Supreme Court hears arguments on forced vaccination in two parallel universes

The Supreme Court recently took up the question of whether elderly elites can order young peasants to get vaccinated against a virus that attacks the elderly. The argument took place in two parallel universes.

Let’s first check my usual source for truth… Conservative Majority on Supreme Court Appears Skeptical of Biden’s Virus Plan” (New York Times):

Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and Justice Neil M. Gorsuch said the states and Congress, rather than a federal agency, were better situated to address the pandemic in the nation’s workplaces. Justice Amy Coney Barrett said the challenged regulation appeared to reach too broadly in covering all large employers.

The court’s three more liberal justices said the mandate was a needed response to the public health crisis.

“We know the best way to prevent spread is for people to get vaccinated,” Justice Elena Kagan said.

Justice Stephen G. Breyer said he would find it “unbelievable that it would be in the public interest to stop these vaccinations.”

The NYT has one sentence regarding Sonia Sotomayor, the self-described “wise Latina”:

Justice Sonia Sotomayor, who has diabetes and has worn a mask since the justices returned to the courtroom in October, participated remotely from her chambers.

What about the Deplorables over at the Washington Examiner? Liberal Supreme Court justices spread COVID-19 misinformation”:

Kagan began by claiming “the best way” to prevent the spread of COVID-19 is “for people to get vaccinated,” and the “second best way” is to “wear masks.” Neither claim is true. While the vaccines appear to slow the spread of COVID-19 and reduce the chance of death, there is absolutely no evidence that they prevent transmission, especially not against the much more contagious omicron variant. The cloth masks mandated in different parts of the country don’t prevent the spread of the virus either, as several public health experts have recently admitted.

Breyer continued to spread misinformation by falsely claiming that 750 million people — there are only 330 million people living in the United States — tested positive for COVID-19 on Thursday. That would mean every single one of us tested positive for COVID-19 on Thursday twice.

Breyer then implied, like Kagan before him, that Biden’s vaccine mandate would bring the number of daily cases down to zero. Again, this is not true. Fully vaccinated and boosted adults are testing positive for COVID-19 at about the same rate as unvaccinated people, which means everyone is going to get the virus one way or the other, vaccinated or unvaccinated.

But the worst falsehoods by far came from Sotomayor, who claimed the omicron variant is just as deadly as the delta variant was and that more than 100,000 children have been hospitalized by COVID-19, with “many” on ventilators.

he current national pediatric COVID-19 census from the Department of Health and Human Services shows 3,342 children with COVID-19 in hospitals. And, as Anthony Fauci admitted last week, there is a huge difference between children hospitalized by COVID-19 and those hospitalized with COVID-19. The vast majority of pediatric cases are from children hospitalized with COVID-19, meaning they were hospitalized by something else first and happened to test positive at about that same time.

“If you look at the children [who] are hospitalized, many of them are hospitalized with COVID as opposed to because of COVID,” Fauci said last week. “What we mean by that is that if a child goes in the hospital, they automatically get tested for COVID, and they get counted as a COVID-hospitalized individual, when in fact, they may go in for a broken leg or appendicitis or something like that.”

There is almost no overlap between what the NYT reported as having happened and what the Washington Examiner reported as having happened.

How about the Sotomayor 100,000? That’s a lot of hospitalized and/or ventilated kids. But could we ever establish the truth or falsehood of her statement? I thought the whole point of the U.S. is that we can’t distinguish between people who go to the hospital because of COVID-19 or who go to the hospital for some other reason and then happen to test positive for what might be an asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection.

Readers: Who wants to guess the outcome? (and when will the Supreme Court rule?) I’m 95 percent sure that the Supreme Court says it is okay for President Biden to order the health care industry around. The health care industry is essentially part of our government, with most of the costs socialized (albeit with the profits privatized). I’m less confident regarding the order directed at private employers, but I still think it will be approved since Americans desperately crave central planning and management whenever a crisis is declared. A ruling against President Biden would be taking away the president’s emergency powers. Who on the Supreme Court would be willing to risk a lifetime Facebook and Twitter ban by saying “COVID-19 is not an emergency”?


  • Why doesn’t the raging plague in Maskachusetts cause doubt among the true believers in Faucism? (infections and transmission in a 95% vaccinated population doesn’t dim anyone’s faith in vaccines)
  • Email received today from a hospital in Massachusetts: “As you may know, hospitals and health care providers across the country are busier than ever. The number of hospitalized patients is the highest since the start of the pandemic. The high demand for care and staffing challenges are causing longer than normal wait times for all types of care, which we know can be frustrating.” (Summary: NYT says nearly everyone in the state is vaccinated; CDC says they are therefore protected from severe illness; this email says that the vaccinated righteous are nonetheless hospitalized…)
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The New York Times explains computers circa 1967

Americans today love to read about cosmology and string theory, but you couldn’t pay most to listen to a lecture on how their beloved smartphones work. Apparently, there was a time when non-specialists were interested in “How does this computer thing work?” On Monday, January 9, 1967, the New York Times devoted a two-page spread to “The Electronic Digital Computer: How It Started, How It Works and What It Does”.

This article is preceded by a couple of softer pieces that talk about what can be done with computers. Every page includes “C++” up in the header, thus proving that the NYT can accurately predict the future.

The science writer, Henry Lieberman, is helped out by Louis Robinson, an IBMer, and they explain binary as well as mainframe core and magnetic memory:

Everything you need to know to be a TTL hero:

Source code compiled into machine language:

Universal access to computing is predicted:

And so is the Internet (sort of):

Page 139 carries a predictive article by J. C. R. Licklider about how scientists will use computers to deal with “big data” and there will be “vast information networks”. In several locations, including page 143 (out of 172; imagine a hardcopy newspaper able to sell so many ads these days to justify printing 172 pages!), journalists write breathlessly about how computers will transform education.

John Backus, who would win a Turing Award 10 years later, encourages would-be programmers on page 148:

Note the picture of high school students learning to code.

What about salaries and costs? An “Airline Clerk” is sought on page 165 and will earn $5,200 per year. On 167, a machinist can earn $6,700/year in the Bronx while a dry cleaning manager would be at $10,000/year. Page 160 shows apartments for rent in Manhattan. It looks like $100-200/month is the range for a studio or 1BR. So the clerk could easily live without roommates in the heart of the city.

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“Elderly” tag depends on context (73-year-old killed by Comfort Sheep)

A sad tale from Newsweek, with “elderly” in both the headline and URL… “Elderly Woman Killed by a Sheep While Volunteering at Massachusetts Farm” (12/6):

Kim Taylor, 73, of Wellesley, had been volunteering at Cultivate Care Farms when she was repeatedly rammed by a sheep on Saturday morning, according to NBC Boston, citing Bolton police.

According to police, all the livestock at Cultivate Care Farms are comfort animals and that the site assists people as part of an attempt to improve their mental health.

This post is not about the sad event, but about the choice of language.

Let’s consider a 79-year-old President of the United States? Not “elderly,” according to Newsweek (Google search for “joe biden elderly”).

How about a 73-year-old who dies with/from COVID-19? (9 years younger than the median age of a COVID-19 death in Maskachusetts) Would our media characterize this person as “elderly”? Or imply that he/she/ze/they would otherwise have looked forward to decades of health and vigor?

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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).


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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?

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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?

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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.

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