URLs du Jour

2021-10-22

[Broken Supply Chain]

  • They are supposed to be the smart ones. Dominic Pino says we live in a time When Universities Are Incapable of Learning.

    ‘Covid-19 Precautions Prompt Backlash on College Campuses” reads an October 16 headline in the Wall Street Journal.

    It’s about time. For far too long, college students have been far too submissive in the face of the completely unjustified COVID regulations issued by their university administrations.

    This isn’t a matter of vaccine mandates. Over 1,000 colleges have required COVID vaccination for students. Universities already require vaccines against other illnesses, so requiring a COVID vaccine is reasonable. The vaccines work, and, as we have said many times on this website, people should get them. Thankfully, on college campuses, people have gotten them: Many universities now have vaccination rates over 95 percent.

    Yet campuses continue to have some of the most stringent COVID restrictions in the country…

    The WSJ quotes, as a bad example, USC's Covid policy which requires vaccination, and weekly testing, and mandatory indoor masking even for the vaccinated.

    Surely things must be different for the University Near Here in the Live Free or Die state!

    Well (as I type) …

    All students, faculty and staff are required to participate in regular testing through the fall semester.

    Masks are required in all indoor campus spaces except when eating, in private offices or in personal residence hall rooms. The requirement applies to everyone, vaccinated and unvaccinated. This includes classrooms, hallways, elevators, restrooms, break rooms, entries and exits to buildings, laboratories, meeting rooms, shared offices and work areas.

    UNH doesn't require vaccinations. [Update: they are probably going to real soon now.] But testing and masking are still mandatory if you are vaccinated. Healthy young people might wonder why they should bother getting jabbed if nothing changes?


  • Playing It Safe Is The Most Dangerous Thing You Can Do. Hans Bader reminds us of an inconvenient truth: Federal safety regulations kill thousands of people.

    “Good headlights can reduce your likelihood of having a crash at night by up to 20%,” notes Will Rinehart. “Why aren’t they available here in the US? Because adaptive beams don’t have dedicated, separate high and low beams, they violate” a federal transportation regulation, FMVSS 108.

    As a web site explains,

    if these ADB beams can make nighttime driving safer, why aren’t they available here in the U.S.? The reason is basic bureaucracy. In 1967, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety developed a regulation (Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 108), which specified that road-legal vehicles must have a dedicated high beam and a dedicated low beam. Because adaptive beams don’t have dedicated, separate high and low beams, they violate this regulation. Adaptive beams can adjust brightness and illumination area, but they do all of it using the same LED lights….Clearly, the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 108 was written before anyone at National Highway Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA) conceived of headlights that could respond to external stimuli and selectively alter luminescence based on environment. But it’s still a regulatory blind spot, if you will, that has prevented safer technology from being fully utilized in the U.S.

    An automaker petitioned NHTSA to permit ADB technology in U.S. vehicles in 2018. But the technology still isn’t available in the U.S.

    Bader provides plenty of additional examples. And he doesn't even mention Covid. Which is interesting because…


  • Your tax dollars at work. Ronald Bailey looks at More Evidence Emerges that the NIH Funded Coronavirus Gain-of-Function Research in China.

    In a letter yesterday to Rep. James Comer (R–Ky.), National Institutes of Health (NIH) Principal Deputy Director Lawrence Tabak tepidly acknowledged that his agency funded coronavirus research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology. The money, channeled through the EcoHealth Alliance, supported scientists who modified bat coronaviruses so that they were "capable of binding to the human ACE2 receptor in a mouse model."

    Basically, the Chinese researchers modified the spike protein of a relatively harmless coronavirus so that it would function as a key enabling the virus to open and invade cells in humanized mice. As it happens, the coronavirus responsible for the COVID-19 pandemic chiefly infects people by binding to our ACE2 receptors.

    This is precisely the sort of thing that Fauci denied happening under questioning by Rand Paul. I wonder if Cantabrigians have started taking down their "In Fauci We Trust" yard signs yet?


  • Meanwhile, in Washington … Wrangling continues to get something out of Congress. The debate seems to be over how best to spin a colossal ($2 trillion) waste of taxpayer money. Hey, maybe by emphasizing that it's less than the previously-demanded gargantuan ($3.5 trillion) waste of taxpayer money?

    It doesn't matter. Both the past number and the new number are bogus, say the WSJ editorialists: The $2 Trillion Is Phony Too.

    Democrats say they’re working hard to pare back their $3.5 trillion tax and spending bill to $2 trillion to please House and Senate dissenters, but don’t believe it. What they’re really doing is working hard to pack $4 trillion in new programs into a $2 trillion disguise that sounds less radical than it is.

    That’s the message from news reports that the White House on Tuesday offered Congressional Democrats a plan that retains nearly all of the entitlement programs they originally proposed. Instead of reducing this vast expansion of the welfare state, Democrats are merely increasing their use of budget gimmicks to pretend to fit them into a 10-year budget window. It’s still a mammoth fiscal confidence trick.

    The main gimmick is to pretend that new entitlements will go away after a few years. Everybody knows this, including (I would hope) our state's Congressional delegation. But, as near as I can tell, they are all willing to go meekly along with the dangerous, dishonest charade.


  • Checking on the fact checkers… Ann Althouse looks at the dismal results of a recent WaPo attempt to award Pinocchios: "The initial version of the Democrats’ proposal would have required financial institutions to provide the IRS with two new figures every year..."

    "... the total inflows and outflows for any bank account with more than $600 in annual deposits or withdrawals, 'with a breakdown for physical cash, transactions with a foreign account, and transfers to and from another account with the same owner.' The requirement would apply to all business and personal accounts at financial institutions. After Republicans raised concerns that the $600 minimum would sweep up almost all Americans, Democrats raised the proposed threshold to $10,000.... Republican senators including Crapo and Kennedy claimed that under the Democrats’ tax enforcement plan, the IRS would be snooping on the sensitive financial details contained in Americans’ bank records. The burden of proof is on the speaker, as we like to remind our readers, but in this case, no proof was supplied. In reality, the proposal is to monitor the total amount of money going in and out of any bank account with more than $10,000 of transactions in a given year, not the blow-by-blow of where and when people spend their money. And just before this GOP news conference, Democrats had curtailed their proposal to cover fewer Americans and to exempt all wages and federal benefits from the new requirements. These claims earn Three Pinocchios."

    From "No, Biden isn’t proposing that the IRS spy on bank records" by WaPo Fact Checker Salvador Rizzo.

    I don't see how you get "Pinocchios" when your criticism is undermined by causing your adversary to change their proposal! And I don't see why you get "Pinocchios" for failing to supply proof. The Fact Checker ought to come up with proof that the statement-makers knowingly said something false before assigning all those "Pinocchios." >

    By the way, that headline screams partisan politics. When I clicked on that headline, I didn't think I was going to end up at a Fact Checker column. But they got my click, and I'm sure they got lots of other clicks, so I should expect more of this sort of thing in the future.

    I also expect that. The WaPo used to occasionally throw the flag on nonsense from the left, but I don't know (or, frankly, care much) about whether they still do.


  • Also checking on that fact checking… is Patterico.

    Another day, another silly partisan “fact-check” from the Washington Post. I almost don’t care about the substance of the fact-check (although I will say I few words about it below) because I became distracted by this absolutely awesome parenthetical in the piece, which amply illustrates the snickering, smug, absolutely bonkers desperation to label Republicans liars:

    Kennedy, who once served as secretary of the Louisiana Department of Revenue, repeatedly said Americans’ “intimate financial details” would be collected, and he called it a “squid-brained idea.” (Scientists say squids and octopuses are the smartest invertebrates.)

    (ACKSHALLY squids are super smart SENATOR)

    You tell 'em, WaPo fact checker!


Last Modified 2021-10-23 11:55 AM EST