31 thoughts on “News/Politics 8-21-21

  1. This is why we can’t have nice things…..

    “A landmark study about honesty was based on fabricated data”


    “The study was originally published in 2012 and had five authors. The basic thrust of it was this: If people are asked to sign “an honesty declaration” at the top of a form instead of at the bottom, they are more likely to answer honestly. As Buzzfeed points out, a lot of organizations including the US government took the findings very seriously:

    A seemingly cheap and effective method to fight fraud, it was adopted by at least one insurance company, tested by government agencies around the world, and taught to corporate executives. It made a splash among academics, who cited it in their own research more than 400 times.

    Alas, this is another one of those prominent studies that seems to bolster the idea of a replication crisis. Others who tried to replicate the findings with the help of the original authors couldn’t do so.

    A few other researchers had been unsuccessfully trying to replicate and build upon some of the experiments, so they joined forces with the five original scientists, including Ariely, to run one of those tests again. This one also involved signatures on the top versus bottom, but on tax return forms and with a bigger group of participants in a lab environment. They failed to see any difference in honesty between the two groups.

    The original scientists admitted that this was a problem but initially only two of the five wanted to withdraw the study. Instead they published an update last year which included some of their original data. That data hadn’t been included when the study was first published and it turned out to be the key to the study’s downfall.

    Poring through the Microsoft Excel spreadsheet, Simmons and the other data detectives unearthed a series of implausible anomalies that pointed to at least two kinds of fabrication: Many of the baseline, preexperiment mileages appeared to be duplicated and slightly altered, and all the mileages supposedly collected during the forms test looked like they were made up. Much of this data seemed to be produced by a random number generator, they wrote in their Data Colada post.

    In the first sign of something amiss, the 13,488 drivers in the study reported equally distributed levels of driving over the period of time covered in the study. In other words, just as many people racked up 500 miles as those who drove 10,000 miles as 40,000-milers. Also, not a single one went over 50,000. This pattern held for all the drivers’ cars (each could report mileage for up to four vehicles).

    “This is not what real data look like, and we can’t think of a plausible benign explanation for it,” Simmons, Nelson, and Simonsohn wrote. (Most of the issues, they added, were initially raised by a group of researchers who asked to remain anonymous.)

    There’s a lot more to it. If you want to go on a deep dive into the reasons the data is bogus, here’s the blog post that revealed it. But the bottom line is that everyone involved admits the data is clearly bogus and can’t possibly be real.”


    The blog post….


    Liked by 1 person

  2. “The Worst Presidential Dereliction in Memory”


    “Time is of the essence, but not because Americans in their untold thousands are trapped behind enemy lines, any one of whom could become a hostage that would tie the hands of policymakers in Washington. No, time is running out because Washington had set an artificial political timeframe for Afghan withdrawal, and they’re sticking to it. “We’re going to get everyone that we can possibly evacuate evacuated,” Austin meekly promised. “And I’ll do that as long as we possibly can until the clock runs out or we run out of capability.”

    What a heart-stopping admission. Until that moment, your United States citizenship meant something. Now, however, it is something that entitles you to the protection of your government—a government that has put you in this jeopardy—only if our self-limited capabilities aren’t overextended and if it is conducive to the kind of news cycle the president wants.

    Fortunately, the president has already invalidated Sec. Austin’s unacceptable excuse-making. After days of administration officials refusing to answer the question, President Biden told ABC News on Wednesday that U.S. troops will remain in Afghanistan long enough to evacuate all American citizens. The fate of American allies, SIVs and SIV-eligible families, and the 600 or so Afghan soldiers who are still struggling alongside American service personnel—the very people President Biden slandered as “not willing to fight for themselves” or their country’s “future”—remains unknown. And yet, that operation could take many weeks given the assumption that thousands of Americans have gone to ground, trapped behind enemy lines.

    All of this was inevitable, according to Joe Biden. “No,” the president insisted when asked if he really believed the process of abandoning Afghanistan, its people, and our allies with inexplicable rapidity had been bungled. “The idea that somehow, there’s a way to have gotten out without chaos ensuing, I don’t know how that happens,” Biden insisted. That stubborn lack of imagination is the problem.

    At this hour, Americans remain at large behind Taliban lines, sacrificed by their government. We are dependent upon a terrorist militia for our security and safety. The United States engineered this debacle, and the president has no interest in authorizing an operation that could save the thousands of Americans we’ve summarily abandoned. He could change course at any point, but he just won’t do it. This is, I would argue, the worst dereliction of presidential responsibility and the most sordid example of maladministration in my four decades of life. And apparently, that is exactly how Washington wants it.”

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Some have expressed concerns about how quickly the Covid vaccine became available. This is a quote from a peer-reviewed, published, cancer research lab microbiologist:

    “Yup. We had a full-on SARS vaccine that was well-vetted in all the preclinical tests (animal studies over multiple years) and just had to swap a COVID sequence cassette for the SARS sequence. It was literally almost as easy as switching out a DVD.

    Then human trials, which are generally slowed by low funding and slow enrollment of volunteers, neither of which happened this time.

    There is nothing “too fast” about it.”
    – Aimee Kenoyer


  4. The first should be approved Monday. By the FDA I suppose. Why do you suppose I do not trust the government? Or the news? But I do trust God and have every confidence He will continue to love me regardless of my vaccine status.
    If I do decide to get it, I probably won’t tell anyone. I will be interested to see how it goes for the non vaccinated.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Joe and his voters built this.

    “Taliban mocks America in a propaganda video that shows its fighters dressed up in US Army uniforms and gear”


    “The Taliban have released a propaganda video featuring its fighters wearing US uniforms and gear.

    The insurgents have captured billions of dollars worth of US equipment left behind by fleeing Afghan soldiers.

    Khalil Haqqani, a designated global terrorist, gave a sermon in Kabul while carrying a US assault rifle.”


  6. Right…..



  7. The NTers are getting nervous. This might hurt the guy they sold out their supposed “principles” for….



  8. Word…..



  9. That’s odd.

    Biden just said yesterday that there was no ISIS in Afghanistan.


    Obama’s JV team returns….


  10. Of course the other cowards found no fault with the biggest coward among them.

    “Report: Capitol Police Exonerate Officer Who Shot Dead Ashli Babbitt

    NBC News: “A memo from the commander of the Capitol Police’s Office of Personal Responsibility says ‘no further action will be taken in this matter’ after the officer was exonerated for use of force.””


    “Though neither the Biden DOJ nor the Capitol Police department are pursuing charges against the officer, that doesn’t mean this chapter of the Capitol riots is closed.

    In May, the attorney for Ashli Babbitt’s family announced they were suing the Capitol Police and had plans to sue the officer involved in her death as well:

    The attorney representing the family of Ashli Babbitt, the woman shot and killed by U.S. Capitol Police during the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol, plans to sue the agency for more than $10 million and has already put officials on notice, demanding accountability for the slain Air Force veteran.

    “Right now, we have no accountability — zero accountability — they give no explanation to justify the shooting and they do not even identify the officer. That is what they do in autocratic countries, not in the United States,” said Terrell N. Roberts III, a Maryland-based attorney.


    Mr. Roberts, the family attorney, told The Washington Times he’ll sue the Capitol Police under the Federal Tort Claims Act, which generally requires a notice of six months before filing a lawsuit.

    The family will also pursue claims against the officer who shot Babbitt.

    According to the Air Force Times, Babbitt “was a security forces airman who achieved the rank of senior airman, or E-4, while on active duty.” They also noted that she “served more than 12 years in different parts of the Air Force.” Babbitt was 35-years-old at the time of her death.”


    The coward’s name is Lt. Mike Byrd.

    Never forget it.


  11. Another busted false lefty narrative that all the media ran with…



    “Once again this year, the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally attracted hundreds of thousands of bikers to the town of Sturgis in South Dakota’s Black Hills. Before it began on August 6 and as it continued through August 15, the rally was denounced by hundreds of liberal news outlets as a covid super spreading event. The Washington Post, for example, headlined “Sturgis Motorcycle Rally revs up, drawing thousands and heightening delta superspreader fears.” CBS News warned, “Sturgis motorcycle rally sparks fears of super spreader event.” South Dakota’s governor was derided for defending the rally, and even participating in it on a motorcycle.

    The incubation period for covid is two to 14 days, so any “super spreader” impact of the Sturgis rally would show up by now. Has it?

    This map shows new covid cases during the past seven days. You can see the interactive version here:”


    “The U.S. as a whole averaged 276 new covid cases per 100,000 population over the last seven days, while South Dakota averaged only 156. South Dakota has fewer new cases than all surrounding states except Minnesota and Iowa, which have 5% and 4% fewer new cases per 100,000 than South Dakota, respectively.”


    Womp, womp, womp…..


  12. From The Atlantic:



    Cases of COVID-19 are rising fast. Vaccine uptake has plateaued. The pandemic will be over one day—but the way there is different now.

    … The U.S. now faces a dispiriting dilemma. Last year, many people were content to buy time for vaccines to be developed and deployed. But vaccines are now here, uptake has plateaued, and the first surge of the vaccine era is ongoing. What, now, is the point of masking, distancing, and other precautions?

    The answer, as before, is to buy time—for protecting hospitals, keeping schools open, reaching unvaccinated people, and more. Most people will meet the virus eventually; we want to ensure that as many people as possible do so with two doses of vaccine in them, and that everyone else does so over as much time as possible.

    The pandemic isn’t over, but it will be: The goal is still to reach the endgame with as little damage, death, and disability as possible. COVID-19 sent the world into freefall, and although vaccines have slowed our descent, we’d still be wise to steer around the trees standing between us and solid ground. “Everyone’s got pandemic fatigue—I get it,” Rivera told me. “But victory is not you as an individual getting a vaccine. It’s making sure that SARS-CoV-2 doesn’t bring us to our knees again.” …

    Liked by 1 person

  13. And we need to remember that those precautions, such as masking, are for the sake of others, if not for ourselves.


  14. While masks may have limited effectiveness, the effectiveness they do have, even if marginally in some situations, is preventing the wearer’s potential infected ‘spray’ from traveling as much as it would normally to other people (not in keeping things ‘out’ necessarily).

    The problem with this pandemic is that unless you’re testing yourself constantly, you won’t know whether you could be spreading the virus.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. The point made in the Atlantic excerpt is that with all of these precautions, some more effective than others, the idea is to protect as many people as possible until the situation passes (and it will pass). We will all be exposed to some version of this virus at some point, but in the meantime we are developing vaccines and better treatments which will make a difference.

    I’ve never seen this as an emotional or even political issue, so much of the drama and even anger surrounding it has mystified me. I’ve always just approached it as a pretty clear public health matter.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. He finally does something right, although weeks overdue……

    “Biden activates Civil Reserve Air Fleet – U.S. commercial airlines to assist in airlift operations”


    “Today Joe Biden ordered that the Civil Reserve Air Fleet be activated to assist in the evacuation of Americans and Afghans out of Kabul. This is only the third time in its history to be activated in action. This tells you how things are going in Afghanistan. It’s disastrous.

    Commercial airlines are being called upon to provide aircraft, not to fly into Afghanistan but to transport evacuees who have been flown out of Afghanistan. This can include flying those stranded at U.S. bases in Germany, Qatar, and Bahrain. So far, 18 aircraft are requested – three each from American Airlines, Atlas Air, Delta Air Lines, and Omni Air; two from Hawaiian Airlines; and four from United Airlines.

    The Wall Street Journal first reported that the Biden administration was considering activating the Civil Reserve Air Fleet (CRAF) last night. CRAF was created in 1952 in the wake of the post-World War II Berlin Airlift. U.S. airlines contractually commit to providing select aircraft to CRAF to augment Department of Defense airlift requirements in emergencies. It supplements military aircraft when their capability to act in an emergency is exceeded. As mentioned above, this is the third time CRAF has been activated. It was also activated during Operation Desert Shield/Storm in 1990 and 1991. The second time was during Iraqi Freedom in 2002 and 2003.

    What is so striking about the whole evacuation operation is that this didn’t have to happen as it has. If Biden was so determined to keep to this timetable for withdrawal and with no intentions of leaving even a small military presence in place, his administration should have begun evacuating American citizens out of the country months ago. It should have been done in such as way as to not panic the Afghans to cause the panic we see now, the crowds now at the airport in Kabul. Afghan helpers should have been evacuated before the official withdrawal began, too. Because of Biden’s inability to understand the facts on the ground, he apparently ignored the best advice from American intelligence officers and Afghans supporting the U.S. military. There is really nothing to point to as the right moves by the Biden administration. That isn’t a criticism of the U.S. military – it’s a criticism of the Commander-in-Chief and his military leaders and the State Department officials. The chaos and despair on the ground were always going to happen at the end of American involvement in the Afghanistan war but it didn’t have to be at this level. It could have been managed. It is as though Biden woke up one morning and decided to cut and run despite the consequences.

    So, today Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin ordered U.S. commercial airlines to provide flights to help speed Afghanistan evacuations. This is, in fact, a “major national defense emergency.””


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