What do CAGW and CCP virus have in common?

Models. Models built by sinecured credentialists for careerist advantage; enabling anti-human busybodies, corporate elites and autocratic politicians to demand policies commanding the lives of ordinary people.

That both sets of models, and the ensuing policies, have been failures is not a coincidence. Neither is the refusal of the busybodies, elites, or politicians to apply the policies to themselves.

For example, flying from their mansions to environmental conferences in private jets and ignoring social distancing in BLM marches.

Fumble Delay Abet

This is scandalous.

Brian H. Shirts, M.D., is a molecular pathologist at the University of Washington. He writes: We’ll see more shortages of diagnostic tests if the FDA has its way

“February was a frustrating month for my laboratory. We wanted to make tests to detect the virus that causes Covid-19. My virology colleagues had great ideas and solid testing platforms. The Food and Drug Administration told us to stop. [That link is worth reading!]

Why? Because of a quirk in FDA regulations. Diagnostic tests are currently regulated in one of two ways, and there’s no clear rule to determine which one applies to coronavirus tests. This uncertainty is a big part of why test shortages have caused a national crisis.

This uncertainty is no accident. James Bovard, at Mises Institute:

“Dr. David Kessler, who became FDA commissioner in 1990, quickly sought to intimidate the companies that his agency regulates. A laudatory Washington Post article concluded, “What he cannot accomplish with ordinary regulation, Kessler hopes to accomplish with fear.” Kenneth Feather of the FDA’s drug advertising surveillance branch boasted: “We want to say to these companies that you don’t know when or how we’ll strike. We want to eliminate predictability.”

See the notes at the end of this post.

Now, back to Dr. Shirts:

“The VALID Act, introduced in Congress in early March, aims to address the confusion about who regulates diagnostic testing, but it would make the situation worse. If the VALID Act passes, we would see shortages in diagnostic tests for even more diseases than Covid-19, including cancers.

Under one system of regulation, laboratory directors are licensed by their states to develop tests through a set of rules called the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA). When a CLIA-licensed lab creates a test and documents that it works, doctors can order that test.

Diagnostic testing, and interpreting those tests, is considered the practice of medicine. The FDA is not allowed to regulate the practice of medicine. Yet it is responsible for regulating medical devices. Diagnostic tests use machines, sample tubes, and other tools that are clearly medical devices.

Here’s where the second system comes in: The FDA approves devices — not the lab that produces it — on a case-by-case basis. So which diagnostic tests are devices regulated by the FDA and which are laboratory-developed tests regulated through CLIA?

The FDA gets to choose…

The VALID Act will give the FDA power to create more monopolies on diagnostic tests. CLIA-licensed labs will be shut out of producing new tests that perform as well as FDA-approved versions — or better than them. The result will be higher costs and periodic shortages…

The VALID Act was created because large pharmaceutical companies wanted to have monopolies on cancer tests…”

If you recall, the FDA granted a monopoly to the CDC for CCP virus test kits. The kits were quite late, few, and didn’t work.

With the VALID Act, the FDA is going to be able to create a public/pirate partnership – making private industry more like the CDC.

Notes. Thoughts on complex and uncertain ‘law’ in the hands of unaccountable bureaucrats.

“After having thus successively taken each member of the community in its powerful grasp and fashioned him at will, the supreme power then extends its arm over the whole community. It covers the surface of society with a network of small, complicated rules, minute and uniform, through which the most original minds and the most energetic characters cannot penetrate, to rise above the crowd. The will of man is not shattered, but softened, bent, and guided; men seldom forced by it to act, but they are constantly restrained from acting. Such a power does not destroy, but it prevents existence; it does not tyrannize, but it compresses, enervates, extinguishes, and stupefies a people, till each nation is reduced to nothing better than a flock of timid and industrious animals, of which the government is the shepherd.”
-Alexis de Tocqueville

“We’re after power and we mean it… There’s no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren’t enough criminals one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws. Who wants a nation of law-abiding citizens? What’s there in that for anyone? But just pass the kind of laws that can neither be observed nor enforced or objectively interpreted – and you create a nation of law-breakers – and then you cash in on guilt. Now that’s the system, Mr. Reardon, that’s the game, and once you understand it, you’ll be much easier to deal with.”
-Ayn Rand.

Making the obvious virtuous

Businesses controlled by “any major figure in government” will be prohibited from receiving loans or investments from Treasury Department programs included in a $2 trillion CCP virus relief plan.

Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) proudly stressed to CNN that the provision applies to “[A]ny major figure in government. That makes sense,” he said, “Those of us who write the law shouldn’t benefit from the law.”

Well, yes. That’s so obvious you might think it needn’t be said. But, if it makes sense for these benefits for this law, why doesn’t it make sense for all laws?

So, let me fix that for you, Chuck: “Those of us who tried to stuff it full of social justice, climate hysteria, and payoffs to our friends wrote this law shouldn’t benefit from this law.” Since you all benefit from THE law – all the other legislation you pass – you’ve merely made an exception this time. There apparently are limits to how obvious special treatment for major figures in government can be.

Do I hear a protest? Sorry, but you routinely exempt yourselves from the laws you make the the rest of us follow, like the Obamacare mandates, FOIA, OSHA, and transparency on insider trading.

No other “profession” manages to produce so many multi-millionaires on comparable salaries. And didn’t you and Nancy just prove “benefit” includes the opportunity to purchase votes with other people’s money?

PSA

Internet safety notes modeled after advice to some friends, most of whom are aware of my IT paranoia.  You may find it useful, or not. 

Presently, I’m using Firefox because Apple updated Safari, permanently breaking 3 of 4 add-ons I considered very important to safe browsing.  I checked out some other browsers (Brave, Opera…) because I didn’t really want to go back to Firefox after they trashed their CEO several years ago for a campaign contribution.  I went back to Firefox anyway because it offered add-ons that met my needs.  My configuration is described below:

First, I use the built in Firefox blocking (trackers, 3rd party cookies, cryptominers and fingerprinters) and set “delete all cookies and site data upon closing Firefox” to “yes.”  Also, delete all history upon exit.  I set the location, camera, microphone and notifications permissions to my satisfaction.  Call it “Hell, no!”. 

I block pop-up windows, I get warned if a website tries to install an add-on, deceptive content is blocked (I have to accept Firefox’ opinion on this or override it).  I run the certificate checking options.

Add-ons:

Second, I use DuckDuckGo Privacy Essentials.  This has a very simple interface for tracker blocking.  It should be redundant, as should several items listed below.  I think of it as just another layer.  I never use Google for search, except through an option (!g) provided by DuckDuckGo.

Third, NoScript.  To watch YouTube, for example, I have to temporarily allow YT to run scripts.  You can do that permanently if you get annoyed.  I erase them immediately after watching a video with the sixth item, below.

Fourth, I have a Firefox add-on called Multi-Account Containers.  It lets you set categories named whatever strikes your fancy, and assign to those categories any URL(s) you wish.  This creates separate containers for websites by category. Cookies downloaded by one Container are not visible to other Containers.  You will immediately see the advantage of isolating the cookies. Facebook could not see any of my Twitter visits for example, even if I used either of them.

Fifth, I use Privacy Badger from EFF.  Another simple interface blocker.  Presents sliders in red, yellow, green about the tracking attempts.  Again, should be redundant.

Sixth, there is a Clear Browsing Data add-on which I use immediately after visiting any site I’m forced to use.  I will know what URLs were the offenders by having had to permit them in one or more of the above add-ons.  It deletes:
Cookies
Browsing history
Cached images and files
Autofill form data
Download history
Service Workers
Plugin data
Saved passwords
IndexedDB data
Local storage data

Seventh, Canvasblocker.  Which blocks pixel image based trackers.  SB redundant to the builtin Firefox option on fingerprinting.

Also, in front of that, and applying to all traffic (email, for example) are Freedome VPN and F-Secure X-Fence.  The VPN makes my IP appear to come from Miami, New York, or elsewhere depending on my mood.  I switch randomly.  It also encrypts all the traffic so my ISP has no idea what I’ve done and can’t commercialize any of my interactions.  Freedome also provides a list of “harmful” websites and you have to override warnings to see them.  Interestingly, I’ve reported half-a-dozen false positives to Freedome and they’ve removed the blocks.  I’m pretty sure the complaints which caused them to red-flag those sites came from SJWs.  Nothing remotely harmful to the sane was on any of them.

X-Fence monitors every attempt to write anything on my machine.  (Turn it off for any software update.)  It lets me decide to allow or deny; once, until quit, until restart, or forever.  Of course, you have to let your browser write cookies, or it won’t work, but then the add-ons above come into play.  I’m able to block incessant ‘updates’ from Adobe and other apps.  These are not cookies, but executables, and they are still trackers.

At first, this whole thing can be a big pain.  Especially X-Fence.  You have to decide which of many arcane processes you will allow, though the “learning mode” eases that pain considerably.  This is true to some extent with NoScript, too.  After a week, this drops off dramatically and you will have learned a lot.

Should you not wish to go to this trouble, I’d recommend Privacy Badger, Firefox Privacy, DuckDuckGo Privacy and Multi-Account Containers.

I can’t comment on the level of interaction required for just that subset, but I’m sure it will break some sites and require your intervention (you can just turn off the first 3 and I anticipate no problem from the cookie isolator) if something doesn’t work.  I have customized my banking, for example – it is interesting when they change their scripts and cookies – it lets me look at what they’ve done and it would surely cause a spoofed website to fail.

Oh, and I run Sophos malware scanning in real time.  

All the above are free excepting the VPN.

Self-disfiguration

At Quillette:
Motivated Reasoning Is Disfiguring Social Science

A good criticism of the state of social science, a field closely engaged in tarnishing the meaning of the word “science.”

I will make 3 points. First, an excerpt:

The second is the culture of institutions. From my experience and perspective, these tend to function on a corporate structure… they do not appear to foster an appropriate level of critical thinking, skepticism, caution, or solicitation of opposing views… This is a recipe for conformity and groupthink. (… APA policy appears to forbid scholarly special interest groups under its fold from taking public positions that differ from its own central stated positions…consistent with a business but not an academic or scholarly model.)

The classic model of a capitalist business actually forces critical, creative thinking, or the business dies. The academic model has baked in incentives and protections for the groupthink we observe. “The University,” could only survive as a respectable institutional concept so long as diversity of thought was critically valued. It isn’t anymore. In fact, the opposite is true.

Groupthink came before the abandonment of “critical thinking, skepticism, caution, or solicitation of opposing views,” and was necessary for that abandonment.

I think the parallel here is better described by the words “corporatist” and “bureaucratic” than by “business.” Academia displays, on average, less “critical thinking, skepticism, caution, or solicitation of opposing views,” than “business.”

Now, you may accurately point to Google’s treatment of James Damore as a business exemplifying advanced hardening of the categories, but this is also only possible where diversity of thought is suppressed – and where amoral business practices are hidden from customers. That may be business, but it will not be good business in the long run.

IAC, I’ll posit that even Google fosters a higher level of freedom of conscience than your average sociology department.

As to “ignoring entire fields of research,” and “task force[s] appear[ing] … stacked with people who had taken prior … views,” we can see this rot in the social sciences penetrating the hard sciences. The IPCC folks serve as a clear example.