1. Scientific American embarrasses itself. …like so, so many others. “Scientific American has never endorsed a presidential candidate in its 175-year history. This year we are compelled to do so. We do not do this lightly,” intone the magazine’s editors. Wrong. They are doing it to grandstand, and you can’t be more unserious than that. There is a reason SA hasn’t done this in 175 years—it’s a dumb thing to do. They don’t have any special expertise or perspective regarding national leadership, and scientific acumen is not a qualification for office. The alleged reason for the magazine’s endorsement of Joe Biden is its claim that the pandemic’s casualties would have been less had the President said and done things differently. This is total supposition, of course. “He was warned many times in January and February about the onrushing disease,” SA says, quoting juvenile anti-Trump source Axios. That’s odd, since those crack scientists in the CDC are on record as downplaying the seriousness of the virus, and even minimizing the need for masks. More: “These lapses accelerated the spread of disease through the country—particularly in highly vulnerable communities that include people of color, where deaths climbed disproportionately to those in the rest of the population.” These people are scientists? The reasons for higher rates of infection among the poor and minority populations are many, and the interaction among them still undetermined. Lower levels of general health, increased rates of illnesses like diabetes and conditions like obesity, more crowded housing, a lack of the ability to stay at home—even a persistent rumor that blacks were immune have played a part, and nobody knows what measured would have changed anything.
“If almost everyone in the U.S. wore masks in public, it could save about 66,000 lives by the beginning of December, according to projections from the University of Washington School of Medicine.” Yeah, scientists have been doing really well with their projections in the pandemic, like the projections that 5% of the population would be infected. Since the research and pronouncements of scientists have been a) inconsistent and b) politicized from the start, it is disgraceful for Scientific American to pretend that any clear signals were being sent, or that there is any reason to believe another “projection, ” except as a useful way to attack the President. There is still a strong argument that rejecting the scientists in favor of following the advice of economists would have placed the nation in a better situation.
The Scientific American endorsement is an example of the politicization of science, and explains why scientists cannot be trusted.
2. If there were such a thing as a frivolous lawsuit, this one by Alan Dershowitz would qualify. Alan Dershowitz has filed a defamation lawsuit against CNN that demands $300,000,000 in compensatory and punitive damages for misrepresenting the professor’s legal arguments in the Trump impeachment trial. Sure it did, but then CNN misrepresents everything. As long as there is a First Amendment, botched reporting and smearing public figures like Dershowitz will always be no-go for lawsuits. Nick Sandmann got a settlement from CNN because he was not a public figure.
if you want the long version of why the lawsuit is hopeless, Jonathan Turley explores the topic here. Two points made by Turley are especially worth repeating:
- He writes, “The damage demand also seems outlandishly theatrical and raises the question if the lawsuit is one last effort to clarify the record rather than seriously pursue relief.”
I think that’s likely, and if true, it’s an abuse of process.
- Turley writes of CNN: “In the age of echo-journalism, CNN has sought to attract viewers who only want to hear that Trump is committing clear crimes, will eventually (if not imminently) be jailed, and that Trump supporters are knuckling-dragging, gun-toting zombies marching to his tune of white supremacy and authoritarianism.”
That’s remarkably blunt for the courtly prof, whose strongest criticism is usually that something is “troubling.”
3. Aw, are those mean prosectors being hard on these poor, well-meaning terrorists? This Buzzfeed article about the two ex-lawyers—STOP CALLING THEM LAWYERS!–Colin Mattis and Urooj Rahman, who threw Molotov cocktails into a police car shows how corrupt the Left’s media has become. It is a good insanity test: if you send the article to someone and they think it’s anything but head-exploding bats, kdon’t turn your back on them.
- “The NYPD van on a Brooklyn street was banged up and empty, a battered steel shell with shattered windows and a mask of spray paint. Shortly before 1 a.m. on Saturday, May 30, the fourth straight night of nationwide protests against police brutality, a Molotov cocktail set it ablaze.”
BuzzFeed seems to feel this is mitigation. It isn’t. It is irrelevant that it was the fourth night of rioting (“Everybody Does It”), and irrelevant what the objective was (“The end justifies the means,”) It was also irrelevant what kind of condition the police van was in. Incendiary bombs are illegal, arson is a felony, and the fact that nobody was hurt or killed is moral luck.
- “Within hours of the arrest, before Brooklyn prosecutors had even begun writing up charges, FBI agent Kyle Johnson submitted a criminal complaint in federal court, and federal prosecutors informed local authorities that the US attorney’s office for the Eastern District of New York was taking over the case. No one knew it at the time, but this was one of the early moves in a widening federal crackdown against Black Lives Matter protesters across the country.”
People throwing bombs are not protesters, and prosecuting them is not part of a “crackdown.”
- When it came to Rahman and Mattis and the alleged crime of burning an empty and already damaged police vehicle, the US attorney’s office brought charges so severe they carry a mandatory minimum sentence of 45 years in prison and a maximum of life — a potential punishment one former federal prosecutor called “ridiculous,” another called “out of hand,” and a third described as an “extreme” tactic to “send a message” to other protesters.
a.)That’s rioters and bomb-throwers, not “protesters.” b.) I guarantee neither arsonist will spend anything close to 45 years in prison. c.) Classic appeal to authority: Buzzfeed finds three anonymous “former federal prosecutors” to rely on.
- …” Rahman and Mattis are both in their early thirties, with large social circles and close-knit families, living the American dream their immigrant parents had aspired for them. Rahman defended tenants facing evictions, and Mattis did pro bono work representing women with low incomes in family court while practicing corporate law at a prestigious firm. They had become attorneys in hopes of using the law to help balance the scales of a justice system that, in their eyes, favored rich over poor, white over Black, citizen over refugee.”
Then they decided that breaking the law was the way to go. They are unqualified to be lawyers, and deserve no sympathy whatsoever.