Coronavirus: Continuing to look on the bright side of life
Yesterday, I did a post looking at all the good things that may come from the coronavirus. Today’s post is good news from the “fight the coronavirus” front.
In yesterday’s post, I did a laundry list of all the things I could think of that may be better in our world once coronavirus and the accompanying panic have subsided. I want to add to that list today, along with data showing that coronavirus itself does seem to be subsiding already and that, at long last, the West may look at China with clear eyes. I’ve also thrown in some random stuff that I found interesting.
Because I’m a little behind on paid work I need to do, this will be a somewhat rough-and-ready post, with a lot of linking and quoting. Still, I think it has a lot of good content that may be worth your time.
1. This doesn’t really have anything to do with coronavirus, but it seems perfect to lead this post, given the title I gave to yesterday’s post. I certainly found myself singing along:
2. Here’s an idea I’m doodling around with: Confucius, who once was China’s most famous export, was asked what he would do if he became governor. He said that he would “rectify the name,” a principle now called “rectification of names. Nowadays, we generally understand the principle to mean bringing clarity to the world by calling them by their true name:
If language is not correct, then what is said is not what is meant; if what is said is not what is meant, then what must be done remains undone; if this remains undone, morals and art will deteriorate; if justice goes astray, the people will stand about in helpless confusion. Hence there must be no arbitrariness in what is said. This matters above everything.
Trump intuitively understands the rectification of names and is willing to use a Chinese philosophy against China.
Of late, in an effort to deflect from its responsibility for coronavirus (see more below), China has been playing the “It’s your fault, not my fault” game. The mainstream media instantly grabbed hold of this idea and started saying that it’s racist to call a virus that originated in Wuhan, China, the “Wuhan virus” or the “Chinese virus.”
President Trump instantly began to call the virus the Chinese virus. During a press conference, when the media should have been asking about things that matter to American, such as funding for people out of work, about long-term projections for sheltering at home, and the like, all that those empty talking heads cared about was “racism.” Finally, an ABC reporter claimed that
There are reports of dozens of incidents of bias against Chinese Americans in this country. Secretary Azar, he does not use this term. He says ethnicity does not cause the virus. Why do you keep using this? A lot of people say it’s racist.
I read the news religiously all day long and have seen nothing like that. Nothing! Nada. Zilch, Zip. Zero.
President Trump didn’t bother arguing with the reporter, Cecilia Vega, about her ridiculous factual assertions. Instead, he patiently engaged in a rectification of names:
President Trump asked again why he uses the phrase “Chinese Virus”:
“It comes from China, I want to be accurate” pic.twitter.com/bOt1HJSfRa
— ALX 🇺🇸 (@alx) March 18, 2020
VEGA: Why do you keep calling this the Chinese virus, there are reports of dozens of incidents of bias against Chinese Americans in this country. Your own aide, Secretary Azar says he does not use this term. He says ethnicity does not cause the virus. Why do you keep using this? A lot of people think it’s racist.
TRUMP: Because it comes from China. It’s not racist at all. No, not at all. It comes from China, that’s why. It comes from China. I want to be accurate.
VEGA: And no concerns about Chinese Americans in this country? The aides behind you, are you comfortable with this term?
TRUMP: I have great love for all of the people from our country but, as you know China tried to say at one point, maybe they stopped now, that it was caused by American soldiers. That can’t happen. That’s not gonna happen, not as long as I’m president. It comes from China.
He was patient again when another reporter tried to catch him out on hate speech:
Trump Knows!#ChineseVirus pic.twitter.com/J4wlxmMCgZ
— Joey Saladino (@JoeySalads) March 18, 2020
REPORTER: In talking about China, you’ve been very clear about who you think is to blame or where the origin to blame of this virus is or —
TRUMP: Not think. No, no. Not think. I know who . . . where it came from. I don’t know if you’d say China is to blame. Certainly we didn’t get an early run on it. It would have been helpful if we knew about it earlier. But it comes from China. And it’s not a question about that. Nobody is questioning that.
REPORTER: Senator Cotton is saying that they should be “punished” in so many words for inflicting this on the American people. Do you feel that way about it?
TRUMP: Well, I have a lot of respect for Tom Cotton, and I know what exactly what he’s been saying. And there are those people who say that, so we’ll see what happens.
Thankfully, KellyAnne Conway is on the warpath and she does it with such grace and courtesy. Without ever raising her voice or getting sharp, Conway demands that those reporters who said a “senior White House official” spoke about the “Kung Flu” identify just who that official was. It’s totally embarrassing watching the media try to hide from their lie (and it’s increasingly obvious it is a lie) by attacking Conway:
@KellyannePolls BLASTS Media over ‘Kung Flu’ rumor:
“I’m not dealing in hypotheticals”
“Tell us all who it is”
Yet they refuse to give a name.
The media is focused on things like this while we’re trying to slow the spread of a Pandemic.
— Benny (@bennyjohnson) March 18, 2020
Interestingly, while the media’s non-stop attacks on Trump have affected how the public views his performance overall, when people are asked about his specific policies, they like them. For example, according to Rasmussen Reports, “80% of American Adults agree with the federal government’s decision to temporarily ban travelers from China and nearly all European countries to prevent the possible spread of coronavirus. Only 12% disagree.” Matt Palumbo has other data about American support for coronavirus policies in Trump’s America.
3. Here are a few helpful links to remind us of China’s involvement and the Left’s abasement:
Never forget the Chinese doctor who first warned about coronavirus and was threatened, attacked, smeared, made to sign a confession, silenced, isolated and then died after being infected while trying to help others.
China did all of this. https://t.co/BoySfa67JF
— Imam of Peace (@Imamofpeace) March 18, 2020
Twitter is now censoring tweets that refer to the virus’s point of origin:
Amazing that @twitter is now censoring tweets that include references to the place of origin of the virus. pic.twitter.com/oKxdOUFHsn
— Tim Murtaugh – Text TRUMP to 88022 (@TimMurtaugh) March 18, 2020
Nigel Farage says that it’s time for the world to rethink China:
There is plenty for us to consider. Coronavirus is the third major public health scare this century that I can think of which can be traced back to China. First we had SARS, then we had swine flu, now we have Coronavirus. There is nothing to suggest that the COVID-19 virus is a deliberately created virus. This isn’t the same as saying that its emergence is free of all human involvement. Experts have warned of appalling hygiene conditions in Chinese wildlife markets for years, with living, dead or dying creatures as diverse as bats, pangolins and other are held in close proximity, their body fluids and all the bacteria, viruses and parasites they carry mixing and mutating in direct contact with human shoppers. It seems to have taken this crisis for it to dawn on China’s government that something was amiss. Vietnam also got the memo and announced it will be closing down all such markets with immediate effect.
It’s not just about hygiene. China has won somewhat alarming plaudits for the draconian measures it imposed to stop—or, just as likely, temporarily pause—the pandemic in its epicenter, Wuhan. The doctors and nurses who fought in the frontline certainly deserve every praise. But quite apart from the question of whether these measures are something we should emulate in a democracy, this risks obscuring the fact that China suppressed the truth about the nascent epidemic even among its own people, clamping down on whistleblowers delaying a global response by month, at the cost of thousands upon thousands of lives worldwide.
Isn’t it time we in the West had a grown-up conversation about China, beginning with the truth that several layers of the regime—from sanitary inspectors to secret police— are responsible for this nightmare? Isn’t this the moment when we need to remind ourselves that China is a deeply unpleasant communist dictatorship, a surveillance society that executes thousands of its own people every year? We all need to examine our attitude to the Beijing regime. For too long, no global leader dared to say a word against it, much less adopt a remotely conditional approach to engaging with the regime. The priorities of globalization have been deemed far too important for human rights to even be considered. This is plain wrong.
There’s more, about China’s contribution to world contribution and about its control over the West’s supply chains. Farage is right on the money about everything.
And remember, the Chinese engaged in a deliberate cover-up:
The Chinese government deleted lab work and samples and intimidated their doctors to cover up any trace of it while also lying to the World Health Organization. I’m fine calling it a Chinese Government Virus as well. NBC has been on the front lines pushing PRC propaganda. https://t.co/5UmTbJOTu7
— Stephen L. Miller (@redsteeze) March 18, 2020
That’s not just Stephen L. Miller speaking. The Times UK (which Matt Vespa quotes at Townhall):
Chinese laboratories identified a mystery virus as a highly infectious new pathogen by late December last year, but they were ordered to stop tests, destroy samples and suppress the news, a Chinese media outlet has revealed.
A regional health official in Wuhan, centre of the outbreak, demanded the destruction of the lab samples that established the cause of unexplained viral pneumonia on January 1. China did not acknowledge there was human-to-human transmission until more than three weeks later.
The detailed revelations by Caixin Global, a respected independent publication, provide the clearest evidence yet of the scale of the cover-up in the crucial early weeks when the opportunity was lost to control the outbreak. Censors have been rapidly deleting the report from the Chinese internet.
Matt has more stories about China’s affirmative decision to hide news about the virus in order to ensure that nothing tarnished its image. China lied; people died.
Here’s more from The Conversation about China’s cover-up. What’s noteworthy is that it was written on March 6, 2020, before the message from China went out that it was an innocent actor in all this; nay, it was a hero! And everything is America’s fault:
I am currently researching the Chinese party-state’s efforts to increase legitimacy by controlling the information that reaches its citizens. The lack of openness and transparency in this crucial early phase of the outbreak was partly because officials were gathering for annual meetings of the local Communist Party-run legislatures, when propaganda departments instruct the media not to cover negative stories.
However, the censorship in this period also reflects increasingly tight control over information in China. As Chinese media expert Anne-Marie Brady notes, from the beginning of his presidency, Xi Jinping was clear the media should “focus on positive news stories that uphold unity and stability and are encouraging”.
It’s a long article well worth reading because it highlights two things: First, despite its veneer of Western modernity, China is still the same old tightly controlled communist nation it was in 1972 when Nixon went there. Second, the Western media, which has fallen in line with Chinese propaganda, is allowing China to walk away unscathed from the havoc it has wreaked around the world.
According to a report from The University of Southampton, if China had spoken up when the virus first emerged in mid-November, things would have turned out very differently:
Researchers in the population mapping group WorldPop ran complex modelling, using anonymised data on both human movement and illness onset, to help simulate different outbreak scenarios for cities in mainland China. This allowed them to understand how variations in the timing, level and combinations of interventions affect speed and transmission of the disease.
On the good side, if China hadn’t acted affirmatively in February, things would have been much worse, with potentially 67 times more people affected.
BUT here’s where China stands convicted of intentionally unleashing a demon upon the world:
The research also found that if interventions in the country could have been conducted one week, two weeks, or three weeks earlier, cases could have been reduced by 66 percent, 86 percent and 95 percent respectively – significantly limiting the geographical spread of the disease. However, if NPIs [non-pharmaceutical interventions] were conducted one week, two weeks, or three weeks later than they were, the number of cases may have shown a 3-fold, 7-fold, or 18-fold increase, respectively.
For China, both before the pandemic, when it hid the virus from the world, and now that the pandemic is spreading, when it’s trying to blame the U.S., the fear is that its plan for world domination is falling apart. Michael Auslin explains:
At stake is China’s global reputation, as well as the potential of a fundamental shift away from China for trade and manufacturing. Also at risk is the personal legacy of General Secretary Xi Jinping, who has staked his legitimacy on his technocratic competence. After dealing with the first great global crisis of the 21st century, the world must fundamentally rethink its dependence on China.
Regardless of how much some governments and global voices praise China, Xi and the Communist Party care about dominating the propaganda war because the Wuhan virus has stood their nation on a razor’s edge. Xi’s own legitimacy is not merely at stake. His government is ferociously fighting to divert blame and attention, fearing that the world rightfully may utterly reassess modern China, from its technocratic prowess to its safety. Decades of a carefully curated global image may crumble if nations around the globe start paying attention to China’s lax public health care, incompetent and intrusive government, and generally less developed domestic conditions.
Xi’s fears are well founded, as a global reconsideration of China is long overdue. Legitimate criticisms and doubts about China’s governance and growth model were long suppressed by Chinese pressure and the willingness of many to buy into the Communist Party’s public line. Public shaming of foreign corporations, global influence operations, and “elite capture” — all are policies Beijing has deployed to maintain China’s public image.
That carefully tended image is now cracked. Those concerned with global health issues may wonder why it is that China is wracked regularly by viral epidemics in addition to coronavirus, such as SARS, African Swine Fever, and avian flu (another outbreak is happening right now). Others may begin to look more carefully at China’s environmental devastation and the hundreds of thousands of premature deaths each year from air and water pollution.
On the trade side, many foreign corporations already have been reconsidering their operations in China, due to rampant intellectual property theft and rising production costs; now, they may seriously question how safe it is to continue to do business in China. Not only is the health of their employees at risk, but they no longer can be assured that China will be a stable supplier. If coronavirus becomes a seasonal phenomenon, as some experts predict, then even with a vaccine, new strains of the pathogen will always raise the specter of another out-of-control epidemic overwhelming the party-state’s capabilities and infecting the rest of the world.
4. A beautiful and fascinating infographic of epidemics. since I’m a history major, I know a lot about the old epidemics and perhaps that’s why I haven’t panicked yet about the new pandemic. First, the numbers today are minimal compared to the general population; second, modern science means that, unlike people facing past plagues, we’re not helpless. We have much better odds.
5. Protection against the 1920 influenza. America survived that one.
I particularly like the one about promiscuous expectoration. That’s always a good rule.
6. The Israeli Foreign Ministry posted a social media message showing three masked employees making heart symbols with their hands. The accompanying message, in Arabic, said:
This is a message to you from Israel: We pray to Allah to protect the inhabitants of Arab countries.
The coronavirus that is spreading intensely in the world these days knows no borders, religions, and nationalities. We are all human beings; we are all brothers.
Four million people read the post, and the ministry was flooded by responses — many incredibly positive:
The post was viewed by approximately four million people in Arab countries, and received responses such as, “May Allah protect you and bless you.”
One user from Iran called it a “beautiful message of solidarity and peace.”
An Iraqi user posted, “Our hearts are with Israel and the world at large, in all its diversity, religions, and beliefs, to defeat this virus together.”
A woman from Morocco wrote, “May Allah preserve everyone. Humanitarianism first and foremost. Perfect health to all the sick.”
A Saudi Arabian user said, “Beautiful behavior, good neighborliness, love and the spread of peace are the way to heaven.”
Other messages included, “A thousand congratulations to our cousins, and thanks” and “Long live Arab-Israeli brotherhood, we long for health and peace for all.”
The Foreign Ministry also posted a poll asking if Arab users would use an Israeli-developed vaccine, with the majority answering “yes.”
There were, of course, the usual hate-filled messages, but those are “dog bites man” stuff. It’s the good things that resonate.
There are two things that may be affecting Muslims and Arabs as they look at Israel right now: First, while Iran spread the new plague, Israel has been working frantically to come up with vaccinations and treatments. Second, Israel is the only government in the Middle East working to help the Palestinians:
While Israel is working overtime with Palestinians to curb and prevent the spread of the coronavirus, the Arab states appear to be doing what they do best when it comes to helping their Palestinian brothers: nothing at all.
In the past few days, Israeli authorities delivered 200 coronavirus testing kits to the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank. In addition, Israeli and Palestinian professional teams have been working together to prevent the spread of the virus.
The Israeli authorities have also delivered another 200 coronavirus testing kits to the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip, despite the thousands of rockets and incendiary and bomb-carrying balloons that the ruling government, Hamas, has launched from there towards Israel.
In addition, Israeli authorities have coordinated the transfer of 20 tons of disinfectant material from Israeli factories to the Palestinian health sector. The material included chlorine and hydrogen peroxide, used for disinfection, preservation of hygiene and sanitation. These disinfectant materials are used for cleaning surfaces in open areas and help in cleaning closed areas, including mosques and churches.
It is worth noting that Egypt, which has a shared border with the Gaza Strip, did not send any test kits or disinfectant materials to the Palestinians living there.
Palestinians in Lebanon, meanwhile, are worried that the Lebanese authorities may use the coronavirus as an excuse to intensify restrictions even further on their refugee camps.
7. A French researcher claims to have conducted a successful drug trial using chloroquine against COVID-19:
A renowned research professor in France has reported successful results from a new treatment for Covid-19, with early tests suggesting it can stop the virus from being contagious in just six days.
Professor Didier Raoult from infection hospital l’Institut Hospitalo-Universitaire (IHU) Méditerranée Infection in Marseille (Bouches-du-Rhône, Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur), published a video explaining the trials on Monday March 16.
Professor Raoult is an infectious diseases specialist and head of the IHU Méditerranée Infection, who has been tasked by – and consulted by – the French government to research possible treatments of Covid-19.
He said that the first Covid-19 patients he had treated with the drug chloroquine had seen a rapid and effective speeding up of their healing process, and a sharp decrease in the amount of time they remained contagious.
Chloroquine – which is normally used mainly to prevent and treat malaria – was administered via the named drug, Plaquenil.
The treatment was offered to 24 patients, who were among the first to become infected in the south east of France, and who had voluntarily admitted themselves to hospital for the process.
8. There is no purer place for looking at data about coronavirus than the Diamond Princess because people were trapped in for weeks. Willis Eischenbach looked at the numbers and discovered some encouraging information:
We had a perfect petri-dish coronavirus disease (COVID-19) experiment with the cruise ship “Diamond Princess”. That’s the cruise ship that ended up in quarantine for a number of weeks after a number of people tested positive for the coronavirus. I got to wondering what the outcome of the experiment was.
So I dug around and found an analysis of the situation, with the catchy title of Estimating the infection and case fatality ratio for COVID-19 using age-adjusted data from the outbreak on the Diamond Princess cruise ship (PDF), so I could see what the outcomes were.
As you might imagine, before they knew it was a problem, the epidemic raged on the ship, with infected crew members cooking and cleaning for the guests, people all eating together, close living quarters, lots of social interaction, and a generally older population. Seems like a perfect situation for an overwhelming majority of the passengers to become infected.
And despite that, some 83% (82.7% – 83.9%) of the passengers never got the disease at all … why?
What an excellent question. It’s an especially good question because the majority of passengers were in the 60-79 age group, weighted slightly more heavily towards the 70-79 cohort.
When Eischenbach looked at those on the ship who did not get sick, he discovered something interesting:
[T]here’s not a whole lot of difference between young and old passengers in terms of how many didn’t get coronavirus. For example, sixty to sixty-nine-year-old passengers stayed healthier than teenagers. And three-quarters of the oldest group, those over eighty, didn’t get the virus.
And here’s where it gets really interesting, because it has to do with the denominator — that is, the number of people who get sick. Because the Diamond Princess was monitored, we know how many people got sick:
Next, slightly less than half the passengers (48.6% ± 2.0%) who got the disease showed NO symptoms. If this disease is so dangerous, how come half the people who got it showed no symptoms at all?
What’s fascinating is that group most likely to be symptomatic covered people ages 20-49. Children under 9 were almost entirely without symptoms, but people ages 70-79 tied with young people 10-19 when it came to being ill without symptoms.
Thankfully, only seven people died. All were over 70. From this data, Eischenbach true some interesting and comforting conclusions:
It is particularly valuable to know that about half the cases are asymptomatic. It lets us adjust a mortality rate calculated from observations, since half of the cases are symptom-free and likely unobserved. It also gives a better idea of how many cases there are in a given population.
To close out, I took a look at the current state of play of total coronavirus deaths in a few selected countries. Figure 4 shows that result.
Figure 4. Deaths from coronavirus in four countries. Note that the scale is logarithmic, so an exponential growth rate plots as a straight line. Blue scale on right shows the deaths as a percentage of the total population.
At this point at least, it doesn’t appear that we are following the Italian trajectory. However … it’s still early days.
If you want more help with the math, I highly recommend Charlie Martin’s “When Will the Coronavirus Be Controlled, and How Will we Know?” He explains math in terms that normal people can understand.
9. Italy’s new coronavirus cases are dropping, which means the curve may be bending downwards:
The director of Italy’s Superior Health Council, Dr. Franco Locatelli, said that the drop in the number of new infections and victims would need to be replicated in the next couple days, but as it stands we look at it “with confident attention.”
“The hope is to continue to see this ‘decrease in the increase,’ and then we will also be more confident in saying we have achieved an important result for the country,” Dr. Locatelli said.
In the 24-hour period preceding Tuesday evening’s announcement, the total number of current cases of coronavirus climbed to 26,062 in the country, an increase of 2,989, while total cases grew from 27,980 to 31,506, representing a 12.6 percent rise, the lowest rate of increase since the outbreak was identified on February 21.
Meanwhile, the number of deaths in Italy from COVID-19 climbed 345 to a total of 2,503, while the total of those who have recovered from the virus grew to 2,941.
It also appears that Seattle’s infection rates are dropping. The King County Public Health Department put out this information which someone else, I know not who, charted:
As you can see, the curve is beginning to flatten — and no, I can’t explain it mathematically. However, someone who knows applied mathematics says that Seattle is having linear, sub-exponential growth. That, in turn, means that Seattle’s aggressive policies to slow coronavirus’s spread are working. That bodes well for the rest of America.
Sharyl Attkisson has also noticed that the mortality rate is dropping as the coronavirus spreads:
But lately, the 4 percent death figure has drifted downward. For instance, the fatality rate in Wuhan, China, where the outbreak is believed to have begun, is now estimated at 1.4 percent, according to a study cited in the New England Journal of Medicine. The study was supported by National Health Commission of China and designed by the investigators. The study was approved by the institutional review board of the National Health Commission
If one factors in those patients who are infected, but do not get sick or tested, scientists say the rate is exponentially lower.
The current U.S. mortality rate, based on public statistics, has been hovering around 1.5 percent.
Is coronavirus really becoming less deadly? Or is our math getting better?
Sharyl points out that the rates have been skewed since the beginning because deaths are concentrated among the elderly who, on any given day, are closer to the Grim Reaper than the rest of us. (Sorry, but it’s true, and I say that as someone creeping up on elderly myself.) Moreover, as Italy reveals, 99% of those who died had underlying problems, whether it’s simply old age or, in young people, a chronic illness.
The other issue is the denominator — that is, the number of people sick, versus the number who die. We started by testing the really sick and then moved to testing the merely sick. Unless we test everyone in the U.S., we’ll never have a good sense of how many are sick in a meaningless way (although the Diamond Princess data indicates that may be a big denominator).
This is what Nobel laureate Michael Levitt predicted:
“In exponential growth models, you assume that new people can be infected every day, because you keep meeting new people. But, if you consider your own social circle, you basically meet the same people every day. You can meet new people on public transportation, for example; but even on the bus, after some time most passengers will either be infected or immune.”
Another reason the infection rate has slowed has to do with the physical distance guidelines. “You don’t hug every person you meet on the street now, and you’ll avoid meeting face to face with someone that has a cold, like we did,” Levitt said. “The more you adhere, the more you can keep infection in check. So, under these circumstances, a carrier will only infect 1.5 people every three days and the rate will keep going down.”
Quarantine makes a difference, according to Levitt, but there are other factors at work. “We know China was under almost complete quarantine, people only left home to do crucial shopping and avoided contact with others. In Wuhan, which had the highest number of infection cases in the Hubei province, everyone had a chance of getting infected, but only 3% caught it,” he explained. “Even on the Diamond Princess (the virus-stricken cruise ship), the infection rate did not top 20%.” Based on these statistics, Levitt said, he concluded that many people are just naturally immune to the virus.
10. If you want to read something fascinating, check out Stephen Green’s “Battles of the Bulge: What WWII Can Teach Us About Stopping The Chinese Flu.” It’s an interesting history lesson plus a discussion about leadership and decision-making. I don’t know how to sum it up, but I can tell you that it’s worth your time to read.
11. Meanwhile, the Social Justice World continues to make its mark in America. Marvel Comics has proudly introduced its “New ‘New Warriors.'” These are “a batch of promising young kids,” who will learn how to survive as heroes in Marvel’s Universe. And what young heroes they are, courtesy of Daniel Kibblesmith, an Emmy-nominated writer from Stephen Colberg’s show, and artist Luciano Vecchio.
A Meme-Obsessed super teen whose brain became connected to the internet after becoming exposed to his grandfather’s “experimental internet gas.” Now he can see augmented reality and real-time maps, and can instantly Google any fact. Does this make him effectively a genius? He sure acts like it does.
Screentime looks a bit like a Hispanic version of LaVar Burton’s Geordi la Forge, the visor wearing blind man, from the old Star Trek, The Next Generation.
There are “Snowflake” (a black woman with blue eyes and hair) and “Safespace” (a black man with pink eyes and hair). And no, I’m not making up those names:
“Snowflake and Safespace are the twins,” the writer says, “and their names are very similar to Screentime; it’s this idea that these are terms that get thrown around on the internet that they don’t see as derogatory. [They] take those words and kind of wear them as badges of honor.
“Safespace is a big, burly, sort of stereotypical jock. He can create forcefields, but he can only trigger them if he’s protecting somebody else. Snowflake is non-binary and goes by they/them, and has the power to generate individual crystalized snowflake-shaped shurikens. The connotations of the word ‘snowflake’ in our culture right now are something fragile, and this is a character who is turning it into something sharp.
Next up is “B-Negative,” a goth vampire. He is there to remind normal people how old they are,
He’s also obsessed with all the music and attitude of a “classic” long-past decades like the ’90s, and the ’00s. “The world is a vampire…and so am I.”
And last is “Trailblazer,” an obese woman with an Aztec profile, who has a magic backpack. She’s also an antidote to traditional religion because “She claims to get her power from god, but ‘not the god you’re thinking of.'”
We know, because Marvel tells us, who writes this stuff. What I’m wondering is, who’s going to read this stuff?
12. Bernie Sanders is not fit to be president. We already knew that because his ideology is appalling. He is unwavering in his support for socialism/communism, despite the fact that it has been responsible for the deaths of at least 100,000,000 people in the last century. That doesn’t even address the lives destroyed thanks to that utterly evil belief system. Bernie is, therefore, evil.
He’s also temperamentally unsuited to the presidency, as he revealed when asked about whether he was staying in the primary campaign. Keep in mind as you read this that Bernie is not dealing with anything. He’s a miserable little Senator who’s never passed any important legislation:
Sen. Bernie Sanders grew angry when asked about his campaign plans. During a gaggle with reporters in the Capitol, I asked Sanders about his timeframe for making a decision, and he lashed out: “I’m dealing with a fucking global crisis. You know, we’re dealing with.”
— Manu Raju (@mkraju) March 18, 2020
I’m no fan of Manu Raju, who is, as Sen. Martha McSally (R., Ariz.) said, a “liberal hack.” Nevertheless, what he asked was an appropriate question and Bernie’s response was stupid, self-aggrandizing, vulgar, and inappropriate. And right there, you see the real Bernie Sanders.