Monday, April 27, 2020

Burned Out

     I'm burned out on idiots and fools.  From politicians publicly spitballing notions that should only have been shared behind closed doors (if then) to "gotcha!" media that waves shrieking fresh-ink headlines for every gaffe to the contrarian (or possibly just that stupid) half-wits who apparently assume that if the New York Times and CNN say not to drink bleach or disinfectant* (because the President mused on the topic), then clearly the thing to do is to drink bleach or disinfectant.†

     I'm sick and tired being run ragged by a damn virus, and even more so by arguments over the effects of a damn virus.  I don't know how big a pile of corpses or how many unplanned-for filled hospital beds it takes to convince some people, but apparently more dead Americans than died in twenty years of fighting in Vietnam isn't enough.

     I'm tired of quack medicine and bullshit pseudoscience.  No, 5G didn't cause COVID-19, and while Bill Gates and I would probably never vote for the same people, he's not a shadowy mastermind plotting to Beast-mark your kids, he's a zillionaire who started to feel guilty about eating imported French PB&J sandwiches off solid-gold tennis shoes in the back of his platinum-plated Bentley submarine, and decided that funding medical initiatives that were likely to result in fewer dead children would make him feel better and reduce his tax payments.  Look askance at his politics all you like; being aghast at the politicians and causes our fellow citizens support is a national pastime older than baseball. Sneer at him all you like -- then tell me how many poor kids your disposable income saved last week.

     I'm annoyed and angry at how few people pay attention to the real stuff the real enemies of this country get up to.  No, China didn't tinker up SARS-CoV-2 and they almost certainly didn't let it slip out of a lab -- but they lied about its communicability, they lied about its impact on their country, and I still have doubts that we're getting reliable numbers.  In their haste to make the West look inept, China has sold (and sometimes given away) dodgy coronavirus test kits and defective medical supplies; they've held up shipments of personal protective gear bound to the U.S.  Russia is even worse; their long-term, invidious effort to undermine public trust in American political institutions has been reaping great benefits from this crisis.  Russia is on no one's side but their own and they are happy to encourage internal divisions in the United States.  They have long seen our political system of opposing parties and factions as a great weakness and they continue to try to use it against us -- every link you post to Russia Today (not free media; it is controlled by the Russian government) or Zero Hedge (very probably an FSB black- or gray-propaganda operation) helps them.  Don't be a stooge!

     Last, I am irked by people who won't do their homework, and just lazily post links that confirm what they already wanted to believe.  My favorite was the headline claiming there are 3.5 million more registered voters than adults in the U. S. -- shocking stuff!  Except, whoops, a little fiddling with search engines turns up 153 million registered voters in the U. S., out of just over 253 million citizens over the age of 18.  The headline is off by over a hundred and three million!  Digging deeper finds the 2017 National Review article that the headlined piece was based on, in which Deroy Murdock found a few hundred dead people had voted and turned up a lot of registered voters on the rolls who were no longer at the address on their registrations -- moved away, abducted by aliens or dead, but also most of them no longer voting.  It's not great, but it's not millions of fraudulent votes either. On a national scale, it's pretty far down in the noise.  Look that stuff up!  You have at your fingertips the greatest engine for finding out that has ever existed, and you won't use it.  I am mystified by the appeal of shiny candy-coated humbug over unvarnished fact.
* Seriously, listen to me.  Their politics are often biased and like any journalists, on any complex or specialized topic they are often working on a deadline from fresh notes about a subject they had only general knowledge about a day earlier, if they even knew that much.  But a large subset of journalists have previously consumed or will drink now anything even remotely potable, especially if it might be intoxicating.  When they tell you what isn't safe to drink, they're right 99.9999999999999% of the time.

 † To be perfectly fair, at least some of the reported and tragically-foolish ingestion of cleaners occurred before the President's remarks and ensuing press furor, presumably as the result of quack medicine and/or unusual religious practices.  Look, I'm not going to tell you how to practice your religion, but as a general rule there's no good outcome to drinking such substances.


Eck! said...


I am an engineer with others backgrounds and following the news the level
of hilarity and FUD is nothing short of amazing. Then we get to many sites
where confirmation bias is only exceeded by noise.

Getting good valid information is running close to a signal to noise
of unity.


Jeffrey Smith said...

Again, thanks for being the voice of reason. But may I point out that, while we can't give on the scale of Bill Gates, most food banks will take whatever they can get, and the beneficiaries will be generally in your own city or county.

JC said...

I do love you very much. I hoist my PBJ in your honor.

JC said...

Eck? That's what I called 'chaff to wheat ratio' Back in the 70s