Mister, We Could Use a Scientist Like Trofim Lysenko Again

From the relevant Wikipedia article:

In 1940, Lysenko became director of the Institute of Genetics of the Soviet Academy of Sciences, and he used his political influence and power to suppress dissenting opinions and discredit, marginalize, and imprison his critics, elevating his anti-Mendelian theories to state-sanctioned doctrine

And, the article goes on to note, "Lysenko's ideas and practices contributed to the famines that killed millions of Soviet people", not to mention tens of millions Chinese people.

So, gee, maybe it wouldn't be good to have a scientist like Trofim Lysenko. Sorry about the headline.

Oh, wait. We have a scientist like Trofim Lysenko. And, as reported by Joe Nocera at the Free Press, he still has his defenders in positions of power: “Thank You For Your Science:” Democrats Fail to Challenge Tony Fauci.

But Trofim's Tony's detractors were on hand as well, with their "obsession":

As for the Republicans, they have had one obsession for years: to show that Covid-19 was the result of a lab leak. Republicans have long accused Fauci of using government funds to help pay for research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology that could have led to the creation of the virus. And he has long denied it, including at yesterday’s hearing.

Remarkably, though, Fauci maintained that he had always kept an “open mind” about the origins of the virus causing Covid-19 and that he never attempted to censor or discredit opposing voices on the policies he spearheaded during the pandemic. This is laughable. Until the hearing, Fauci had consistently dismissed the lab leak hypothesis. And as for those opposing voices, after three dissident scientists published the Great Barrington Declaration, calling for a strategy of protecting the vulnerable and letting life resume otherwise, Fauci compared them to the doctors in the 1980s who claimed HIV didn’t cause AIDS.

One of those three dissident scientists, Dr. Jay Bhattacharya, an epidemiologist and professor of health policy at Stanford University, told The Free Press that Fauci is “incapable of intellectual honesty” and of “honest engagement with his critics.”

Among those in thrall to the "obsession": the New York Times, which published yesterday an explanation of Why the Pandemic Probably Started in a Lab, in 5 Key Points. The online version is fancy, interactive, JavaScript-intense, and "updated to reflect news developments."

On Monday, Dr. Anthony Fauci returned to the halls of Congress and testified before the House subcommittee investigating the Covid-19 pandemic. He was questioned about several topics related to the government’s handling of Covid-19, including how the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, which he directed until retiring in 2022, supported risky virus work at a Chinese institute whose research may have caused the pandemic.

For more than four years, reflexive partisan politics have derailed the search for the truth about a catastrophe that has touched us all. It has been estimated that at least 25 million people around the world have died because of Covid-19, with over a million of those deaths in the United States.

Although how the pandemic started has been hotly debated, a growing volume of evidence — gleaned from public records released under the Freedom of Information Act, digital sleuthing through online databases, scientific papers analyzing the virus and its spread, and leaks from within the U.S. government — suggests that the pandemic most likely occurred because a virus escaped from a research lab in Wuhan, China. If so, it would be the most costly accident in the history of science.

The article is by Alina Chan, not a tinfoil-hatted conspiracy theorist, but "a molecular biologist at the Broad Institute of M.I.T. and Harvard."

Let's give a shout out to Jim Geraghty, who first pointed out the odd coincidence of the initial outbreak occurring in the hometown of the Wuhan Institute of Virology back in 2020, only a few months into the pandemic. He noted the Lab-Leak Hypothesis Goes Mainstream in January 2021.

And, years later, the NYT has leapt onto that wacky theory. "Welcome to the party, pal!"

We are left to wonder what the NYT will be getting around to noticing in 2028. How about: "Gee, that Trump prosecution was a really dangerous case of politicized justice."

Also of note:

  • Why didn't Nixon Biden just order the tapes to be erased? OK, I have to admit the source is iffy, but:

    Burning question: in these days of modern times, they still use audio tapes?

    But never mind the media format. Pravda Associated Press reports, with a straight face, the official DOJ rationale for the coverup claim of executive privilege: Justice Department’s ‘deepfake’ concerns over Biden interview audio highlights AI misuse worries.

    Releasing an audio recording of a special counsel’s interview with President Joe Biden could spur deepfakes and disinformation that trick Americans, the Justice Department said, conceding the U.S. government could not stop the misuse of artificial intelligence ahead of this year’s election.

    A senior Justice Department official raised the concerns in a court filing on Friday that sought to justify keeping the recording under wraps. The Biden administration is seeking to convince a judge to prevent the release of the recording of the president’s interview, which focused on his handling of classified documents.

    Of course, if some AI wiz wanted to generate a deepfake of President Dotard, there are probably petabytes of easily available video and audio data he could use for sources. I assume they were serving red herring in the DOJ cafeteria yesterday.

  • And what kind of fool am I? Kevin D. Williamson wonders: What Sort of Man Is Donald Trump? Excerpt:

    About the underlying facts of Alvin Bragg’s case, there was never any serious question. Trump conducted a sexual liaison with the woman known professionally as Stormy Daniels—at the time a pornographic performer looking to move beyond sex videos into another kind of entertainment career—while his wife Melania, the future third lady, was at home tending to their newborn son, Barron, who is named after the imaginary friend Trump invented to lie to the New York Post about his sex life. (This is something totally normal and mentally well-adjusted people do all the time: invent imaginary friends to falsely inform the tabloid-reading public that one is dating, say, Carla Bruni.)

    Trump’s history with women is of course a weird and creepy one. He has a habit of getting involved with women with whom he has a financial relationship, and, as ABC News put it, Stormy Daniels says their “relationship ended when Trump told her she would not be cast on The Apprentice.” Trump mixes up his money problems with his women problems—he is one of those guys who every now and then slams his dick in the cash register. Melania Trump—who a few years ago won a defamation case against the Daily Mail that had claimed she worked as a high-end escort before her marriage to Trump—posed for skin-magazine photographs that might charitably be described as lesbian-porn adjacent—and, indeed, Trump himself has made cameo appearances in three pornographic films produced by Playboy Enterprises. Melania was an employee of Trump’s dodgy and now-defunct modeling agency, which, according to several former employees, employed illegal immigrants and serially abused the H1-B visa program.

    Trump’s transparent attempts to buy women often have gone spectacularly wrong: One of his many stupid vanity projects was his acquisition of the Plaza Hotel in New York, a bad plan he made worse by putting his then-wife, Ivana, in charge of the project as president of the company. The couple drove New York’s most famous hotel into a state of financial ruination, and Trump ultimately was bailed out by Saudi princeling Al Waleed bin Talal. The politician and the princeling later got into a Twitter spat—because this is Donald Trump we’re talking about—and the Saudi tycoon mocked Trump, noting that he had bailed him out twice (he had bought a yacht from Trump to provide a much-needed cash infusion when he was in the middle of an earlier business crisis, because Trump was pretty much always in a business crisis) and suggested that there might be a third time.

    I'm a little surprised that KDW got the word "dick" in that context past the Dispatch editors.

  • I've always been a fan. My mom used to recall the time that I, at two years of age, bounced on a hotel bed in Norway, rhapsodizing about how I missed Ritz Crackers and Welch's Grape Juice. No doubt that this set me on my free-market fandom, because as Jake Klein reports: The Story of the Ritz Cracker Is the Story of Capitalism.

    When you last visited the supermarket, you likely walked past a box you’ve seen many times before. The Ritz Cracker has been a staple on American store shelves for 90 years, yet today the snack is often looked down upon; its mass-produced, corporate, and carb-heavy nature has fallen out of favor in an era preferring craft-made, local, and gluten-free foods.

    But the Ritz Cracker is worth taking a second look at. There’s more to this simple snack than you might think.

    When the Invisible Hand offers you a Ritz, just say yes.

Last Modified 2024-06-04 6:12 PM EDT