Reason Roundup

Our Moral Judgments Affect Our Perception of COVID Risk

Plus: Wired is wrong about Section 230, the Democratic disagreement over a SALT deduction cap, and more...

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Church and protests are safe, beaches and parties are not? Two new studies showcase a tendency on full display during the COVID-19 pandemic: People perceive as less risky the activities they condone or see as important and more risky those they do not, even if the logistics—and actual risk—of the two activities are similar.

In other words, "risk judgments are sensitive to factors unrelated to the objective risks of infection," as study authors Cailin O'Connor, Daniel P. Relihan, Ashley Thomas, Peter H. Ditto, Kyle Stanford, and James O. Weatherall write in a draft paper on their research. "In particular, activities that are morally justified are perceived as safer while those that might subject people to blame, or culpability, are seen as riskier."

Their paper—"Moral Judgments Impact Perceived Risks From COVID-19 Exposure"—opens by noting inconsistent advice from public officials when it came to coronavirus exposure and risk:

In July of 2020 the Texas Medical Association released an infographic communicating COVID-19 risks for various activities. The infographic categorizes activities into risk levels in order to help readers make informed decisions about their own behaviors. But some of the rankings seem to be at odds with our best medical and scientific knowledge about COVID-19 transmission. In the infographic, going to the beach is ranked as riskier than going to the library, museum, or a doctor's waiting room, despite the fact that outdoor spaces have been widely found to be safer than indoor ones. Playing basketball is ranked as riskier than spending a week working in an office building, again despite the fact that basketball is often an outdoor activity, and one that is relatively short-lived. Other such infographics display similar trends: outdoor recreational activities such as going to the pool or playground are often ranked as riskier than indoor activities like grocery shopping. Seeing a doctor is routinely ranked as a low risk activity, despite the fact that it occurs indoors and involves exposure to individuals who see many (possibly sick) patients on a daily basis. One such infographic from Nebraska Medicine rates a doctor's visit as less risky than getting gas.

They theorized that the reasons for these discrepancies went beyond mere confusion or difficulty in assessing relative risk:

It seems that rather than reflecting a purely actuarial assessment of the likelihood of contracting COVID-19 from various types of activities, these risk judgments may actually reflect wider judgments about whether or not an individual ought to engage in a behavior.

In two experiments, they set out to test whether people respond "to whether or not an individual is culpable for engaging in the activity that potentially exposes them or others" when assessing COVID-19 risk. Specifically, they looked at three factors that might influence assessments: "the moral valence of an activity, its importance, and whether or not an individual intended to engage in it."

Study participants were presented with hypothetical scenarios of pandemic behavior. In these vignettes, risk factors were consistent but intentions and context varied. For instance, in one vignette, "Joe" got stuck in an elevator with maskless people in order to mail "a crucial work document"; in another, he got stuck in the elevator on his way to go buy cocaine.

"We expected subjects to judge actions as less risky when individuals exposed themselves for morally positive reasons, while engaged in important actions, or unintentionally," the authors explain.

Two of their predictions held up: that people judged as less risky the behavior they saw as morally good and that they saw as unintentional.

The relationship between risk assessment and the perceived importance of an activity proved less clear:

We found that judgments about whether a behavior was important were correlated with judgments about how risky it was. Upon controlling for judgments about the morality of the behavior, however, we found only minimal evidence that perceived importance independently influences risk judgments. Conversely, risk judgments were affected by moral judgments even after controlling for the importance of the activity.

"This follows previous work finding that moral judgment impacts risk judgment," noted O'Connor on Twitter. Prior research has found "that people think children are at greater risk of harm when their parents leave them alone intentionally (yoga) vs unintentionally (hit by a car)."

O'Connor pointed to "possible implications for public health messaging," including that "messaging should track real risk, not morality, and…(maybe) focus on morally good activities like going to church or protests."


FREE MINDS

When did Wired get so pro-censorship? Once a publication that celebrated innovation, the democratizing effects of technology, and an internet free from excessive regulation, Wired has become a disappointing morass of regurgitated, status quo thinking on tech policy issues. "The latest example is a big cover story by reporter Gilad Edelman, basically arguing that people who support Section 230 are 'wrong' and holding the law up as a 'false idol.' The piece is behind a paywall, because of course it is," Mike Masnick writes for TechDirt.

While presented as a news piece with thorough reporting and fact checking, it is clearly narrative driven.…The framing of the article is that "everything you've heard about Section 230 is wrong" (that's literally the title), but that's not how the article actually goes. Instead, it comes across as "everyone who supports 230 is wrong." It starts off by talking about "the Big Lie" and the fact that Trumpist cable news—namely Newsmax, One America, and Fox News—repeatedly presented blatantly false information regarding voting technology made by Dominion Voting Systems and Smartmatic. It notes that the voting companies sued the news channels, and all of them have been much more circumspect since then about repeating those lies. Edelman then contrasts that with the world of social media:

As some commentators noted, one group was conspicuously absent from the cast of defendants accused of amplifying the voting machine myth: social media companies. Unlike traditional publishers and broadcasters, which can be sued for publishing a defamatory claim, neither Facebook nor YouTube nor Parler nor Gab had to fear any legal jeopardy for their role in helping the lie spread. For that, they have one law to thank: Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act.

This statement is inaccurate on multiple levels. First of all, it's comparing apples to oranges. Traditional publishers and broadcasters face liability because they choose what limited content to publish. Note that while you can sue Fox News for defamation, no one is suing, say, Dish Network for offering Fox News. That's because liability should apply to those responsible for the speech. With Fox News, it's Fox News. They choose what goes on the air. With social media, they don't. They're more like the "Dish Network" in this scenario. The liability is not on them, but the speakers. If Dominion and Smartmatic wanted, they could have gone after the actual speakers on those social media networks for defamation, just as they chose to go after Fox and not Dish.

It's all about the proper application of liability to those actually doing the speaking. But you wouldn't get that message if you read this article.

More here.

Meanwhile, in the U.K.:


FREE MARKETS

A cap on state and local tax (SALT) deductions is causing a rift between Democrats. Once upon a time, people who itemized their federal taxes could deduct the full amount they paid to state and local governments. In 2017, the Trump administration put a cap of $10,000 on this deduction. Democrats in Congress have made repealing the SALT deduction cap a must have for passing the $2.25 trillion "infrastructure" package. But not all Democrats are on board with repealing the cap, which could lead to $88.7 billion in lost federal tax revenue (according to the Joint Committee on Taxation) and would largely benefit wealthy Americans. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I–Vt.) told Axios that repealing the SALT deduction cap "sends a terrible, terrible message…You can't be on the side of the wealthy and the powerful if you're gonna really fight for working families."

For more on the SALT deductions debate, see these 2018 and 2019 Reason posts. As Eric Boehm wrote in the latter: "Democrats are trying to sell the repeal of the SALT caps as a middle-class tax break, but historical evidence shows that it almost exclusively benefits high-earning homeowners who live in parts of the country where you must pay high taxes."


QUICK HITS

• New research finds that "organizations affiliated with law enforcement constitute the most significant lobbying force fueling the unprecedented number of anti-protest bills introduced by state lawmakers this year."

• Anthony Fauci said the time to relax face mask rules may be upon us:

Sunday on ABC News, Fauci was asked whether it's time to start relaxing indoor masks requirements. Fauci replied, "I think so, and I think you're going to probably be seeing that as we go along, and as more people get vaccinated."

• More evidence that the Food and Drug Administration's "pause" of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine contributed to vaccine hesitancy.

On religious freedom, LGBTQ rights, and compromise.

• Huntsville, Alabama, police officer William Darby has been convicted of murdering a suicidal man.

• History professor Alaina E. Roberts explores the complicated racial history of Oklahoma, which included Native American tribes owning thousands of enslaved black people. "Owning slaves was a part of their strategy to assimilate into American society and it allowed them to be seen as different from other Native people and as more civilized," Roberts told CNN. "It's not the happy narrative that we sometimes want to think about. I think that if we want to come together today and form interracial coalition…in a powerful and honest way, we need to acknowledge the past and the issues that we've had there."

NEXT: When Eminent Domain Is Used for Economic Assassination

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  1. Church and protests are safe, beaches and parties are not?

    Are church goers in the beaches not being safe camp?

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  2. In other words, “risk judgments are sensitive to factors unrelated to the objective risks of infection…”

    Or is it that COVID-19 has been bioengineered to infect The Careless Other?

    1. Those who trust the media and were told it was the end of the world last year remain scared little children. Those susceptible to propaganda ignored nearly a century of science and began to believe asymptomatic people without masks were death knights carrying the banner of pestilence. Media counted on ignorance and fear as a means to win an election.

      1. …the diligent cultist continued to shout about the victimhood of his demigod.

        1. Hey buddy…. who do you think I mentioned in this post? It had nothing to do with an individual.

          Maybe you have some issues where all windmills seem as giants?

          Continue to defend and push authoritarian narratives though. Lol.

          1. “Media counted on ignorance and fear as a means to win an election.”

            It is so ever present in your world, that you don’t even notice it.

        2. CULT!!!!!!

          1. Oh noes, DNC acolyte DOL just declared that people who do believe in the party and it’s message are in a cULt!

            Hope he doesn’t call us heretics next.

    2. It’s probably more accurate to observe this wasn’t a list of “risk” but a list of “risk/benefit”.

  3. Playing basketball is ranked as riskier than spending a week working in an office building

    SYSTEMIC RACISM!

    1. +1,000 internets

    2. I’ve worked in an office with 120 other engineers in my lab the entire covid period. Not one person in my lab got covid at work. 3 total got it all year.

      1. 25 architects, and 1 got it (while travelling). Now all vaccinated. Still have to put on a mask to pick up a copy . . .

      2. Bonus to engineers not talking to each other!

        1. He works with extroverted ones: they look at your shoes when talking to you.

          Aside, what are the fatality rates for adults under, say, 55 that acquire Covid, versus those that got infected with H1N1 or a similar influenza strain?

          1. We had to limit conference rooms to 10 people. It was science.

  4. …in one vignette, “Joe” got stuck in an elevator with maskless people in order to mail “a crucial work document”; in another, he got stuck in the elevator on his way to go buy cocaine.

    Joe? You sure they weren’t talking about Hunter?

    1. Couldn’t be, when has Hunter Biden ever handled an important work document?

      1. Did someone say Hunter?

        https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-9522591/Hunter-Bidens-close-relationship-Chinese-American-secretary-revealed.html

        Find it strange how much the US media has ignored what was on his laptop.

        1. Not strange at all; ignoring Biden scandals is in the AP style guide.

        2. That laptop was hacked, so it goes against their policy to cover it.

          1. And apparently Hunter’s co-conspirator was hacked as well, since he testified as to the conspiracy to funnel money to the big guy.

            1. No, he was a guest at the state of the union. Therefore he’s lying.

        3. That is grandma tabloid tier trash. The article literally presents no evidence that his AMERICAN WHO HAPPENS TO BE ASIAN assistant is or was a spy for China, and tries to leave the impression of a salacious and immoral relationship by infantilizing a 29 year old as a “young girl”. This is trash both in source and content. And racist. I see why it appeals to you.

          You present that as meaningful journalism, but trash Reuters and BBC as biased. Hilarious.

          1. You know, you seem as of you really want to prove you’re a slave to the left and media.

            How is this tabloid? It is literally off of hunters laptop you ignorant shit.

            Why are you in fear of real data. This isn’t an anonymous source at the NYT. This is from Hunters personal laptop.

            God damn youre a clown.

            1. It is tabloid because it is of no importance, and they present no evidence of anything important. They do make sure to remind you many, many times about the salacious details of his naked photos, drug use, and his ASIAN AMERICAN ASSISTANT!!!!! It is racist gossip for racist, small minded housewives and Jesse.

              1. Back to the point:
                “How is this tabloid? It is literally off of hunters laptop you ignorant shit.
                Why are you in fear of real data. This isn’t an anonymous source at the NYT. This is from Hunters personal laptop.”

                1. Reporting factual events from Paris Hilton’s laptop would not be real news either. We get it, Hunter is a spoiled junkie asshole. The only people still interested in this are people who like tabloid level gossip garbage. Small minds who like to talk about people and their scandalous desires and shortcomings rather than concepts. Like Jesse.

                  1. Paris Hilton isn’t the son of the president, and if it’s contents showed her binking kids, smoking crack and referring to pay for play for the vice president, I’d consider it pretty newsworthy as well.

                    Which takes us back to the point:
                    “How is this tabloid? It is literally off of hunters laptop you ignorant shit.
                    Why are you in fear of real data. This isn’t an anonymous source at the NYT. This is from Hunter’s personal laptop.”

              2. Yeah, but is it racist? Your signal is a little fuzzy here. Haha.

          2. And to think you call other people cultists. Lol.

            You do nothing but puke out left wing talking points like you’re bulimic.

            1. I don’t give a shit about Hunter. Here’s the end all be all of Hunter headlines: Rich Asshole Kid of Rich Asshole Politican Has Easy and Debaucherous Life Through Rich Asshole Means!

              Where is the talking point? I am pointing out your media selection hypocrisy.

              No one is reporting on the hunter “story” because what, exactly is the story? He never, for instance, took a meeting with several Russian spies who offered Russian government assistance for his father’s presidential campaign, and replied with ” I love it. Especially if it’s in time for the Summer.”, then lied about that meeting, including lies in written form to congress. He never did that. Some other president’s son did that; a son who was also employed his whole life in his father’s inherited business and worked for his father in campaign and in governance. That’s a story about nepotism, corruption, and treason. That’s a story.

              Hunter is a rich fuck up who has written a whole book about what a rich fuck up he is. Boring. Tabloid. Gossip.

              1. Oh Fuck! You’ve gone full Bidette. Spit shine Biden’s ass boy.
                Hunter wasn’t just a rich hedonist. He was the son of the Vice President sitting on the boards of foreign corporations funneling money for influence.
                And you are demented enough to bring up that Russian bullshit again. Eat more shit , you’re going to develop a taste for it in the next few years.

                1. Because the Joe connection has been investigated, and absolutely nothing was found. So once there is no evidence of any involvement of the vice president, explain why I should care.

                  1. Nothing’s been investigated Bidett and you don’t have to care. Nothing will be investigated with the current congress, FBI, media or social media and anyone who tries will be blacklisted. You are though fully on board the Joe Biden “No Malarkey” bus. Why else would you hack up Russian collusion as some sort of defense.

                    1. Because it is simply true. You cannot even grasp someone having unmotivated logic. How sad.

                    2. So like Joe you choose truth over facts.

                    3. You cannot even grasp someone having unmotivated logic.

                      While that may or may not be true, it doesn’t have any relationship with this conversation.

              2. That’s a story about nepotism, corruption, and treason.

                They both are, actually. Except the treason part, which is a bit of a stretch in both cases.

                The real story with Hunter is why it is Biden has never, in any circumstances, been asked whether he’s even aware that his son has made himself rich by at least pretending to sell his father’s influence overseas, which we know for a fact he has been doing.

                1. I would say that once it was reasonably put to bed that any of that supposed deal making ever led to any actual influecne peddling, that most politically minded news consumers moved on. After all, what is the relevance to politics or Joe’s fitness to be president once it is established that Joe was not in on it?

                  Joe hasn’t been asked enough or specifically enough, you might say. Fair enough, but is the most likely answer, as to why Joe Biden has not been asked these questions, likely “because of a massive left wing conspiracy” or “because beating up a father over the misdeeds of an addicted family member is seen in poor taste”? I would be that it is the latter.

                  1. once it was reasonably put to bed that any of that supposed deal making ever led to any actual influecne peddling

                    When did that happen?

                    Joe hasn’t been asked enough or specifically enough, you might say.

                    AFAIK, Joe hasn’t been asked at all.

                    is the most likely answer, as to why Joe Biden has not been asked these questions, likely “because of a massive left wing conspiracy” or “because beating up a father over the misdeeds of an addicted family member is seen in poor taste”?

                    No one brought up a “massive left wing conspiracy” – that’s just you being defensive.

                    But if you force me into those two choices like you’re trying to do? Are you really suggesting that the obvious answer is that partisan journalists are concerned about whether or not they’re acting in “poor taste” regarding a politician’s adult children?

                    You’re still screaming about Trump, Jr. in this very thread. Like you do pretty much every single day.

                    Not all fathers are created equal, I guess.

                    1. “No one brought up a “massive left wing conspiracy””

                      This is how DOL rolls.

                  2. So the same logic as Terra Reid. It’s not a story because we don’t say it is

  5. Two of their predictions held up: that people judged as less risky the behavior they saw as morally good and that they saw as unintentional.

    And that was just the medical experts c. summer 2020.

    1. ^^This. Last summer the experts told us that anti-racist riots (oops, I mean protests) were OK but included “This should not be confused with a permissive stance on all gatherings, particularly protests against stay-home orders.”

      https://drive.google.com/file/d/1Jyfn4Wd2i6bRi12ePghMHtX3ys1b7K1A/view

    2. You’re on a roll today, Fist. Even with the dog puns.

  6. Note that while you can sue Fox News for defamation, no one is suing, say, Dish Network for offering Fox News.

    They will *now*. *And* the companies that built the satellites and launcher, *and* ….

    1. It is pure irony how reason understanda what a host is in this example, but not what one is in a case of Amazon being the host server back end.

  7. O’Connor pointed to “possible implications for public health messaging,” including that “messaging should track real risk, not morality, and…(maybe) focus on morally good activities like going to church or protests.”

    Okay, I’m actually going to have to read that whole quote to find out what kind of work that ellipsis is doing.

  8. When did Wired get so pro-censorship?

    I assume their “journalists” aren’t getting any older.

  9. “We are in the first stages of shock,” the Huntsville police chief, Mark McMurray, said in a statement. 

    The officer, William Darby, who had been strongly defended by the Police Department and cleared of wrongdoing by a city review board, will face 20 years to life in prison when he is sentenced for the killing of Jeffrey Parker, 49, on April 3, 2018, according to prosecutors.

    One man’s terrorist is another man’s police officer.

    1. “Officer Pegues had entered with her gun pointed down and found Mr. Parker sitting on a couch with a gun to his head, according to the lawsuit. She had been talking to him when Officer Darby arrived about five minutes later, according to the lawsuit”

      One officer talks for five minutes, next cop was in the house for 11 seconds and killed Parker.

      Police reform should begin with this as a case study about compassion and fear.

      1. Apparently being a fellow human isnt enough. We need to initiate everyone into the police gang to stop the police violence. Deputize everyone. We’re all police now.

        1. Cite that you’re a fellow human?

  10. I recently became aware of some information about the origin of Covid-19 that’s rather mind-blowing. Some of this has been alleged or speculated about before, and none of this should be read as absolute proof of its conclusions. Rather, the interesting thing, here, is that there is legitimate evidence from independently verifiable sources which strongly suggest that Covid-19 was not only man-made in a lab in Wuhan but also that the work that created Covid-19 was financed courtesy of the U.S. taxpayer by way of the National Institute of Health. Story of the century?

    First, check out the source. I’m taking this information from an article written by Nicholas Wade, who has written for both Nature and Science, two of the most prestigious science publications in the world, and he has also written for the New York Times. The article I’m referring to appears in The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, which is a publication that was founded by members of the Manhattan project in the aftermath of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. They exist to inform the public and policy makers about threats to our existence from various technology. This is not a crank.

    1. Exhibit 1:

      Researchers at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, led by China’s leading expert on bat viruses, Shi Zheng-li or “Bat Lady,” mounted frequent expeditions to the bat-infested caves of Yunnan in southern China and collected around a hundred different bat coronaviruses.

      Shi then teamed up with Ralph S. Baric, an eminent coronavirus researcher at the University of North Carolina. Their work focused on enhancing the ability of bat viruses to attack humans so as to “examine the emergence potential (that is, the potential to infect humans) of circulating bat CoVs [coronaviruses].” In pursuit of this aim, in November 2015 they created a novel virus by taking the backbone of the SARS1 virus and replacing its spike protein with one from a bat virus (known as SHC014-CoV). This manufactured virus was able to infect the cells of the human airway, at least when tested against a lab culture of such cells . . . .

      Baric and Shi referred to the obvious risks in their paper but argued they should be weighed against the benefit of foreshadowing future spillovers.

      https://thebulletin.org/2021/05/the-origin-of-covid-did-people-or-nature-open-pandoras-box-at-wuhan/

      Please note, this information is taken from published sources—the scientists’ own published research papers. This is what they were doing: creating novel bat viruses in Wuhan and making them able to infect humans so they could study the viruses’ effects on human cells.

      1. The question is: “Given the pandemic was unleashed by this specific entity, what is to be done about it?”

        1. Blow up the three gorges dam, nuke Wuhan, and bejing

        2. Along with arresting every single person involved in the thousand tallents program and every single person on the CCP payroll

          1. “We will respond appropriately at a time of our choosing.”

            1. My responece is completely appropriate

          2. Fauci helped direct funds….

            1. Fauci is and was the head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), which funded all of this through the EcoHealth Alliance.

              Facui was responsible for that agency, and if they were overseeing the funding for what can be explicitly seen as research that would have created Covid-19, then it is what it is.

              This would be like that time the INS approved student visa extensions for the 9/11 hijackers months and months after 9/11. That was the straw that broke the camel’s back and finally led the INS, Border Patrol, Customers, etc. to be unified under a single command structure in Homeland Security.

              There needs to be a public accounting for this–even if it wasn’t the source of Covid-19. Why was the NIH funding such dangerous research like this in such dangerous conditions? What steps have they taken to ensure such funding will never happen again?

              1. Why did the U.S. give gases to Iraq to experiment with and then use on Iran. our nation is its own worst enemy. why we will never know why we work with people we can’t trust. You don’t let known criminal clean your house but for some reason the U.S. thinks its good policy to work with criminal nations. Are nation is run by fools

                1. It’s amazing what we let our government get away with!

                2. “Why did the U.S. give gases to Iraq to experiment with and then use on Iran[?]”

                  You don’t need to give a reasonably industrialized Third World nation anything for them to be able to develop and use chemical weapons. It’s just chemistry. If they can make bug spray—and a country like Iraq could—they can make mustard, phosgene, and nerve gasses. Maybe they’d need technical assistance to make something like a rugged, temperature stable, optimally dispersed binary chemical weapon delivery system, but a shell with Sarin in it? Not difficult.

                  Cynically, if we did send Iraq chemical munitions, it was to kill two birds with one stone: it saves the US from having to deal with disposing of them, (and we can’t just dump em into the ocean anymore) and it helps kill a buttload of Iranians, a country the US wasn’t fond of in the 80’s.

                  Assuming they were even transportable. They leaked. A lot. Getting them to Johnson Island to be incinerated, without causing another giant environmental headache, was nothing short of miraculous.

              2. Well, now they should reform the NiH, by combining it with the Dept of Health and the BATF and tripling the funding! It worked so well for Homeland Security.

        3. Seem my response below.

          We need to throw a terrific amount of ridicule and disgrace at the experts, who may have made this happen, and the demand for accountability needs to come from the bottom up.

          Elitism is stupidity.

        4. Rich, it was an act of war. Now fill in the blanks from there.

      2. Come on Ken. Wr have been told for 15 months this is just a conspiracy. Believe government this time! They have our best interests. It is racist to imply this! /s

        It is amazing how this has been hidden and disposed of for over a year. Even chipper just last week dismissed this as having been debunked. It goes against the narrative that the last president caused this and rationalized their vote for Joe.

        1. It’s true it was dismissed as a conspiracy theory, and the article does a great job of answering all those questions.

          I think that’s why it relies so heavily on independently verifiable and public sources for evidence–and that’s my story here: the evidence itself. Those two pieces of evidence are highly persuasive.

          And I’m not saying that I know that this is the one way and only way Covid-19 could have come into existence. I’m saying that this is the evidence, and it is mighty compelling as the most likely explanation.

          Holding a smoking gun doesn’t necessarily mean the suspect shot the dead man on the ground, but it’s highly suggestive that such was the case.

          1. How is it to “dismiss” a conspiracy theory if it’s about a conspiracy?

      3. Bat Lady

        Great supervillain name.

      4. The good news is that the pandemic fundamentally changed the expectations for commuting, etc.

        It’s like some evil genius plot to reduce CO2 emissions.

      5. There was a genetic analysis a year ago showing that the differences between SARS-CoV2 and SARS were scattered around its genome in ways indicating they’d’ve been very unlikely to have been a product of engineering. Does this article refute that one?

        1. It does.

          1. “The authors’ basic assumption, not spelt out, is that anyone trying to make a bat virus bind to human cells could do so in only one way. First they would calculate the strongest possible fit between the human ACE2 receptor and the spike protein with which the virus latches onto it. They would then design the spike protein accordingly (by selecting the right string of amino acid units that compose it). Since the SARS2 spike protein is not of this calculated best design, the Andersen paper says, therefore it can’t have been manipulated.

            But this ignores the way that virologists do in fact get spike proteins to bind to chosen targets, which is not by calculation but by splicing in spike protein genes from other viruses or by serial passage. With serial passage, each time the virus’s progeny are transferred to new cell cultures or animals, the more successful are selected until one emerges that makes a really tight bind to human cells. Natural selection has done all the heavy lifting. The Andersen paper’s speculation about designing a viral spike protein through calculation has no bearing on whether or not the virus was manipulated by one of the other two methods.”

    2. Exhibit 2:

      Baric had developed, and taught Shi, a general method for engineering bat coronaviruses to attack other species. The specific targets were human cells grown in cultures and humanized mice. These laboratory mice, a cheap and ethical stand-in for human subjects, are genetically engineered to carry the human version of a protein called ACE2 that studs the surface of cells that line the airways.

      Shi returned to her lab at the Wuhan Institute of Virology and resumed the work she had started on genetically engineering coronaviruses to attack human cells. How can we be so sure?
      Because, by a strange twist in the story, her work was funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), a part of the US National Institutes of Health (NIH). And grant proposals that funded her work, which are a matter of public record, specify exactly what she planned to do with the money.

      The grants were assigned to the prime contractor, Daszak of the EcoHealth Alliance, who subcontracted them to Shi. Here are extracts from the grants for fiscal years 2018 and 2019. (“CoV” stands for coronavirus and “S protein” refers to the virus’s spike protein.)

      “Test predictions of CoV inter-species transmission. Predictive models of host range (i.e. emergence potential) will be tested experimentally using reverse genetics, pseudovirus and receptor binding assays, and virus infection experiments across a range of cell cultures from different species and humanized mice.”

      https://thebulletin.org/2021/05/the-origin-of-covid-did-people-or-nature-open-pandoras-box-at-wuhan/

      So, once again, the evidence for this is in publicly available documents and independently verifiable.

      1. DEBUNKED CONSPIRACY THEORIES NOTHING TO SEE HERE YOU INSSURECTIONIST WHITE SUPREMACIST BIGOT!!1!

        1. And you haven’t even read the part about Fauci yet?!

        2. You should read it.

    3. I honestly do understand the retards that don’t think Wuhan virus came from a lab. The CCP has been stealing pathogens for 20 years with the goal of creating viruses. I know this, because that’s what they have been saying for 15 years (since their first set of thriving scumbags got caught)

      1. Watch for the Chinese to claim that Covid-19 was created clandestinely in a Chinese lab under the supervision of the American government.

        I do not believe it was done intentionally.

        It’s typically incompetent government bureaucrats failing to oversee our safety in a competent way. When scientists assure us that something can be done safely by competent people, their assumption that government bureaucrats are in any way competent is highly susceptible to challenge. Ron Bailey is famous for questioning the precautionary principle, but I bet even he thinks the precautionary principle can be a good idea as a failsafe against bureaucratic incompetence. Bureaucratic incompetence isn’t the exception. It’s the rule.

        1. Watch for the Chinese to claim that Covid-19 was created clandestinely in a Chinese lab under the supervision of the American government.

          Judging by the comments on the source article at Medium, they’re going to stick with the story that it was leaked/emerged outside of China and that they are the real victims here.

          the precautionary principle can be a good idea as a failsafe against bureaucratic incompetence. Bureaucratic incompetence isn’t the exception. It’s the rule.

          I like this spin: turn the safteyist tendency running rampant on its head.

        2. I believe it was released accidentally. I also believe it was created intentionally and the CCP are developing worse bio agents

          1. What the Good Reverend said.

            Further, the domestic Chinese response was either: a fantastic piece of deception to induce the West to commit economic suicide, or a reaction to the Chinese inspectorate equivalent auditing the Wuhan lab, and realizing the escaped infectious agent could be anything, and something truly fucking awful.

          2. Absolutely. Furthermore, look at the difference in mortality amongst those that are mongoloid, regardless of where in the world they are located and stringency of their NPIs vs that for negroids or caucasoids.

            It wasn’t ready for prime time and was accidental. it also seems it was tailor made for biological warfare against the west.

        3. I’m only 1/4 through so far, but this is compelling. Thanks for linking.

    4. The article I linked merely alleges that this is the process by which Covid-19 most probably was made, and the people who most probably made it describe the process by which they most probably did it through publicly available sources—through published research reports and through funding applications to the NIH.

      Covid-19 killed 3 million people and destroyed the world economy, if the U.S. government helped create it through bureaucratic blundering, that by itself should make this the story of the century. There are a couple of amazing implications the article leaves out, however, and among them is the fact that both U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, which funded the research that most probably created Covid-19, and the EcoHealth Alliance, which effectuated the research that most probably created it were both overseen by none other than Dr. Fauci.

      Finding out that Dr. Fauci oversaw the funding of this research is a bit like finding out that Donald Rumsfeld funded the training of the 9/11 hijackers. No one should conclude that Dr. Fauci created Covid-19 on purpose, by any means, but we should be asking why he and the National Institute of Health were funding the creation of novel bat viruses, rendering them capable of infecting humans–and doing so in a facility in China, outside the oversight and authority of the NIH, especially when that facility had a history of accidents and failed safety inspections. We should also be asking our friends, family and fellow Americans why they allow bureaucratic buffoons like Dr. Fauci to make choices for us on our behalf.

      I maintain that principles and reasoning that come together over the course of decades are far more important than the facts of any given story that happens to be in the news at the moment, but this may prove to be the story of the century that proves the rules: 1) The government and its experts are a far larger source of our problems than they are a solution, and 2) People who trust scientists, bureaucrats, and politicians to make their choices for them on the basis of the appeal to authority fallacy are demonstrably stupid people. Yes, elitism is stupidity!

      Oh, and if we ever get to the bottom of the story about how Covid-19 got started in Wuhan, it probably won’t be while any of the investigators report to the National Institute of Health. For goodness’ sake, don’t let them investigate themselves.

      1. We have no idea how many people COVID-19 _really_ killed other than many fewer than the government claims, and it’s done essentially zero damage to the world economy. It’s certainly worth investigating if the disease came from a lab funded by Dr. Fauci (which is also the reason why it won’t be investigated), but let’s never forget that all of the damage to the economy was caused by power mad tyrants enabled by masses of people too cowardly and stupid to sustain a civilization.

        1. “It’s done essentially zero damage to the world economy.”

          Even if the impact to the economy were only because of the lockdowns, you can blame the rationale for the lockdowns on the virus.

          1. The lockdown were a “solution” waiting for a problem.

      2. No one should conclude that Dr. Fauci created Covid-19 on purpose, by any means, but we should be asking why he and the National Institute of Health were funding the creation of novel bat viruses, rendering them capable of infecting humans–and doing so in a facility in China, outside the oversight and authority of the NIH, especially when that facility had a history of accidents and failed safety inspections.

        What’s that maxim again … “Forseeable consequences are not unintentional”?

        1. They were foreseeable to us, but we’re libertarians. We’re all about the future we could have if only the government would get out of the way. We’re in love with foreseeable consequences.

          Incidentally, Fauci’s apparent responsibility for overseeing the funding for the creation of Covid-19 itself has immense PR value for libertarians–since he’s basically the poster boy for the experts justifying the government bossing us around.

          Puccini might have written an opera about him. He may turn out to be like Dr. Frankenstein–trying to undo the monster he created before the monster hurts any more people. The apex aria would be about the moment he realizes that he’s the one that created the monster–like when Oedipus realizes that he’s the abomination that murdered his father and married his mother.

          1. He may turn out to be like Dr. Frankenstein–trying to undo the monster he created before the monster hurts any more people.

            Maybe he’s working gratis out of a sense of guilt?

            1. Pretty sure he’s cashing those $400,000+ salary checks.

          2. Is the Wuhan virus his Frankenstein monster? Or was it the explosion in allergens? Fauci is an entrenched fed with a (D) there is no publicity bad enough that he won’t be protected

      3. Some of this info has been circulating for a while, and of course has been written off as looney-tunes QAnon craziness.

        I recall reading several months ago that gain of function research- exactly what Wuhan was doing in these papers- had been deemed unsafe and prohibited in the US shortly before the NIH began funding the Wuhan lab research.

        Mad scientists couldn’t conduct their mad scientist experiments in the US due to safety regulations, so they shipped it overseas to a country with no scruples and no concern for safety. I think it’s been fairly obvious this entire time that covid was the result of a lab safety breach at Wuhan.

        If this is all verifiable, can you imagine the political and legal implications for those involved? Not just Fauci for overseeing it. I’m sure there are plenty of other people with their fingers in this mess. Just a quick perusal of EcoHealth Alliance’s mission statement leaves me with the distinct impression that they are involved with the climate warriors to some extent. I think digging into their links will show why this isn’t going to make the front page any time soon.

        1. “Mad scientists couldn’t conduct their mad scientist experiments in the US due to safety regulations, so they shipped it overseas to a country with no scruples and no concern for safety.”

          Republicans in the senate could make a strong case for hearings over this issue alone. The Trumpian nationalists among them could denounce American taxpayers funding Chinese research, and surely there’s one Democrat in the Senate somewhere who wants to say something about dodging the U.S. regulations Congress creates.

          1. Dodging regulations by giving grants to US nonprofits, who then subcontract to Chinese research facilities with a record of safety violations. The EcoHealth president needs to be on the stand. How is Daszak among the WHO inspectors, when his organization funded the research that most probably created covid 19? Daszak organized the PR campaign that put foward the wet market nonsense. Put the thumb screws to that guy, and I’m sure there is a deep well of information that’ll come up.

            1. “How is Daszak among the WHO inspectors, when his organization funded the research that most probably created covid 19?

              From outside, it certainly looks like the reason Daszak is among the WHO inspectors is because his organization oversaw the research that most probably created Covid-19.

              There may be a conflict of interest there!

              1. I also think its entirely plausible that the US and specifically the CIA are more that just passively responsible for this controversy/calamity. Our betters sure did put in a lot of work to make sure that this is settled and cant be discussed in polite company. It also undoubtedly opened the door to Bidens victory by A, constant stream of bad press, and B, making it legal for dem controlled swing states to make ballot harvesting legal.

              2. “It later turned out that the Lancet letter had been organized and drafted by Peter Daszak, president of the EcoHealth Alliance of New York. Daszak’s organization funded coronavirus research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology. If the SARS2 virus had indeed escaped from research he funded, Daszak would be potentially culpable. This acute conflict of interest was not declared to the Lancet’s readers. To the contrary, the letter concluded, “We declare no competing interests.”

                IANAL, but there’s even something akin to fraud involved.

          2. [i]Republicans in the senate could make a strong case for hearings over this issue alone. The Trumpian nationalists among them could denounce American taxpayers funding Chinese research, and surely there’s one Democrat in the Senate somewhere who wants to say something about dodging the U.S. regulations Congress creates.[/i]

            https://news.yahoo.com/republican-anger-with-dr-fauci-reaches-new-heights-201740818.html

            This story came out on yahoo yesterday. Typical gullible reporting.

      4. I read that article Ken. Very good. He breaks it down to a specific pair of codons coding for an amino acid sequence. He thinks it unlikely to have occurred in nature. I do not presume to limit what can happen in nature including human nature.

        I do not think a conclusion can be made.

        ‘I do not know what I may appear to the world, but to myself I seem to have been only like a boy playing on the sea-shore, and diverting myself in now and then finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell than ordinary, whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me. ‘”

        Albert Einstein

        1. The evidence is the story, and regardless of whether the project that the NIH funded is the cause of Covid-19, that program needs to be ended immediately. And it isn’t enough to make promises. Someone needs to ensure that the NIH isn’t funding god awful experiments to create novel viruses, make them transmissible to humans, and do so within a facility that’s been plagued by safety issues in the past, where they have no authority or ability to inspect the facility themselves. That funding is ludicrous, and it needs to become common knowledge. There is no good reason why we should be funding these kinds of projects in China with taxpayer money.

    5. Um, we were telling you this back in May. At least, I was. One reason I found so darkly hilarious, that Peter Daszak was one of the main experts dragged out while Trump was still President, insisting loudly that SARS-COV2 couldn’t possibly have a man-made origin.

      Welcome aboard. As I’ve written here before; OK, let’s assume this particular bombshell is true. What are we going to do about it?

      1. Yes, I’ve heard the story before, but the evidence coming out from independently verifiable, public sources was new to me–and being bought to light by a legitimately independent writer with solid credentials in the scientific publication community is new.

        I once read a conspiracy theory about how Saddam Hussein never tried to acquire yellow cake in Niger, that the photos of Saddam Hussein’s mobile WMD labs were bogus, and that the NSA was secretly sifting through all of our emails and tracking our phone calls.

        Some of those conspiracy theories turn out to be true. When I became aware that the evidence that they were true was publicly available and independently, that made all the difference for me on those stories, too.

        1. Even now, the evidence is the story for me.

          Show people the evidence, and let them draw their own conclusions.

      2. The biggest question is, why? I understand why the CCP would engage in a coverup. But what does the US gain by being complicit in it? There are two clearly identified sacrificial lambs here- Fauci and Daszak. Why not just toss the two of them under the bus? Characterize them as mad scientists who became so obsessed with the science, they lost their ethics, have a show trial, and then retire them from public life for a few years till everyone forgets. Nobody likes Fauci anyway and nobody knows who Daszak even is.

        Why engage in so much deception? We can’t do anything about it till we know the why of it. Once you know the why, you can punish accordingly.

        1. I think it’s because the press lionized Fauci as the anti-Trump.

          It may be another aspect of TDS. They see the image of Fauci in the public’s mind as an important line between civilization and the Trumpian populist abyss.

          There’s also something inherently elitist about progressivism. It’s all about using experts to justify forced sacrifice. Fauci is an expert. We need to do what he says because he’s telling us to do progressives things. We can’t have people doubting Fauci.

        2. Wouldn’t you have to slice out a larger chunk of NIH leadership than just those two?

          But, to answer Ken’s question, the evidence was out there last year, whether you looked for it or not. What is different now, and why this story is coming to light, now, is the US government leadership has changed. Imagine this story getting these kinds of legs with Trump still there. Think it might’ve changed things? Think our response to the PRC might be a little different?

          Moreover, imagine if Trump had publicized this story—and I believe he, and the rest of the US government intelligence agencies knew. This story would be dismissed as racist, or a wagging the dog story, to build up his poor national polling. It would be dismissed, by the same people in media acknowledging it now, because Trump would actually have done something about it.

          This is casus belli stuff here. Not that I think keys in Montana would’ve been turned over it, but accommodations would be made by the PRC. The narrative would have switched from, “Trump is fucking this disease response up, along with our economy!” to “The PRC just slimed us, and fucked up our economy! Those bastards!”

          One story leads to a new President and one does not.

        3. We can’t do anything about it till we know the why of it.

          I disagree. There are many things we can do.
          First, formally recognize Taiwan, and sell them every weapon they want to buy.
          Second, station a portion of the 7th fleet on the east side of Taiwan, in the South China sea.
          Third, increase tariffs. A lot.
          Fourth, make sure we can cut them off from oil.
          Fifth, arm India to the max, and help them in the Himalayas.

          Plenty of actions we can do in the ‘grey zone’ to make those commie fuckers very unhappy.

          1. Those are all things we could do, but they’re not things we’re going to do. There’s not going to be a national response to this. This is going to go unpunished, at least for the four years.

    6. Dude!
      1. NIH and fauci hold patent on Moderna vaccine
      2. EUA cannot be issued if an alternative treatment exists.
      3. Ivermectin and Hydroxy Chloroquine are valid treatments but we’re denounced by CDC and NIH. Also there is still no recommended treatment protocol for covid-19 from CDC or NIH.
      5. J&J pulled from the market due to blood clot issues even though the Moderna vaccine has a higher prevalence of blood clot issues. (Competition?)

      There’s more government bullshit going on but this is a start.

      1. Stick with the stuff that’s publicly available, independently verifiable, and requires no conjecture.

        According to the research papers published by the scientists who were conducting this research, themselves, they were collecting viruses from bats, creating novel viruses from that material, manipulating the viruses so that they could infect humans, and all of this was being financed by NIH grants–according to publicly available grant applications submitted by the researchers. To assume that the viruses they created in those experiments are not the source of Covid-19 requires us to jump through some pretty big hoops.

        And all of this is independently verifiable from public sources. When the evidence is like this, we don’t need to interpret it for people.

        There were all sorts of accusations, assumptions, and conjectures being leveled at the NSA before Snowden dropped the goods via Wikileaks, but once Snowden made that evidence public, there was no need for conjecture anymore. That’s where we are with this evidence.

        And we don’t just need people who agree with us about Fauci, about the lockdowns, about the progressives being horrible people, etc.. We also need people who disagree with us on a myriad of issues to understand what really happened.

        And what happened is that the U.S. government was giving grants to scientists in China to cook up viruses like this–regardless of why or whether it was intentionally released, or . . .

        If you had irrefutable evidence that the CIA hired a hitman to kill JFK, it would not be necessary to prove anything about the identity of the second shooter, whether there was a second shooter, why JFK was killed, whether Jack Ruby or Lee Harvey Oswald were in on it, whether there was involvement by the mob, the Cubans, the Russians, or Marilyn Monroe’s lost evil twin sister. The irrefutable evidence that the CIA hired a hitman to kill JFK would be more than enough–and you should just let that stand on its own.

        That’s where we are with this. The NIH was funding the creation of novel viruses sourced from bats, and researchers purposely made the viruses so they they were transmissible to humans. They were operating in a virus lab in Wuhan that had numerous, documented problems with safety. Whatever else people want to think about why this happened and who’s to blame, they need to reconfigure their opinions to reflect those facts.

        That is more than enough by itself to get people thinking. It will probably never get any more certain than that, but it doesn’t need to get any more certain than that. That is damning on its own. Just the evidence you can independently verify from publicly available sources is enough. People will believe what they want to believe, but it’s harder to do it in spite of the facts that are staring them in the face.

  11. The Dems 3 favorite Republicans are now Liz Cheney, Mitt Romney, & George Bush. Wow.

    “Cats and dogs, living together, mass hysteria!” Peter Venkman

    Hope Liz can make it off her cross.

    1. Seems like the key to Dem popularity is being snooty, dismissive and rude to the hoi polloi.
      There’s no doubt in my mind that this is a class war disguised as progressive politics.

      1. Hating conservatives will always get you good press.

        1. Hating conservatives peasants will always get you good press.

          Fixed. I don’t think there were many political conservatives living in the black neighborhoods that BLM torched.

          1. Yeah, the battle going on right now is the aristocracy versus the working class.
            The description of liberals versus conservatives is inaccurate because both groups are neither.

    2. But they’re not cats and dogs, they’re peas in a pod.

  12. Prior research has found “that people think children are at greater risk of harm when their parents leave them alone intentionally (yoga) vs unintentionally (hit by a car).”

    Why then do bystanders call 911 when they see children playing in parks, but not when they see children riding in cars?

    I must need more coffee. This stuff seems ridiculous.

    1. I must need more coffee. This stuff seems ridiculous.

      Can’t we have both?

      1. Right on!

  13. We all know the most risky thing a person can do health wise is listen to fauci

  14. Church… safe… parties are not?
    the logistics—and actual risk—of the two activities are similar

    Yes, because at church you always have a couple of slobbering drunk friends hanging over your shoulder, and then everyone throws their keys in the collection plate and you wind up with old widow Bartleby for a one on one prayer session.

    1. Keep your fantasies to yourself.

    2. Ahh you must also be catholic… Or was that sarcasm?

    3. My friend of 32 years and housemate was killed by an April Covid-19 epidemic in his church. Even the pastor got it.

      1. I’ll be frank. I think that you’re lying.

  15. But not all Democrats are on board with repealing the cap, which could lead to $88.7 billion in lost federal tax revenue…

    LOfuckingL. This is the Democrats’ dilemma. They hunger for that sweet, sweet federal tax dollar, but they have blue state and city officials desperate for cover for the individual over-taxation that is driving wealthy populations to redder pastures.

  16. New research finds that “organizations affiliated with law enforcement constitute the most significant lobbying force fueling the unprecedented number of anti-protest bills introduced by state lawmakers this year.”

    Money is more speech than speech.

    1. Will Reason also do big tech companies and lockdown policies?

  17. Anthony Fauci said the time to relax face mask rules may be upon us…

    NEVER!

    1. … as new helmet technology is emerging.

  18. More evidence that the Food and Drug Administration’s “pause” of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine contributed to vaccine hesitancy.

    The pause was misinformation.

    1. More evidence that the Food and Drug Administration’s “pause” of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine contributed to vaccine hesitancy.

      In other words, objective facts make people not want to do what Democrats want to force them to do.

  19. stuck in an elevator with maskless people

    That might be a better film than Snakes On A Plane.

    1. Cheap set, too.

  20. More likely, those infographics are attempting to show net risk, not merely covid-risk. So while there is a higher chance of catching a disease during a doctor’s visit than while pumping gas, the risk of having a different disease and going undiagnosed or untreated makes skipping the doctor’s visit a bad idea. Worse than skipping a trip to the gas station.

    That’s not to disagree with the premise of the article – emotions skew risk assessments. But I think the researchers in this case did a poor job of isolating the risks they asked people to consider. It’s really, really hard to not think in terms of net risk.

  21. Huntsville, Alabama, police officer William Darby has been convicted of murdering a suicidal man.

    Police are always eager to help.

    1. He may have saved the man’s soul from eternal damnation.

      1. And also his life insurance will pay off.

    2. The number of people that defend what he did as following protocols is repugnant. It’s not like Parker was a traitor in the middle of an insurrection.

      1. Question: do you think the election was stolen from Trump?

        Another question: why do you like that lying cunt Rommelmen?

        I know neither pertains to your comment, but I’m very curious?

  22. So did the professor from Oklahoma discuss why native American tribes owned slaves be for the colonists? Were they trying to fit in with the Europeans then?

    1. I worked with a Seminole from Oklahoma. His ancestors were taken along by Cherokee as ‘indentured servants.’ I do know that the tribe I grew up near always referred to the Crow as ‘Assholes’ because they were seen as a sort of biker gang on horses.
      There is no such thing as noble savages. They are all people just like the rest of us.

    2. European’s evil disseminated eastward by air currents, all the way to the coast of the Pacific Northwest, and compelling the Nootka to mount a slave raid into Kwakiutl territory.

      1. Interesting theory. There’s also a possibility global warming, gun ownership, and European diseases carried by rats had an effect.

    3. Cultural differences. We need to be tolerant of other cultures, after all.

      1. …and tolerating our own culture is a crime punishable by cancellation!

  23.  Arizona election ‘audit’ is going so well, Republican lawmaker says ‘It makes us look like idiots’

    “It makes us look like idiots,” one Republican state senator who supported the effort was quoted in The New York Times. “Looking back, I didn’t think it would be this ridiculous. It’s embarrassing to be a state senator at this point.”

    https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2021/5/10/2029778/-Arizona-election-audit-is-going-so-well-Republican-lawmaker-says-It-makes-us-look-like-idiots

    1. Oh, well if it’s in the Daily Kos it must be practically, almost true. It’s not like that far-left publication has some sort of agenda.

      1. Usually when the media works this hard to debunk something prior to conclusion it means there is something there.

    2. Lol. It is going so well the doj had to send a letter threatening them of they didn’t stop. Democrats have sued 4 different times to delay and stop it.

      Here is the thing. You can always find a gop to talk shit about the gop in Arizona. See senator flake.

      It is amazing how much democrats are fighting against a simple recount.

      In the last lawsuit you idiots claimed a solid victory from the consent agreement when the agreement didn’t actually even change the audit, it just reinforced the rules already being followed.

      Meanwhile the dnc of Arizona has been caught trying to sneak in party officials labeled as independent journalists, lost 3 lawsuits woth 4th being a draw, and are getting smacked down now for violating a subpoena a judge already ruled on. Lawsuit 3 the democrats were asked to put up a 1 million dollar bond to cover expenses of they lost and refused for fucks sake.

      1. “trying to sneak in party officials labeled as independent journalists”

        Yeah to observe the process. You fucks have QAnon psychos doing the “audit”.

        1. Protip: The QAnon bogeymen hiding under your bed are largely invented by the NYT and WaPo to scare you.

          They’re not actually real.

          1. “I don’t know much about the movement other than I understand they like me very much, which I appreciate,” Trump said in the White House briefing room.

            1. Gee, maybe someone else can address the comment. Seems assholish lefty can’t read.

            2. “I don’t know much about the movement”

              No doubt, because they aren’t actually real, it’s a NYT smear job.

              1. You guys are something else. Jesus fucking christ.

                Tucker Carlson, doesn’t view QAnon as a threat and isno
                defending the movement by equating criticism of QAnon with attacks on free speech.

                Carlson, during one of his angry rants on Tuesday night, mocked the idea that QAnon is dangerous.

                “The real threat is a forbidden idea,” Carlson said mockingly. “It’s something called QAnon.”

                Carlson went on to show a collage of cable news clips describing QAnon’s extremism before suggesting that those attacking QAnon are promoting “tyranny.”

                “No democratic government can ever tell you what to think,” Carlson told viewers. “Your mind belongs to you. It is yours and yours alone.”

                1. It is very clear that you watch and don’t like Carlson. Other than that, nothing in that rant says anything at all.
                  There’s a reason your stuck in the 6th grade for the third year…

                2. Remember when you were saying Antifa was just an idea despite it burning down neighborhoods, but now a 4chan meme about Epstein and the DNC is suddenly some sort of scary movement.
                  What a nut.

                3. Wow. That is dangerous.

                  Who does your mind belong to?

        2. When you scream insults instead of discussing the actual actions that have taken place, it shows how much you are losing. Lol.

      2. JesseAZ, I have to say. That AZ audit deal is mighty peculiar.

        I have never heard of the DOJ intervening by sending a letter to the presiding judge of an election audit case. That seems really…peculiar. Then we have a political party bringing not just one, not just two, not just three, but FOUR separate lawsuits to stop an audit process of an election that is already over. That just seems…mighty peculiar.

        Now I want the Maricopa County election audit completed because so many people are trying to stop it. Sort of like flipping them off. There is way too much effort being expended here; therefore, I conclude one side has something to hide.

        Sunlight is the best disinfectant.

    3. It wouldn’t make the GOP look like idiots, if people just left the auditors alone. Nobody mocked the USA Today or Miami Herald for their private recount a couple decades ago (https://www.pbs.org/newshour/nation/media-jan-june01-recount_04-03). No reason to get too excited about some weirdos auditing the paper used for ballots.

      Now…if they “find” something and make a public accusation, then we have potentially have a problem on our hands. However, just letting them search is harmless, and they should be allowed to go down as many paths of investigation as they can think of, as long as it doesn’t bother the rest of us (I am glad that they backed off their plan to canvass voters). I appreciate that y efforts, as they send a message to anyone who would do fraud, and also because it directs the election results doubters to think concretely about their accusations and what evidence needs to be collected to prove them. This is a far healthier than simply throwing out unfalsifiable accusations of fraud.

  24. Pseudo-Scientific Drivel Provides Rationalization Cover For All Who Read It

    Film at 11.

  25. Church and protests are safe, beaches and parties are not?

    And yet police and swat in Canada are arresting pastors for practicing their religion.

    1. I wonder what compelled ENB to put “church” in the same category as protests, given all the shit about pastors being arrested for breaking curfew rules in the news.

  26. Native American tribes owning thousands of enslaved black people.

    So much for lumping “Indigenous” in with “People of Color”.

  27. #BidenBoom update.

    In 2021 Democrats have raised the minimum wage by: $0.00 / hour

    In 2021 Reason.com benefactor Charles Koch’s net worth has increased by: $7.50 billion

    For anyone who’s still wondering why so many Koch-funded libertarians endorsed Biden, it should be clear by now.

    #GetReadyForTheKochComeback
    #InDefenseOfBillionaires

  28. As antifa in the north west can put people merely driving from work in the hospital… federal authorities continue to harass, jail. And put in isolation jan 6th protesters. Even ones who never entered the Capitol.

    https://justthenews.com/government/local/dc-jail-treatment-capitol-riot-defendants-draws-bipartisan-outrage

    Reason oddly silent.

    1. Hardly odd at all.

      1. Practically predictable.

  29. In other words, “risk judgments are sensitive to factors unrelated to the objective risks of infection,” as study authors Cailin O’Connor, Daniel P. Relihan, Ashley Thomas, Peter H. Ditto, Kyle Stanford, and James O. Weatherall write in a draft paper on their research. “In particular, activities that are morally justified are perceived as safer while those that might subject people to blame, or culpability, are seen as riskier.”

    This looks like a retread of personal opinion of the risk of AIDS during the 1980’s.

  30. I personally hope they keep the SALT cap, because it fucks over leftie shits on the east coast. Yeah it probably also fucks over some upper middle class in high property tax states like in Tejas assuming they are also paying a lot of mortgage interest too.

    1. That’s the spirit comrade! Tax the rich to own the libs!

      1. It makes federal tax more equal across the states dummy.

        1. Cool, we should make state taxes uniform then.

          1. I’d make that mfer Bibi apologize to the American people and if refused he can eat shit and team up even more with the authoritarian countries of the world.

            1. Seems Misek has a new Nazi for company; no great surprise from steaming pile of lefty shit.

              1. Scratch a prog and find a fascist.

              2. Are my Jewish friends who hate Bibi Nazis too?

                1. “Are my Jewish friends

                  Lol, pretty sure that you don’t have any friends.

                2. asshole flag for asshole!

                3. Trotting out that trope about your one Jewish friend just proves how antisemitic you are.

                  1. I have secular Jewish friends who don’t like Netanyahu. How does that make me antisemitic?

                    I’m curious if you Bibi lovers consider them Nazis?

                    Mormons hate Jews and LOVE Israel.

                    I criticize Mormons for their antisemitism.

              3. I’m a Nazi because I think Bibi is a piece of shit? I’m a Nazi because I want Israel to moderate their conduct in return for the billions we give them? You mfers can eat my shit.

                1. “I’m a Nazi because I think Bibi is a piece of shit?”

                  You’re a Nazi because you’re a Nazi; don’t bother with the ‘some jews are OK’ bullshit.

                2. You’re a Nazi because you’re a corporatist and an antisemite.

    2. because it fucks over leftie shits on the east coast

      That’s exactly why Democrats are trying to get rid of it. It’s not about equality or revenue or hosing the rich, it’s all about paying dividends to the bastards that bought and paid for the rigged election.

      1. What’s the point of rigging an election if there’s no payoff.

    3. if we really thought about how dangerous somethings are, like driving a car, we would never leave the house.

      Everyone in the CDC just got a boner.

      1. I hate this commenting system.

        1. It hates you too.

  31. ‘Israel Tells Biden That Violence in Jerusalem Is None of His Business”

    Cool, so I guess we can stop sending these racists fascist monsters billions every year?

    Israel does, indeed, receive $3 billion from the U.S. annually, and has over the last decade, making it the “largest cumulative recipient of U.S. foreign assistance since World War II,” 

    https://www.politifact.com/factchecks/2019/sep/03/facebook-posts/yes-us-gives-billions-israel-every-year-detroit-re/

    1. Biden just wants to send that money to Iran so they can turn it into terrorist dollars.

      https://edition.cnn.com/2021/05/06/politics/biden-administration-iran/index.html

      And before the idiocy of “its their money” as cried by leftists… there is more than a billion in outstanding judgments to victims of Iranian terrorism that judges have already ruled could be paid put by sanctioned funds.

    2. Here’s something fun, Misek Jr.
      Go look up how much aid the US gives Israel’s neighbors, Egypt and Jordan, each year. Then tell me about all the nice things those countries say about the US each year.

      Geopolitics is hard, huh.

      1. The whole point of giving money to these sons of bitches is to gain leverage over them to promote our interests. Demanding this or that from them is entirely our business. Bibi is our bitch.

        1. Gee, I remember you defending Trump’s demand for info on that crooked POS Biden from the Ukrainians, right?

          1. Trump wanted a fake criminal investigation of his political opponent you stupid mfer. Didn’t even care if the investigation went anywhere. Just wanted it announced in a press conference.

            1. “Trump wanted a fake criminal investigation of his political opponent you stupid mfer.”

              Cite for your claim, steaming pile of lefty shit.

        2. Golly, that sounds awfully conservative all of a sudden. Did Stroozle just red-pill himself?

          1. It’s not even about politics necessarily. We give them billions and the leader tells us to fuck off. Bibi is a terrible leader for Israel.

            1. Nazis gonna Nazi.

            2. You only think Bibi is terrible because he doesn’t gobble DNC cock and worked with Trump on all those peace deals.

              If he acted like an Iranian mullah but honored your party’s mugwumps, you’d be shouting his praises.

        3. Actually, with horizontal drilling technology (“fracking”,) the Israelis now have access to a bigger pool of black gold petroleum than Saudi Arabia. They also are masters at developing IT, encryption, and AI. Tel Aviv is also the porn and sex worker capital of the world. They really don’t need foreign aid at all and can be their own bitch all by themselves. They will do wonderful without Uncle Sam’s welfare crack.

          1. Works for me.

            The post Camp David foreign aid though hasn’t been for Israel’s benefit, so much as it’s been for General Dynamics’s and Egypt’s. Will Egypt’s government collapse without our yearly 1-2 billion dollar infusion? And if so, what effect does that have on global trade, with their ownership of the Canal?

    3. “Israel does, indeed, receive $3 billion from the U.S. annually”

      It happens so regularly, it’s almost like it was written down somewhere. Maybe part of a tripartite treaty which also provides billions of dollars to Egypt, or something.

      1. Amazing how people forget history, isn’t it?

        That is why people like LoS (formerly Pod) spout the nonsense they do. The Ecogitationer is capable of making a principled argument. So are you. So am I. And a number of others.

        Pod has only outrage; pointless outrage without principle or reason.

        1. Aw, shucks, t’weren’t nuthin’. Just going wherever the faculty of reason and the facts take me.

          Mind you, there are legitimate libertarian critiques of Israeli domestic policies and political trends that are also shared by Israeli libertarians.

          If those gut-wrenching commercials for International Fellowship of Christians and Jews are any indicator, Israel’s welfare state is as big a failure to the poor as the Welfare States here in the U.S. or Europe.

          Humanitarian groups concerned with Israel’s poor need to send some basic, short literature and audio-visual media on free-markets in Hebrew along with their care packages. Frédéric Bastiat’s The Law and Milton and Rose Friedman works would be a great start. Maybe then, they’ll spread the word to their neighbors and Knesset members and make a change towards greater free markets and prosperity.

          Also, Israel has a problem with Ultra-Orthodox parties and coalitions that function as Israel’s equivalent of the U.S. Religious Right. The Ultra-Orthodox Jews don’t even believe in the legitimacy of Israel, yet they want Israel’s government to support their Yeshiva study with taxdollars and to impose religion-based restrictions on the rights of Non-Orthodox and Secular Jews.

          That needs a campaign to counter the Ultra-Orthodox and to explain the historic benefits of limited Secular government to U.S. Jews, which could be shared by Jews worldwide who follow the example.

          Most disturbing of all, among mostly grandchildren and great-grandchildren of Russian emigrés, there are actually Neo-Nazi youth groups in Israel.

          Obviously, previous generations have farmed out too much to government schools who failed to teach history. Perhaps some oldsters who survived the Holocaust need to gently but firmly yank some earlobes and take the family on a non-pleasure tour through Europe.

          Despite these and other problems in Israel, none of them rise to the level of official Fascism and Apartheid and those who fling those terms against Israel as a whole and it’s existence don’t know or care about the meaning of words.

    4. I’m all for ending foreign aid to every nation, but if Israel was a “racist, Fascist monster,” why has the number of Palestinians grown, not decreased since the seizure of the West Bank during The Six Day War in 1967? Wouldn’t genocide tend to work in reverse?

      Moreover, why are there Arabs serving as equals in the civil service, the Supreme Court, the Knesset, and the military?

      Why are LGBTQ+ Arabs more likely to embrace Israel than the lands of their so-called “Arab Islamic Brothers,” who debate over whether to throw LGBTQ+ from cliffs or throw them from buildings? (I guess it depends on whether you’re a City Muslim or a Country Muslim. /sarc.)

      And for all the $Billions in foreign aid sent to Israel, how many $Billions more have we sent in both foreign aid and oil revenues and lives of U.S. Armed Forces Members to the Arabic and Islamic world, who would rather see us in submission to Islam or dead?

      Right choice on foreign aid, but for completely wrong reasons. Dare I say, truth, Lord.

  32. No shit sherlock. Some people view church and protests as far more important and worth the risk than beaches and parties.

    How is this worthy of an article?

    1. Because it isnt the government’s domain to judge these risks for us?

    2. And many people view beaches and parties as important enough to be worth the risk.

    3. Because lefty shits like you ought to (but won’t) learn something.

    4. I’ve been to beach parties that were religious experiences.

    5. I didn’t realize our right of assembly was rated on an importance index.

  33. Our Moral Judgments Affect Our Perception of COVID Risk

    Does this mean that Reason’s reaction to Wuhan Coronavirus risk exposes their moral judgements?

  34. “Open Forum: Having kids is becoming a white privilege in California”
    […]
    “Black female householders with a bachelor’s degree face economic precarity at twice the rate of comparable white men…”
    https://www.sfchronicle.com/opinion/article/Open-Forum-Having-kids-is-becoming-a-white-16162934.php?cmpid=gsa-sfgate-result

    Care to tell us what majors? Didn’t think so…

    1. comparable white men

      Shouldn’t they be comparing women with women?

      1. White men in CA are women.

        1. A distressed man in a lab coat removes his glasses.
          Man: “We’ve got levels of soy here I thought weren’t possible!”

    2. Also for the purposes of articles like these Asians, jews, and African immigrants are all concidered white

  35. “opens by noting inconsistent advice from public officials when it came to coronavirus exposure and risk:”

    The ‘advice’ from public officials has been absolutely consistent. In every case it has been advice that diminishes individual choice and increases government power.
    Every
    Damn
    Time

  36. Fauci is a liar, according to Fauci.

  37. The study on risk perception is nothing new. It has long been known that our perception of risk is based on our choices. So we worry about pesticides sprayed on our fruit but have no worries about downhill skiing. It might be better that way because if we really thought about how dangerous somethings are, like driving a car, we would never leave the house.

  38. “Democrats in Congress have made repealing the SALT deduction cap a must have for passing the $2.25 trillion “infrastructure” package.”

    Strangely (or not) enough, the only articles you can find about this in the Washington Post are reprints of AP and Bloomberg News, and they can only be found by doing a word search for SALT deduction.

    A suspicious person would guess that the Post doesn’t want it’s readership to know that Democrats are giving a tax break to the rich.

  39. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I–Vt.) told Axios that repealing the SALT deduction cap “sends a terrible, terrible message…You can’t be on the side of the wealthy and the powerful if you’re gonna really fight for working families.”

    Oh, please. The SALT deduction is $10k/year. That’s well within the side of working families. The idea that only wealthy people could possibly have $10k in SALT deductions is ridiculous.

    Another case of democrats saying “rich” and meaning “you.”

  40. One source of concern for Ms. Gates was her husband’s dealings with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, according to the people and a former employee of their charity, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Ms. Gates’s concerns about the relationship dated as far back as 2013, the former employee said . . . .

    According to the documents reviewed by the Journal, Ms. Gates and her advisers held a number of calls in October 2019 when the New York Times reported that Mr. Gates had met with Mr. Epstein on numerous occasions. Mr. Gates once stayed late into the night at Mr. Epstein’s Manhattan townhouse, the Times reported.

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/melinda-gates-was-meeting-with-divorce-lawyers-since-2019-to-end-marriage-with-bill-gates-11620579924?

    If you’re in a relationship with a woman, there are no secret affairs. If you’re cheating on your spouse, she’ll soon find out about it if she doesn’t know already. Sometimes, they’ll lie to themselves, but when that stops, they realize they’ve known for a long time.

    Women talk about everything, especially when they know something other women don’t know. If you sleep with a woman, she’s telling somebody. And if you have a lot of money or power or fame, it’s worse. Then you’re a real topic of conversation.

    Monica Lewinski was talking to her mom about Bill Clinton, and she’s the one that told her to keep the dress with the stain on it–so people would know she was telling the truth. But there was never any question but that the truth would come out–except in Bill Clinton’s mind.

    But there are no secrets about that.

    And now Bill Gates had to transfer $2.4 billion in Microsoft stock to her account. You know why he sent her $2.4 billion and kept her in his life as the co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation? Because it’s worth it. He’s be paying a lot more if she were testifying against him about Epstein or something.

    Can you imagine?

    Right about now, I bet he’s thinking it’s a good thing that Epstein killed himself.

    1. The hypo I’ve read elsewhere is that this revelation is a shot across Bill’s bow, by Melinda’s divorce counsel. I.e., Accept our terms, or the stories get a lot worse.

      Holy shit, a bunch of rich influential elites get off on fucking children. Makes you wonder if the second part of the Sandusky Penn State allegations were true: That Sandusky wasn’t the only one fucking little kids from his foundation.

    2. It sure looks curious, doesn’t it? Let’s see what happens.

      There is definitely more to that story. I am not sure that I want to hear it, though. Maybe Bill was an adulterer. Maybe not. If it is just ‘plain vanilla’ adultery, then I really do not want to hear about extramarital affairs. To what end? The Gates family…they are human beings (as we all are). There is no need to humiliate the family by dragging out the affairs. It is probably enough to know that Bill was an adulterous asshole, and his wife will receive a very generous settlement. No need for an itemized paramours list. If Bill is the bad actor, punish him and not the family.

      Maybe Bill ‘partook’ of what Epstein apparently offered. That is something very different. To me, it becomes a law enforcement matter. That is different.

      I agree with your assessment about a wife knowing. That is true. They almost always do. Wives are far more perceptive than husbands, IMO.

  41. >>When did Wired get so pro-censorship?

    when did Reason?

  42. When did Wired get so pro-censorship?

    If you were keeping up, a long time ago.

    1. Forgot the link.

      Wired Thinks Free Speech Has Been Tried and Failed
      The ancient authoritarian imperative to restrict speech shows up in a new guise.

  43. What I learned today. Writing behind a paywall is censorship. Suing to shut people up is Freedom.

    1. I keep expecting Allen Funt to appear on TV one day and tell the entire western world “Smile, you’re on Candid Camera.”

  44. Russell Brand interviews Marianne Williamson in a far less insane and far more interesting interview than you might expect.
    9 minutes
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FEVtuXtgrqM

    Key takeaways:
    Tom Perez tells CNN exactly what to say.
    The Democratic Party is currently run by CEOs (and Obama).
    CEOs use woke to deflect and control.
    The union of party and corporations is undoubtedly fascist.

    1. >>Marianne Williamson

      she’s kinda yum

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