Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. How Dare You!

 

For a number of years, I have told people that while I might think people on the left are wrong in their beliefs, those same people treat my beliefs as illegitimate; that I have no right to hold different views than they. I believe that it peaked in the current gender wars, mostly because their views became less and less logical under even the gentlest scrutiny.

Now, the virus epidemic gives those people a whole new slew of issues on which, rather than make a cogent argument, it’s considered good form to simply say “how dare you!” That an intellectual adolescent the likes of Greta Thunberg was invited to the UN and literally made that argument foretold how bleak our future looks for any exchange of ideas.

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Milton Friedman on the FDA: Risk Avoidance

 

Put yourself in the position of an FDA official charged with approving or disapproving a new drug. You can make two very different kinds of serious mistakes:

1. Approve a drug that turns out to have unanticipated side effects resulting in death or serious impairment of a sizable number of persons.

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. So, Hey, How Y’all Doing?

 

[Ricochet is not an airport, so arrivals and departures need not be announced, but here I am anyway. If you’re not a fan of such posts, this one probably isn’t for you. I’m sure the PIT (is that even still a thing?) is hopping if you need an alternative.]

Just reactivated my Coolidge membership on a whim to follow James Lileks’ dialogues from what he’s calling the Duration, which he’s also documenting over on the Bleat. It’s — comforting, maybe? — to read that the bizarre circumstances of 2020 thus far are happening to everybody. I’m also leveraging my membership by watching the live GLoP podcast at the moment and laughing a bit, even though Sanctimonious Mode Jonah makes my teeth itch in ways no dentist can treat. Also, if I spend any more time on Facebook reading misinformation, indignation, and Trump-bashing (as though this isn’t happening to the entire world), I might start acting out the memorable bits of The Shining; I’m really hoping sanity is still the rule at Ricochet.

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Luffing to Cuba: Racing with ASBO

 

To combat your isolation in these trying times while satisfying my unquenchable need for attention, I have published the captioned ebook on Amazon Kindle free (for the next couple of days) at this link.

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. My Daily Coronavirus Diary

 

I haven’t done a good job lately of telling Ricochet what I’m writing about and where to find it. I’ve resolved to change this. Sign up here for my free newsletter, which I’m now sending out every day (because I’m stuck in my apartment and I can’t go out to work).

These days, I’ve been writing about—what else—the pandemic. France is about ten days behind Italy and ten days ahead of the United States. So recently I’ve been writing about what Americans should expect, ten days from now, and unfortunately, this has proven very accurate.

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. WWKD: What Would Krauthammer Do?

 

I think it’s good to have heroes, people you can look up to and admire for the virtues they epitomize. I haven’t had many, a handful of iconic thinkers from my formative years, none who really stand out now as I look back on them. My father, still living, towers above the rest, a man of endless decency, generosity, and integrity: if I had to name a hero it would be him. And if I felt compelled to ask advice, it’s his I’d seek for anything within the scope of his formidable common sense and practical wisdom.

But today we find ourselves faced with strategic choices of historic weight, the outcomes determined by issues of epidemiology and biology that have even the experts at odds with each other. Whom do we trust, as we negotiate this treacherous ground between soaring pathology and spiraling economic collapse?

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Katie Harris is an expert on languages and a YouTube star. You will find her in “Easy Italian” videos. You will also find her at joyoflanguages.com. Jay talks about one of his favorite subjects – languages – with a master, and a delightful one at that.

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Are Ventilators the Wrong Metric?

 

According to a recent report by a doctor in New Orleans, 86% of the patients on ventilators don’t make it. Which means that ventilators are not the thing we are trying to maximize. By the time the patient is on the ventilator, the battle has almost certainly already been lost.

We must intercept the virus before it gets that bad. Hence the suggestions by other doctors to prescribe chloroquine for those with any symptoms, but not waiting until it gets bad enough for hospitalization.

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. On Crises, and the Wasting Thereof

 

First, I will admit that I have, perhaps, not been paying as much attention to the coronavirus (or as I like to call it, the ‘Rona) as maybe I should. But crass as it may be, it also seems that there are opportunities here.

I’ve been thinking about the quote by Rahm Emanuel, “never let a crisis go to waste.” When it came out, it was much maligned by conservatives, and rightly so, for many reasons, foremost of which, as seen most recently with Nancy Pelosi, is that it isn’t a great look to be seen to attempt to advance political goals when in the midst of said crisis.

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. ‘We’re Just One-Half of One-Third of Government…’

 

That was former Republican Speaker of the House John Boehner‘s favorite excuse for his inability to advance Republican ideas and stop then-President Barack Obama.

“Republicans just control the House; there’s only so much we can do here.” In 2011, with Obama in the White House and Harry Reid running the senate, there were certainly grains of truth in Boehner’s whine, but controlling just the House sure doesn’t seem to hinder Nancy Pelosi!

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. The Role of Children in the Wuhan Epidemic

 

In a terrific interview during the most recent Ricochet Podcast, Dr. Jay Bhattacharya of Stanford Medical School describes two possible models for the Wuhan virus epidemic. In one model, the virus has a high fatality rate but spreads slowly. In the other, the virus spreads quickly and has already infected a large number of people, which make the current fatality count a small fraction of the total population and hence the true fatality rate for the virus relatively low. (Dr. Bhattacharya, while cautioning that there is a wide divergence of opinion among smart and capable medical professionals, cautiously subscribes to the second view.)

I would like to believe that the virus has been in the population longer than the we generally think, and that many people have been exposed and have already recovered. We don’t have enough information to inform that belief, which is why antibody/serum testing is of paramount importance in understanding this epidemic and tailoring a response to it.

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. For What It’s Worth (Pt. 1): Happy Vietnam Veterans Day

 

I’m not sure how many Vietnam veterans might be out there in Ricochet Land. Perhaps a few; perhaps none. Our numbers are dwindling; we’re beginning to die out for one reason or another. Just yesterday, my VFW post provided the Honor Guard for another burial.

With each burial, it’s difficult for me to not think about my own approaching mortality. And, it’s equally difficult for me to not think about the path that took me nearly 9,000 miles from my home.

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. My Virgin Experience: Pizza Delivery

 

We’ve never had food delivered to our home. It always seemed so extravagant. So when we’ve had a craving for pizza, ordinarily we’d just eat at our favorite pizza place, LeMay’s. But those plans were not in the offing, given the annoying virus situation.

So we were going to call in a pick-up order, and I would go into the shop to pick it up. But the idea of standing in a crowded pick-up area, handing over a credit card, and wondering how many people had touched my pizza and the box—well, it was just too much for me. We figured there would be much less exposure and touching of pizza-related items if we requested delivery, even for a five-dollar delivery fee plus tip.

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Poison Pen

 

I saw the most extraordinary thing.

A friend of mine owns a pizza restaurant and though on limited service – to-go food only, per the health department – is having trouble keeping his place staffed. That sounds odd right now when most of the service industry is clamoring for whatever money can be had, but waiters are paid less than three dollars an hour. That’s fine. After tips, they end up making more than just about anybody in the house if they don’t sneer a lot. Sometimes even if they do.

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Coronavirus Update: A New Projection for the US

 

There’s a new COVID-19 projection for the US, released by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington. Our friend Rodin has an excellent post on the subject, earlier today (here). Special thanks to Rodin for all of his work on this, keeping us updated with daily posts for over a month now.

The IHME has an interactive page about its projections here. It has excellent graphs and tabular information, with a drop-down menu allowing you to focus on a particular state. The purpose of this post is to provide you with a state-by-state summary.

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. The Founding and Bertie Wooster Versus the US Bishops

 

Here we are again at a moment of clarity and concinnity — or what should be. It may be a happy accident that Hillsdale is presenting its three-week course, A Land of Hope, at the same time the nation is taking part in another great cultural “unsettling,” or it may be intentional. In either case, unless you’re already learned in the American founding, this is an overview worth your “shelter-in-place” time. 

I mention it because I’m feeling small-p protestant sentiments about the American Catholic bishops about now, most eloquently expressed in an article at CRISIS Magazine by Peter Maurice titled, ‘Catholic Democrat’ is an Oxymoron

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. My Son, the Ventilator Maker

 

I’ve posted before about my oldest son, a 24-year-old sergeant in the Marine reserves. He had an active duty deployment last year to Latin America, returning home shortly before Christmas. He remained on active duty for another couple of months, through early February (approximately), then returned to his civilian job.

It turns out that he makes ventilator parts. He is a manufacturing tech at a small Tucson company called Alicat Scientific (website here). Alicat makes devices like flow controllers, flow meters, and pressure controllers for dealing with gas flow. Shown is a sample product.

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Live Unfree or Die

 

New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu (RINO) has shut down the Granite State. He has issued a “Stay at Home” order effective March 27, at 11:59 p.m., through May 4. The NH Attorney General has issued a memorandum to law enforcement in the state advising them that they can arrest and charge people for violating the governor’s emergency orders.

I emailed my town’s chief of police to ask him if he was going to arrest me for leaving my house. He said no. But there are also state troopers (one who lives down the road from me) and sheriff’s deputies around as well.

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Day 68: COVID-19 Comorbidity

 

The Institute for Health Metrics and Education at the University of Washington has published a prediction for the progress of the COVID-19 pandemic in the US. They are estimating that the peak demand on the health care system will be on April 14. On that date, they are predicting that the death count will be 31,615 and that eventually 81,114 deaths from the disease will be recorded around August. The website also lets you see predictions by the individual states.

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Quote of the Day: The Novelty of Our Situation

 

“In other words, do not let us begin by exaggerating the novelty of our situation. Believe me, dear sir or madam, you and all whom you love were already sentenced to death before the atomic bomb was invented: and quite a high percentage of us were going to die in unpleasant ways. We had, indeed, one very great advantage over our ancestors—anesthetics; but we have that still. It is perfectly ridiculous to go about whimpering and drawing long faces because the scientists have added one more chance of painful and premature death to a world which already bristled with such chances and in which death itself was not a chance at all, but a certainty.” — C.S. Lewis

While Lewis wrote this in regard to the then-new threat of atomic warfare, it seems remarkably appropriate to today’s Chinese coronavirus scare. While we may be reacting to the threat in novel ways, the threat itself is as old as mankind. Yet death is inevitable once birth has occurred. Through our panic (as others have noted on Ricochet) some may be hastening their own deaths or the deaths of others.

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. A Pretty Good Cat

 

My siblings are bonkers about cats. I’m used to that. I’ve borne years of anthropomorphic fantasies about a line of household pets that included a sensitive and gorgeous special breed, country cross-varieties vaguely named after T.S. Eliot characters, and a few city “patio cats.” I’ve witnessed naming deliberations for new kitties that drag on for weeks, with “Pockets” being a near winner and a friend begging them not to saddle it with a noun handle for life. They eventually settled on human names for their animals, which pleased everyone: Eleanor, Titus. Titus, nearly two decades old, is still with us, and shows up occasionally in pictures, like the time he was sporting a small wide tie that my brother said made him think of “a night manager at Denny’s.”

What has just dawned on me, however, is that another family member has been something of a dark horse when it comes to passion for felines. I mean, I knew my dad liked cats, but I finally realized the degree of this affinity today when my mom texted us with a charming innovation my dad used to solve a problem with their old cat.

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Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by Editors Created with Sketch. Interview with Dr. Jay Bhattacharya, MD, PhD

 

We have had a lot of positive feedback on our interview with Stanford University Professor of Medicine Jay Bhattacharya, MD, PhD on the Ricochet Podcast. As a public service, we’re offering just the interview portion of our video podcast and encourage you to share it with others.

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. American Emergency Medicine Works

 

This is both a brief story in itself and preface to another tale, “Strategic Logistics Work.” The point of observation: the Valley of the Sun, Maricopa County, the population center of Arizona. The time: summer 2018 and last weekend, March 21-22, 2020.

Foreshadowing: It was a normal summer Saturday afternoon in 2017. Which is to say, it was a dry heat in the Valley of the Sun. I was out for a 2.5-mile brisk walk when I got the urge to sprint. Nevermind that I had not done a wind sprint over a year, I just had the urge. Pulling up at the end of a 200-yard dash, I noticed something was a bit odd. My heart rate was not slowly dropping. I got indoors, sat down, and drank water. No change. In fact, I was getting increasingly light-headed, even with my head down, so I had someone dial 911.

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Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by Editors Created with Sketch. Oklahoma Former Senator Tom Coburn Dies. Rest in Peace.

 

A giant in American Conservatism, Dr. Tom Coburn, passed away after losing his battle against cancer.

Dr. Coburn was elected in the 1994 Gingrich Revolution where the GOP took control of the House of Representatives for the first time in 40 years. He served three terms in the House, from 1995 to 2001, honoring his term limits pledge.

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