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… Member
    DrewInWisconsin is done with t…
    @DrewInWisconsin

    She (View Comment):
    Therefore, what I’d like him to “do” sometimes is be a little more careful about what he “says.” This is no time for self-inflicted wounds, even superficial ones.

    It doesn’t really matter what he says. The press will invent things if he fails to give them an opening. And again, what he said last week about UV light therapies was exactly correct, which is why YouTube is having to remove videos about this experimental treatment, because they don’t want the proles thinking the President knew what he was talking about.

    I think the President realizes that no matter what he says or doesn’t say, the press will lie in order to destroy him. So why bother worrying about it.

    • #61
  2. MiMac Thatcher
    MiMac
    @MiMac

    Susan- you are confusing trustworthiness with the limits of expert’s knowledge. One can be trustworthy (in that you speak what you believe to be the truth) but your expertise, while real, doesn’t give you great ability to predict the future nor account for its many possibilities. We need to consult experts, but be mindful that the utility of their expertise can be very limited in helping us chose policy correctly. Their best guess, while informed, might not be very good or useful- leaving aside the question of outright dishonesty.

    • #62
  3. Mark Camp Member
    Mark Camp
    @MarkCamp

    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’.

    For the duration of the Quarantine of the Healthy, sidetracking a thread is officially permitted. Under that protective order, I say this.

    I think term limits could well do more good than harm.  Power corrupts over time, so the longer a person has it, the more corrupt he is, all else equal.

    But the good is limited. Advocates of good government like me have always said that we should elect good and wise legislators and executives.  Ultimately, advocates of term limits say that, on the contrary, we should permit ourselves the luxury of continuing to inattentively elect corrupt and incompetent officials, and then cut them off from doing more damage after an arbitrary, pre-ordained frolic.

    • #63
  4. Headedwest Inactive
    Headedwest
    @Headedwest

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):

    Mark, I do not find this convincing. I don’t see anything about being a practicing doctor that would give a greater awareness of these problems. I do not see any reason that Dr. Fauci would be more aware of these concerns if he had been treating patients recently.

    I think that their points are correct. They are simply unrelated to any medical expertise. Every single one of us is an “expert” on how disruptive these extreme lockdown measures have been. It is not an area in which expertise matters.

    Knowledge of how epidemics spread is an expert issue, and I would expect Dr. Fauci to have more knowledge and experience on this issue than a typical ER doctor. However, Dr. Fauci’s expertise does not mean that he should be making decisions for the rest of us. We should be listening to his advice, inside his area of expertise, and then making up our own minds.

    Dr. Fauci is a government bureaucrat.  He will not lose his job or even a dollar of pay, even if his advice is terribly wrong. He has, as Taleb would say, no skin in the game.

    • #64
  5. Rightfromthestart Coolidge
    Rightfromthestart
    @Rightfromthestart

    DrewInWisconsin is done with t… (View Comment):

    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.

     

    Bill Whittle points out in order to keep the sunlight out you have to constantly go around covering the windows. 

    • #65
  6. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    MiMac (View Comment):

    Susan- you are confusing trustworthiness with the limits of expert’s knowledge. One can be trustworthy (in that you speak what you believe to be the truth) but your expertise, while real, doesn’t give you great ability to predict the future nor account for its many possibilities. We need to consult experts, but be mindful that the utility of their expertise can be very limited in helping us chose policy correctly. Their best guess, while informed, might not be very good or useful- leaving aside the question of outright dishonesty.

    I don’t think most people realize these limitations, especially when they are not explicit about them. And of course they won’t state those built-in limitations. Why would they? 

    • #66
  7. Mark Camp Member
    Mark Camp
    @MarkCamp

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):

     

    Mark, I do not find this convincing. I don’t see anything about being a practicing doctor that would give a greater awareness of these problems.

    I strongly disagree. I think Dr. Fauci would do well to leave his familiar environs of deep staff, and go visit the troops in the trenches.  He needs to “walk around”, and get back in touch with the world of medicine.

    I do not see any reason that Dr. Fauci would be more aware of these concerns if he had been treating patients recently.

    I strongly disagree.

    I think that their points are correct. They are simply unrelated to any medical expertise. Every single one of us is an “expert” on how disruptive these extreme lockdown measures have been. It is not an area in which expertise matters.

    They don’t present as experts on what we share our expertise about on our choir Zoom meetings.  Recipes, weight gains, home-schooling.  They have been at work, seeing patients, during an epidemic.

    Knowledge of how epidemics spread is an expert issue, and I would expect Dr. Fauci to have more knowledge and experience on this issue than a typical ER doctor.

    Me too. But these two are qualified immunologists, not just typical ER docs. I watched the video, and most of it concerned epidemiological data about this epidemic compared to flu,  from the point of view of two men who have not only been on the front lines, but have spent many of the long hour of every day till the wee hours, studying the epidemiological data and talking to their peers.  I suspect you have not watched the whole video?

    Dr. Fauci’s expertise does not mean that he should be making decisions for the rest of us. We should be listening to his advice, inside his area of expertise, and then making up our own minds.

    You misunderstand the docs’ criticism.  They have analyzed the data and are directly questioning him about his area of expertise.

     

    • #67
  8. D.A. Venters Inactive
    D.A. Venters
    @DAVenters

    DrewInWisconsin is done with t… (View Comment):

    Steven Seward (View Comment):

    ..:

    Anyway, our state says that in order to allow the peasants to go back to work, we must have the capability to test 12,000 people a day. Right now we have the capability to test 7,000 people a day. Right now we’re only testing about 1,200 people a day, because we’re only testing the symptomatic. It makes no sense to require the capacity to increase when we’re far below the testing capacity that we need already. But dictators gonna dictate.

    I think the logic behind that requirement is to ensure the state is ready in the event there is a spike in infections once the restrictions are relaxed. Far more tests will be needed in that event than are needed now. Lack of  testing capacity was a major impediment to fighting the virus in the first wave, and so they want to make sure that does not happen again. It may end up being unnecessary,  and maybe if you can’t get to that capacity quickly they should just go for it anyway, but it’s a reasonable concern to have now. 

     

     

    • #68
  9. Architectus Coolidge
    Architectus
    @Architectus

    Sandy (View Comment):

    Architectus (View Comment):

    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.

    Just to be clear, the quotation is not from my comment, but from Hoyacon’s.

    Sorry Sandy, that’s true.  I know what I did wrong, and am usually more careful.  Apologies…

    • #69
  10. Architectus Coolidge
    Architectus
    @Architectus

    MISTER BITCOIN (View Comment):
    Sincerity is overrated.

    Ah, that reminds me of one of my favorite quotes: 

    “The secret of success is sincerity. Once you can fake that you’ve got it made.”

    Likely attributable to Jean Giraudoux, but it would seems lot’s of folks have used it in one form or another.  

    • #70
  11. Ed G. Member
    Ed G.
    @EdG

    DrewInWisconsin is done with t… (View Comment):

    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 think there’s only one clear answer to that question:

    Sandberg returns to Wrigley as interim Phillies skipper ...

    I’d trust Ryno to give it to me straight. No fuss, just discipline and performance. 

    • #71
  12. DrewInWisconsin is done with t… Member
    DrewInWisconsin is done with t…
    @DrewInWisconsin

    D.A. Venters (View Comment):

    DrewInWisconsin is done with t… (View Comment):

    Steven Seward (View Comment):

    ..:

    Anyway, our state says that in order to allow the peasants to go back to work, we must have the capability to test 12,000 people a day. Right now we have the capability to test 7,000 people a day. Right now we’re only testing about 1,200 people a day, because we’re only testing the symptomatic. It makes no sense to require the capacity to increase when we’re far below the testing capacity that we need already. But dictators gonna dictate.

    I think the logic behind that requirement is to ensure the state is ready in the event there is a spike in infections once the restrictions are relaxed. Far more tests will be needed in that event than are needed now.

    How can anyone possibly make that prediction? Based on models that we already know were flawed?

    • #72
  13. Architectus Coolidge
    Architectus
    @Architectus

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):

    Answering the question in the OP: At the moment, I generally trust Mendel, Rodin, Locke On, VDH, Heather MacDonald, the Daily Wire guys (Shapiro, Klavan, Knowles), HR McMaster, Peter Robinson, Richard Epstein, Dr. Bhattacharya, and Mike Pence. This does not mean that I think that they are always right.

    Edited to add Steve Hayward.

    I have decent trust for Niall Ferguson (not Neil Ferguson), President Trump, and Dan Crenshaw. I would tend to trust Ted Cruz, Tom Cotton, and Lindsay Graham based on past performance, though I haven’t seen anything that they have said about the virus.

    Edited to add: I mean no disrespect to any Ricochetti not mentioned. Mendel, Rodin, and Locke On have exceptional knowledge in these particular circumstances.

    Outstanding list!  And as others have mentioned, it is less about agreeing with them in all instances, but rather being confident that they are consistent in their beliefs and sincere in their statements.  (Maybe I’ll make it into your next edit… ;-)

    • #73
  14. Steven Seward Member
    Steven Seward
    @StevenSeward

    D.A. Venters (View Comment):

    DrewInWisconsin is done with t… (View Comment):

    Anyway, our state says that in order to allow the peasants to go back to work, we must have the capability to test 12,000 people a day. Right now we have the capability to test 7,000 people a day. Right now we’re only testing about 1,200 people a day, because we’re only testing the symptomatic. It makes no sense to require the capacity to increase when we’re far below the testing capacity that we need already. But dictators gonna dictate.

    I think the logic behind that requirement is to ensure the state is ready in the event there is a spike in infections once the restrictions are relaxed. Far more tests will be needed in that event than are needed now. Lack of testing capacity was a major impediment to fighting the virus in the first wave, and so they want to make sure that does not happen again. It may end up being unnecessary, and maybe if you can’t get to that capacity quickly they should just go for it anyway, but it’s a reasonable concern to have now.

    This is absolutely correct!  My wife is doing Covid testing at a major hospital  in Ohio.  At first they were somewhat limited in the number of tests they could perform because the testing kits were being redirected to the worst places, like New York.  Now that the curve has been flattened in Ohio, few people are getting symptoms of the Wu Flu and few are being recommended for testing.  Now the hospital has an excess of tests and they are hanging on to them for a rainy day.

    • #74
  15. She Member
    She
    @She

    DrewInWisconsin is done with t… (View Comment):

    She (View Comment):
    Therefore, what I’d like him to “do” sometimes is be a little more careful about what he “says.” This is no time for self-inflicted wounds, even superficial ones.

    It doesn’t really matter what he says. The press will invent things if he fails to give them an opening. And again, what he said last week about UV light therapies was exactly correct, which is why YouTube is having to remove videos about this experimental treatment, because they don’t want the proles thinking the President knew what he was talking about.

    I think the President realizes that no matter what he says or doesn’t say, the press will lie in order to destroy him. So why bother worrying about it.

    I think there is some truth to that.  Sometimes, to slightly misquote the lines from the song, “He says it best/When he says nothing at all.”

    I’m sticking by my original comment on “trustworthiness” though, because it wasn’t really about Trump at all.

    • #75
  16. D.A. Venters Inactive
    D.A. Venters
    @DAVenters

    DrewInWisconsin is done with t… (View Comment):

    D.A. Venters (View Comment):

    DrewInWisconsin is done with t… (View Comment):

    Steven Seward (View Comment):

    ..:

    Anyway, our state says that in order to allow the peasants to go back to work, we must have the capability to test 12,000 people a day. Right now we have the capability to test 7,000 people a day. Right now we’re only testing about 1,200 people a day, because we’re only testing the symptomatic. It makes no sense to require the capacity to increase when we’re far below the testing capacity that we need already. But dictators gonna dictate.

    I think the logic behind that requirement is to ensure the state is ready in the event there is a spike in infections once the restrictions are relaxed. Far more tests will be needed in that event than are needed now.

    How can anyone possibly make that prediction? Based on models that we already know were flawed?

    An educated guess is the best they can do. The virus just showed up in humans a few months ago. I don’t pretend to know what they based this number on, but it was probably based on data from all over. But it makes sense to at least give it a guess. A spike is a possibility, and it’s wise to take some steps to be ready if that happens.

    I’m reminded of an article I read somewhere right before Desert Storm, during the build-up. The article ominously said the pentagon ordered 20,000 or 30,000 body bags sent to Saudi Arabia. There was no way to really know how many would be needed, but it was some poor guy’s job to take a guess – so, he took a guess based on who knows what. I hope this testing capacity ends up being needed as badly as those body bags were. (For you younger members – very few were used.)

    • #76
  17. Southern Pessimist Member
    Southern Pessimist
    @SouthernPessimist

    I think Who Do you Trust ? was the name of the game show that Johnny Carson jump started his career with. Who would have thought that that question would become the existential question of humanity at this moment of time. 

    That question will be answered however and will be answered soon.

    • #77
  18. Mark Camp Member
    Mark Camp
    @MarkCamp

    D.A. Venters (View Comment):
    I think the logic behind that requirement is to ensure the state is ready in the event there is a spike in infections once the restrictions are relaxed.

    Why should the state should be ready to do anything in the event that there is a spike in infections once the restrictions are relaxed?

    • #78
  19. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Mark Camp (View Comment):
    Why should the state should be ready to do anything in the event that there is a spike in infections once the restrictions are relaxed?

    I’d add, just what should the state do? Enforce another lockdown when new cases show up? At what point will they justify another lockdown?

    If companies want to increase testing, they will. At some point, society has to own the future. Thanks, Mark.

    • #79
  20. D.A. Venters Inactive
    D.A. Venters
    @DAVenters

    Mark Camp (View Comment):

    D.A. Venters (View Comment):
    I think the logic behind that requirement is to ensure the state is ready in the event there is a spike in infections once the restrictions are relaxed.

    Why should the state should be ready to do anything in the event that there is a spike in infections once the restrictions are relaxed?

    I’m told its helpful, for both doctors and patients, to know who has the virus and who doesn’t.

     

     

    • #80
  21. I Walton Member
    I Walton
    @IWalton

    Seems there is  agreement that we can’t trust anyone.  Which of course was the whole thrust of our system.  Decentralize and let folks figure it out, compete, sort it out but try to keep a general view that trust is important so that we erred in that direction.  We found that self interest in a free market made self interest and trust compatible, but as size and remoteness grow, that erodes.  As we centralize and grow we’re losing the only thing that rooted trust.  Government by its very nature is not to be trusted, but it and gargantuan business just keep growing and with that trust must unambiguously die.  

    • #81
  22. DrewInWisconsin is done with t… Member
    DrewInWisconsin is done with t…
    @DrewInWisconsin

    I’m no Randian, but enlightened self-interest seems to be the only way to make any sort of deal or negotiation work. It’s all right there in the “Share or Steal” game.

    • #82
  23. Misthiocracy held his nose and Member
    Misthiocracy held his nose and
    @Misthiocracy

    MISTER BITCOIN (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    MISTER BITCOIN (View Comment):
    Is there anyone who understands human nature better than Tom Sowell?

    I’m sure there is, but I’m certain the person is not as articulate!

    Steven Pinker?

     

     

    Pinker has his own share of blind spots.  For example, he’s a doctrinaire Chomskyite when it comes to linguistics despite the very large amount of learned criticism of Chomsky’s linguistic theories.

    • #83
  24. Steven Seward Member
    Steven Seward
    @StevenSeward

    Misthiocracy held his nose and (View Comment):

    MISTER BITCOIN (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    MISTER BITCOIN (View Comment):
    Is there anyone who understands human nature better than Tom Sowell?

    I’m sure there is, but I’m certain the person is not as articulate!

    Steven Pinker?

     

     

    Pinker has his own share of blind spots. For example, he’s a doctrinaire Chomskyite when it comes to linguistics despite the very large amount of learned criticism of Chomsky’s linguistic theories.

    I like Pinker’s ideas a lot too, but one time Dennis Prager interviewed him and Pinker showed a glaring blind spot toward something very obvious.  I cannot remember exactly what it was, but that it was something that anyone with common sense should have known.

    • #84
  25. MiMac Thatcher
    MiMac
    @MiMac

    Mark Camp (View Comment):

    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.)

    If you trust him on virology & epidemiology I have a bridge in Brooklyn I want to sell you-he owns a “doc in the box” which means he treats non-serious medical conditions that do not require speciality care. He isn’t board certified & has, by all appearances, no significant training in virology nor epidemiology. To paraphrase C S Lewis,  you might as well ask my dog to review the literature for you.

    • #85
  26. DrewInWisconsin is done with t… Member
    DrewInWisconsin is done with t…
    @DrewInWisconsin

    MiMac (View Comment):

    Mark Camp (View Comment):

    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.)

    If you trust him on virology & epidemiology I have a bridge in Brooklyn I want to sell you-he owns a “doc in the box” which means he treats non-serious medical conditions that do not require speciality care. He isn’t board certified & has, by all appearances, no significant training in virology nor epidemiology. To paraphrase C S Lewis, you might as well ask my dog to review the literature for you.

    Nevertheless, I’ll let him speak his peace and we can have a conversation. One thing that YouTube did when they removed that video is that they removed the reporters asking serious questions of him. They removed arguments for and against his point of view. They erased both sides in favor of a system by which no questions may be asked and no dissent is allowed. To hear the YouTube lady tell it, if it dissented from the WHO, it was taken down. Excuse me, but the WHO has given us conflicting information from the start. We have truly entered the “War is Peace/Freedom is Slavery” era, with YouTube as our Ministry of Truth.

    If these doctors are right or wrong, YouTube won’t let you even think about. And they tell you that it’s for your own good. Don’t trouble yourself with thinking. We’ve done the thinking for you.

    And that’s the scariest part of this.

    • #86
  27. Architectus Coolidge
    Architectus
    @Architectus

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio) (View Comment):

    Answering the question in the OP: At the moment, I generally trust Mendel, Rodin, Locke On, VDH, Heather MacDonald, the Daily Wire guys (Shapiro, Klavan, Knowles), HR McMaster, Peter Robinson, Richard Epstein, Dr. Bhattacharya, and Mike Pence. This does not mean that I think that they are always right.

    Edited to add Steve Hayward.

    I have decent trust for Niall Ferguson (not Neil Ferguson), President Trump, and Dan Crenshaw. I would tend to trust Ted Cruz, Tom Cotton, and Lindsay Graham based on past performance, though I haven’t seen anything that they have said about the virus.

    Edited to add: I mean no disrespect to any Ricochetti not mentioned. Mendel, Rodin, and Locke On have exceptional knowledge in these particular circumstances.

    How about Andrew C. McCarthy, also?  

    • #87
  28. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Architectus (View Comment):
    How about Andrew C. McCarthy, also?

    Good one, @architectus. And I wish Charles Krauthammer were still with us.

    • #88
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