Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Ultimate in Misinformation

 Google search for "does china own wells fargo bank"

The complete Chinese takeover of our economy is silent but undeniably insidious. ... It will soon be announced that China is in the process of purchasing major Western banks (e.g. Bank of America, Wells Fargo) and physical assets. These banks make up the majority owners of the Federal Reserve.

Racism & Medical Care

It is an article of faith that health care providers are racially discriminatory.  This is curious to me, because in my experience, doctors are at the far end of political spectrum on the left.  So I tried to find research on race and medical care.   Overwhelmingly,  I found papers about perceived racism by patients.  Now,  perceived racism could be real racist treatment.  Or it could be that because blacks tend to mistrust doctors,  they perceive racism that is not there.  The reasons for this are easy to understand.   The Tuskegee Syphilis Study is one of the morally low points of American medical science.  It started with a legitimate scientific question: "does syphilis affect blacks differently than whites?" It soon failed to be relevant once penicillin was available to cure syphilis.  Moving members of the control group (no syphilis) to the study group (those with syphilis at start of study) destroyed the scientific value.   CDC doctors directing outside doctors to not treat study group members once penicillin was available was a heartless and monstrous act,  leading to subsequent blindness,  madness, death, and crippling in the tertiary stages.  The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks also had long provided legitimate concern about the medical profession.  Cancer cells from Mrs. Lacks eventually led to very profitable medicines, with no benefit to her heirs 

When I tried to find studies that actually measured racism by healthcare providers,  I found darn near nothing.  This is unsurprising.  How do you measure racism? A survey is not going to get very straight answers except at the Stormfront Medical Center. 

One study pointed to a problem of confounding variables:

  One-hundred-forty-five African-American subjects participated in structured interviews to collect demographic and psychosocial data. Provider data was obtained through chart audits. In a group of low-income African Americans in two primary care clinics, perceptions of racism and mistrust of whites had a significant negative effect on trust and satisfaction. Perceived racism had both a significant, inverse direct effect on satisfaction as well as a significant indirect effect on satisfaction mediated by cultural mistrust and trust in provider. Structural equation modeling analysis supported the hypothesized theoretical relationships and explained 27% of the variance in satisfaction with care.

So patients who had mistrust problems were more likely to see racism as a problem?  Is this a surprise to anyone?  Long-term mistrust of white doctors (and not entirely without cause) will lead to perceived racism and dissatisfaction with medical care. 

This paper observes that along with institutional racism and  personal provider racism:

Finally, Jones defines internalized racism as the acceptance by members of stigmatized races of negative messages about their abilities and intrinsic worth (Jones, 2000). Internalized racism can have many manifestations, including helplessness, self-devaluation, and limiting one’s right to self-determination and self-expression (Jones, 2000). Our participants reported a decreased ability of African-Americans to question their treatment and speak up to their physicians, and also described devaluing characteristics (e.g. poor physical presentation, not “speaking well”) as potential causes of communication disparities.

While there is no consensus on how to best measure healthcare discrimination (Kressin, Raymond, & Manze, 2008), most researchers rely upon patient reports of perceived discrimination--a strategy with inherent advantages and disadvantages. While perceptions may be misinterpreted, they do reflect patients’ personal experiences and how they are internalized, which may be important to how discrimination affects health (see discussion below). This may be particularly true for patients who lived through U.S. segregation, as their historical healthcare experiences undoubtedly shaped how they currently experience healthcare encounters. In our study, all but three participants were born before the 1964 Civil Rights Act outlawing U.S. segregation.

Do You See Any Disparities in the Results of These Google Searches

Happy White Woman

Happy Black Woman

Happy Black Woman

Odd.  And try Happy Jew.

Leftist Delusions

A bit of attention has been given to this document discussing "Stopping the Coup", which assumes the election will be so close that Trump will refuse to accept defeat, and the left must disrupt the society in response. Reading through it, I see a lot of Marxist, anarchist rhetoric that will leave all but academics muttering, "What are you talking about?"

Your spheres of influence are the areas in your life that you inhabit and can affect personally. We might not all be able to get the governor on the phone, but we can organize with those around us to create change. When we think about our spheres of influence, we need to ask “how can I organize with those closest to me for the most impact?” Your spheres of influence might include your workplace, your church, or a collective you are a part of. If we are really facing a coup, some of the usual apolitical institutions like PTAs and Little Leagues might suddenly be politicized. So think broadly about any space you have a stake in where you come into contact with others.

We can think about our spheres of influence in three ways. First, and most simply, it can be a way for us to think about organizing actual people into formations that can be useful. For example, getting our friends together to form a crew that can talk to the organizers planning street actions and offer to take up a role.

Oh yeah, the local Little League as a source of street activists!

We must know who’s in power, and how to pull the levers of power to make those powerful people bend to the will of the people. Power mapping helps you understand your context, who the various players are, and what leverage points you might have with them. We traditionally think of power maps as documenting those in power who can support or are opposed to our campaign or movement. They can help us identify those who we need to target. Local mayors, legislators, city council people, and business leaders are all potential players that can be moved or focused on.
There are few actual useful plans, some of which will likely upset even most Biden voters.

Power exists within individual power holders but also flows along geographic lines. We can demand change and embody non-compliance by shutting down physical areas like highways, urban districts, or individual buildings. Last summer Shut Down DC used multiple affinity groups to organize actions at multiple intersections across the city, effectively halting operations across a wide region. If our goal is to truly interrupt business-as-usual as an act of resistance to a coup, then we should know how business flows. What intersections in your town make sense to coordinate to take over and hold? Are there major highways that act as regional conduits for traffic and commerce that can be sites for actions? Are there relevant institutions that could be permanently occupied that would stop the functioning of business and/or political processes?

Yes, people who are not telecommuting cannot get to work, food supplies into big cities end, Amazon cannot deliver the stuff that many have grown used to buying during lockdown: this will win them over, right?  These leftists are suffering the same failing as the Weather Underground and similar leftists in the 1960s and 1970s: they live in bubbles (often the faculty lounge) where everyone thinks like them; therefore a large minority of Americans share their Marxist goal. Even many young socialists will get upset about such a disruption, even if their masters at Instagram and TikTok tell them this is good.  They will also give President Trump legitimate reason to invoke the Insurrection Act if governors refuse to enforce the law.

The only realistic scenarios are:

1. Trump handily wins the election, and by sufficient margin that the Democrats realize that they will sound like sore losers again.  I consider this most likely.

2. Biden wins easily, at which point Trump will Tweet about election fraud and leaves office having given us a four year respite.  I consider this least likely.

3. The results are unclear, and between election day and Dec. 14, when the Electoral College meets, the Democrats "find" millions of votes.  This will have to be so massive that Trump refuses to recognize this fraud.  The Democrats use their ownership of many Obama's generals to call for a military coup d'etat, likely branding them as fascists for a generation.  If Trump is smart, he will federalize National Guard units in friendly states, and call up the unorganized militia.  I think several million armed Trump supporters could be in DC in a day to prevent such a regular military coup.  Many lower-ranking officers and enlisted men would refuse their orders and perhaps even switch sides as happened during the 1877 railroad strikes, where organized state militias refused to open fire on strikers, and in some cases changed sides.  This is a doomsday scenario, with tanks and aircraft following the Commander-in-Chief's orders against Army units loyal to the DNC.  

This leads to civil war.  A mixture of responsible adults and likely some lunatic fringe groups set up free fire zones around federal government buildings to stop federal law enforcement.  Few bureaucrats or office workers will risk death from snipers to go to work.

As I said, I am expecting the Shy Trump voters to give Trump a clear victory, more so than last time.  I am talking to people who really hate Trump who are considering voting for him, and a Bernie supporter from 2016 who will not be voting for Biden.

10/9/20 New York Post:

A majority of Americans find themselves better off under President Trump than they were four years ago, according to a new poll.

Fifty-six percent of registered voters say they’re better off now, while 32 percent said they’re worse off, Gallup found in a survey out this week.

The number is a vast improvement compared to 2012 under the Obama administration, when 45 percent of voters said they were better off than in 2008.

And yes, because the Post is clearly pro-Trump, I verified that the Gallup survey found this.  I doubt people who are better off will vote for Biden.  And Biden's response was really hilarious.  10/13/20 Fox News:

The former VP appeared surprised by the Gallup poll but cited the stat incorrectly.

"They think- 54 percent of the American people believe they're better off economically today than they were under our administration? Well, their memory is not very good, quite frankly," Biden told Inskeep. "And in addition to that, we have a president who doesn't share the values of most Americans. He's not very honest with people. He's flouting the conventions relative to public safety in terms of even now- not wearing a mask, a guy who has been a super spreader. But look, whatever they believe they should go out and vote. People should vote. Period."


Monday, October 19, 2020

Holster Review

 Because I am such an important person -:), I get neat stuff to review (but why no pistols?).  This is from Craft Holsters.

 It is for my S&W 629 6.5" revolver.  This is not really a concealed carry holster unless you are much taller than me, or wearing your most outrageously puffy and long parka.  The grizzly won't care in the least if you are carrying openly.

I mentioned a few days ago that I was having thumb break problems with a holster and wondered if the holster was molded on one of the rare fixed sight 629s.  Nope.  The thumb break leather is very stiff (it's new, remember).  When I checked the thumb break on the Bianchi nylon holster, I figured out the problem.  A little effort and forcing one side up and over the hammer enabled me to close it.  You do not want to try resnapping it in a hurry, but that's not the urgent side of the thumb break equation!

The holster is beautiful:

Boy, do I look fat.  I have been using the abdominal crunch machines at the gym, and they are helping.  (I'm blaming the gun.  "Does this gun make my belly look big?")

Here is the thumb break closed.

I find it unlikely that I will ever carry this revolver unless I travel to Alaska again and bring this for grizzly bear discouragement.  It is a very nice leather holster.  It is a tight molded fit, unlike the nylon holsters; do cartwheels with it, the gun isn't going anywhere.  But it still draws very smoothly.

Craters of the Moon

 We spent a few days with daughter, son-in-law, and grandkids in Ketchum.  It is a beautiful place, near Sun Valley.  It is a small town surrounded by mountains and ski lifts.

Yes, it is a county of billionaires and thus the only place you will see Biden signs in abundance.  As a friend's brother-in-law made rich by a disk drive startup explained his decision to vote for Clinton in 1992, "I'm rich enough to afford higher taxes."  My friend's response was, "I'm not."
The trees are turning, of course.  It is not Vermont, but still pretty.

We visited the Ernest Hemingway grave (on which admirers leave small whiskey bottles).  Oddly, no shotgun shells, or African big game.
The marker is remarkably ordinary.  (My phone was dead and I left the Canon in the car.)  There is a memorial to him north of Sun Valley:

This river nearby is just gorgeous in looks and sound.

Craters of the Moon was only an hour away, instead of the three hour trip from Boise so we went down to it.  It was the first time for my daughter, son-in-law, and grandkids.  It is aptly named, one of the few recent fissure eruptions where the ground splits open and lava comes out.  There are a few cinder cones and spatter cones.


My wife noticed some bluish patches which appeared to be peacock ore along with native copper and gold.  Since I hand around a peacock ore sample in Western Civ and she first figured out what it was, I feel a bit silly.

AMD A4-5000 Latest Drivers

Are incompatible with the Lenovo docking station.  I downloaded and installed it while on vacation, returned home and discovered that the two monitors connected through the dock no longer work,  nor does the keyboard or mouse.  I thought Windows 10 automatically created restore points,  but I cannot find them. 

Fortunately Lenovo has a page that can detect your product and install the latest drivers.  No more downloading AMD drivers.  They seem to be more interested in gaming than office uses.