Folks who refuse to follow Dr. Biden’s vaccine orders are weakly hesitating (not boldly “Resisting”)

During four years of tyranny, anyone who posted a criticism of Donald Trump on Facebook or Twitter was boldly #Resisting. Example from my late friend Mike Hawley (the below was liked and loved 119 times by the righteous):

Successful alimony and child support plaintiffs relaxing in our old Maskachusetts neighborhood displayed lawn signs kind of like the below (“A Woman’s Place is in the Resistance”).

Before we moved to Florida, it was common to see cars with “RESIST” bumper stickers amidst the overall forest of social justice and political bumper stickers.

By contrast, how do we characterize those who refuse to follow orders from Dr. Joe Biden, M.D., and state governors to get vaccinated against COVID-19? In addition to being Deplorable (obviously), are these people bold examples of resistance? After all, those who merely disagreed with Donald Trump’s words were bravely resisting. Actually…. no. It seems that refusing to do what the government tells you to do is an example of weak hesitation. Google returns 152,000 results for “vaccine hesistant” within News and only 23,500 for “vaccine resistant” (most of which relate to the muscular SARS-CoV-2 virus itself, not to any humans).


Full post, including comments

What’s the correct level of panic regarding Hurricane Ida?

The front page of makes the situations caused by Hurricane Ida sound pretty bad:

Given that U.S. media adopts a hysterical tone almost every day, should we be skeptical of the forecast doom? Or should we expect a lot of tragic consequences from the 115 mph winds of what is currently a category 3 hurricane?

Full post, including comments

New York Times top story on the day that Bill Cosby is freed

I received a text message from a friend about Bill Cosby’s conviction being overturned. I went to my go-to news source. The top story:

There was nothing about Bill Cosby until one scrolled down “below the fold.”

Some details from the buried story:

In their 79-page opinion, the judges wrote that a “non-prosecution agreement” that had been struck with a previous prosecutor meant that Mr. Cosby should not have been charged in the case, and that he should be discharged. They barred a retrial in the case.

In 2005, Mr. Cosby was investigated in the case of Ms. Constand, and a former district attorney of Montgomery County had given Mr. Cosby his assurance that he would not be charged in the case. The former district attorney, Bruce Castor Jr., has testified that while there was insufficient evidence to bring a criminal prosecution, he had given Mr. Cosby the assurance to encourage him to testify in a subsequent civil case brought by Ms. Constand.

In that testimony, Mr. Cosby acknowledged giving quaaludes to women he was pursuing for sex — evidence that played a key part in his trial after Mr. Castor’s successors reopened the case and charged Mr. Cosby in December 2015. That was just days before the 12-year statute of limitations expired in the case, and it came amid a number of new accusations from women who bought similar accusations of drugging and sexual assault against Mr. Cosby.

“In light of these circumstances, the subsequent decision by successor D. A.s to prosecute Cosby violated Cosby’s due process rights,” the appeals ruling said. “No other conclusion comports with the principles of due process and fundamental fairness to which all aspects of our criminal justice system must adhere.”

Here’s a question for readers… how long will it be before some other state or the Feds charge Bill Cosby with some crime?

Full post, including comments

New York Times: Experts as prophets

“Parents, Stop Talking About the ‘Lost Year’” (NYT, April 11, 2021) contains 7 occurrences of the word “experts”

Teenagers and tweens will be fine, experts say — if adults model resilience.

Experts say some of their worries are justified — but only up to a point. There’s no doubt that the pandemic has taken a major toll on many adolescents’ emotional well-being. According to a much-cited report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the proportion of emergency room visits that were mental health-related for 12 to 17 year olds increased by 31 percent from April to October 2020 compared with the same period in 2019. And there’s no question that witnessing their loneliness, difficulties with online learning and seemingly endless hours on social media has been enormously stressful for the adults who care about them the most.

Yet, as the nation begins to pivot from trauma to recovery, many mental-health experts and educators are trying to spread the message that parents, too, need a reset. If adults want to guide their children toward resilience, these experts say, then they need to get their own minds out of crisis mode.

Despite all of this, Ms. Fagell, much like the dozen-plus other experts in adolescent development who were interviewed for this article, was adamant that parents should not panic — and that, furthermore, the spread of the “lost year” narrative needed to stop. Getting a full picture of what’s going on with middle schoolers — and being ready to help them — they agreed, requires holding two seemingly contradictory ideas simultaneously in mind: The past year has been terrible. And most middle schoolers will be fine.

What factors keep adolescents from tipping from one state to the other? Mental health experts point to a few: their connection to at least one good friend; any underlying vulnerabilities like mood disorders;the adversity in their daily lives; the availability of adults to help them cope with hardship — and whether their parents are keeping it together.

“Social media is mitigating some of the effects of isolation,” he said.

That message, frequently repeated by experts and educators, should offer some relief to the many parents who feel guilty about the amount of screen time they’ve allowed their children this past year.

So much great stuff in here! Facebook, formerly associated with making adolescents (and everyone else) worse off mentally, is now recommended. But that’s a minor joy compared to the idea that people can be “expert” in predicting the effect of something that had never previously happened, i.e., coronapanic and associated mass school closure, the shutdown of social life, travel, jobs, gyms, etc.

Credentials are a big help in prophecy as in other areas. One of Dr. Jill Biden’s colleagues:

Rabiah Harris, a public middle-school science teacher in Washington, has a doctorate in education, which permits her, as the mother of an almost 12-year-old, to take a philosophical view.

(If it is “Dr. Jill Biden,” why isn’t it “Dr. Rabiah Harris”? Her LinkedIn page shows that she has the same Ed.D. degree as Dr. Biden.)

Even more interesting to me than the editors of the NYT thinking that readers would buy into the idea that experts could predict the long-term effects of the Great Panic of 2020-2021-2022-…(?): the experts’ idea that teenagers listen to their parents.

Full post, including comments