Doctors admit stealing property, but refuse to give it back

From the American Medical Association’s Organization Strategic Plan to Embed Racial Justice and Advance Health Equity:

We acknowledge that we are all living off the taken ancestral lands of Indigenous peoples for thousands of years.

From “Prioritizing Equity video series: Police Brutality & COVID-19” (AMA):

I am Dr. Aletha Maybank, I am chief health equity officer at the American Medical Association over the Center for Health Equity. … We work to ensure equitable opportunities and conditions and innovation for marginalized and minoritized people and communities. … So I first want to recognize and acknowledge the land in which we are all sitting on and the Indigenous people who have been here for thousands of years before us, whose land was dispossessed at the same time, able to thrive and survive till this day.

(Doctors don’t like the police, but aren’t they one of the principal reasons why lower income Americans end up entangled with the police? Medical bills, oftentimes starting at 5-10X what an insurance company would have paid, lead to evictions and personal bankruptcy (see “Enforcing Eviction: As a national housing crisis approaches, the police side with property against people.” (The Nation)).)

From the American Medical Association’s Advancing Health Equity: Guide to Language, Narrative and Concepts:

The Association of American Medical Colleges’ headquarters is located in Washington, D.C., the traditional homelands of the Nacotchtank, Piscataway and Pamunkey people. The American Medical Association’s headquarters is located in the Chicago area on taken ancestral lands of indigenous tribes, such as the Council of the Three Fires, composed of the Ojibwe, Odawa and Potawatomi Nations, as well as the Miami, Ho-Chunk, Menominee, Sac, Fox, Kickapoo and Illinois Nations.

Doctors are fairly rich. If they admit that they’re on stolen (“taken”) land, why don’t they give the land back to the nearest Native American and then pay him/her/zir/them rent?

Separately, the above language guide contains some helpful tips. It is not “individuals” but “survivors”; it is not “the obese” but “people with severe obesity” (remember that, whatever the term used, the #science-informed optimum medical response to a virus that attacks the obese is a next-to-the-fridge lockdown!):

Sometimes it is not that hard to achieve equity:

Sometimes it is, in fact, way easier than you’d think:

A revenue source by any other name would be just as lucrative?

If you hire people of only one skin color, that’s a “race-conscious” process:

How many enslaved persons show up at the typical U.S. healthcare facility?

If Justin Trudeau’s use of 2SLGBTQQIA+ has you scratching your head, turn to the glossary:

(“It is also not a term that can be used by a non-Indigenous person” yet there is no indication that a Native American contributed to this document. Isn’t putting the term in a glossary a “use” of the term?)

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Covid testing success story from Holland (the South African 61)

“The Netherlands finds 61 Covid cases in air arrivals from South Africa, and is checking for the variant.” (NYT):

Sixty-one people from two flights from South Africa to the Netherlands have tested positive for the coronavirus, Dutch health officials said early Saturday. It was unclear as of late morning local time if the cases were linked to the newly discovered Omicron variant.

The health officials tested 600 passengers who arrived on Friday morning at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport. Those who tested negative were allowed to leave the airport and quarantine at home, or to continue their journeys.

In other words, 10 percent of the folks who arrived in Holland tested positive for plague. Why should that be surprising in a world crammed with 8 billion tempting human hosts for a virus? 100 percent of these people would have tested negative for plague shortly before getting on the two planes. The Dutch require a negative COVID-19 test result for anyone coming in from outside the EU (and also for many of those arriving from within the EU):

You must show a negative COVID-19 test result if you are travelling to or returning to the Netherlands from outside the EU/Schengen or a COVID-19 risk area within the EU/Schengen. This requirement applies to everyone aged 12 or over. There are some exceptions. For example: people travelling within the EU who can show proof of vaccination or proof of recovery (a Digital COVID Certificate) do not have to show a negative COVID-19 test result.

The requirements are detailed on a separate web page:

Does the news from Amsterdam give us any reason to question our faith in testing?

Didn’t our heroine Elizabeth Holmes actually do better than this at Theranos? And yet she, despite being a victim of rape, is being prosecuted for the low quality of the Theranos tests.

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Stop 20 COVID illnesses by hassling 178,322 people

“Revisiting the Bangladesh Mask RCT” covers the one “gold standard” paper looking at the question of whether ordering the general public to wear masks has any effect on coronaplague. The previously touted conclusions were that cloth masks were useless, but that ordering everyone to wear surgical masks could reduce plague by 11 percent. “Revisiting the Bangladesh Mask RCT” gives us some actual numbers:

In the Bangladesh Mask RCT, there were nC=163,861 individuals from 300 villages in the control group. There were nT=178,322 individuals from 300 villages in the intervention group. The main end point of the study was whether their intervention reduced the number of individuals who both reported covid-like symptoms and tested seropositive at some point during the trial. The number of such individuals appears nowhere in their paper, and one has to compute this from the data they kindly provided: There were iC=1,106 symptomatic individuals confirmed seropositive in the control group and iT=1,086 such individuals in the treatment group. The difference between the two groups was small: only 20 cases out of over 340,000 individuals over a span of 8 weeks.

If we assume that the authors got everything right, and this isn’t simply statistical noise, we’re left with the result that 178,322 poor souls had to be hassled by pubic health Karens in order to eliminate roughly 20 cases of COVID-19 (to be completely fair, a little more than that since the treatment group was larger).

Related (predictions of #Science versus outcomes, albeit not randomized controlled trials):

Motivation to visit Bangladesh:

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How is the beginner pilot doing on the solo round-the-world flight?

From August 27: 130-hour pilot takes off for a round-the-world flight in a light airplane

It looks as though the 19-year-old pilot had some maintenance and perhaps weather delays in Alaska, but as of October 24, 2021 was forecasting arrival at the Shark factory in Slovakia today:

We can check FlyZolo to see how light aircraft reality matched up to light aircraft plans! (It may be fair to say that the worse the match, the better the pilot and/or dispatcher/planner!)

Related:

  • “Teenage Aviator Aims to Be Youngest Woman to Circle the Globe Solo” (NYT): Zara Rutherford, 19, left Belgium last week and plans to complete her journey by early November. … If she does, she would overtake Shaesta Waiz to become the youngest woman to circumnavigate the globe solo in a single-engine aircraft. (Travis Ludlow, an aviator from Britain, did so in July at the age of 18.) … “Such a great example for women, to see that we are capable of so much more than we sometimes think, believe or dream!” Ms. Rutherford wrote on Facebook. [How does the NYT know that Travis Ludlow does not identify as a woman? Isn’t it possible that Ludlow is already the youngest woman to circumnavigate the globe solo?]
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The police department job interview

Herschel Mendelbaum goes to the Boston Police Department and applies for a job. He’s interviewed by Sergeant O’Leary, who concludes by saying, “You will be a strong candidate for the job if you can tell me who killed Jesus.”

“Sorry, I don’t know,” answered Herschel.

“Come on now,” winked Sergeant O’Leary. “Everybody knows who really killed Jesus!”

“Sorry – I still don’t know,” said Mendelbaum.

“Tell you what I’ll do,” O’Leary said. “You go home and ask all your little Jew friends who killed Jesus. Come back after St. Patrick’s Day and if you can tell me the answer, the job is yours!”

Mendelbaum got home and his wife asked, “Did you get the job?”

He answered, “Not yet, but I think I’ve got the inside track. They’ve already got me working on a big murder case!”

aaaaand…. Happy Hanukkah for those who celebrate religious intolerance! (“… everyone agrees that the Maccabees won out in the end and imposed their version of Judaism on the formerly Hellenized Jews. So Hanukkah, in essence, commemorates the triumph of fundamentalism over cosmopolitanism.”)

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Thankful that life insurance rates are still down

In COVID-19 is sure to kill you, but life insurance rates haven’t changed (August 21, 2021), I cited a December 2020 study of life insurance rates from 100 different companies. COVID-19 was killing so many healthy folks in their prime that the insurance companies hadn’t bothered to raise rates.

It’s been almost a year. Vaccines are available for the faithful. Every day we read about an unvaccinated person getting his/her/zir/their just deserts, gasping for breath and then dying on a ventilator in an overcrowded ICU.

What’s happening in the life insurance market? As Phil Connors found out in Groundhog Day, it is easy to talk to life insurance agents. I chatted with one outside Loxahatchee Ice Cream Company and learned that rates remain about the same or slightly lower than in 2019. Business was good. Consistent with “Your Vaccination Status Won’t Affect What You Pay for Life Insurance — for Now” (Money), the agent said that carriers were not interested in whether an applicant for insurance had been or would be vaccinated.

The second agent with whom I chatted was at the Stuart Air Show. He agreed that rates were flat-to-down compared to 2019, but his business had changed dramatically. “It used to be difficult to get people to focus on a plan,” he said, “but people have been sitting at home with plenty of time on their hands. It’s easy to get them on the phone and easy to sell them policies.” None of his carriers are interested in COVID-19 vaccination status (i.e., the elixir that we’re constantly reminded will determine whether we live or die is of no interest to the folks who have to pay $500,000 in the event that we die).

So… if we believe that life insurance actuaries are competent at their jobs and correctly pricing risk, we should be grateful that, despite the deaths we read about in the media, the world has not, in fact, become more lethal.

Speaking of the air show, here are some folks on whom I would not be in a hurry to write a policy (12 cylinders, 1,500 horsepower, 75+ years old; what could go wrong?):

Related:

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Thankful for archive.org

One weekend per year devoted to being thankful doesn’t seem unduly burdensome. Today I’m expressing thanks for archive.org. Especially given the recent American tendency to rewrite history in accordance with current #Science/religion/belief/etc., where else would would we be able to find evidence of just how bad things were in the bad old days? (though the evidence might not be complete; see Web publishers can delete stuff from archive.org)

archive.org enabled at least the following blog posts here:

Harvard University attracted a bit of attention when it hosted a theatrical performance restricted to audience members of one skin color earlier this fall. Emboldened by the federal judiciary saying it was okay to discriminate against Asians, the school apparently decided that Massachusetts General Law, Section 98 did not apply (“Discrimination in admission to, or treatment in, place of public accommodation… Whoever makes any distinction, discrimination or restriction on account of race, color, religious creed, national origin, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, which shall not include persons whose sexual orientation involves minor children as the sex object, … in any place of public accommodation, resort or amusement, … shall be punished by a fine of not more than twenty-five hundred dollars or by imprisonment for not more than one year, or both, …”). The web page has been scrubbed from the theater’s web site, but it remains alive on archive.org:

We have designated this performance to be an exclusive space for Black-identifying audience members. For our non-Black allies, we appreciate your support in making this a completely Black-identifying evening. We invite you to join us at another performance during the run.

Proof of vaccination or negative test results required to attend.

A Facebook friend attended and wrote “I can now tell my grandkids that I tasted segregation first hand, just like my mom and dad.” He attached this picture that includes a sign regarding Harvard’s expressed commitment to “anti-racism” (which includes “we will not tolerate racism”) and a sign saying that prospective audience members with the wrong skin color should go elsewhere.

Note that the above-mentioned web page contains an admission that the theater is on stolen land:

A.R.T. acknowledges that its theaters are situated on the traditional and ancestral homelands of the Massachusett Tribe.

With a $53 billion endowment, Harvard apparently can’t afford to give the land back to the nearest Native Americans and then pay for a ground lease from them. If the rightful owners do show up to reclaim this land and Harvard scrubs its damaging admissions from the live pages, archive.org will be the dispossessed owners’ best friend.

Readers: What have you found on archive.org that the original authors/publishers probably wish had remained forgotten/hidden?

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Give Thanks to the Central Planners and Technocrats

Happy Thanksgiving to Native American readers! I’m sure that you all are grateful for the waves of immigration and associated novel viruses that have washed up on American shores since 1492.

The big theme of 2021 so far has been central planners and technocrats in Washington, D.C. exercising hands-on control of the U.S. economy and many aspects of day-to-day American life. Perhaps it would make sense, therefore, to dedicate this Thanksgiving to expressing our gratitude to those who selflessly toil for our benefit, e.g., shielding us from paying market prices for a wide range of goods and services, and managing our currency.

Certainly, the energy of the central planners has worked well for the supply chain leading to Florida supermarkets. A few days ago, I asked at the local Publix whether there was any chance they’d run out of turkeys. “We got a crap ton,” was the reply. Publix did run out of Pepperidge Farm stuffing mix, however, and I had to go to the Publix across the street from the Publix and get the last two bags at that Publix. Cream cheese was sold out (why?).

How about Inflation? Walmart had Jennie-O frozen turkeys for 87 cents/pound, i.e., essentially free, but it was 68 cents/pound in 2020, so that’s 28 percent annual inflation. Speaking of free, Publix has free fruit for shopping kids:

The experts tell us that the 28 percent turkey inflation rate can’t last? How much more far-sighted are experts in D.C. than the rest of us? Here’s a screen shot that I made on April 30, 2015 from the Wall Street Journal:

Keep in mind that the “actual” real (inflation-adjusted) numbers overstate GDP growth from the perspective of an individual American. For example, in 2011 when GDP grew 1.6 percent, the U.S. population grew 0.7 percent, and therefore the GDP per capita grew at closer to 0.9 percent.

Speaking of 1492…

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Bumperstickerology in South Florida

Neighbors in Maskachusetts were so passionate about political and social justice causes that they would run out of space on the liftgates of their cars and/or front lawn space in their 2-acre minimum zoned lot. I decided to do a survey of all back-of-vehicle messages, except for dealer advertising, in a single parking lot. A license plate frame that mentions a sports team counts. The lot in question is in Palm Beach Gardens at an 82-acre soccer, tennis, pickle ball, spray park, and playground facility that hosts after-school soccer (“Palm Beach Predators”).

Note the Jeep, above, that was purchased in Alexandria, Virginia. Even the Yet Bigger Government gravy train couldn’t keep this family from moving to the Sunshine State! Note also that “Just a Mom with Perseverance” does not refer to a family court plaintiff (see the last part of Self-criticism today: photographer asks museum to close his own show), but to the mother of a child participating in Perseverance Basketball, a local youth sports enterprise.

I’m not sure that this is included in the 82 acres, but the courts below are country club-quality clay.:

Readers: Is this a good way to measure the overall level of discontent in a community? If so, I think the Palm Beach County Floridians are pretty happy! According to what’s on their cars, their concerns are kids, kids’ sports, kids’ schools, Disney, and pro sports teams from the frozen post-industrial towns where they used to live.

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