will never be in that situation, but lots of poor people will.

              1. Jesus, that’s horrible. If we vote Democrat, this goes away right?

                1. Wasn’t it Democrats that were finding much of the budget for East St Louis out of traffic and other fines?

                  The protestors and rioters were complaining about the wrong thing – a large man who committed strong-arm robbery, assaulted a (much smaller) cop, and then was shot dead when he charged at the cop _again_, when the real problem was and still is this predatory policing.

          3. They also keep the amount of fines less than what it would take to hire a lawyer to fight it, take a day off work and the costs of travel to fight it.

          4. “Did you really think we want those laws observed?” said Dr. Ferris. “We want them to be broken. You’d better get it straight that it’s not a bunch of boy scouts you’re up against… We’re after power and we mean it… There’s no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren’t enough criminals one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws. Who wants a nation of law-abiding citizens? What’s there in that for anyone? But just pass the kind of laws that can neither be observed nor enforced or objectively interpreted – and you create a nation of law-breakers – and then you cash in on guilt. Now that’s the system, Mr. Reardon, that’s the game, and once you understand it, you’ll be much easier to deal with.”

            ― Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged

    2. I wonder if we will get an article on flynn and the attempts to criminalize his guilty plea bargain plea….

      1. That happened? I made a joke about that on the Twitter back when his case was tossed.

        1. Read the amiscus brief filed in support of Sullivan.

    3. Wouldn’t it be nice to have all the officers removed. I have far more hatred for prosecutors than I have for cops. Police work tends to attract blunt instruments. They most often do what they’re told and are not particularly deep thinkers. I’ve never met a cop with a particularly sophisticated world view, but as much as I may hate it, it seems both inevitable and somewhat necessary for that line of work.
      Prosecutors on the other hand have filtered out all the unsophisticated, unintelligent people through the LSAT and law school process (theoretically). They are perfectly capable of analyzing the morality of the system they’re participating. A system in which putting as many human beings inside cages as you can, whether or not they’re guilty, is a currency that buys you ascension up the ladder. They care not whether the laws they’re robbing people of their liberty for are just, they defend and expand the system all the same. If someone could explain to me how you could be a person that consciously and willingly continues to participate in the current prison industrial complex as a prosecutor without being a complete sociopath, I’d love to hear it.

      1. No, I think you’re right with the sociopath conclusion.

      2. The government is full of jobs that best fit a sociopath, and are likely to force a good person into sociopathy. A businessman who mistreats customers loses those customers, has to find other customers to mistreat, and eventually will go out of business. A politician who mistreats people has to carefully select who he mistreats and keep his actions concealed, but many have been successful at that. But a sociopathic bureaucrat can find himself a position protected from all consequences.

    4. Well, Michael Flynn has a problem involving this. Reason isn’t super empathetic.

    5. Many years ago, first day of Con Law 101, the professor asked the class how many people we thought were in jail for crimes they didn’t commit. Everybody guessed pretty low numbers, the professor pointed out that thanks to plea bargaining there were shitloads of people in jail for crimes they didn’t commit. He was not a fan of plea bargaining and thought it was horrifying that we had a system that imprisoned people by coercing guilty pleas because we “couldn’t afford” to give everybody the actual due process to which they’re entitled. To hell with what the government can “afford”, you want to be locking tons of people up, you’re going to have to pay for that.

      1. This is just another example where politicians invent a problem (every imaginary bogeyman they want to outlaw), suggest a solution (broadly defining laws against the bogeyman and mercilessly locking them up as long as we possibly can) and never ever ever mention any possible downsides (over policing, over incarceration, a judicial system that can’t provide the due process purely based on volume and incentive to turn it in to a revenue stream, lots and lots and lots of new gov’t employees with large salaries that can’t be fired and are pensioned until they die.)

        I get scoffed at when ever I tell progressives that are pissed about the system that this is exactly what they ask for. Until they’re willing to admit it, it isn’t going away. Sooooo never.

    6. Someone should explain this to the judge in the Flynn case

      1. If Flynn is innocent, he committed perjury when he plead out. OTOH, so do many, perhaps most who take a plea bargain – without the extortion and official lies that lead to Flynn’s plea. The prosecutors and defense lawyers are cooperating to suborn perjury, but nothing ever happens to them.

  3. Migrants detained in an Arizona facility with a high number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 are asking for emergency protection.

    I knew it was outsiders bringing it into the country!

  4. …and Al Sharpton are planning a massive march in Washington, D.C., in August.


    1. *** eagerly ***

      Are they planning to make the Jefferson Memorial into an autonomous zone?

      1. Just before they pull the monument down.

      2. Turn it into the George Jefferson Memorial.

  5. “In case you care about the latest J.K. Rowling controversy.”

    It’s so disappointing she turned out to be such a bigot.


    1. Can you/they be certain enough of Rowling’s preferred pronouns to use “she?”

    2. Yes, lesbians who do not like dick are bigots.

    On June 10, Nature will be joining #ShutdownStem #shutdownacademia #strike4blacklives. We will be educating ourselves and defining actions we can take to help eradicate anti-Black racism in academia and STEM

      Opinion: What the white supremacist roots of biological sex reveal about transphobic feminism

      1. We often accuse the right of distorting science. But the left changed the coronavirus narrative overnight

        The new, “correct” narrative about public health – that one kind of crisis has superseded the other – grows shakier as it spans out from Minnesota, across America to as far as London, Amsterdam and Paris – cities that have in recent days seen extraordinary manifestations of public solidarity against both American and local racism, with protesters in the many thousands flooding public spaces.

        Consider France, where I live. The country has only just begun reopening after two solid months of one of the world’s severest national quarantines, and in the face of the world’s fifth-highest coronavirus body count. As recently as 11 May, it was mandatory here to carry a fully executed state-administered permission slip on one’s person in order to legally exercise or go shopping. The country has only just begun to flatten the curve of deaths – nearly 30,000 and counting – which have brought its economy to a standstill. Yet even here, in the time it takes to upload a black square to your Instagram profile, those of us who move in progressive circles now find ourselves under significant moral pressure to understand that social distancing is an issue of merely secondary importance.

        This feels like gaslighting.

        1. Margret Sanger would have been okay with large groups of black people out on the street during a pandemic.

      2. What the white supremacist roots of biological sex reveal about transphobic feminism

        That’s got to be a fake one, right? Like the guy who remixed Mein Kampf with woke talking points and got it published.

      3. Comments are gold.

    2. “After much research and soul-searching, we’ve come to the conclusion that having sex with a virgin does, in fact, cure AIDS. We know this from the success these measures have shown in certain African countries.”

      1. Albinos hardest hit.

  7. In case you care about the latest J.K. Rowling controversy.

    We really don’t.

    1. Number 3 will *shock* you!

  8. Of course the government was wrong — they’ve had so many different opinions and advised so many different advices that it would be impossible to not contradict themselves time and time again.

    1. But somewhere in all that contradiction, weren’t they also right?

      1. All things are possible, but if they were, it wasn’t by choice!

      2. Broken clock.

    2. I am so sick of this bullshit. Ron Bailey reports last night on a MODEL that shows how Masks can reduce pandemics by 50%. And the study of Navy sailors specifically debunks that, but somehow those are both proving that we should be forced to wear masks.

      Ron’s article discusses a model that suggests that if 100% of people are forced to wear masks, it will reduce the R-naught below 1 and therefore limit the pandemic. But ENB’s study shows that 55% of people who wore masks STILL contracted the disease. Ron’s model assumes masks are at least 50% effective, but the actual data from the navy shows that masks only resulted in 30% fewer cases. (At 95% CI, that is 20% – 50% reduction).

      The data we have (From ENB) flatly contradicts the modeling results that we were provided (From Ron). Yet both are being pushed by ENB as proof that masks work. And of course, ZERO mention of all the studies prior to this that said that masks provide little to no protection except in specific cases.

      Look- wear masks if you want. Thank you if you do. But these sudden discoveries that if we just force 100% mask usage, we will stop pandemics are DANGEROUS AND STUPID. They cause people to engage in risky behavior when they should be self isolating. And it forces a new cultural norm on us that is useless. I decline to spend the rest of my life never seeing the face of people I interact with.

        1. The virtue signaling is more settled!

      1. But ENB’s study shows that 55% of people who wore masks STILL contracted the disease.

        Well, the supposition is that wearing a mask prevents you from spreading the disease if you have it. It doesn’t prevent you from catching it. Whether it actually does prevent you from spreading it hasn’t been determined definitively though, if I’m not mistaken. It’s just seen as a safe assumption.

        1. “wearing a mask prevents you from spreading the disease if you have it. It doesn’t prevent you from catching it”

          You do see how this is undone by the aircraft carrier study, no?

          1. The problem with an Aircraft carrier is that there is no “not in public” option. Your bedroom is public. You are sleeping in a closed environment with essentially 15,000 people breathing the same air. All the sailors and aviators sharing the same room are sleeping together for an entire shift. I’d wager that almost nobody wears a mask to sleep. Even if you do… how are you going to keep that thing properly situated?

            So, if those assumptions are accurate, then the real result should be “wearing a mask during 2/3 of exposure time in a close quarters situation reduces transmission rates by 30%”

      2. “Yet both are being pushed by ENB as proof that masks work”

        So, is she ignorant and simply mouthing lines, or is she being intentionally deceptive?

        1. “So, is she ignorant and simply mouthing lines, or is she being intentionally deceptive?”

          She sees that most of the people she emotionally agrees with (“Liberals”) like masks, and most of the people that emotionally disgust her (“conservatives”) are skeptical of masks. Therefor, she has blinders on when people tell her they have PROVEN masks are useful.

        2. You broke me, not sarc.

      3. Any credibility Reason had left after RUSSIA! and impeachment has been destroyed by the Wuhan virus.

        Maybe they really should just stick to open borders, drugs, and hookers. And free speech on campus, to be sure.

        1. No no they have studies you see, so many glorious studies

          1. And models. Don’t forget the models. Although I suspect they are spending too much time sniffing the glue.

  9. The context for the plea bargaining article is the Flynn case. Judge Sullivan wants to prosecute Flynn for perjury (a felony) for swearing in court that he was guilty of the crimes he plead guilty to.

    It is a through-the-looking-glass moment – Kafka would be proud. Yet, because of partisanship and the fact that he’s a white, male member of the power structure, his case isn’t really worthy of inclusion in the pantheon of abuse of state power through the criminal justice system.

    He’s actually a fairly typical case for the federal system – an extremely overblown prosecution that attempted to extort cooperation on other matters in exchange for some maybe-leniency, using the vast resources of the federal law enforcement apparatus to outspend and outlast him, even bringing threats against family members to play in order to win capitulation.

    It could be a great example to teach partisan supporters about the excesses and abuses of our criminal justice system. But alas, even our civil libertarian activist groups have completely succumbed to partisan aims.

      1. Franz Kafka. He’s a novelist from Prague.

        1. I was referring to this Flynn character you mentioned.

        1. same guy talking to another lawyer who has tried cases before judge Sullivan.

          1. Same two guys talking about legal reasons why Chauvin was charged with 2nd degree murder rather than 1st degree murder.

            Buried in there is an assertion that the reason Chauvin was there to kill Floyd in the first place was because he was never prosecuted for any of the 18 complaints against him – including 6 problematic shootings. And the prosecutor who vetoed his prosecution? Amy Klobuchar.


            1. 6!

              1. Yeah…. if they were right about that number, I already know he’s guilty. If most police never draw their weapon, and very few ever fire it… .if you got to north of 4 on “times I fired my weapon”, you are either the unluckiest guy on the planet, or you do not need to be carrying a weapon. Either way… get that guy off the street.

  10. Any and all cloth in front of your mouth prevents carona virus! Also I am selling a rock that as long as you carry it, you will not be mauled by a wolverieen in the US

    1. I am interested in said rock.

      -Ryan Day

      1. As if. Those wolverines died out as soon as Cooper hit the bricks.

    2. Got any rhino horn?

  11. Zoom Deletes Activist’s Account After Hosting Event Commemorating Tiananmen Square

    1. Cannot possibly be true.
      When the barking mad gun nut second amendment crowd told us that the left would come after free speech after the disarmed us, ‘everybody’ said that could not possibly happen.

    2. Zoom is an American company, founded by Eric Yuan, a native of China. Got a visa to come here in 1997, after getting a bachelor’s and master’s from universities in China.
      Interestingly, his wiki says he’s an American now, but doesn’t mention him changing his citizenship.

      Still sympathetic to CCP causes? I dunno.

      1. He probably just doesn’t want to take any chances that he might disappear one day.

        1. He probably still has family in China…

          1. That’s probably it, sarc-breaker.

          2. From my experience, formerly Chinese Americans hold no love for the people’s republic. However, they do hold much fear of it, and for good reason

            1. Except for all the ones that are Americans now sent here by China to become Americans and still do the bidding of China. So many examples in security briefings I’ve seen.

      2. Getting back at jocks who gave him wedgees in high school?


  12. It would be nice if we could count on the people in charge to stake out a middle ground between mandatory mask laws and eschewing masks as unnecessary or even weak.

    The “people in charge” is us. We are in charge of ourselves, we are responsible for ourselves, we are ultimately accountable to ourselves, and we are our own first responders.
    We the people would be a lot better off without politicians pretending to be in charge of us.

    1. The “people in charge” are the ones who command those who use violence without consequence.

      1. Is this one of those “sure he was arrested and put up on murder 2 charges… but I dont count that as a consequence” statements?

        1. Maybe he was talking about the rioters and looters?

          1. They’re all operatives taking orders from Antifa according to Trump, so I suppose you are correct.


        2. Was I talking to you?

    2. “I can’t breathe!” “I’m in charge!”

  13. …Americans started buying, making, and wearing masks without waiting to be told to (or allowing themselves to be discouraged) by people whose job is protecting public health.

    Now is a good time to bump Boehm’s article about CDC mission creep made it especially ill-equipped for this challenge.

  14. Tucker Carlson: ‘We Were All Played’ — ‘Corrupt Politicians’ Used a Public Health Emergency to Subvert Democracy

    Sounds implausible, but we can be certain of that because last week hundreds of self-described public health officials signed a letter saying something. They announced that the Black Lives Matter riots are a vital contribution to public health. In effect, they’re an essential medical procedure.

    But that doesn’t mean you get to go outside. You don’t. Thanks to coronavirus, you do not have the right to resume your life. And if you complain about that, it’s quote, “white nationalism,” that was a professional conclusion. Does a single American believe any of that? No, of course not. It is too stupid to even for CNN to repeat, so they mostly ignored it.

    That’s an ominous side if you think about it. It means these people are done trying to convince you, even to fool you. They’re not making arguments, they are issuing decrees. They think they can. They no longer believe they need your consent to make big decisions to run the country. Once the authority stops trying to change your mind, even by deceit, it means they decided to use force, and they have.

    1. That’s because they think they are winning. If you are winning, you don’t bother hiding your beliefs and objectives. You don’t need to convince and win over dissenters. You are winning. Dissenters can fall in line, or be run over.

      1. Well, they are winning. How long will it last? Hopefully not long, otherwise this little experiment we’ve been running is over. Or best case, most of the country continues as a Constitutional Republic, with a handful of cities becoming enclaves of anarchy, a’ la Escape From New York.

      2. That seems to be Rev’s take on things.

  15. Widescale mask adoption could let places reopen even in the absence of a COVID-19 vaccine, he said.

    Try again. *What exactly* “could let places reopen”?


    As antifa militants have taken over six blocks of Seattle’s Capitol Hill district, calling it the “Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone” or the “People’s Republic of Capitol Hill,” Gov. Jay Inslee (D-Wash.) laughed about this open rebellion, saying he hadn’t heard about it. Inslee added that the National Guard is demobilizing, and his chief of staff suggested that even if an open rebellion had broken out on the streets of Seattle, it would be up to “local authorities” to fight it.

    1. TBF: Yesterday there was almost no news on this until the afternoon. I told my wife about it yesterday morning and she couldn’t find any articles about it. Finally, I told her to look up “Seattle Autonomous Zone” in Twitter, and she found the information.

      1. That’s says a crap more about google. Because there were plenty of articles on it yesterday morning.

        1. And unfortunately, I’m finding Duck Duck Go to be more like google lately.

  17. “Fictional pleas”—in which defendants who may have committed some crime plead guilty to a crime they didn’t commit—”are pervasive.”

    Send this link to Obama!



    Look at the “defund the police” idiocy. This sinister power grab – it’s not crazy, but rather a calculated effort to centralize force within left-wing power structures and leave you disarmed and defenseless – gets the support of only a rounding error of American citizens, but it’s the only view you hear on the commie cable shows. Some try to gaslight it so not to freak out the whiny white wine women of suburbia who know their Ken-doll feminized and gunless husbands won’t be able to protect them. The sugar coaters assert that only a stupid conservative dummy would think “defund the police” actually means “defund the police,” just like “believe all women” could never be reasonably interpreted as meaning that people should “believe all women.”

    1. Just for the record: Rounding is a mathematical process that produces a correct result, not an error.

      1. It is a mathematical process and not always an error but it doesn’t produce the correct result unless your teacher asked you to round to the nearest tenth. If my pen is 5.44 inches long and I round to 5.4 inches I have not accurately told you the length of my pen even if I have correctly answered your question.

        1. Yes you have accurately spoken. Saying 5.4″ is implicitly saying 5.4 +/- 0.05″. If your ruler doesn’t go that small and you are estimating the 0.04, that is known as false precision.

          Let me give you another example, a business plan. If I calculate that my business will make $5,423,210.23 over the next five years, do I report the entire number? Obviously not, because while my calculations might show that, you have poor knowledge of the future and this is obviously false precision, with very few exceptions. The proper answer to report is $5 million, or even “About $5 million”.

          If you had paid attention in high school science classes, you would know this.

      2. Just for the record “rounding error” is a term of art with a specific meaning.

        1. Specifically, it means “too small to affect any of the significant digits and does not affect the result if it is included or excluded”

    2. only a stupid conservative dummy would think “defund the police” actually means “defund the police”

      One notices that the real meaning, “fuck the police”, is increasingly being shown on network TV.

  19. Should we not care that the world has grown so absurd that progressives give an author hell for supporting someone who thinks lesbians should not be criticized for not wanting to have a romantic relationship with a person who has a penis?

    1. Just keep telling yourself “It’s only a movie!”

      1. It is time to break out the popcorn watching the SJW culture warriors turn their guns on their heretics.

      2. i do. it’s fucking beautiful.

    2. I think all right-thinking people in this country are sick and tired of being told that ordinary, decent people are fed up in this country with being sick and tired. I’m certainly not. And I’m sick and tired of being told that I am.

    Tucker Carlson and Fox News have blood on their hands. When this is all over I hope they face hearing and trials for their roles in deaths and violence through gaslighting, lies and propaganda.

    1. Who is Amy Siskind?

      She sounds cute.

    2. Amy Siskind deserves rape.

      1. Did you see the leftists journalists asking about what happened to Lara logan yesterday? Forgetting she had been gangraped in large part due to liberal intentionally ignoring muslim behavior in Europe. Good tweet threads.

    The Protests Come for ‘Paw Patrol’
    A backlash is mounting against depictions of “good cops,” on television and in the street.

    1. But last week, when the show’s official Twitter account put out a bland call for “Black voices to be heard,” commenters came after Chase. “Euthanize the police dog,” they said. “Defund the paw patrol.” “All dogs go to heaven, except the class traitors in the Paw Patrol.”

  22. The Government Was Wrong About Masks

    Which time? Haven’t they flip flopped back and forth a couple of times by now?

    1. They’re letting The Data guide them, DUH!

    2. Masks are the new eggs.

  23. “The ranks of Americans drawing unemployment benefits declined slightly in the week ended May 30 to 20.9 million, the Labor Department said Thursday . . . About 1.5 million applications were filed last week, compared with a peak of nearly 7 million in the week ended March 28.

    The reason I never stop saying the following is because it never stops being true: Obsessing over what will and won’t stop COVID-19 from spreading over other considerations can easily degenerate into bad assumptions such as the belief that stopping the spread of the virus is more important than anything else. Just like with prostitution, needle exchange programs, compulsory vaccination, and ObamaCare, the rate at which viruses spread is one concern among many–and not everyone wishes to lower the rate of disease transmission at the expense of other things they care about.

    Maybe they care more about their businesses and their livelihoods than they care about the risks to their safety. If they’re libertarians, maybe they care more about their freedom than the risks to their safety! Maybe they don’t want to wear masks because they’re ugly. That’s perfectly alright. Not everyone shares your qualitative preference for safety to the same extent you do.

    I don’t think the government should necessarily interfere with people who value safety above all other considerations, but I do recommend that agoraphobes, paranoids, and others who value safety above all other considerations seek a psychiatric evaluation. There are medications and trained professionals who can help you.

    1. “We do mandate that libertarians, paranoids, and others who value freedom above all other considerations undergo a psychiatric evaluation. There are medications and trained professionals who can help you.”

      1. I once had a . . . um . . . disagreement with a dog trainer about the intelligence of beagles. He claimed that beagles are among the most difficult dogs to train and are generally considered to be low intelligence. I countered that the standards trainers use to rank dog intelligence are skewed towards what trainers value in a dog–rather than what most people are talking about when they talk about intelligence. Who says, “My girlfriend always does exactly what I tell her to do without hesitation, and that’s how I know she’s among the most intelligent women in the world”?

        That’s how the media and the politicians see us. Like a beagle, we don’t necessarily obey commands the first time they’re given. We see their commands, and maybe we’ll take their advice into consideration–if nothing more interesting or important comes up. Just because we don’t care about what they want us to care about doesn’t mean we’re stupid. Stupid is thinking that just because we’re told not to, we won’t do stuff like this:

        1. Well said. Thx for the videos!

        2. One time Mrs. Casual took the first beagle we owned out to the back yard to play. She taunted it a couple of times with a length of rope and then threw the rope. The dog ran off to fetch it and, when it came back, stopped two strides away from my wife, dropped the rope, and stood over it staring at her. Mrs. Casual tried to coax him to bring her the rope but he didn’t budge. Finally, she took a stride towards him to retrieve the rope and he snatched it up, moved it one stride back, looked at her, and placed it on the ground.

          It was pretty obvious that the dog was teaching her how to play fetch.

          Personally, I’d wouldn’t call anyone who doesn’t know the difference between intelligence, obedience, and trainability a trainer. They’re more like an instructor.

          1. I used to love watching my dog bully cute women into throwing her tennis ball. (At places like a dog park, or dog-friendly bar.) Look at the person, then down at the ball, then over the shoulder, then back up a half step. Resume looking at the person.
            “Oh, does your dog want me to throw this ball?”

            I offered her up as a wingman to several of my friends.

            1. There are considerable intelligence differences in dogs, well beyond considerations of being stubborn or not. My parents’ dog never figured out latches, or that it could look through windows to see people. My dog figured out both things fairly rapidly.

              1. I had a dog that figured out how to roll down the windows in the car, use the foot pedal on the trash can to open it, used her nose to lift the toilet seat, and opened any door that wasn’t securely latched. I miss that dog.

    2. P.S. The rate at which the number of unemployed is the interesting thing.

      Before that surprise report on unemployment last week, we expected to see the number of new claims for unemployment declining as the absolute number of unemployed increased. If the absolute number of unemployed are already decreasing, we are way ahead of the game already.

      No doubt, the total number of unemployed could be declining because a massive number of people have given up looking for work already–just as the economy started opening up again. Given that the economy was opening up again during the time period in question, however, that seems unlikely.

      In fact, if anything is surprising, it’s seeing the unemployment rate decrease even as some people in service industries (who are overrepresented among the unemployed) are making more per week on unemployment than they would if they went back to work.

      The unemployment rate peaked the highest in Nevada, AIR, when it was approaching 30% a couple of weeks ago. The unemployment rate in Nevada fell to 24.3.%. That is a YUGE drop over such a short period of time.

      1. Well, when the government mandates that entire segments of the economy become instantly unemployed, removing that mandate will have that effect.

        Notice that it doesn’t go back to where it was though. Getting unemployment from 3% to 30% took a few weeks. Reversing that….. well….

        1. That might be a good estimate for the number of jobs that were lost purely because of the lock-downs. To whatever extent the rate of job creation increases as the lock-downs are lifted, that is the maximum extent to which the lock-downs caused the unemployment in addition to the virus.

          And that appears to be a big part of it. The numbers are absolutely flipping and turning around as the lock-downs are lifted.

      2. High proportion of jobs in Nevada are in the service industry. Open hotels and casinos back up, people visit them, hotels rehire their old employees.

        The stimulus, sit-on-my-ass-and-get-a-check, is probably making the recovery slower. It’ll be interesting to see how Nevada handles their UI claims from here on. SEIU doesn’t make money do they, if their employees aren’t working?

        1. Vegas is interesting because it’s really all run by the casinos. The unions are powerful to a certain extent–but they’re mostly working for the benefit of the casinos. They’re not working against management even. For instance, the casinos fire union employees for single infractions for things like being late or being rude to customers. If being in the union doesn’t protect your from getting fired like that, what’s it good for? The casinos will use the union as leverage against the city and say that they want the city to expand the convention center–and restrict hiring to union employees. They may do the same sort of things with the airport. The unions are like an arm of the casinos in Nevada. They’re like the casinos’ Human Resources department. The relationship isn’t antagonistic at all.

          Meanwhile nothing happens in Vegas or Nevada unless the casinos want it to happen. Occupancy rates went into the single digits because no one wanted to fly to Vegas on an airplane, stay in hotel, or sit in casino full of other people. In single digit occupancy rates, they were unprofitable. The casinos were locked-down by the government because the casinos wanted to be locked down. To whatever extent that was a “lock-down”, it was lifted when the casinos wanted it lifted. There is virtually no antagonism between the casinos, the government, and the unions. They’re all on the same team–they’re all working for the casinos.

    good thing janet reno isn’t in power or she’d have some thoughts about the “Seattle autonomous zone”

    1. Also, don’t forget this.

  25. What’s the quote, control the present and you control the past, control the past and you control the future?

    The endgame is rejecting the Constitution. The NY Times gave the game away with “The Red Century” and the “1619 Project”. America bad, Communism good if sometimes misguided.
    Starting to think it’s not so much about dishonoring racists as destroying America’s connection with its past — a connection that has often stood in the way of the kind of radical transformation the far left has sought

  26. In case you care about the latest J.K. Rowling controversy.

    Hermione and her sweet hiney are doing porn?!?!

    1. I would have been much happier taking my kids to those stupid movies had they included a little T&A (and girl-on-girl).

  27. CA legislature in favor of racism:

    “California Assembly backs repealing affirmative action ban ”
    “A decades-long push to let California’s public universities and government agencies consider race when making admissions and hiring decisions passed its first test Wednesday as more than two-thirds of the state Assembly voted to put the question on the ballot in November…”

    My friend is being told by higher ups at her work that her silence on her personal social media accounts is her being complicit in perpetuating injustice… how is this not harrassment?

    1. “The thought police would get him just the same. He had committed–would have committed, even if he had never set pen to paper–the essential crime that contained all others in itself. Thoughtcrime, they called it. Thoughtcrime was not a thing that could be concealed forever. You might dodge successfully for a while, even for years, but sooner or later they were bound to get you. People simply disappeared, always during the night. Your name was removed from the registers, every record of everything you had ever done was wiped out, your one-time existence was denied and then forgotten. You were abolished, annihilated: vaporized was the usual word.”

      Often as not, the children were the best informers for the Thought Police. Nearly all children nowadays were horrible. What was worst of all was that by means of such organizations as The Spies they were systematically turned into ungovernable little savages, and yet this produced in them no tendency whatever to rebel against the discipline of the Party. On the contrary, they adored the Party and everything connected with it… All their ferocity was turned outwards, against the enemies of the State, against foreigners, traitors, saboteurs, thought-criminals. It was almost normal for people over thirty to be frightened of their own children.”


        Mao’s decision to use China’s youth as his vanguard was, by fortune or foresight, instrumental to the revolution’s initial success. The young may be pure in heart, but they are also high on emotion and short on life experience. Simply put, they are natural philistines. Still in their identity-forming years, China’s young had few barriers to a complete identification with the Red Guards. Conformity and intolerance of dissent followed naturally. When students were not attending rallies and struggle sessions, they spent endless hours studying and discussing Mao’s Little Red Book. As Lu Li’an, a former Red Guard, explained, “We were taught only about revolution so when we read the works of propaganda literature we really wanted to be at the head, at the vanguard of revolutionary history.” With undeveloped mental immune systems, their soft skulls were fertile ground for Mao’s secular Manichaeism. Manichaeism reduces society, with all the diversity and complexity of human experience, to a blunt dichotomy: light and darkness, good and evil, right and wrong, radical and reactionary. “There is no middle way!” became a popular slogan. Ideologies like these are intellectually and morally vapid, yet their simplicity and certainty are alluring, especially to the young. Thus, Mao’s child revolutionaries could—with youthful exuberance and clarity of purpose—chain a teacher to a radiator and bludgeon him to death with an iron bar, or force a teacher to eat nails and feces, among other tortures.

        1. As Lu Li’an, a former Red Guard, explained, “We were taught only about revolution so when we read the works of propaganda literature we really wanted to be at the head, at the vanguard of revolutionary history.”

          Sounds a lot like how the modern education system works.

    2. People should just shut down their social media.

      Nothing good can come out of it. If you’re going on Twitter/FB/Instagram and whatever else, thinking you’re going to engage think again. You’re the Christian voluntarily going in to be fed to the lions.

      Picture it that way. A bunch of starving lunatics who can’t and won’t ever be satisfied.

      Stay away. They will RUIN you on purpose.

      There’s no formal logic. Just boundless sophistry.

      1. Why do her work superiors know what is on her social media profiles? Don’t those people have better things to do? Or, since HR should be better known as the “lawsuit avoidance department”, is HR occupying themselves by monitoring their employees’ personal social media use?

    3. Clearly, she is not demonstrating ideological purity. Just ask the Catholic Church or the Red Guards or the Peoples Army of whatever.

  29. “Fictional pleas”—in which defendants who may have committed some crime plead guilty to a crime they didn’t commit—”are pervasive.

    If I didn’t know better I’d think that maybe DA’s care more about sending people to prison for whatever reason they can dream up than they do about justice.

  30. “If Colin Kaepernick comes back, will he float in today’s NFL?”
    “…Forget the politics and side issues. Simply, would he and his skills fit in today’s NFL, in which the multi-threat quarterback is trending?..”

    Given his major skill is whining, I’m pretty sure he’s suited to cleaning the bathrooms for some team or other. And they could call him the 5th-string QB if it makes him feel better.

    1. I almost hope the NFL rolls over and gives him a starting job just to see the woke brigades blame White Supremacy every time he throws a pick.

      “Racist coaches aren’t using him right!!!!”

    2. And again, Kaepernick made himself toxic with the taking a knee thing, but he was about to ride the bench for lack of performance when he started doing that. Again, I maintain that originally he was pouting about his impending demotion from starter.

      1. “…Again, I maintain that originally he was pouting about his impending demotion from starter.”

        The guy who wrote that article keeps claiming the Kap’s QB rating was stellar!
        And it *was*, for most of his first season until the NFL defensive coaches figured out he wasn’t capable of hitting a receiver more than 5 yards down-field.
        Then the loaded up the box which kept him from running and hitting any receivers.
        So yeah, he was pissed at riding the bench, plus he found a new GF with a *CAUSE*; he’s not a real bright guy…

      2. What Mickey wrote. It was a very cynical ploy to try and keep San Francisco from benching or cutting him. Whoops.

        He’d have been brought on a few years ago by the Ravens, if his girlfriend at the time could have kept her silly mouth shut.

      3. Wasn’t just the knee. Ravens were seriously considering hiring him as a backup to Flacco and then his girlfriend called his potential boss, Steve Bisciotti, a racist slave owner on Twitter. Here’s a “pro” tip: Don’t insult the people you want to work for.

      4. This exactly.
        He then nixed a trade to the Broncos, opted out of his contract with the 49ers, and sabotaged potential signings by the Ravens and Dolphins.
        Kaep knew his career prospects were better as martyr than player

      5. He was benched before the 2016 season after losing out to Blain Gabbart in the preseason (who?). He got the job back briefly, then he was benched following a dismal performance against the Bears in which he set an NFL record for passing – only 5 yards.

        This was a Chip Kelly offense. If you are a QB and you cannot thrive in a Chip Kelly offense… You are not on your A game.

    3. Kaepernick isn’t coming back. Like I’ve said before, if he really wanted to play again, he’d have done so with Miami, Seattle, or Baltimore, but he notably sabatoged each of those chances. Wearing a Castro shirt in Miami and your girlfriend calling Ray Lewis a house nigger aren’t the actions of someone who actually wants to play. He’s much more useful as a meat shield for Nike and their Chinese slave labor factories.

    1. I’m sure that wasn’t coerced in any way.

      OTOH, maybe he just wanted his 15 minutes, and the spotlight got way too bright for him?

      A way to solve this, if our media actually cared about investigating news anymore, would be to look through local police records concerning arrests made, or officer calls, at that nightclub, and comb through reports for instances where Floyd and Chauvin may have worked with each other on a particular incident. That would at least banish the, ‘they never talked to each other’ story.

      1. He said he confused Floyd with another black worker….

  31. Yes, Let’s Defund The Police … At The EPA

    Even some on the left have noticed this disparity. The leftist published an article last week complaining that “while Democrats seek to rein in local law enforcement, they have given the most powerful and least accountable police force in the country a free pass.”

    The writer was referring to Customs and Border Patrol agents, another bête noir of the left. But the CBP is often dealing with violent lawbreakers.

    What’s the excuse for federal agencies such as the EPA, Food and Drug Administration, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Education, and National Institute of Standards and Technology to be purchasing military-grade equipment?

    A 2016 study by Open the Books found that from 2006 to 2014, more than 60 federal agencies spent a total of $1.5 billion on guns, ammunition and military-style equipment. The EPA alone spent more than $3 million on such weaponry.

    The report found that over those years, “The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service spent $4.77 million purchasing shotguns, .308 caliber rifles, night vision goggles, propane cannons, liquid explosives, pyro supplies, buckshot, LP gas cannons, drones, remote-controlled helicopters, thermal cameras, military waterproof thermal infrared scopes, and more.” Yes, you read that right. The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

    In one 10-year period, the number of federal law enforcement officers jumped nearly 50%, the study found.

    1. What’s the excuse for federal agencies such as the EPA, Food and Drug Administration, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Education, and National Institute of Standards and Technology to be purchasing military-grade equipment?

      Because FYTW.

      1. Hey you never know what your going to encounter when conducting a raid on the amish

  32. How much better off would we be today if western public health officials responded to the mid-February shortages of procedure masks by urging production of cloth masks rather than creating six weeks of confusion and nonsense?

    They didn’t have to urge shit. Demand was high as fuck and supplies were depleted. That’s what urged production. People came out of the woodwork and created new supplies. They made their own at home and/or started selling them on the internet. No urging or nudging by politicians was necessary.

    1. I think they are talking about the insistence by government officials that only N-95 masks were acceptable, and they were to be strictly reserved for the healthcare profession because of limited supplies.

      They made blanket proclamations that any other sort of mask was ineffective. After a few weeks they softened that stance and said people should wear “some sort of mask or face-covering if they went out in public”.

      Now, they could have said that from the beginning…. but they were too focused on preventing people from hoarding vital N-95 masks.

      But you are right… once “wear a mask in public – any mask” became the thing, people got to work. Etsy was overflowing with people producing masks at home. My wife probably made 50 of the things for family and friends. Within just a few days, everyone had a mask. We probably manufactured a couple of billion of those things in just a month.

      1. So how different would things be if New York had done a couple of things right…. require masks in public – particularly on the subway – and rather than requiring nursing homes to admit people with Covid-19, they had been placed in quarantine.

        Just two simple changes – instead of doing those two things completely wrong, what if they had done them right. How many lives saved? How much less spread of the virus?

        It has to be in the thousands.

        More if you realize that large chunks of the cases in surrounding areas are due to New York City.

        1. NYC could have started disinfecting the subways from the get go. That seemed obvious even at the time. I’m not sure how well masks can work in such close proximity like riding shoulder to shoulder in a subway car though.

          But how many people under the age of 70 caught the virus on the subway and had to be hospitalized? I have no idea, but it’s really hard to determine the effect of cloth mask wearing on the NY Subway.

        2. A cloth mask does nothing .
          Putting sick people in nursing homes was just about as close to murder as you can get.

        3. If:

          1) China didn’t lie.
          2) Didn’t pander to identify politics and shut down air travel.
          3) Not send infected people to nursing homes.

          The picture would have been possibly dramatically different.

          Once again a combo of stupidity and incompetence leads to an over reaction laced with hysteria.

          Hence, you get these moronic ‘wear a mask because you love’ articles or whatever.

  33. Harald Uhlig is a professor of economics at the University of Chicago and is the Editor of The Journal of Political Economy. BLM and their fans in the media are calling for his head because of a tweet he wrote–so they can put it in their trophy case next to James Bennett’s from The New York Times.

    Uhlig’s tweet is a beauty:

    Too bad, but #blacklivesmatter per its core organization
    @Blklivesmatter just torpedoed itself, with its full-fledged support of #defundthepolice : “We call for a national defunding of police.” Suuuure. They knew this is non-starter, and tried a sensible Orwell 1984 of saying, oh, it just means funding schools (who isn’t in favor of that?!?). But no, the so-called “activists” did not want that. Back to truly “defunding” thus, according to their website. Sigh. #GeorgeFloyd and his family really didn’t deserve being taken advantage of by flat-earthers and creationists. Oh well. Time for sensible adults to enter back into the room and have serious, earnest, respectful conversations about it all: e.g. policy reform proposals by @TheDemocrat and national healing. We need more police, we need to pay them more, we need to train them better. Look: I understand, that some out there still wish to go and protest and say #defundpolice and all kinds of stuff, while you are still young and responsibility does not matter. Enjoy! Express yourself! Just don’t break anything, ok? And be back by 8 pm.


    Honestly, I don’t think the problem is that he compared BLM to flat-earthers and creationists. I don’t think the problem is that he referred to them as the opposite of sensible adults. I don’t think the problem is that he poked fun at the Democratic party. I don’t think the problem is that called for more money for the police instead of defunding them.

    I think the problem is that he criticized BLM and the Democrats in an election year from a position of authority as a prominent economist at the University of Chicago. Neither the BLM, the Democrats, nor prominent figures in the media can tolerate that.

    1. “We need more police, we need to pay them more, we need to train them better.”

      The sad thing is this would have been a very moderate, non controversial statement just a few years ago. Not that its correct, but it’s not radical enough. So he has to suffer.

      1. That wouldn’t have been a controversial statement three weeks ago!

        1. Dwayne Haskins says he’s the man and will deliver.

          1. That’s what they all say.

            If he doesn’t come through, I hope we come in last so we can draft Trevor Lawrence.

            1. my Patriots fan buddy is hoping for the same thing

    2. It’s all well and good to point out BLM’s motte-and-bailey arguments. But BLM isn’t operating in good faith. It’s an organization run by a black lesbian and her tranny spouse, with funding streams at the highest levels of elite society. These people don’t want solutions, they want scapegoats, and they aren’t shy about saying this at all.

      The sooner the moderates and non-insane come to grips with the fact that these people and their supporters want you submissive, destitute, or dead, the better.

      1. Apparently #BLM runs through ActBlue, a superpac that is funding DNC activities to the tune of $1.5 billion so far this year.

        So all of that corporate “we are totally not racist” extortion money that is being donated to #BLM is being funneled directly to this DNC superpac.

        By comparison, the same superpac raised and spent about $600 million in 2016.

        1. Looking at their contributors… Bernie’s campaign signed over nearly $3 million.

          1. And their recipients… $1 billion to federal election campaigns.

  34. The Navy study is interesting. It’s got actual data. Not enough to really evaluate but at least it’s something.

    The Cambridge study, on the other hand, is worse than useless. They used no external data or validation. They used computer models and try to treat the outputs of their models as data. One more time, computer models do not generate data. Computer models cannot ever confirm a hypothesis. Computer models are merely mathematical restatements of your original hypothesis.

    Computer models can be used to confirm that your hypothesis is internally consistent. And that can be valuable. But you don’t actually know anything about the truth of the hypothesis until you compare your model predictions to actual, measured, external results.

    It’s worth noting, by the way, that the differences hypothesized by the Cambridge computer models are far higher than the differences reported in the naval environment described above.

    1. As Mike T stated above, life on an aircraft carrier is in no way analogous to life as a civilian. Living in close quarters, eating in close quarters, sleeping in close quarters, shift work -in close quarters. Cycled air below decks. A perfect breeding ground for disease, if virulent enough. We also don’t know from the CDC abstract what type of masks were worn. N95, cloth, NBC? Honestly, given the fact of the infection rate it appears to be another politicized CDC document; they are shit at their core mission much as their preferred political adopted missions.

  35. The purpose to force Americans to wear masks has nothing to do with health that is just the excuse, the real purpose is to make us all faceless droids. The face is the most expressive of all and how we determine if someone is just telling a joke or are serious or lying or sad or happy without it we can’t silently signal to those intended. blank covered faces is socialism at its finest just like when China forced everyone to wear the same outfit, you will wear the same approved mask soon enough. Some may claim it is harmless so why not, why not, do you have no sense of self worth? Individualism is the enemy of socialism we are all one we are the Borg you will assimilate. Wake up people.

    1. People with their faces covered can be manipulated into actions they wouldn’t commit if they felt accountable because their faces were showing.

  36. >>But mask-wearing may be the measure that makes the most difference.

    nope. and don’t care anyway I’m done w/the bandanas.

    1. I didn’t have a mask on hand one time when I went into a convenience store. I just put my shirt over my face and no one cared. Another time I didn’t have one and I noticed people going into the convenience store with no mask despite the “you must wear a mask sign” and the clerk didn’t give a shit and was wearing the mask on her neck anyway. So I didn’t care either and didn’t even bother with the shirt thing.

      1. i quit 3 weeks ago. nobody’s verbalized a thing. a couple of chicks looked scared but that just might have been my face.

      2. Did the same thing in New Mexico went I went down to Santa Fe a few weeks ago.

        Cheap prices on lodging, everything was on sale, and as it turned out about half the people weren’t wearing masks despite the New Mexico governor being a grade A totalitarian bitch.

        So, I guess I’m optimistic.


    But if you go through the minutes of the SAGE meetings immediately preceding the lockdown decision, there isn’t any evidence that the scientific attendees were urging the Government to impose more severe social distancing measures.

    As I’ve blogged about before, the former barrister Paul Chaplin has gone through the SAGE minutes in a lengthy blog post and concluded that placing the entire country under virtual house arrest was not something the Government did at the behest of its scientific advisors. His analysis is compelling.

  38. “Masks make a difference. Stay-at-home orders. Social distancing mandates. Obsessively washing hands and wiping down groceries and packages with disinfectants. Health experts and state and city political leaders recommended or required these measures long before they started advising Americans to wear a mask when they leave home. But mask-wearing may be the measure that makes the most difference.”

    The government always does too little and too late. The government, also, looks out for its own first and at the expense of citizens; and that is why they reserved effective masks to their own, both by delay and by telling citizens that much worse masks are good enough.

    Lookout for you and yours – get the best masks you can and wear them.

    1. Exactly this. Once you can get your hands on some N95 masks, do so. Keep a box in your house at all times. They are much more effective than surgical or cloth masks if used properly. Make sure you learn how to use them properly. Don’t assume you know how. Read the manual and look it up online. It only takes a few minutes. During normal times these masks are cheap and well worth the investment. You can also use them for tasks like mowing, drywall sanding, mold removal, etc. They make a big difference on how you feel after work like that, even if you are still young and invincible.

      1. “During normal times these masks are cheap and well worth the investment. You can also use them for tasks like mowing, drywall sanding, mold removal, etc. They make a big difference on how you feel after work like that, even if you are still young and invincible.”

        “Keep a box in your house at all times. ”

        Which is why we had several dozen on hand here when this all started.

  39. Fuck Marxists and their sympathizers

  40. They were not wrong about masks. They lied about masks to fool the public into not causing a shortage. It may have worked, it may have been well intentioned, but they still deliberately lied to manipulate the public behavior, and there is a long term cost in a loss of public trust that will be paid for that.

    1. A lie which pales in comparison to the entire bullshit narrative

  41. All this talk about the second wave and lockdowns coming back off and on until there is a vaccine are off base. We’re done with lockdowns now. I’ve been saying since mid March that if the lockdowns went past mid June we’d have rioting in the streets and I was off by about 2 weeks. Nobody is going to tolerate another general lockdown for COVID, so if you are in the vulnerable population you better pay attention to how to protect yourself.

    1. The protests have made lockdowns unconstitutional. Before, shutting down church services was defended as a content free restriction on mass gatherings. Now, with the government picking and choosing what messages permit mass gatherings, that argument is gone.

  42. Ye gods,

    Joe Biden’s entire political career has been marked by personal loss. We reviewed dozens of eulogies he’s delivered over decades to see what they reveal about how he might comfort a nation in crisis.

    1. They consider this a sales pitch? With a straight face?

  43. I was told on Facebook that because masks were not 100% effective, only around 90% effective or so, that they were utterly useless. Thus 0% is better than 90% if you want to believe that masks are a government conspiracy. Even though doctors and nurses wear them routinely. Maybe doctors and nurses are in on the conspiracy!

    Also, speaking of protection, some doctors wear face shields! Whoa! I had a doctor wear a face shield once when she lanced the carbuncle on my scrotum. I don’t blame her, not one bit!

    1. “I was told on Facebook that because masks were not 100% effective, only around 90% effective or so, that they were utterly useless.”

      So, I guess that means these people don’t wear condoms to protect themselves and don’t use birth control?

      And when they say it’s 90% effective, what are they talking about?

      I’m seeing masks marketed as something like 90% effective against bacteria, which means they may be 0% effective against viruses, which are so small, they can travel through material like it’s not even there. I suspect that the overwhelming majority of people who wear masks do so because they imagine it’s protecting them from the virus–when the purpose of the mask is to protect other people from them.

      Doctors and nurses wear masks that are effective in protecting them from viruses, but those masks are in short supply and have been sent exclusively to healthcare workers and other front line workers for months now. The purpose of masks is to prevent you from blasting infected water droplets into the air and onto the surface around you. If those masks are 90% effective, they’re effective in preventing us from infecting other people.

    2. Holy god wtf. Dude you’re commenting on Reason not WebMD.

  44. The government wasn’t wrong per se. They did not say, “Masks won’t protect you.” They said, don’t buy all the masks because health care workers need them MORE than the average citizen. So it was coping with the known shortage. When there is a shortage, then wanting the people at the most risk (health care workers) to have masks over (person who can stay home), then the advise was for the general public to not wear masks.

    The will were unsure how much masks would help the general population and if homemade masks would be sufficient. That wasn’t intentional “bad information”, but simply not knowing what worked with regards to a new virus. So that is “the scientific method” at work.

    There is a lot that you can blame the government on in regards to the COVID-19 response. However, the mask guidelines were based on the best information at the time and the recognition there was a shortage of PPE.

    1. Your chronology is wrong. They did say “masks aren’t effective don’t bother buying them” for weeks. They should have said, “they may be effective, we don’t know for sure. Please don’t buy them right now since there may be a shortage and health care workers need them the most.”

      The government and the media are incapable of being honest or giving their supplicants the benefit of the doubt that they are capable of acting selflessly enough to understand that argument. They will look you dead in the eye, lie to you and then when you catch them in it, they say “no we didn’t.” They continue to use gaslighting techniques that worked last century when they could control a what the newspapers and 3 TV networks told you. Now the internet exists and they keep doing it and pretending that we’re stupid, and then lament the death of “faith in institutions”. Who lost their faith first? Us towards them or them towards us?

  45. Masks make a difference.

    It’s true. Zero tiger attacks since I started wearing mine. ZERO. That’s not hand-waving guesswork either, that is rock solid FACT.

    So keep those masks on people– except of course when you eat, or lick the balls of your government betters.

  46. A depressing look at how plea bargains work in practice. “Fictional pleas”—in which defendants who may have committed some crime plead guilty to a crime they didn’t commit—”are pervasive. Every defense attorney I talk to says they happen so much they just call them pleas. It’s not even worth naming. They’re the norm, not the exception,” said Vassar College’s Barry Lam.

    No shit. But reason and a whole lot of other people forgot this last spring when it came to Mike Flynn.

    1. Forgetting and memory holing are two different things.

    2. Reason has done nothing but write about how Mike Flynn’s treatment by the FBI was the norm.

  47. How many of the sailors in the study died from Covid?

  48. Wow, what I’ve been saying to elected officials in the Los Angeles area (sometimes through direct contact), message boards full of asshole “MY RIGHTS!” re-open libertarians, and anyone who would listen since February. BECAUSE THIS IS WHAT THEY DO IN HONG KONG AND South Korea.

    It’s also a cheap move to blame this on “government.” There is a very strong likelihood we would have caught on to this long ago had Trump and the Freedom Caucus not eliminated funding for our on-the-ground CDC operation. This operation was established by W and extended by Obama, but “Obama bad!” and “all government bad!” libertarians and conservatives FUCKED IT UP.

    Being on the ground in Asia would have put the mask solution more squarely in the face of American scientists and public health experts.

    Libertarians are right about a lot of things. But they have to grow up. We can’t reflexively oppose all government or disregard the intricacies of scaling down government (“What’s an Aleppo?”). If we ever want to get past being sneering, misanthropic teenagers we have to put ourselves in the driver’s seat. Not simply wait for post hoc opportunities to attack government action. (Or inaction, which is hilarious because the libertarian default position seems to be government inaction on everything.)

    1. But defund the police, right?

  49. Great Post Now these coronavirus days mask is become part of life!
    Thanks for the information.

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