Does anyone know where Ice-T was?

I am not at all surprised that the police are now being targeted for murder due to nothing more than their membership in the Badge Gang. And there isn’t a soul in the country who can reasonably argue that the police haven’t collectively begged for such targeting, considering how many innocent Americans they have killed with shameless impunity in the last two decades.

Bexar County Sheriff Amadeo Ortiz said the seemingly senseless and coldblooded slaying of a sergeant early Saturday on the East Side has sent a chilling statement to local law enforcement: No one is safe.

“The way it happened sends a message to the law enforcement community that we’re not safe, even responding to calls and helping citizens,” Ortiz said Sunday. “Officers sometimes get hurt responding to domestic violence calls or shootings, but not while they’re stopped at a red light.”

Sgt. Kenneth Vann, 48, was en route to a call for a shooting around 2 a.m. Saturday when a small white car pulled up next to his marked patrol car at a red light at Loop 410 and Rigsby Avenue, officials said. A barrage of shots was fired from the white car, likely from a high-caliber semiautomatic weapon, striking the passenger-side windows of Vann’s patrol car and killing him, officials said.

Now this is the interesting part. A retired police lieutenant said in the article that the ambush-style killing “is part of a two-year national trend….Every officer in Texas and the U.S. knows there’s a guy who could pull up next to them and kill them. How do you stop that sudden assault?”

You don’t. You can’t. And if you think the police are worried now, just wait until a) they start being gunned down when they leave their homes in the morning and b) their families start being targeted.

There is only one way the police can stop this and it is to immediately stop the militarization, shut down the SWAT units, end the no-knock raids, and return to keeping the peace rather than swaggering around as law enforcement officers. Because what is happening is what always happens when the balance of power is tipped too far. If the rules are stacked against you, you stop playing by the rules.

Of course, getting rid of more than 10 million illegal aliens and ending immigration from south of the border would also be a significant help. But that’s not going to happen either.

Here’s an interesting comment from a retired cop at Denninger’s place: “I am a former police officer from a high crime town in the Chicago area and have witnessed the changes to police tactics first hand. 20 years ago when I worked patrol we showed up with shoes and leather polished, said Sir when pulling someone over, stopped and talked to the residents and children and tried to de-escalate situations whenever possible to avoid confrontation. Now??? Military style uniforms, AR15’s, Taser’s and the general thinking that that badge gives them additional rights. Act like you are at war and you will be, guaranteed…. Its a shame that I can’t teach my grandson that the police are there to help, because I no longer believe that myself.”

Contrast with this the march protesting the police murder of Marine Jose Guerena.

A group called Oath Keepers organized a march and protest for Jose Guerena. Guerena was killed by a Pima County SWAT team on May 5th. They entered his home with a search warrant, but deputies said when they went in, Guerena aimed an assault rifle at them. They fired 71 rounds and killed him. More than a hundred people took part in the march, some of which came from as far away as Vegas. The people said they were there for a number of reasons: pay tribute to a fallen marine, support the victim’s family, and protest the tactics of the SWAT team.

Some protest, some shoot. If the police don’t abandon their present path of violence and start prosecuting police killers instead of protecting them, they can expect more of the latter and less of the former.

Imagine

I noticed this little gem among the comments at Science Based Medicine: “Imagine how many unnecessary deaths could be prevented by parents acting responsibly and vaccinating their children.

Imagine… just imagine. It’s certainly interesting how pro-vaccine propagandists, who claim that their position is based in science, rely on nothing more than an appeal to imagination in their rhetoric. But there is no need to imagine how many “unnecessary deaths” could be prevented by 100 percent vaccine compliance since deaths caused by communicable diseases are tracked by the CDC. Here are the number of recent annual deaths attributed to each disease:

Measles = zero deaths
Chicken pox = 66 deaths
Polio = 1 death
Tetanus = 4 deaths
Pertussis = 17 deaths

Throw in a few deaths caused by Rubella, Mumps, and Diptheria, and that indicates around 100 “unnecessary deaths could be prevented by parents acting responsibly and vaccinating their children”. That’s 530 fewer deaths than could be prevented by banning bicycles and 426 fewer deaths than could be prevented by banning swimming pools. And since the CDC refuses to accurately track the number of deaths caused by adverse vaccine reactions, we have no idea how to balance those 100 “unnecessary deaths” against the additional risks posed by the vaccinations.

But it is educational to see how the facts undermine the effectiveness of the pro-vaccine rhetoric and tend to demonstrate the intrinsic lack of integrity demonstrated by the pro-vaccine propagandists.

Droit du banquier

I’m not sure which is more unsettling. The fact that these bankers think they’re irresistible or the fact that they find nondescript Manhattan hotel maids to be so utterly alluring:

Another international moneyman has been busted for sexually assaulting a maid at a luxury Manhattan hotel, cops said last night. Mahmoud Abdel-Salam Omar — the 74-year-old former chairman of Egypt’s Bank of Alexandria — allegedly groped and “gyrated” against the maid in Room 1027 at The Pierre hotel on Fifth Avenue, a law-enforcement source told The Post. He was wearing a bathrobe at the time, but it was not clear what, if anything, he had on under it.

I suppose this is one way to bring the ongoing financial madness to an end. Just keep arresting bankers, one grope at a time.

Vaccine doctor fraud

A pro-vaccine researcher is indicted:

A scientist in Denmark has been indicted by a federal grand jury in Atlanta for allegedly stealing $1 million in grant money that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had earmarked for autism research. U.S. prosecutors on Wednesday said they are seeking to extradite Poul Thorsen, 49, accused of wire fraud and money laundering. He used the stolen money to buy a home in Atlanta, a Harley Davidson motorcycle and two cars, prosecutors said.

“Grant money for disease research is a precious commodity,” said Sally Yates, U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Georgia, in a news release. “When grant funds are stolen, we lose not only the money, but also the opportunity to better understand and cure debilitating diseases.”

Thorsen, a visiting scientist at the Atlanta-based CDC in the 1990s, helped two government agencies in Denmark obtain $11 million in research grants. He moved back to Denmark in 2002 to be principal investigator for the program. Prosecutors said he was also in charge of administering the research dollars, earmarked in part to study the relationship between autism and exposure to vaccines.

The response from the vaccine propaganda camp is interesting. David Gorski at Science-Based Medicine writes: “If there’s one thing about the anti-vaccine movement, it’s all about the ad hominem attack. Failing to win on science, clinical trials, epidemiology, and other objective evidence, with few exceptions, anti-vaccine propagandists fall back on attacking the person instead of the evidence.”

The problem with Gorski’s attempted defense is that in the field of research science, an ad hominem attack is a valid and rational one because all of the other elements, the “science, clinical trials, epidemiology, and other objective evidence” are only as reliable as the scientific integrity of the researchers involved. Peer review, as we all know, is worthless, being nothing more than what in other fields is known as “editing”; if the underlying experiment has not been replicated then it has not actually been scientifically verified regardless of how many credentialed individuals have read the paper. If the “principle investigator” for the research program is financially corrupt, there is no reason to assume that the rest of the program, indeed, the rest of the field is devoid of similar corruption, particularly when such corruption has long been suspected of researchers working in the interests of Big Pharma and funded in part by it.

Moreover, Gorski’s argument is on the shady side, given that there is very little objective evidence that can be presented for the safety of vaccines and a good deal of circumstantial evidence that the dangers they pose to children’s health is both real and underreported. The millions of dollars paid out annually of the VAERS system, which despite the reluctance of doctors to admit or report negative reactions still records around 4,500 cases of “permanent disability, hospitalization, life-threatening illnesses or death”, is almost never mentioned by the “vaccines are totally safe” crowd. Nor do they admit that there is not a single double-blind experiment comparing the health of a control group of children receiving the current American vaccine schedule with groups receiving a partial schedule or a series of placebo shots.

Gorski also shows his own lack of integrity when he correctly points out that Thorsen was not the principle author of the NEJM and Pediatrics papers, but pretends not to know that “whatever leadership position he may have held at Aarhus University and in its vaccine studies group” was actually the chief of the North Atlantic Neuro-Epidemiology Alliance group based at the University of Aarhus, Denmark and funded in part by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control.

Science cannot be said to be on the pro-vaccine side for the obvious reason that its “scientists” simply have not been willing to do the relevant science. In fact, the vaccine propagandists have spent decades producing various statistical surveys and writing acerbic blog posts in an attempt to avoid doing the only sort of scientific experiment that would be conclusive on the matter.

Now, before the vaccine propagandists leap in, I will again point out that I am not an anti-vaccine activist; I got a tetanus shot myself not long ago. I am, rather, a vaccine safety advocate. Real doctors, with real concerns about real risks to children for whom they are responsible, do not blindly advocate the macro one-size-fits-all approach and sacrifice the vaccine sensitive upon the altar of herd immunity. No pediatrician worth his salt is going to administer vaccines according to the schedule once he hears that a child had a serious adverse reaction to a vaccine. The goal of herd immunity does not trump the physician’s oath to first do no harm.

The problem is not that parents are overprotective of their children or that they are too stupid to understand the potential benefits of herd immunity. The problem is that the vaccine propagandists have been deeply dishonest in the past and therefore rightly lost the trust of many parents. Vaccine advocates have not been straightforward with the actual risks of vaccines because they are afraid that fully informed parents will not abide by the program that they believe will be best for the entire community, but will instead do what is best for the individual child, which is a delayed and staggered schedule that ensures the child gets all the necessary vaccines without putting a risky amount of stress on their developing systems.

The solution is honesty, scientific integrity, and openness. Until the pro-vaccine camp is willing to be honest about the risks as well as the benefits of vaccines to the individual child, all of their efforts to convince parents will not only be in vain, but will be counterproductive.

Statistical illiterates

In fairness, the estimates would probably be right on if one only counts celebrities and fictional television characters:

U.S. adults, on average, estimate that 25% of Americans are gay or lesbian. More specifically, over half of Americans (52%) estimate that at least one in five Americans are gay or lesbian, including 35% who estimate that more than one in four are. Thirty percent put the figure at less than 15%.

Only four percent got the answer right, “Less than 5%”. The actual number is less than half of that, around two percent, not that you’d know it from the way that Hollywood now portrays America as being half Jewish, half Gay, and one quarter Clean, Articulate Black. I expect that Gallup would get similarly overestimated results if it polled Americans on the percentage of Jews in the population too.

I don’t know about you, but I look forward to the touching final episode of Glee, when the very last student at [whatever] high school a) learns that her great-grandmother died in the Holocaust and b) is deconverted from her insidious heterosexuality by Sue Sylvester.

And yet some wonder why I don’t bother to conceal my complete contempt for mainstream opinion. Given its wildly delusional foundations, I would be gravely insulted to learn that my thoughts were considered to be even remotely related to the mainstream.

HT Steve Sailer

Definitions

“All that Lenin learned about business from the tales of his comrades who occasionally sat in business offices was that it required a lot of scribbling, recording, and ciphering. Thus, he declares that accounting and control are the chief things necessary for the organizing and correct functioning of society. . . . Here we have the philosophy of the filing clerk in its full glory.” – Ludwig von Mises

Communism is what happens when atheism meets bureaucracy.

Questions for a candidate

I am one of the many bloggers asked by the campaign staff for former NevadaNew Mexico governor Gary Johnson, one of the Republican dark horses, to take part in a conference call later this week. Does anyone have any questions that they would particularly like me to ask? I have two or three related to the economy, but I thought I’d throw this out there to see what else might be of current interest to the Ilk.

WND column

Marital Roulette

There has been an amount of discussion of a marriage strike in recent years as various male and female commentators alike attempt to explain the continuing decline in marriage rates throughout the advanced nations of the West. As more and more men have become aware that women file for most divorces and that family courts are now little more than thieves’ dens designed to funnel financial resources from men to women by any means or legal-sounding excuse necessary, they have understandably become considerably more marriage-averse.

Layers within layers

I was reading Umberto Eco’s book On Literature the other day and his essay entitled “Intertextual Irony and Levels of Reading” caught my attention, particularly in light of Matthew David Surridge’s intriguing series of essays on Tolkien. (I haven’t commented upon them yet because they are sufficiently deep to require a second reading before opining, Matt, so my apologies for the tardiness.) Because the flip side of readers, presumably non-Ideal, who read things into the text that are not there are readers, definitely non-Ideal, who fail to recognize the deeper layers of the text that are, in fact, there.

Read more, including a minor revelation about one of my past novels, at the Black Gate.

Mailvox: aspies and social autism

In which Van Rooinek objects to making a conceptual link between Asperger’s and atheism:

It’s utterly unfair to link “aspie” with “atheist”. An innate defect in social-situational awareness is no way synonymous with either atheism or an inability to grasp the Christian moral duty of charity. Aspie Christians have a tough enough time with fellow Christians assuming that our inevitable social faux pas are intentional sins rather than perceptual accidents; the equation of “aspie” with “atheist” is even more galling.

While I have no doubt that some will manage it, I find it hard to believe that anyone could miss the humor intrinsic in atheists being offended at being labeled socially autistic while aspies take offense at being tarred by association with atheism. Good times. But, since both groups observably have a somewhat difficult time in understanding various aspects of communication and social interaction, I will explain everything in a logical manner that even the most socially challenged individual should be able to follow.

First, let me address a common misunderstanding. The term “socially autistic” is not, as some have imagined, redundant even though autistic people are known to frequently have social difficulties. The reason is that in the English language, the adjective modifies the noun. As von Hayek elucidated in The Fatal Conceit, “social justice” is intrinsically different than “justice”, so “social autism” is therefore different than “autism”.

The observable difference between the behavior of militant atheists and autistic or aspie individuals is that whereas the latter behave in a neuro-atypical manner regardless of whether they are in a social situation or not, the atheist’s neuro-atypical behavior tends to be limited to the social spheres. This tends to indicate that the behavior is, at least some extent, a conscious choice on the atheist’s part, which only underlines the obnoxious nature of the behavior.

And that, obviously, is the crucial difference. The aspie cannot help his behavior; while the atheist may not be able to help his lack of belief, (which, as I have suggested, may stem from a related neurological disorder), he has no similar excuse for the reprehensible behavior that so often accompanies it.

What Van Rooinek would do well to understand and accept is that when non-aspies behave in a certain manner – the excessive literalism with which some students of Game receive the advice of the Game theoreticians to which he referred being but one example – it is perfectly reasonable to describe such behavior as aspie-like, or “aspie” for short. But there is no more condemnation to be inferred in such a description than there is in referring to a sighted person who simply cannot understand something being explained to him as “blind”.

Moreover, given the way in which aspies are predisposed, by virtue of their neurological handicap, to unintentionally offend others, they would be well-advised to be deliberately slow in taking offense, especially when it is unnecessary. Indeed, instead of being offended, they should be pleased by the sufficient awareness of their condition, and therefore recognition of their lack of culpability for any inadvertently maladroit behavior, that casual use of such an appellation indicates.