How does he know?

The New York Times recently reported that Russian spies offered bounties to the Taliban to kill Americans.

So, how much do you have to pay a Taliban member to kill American Troops?

The White House, Russia and the Taliban have said the Times’ story is false.

Well, they probably would say that.

When asked about it, President Trump said he had not been briefed on the allegation.

Well, he probably wouldn’t say that if it weren’t true. He does love our military, Twitter is at his fingertips, and he’s not shy about punching back.

To my actual point:
When I passed briefly through the house in the midst of some outdoor projects a few minutes ago, I caught a snippet of Rush Limbaugh reporting a “journalist” asking the following question (I think of the Press Secretary): “If the President hasn’t been briefed, then how does he know it didn’t happen?

My answer is:
Your question seems to be based on the assumption that the intelligence community of the United States, and possibly the intelligence organizations of some of our allies, have information on this they chose to withhold from the President, but gave to the New York Times.

Given the attempts of certain former leaders of American intelligence agencies to execute a coup against President Trump, I can understand why you might be suspicious.

For example, the name John Brennan, former head of the CIA, springs immediately to mind.

Neither should we minimize the possible contributions of former Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, nor former FBI Director James Comey to your surmise.

And Andrew McCabe, an admitted leaker who blamed others for his perfidy, deserves an dishonorable mention.

Listing their myriad minions would make me late for my lunch appointment tomorrow.

In this republic the assumption that such information would be deliberately withheld from a duly elected President is an accusation of… well treason is not too strong a word.

Is that your point?

The Spanish flu app

I don’t want to send any traffic to this totalitarian screed, so no link.

Apple and Google are building a virus-tracking system. Health officials say it will be practically useless.
The tech giants have refused officials’ pleas to allow the collection of location data and to help contact-tracing teams learn where new infections have spread.

It’s a Washington Post article, execrable even by their abysmal standards. It assumes the CCP virus pandemic logically requires suspension of individual rights. The poor official’s pleas have been ignored. Well… not so much pleas as authoritarian demands.

Let’s start with some truth in headlining: It’s a people tracking system, not a virus tracking system. Viruses do not carry cell phones. Too bad.

The authors do go so far as to quote, without rebuttal, the director of research at a D.C. think tank “devoted to reducing the power of monopolies,” that if virus exposure tracking apps do not default to continuously tracking the location data of every individual, and record this in a centralized, health official accessible database:

“You have a private government [Google and Apple] that is making choices over your society instead of democratic governments being able to make those choices.”

Freedom respecting government does not pose this choice, except to informed volunteers. The WaPo scribblers do not even consider leaving privacy choices to individuals: Mob-majority governments which routinely reveal private information to health officials is the only useful approach. The Chinese Communist Party’s social credit program has already incorporated this insight. We don’t need that here.

Daring Fireball nails it, and gives a great overview creating no WaPo traffic. RTWT

WaPo reporters Reed Albergotti and Drew Harwell parade before us a series of public health officials and Progressive Think Tank spokesperps unleashing their inner fascist. It is discomfiting that the WaPo can find so many. Albergotti and Harwell conclude that Apple and Google are to be roundly castigated for placing individuals over the collective.

They are telling us salvation is in trusting the politicians and bureaucrats who oversaw such luminaries as Chelsea Manning and Edward Snowden, secured the DNC email server, and were held accountable (not) for the 21.5 million stolen records at the United States Office of Personnel Management (Including fingerprints!), 26.5 million at the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs, 76 million at the National Archives and Records Administration, and 191 million from the U.S. Voter Database. Just to mention some of the more egregious examples of government care for citizen’s information.

And this talk about “private government,” with no mention of Hillary’s bathroom email server is hilarious. And this,

“If it’s between Google and Apple having the data, I would far prefer my physician and the public health authorities to have the data about my health status,” she said. “At least they’re constrained by laws.”

…displays appalling ignorance of certain former Secretaries of State and Presidential candidate’s approach to public information. Here’s a woman whose health had a legitimate public interest. But, when she collapsed next to a NY bollard, we were told to ignore it. OK. Ignore me too, unless I tell you differently.

These critics of individual rights, you’re likely aware, are mostly the same people cheering on Facebook and Twitter in the quest to label as “hate speech” anyone who disagrees with the CDC, WHO, or the Chinese Communist Party theories of CCP virus contagion. And they seem blind to the fact that the actual monopolies are the governments and apparatchiks they promote.

I’ll admit it is a consistent political philosophy if you view individuals whose decisions you don’t like as deplorable. They should not speak freely (and corporations should stop them from doing so) and the government must be made aware of your whereabouts at all times (by those same corporations). These Quisling-wannabes have become known colloquially as ‘Karens’.

There certainly are public health officials who would disagree with the point, content, tone, and totalitarian policy suggestions of this ‘news’ article, but the ‘journalists’ couldn’t be bothered to find even one.

Such complaints about Google and Apple are surprising only to the extent the complainants haven’t suggested we each be assigned a personal tracking drone.

If the Weimar Republic had invented the WaPo preferred app in 1918 to track Spanish flu, Mengele would have inherited it. You could imagine he’s the culmination of the petty tyrant public health officials WaPo reporters seek out in order to write stories bashing private enterprises still devoting at least lip service to individuals and to freedom.

Apple and Google are building a virus-tracking system. Health officials say it will be practically useless. OK, so don’t use the data individuals choose to send you.

When you let me directly and precisely monitor your every move, I’ll think about letting you monitor mine. Fair’s fair.

From German and Spanish; to Lyme, Ebola, Norwalk, and Lassa; on to Gehrig, Tourette, Hodgkin, and Parkinson

But “foreign virus” is xenophobic. Much less “Wuhan virus.” Which is racist.

I read BIRTH OF A VIRUS … several days ago and found the commentariat there split: Between 1) people who are critical of China’s political system and public sanitation practices; and 2) those defending China, primarily by accusing the blogger (Regie Hamm) of xenophobia and racism. For good measure this faction attacked the United States health care system as insufficiently socialized.

Mr. Hamm did call China a “cesspool of filth.” He gave first hand evidence. For a large plurality of the population, China’s sanitation most certainly is… um, unsanitary.

It is true there have been individual instances of xenophobia on New York subways, for example, and many people decided that dining out at Chinese restaurants – in crowded sanctuary cities where immigration credentials are suspect – was not their first choice. Even before their dining out preferences were eliminated.

Donald Trump’s travel ban on flights from China, the infection source, was not racist. Nor was Mr. Hamm’s post.

No country has a perfect health care system, but some are objectively better than others. Mr. Hamm’s suggestion was that Chinese public health suffers from the country’s totalitarian political system. This observation is not xenophobic. It is indisputable.

The Chinese Communist leaders razed the Wuhan wet market – a theretofore approved pit of disease and pestilence. Only after acknowledging it was ground zero for a major new pathology, however.

And that’s not to mention world famous unbreathable air, drinking water on par with the input to Mexican waste processing plants, and worse than San Franciscan sidewalks.

Xenophobia and racism cannot be reasonably inferred from the article. Briefly paraphrased, Mr. Hamm said: “A totalitarian government, well known to hold little regard for the effect on its citizens of third world class public sanitation, will also be likely to produce a substandard health care system.

This view is not likely to please Xi Jinping. It invites consideration of the lingering effects (unfettered, preferential abortion of girl babies) from China’s former one child policy… and it might rekindle inquiries into forced organ harvesting. Most particularly, it could raise more questions about the covering up of the coronavirus outbreak. After previously having done the same thing with diseases like swine and bird flu. China’s health system has a track record.

Then, as the Quillette article below notes:

[T]he Chinese government has learned to weaponize our own progressive tendencies, and has learned to exploit false accusations of racism against democratic societies.

The Big Lie: Chinese officials are pushing a conspiracy theory that the United States Army planted the virus in Wuhan.

Mr. Hamm’s critics are probably not Chinese disinformation agents, but they certainly read the talking points. (“The Washington Post routinely comes delivered wrapped in a special advertising section called “China Watch.” It’s official, state-sanctioned Chinese propaganda that reports fake news.”) Perhaps they are merely unable to distinguish between the Chinese people and the Chinese Communist government. That does say something about their knowledge of history and political theory.

China: Exploiting False Accusations of Racism

China’s Real Disease: Not Coronavirus

WATCH: Chinese Government Encourages Italians to Fight Coronavirus Racism By Hugging Strangers

Coronavirus Crisis Caused by Decisions of Chinese Government

Does Beijing’s COVID-19 Victory Prove the Superiority of the “China Model”?

NO. IT. DOES. NOT.

Oh, and this just in. 4:49PM:
Time to ban wet markets

Keeping it?

At the close of the Constitutional Convention Benjamin Franklin was asked what sort of government the delegates had created. His answer: “A republic, if you can keep it.

MSNBC’s Chris Hayes disagrees and engages in some tautological pontification: “[T]he weirdest thing about the Electoral College is the fact that if it weren’t specifically in the Constitution for the presidency, it would be unconstitutional.”

Maybe that was the weirdest thing about the Electoral College (for some weird definition of weird) up until he said it. Suddenly, the weirdest thing about the Electoral College became the wobbly perambulations of Hayes’ mind, if mind isn’t too generous a word.

What is unconstitutional is the effort known as the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact to destroy the Republic we were given.

The U.S. is a Democratic Constitutional Republic, and Yes, It Matters