Quote of the Day: Dishonorable People

 

“One of the common failings among honorable people is a failure to appreciate how thoroughly dishonorable some other people can be, and how dangerous it is to trust them.” — Thomas Sowell

This statement by Thomas Sowell is almost a truism to many of us; anyone who studies the political scene might roll his or her eyes in response. Can we trust anyone on the political Left?

But if we move beyond the obvious, we realize that our trust of some people that we thought we could trust must, at the very least, be viewed with skepticism. As sincere as Dr. Fauci, Dr. Brix, medical authorities, and model makers may be, we must now question the validity of their statements, challenge the way they interpret the data, and how they communicate their views to the public. Those of us who like to give education, authority, experience their due now must ask, “Are all those credentials enough for us to trust anyone?”

Who are the people on the COVID-19 scene and in the public sphere whom you can trust?

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  1. DrewInWisconsin is done with t… Coolidge
    DrewInWisconsin is done with t…
    @DrewInWisconsin

    Susan Quinn: Who are the people on the Covid-19 scene and in the public sphere whom you can trust?

    Me.

    And . . . well, just me, actually.

    • #1
  2. Mark Camp Member
    Mark Camp
    @MarkCamp

    I trust Dr. Erickson, who did the YouTube (Google) video posted here recently.

    He and his colleague pretty much dynamite the whole false narrative used to justify the stay-at-home orders, based on current scientific knowledge.

    Somehow after Google took it down, it’s currently available. Powerline promised to report when they found out what Google’s story is.  Last we read, they are stonewalling.

    I would download it or record it, because I don’t see how the left can tolerate this much truth getting out to the public, and Google has already come out in the open that any criticism of the WHO narrative will be censored by them on their YouTube channel.

    (I downloaded it but can’t get it to play for some reason from my filesystem.)

    • #2
  3. DrewInWisconsin is done with t… Coolidge
    DrewInWisconsin is done with t…
    @DrewInWisconsin

    Mark Camp (View Comment):
    Somehow after Youtube.com supposdedly took it down, it’s currently available. But I would download it or record it, because I don’t see how the left can tolerate this much truth getting out to the public, and YouTube has already come out in the open that any criticism of the WHO narrative will be censored by them.

    That’s because a whole bunch of people keep putting it back up on their own YouTube accounts, and YouTube is busy play whack-a-mole trying to get rid of it.

     

    • #3
  4. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Mark Camp (View Comment):

    He and his colleague pretty much dynamite the whole false narrative used to justify the stay-at-home orders, based on current scientific knowledge.

    Somehow after Youtube.com supposdedly took it down, it’s currently available.

    I was very impressed with them, too, although even here on Ricochet, people were happy to attack them. We’ve been saying for years that we need a viable alternative to Google and YouTube, but it’s so difficult to create and maintain. Thanks, @markcamp.

    • #4
  5. Bob Thompson Member
    Bob Thompson
    @BobThompson

    Susan Quinn: Can we trust anyone on the political Left?

    I think it is a mistake to limit this question. Make it: Can we trust anyone?

    I have said before that this is a primary reason that we should somehow effect term limits on any political office. I think we witness many who enter the political realm with nothing in mind but the best intentions that then morphs into corruption fed by money and power. You know the old proverb that ‘every man has his price’.

    • #5
  6. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    DrewInWisconsin is done with t… (View Comment):

    Me.

    And . . . well, just me, actually.

    Cleverly and aptly said. It’s tough to point readily to any person and say I’d trust him. Well, maybe Thomas Sowell. Thanks, @drewinwisconsin.

    • #6
  7. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Bob Thompson (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn: Can we trust anyone on the political Left?

    I think it is a mistake to limit this question. Make it: Can we trust anyone?

    I have said before that this is a primary reason that we should somehow effect term limits on any political office. I think we witness many who enter the political realm with nothing in mind but the best intentions that then morphs into corruption fed by money and power. You know the old proverb that ‘every man has his price’.

    This is so very true, @bobthompson. Those who try to resist are probably ostracized and punished to the point where they have to cave to survive. I’d want to ask them, is it really worth it? Really?

    • #7
  8. Bob Thompson Member
    Bob Thompson
    @BobThompson

    I think Donald Trump is as trustworthy as anyone in federal elective office because he obviously believes he knows what he is doing is right and he will go to great lengths to defend his actions. The question for the people then becomes ‘is what Trump does acceptable’. I’m not sure what his price is, he seems to be as close to not having one as is imaginable driven by his position that he knows he is right. His narcissism?

    He has enough money and he can’t get any more power.

    • #8
  9. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Bob Thompson (View Comment):

    I think Donald Trump is as trustworthy as anyone in federal elective office because he obviously believes he knows what he is doing is right and he will go to great lengths to defend his actions. The question for the people then becomes ‘is what Trump does acceptable’. I’m not sure what his price is, he seems to be as close to not having one as is imaginable driven by his position that he knows he is right. His narcissism?

    I tend to grudgingly admit that Trump is “relatively” trustworthy. I strongly dislike his exaggerations, even if he does it to aggravate the media. I understand his reasons for doing it, but I still don’t like it.

    • #9
  10. Hoyacon Member
    Hoyacon
    @Hoyacon

    It’s an excellent quote.  So what does “trust” really mean?  In the public square, I think it essentially means to “accept without verification.”  So the famous saying “Trust but Verify” is, to me, oxymoronish.

    I think @drewinwisconsin is actually pretty much on the mark in #1.  It’s a cynical view, but these are cynical times.  If I were really to get down to it, there are probably 5-10 people that I trust without “fact-checking” (e.g., Mollie Hemingway).  I don’t even trust the newly-renowned Dr. Erickson at this point (so shoot me), because I think “trust” means more than “I agree.”

    • #10
  11. Bob Thompson Member
    Bob Thompson
    @BobThompson

    I try to understand someone’s judgement and motivation and then observed behavior. I’ve thought good of Trump’s motivation, not all in on his judgement. I do think he is persuadable provided he is approached in a manner acceptable to him. He must ‘trust’ those trying to persuade him. How about that?

    • #11
  12. DrewInWisconsin is done with t… Coolidge
    DrewInWisconsin is done with t…
    @DrewInWisconsin

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    DrewInWisconsin is done with t… (View Comment):

    Me.

    And . . . well, just me, actually.

    Cleverly and aptly said. It’s tough to point to point readily to any person and say I’d trust him. Well, maybe Thomas Sowell. Thanks, @drewinwisconsin.

    People often ask “who are your heroes”? Even as a kid that question always confused me. Adults or teachers would commonly ask that question, and I could never give an answer. I still don’t really know how to answer that. I think when you admire someone, you take a risk that that person will someday let you down, and that can be difficult to deal with. Perhaps, unconsciously, to protect myself from that I never allowed myself to put anyone on a pedestal. Perhaps this is why I’m a natural cynic. My answer to the question “who are your heroes” has always been “me.” If only because I’m the only choice I’ve left myself.

    So it is with the question of who I trust the most in any given situation. Me. I certainly know I’m capable of making bad decisions, but I think I can also forgive myself more easily than I could if someone else I trusted led me astray. 

    • #12
  13. Sandy Member
    Sandy
    @Sandy

    Hoyacon (View Comment):

    It’s an excellent quote. So what does “trust” really mean? In the public square, I think it essentially means to “accept without verification.” So the famous saying “Trust but Verify” is, to me, oxymoronish.

    I think @drewinwisconsin is actually pretty much on the mark in #1. It’s a cynical view, but these are cynical times. If I were really to get down to it, there are probably 5-10 people that I trust without “fact-checking” (e.g., Mollie Hemingway) what they say. I don’t even trust the newly-renowned Dr. Erickson at this point (so shoot me), because I think “trust” means more than “I agree.”

    Dr. Erickson’s business is directly affected by the policies he attacks, but his claims should be able to be evaluated fairly. I would trust myself to evaluate them if I were a statistician, but I’m not.  Moreover I want to agree with Dr. Erickson.  Do we not then do what any thinking person would do, which is to look at other sources and other opinions (Ricochet being invaluable in this task) until the weight on one side or the other becomes obvious?  (Then, years and many events later, we look back and wonder, “How the heck did I ever believe that?”)  By the way, this is why tradition should have a lot of weight, and why we moderns get into so much trouble.  If the tradition has always been to quarantine the sick and their immediate family and not the non-sick, there is a reason.

    • #13
  14. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Hoyacon (View Comment):

    It’s an excellent quote. So what does “trust” really mean? In the public square, I think it essentially means to “accept without verification.” So the famous saying “Trust but Verify” is, to me, oxymoronish.

    I think @drewinwisconsin is actually pretty much on the mark in #1. It’s a cynical view, but these are cynical times. If I were really to get down to it, there are probably 5-10 people that I trust without “fact-checking” (e.g., Mollie Hemingway). I don’t even trust the newly-renowned Dr. Erickson at this point (so shoot me), because I think “trust” means more than “I agree.”

    Good point, @hoyacon. I would include Mollie and also Kim Strassel. They really fight to dig up the truth.

    • #14
  15. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Bob Thompson (View Comment):

    I try to understand someone’s judgement and motivation and then observed behavior. I’ve thought good of Trump’s motivation, not all in on his judgement. I do think he is persuadable provided he is approached in a manner acceptable to him. He must ‘trust’ those trying to persuade him. How about that?

    That’s probably an accurate observation. His finally cutting back on the Covid-19 updates is an example. But it sure took a while, and I still think he’ll be too visible.

    • #15
  16. Rodin Member
    Rodin
    @Rodin

    I trust people to act and talk in ways that reflect their own beliefs and interests. Which means that extending trust to anyone is dependent on understanding those beliefs and interests. Dr Fauci is a good example. I expect that he is a generally competent physician and immunologist. But his truest specialty is in navigating the relationships with politicians in successive administrations. That makes him a creature of the Beltway, whatever other skills and competencies he possesses. I spent my career engaging a variety of Dr Faucis — just in other federal agencies. They were not bad people and I would like to believe that my work with them ultimately provided value to the American people (as it was their tax dollars we were all spending).

    • #16
  17. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Rodin (View Comment):

    I trust people to act and talk in ways that reflect their own beliefs and interests. Which means that extending trust to anyone is dependent on understanding those beliefs and interests. Dr Fauci is a good example. I expect that he is a generally competent physician and immunologist. But his truest specialty is in navigating the relationships with politicians in successive administrations. That makes him a creature of the Beltway, whatever other skills and competencies he possesses. I spent my career engaging a variety of Dr Faucis — just in other federal agencies. They were not bad people and I would like to believe that my work with them ultimately provided value to the American people (as it was their tax dollars we were all spending).

    Thanks, @rodin. As mentioned in a comment earlier, the most noble beliefs and values must be demonstrated in ways that encourage us to trust people. If you are a political hack, why should I believe that you are acting on my behalf?

    • #17
  18. Fake John/Jane Galt Coolidge
    Fake John/Jane Galt
    @FakeJohnJaneGalt

    Trust nobody but yourself and even that person will let you down and lie to you from time to time.

    • #18
  19. iWe Coolidge
    iWe
    @iWe

    I don’t trust anyone else on the Wuhan Virus. I’ll LISTEN to a wide variety of people, but “expert” judgment is so clouded by self-interest that it cannot legitimately claim any special authority.

    • #19
  20. D.A. Venters Member
    D.A. Venters
    @DAVenters

    This issue is one that courts have had to wrestle with for centuries.  Rules of evidence have evolved to require that if the subject of proposed testimony is sufficiently out of the range of everyday experience, then it must be given by an expert in that subject.  The court will not allow a layperson to give opinions on subject matter which requires an expert.  A lot of laypeople think they know more than they know.  The parties can argue over the qualifications of the expert witness, but ultimately the judge acts as a “gatekeeper” to ensure the witness is qualified to give an expert opinion.

    Outside the court setting, with these kinds of policy issues, I suppose you have to step into the role of the judge when it comes to forming your own opinion on things.  So, if you have competing experts, I guess the best thing to do is to look at their respective qualifications relative to the question at hand.  One thing to avoid, and which a judge must absolutely avoid, is basing your assessment of their qualifications on the content of their opinion – i.e. whether you like their answer better than the other expert.  You might get lucky a couple of times doing that, but ultimately you’ll be led down the wrong path using that method.

    • #20
  21. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    D.A. Venters (View Comment):
    One thing to avoid, and which a judge must absolutely avoid, is basing your assessment of their qualifications on the content of their opinion – i.e. whether you like their answer better than the other expert. You might get lucky a couple of times doing that, but ultimately you’ll be led down the wrong path using that method.

    Great comment, especially this point. Confirmation bias is dangerous.

    • #21
  22. Misthiocracy held his nose and Member
    Misthiocracy held his nose and
    @Misthiocracy

    Quibble: Is that not the logic behind maintaining draconian restrictions on people’s movements?  i.e. That people are so dishonourable that they cannot be trusted to practice safe practices without the threat of force, and honourable people who say that restrictions should be relaxed cannot see that fact?

    • #22
  23. Rodin Member
    Rodin
    @Rodin

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):
    If you are a political hack, why should I believe that you are acting on my behalf?

    If he/she is a “political hack”, you shouldn’t. But using that term reflects a conclusion about their trustworthiness. A “political operative” is someone who is engaged in using political means for their ends. A “politically sophisticated professional” is someone who understands the norms of political action and the realities of political decision making. There is no term aside from “public servant” that suggests that anyone is acting on your behalf. And even there, the question is always, serving who?

    • #23
  24. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Rodin (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):
    If you are a political hack, why should I believe that you are acting on my behalf?

    If he/she is a “political hack”, you shouldn’t. But using that term reflects a conclusion about their trustworthiness. A “political operative” is someone who is engaged in using political means for their ends. A “politically sophisticated professional” is someone who understands the norms of political action and the realities of political decision making. There is no term aside from “public servant” that suggests that anyone is acting on your behalf. And even there, the question is always, serving who?

    Very helpful, if not disappointing, distinction. Thanks.

    • #24
  25. WillowSpring Member
    WillowSpring
    @WillowSpring

    Rodin (View Comment):
    Dr Fauci is a good example. I expect that he is a generally competent physician and immunologist. But his truest specialty is in navigating the relationships with politicians in successive administrations. That makes him a creature of the Beltway, whatever other skills and competencies he possesses.

    There is one story that hasn’t gotten much coverage that I would like to know more details about.  After experiments trying to modify bat virus were prohibited in the US, the project was moved to the Wuhan lab – under Dr. Fauci.  We have paid 3+ Million dollars to support it since then.

    • #25
  26. DrewInWisconsin is done with t… Coolidge
    DrewInWisconsin is done with t…
    @DrewInWisconsin

    WillowSpring (View Comment):

    Rodin (View Comment):
    Dr Fauci is a good example. I expect that he is a generally competent physician and immunologist. But his truest specialty is in navigating the relationships with politicians in successive administrations. That makes him a creature of the Beltway, whatever other skills and competencies he possesses.

    There is one story that hasn’t gotten much coverage that I would like to know more details about. After experiments trying to modify bat virus were prohibited in the US, the project was moved to the Wuhan lab – under Dr. Fauci. We have paid 3+ Million dollars to support it since then.

    That one sounded a little too far-fetched for me. I think it was one of those stories that was about 10% true, and 90% supposition.

     

    • #26
  27. Vectorman Member
    Vectorman
    @Vectorman

    Sandy (View Comment):
    Do we not then do what any thinking person would do, which is to look at other sources and other opinions (Ricochet being invaluable in this task) until the weight on one side or the other becomes obvious?

    My observation, which seems obvious:

    At this point, the Hydroxychloroquine, azithromycin (Z-pack), and ZINC sulfate has been shown effective (>95%) when given during the first 3-5 days of symptoms. Let’s put together low cost kits ($20 – $50) after consulting with your primary doctor for proper dosage and usage.

    As long as the media does not cover this solution, and tries to cover up Dr. Erickson and the numbers coming out Sweden, there is little trust out there.


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    • #27
  28. Columbo Member
    Columbo
    @Columbo

    It is so much easier to identify those whom you do not trust. Anyone who exposes themselves with a primary interest of creating a “gotcha” moment for our President and his COVID-19 team at press conferences clearly care more about hating Donald Trump than defeating this Wuhan virus. And I have no reason to listen to, much less trust them. I do trust POTUS Trump and VP Pence who clearly want to fight and win over this menace and get the country back to the new ‘normal’ as quickly and safely as possible.

    • #28
  29. Rodin Member
    Rodin
    @Rodin

    WillowSpring (View Comment):

    Rodin (View Comment):
    Dr Fauci is a good example. I expect that he is a generally competent physician and immunologist. But his truest specialty is in navigating the relationships with politicians in successive administrations. That makes him a creature of the Beltway, whatever other skills and competencies he possesses.

    There is one story that hasn’t gotten much coverage that I would like to know more details about. After experiments trying to modify bat virus were prohibited in the US,y the project was moved to the Wuhan lab – under Dr. Fauci. We have paid 3+ Million dollars to support it since then.

    There is a bigger story there but it isn’t going to be pursued in a fair and balanced way because the MSM wants to protect Dr Fauci so long as he can be quoted to recommending things they want to hear, and certain conservative groups who believe he is a “swamp creature” will be characterizing any of his actions in the worst possible way. 

    Recall that early (February?) on Dr Fauci was on Laura Ingraham’s program. During that program Laura asked Dr Fauci whether he believed what the Chinese were telling him. Dr Fauci said he did because he had worked with them and some had been his students. What wasn’t broadly known at that time was that Dr Fauci’s funding of Wuhan research. No doubt it was these same researchers that Dr Fauci was referring to in the interview with Ingraham. If so, it would be understandable that Dr Fauci thought he had a relationship with them that would assure he was getting information that was not tainted by CCP messaging. Of course he has recently admitted that it was not.

    There may have been valid reasons for funding the research in Wuhan — assuming that safety protocols were scrupulously followed. That is a separate debate from the risks associated with Bio 4-level research at that facility generally. On the surface that seems to have been a tragic decision.

    • #29
  30. Architectus Coolidge
    Architectus
    @Architectus

    Sandy (View Comment):
    So the famous saying “Trust but Verify” is, to me, oxymoronish.

    I have always approached that phrase as an ‘A then B’ proposition.  During discussions we will assume good faith and continue talks on that basis toward an agreement.  Then going forward, we will routinely verify performance.  Similar to signing a contract for construction.  As things proceed, you constantly inspect and pay for work completed properly.  But trust still plays a large role in any agreement.  

    • #30