SocraticGadfly

June 20, 2024

Is Long COVID really THAT bad? Set Lynn Parramore's grift aside

In a story sure to warm the cockles of People's CDC types, this interview claims it is.

Problem? If not entirely, to some degree, it comes off as throwing shit against the wall.

Specifically, blaming the uptick in car crashes on long COVID, rather than the pandemic increasing people's driving recklessness without a later decrease, yet more larger pickups and SUVs on the road, etc. In other words, like other pieces by the People's CDC and fellow travelers, no nuance.

Other problems abound. The interviewee, Philip Alvelda, has a "Dr." in front of his name, but he ain't an MD. Nor is his PhD in virology or similar. He does have two, but one is electrical engineering and the other computer science.

Likewise, interviewer Lynn Parramore has a doctorate, but in her case, the subject isn't even disclosed. Guessing, by the rest of her bio, though, that if not in semiotics (the study of signs and significations in languages) it's somewhere else in literary theory.

The website? Well, "economics" is the main part of the URL! Not "medicine." And, per its "about,"

We are economists and thinkers from a range of disciplines who challenge conventional wisdom and advance ideas to better serve society.

Uhh, yeah.

So, no, contra one other Tweeter on Sunday, this is not a "must" for all mass media to be covering.

And, any site that has both Naomi Oreskes and Jonathan Haidt featured up front will be "interesting." That said, in a lot of cases, sites like this just get some academic's research assistant to grok, give the boss a 30-second nutgraf, and get them to sign off their name. I highly doubt the site's 1,655 (and counting?) experts really, for the most part, have the time to give it the time of day. In addition, in some cases, such sites may try to act like interviewing gatekeepers.

And, Parramore couldn't find a single expert on the medical and epidemiological issues among those 1,655? Interesting, it's not her first long COVID article for the site. Three guesses as to the interviewee in the previous one and the first two don't count. I officially call shenanigans.

Meanwhile, it's probably time to post the Worldometers link again and remind open-minded people there is no new surge.

Did Bibi not take an Israeli history class in high school?

I mean, his blanket refusal to negotiate period with Hamas is, beyond being genocidal and warmongering.

It's also plain stupid.

And full of crap.

Per the rhetorical question in the header, James Dorsey gets at the details.

He mentions, as have other news and opinion outlets, Netanyahu's statement that no, Israel won't "occupy" Gaza in nine months or so (his projected date for the end of the war), won't get involved in guerilla warfare, etc.

He then mention's Bib's oft-stated plan to have some Palestinian administer Gaza after those nine months or whatever.

Really? 

What fucking planet do you live on?

Even more likely than the likelihood of Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskyy being assassinated if he actually tried to implement the Minsk Accords (in 2019, let alone today), any Palestinian who volunteered to run Israel's toxic inferno in Gaza would be a walking dead man.

And, per the high school history class part of the rhetorical question?

It was long after he graduated high school, of course, but ...

ISRAEL FUCKING HELPED CREATE HAMAS.

I mean, as The Times of Israel reported just after Oct. 7, 2023, Bibi was involved personally with puffing up Hamas as a counterweight to the Palestinian Authority. This idea has that stupidity written all over it.

But, that's not new. At the Intercept, Mehdi Hasan has the full backstory in a 2018 story:

“When I look back at the chain of events, I think we made a mistake,” David Hacham, a former Arab affairs expert in the Israeli military who was based in Gaza in the 1980s, later remarked. “But at the time, nobody thought about the possible results.”

"They never do, do they?" Hasan himself said right after that as the last sentence of the story. 

I think there's one other issue. I don't know what the Israeli Hebrew phrase is for "Irish Alzheimer's," but Bibi makes #GenocideJoe look like a piker on that.

June 19, 2024

Israel-related international news roundup

Next up for Israel's genocide-glinting eyes? Trying to take out Hezbullah in Lebanon. French President Macron wants a peaceful (or more peaceful, we should say) alternative, but Israel refuses. The fact that it's Yoav Gallant making that rejection means he will NOT follow Benny Gantz out of Bibi's Cabinet. And, #GenocideJoe, if he does anything, will blabber about another red line that he will then let Bibi break without consequence.

Meanwhile, Bibi has dissolved his war cabinet after Gantz and two observer-level allies walked out. NBC, showing how bad the MSM is on Israel-Palestine issues, called Gantz a "centrist" in its cabinet story.

British PM Rishi Sunak and his Tories face "extinction," according to British polls. Sadly, Labour is led by Keir Starmer, known as Der Starmer in these parts for his support of Zio-fascism.

Apple hates Palestinians and it starts with CEO Tim Cook.

About that pending new 'Liberal Party'

I had originally scheduled this as the next presidential news roundup, but with all the focus on one potential new political party, shifted to it being just about that.

Via Independent Political Report, a "Liberal Party," long rumored, the work of Ye Olde Tyme Libertarians fed up with the Mises Mice, will officially meet in Houston in December. Per links off that link, this has roots going back to 2022, when the NM LP disaffiliated from LP National, which in turn disaffiliated it back.

As for the logo? Not sure why on a bison. Hope of resurgence? Or is that an already-extinct aurochs? More on the party here.

More related background, vis-a-vis this year's election cycle, can be seen in my update from two weeks ago.

George Phillies has more at Third Party Watch, which directly ties to my update of June 6. He notes that Liberal Party organizers at first thought the nomination of Chase Oliver, a non-Mouse, was bad for the movement. But, LP chair Angela McAwful giving him only a conditional endorsement in "blue" states (interesting for a third-party leader to fall into duopoly-speak), and the Montana LP saying we won't back him, gives them new light. 

There is funniness at that link, too. Some of the Liberal Party's would-be organizers claim that Mice shadowed them last month at the LP national convention. IMO, paranoia is second to a fondness for lawsuits as a requirement to be a good Libertarian. And, near the end of that Phillies piece, within the current LP at least, at least some are loading up their lawsuit guns further.

As for the name? Yes, as made explicit at 3PW, it's an appeal to the classical liberal tradition. Well, in the US, to the degree that had any footage, it died with the old Whig Party. In Europe, which is what the "classical liberal" appeal often looks to, William Gladstone died well over a century ago and the Liberal Party died a flat 100 years ago, notwithstanding its anemic LDP successor, as I told IPR.

In the US? The Whig Party died before the Civil War and anyway, since it favored a high protective tariff, wasn't really classical liberal in any case.

Back to that name, and three other problems with it.

First, being "classical liberals" doesn't guarantee a party free of bigotry. Look at "classical liberal" racist Andrew Sullivan.

Second, whether party founders are more elitist, more effitist or a mix of both, I don't know. They are something in that ballpark, though, and this is where branding and perceptions will hurt them. The Mice will play off that to look like "blue collar libertarians," I'm sure.

Third, IPR comment nutter "Nuña" gets the idea but thinks that both the LP and the Liberals are quasi-leftist. He gets FAR MORE nutter on Ballot-Access's posting of IPR's link. So do others, like Pig Farmer, sometimes halfway reasonable there, getting nostalgic for Lester Maddox.

I am curious how Texas Libertarians respond to this.

June 18, 2024

Noam Chomsky, tribalism, social media herd behavior, friendship and self-owns

Well, it looks very much like Noam Chomsky is not dead yet.

And, per all the things in the header above after his name, that's what happened.

A herd of Twitter blue check types, many rushing to show just how close they are to Noam Chomsky, rushed to get pieces out online before somebody else did, as proof of closeness.

And then had it blow up in their faces. (I bit a degree myself, after I saw enough of these claims, but by the time Wiki had posted a "cautionary note" at the top of Chomsky's page, I was already pulling back, as I'd not seen an official newspaper-type obituary. And, to be honest, the reason I bit was because I was posting a "takedown" obit and didn't want to get lost in the blizzard of hagiography before it was too late. And, I've reposted that actual takedown to a date ahead [hopefully I will remember to push it back again if needed] and already added yet more information to it.)

And, the "blow up in their faces" is made more schadenfreud-ic (I'll invent that) by Glennwald, the odious and oily Glenn Greenwald, presumably obsequious enough to Chomsky to suck him in, was one of the first pushbacks against the largely leftist contingent of eulogizers. Posted at r/Chomsky, in case Glennwald has you blocked like me. (On the r/Chomsky subreddit, there was a fair chunk of comments about how he, Chomsky, not Greenwald, was always good about defending right-wing authoritarians. I think that overstates the case, but isn't necessarily totally off the mark on reality, and certainly not on the empirical basis of such perceptions.)

Oh, reminder for people at r/Chomsky and elsewhere? Glenn ain't a leftist, but in Brazil, he and David Miranda are not only economic elite 1 percenters, they're almost surely real elite 0.1 percenters. And, yes, Glennwald's fanbois will try to spin that one, too.

It's kind of sad on two counts. First, of course, the "sadly" of Chomsky and Greenwald cozying up, surely enhanced or exacerbated by his second wife, Valeria Wasserman, getting him to move to Brazil after their 2014 marriage. Indeed, after he was "stable" after his 2013 massive stroke, as soon as possible, she got him moved back out of US medical care. So, that Glenn-Noam "coziness" only increased, AFAIK, after he moved to Brazil and his second marriage.

Sidebar: Is Wasserman acting like Clarke Abbey to Ed Abbey, a "gatekeeper" to his legacy (and possible bucks off that)?

So, do NOT "bring out your dead" if they're still alive.

Sad on the other part is people like former Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis rushing to publish encomia online as if to prove that they were in Chomsky's inner circle and ..

If anything, prove they were not.

And, while Varoufakis might himself try to run and hide on Twitter, the Wayback Machine makes sure his New Statesman piece is still there for all of us to see. Will Jacobin and others also have been captured? We shall see. I left up my original "I bit," along with most of the content, and added a NOT in front of the header and moved on. Jacobin appears to have edited its original, but did it do so soon enough?

Worse? This gives the Glennwalds of the world and, even more, their fanbois, another cudgel of "fake news" to swing. They're already doing it.

And, per paragraph No. 4 above? When Chomsky actually dies, we'll probably, to riff on The Holy Grail, get a non-ironic Brave Sir Noam, a la Brave Sir Robin but meant seriously.)

And, the Varoufakises and Jacobin publishers of the world probably still won't peek behind the curtain. Just as nobody who was responsible for claiming, then spreading the claim, of Chomsky's death is going to fess up. Professional leftism is incestuous.

NOT so #RIP on Noam Chomsky the duopolist, backdoor Zionist and dated intellectual

This isn't going to be as fierce of a takedown obit as I did on Ruth Bader Ginsburg, aka the Notorious RBG, aka here, the Neoliberal RBG, a few years ago. (And, yes, as of 3 p.m. CDT here in the USofA, he may be, per Monty Python, "not quite dead" yet. But, re the stroke that hit him last year? If he's speechless and communicative only by body gestures, to go "meta" on linguistics issues, there's no way of knowing how much of the world he understands anyway. And, to go quantum-meta, maybe whether he's dead or not depends on who's observing. Schrödinger's Chomsky, anybody?)

But, per the header, and, on the idea that he is dead, there's that issue staring us in the face. And, the two others that I added to the original.

Update, 4:10 p.m. CDT:

Noam appears quite alive, even if, per his stroke, how "alive" is he? (Is his second wife acting like Clarke Abbey to Ed Abbey, a legacy-protector, and legacy-hawker, as much as anything? And, sadly, one of the early push-backs on the "he's dead" came from Glennwald; the sadly is the degree to which Chomsky cozied up to Greenwald, which only increased, AFAIK, after he moved to Brazil and his second marriage.

So, do NOT "bring out your dead" if they're still alive.

Anyway, he's still, dead, alive or undead, a duopolist and a backdoor Zionist.

And, we now have the issue of egg on your face, tribalism, and questions of who's a Chomsky insider these days and who's not. I tackle all of that.

Noam shoved it in the political public intellectuals' faces four years ago when he cosigned a public letter telling Green Party presidential nominee Howie Hawkins to "run a safe states strategy." Hawkins told him, Barbara Ehrenreich (a Maoist duopolist!) and others, politely, to STFU, after first critiquing their errors and bad assumptions. I doubled down on the STFU and the critique of the thought behind it. 

Worse? None of these duopoly sheepdoggers offered Hawkins any quid pro quo.

But, that was nothing new for Noam, who, to be honest, was a hypocrite. I mean, you have to be, to offer near-blanket condemnations of US foreign policy under presidents of both duopoly parties, rightful condemnations of human rights violations and more, and then go sheepdogging, even as a Hillbot in 2016, and then getting somewhat self-righteous after 2016 election day. Chomsky refused to look at Democrats' Overton-window shifting, which, on foreign policy, has seen the chickens come home to roost with #GenocideJoe after Oct. 7, 2023. (It may have been in part due to health issues, but Chomsky seeing the chickens come home to roost himself had been pretty quiet in the past 8 months.)

That said, even in 2012, he couldn't bring himself to talk about third-party candidates. But, he did like Democrat in DSA Rosey clothes Bernie Sanders.

==

Speaking of? Noam has been chickenshit on BDS, as Mondoweiss details. Refusing to support the Right of Return is chickenshit 101, and yes, it's backdoor Zionism. (And, in turn, it probably ties back to his duopoly sheepdogging.) Beyond that, the idea that Israel breaks international law on other issues anyway, so, we are asking for something that won't happen anyway, is Zionism 202. Imagine if, on the United States, somebody had told that to Chomsky as justification for not pushing for UN resolutions about the US.

Here's the nutgraf, down at the bottom, of that piece:

But perhaps Professor Chomsky’s strangest statement of all, a rather terrifying statement on the face of it, is that “There is no reason to expect Israel to accept a Palestinian population it does not want.” There you have it, all condensed into one sentence, an admission that Israel is a racially predicated state and that the rights of the Palestinians themselves must remain subservient to it. There is no reason to expect a settler nation to accept the people whose land it took. Everything is framed in terms of what Israel wants, or what Israel will or will not agree to. Is this the same Noam Chomsky whose Manufacturing Consent and Fateful Triangle sit on my bookshelf?

That's Noam Chomsky, folks. (Per the first segment, above, let's not forget that St. Bernard of Sanders is also anti-BDS. No wonder Chomsky puffed him as a smokescreen to hide the fact that he was at bottom line still a duopoly guy.)

I had glanced at that Mondoweiss piece a few years back, when trying to run to ground just how much off the wall (I knew they were at least somewhat off the wall) Margaret Kimberly's claims about Chomsky were. (His death will probably bring some more of that out of the woodwork.) But, I looked at it in more depth today when I saw Chomsky trending on Twitter and the first claims that he had passed away. Noam really does not look very good in that piece, even with his "nuances."

Side note: Per his Wiki bio, in the late 1930s, he considered moving to a kibbutz in then-Mandatory Palestine. And, a newspaper in Brazil, where he moved to a few years ago, says he did live on a kibbutz in 1953. So, his later "backdoor Zionism" was of a piece. (And, we can't even blame Leon Uris' "Exodus," or the movie, which I do blame in part, and semi-seriously, for Biden's stance.)

And, people on the r/Chomsky subreddit didn't like me calling him a backdoor Zionist.

Is it any wonder he was a duopoly sheepdogger?

Interesting side note: In an old interview with Al Jazeera, Chomsky notes that Israeli leaders, including Bibi, would usually ultimately, at least on the surface, fall in line when a US president staked out a certain stance. That stopped with Obama, he says. But, Chomsky doesn't seem to ponder the likely Israeli racism behind that.

==

Dated intellectual?

Yes, part 1 ties with the above. Here's a brief rundown of his other foreign policy pulled-punch stances.

But, we've already covered that.

Sidebar: He came off as clueless (and in hindsight, was he having mental problems?) when he suggested, three months after Putin's invasion of Ukraine, that Trump would be a great peace negotiator.

==

Let's look at part 2. He was also a dated intellectual on linguistics. The brain is not massively modular, and that was known long ago. But, as far as I know, Chomsky never updated his theories of language and linguistics, but just moved on. The idea of a universal grammar was also put on at least somewhat tentative grounds.

He also, as I note there, got lucky to attack behaviorism publicly on the issue of language development just as it was already caving in. And, by presenting his thoughts as what seemed to be the only option?

Chomsky also was ...

A duopolist on theories of language. No wonder he moved on.

In reality, many of his ideas have been out of date, or at least partially out of date, for 30 years or more. If behavioralism overstate external influences on language development, his quasi-Ev Psych ideas (it's why people like Steve Pinker ran with his "massive modularity" ideas about the brain) understated said influences, and understated both how classical neo-Darwinian evolution could produce gradual, graduated language development, especially in conjunction with cultural evolution.

==

So, non-rhetorically like Marc Antony, I came to bury Chomsky, not to praise him.

And, I have saved an even broader version of this in the hopper, post-dated enough that I can pull out out of storage for when he actually dies, when "the icy hand of death" grips him.