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Executive Summary: Would a scientist of Ferguson's professional reputation put it in jeopardy to help his girl friend's favorite cause?

A couple of weeks ago I asked a friend, a fairly clue-enabled fellow, don't cha know?, who was it who first suggested, as a strategy for confronting THE VIRUS, that we just "shut down the economy?" He thought the idea came from The White House, from Donald Trump hisself. I took this under advisement, so to speak, since my friend never had any but harsh words for the President.

This very question was raised this afternoon on talk radio, in light of the fall from grace of the British scientist Neil Ferguson, already infamous for his hugely erroneous first estimates of the death tolls to be expected from THE VIRUS (if I recall correctly, 2.2 million Americans and 500,000 Britons).

Now we are treated to the datapoint containing the identity of his current mistress; she is a high-level (opera-star quality, a diva) activist in progressive politics (notably global-warming).

So one theory is that many, like Mr. Trump, were sufficiently impressed by that 2.2. million figure to agree to harsh wide-ranging curtailment of all forms of economic activity, all in the name of supporting the "social distancing" claimed by experts like Mr. Ferguson to be the only effective response to the outbreak.

Aye but therein's the rub, because the expert had some days later to revise downwards his casualty estimates; it seems he had not added into his calculations the beneficent effect a thorough-going campaign of social disstancing would produce.

Since the Global Wackadoo Environmental Mania holds that the only hope for saving the earth is to clamp down on 1) the number of humans roaming around the planet, and also on 2) all the noxious activities in which they engage solely for the sake of creating HUGE piles of legal tender, one should ask, as many conspiracy theorists already have, would said wackadoo activists put out bogus "scientific" projections in order to frighten the rest of us into accepting their huge social engineering of our lives to Save The Earth?

Would a scientist of Ferguson's professional reputation put it in jeopardy to help his girl friend's favorite cause?

Posted Thu May 7 17:31:06 2020

Back before the End Of The World as we knew it I would several times a week tune into Howie Carr's talk-radio show out of Boston. Then, due to the advent of THE BUG, I missed a coupla-few weeks but returned earlier this week. It was a chilling experience.

I had to ask myself, while listening, is this a man we want bandying thoughts about the nation's public heatlh policies to an audience of at least hundreds of thousands? Or, for that matter, do we want to hear Jake Tapper or Sean Hannity spouting off about it either? These men are, with regard to the natural sciences (and using the latest au courant nomenclature) "developmentally different." In short they are morons.

I doubt Howie Carr has ever held a slide rule or an abacus in his hands. Can it be in any sense a good thing that the public "discussion" of the open/close-the-economy question has calcified into the latest ultra-polarized political football, such that the SJW and virtue-signalers now comprise the core of our ink-stained wretches' cyber editions of the "news?" Casting the open/close question as a binary "throw the switch" choice invites huge misunderstandings for a large group of people who do not yet understand, say, time zones!

We are far from an understanding of the bug's biology that might suitably inform the public policy choices that now have so many bowels in uproarious states. Is it likely the bug might respond coherently, so to speak, to binary off/on throw-the-switch changes made by humans? Mother Nature has a way of chastening any hubris that might suppose so. She will look at our inane policy fumblings and think to Herself, "Oh really? Is that how you insane humans think I work? Really? Well hold on to your hats you silly bozos and WATCH THIS!" -- at which point an incomprehensible unfolding of a Catch-22 of beyond-epic proportions -- one we could never dream of -- disrobes in front of our oh-so-easily dazzled eyes.

Posted Thu Apr 23 09:54:30 2020

Stoopid virus, stoopid blog, STOOPD ME.

Posted Mon Apr 20 08:43:51 2020

Here are a couple of things worth sending out to your liberal um friends.

First up is Postcard From Pre-Totalitarian America.

a) If the phrase "Critical Theory" is unfamiliar to you then you have a good solid three months' (minimum) hard catch-up study awaiting you.

b) If the name "Herbert Marcuse" is also unfamiliar to you then see "a" above.

I have not "kept up" with this school of thought, but somewhere in this cluttered home is my first edition hardbound copy of Marcuse's One-Dimensional Man (1964), purchased in 1965 or '66. As an MIT undergrad supremely fortunate enough to sit in the classroom of the now-late and much lamented professor of history there Bruce Mazlish I was steered towards Marcuse's previous magnum opus Eros and Civiization (1955).

The philosophical foundations of modern Leftist political action is to be found in Critical Theory, especially as articulated by Marcuse. Now you know enough to read the article linked above.

Next up is Bernie Sanders is the front-runner because of how we raised our kids.

It is rare for an op-ed to become the dominant topic on the Providence morning drive-time AM talk radio program, but this one did. Checkitout.

Posted Tue Feb 25 08:18:48 2020

I am a radio guy. Always have been. I would lie awake and listen to Jean Shepherd live bouncing his powerful New York City AM signal off the ionosphere. It came in just outside of Boston like a ton of bricks. "Five by five" to use the military jargon (which I hope I am using correctly).

Check this out, courtesy the lovely Tara Granahan, Providence's morning talk-babe and all-around good egg:

Which raises the question: when did the Weather Channel become a communist propaganda outlet?

Posted Wed Jan 29 12:52:23 2020

Be sure to watch the video clip on this page.

Posted Wed Jan 22 18:19:05 2020

A discussion of transponders on Forbes' website. The suggestion is made that perhaps the flight crew was changing the transponder "squawk" code and had thus momentarily disabled that device. But it's late, and I haven't read the whole article.

Posted Tue Jan 14 01:10:25 2020

I began this post about an hour ago. Then I came across something strange. I believe the AP story (linked below) as presented on the WWW may have been edited to remove any mention of "jamming" radio signals around Tehran.

When I first read the AP story this was mentioned, but, as everyone knows, every civilian flight bears a "transponder" -- a radio device that constantly emits a signal identifying the plane and the flight it is on.

I went to cite this passage from the AP story, and it is poof gone! Here is how I began this first version of this post, and you can see where I broke off typing to retrieve the AP story language mentioning jamming of radio signals:

Although Drudge has notoriously taken a hard turn left-ward, he gets props and a h/t for linking an AP article on the debacle of the Iranian shoot-down of a civilian flight out of Tehran's airport. AP, in its turn seems also to have done the right thing, and written a piece of informed news reporting, rather than the partisan cant they seem unable to avoid these days. The article brings out this fascinating fact:

The question of the transponder has not however been lost. From the NY Times:

The Tor software relied on radar and visual identification of a plane as well as the identification signals from the transponder, John Cox, an accident investigator and former pilot who is the chief executive of Safety Operating Systems, said. If the identification is incorrect or absent from the plane, Mr. Cox said, the system "will declare it a threat."

"Tor" is the code-name for the Iranian anti-aircraft system that was evidently in play. I suggest we all stay tuned for more on this question of transponders and "jamming."

Found this tonight.

Still going through the comments but transponders do not appear to figure prominently in the speculation.

Posted Sun Jan 12 13:56:42 2020

I just sent this out to my vast empire of devout followers:

From: Bob Bernstein
Subject: Those wacky Iranians
Date: Sat, 11 Jan 2020 12:09:34
User-Agent: Alpine 2.21 (DEB 202 2017-01-01)

Thursday afternoon (1/9/2020), as speculation grew around the Ukrainian "plane crash," I emailed a friend who had confessed to feeling anxious about the possible fallout ("war") from the kill-shot made at Baghdad airport, taking out the Iranian "general:":

"Just heard a story is now out suggesting the Uke plane was shot down by Iran "by mistake."

"Their clones of Russian antiAA/antiMissile weapons?"

I knew I had read some time ago the Iranians claimed to have cloned the Russian S-300 air defense system, and even touted their clone as superior to the Russian original.

I've located a pertinent article. I am not familiar with the source, and since it is long I have not read the whole thing. But it contains the key point, typical of the inane boasting we first heard from Baghdad Bob:

"The Iranian designed and built Sayyad 3 missile for the Bavar-373 appears to be the same size and shape as the S-300 missile and carried in similar canisters. Iran insists that Bavar-373 is superior to the S-300. Now that Russia has delivered S-300s Iran will be under pressure have to reveal if it believes its own propaganda about which system is superior."

"Our noble republic, founded by free men with a cold-eyed appreciation of human weakness, has fallen to smiley-face happy talkers bleating sentimental cant...Idiots!"

John Derbyshire

Mark Levin has suggested, as an update of "Baghdad Bob," Tehran Nancy.

Posted Sat Jan 11 12:46:04 2020

The most ridiculous aspect of the progressives' fear-mongering is that there is no Muslim military power on the face of the earth. Iran is a medieval theocracy controlled by a small group of old stupid men, who could not direct the technological effort of the scope required by modern military techniques if their rule depended on it, which rule may, in the long or short run, so depend.

The Iranians have never touched off a nuclear weapon, let alone a modern fusion device. The have not tested any of their missiles in a way that might lead anyone to believe they work, and work accurately, and of course, as noted, one of the tasks that is quite beyond the ability of the mullahs is guiding the development of a nuclear device warhead that could safely and usefully be put atop a missile. Custom fitting a fusion device into a package small enough to be used in a missile requires the mobilization of enormous scientific and engineering expertise, and Iran is nowhere near such an effort. They can make as much plutonium as they like, but it will not magically transmogrify into a weapon system.

(Added after a helpful exchange with a knowledgeable friend:)

...the Norks...have I believe nothing in the way of missiles or warheads we need fear. Recall how as children it was possible for us to coat a CO2 cartridge with Duco cement, set the glue on fire and then quickly place over it an empty large tomato juice can with one lid completely removed and the other intact. Run like hell. That's the NK missile system as far as I can see.

Posted Mon Jan 6 15:33:50 2020

Duckman is channeled by

Out-of-date, abbreviated CV