Sunday, August 22, 2021

Lies, Statistics, and Outrageous Lies

There's a famous saying that there are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics. The idea is that statistics can be even more pernicious than lies, since they use information which is true but present it in a way which is completely misleading. 

A disturbingly powerful example of that is making the rounds at the moment. People are spreading a chart showing the percentage of seriously ill Covid patients in Israel that are vaccinated. It's the majority! This is used to send a powerful message that the vaccine does not work, or is even harmful.

Of course, if you have a better understanding of the topic, you'll realize why this is backwards. It's like saying that since the majority of car crash victims are wearing seatbelts, this shows that wearing seatbelts is dangerous. Whereas the truth is that since 99% of people in cars wear seatbelts, then obviously most crash victims are wearing seatbelts, and it doesn't mean that they don't help.

The overwhelming majority of people in Israel are vaccinated. So of course, even when the vaccine greatly reduces your chances of getting seriously ill, there will still be more vaccinated  people who are seriously ill. The relevant statistic is not how many sick people there are in absolute terms, but rather how many sick people there are as a percentage of that sector of the population. And what we see is that being vaccinated drastically reduces your chances of getting seriously ill and dying.

But I wonder if there's another problem here. We've been taught that statistics can be so pernicious because they take technically true information and distort its significance. Yet there seems to be an assumption that in general, information which is presented - especially if it looks impressive - is true, or at least arguably true. But I've seen a few cases in which people happily spread absolutely outrageous flat-out lies.

This morning I saw a screenshot of an article from the British Medical Journal about the danger of vaccines. Being from England myself, I have benefited from how the word "British" lends anything an air of prestige, and when it's put together with "Medical Journal," the effect is particularly powerful. The reactions of numerous people showed that the article had made a big impact on them.

The only thing is, a simple Google search showed that it wasn't actually from the British Medical Journal at all. It was actually from "The Light Paper," a bonkers far-left British conspiracy theory rag associated with Piers Corbyn (a man who makes his brother Jeremy look sane). But how many people actually bother to do that Google search? Most people will just assume that the "British Medical Journal" has shown there to be serious concerns about the vaccine!

A few weeks ago, I came across an even more bare-faced example. A friend was given a recommendation for a highly accomplished doctor, a psychoneurologist who is very successful at helping people with various problems. They passed on the recommendation to me for my opinion, and I agreed to look into it. 

The first thing that I did was Google his name. There were about 900 results, which instantly set off alarm bells. After all, between all the cross-links and so on, most accomplished people have many, many thousands of Google hits.

I then went to his personal website, which had an impressive list of his accomplishments. He served as the U.S. Liaison for the Middle East Peace Process. He co-authored the Jerusalem Spiritual Peace Accord. He earned the coveted title of the UK’s Most Influential Speaker. He is the founder and dean of a university. He is the Chief Psychoneurologist for the American Board of Psychoneurology. And he also received rabbinic ordination and is a kabbalist! 

It sounded amazing. And once again, a few minutes of Googling revealed that it wasn't actually true! Not that it was entirely fabricated, but rather that meaningless things were being given grandiose titles. 

There is no record of any "U.S. Liaison for the Middle East Peace Process" online whatsoever. He awarded himself this title.

There is no record of any "Jerusalem Spiritual Peace Accord" online whatsoever. It was nothing more than his own ideas.

There is no "coveted title" of "the UK’s Most Influential Speaker." It's an award given by a Jewish students' group at a university.

The university of which this person is founder and dean has precisely one person on staff; himself.

The "American Board of Psychoneurology" does not have anyone at all listed as actually being on the board, and as far as I can make out, it is actually just one person - this person.

Then I suddenly realized that the word psychoneurology was different from neuropsychology and was an unfamiliar term to me. So I googled that too. Google was pretty sure that I actually meant neuropsychology, and kept giving me results for that word (which has 32 million results), but when I insisted that I really meant psychoneurology, I discovered that the term does not exist in either the dictionary or Wikipedia, and almost all of the paltry instances of it online are associated with this person.

But how did he get his Phd? Incredibly, in a YouTube video, he freely admits that he gave it to himself, because there was nobody else qualified to give it to him!

Now, it's entirely possible that this person is very good at improving people's lives, and I wish him success with that. Still, I would be wary about giving money to somebody who makes such utterly fraudulent claims about their accomplishments and qualifications. And how many people are actually going to research his claims to see if they are valid?

A friend of mine, who shares various articles which I consider to contain pseudo-science and other distortions, asked me if I'm against sharing articles and letting people draw their own conclusions. I answered yes, absolutely. The fact is that most people are not capable (or willing) of doing the necessary research required to evaluate the truth of what they read. And so all of us have a responsibility to only share information that is credible. These days, it's a matter of life and death.


If you'd like to subscribe to this blog via email, use the form on the right of the page, or send me an email and I will add you. 

126 comments:

  1. I googled that person. He's a martial artist too! With 5 black belts! And 2 black sashes!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Rabbi, One of my favorite books in graduate school was "How to Lie with Statics by Darrell Huff. He explained in great detail what you are discussing in the article. Thank you for the reminder. Maurice

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. However, not all statistics lie. Unfortunately, this same Darrell Huff was later hired by the tobacco industry to testify before Congress that all the research showing that smoking causes cancer is nonsense.

      Delete
  3. 'A friend of mine, who shares various articles which I consider to contain pseudo-science and other distortions, asked me if I'm against sharing articles and letting people draw their own conclusions. I answered yes, absolutely. The fact is that most people are not capable (or willing) of doing the necessary research required to evaluate the truth of what they read. And so all of us have a responsibility to only share information that is credible. These days, it's a matter of life and death.'

    If most people can't evaluate the truth of what they read and hear, why are they allowed to vote on the issues that they cannot understand? How can a democracy work?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Democracy doesn't work. It just breaks less than other systems.

      Delete
    2. It can't, exactly as the Communists reasoned. A lot of brilliant Jewish academics supported them too, just like professor Slifkin here. It never dawned on them, till they were on the train to Siberia, that other people thought as little of them as they thought of others.

      Delete
  4. Keep on giving these covid shots…it’s working so amazingly well to the point that the brainwashed sheeps’ only recourse is to point to those who are not “vaccinated” and claim them to be the problem…yep, that is the problem why these so-called “vaccinations” are (not) working because those who didn’t take the shot are casting a continous spell on the “vaccines” and on the “vaccinated” preventing the shots from actually doing what vaccines are supposed to do which is prevent infections in those who have taken vaccinations.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. In the 60+ age cohort unvaccinated people are over 8 times more likely to become severely ill from Covid than vaccinated people. I would say that that indicates that vaccinations are working.

      Delete
    2. Try again, this time make an attempt at coherence.

      Delete
    3. Lies damn lies and statistics. You quote Samuel Langhorne Clemens aka Mark Twain but don't give him credit. Is it because he's not a Jew and you manipulated his words
      to justify your scam( the Takeover of people's homes and property). Yeah lies damn lies and you guys.

      Delete
  5. The example about the seeming inefficacy of the vaccine is an instance of the fallacy presented at (e. g.) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bayes%27_theorem#Drug_testing. In fact, everyone should learn about this fallacy because it occurs once a while and tends to be nasty — as we see now. But in reality, even accomplished engineers fail here.

    ReplyDelete
  6. So people are claiming that the vaccine doesn't work well since there are even more vaccinated people getting sick than non-vaccinated people. Your response is that almost everyone in the country is vaccinated, so if there is a pandemic raging through the country then statistically there will be more vaccinated people affected than non-vaccinated people. But if almost everyone in the country is vaccinated, why is there a pandemic raging through the country in the first place?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. He didn't say "almost everyone." He said "an overwhelming majority." Don't make things up.

      Delete
    2. Maybe because the vaccine is 80-90% effective, not 100% effective.

      Israel is doing much better than other countries struck with the Delta Variant because of the high vaccination rate. But because no vaccination is 100% effective, we need to rely on as many people as possible to get vaccinated to protect the 10% of people for whom the vaccination is less effective

      Delete
    3. I'll try to keep things on a high school level.

      Suppose 90% of the population are vaccinated.
      Suppose that in a certain hospital there are 90 severe cases, with 30 un-vaccinated & 60 vaccinated- i.e. twice as many vaccinated than un-vaccinated. So you conclude that the vaccine has no effect. But if the vaccine is no better than a placebo, we'd expect that in any random group of people, there would be 9 vaccinated for every 1 un-vaccinated. Now, in the group of severe patients mentioned above, there were 30 un-vaccinated. That means, given that the vaccine is useless, we expect 9x30 = 270 vaccinated! But we only find 60 - less than 4 times what we'd expect to find. Must mean that the vaccine is indeed effective. (The above, is just a demonstration- I'll leave it to real statisticians to provide a more accurate explanation.)

      "But if almost everyone in the country is vaccinated..."
      Did you bother to check the stats? 63% of Israelis are fully vaccinated. About 1 million confirmed cases. Even if we assume that there is no overlap between these two groups, that would still leave >3 million Israelis left. Even if we allow for unreported cases (asymptomatic cases are difficult to measure, meta-analysis estimates 25-30%) that would still leave plenty of people to be susceptible to the virus.

      Delete
    4. @Nachum How much is an overwhelming majority? If an overwhelming majority is vaccinated and the pandemic is still raging, then that would seem to indicate that the vaccine has not stopped the pandemic from raging. Whether it has protected (many of) the people who have taken it from serious illness and death is a different story.

      Delete
    5. @Michael I'm talking about spread of the virus, not serious illness and death. But in any case, let's see if your numbers fit with the chart above and R' Slifkin's claim. "Overwhelming majority" is vague, but let's say it's even as low as 60%.(If we go much lower we would invalidate the claim that the higher amount of vaccinated serious cases is due to there being so many more vaccinated individuals.) That would mean that if we have 100 people there would be 60 vaccinated, and 40 not vaccinated. Now let's say that the current strength of the pandemic is such that 20 people out of 100 would be expected to become seriously ill (or die) without any intervention. We should then expect to see 8 unvaccinated people (0.2 X 40) and 1.2 - 2.4 vaccinated people (0.2 X 60 X 0.2 or 0.1) getting seriously ill or dying. In other words the percentage of total serious cases that are vaccinated people should be something like 13% - 23%. Yet adding up the entire chart we see that fully vaccinated individuals make up 76% of the total serious cases, which is about 3 - 6 times what we should expect. (The 20% base serious illness rate is arbitrary, but the results are the same if we use a different number, say 5%.)

      Delete
    6. @Ephraim That's not my argument at all. My argument is that if there is so much virus being spread around (such that there would be 90 serious cases in your example, though it would probably be easier just to count positive cases), then the vaccine does not seem to be stopping the virus.

      Now as to whether the vaccine is actually protecting it's takers from serious illness or death, you say that 63% of Israelis are fully vaccinated. Yet if you add up the numbers on the chart it comes out that fully vaccinated individuals make up about 76% of the serious cases, i.e. significantly more than their percentage of the population.

      Delete
    7. See this explanation of the numbers: https://www.covid-datascience.com/post/israeli-data-how-can-efficacy-vs-severe-disease-be-strong-when-60-of-hospitalized-are-vaccinated

      Delete
    8. "My argument is that if there is so much virus being spread around...then the vaccine does not seem to be stopping the virus."

      "stopping"
      Not stopping. Reducing. It took decades after the introduction of the measles vaccine before the near eradication of the disease. It took two hundred years for smallpox.

      "Now as to whether the vaccine is actually protecting it's takers from serious illness or death... it comes out that fully vaccinated individuals make up about 76% of the serious cases"
      Wrong metric.
      Which of the following two sentences are more likely to be true:
      1) Helmet wearers, when compared to the bare headed are more likely to suffer head injuries
      2) Helmet wearing motorcyclists are less likely to suffer head injuries then bare headed motorcyclists

      Then do the same again with the following:
      1) Helmet wearers, when compared to the bare headed, are more likely to suffer head injuries- therefore helmets are of no use, and in fact dangerous
      2) Helmet wearing motorcyclists are less likely to suffer head injuries then bare headed motorcyclists, therefore helmets should be worn by motorcyclists.

      You should contrasting the severe illness rate in vax vs non-vax. But you're comparing the vax rate among those with severe illness. So very wrong.

      Delete
    9. @Ephraim "You should contrasting the severe illness rate in vax vs non-vax. But you're comparing the vax rate among those with severe illness. So very wrong."

      By Bayes Theorem, the combination of the vax rate among those with severe illness with the vax rate of the overall population will tell us the rate of severe illness among vax to rate of severe illness among non-fat. Spare us your innumeracy.

      Delete
    10. "By Bayes Theorem"
      You're correct, that it's more subtle than how I put it. I stand corrected. Thanks! But my comment about helmets is still relevant.

      But, Baye's Theorem alone won't help us here. That's because there's an inherent bias when naively comparing vax vs. non-vax. Vax acceptance of those at risk is higher than the general population. So any conclusions about the vax'd alone would be biased towards those at risk. Baye's won't save you there! You still have to know
      the numbers of the at risk vax's vs. the not at risk vax'd.

      The same fallacy can repeated elsewhere:
      "People who are being treated for cancer are more likely to die than those who aren't being treated for cancer -> cancer treatment cause deaths"
      The above version of the fallacy is obvious. But the same fallacy applies here, though the reason for it is not so obvious.

      Delete
    11. @Ephraim Your helmet analogy is different because you are including the entire population of people who aren’t riding motorcycles in the first place. If you would instead look at rate of helmet wearing when riding a motorcycle then I would have the same point. Think of it this way: The baseline of any intervention would be that if the intervention is entirely neutral (neither helps nor hurts) then the breakdown of problems should be consistent with the breakdown of the population. So if you have 1,000 people and 500 wear helmets when riding and 500 don’t, then if helmets were neutral you would expect that if there were 100 fatalities it would be split 50-50 among helmets and no helmets. If a hundred of the no helmets start wearing helmets then you would expect it to now be 60-40 with more fatalities in the helmet group. Now, if instead of being neutral helmets were harmful, we would expect an increase of fatalities with helmets, which would mean that helmets are more represented in fatalities than in the general population. If, on the other hand, helmets were helpful we would expect a reduction of fatalities with helmets, which would mean that helmets are now represented less in fatalities than in the general population. This, the representation of helmets in the group of fatalities is a useful metric when compared to the representation of helmets in the general population because only a neutral intervention would he represented the same in both. A lower representation among fatalities indicates that helmets are working, while a higher representation among fatalities indicates that helmets are not working.

      Indeed, I don’t think this metric can even be split from the metric of what percent of the intervention group are spared from the problem, since the numbers change together. Someone who knows more math may be able to show an algebraic proof for this, but we can work it out just by going through all the possibilities. Say we take the numbers of 60% vaccinated and 40% not vaccinated. In a group of 100 people we would have 60 in the first group and 40 in the last group. Now say there were 10 serious illnesses in total. We can go through each permutation of the distribution and see that when the percentage of one of the subgroups that gets seriously ill increases, it’s representation in the group of seriously ill relative to its representation in the general population also increases.

      Let’s go through the possibilities to see this: If all 10 illnesses are in the unvaccinated group, then the illness percentage in the unvaccinated group would be 25% and the illness percentage in the vaccinated group would be 0%. The percentage of the illness group that is unvaccinated (100%) would be greater than it’s percentage of the general population (40%), and the percentage of the illness group that is vaccinated (0%) would be less than its percentage of the general population (60%). Thus in this case both metrics (“percentage of vaccinated that are ill” and “percentage of ill that are vaccinated relative to percentage of general population that are vaccinated”) indicate that vaccines work.

      Now if we switch it to 9-1 instead of 10-0 we observe the same phenomenon. The illness percentage in the unvaccinated group would be 22.5% while the illness percentage in the vaccinated group would be 1.66%. The percentage of the illness group that is unvaccinated (90%) would be greater than its percentage of the general population (40%), and the percentage of the illness group that is vaccinated (10%) would be less than its percentage of the general population (60%).

      Delete


    12. With 8-2 the numbers would be 20% and 80% for unvaccinated, and 3.33% and 20% for vaccinated.

      At 7-3 it would be 17.5% and 70% for unvaccinated, and 5% and 30% for vaccinated.

      At 6-4 we would have 15% and 60% for unvaccinated, and 6.66% and 40% for vaccinated.

      At 5-5 it would be 12.5% and 50% for unvaccinated, and 8.3% and 50% for vaccinated.

      At 4-6 it would be 10% and 40% for unvaccinated, and 10% and 60% for unvaccinated. Note that at the very point that the percentages of both groups with illness are identical, their representation in the illness group is identical to their representation in the general population.

      We then continue to 3-7 where unvaccinated would be 7.5% and 30%, while vaccinated would be 11.66% and 70%. We can see here that the vaccinated group surpassed the unvaccinated group in the percentage of its group that is ill, and it simultaneously had its percentage of the illness group surpass its percentage of the general population.

      Continuing to 2-8 the trend holds. Unvaccinated is now 5% and 20%, while vaccinated is 13.33% and 80%. Again, since the percentage of ill in the vaccinated group that is greater than the percentage of ill in the unvaccinated group, the percentage of vaccinated in the ill group is also greater then the percentage of vaccinated in the general population.

      At 1-9 we see the same thing. Unvaccinated would be 2.5% and 10%, while vaccinated would be 15% and 90%.

      Finally, at 0-10 unvaccinated would be 0% and 0%, while vaccinated would be 16.66% and 100%.

      What we see here is that there is a perfect correlation between percentage of a group that is ill and the relationship between percentage of the ill group that is vaccinated/unvaccinated and those groups’ percentages of the general population. When a group’s percentage of illness goes up, it’s percentage of the ill group goes up until it exceeds its percentage of the general population. When a group’s percentage of illness goes down, it’s percentage of the ill group goes down until it is less than its percentage of the general population. There is never a time where the group with the higher percentage of its group being ill has a percentage of the ill group that is equal or less than its percentage of the general population. Similarly, there is never a time where the group with the lower percentage of its group being ill has a percentage of the ill group that is equal or greater than its percentage of the general population.

      Thus, we cannot say that one of these metrics is right and the other is wrong, since the two metrics depend on each other. Therefore, if we see that vaccinated individuals are over represented in the illness group then that would indicate that percentage of vaccinated that are ill is not less than the percentage of non-vaccinated that are ill.

      Of course, all of the above only holds true if there aren’t other confounding factors. In the real world there might be other factors that would cause vaccinated people to get ill even if the vaccines were generally effective. However, R’ Slifkin’s argument here was not that there are confounding factors, but that the statistics themselves justify the higher percentage of vaccinated people in the illness group.

      If any of my math is incorrect, I am happy to be corrected.

      Delete
    13. A raging outbreak of cases would not be as bad if the hospitalization rate of said cases was much much lower than previous waves of raging outbreaks of the same virus. (And that is the case).

      If every case was mild, an outbreak would be completely inconsequential. Unfortunately that's not quite the case, but there has been a sizable improvement.

      A raging outbreak would be worse if it still carried the same risks of severity and death as Covid originally did. (That is still the case for the unvaccinated).

      Starting to get it yet?

      Delete
    14. @student Is that meant as a reply to me?

      Delete
  7. Chief Founder of the Institute for Typographical Research :)August 22, 2021 at 8:37 PM

    1) Typo: "but when I insisted that I really meant pyschoneurology" should read "but when I insisted that I really meant psychoneurology"

    2) Googling https://www.google.co.il/search?q=Psychoneurology+-Neuropsychology does show instances of "psychoneurology" (and with https://www.merriam-webster.com/medical/psychoneurological as the 3rd result) other than the individual you refer to. I'm not sure how you merely saw search results where "every one of the paltry instances of it online is associated with this person."

    ReplyDelete
  8. Only an authoritarian government can force the population to be vaccinated. Then we would know how well the vaccine works. Democracy is a disaster. Stupid people should have no right to vote or do what they please.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Do you propose an intelligence test to vote?

      Delete
    2. Medical martial law. sounds awesome.
      I was told that in the days of the smallpox vaccine, WHO people pushed their way into homes in various parts of the world and vaccinated everyone. I have no actual source for this. But it sounds both amazing and alarming.

      Delete
  9. Democracy works because if the guys in charge make too big a mess they lose the next elections. Who wants an authoritative government hated by all that's impossible to get rid of.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Is this your way of Elul contrition - by digging your head in the sand deeper?

    The fact is the hysteria of Covid was foisted on the world on the eve of a US election of worldwide importance by a collection of lies, fear mongering, and suppression tactics, far exceeding anything the Nazis or the Communists did in the previous century. You talk about statistic manipulation - millions of people screamed from the get-go that for anyone other than the very old or ill, the alleged risk of Covid was vastly over-inflated. That the numbers we were told were intentionally manipulated. But there was an election at stake, and so a roaring economy had to be slowed, and vote from home ballots had to be justified. Thus, the whole thing was based entirely on one lie after another.

    And then, because one lie leads to another - שקר מוליד דקר - we have been treated to one spectacle after another. First masks: they don't work, then they do work. One mask, then two masks. None of it made sense, especially since we all saw the fear mongering videos showing the virus was transmitted by touch, such as door handles. The idea that we could stop a global respiration illness by a piece of paper never made any sense at all, and tens of millions of people knew it. But at that point we were entrenched, and so it had to be forced down people's throats.

    So now we come to vaccines. All of you who have taken it - how on Earth did you justify putting drugs in your body with no tested long term effects? Even if you willfully hide from the mountains of evidence gathering already to show how dangerous it is, or even if you simply never see it because Facebook and Youtube censored it - surely even the most ignorant must admit there is no long term data on this "emergency use" drug. Why did you do it? Why? To virtue-signal? And why do you want others to take it - because you still really think it works? Or is to make you feel better, because misery loves company, and if you had to take the stupid thing, by god he should have to also?

    All of us, including myself, have family members who took it, whether because they naively believed what they were told - as Professor Slifkin says in the beginning - and looked away from the billions of dollars being made on it, or because they felt they had no choice. I hope to God it has no serious long term effects. One thing is for sure - ENOUGH. For crying out loud, ENOUGH!!! Israel has to stop doubling and tripling down. It's not working. The healthiest and happiest societies right now are the Charedim in the US who have ignored all the nonsense to the extent possible, whose kids are happily in school with no masks, and have proven to be even healthier than the general public. Stop with the vaccines, and let life resume its normal course, with no restrictions. Normalcy. This is the only possible way. None of us are in the government, but we can all do our part to get us there.

    There have been periods of mass hysteria throughout history. It takes big men to admit mistakes, especially huge ones, but we get reward for the פרישה as well as the דרישה . What kind of men will we be!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. https://www.timesofisrael.com/1-in-73-ultra-orthodox-israelis-over-65-has-died-of-covid-report-says/

      Delete
    2. Even without addressing the lies and hysteria in your comment, I would say that the "let life resume its normal course, with no restrictions" is being tried in a few places in the USA, with disastrous results.

      Delete
    3. Oh, I see. So the statistics you want to believe in are accurate, but the ones you don't are damn lies. Got it.

      Delete
    4. ">being tried in a few places in the USA, with disastrous results"

      Is that how you make yourself better, by telling yourself comforting little lies? Why dont you actually go out to visit Lakewood, where they dispensed with the masks and social distancing long ago, and they're doing just fine, thank you very much. Or just look at Jewish cities all across the country. The yeshivish shuls and schools pretty much operated as normal the whole past year, while their MO counterparts either remained on zoom or stayed in masks. By the same token, the yeshivish are far less likely to have subjected themselves to the jabs. And yet - miracle of miracles - they are all absolutely fine, not a shred of difference between them. All communities everywhere, thank God, are fine. Amazing, isn't it, when you actually look at things honestly?

      Delete
    5. That's just not true. Mortality rates among charedim were much higher around the world than among the general population.

      Delete
    6. @A. Schreiber --

      I wasn't referring to Lakewood, actually, but other places where vax rates are low, distancing and masks have been done away with, and the health care system is filled to capacity with very sick COVID-19 patients.

      As for schools -- where I live, it's the Yeshivish ones that have been in the news, over and over again, for their COVID outbreaks and flouting health department orders. And I see the county where Lakewood sits has a higher new COVID case rate than elsewhere in NJ, plus of course an enormous death rate over the pandemic. But I suppose "they are all absolutely fine" after all?

      Delete
    7. Wouldn’t surprise me but can you share the sources?

      Delete
    8. "That's just not true. Mortality rates among charedim were much higher around the world than among the general population."
      Do you have a source for that?

      Delete
    9. Other than efficacy, how are you better than Hitler? You want Jews to die, and you're willing to spread lies to make that happen.

      Delete
    10. "...Elul..."
      See רמב"ם הל' תענית א:ג- one who sees calamities strike the community & ignores them, is a cruel person who is only inviting further disaster.

      "The fact is.."
      I'm not sure there's a single fact in your tirade.

      "how on Earth did you justify putting drugs in your body with no tested long term effects?"
      I took it three times and feel fantastic! Can you ask for better proof?

      "Professor Slifkin"
      Who's that?

      "The healthiest and happiest societies right now are the Charedim"
      So why don't you join them? They follow דעת תורה. Rav Chaim Kanievsky repeatedly instructed people to follow ministry of health guidelines. The overwhelming majority of גדולי ישראל ruled that vaccines are a מצוה. Some even labeled anti-vaxxers as heretics!

      Delete
    11. "Mortality rates among charedim were much higher around the world than among the general population."

      Citation needed. Cherry picked times of Israel data covering over 65s only is not evidence.

      Delete
    12. Sorry, I stopped reading at "far exceeding anything the Nazis or the Communists did in the previous century."

      The Nazis murdered about 11 million people, the Communists even more.

      If you think that these health precautions are far worse than the murder of millions of people, than I guess we live in a very different moral universe.

      Delete
    13. Huh? Of course it is evidence. And it's not cherry-picked.

      Delete
    14. Correct me if I'm wrong, but it seems from the original post of Mr Schreiber, that the lives of the old don't matter. We shouldn't do anything as a society to prevent their deaths, because it isn't really a problem. Did you actually say that? I surely hope not.

      Delete
    15. Yes, Michael Sedley, you and I do live in very different moral universes indeed.

      Zichron Devarim, if you're so selfish as to think the lives of hundreds of millions of children, teenagers, the young, and the middle aged, all have to be irreparably harmed because of an insane theory that isolating them and muzzling them would save the elderly, then you're in the same universe as the other guy. For shame.

      As for Joe Q - I know you weren't referring to Lakewood. People very often hide from uncomfortable facts that undercut their precious theories. I'm also curious why you're relying on statistics when Professor Slifkin just got through saying you can't trust statistics. Finally, explain why Egypt is doing fine and Israel isn't, and why Sweden has zero covid deaths, and why its happy citizens are laughing at the rest of the world.

      Delete
    16. Ephraim, you're quoting me from הלכות תענית? Here's one for you from Taanis 19a: אֵיזֶהוּ דֶּבֶר? עִיר הַמּוֹצִיאָה חֲמֵשׁ מֵאוֹת רַגְלִי וְיָצְאוּ מִמֶּנָּה שְׁלֹשָׁה מֵתִים בִּשְׁלֹשָׁה יָמִים זֶה אַחַר זֶה הֲרֵי זֶה דֶּבֶר פָּחוֹת מִכָּאן אֵין זֶה דֶּבֶר

      Sefaria Translation: "If a city that sends out five hundred infantrymen, i.e., it has a population of five hundred able-bodied men, and three dead are taken out of it on three consecutive days, this is a plague of pestilence, which requires fasting and crying out. If the death rate is lower than that, this is not pestilence."

      Got it? Three consecutive days of three deaths each out of 500 healthy soldiers. *That's* an epidemic. Covid, nowhere in the world, ever, at any time, remotely approached such a death rate.




      Delete
    17. "I'm also curious why you're relying on statistics when Professor Slifkin just got through saying you can't trust statistics."

      I didn't say that statistics are false. I said that they are manipulated. It's a fact that mortality was higher among charedim. See the first linked article.

      Delete
    18. In a tiny little sample: two camps in town, one masked (and has a higher proportion of families whose parents are vaccinated) and the other not. Guess which one had a whole bunch of kids get sick?

      Delete
    19. @A. Schreiber

      Perhaps I missed where you cited verified facts?

      Your assertion that Lakewood did "just fine" is false. A lot of people got very sick, and unfortunately there were many deaths. This was reported widely in the NJ local papers.

      Your assertion that Sweden has zero COVID deaths is false. A quick check of data shows close to 15,000 people have died of COVID there (out of a population a little larger than the state of New Jersey) including about 30 people in the last month. This comes from the Our World in Data website, which is a great resource for COVID statistics.

      Your comparison of Egypt to Israel is meaningless unless you can show that Egypt is testing and identifying COVID cases as well as Israel. It's easy to make numbers look low if you just don't count.

      Your assertion that there are "mountains of evidence gathering already to show how dangerous [the vaccine] is" is false.

      Your assertion that the vaccine "isn't working" is false. It is shown to reduce cases and severity. The sickest people in hospitals, and the overwhelming majority of deaths, are all in the un-vaccinated.

      Delete
    20. OK, so Joe Q, your basic methodology is just to deny, deny, deny. Great. Can't argue with logic with that.

      Look around and see for yourself. Do you SEE dead bodies in the street? Do you SEE funerals for young people all around you? Do you actually SEE healthy and normal people dying? No, no, and no. If you deny that you're lying through your teeth. Covid was never, and isnt now, a serious risk for anyone other than a tiny segment of older and unhealthy people. If you fell for the hysteria, I cant help you.

      Delete
    21. "Ephraim, you're quoting me from הלכות תענית? Here's one for you from Taanis 19a"

      Not relevant. The Rambam in 1:2 is talking about צורות in general- he doesn't mention fasting. Even a צרה that does not reach the level required for a fast, still requires תשובה- and one who says it's just part of nature- is cruel & invites further calamity.

      Delete
    22. "all have to be irreparably harmed..."

      By wearing masks? By quarantining for a few days when suspected of being infected? By avoiding crowds? By getting vaccinated?

      Delete
    23. "Not relevant" - Covid was foisted on the world by claiming it was a deadly pandemic. By Chazal's definition it was never even close to that, corroborating what we've seen with our own eyes. Pretty darn "relevant".

      Delete
  11. Back to the original topic. Does anyone think that the general media and scientific communities don't misrepresent data in the same way as described in this post?

    I'm not what-abouting here. I'm just saying that this behaviour is rampant and it's hard to ever know what to believe, especially when their is kavod, bias, ad money at stake. I am not conjecting; I was in university in the 90s, and I saw it everywhere.

    If you learn up the representation of the data like a gemara, analyzing how they chose to represent the data in this way rather than that way, with these factors against those factors, and within these parameters, the biases and slants become clear.

    Of, course that doesn't make it o for others to do it. But don't think that others doing it is a justification for trusting the science" either.

    Tzvi

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Tzvi, you're missing it. Certainly there are lies and misrepresentations everywhere, it wasn't too long ago that P. Slifkin himself was complaining about the portrayal of Arabs in the media. Professor Slifkin doesn't deny this. His chief argument, rather, is that he's smart and you're not. Therefore, only he and whoever agrees with him can properly evaluate data. Those millions who disagree? Why, they were all fooled, you see, by the "British Medical Journal", you see. Just like the tens of millions of people who voted for Trump could only have been "fooled" by similar fake ads from the Russians. They couldn't possibly have actually considered and rejected his way of thinking - after all, he's not just a Professor, he's also British!

      Delete
    2. "Certainly there are lies and misrepresentations everywhere... he's not just a Professor"
      RNS is not a professor.

      Delete
    3. If you quote cherry picked times of Israel articles covering the demographic which best assists you to confirm your sectarian prejudices you are in no position to lecture others about propaganda.

      Delete
    4. "Does anyone think that the general media and scientific communities don't misrepresent data in the same way as described in this post?"

      The media, yes. But that's more likely because the media are illiterate when it comes to science.

      Delete
  12. The percentage of people who were anti vaxxer before this Covid vax was probably 5-10%. There is a far higher percentage refusing this vaccine for myriad reasons. They are not idiots neither are they parasites. They have SERIOUS concerns. Perhaps they had Covid. Perhaps they saw someone have a severe reaction. For you to make a blanket statement that they are flat out wrong and therefore must be forced into a medical procedure that may harm them is reminiscent of Germany. I know people who have medical conditions – people who have suffered cancer recently, or strokes. I know two people with bleeding and clotting disorders. These are real people with real concerns. They don’t want the vaccine. It’s their lives they are worried about.
    The real moronic part of all of this is that most of the people in Israel’s hospitals are vaccinated. The vaccine isn’t even working. Yet for a defective untested drug that’s failing rapidly you would take away people’s autonomy ?? Forcibly inject them with a brand new experimental drug with no long term data? Are you going to pay their medical bills if they suffer serious side effects? Take care of their children?
    I’m sickened that people actually think what you are thinking.
    How horrible that you would take away the only inalienable right humans have- the decision of how to take care of the own bodies, for POSSIBLY having them avoid spreading Covid, which doesn’t even seem to be the case.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The possible higher number of opposed (I've not seen evidence that is the case) is very likely due to circumstances that have nothing to do with medicine- the lockdown, for example, the masks, and the sheer lying on a number of both related and unrelated issues we've gotten from our betters in the last year and a half.

      Delete
    2. There is a concerted campaign to discredit science around COVID-19 and especially of the vaccines. This campaign is possible due to social media, which did not exist during the last pandemic.

      People hear or read alarming anecdotes, but they don't evaluate the context, never mind the truth, of those anecdotes. They do exactly what Rabbi Slifkin is writing about -- they swallow the hysteria and they don't even try to understand it.

      Delete
    3. " is reminiscent of Germany."

      Do tell.

      Delete
    4. Science did a very good job of discrediting itself in the past year.

      As someone who believes everyone should be vaccinated and not doing so is the height of stupidity and selfishness, I add an important "unfortunately" there. But it's true nonetheless. Scientists did some very stupid, ugly, and untruthful things, which is never a good idea, but especially not at a moment when you need people to trust you.

      Delete
    5. Shirah - the article here is an answer to your points. He addresses your claims and answers them. Read it slowly and then either respond or admit defeat.

      Delete
    6. zd, you left out your link.

      Nachum, some of the problems with "Science" over the past year were due to the very nature of how science works - and then how science and public policy unfortunately have to work together. For the former: at the beginning, we had no data and no understanding of this thing, so the policies that were suggested were eventually felt to be incorrect. Then as more data was obtained and more info gathered and understood, our ability to plan improved. So doing nothing gave way to lockdown for 3 weeks, which gave way to a long term shutdown, and cloth masks gave way to surgical masks, which in turn was expanded in medical facilities to include eye protection.

      For the latter: Science wants to be careful and hedge its bets, so we might say yeah, masks are better, but separation is more important, and stay home, but only for this long etc. Public policy needs a clear directive and universal application, and so scientific pronouncements were made for the sake of Public Policy when the science was not ready yet or that definitive yet.

      This of course hurt the reputation both of the scientific world and of the governments (except for places like New Zealand, I suppose, where - I have read - that harsh lockdown rules went into effect early and were actually adhered to properly, and so they were able to open back up earlier than everyone else - but I have no firsthand knowledge of this).

      But of course, Nachum, I am not telling you anything you do not already know.

      Delete
  13. Literally it’s like a bad movie.
    The “magic bullet” isn’t working so the solution is to keep using it?? More! Give more! Another one! Find the ones who haven’t and make them take it too!!!
    This is just a way to distract attention from the fact that the vaccine immunity is rapidly failing and no population will ever achieve herd immunity using it.
    Recently an American naval ship with 100% , yes ONE HUNDRED percent vaccination rates, had an outbreak. If they didn’t have herd immunity , achieving it in regular society is a pipe dream.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You should surround yourself with that straw man before you burn it.

      Delete
    2. "The “magic bullet” isn’t working "

      Who said it was a magic bullet?

      "they didn’t have herd immunity , achieving it in regular society is a pipe dream."
      Like measles?
      And yet, the anti-vaxxing covid-denialists last year swore we had already achieved herd immunity.

      Delete
    3. It is currently the only bullet.

      If you have a bullet with silver alloy, it might kill the werewolf after you but it might not. Theoretically, using a bunch of these bullets against a single werewolf has a good chance of working. Would you arm yourself with a supply of these bullets or claim that since they are not perfect, you prefer to deal with the wolf with your bare hands, or perhaps a sharply worded letter?

      Delete
    4. Yosef R, but what if the werewolf wasn't really so dangerous after all? And what if the bullets contained a chemical compound that made them dangerous themselves? And what if bullets were always tested for years before they were released to the market, but these bullets weren't? What would you do then?

      Delete
  14. Nytimes today “Israel, Once the Model for Beating Covid, Faces New Surge of Infections
    One of the most vaccinated societies, Israel now has one of the highest infection rates in the world, raising questions about the vaccine’s efficacy.” When even the NYtimes has to start admitting the outright failure maybe it is time for all the vaccine worshippers who hailed Israel for leading the way in “beating covid” to do a little introspection and take a fresh look?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There was no outright failure. There was tremendous success. Look at the charts. Just not perfect success.

      Delete
  15. Enough already!!

    How many are seriously ill?!?

    This has shifted to an Endemic. People will get it and feel fine. If you test the world for the flue, you would probably get the same results.

    Just stop the testing. And stop magnifying the less than 2% who get seriously ill.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "How many are seriously ill?!?"

      Enough to put massive strain on the hospitals.

      Delete
    2. "And stop magnifying the less than 2% who get seriously ill."

      Who is magnifying the 2% (actually 1%) who get seriously ill? At what percent, can we start to be concerned? 5%? 20%?
      Consider that measles "only" killed about 3-4000 American a year before the vaccine. Was that too low to be concerning?

      Delete
    3. The doctors will never stop moaning as though they were the only people who had to work hard in the pandemic. At least they had a job.

      Delete
    4. "The doctors will never stop moaning as though they were the only people who had to work hard in the pandemic. "
      No they haven't.

      Delete
    5. Sample of self pitying tweets from the last two weeks:

      https://mobile.twitter.com/jfdwolff/status/1429555732752519171
      https://mobile.twitter.com/DrBenLovell/status/1429449253332660239

      Delete
    6. The Hat,

      I read both tweets. I can only conclude that you're illiterate.

      Delete
  16. Watch this thread hit 200 comments in a jiffy. The anti vax trolls are cracking their knuckles with glee.

    ReplyDelete
  17. What's Ludacris, is that Dr. Slifkin hasn't even independently confirmed any of the data! He's just parroting what the liberal media is spewing!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You seem to think that COVID-19 cares about (your) politics. You are the problem.

      Delete
    2. He's hardly in a position to conduct trials himself is he?

      Delete
    3. But at least he is actually utilizing the data rather than the incorrect conclusions the can be drawn from the data. And there are articles upon articles upon articles that are publicly available that actually include the data. (Scientific journals are readily available.) If you are calling the data into question, then you better stay home, in the dark, and not eat anything or even breathe inside your painted house because you cannot trust anyone who might tell you safety information about food, transportation, electricity, and paint.

      Also, I'm pretty sure that the rapper whose legal name is Christopher Brian Bridges is not very relevant to this discussion. If he was, THAT would be ludicrous.

      Delete
    4. No I don't think Dr. Slifkin is Ludacris. He has zero rapping ability.

      Delete
  18. Writing off people as stupid is never a good look. It's also never a good idea. Just think for a moment about where it can lead. Do you really want that? For what?

    It's also not true. There can be no one stupider than a high-intelligence person.

    ReplyDelete
  19. The post correctly points out the need to consider the relative impact. What's implicit in the analysis, and in the comments about the ultra-orthodox mortality rates, is the assumption that the two populations being compared are the same in all other respects, which they most surely are not.

    A mature discussion on the topic of vaccines would consider the relative risk reward of the vaccine to the individual and the population and it's sub-groups. It would also consider the knowns and unknowns and the risks to the person being vaccinated of Covid relative to the vaccine, and it would consider how this evolves over time as a function of the percentage of the population with immunity and the growing body of knowledge.

    Sadly, nuance and proportion left us in Feb 2020 as did any remnant of numeracy.

    In any event, this post is a fine contribution to the growing analytical contributions that claim to prove something and on deeper inspection fail to account fully for material issues.

    Perhaps you can write a piece on masks next.

    ReplyDelete
  20. A local Heimishe emergency doctor early in the pandemic retweeted approvingly the comments of his colleague Dr Poole suggesting that steroids wouldn't help (they are the single most important treatment). He scoffed Elon Musk's comments about preferring CPAP to ventilation as Dunning Kruger. He had been proven wrong on both counts by the REACT trial. He is now busy maintaining that the clotting events seen with the AstraZenneca vaccine are really due to injection of she bubbles (no explanation as to why this effect is not seen in Pfizer is provided).

    The lady who made a widely publicised anti mask rant in April 2020 (but made comments helpful to high profile politicians who broke the rules) was promoted as chief executive of the NHS.

    The last person I will take lectures from on following the science are the panicking moronic herd of underperforming doctors who simply do not understand the scientific method.

    ReplyDelete
  21. People are very confused as it is obvious that the medical authorities have failed again and again and keep on claiming that they made 0% mistakes. I don't know what is true anymore, but have you ever taken a stats course? With your doctorate in history? or your MA in jewish thought? or you undergraduate degree in what exactly?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "and keep on claiming that they made 0% mistakes."

      No they don't.

      Delete
    2. That's the beauty of the scientific method - it INCORPORATES the mistakes into the next round of thinking and experimentation. The medical/scientific community own the mistakes and build from them.

      But those who are being dogmatic? Those people deny that there ever were mistakes on their side, and everything they have said is right and still is right, and they insist that the mistakes made by other side 18 months ago are still relevant now.

      Delete
    3. Faucci was asked to admit his anti mask stance was a mistake. He refused.

      The science has cast more funny in the efficacy of masks since his original statement.

      He denied being involved in gain of function research at Wuhan. I rate that denial mostly a lie.

      https://www.factcheck.org/2021/05/the-wuhan-lab-and-the-gain-of-function-disagreement/

      Delete
  22. The incentives are lined up for Pfizer and colleagues to over-report good news and ignore any bad news with these injections. The immunization that is rock solid is that against liability for bad sh!t happening - big pharm, government, health care professionals - everyone. They have no skin in the game to keep people safe.

    So good on RNF for being skeptical, but he should widen his scope!

    The graph from MOH was tweeted out showing that the injection protects people age 60+ from harsh consequences of the virus. A few observations:

    It is conceding that the injection(s) will not keep you from getting the virus and getting sick.

    Where is the supporting data? How was it collected? Was it peer reviewed? Where are the other graphs?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Scientific journals are freely available.

      To the specific point of Pfizer's (et al's) motivations:
      Yes, there is economic benefit to be had here. That is a necessary evil. And yes, internal motivations of the companies who stand to gain from using vaccines or drugs do need to be taken into account. Just don't say Corporations Bad So Vaccines Bad!!

      Delete
  23. A great explainer of how to relate to numbers correctly is Tim Harford. I highly recommend his blog. See https://timharford.com/.
    On the truth about vaccinations in general, see Brian Deer at briandeer.com. Brian exposed the nonsense about the scare claiming that vaccinations cause autism.

    ReplyDelete
  24. The pagans threw virgins into the fire to bring the rain. When it didn't work, they just kept on throwing in more virgins. "We're not throwing enough of them in, that's why it's not working!" Then, when it eventually rains, they claim success.

    The Vaccine fantasy in a nutshell.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Using the scientific method, there would have been a controlled experiment with a season or territory where/when they did not throw virgins into the fire as well as another season or territory when/where instead of throwing virgins into the fire they threw internet trolls instead.

      THAT is the scientific method, and why that has nothing to do with vaccine studies.

      Delete
  25. I was pressured at work again and again to take the vaccine. But everyone at work got the vaccine! They are worried that somehow I will infect them! RNS why do you buy into this idiocy, I thought you were the rationale one who believes in challenging status quo and asking hard questions?! You are a total idiot if you believe in this pseudo scientific 'research'.
    People hospitalized, doesn’t mean that they are there for covid! Why do you believe this lie, that anyone hospitalized, is automatically from covid!
    RNS,
    I used to respect you and rely on your research. Now I see you can't be trusted, as you are just parroting liberal lies.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Question for everyone except Roger: Should I block such nonsensical and dangerous comments, which deny the reality that the hospitals are full of people sick and dying from Covid?

      Delete
    2. How is that a guy who's spent the last 15 years whining about rabbis censoring his books because they felt it was dangerous, entertains doing the exact same thing to others?

      Delete
    3. Huh? I've always maintained that it's perfectly legitimate to censor things that are dangerous, and it was perfectly legitimate for the charedi gedolim to ban my books *for that reason.*

      Delete
    4. The maybe argument: we know the vaccine is not perfect. So maybe someone would have it and pass it to an unvaxxed coworker who would then take it home. Or the reverse - we do not yet know how long the virus survives in or on a vaxxed person and whether such a person is contagious briefly. Do you want to be responsible for passing the virus to a vaxxed coworker who himself/herself would not be sick but who might have an elderly parent at home or an immunocompromised spouse or child? Or next week they might hire someone who is immunocompromised - would you then feel more responsible to vaccinate?

      There is also life outside of work. Maybe your workplace cares about productivity, and if you go elsewhere, like home or a store or on vacation, you might get sick and then not be productive. Sure, you'd get your sick time and not get fired for it, but why not prevent such a thing!

      And let's talk about being fair. If your company is having a pot luck lunch, and everyone volunteers to bring something except you, should you be allowed to eat? You could say that nobody would have cooked anything differently had they known that you were donating something instead of nothing, and that there is plenty of food anyway. If you were homeless or otherwise without a functioning kitchen and also broke and could not afford to buy something then people would understand. But - says the analogy - you claim to not understand why people might feel icky about having you eat from the pot luck meal without donating anything to it? Why should you benefit from herd immunity without contributing to it yourself?

      Delete
    5. >>Should I block such nonsensical and dangerous comments<<

      You mean that his comments are nonsensical and at the same time dangerous? As long as you trust your readers to have individual agency and a modicum of intelligence, then trust the readers to to make their own choices and don't censor.

      Delete
    6. No, don't censor. It's only a blog, no reason not to have the freedoom of speech here.

      Delete
    7. Incidentally, 2 of my grandkids in Israel aged 14 and 16 just got Covid.

      Delete
    8. "which deny the reality that the hospitals are full of people sick and dying from Covid?"

      RNS, are you telling me that you visited all the hospitals and can personally verify that this is true?
      Where is this undisputable source that you are getting your information from?

      Delete
    9. I wouldn't say you've "always" maintained this, I would say you started saying this last year, when you were called out for similar hypocrisy by calling for the ban of Yosef Mizrachi's books.

      Put it this way - did banning your books have any negative effect on you? No, it did not. People don't appreciate censorship, they only lose respect for those who seek to engage in it. If you have the ability to weigh evidence and make credibility determinations, so do others. The chief attraction of this blog is precisely in having a free-wheeling comment section. I personally stopped reading other similar sites long ago, precisely because the writers ducked comments. As a Schreiber myself, I'd rather be attacked by readers than ignored.

      (PS - the "huh?" reply is getting old.)

      Delete
    10. If you refuse to understand how vaccines work, you should be praying that you won't find yourself gasping for oxygen your body can't get because you thought COVID-19 was nothing to be concerned about. Your prayer will be no more effective than your ignorance, but at least it will keep you busy.

      Delete
    11. "I wouldn't say you've "always" maintained this, I would say you started saying this last year,"
      Not true. I wrote "In Defense of the Ban" years ago. I've always maintained that censorship is sometimes legitimate.

      Delete
    12. Commenter Avi - I see you wrote something. I didn't read it. I have seen a few of your comments to others. Judging from them, you have a filthy mouth and a repulsive personality. I'm not interested in what such people have to say, and I for sure don't engage them in discussions.

      Delete
    13. You own this blog. Make up your own mind.

      There is nothing particularly offensive or indeed specifically untrue about what Roger wrote. Deaths within 28 days of testing positive for Covid are all included in the UK Covid deaths figures, for example.

      Delete
    14. Schreiber,

      That's OK. There's nothing anyone could ever say that would convince you not to spread lies with the intent of causing permanent harm. As long as people are made aware, my purpose is served.

      Delete
  26. Lies caught!
    https://m.jpost.com/israel-news/israel-to-cross-1-million-covid-infections-677477

    All the 1 million unvaccinated have gotten covid. Is there anyone else left to get covid besides the already vaccinated?!

    The sham continues....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The 1 million is during the entire time of the pandemic - including people (like yours truly) who got COVID19 before there even was a vaccine available.

      Delete
  27. Yup, believe in the God of science almighty (not Hashem).

    Despite that this 'science' hasn't been vetted or verified by an unbiased 3rd party.

    ReplyDelete
  28. This is what an authoritarian government would do. But democracy is hopelessly corrupt and is incapable of dealing with serious problems.

    אריה אלדד שוטר 23 אוגוסט 21
    שלום אני אריה אלדד ואני היום השוטר הטוב
    קבינט הקורונה קבע ששנת הלימודים תיפתח במועדה. אבל המורים יידרשו לתו ירוק כדי ללמד בכיתות. ופרופ' נחמן אש אמר שמורה שלא חוסן, לא חלה ומסרב להיבדק יצטרך כנראה לצאת לחל"ת. שכויעח.
    יש כנראה 35000 מורים וגננות סרבנים. בהם מהמטורפים הקשים, העקרוניים. שלא יתנו לממשלה הפשיסטית להכניס להם חומרים לגוף. נניח. אבל הם גם מסרבים להיבדק. המנוולים האלה לא מבינים, או מקווים שאנחנו לא מבינים, שהתירוץ של הכנסת חומרים לגוף כסיבה לסרבנות החיסונים - נופל מיד כשהם מסרבים גם להיבדק. ולכן נגד אלה יש רק כלי אחד : פיטורין. לחוקק בתוך יום אחד. בשלוש קריאות חוק , תיקון קטן לפקודת בריאות העם שאומר שעובדי ציבור שמתוקף עבודתם באים במגע עם עובדים אחרים או עם הציבור הרחב, ומסרבים להתחסן בשעת מגיפה מסכנת חיים - יפוטרו לאלתר ללא פיצויים. ותראו איך מ35000 הגיבורים נשארים אולי 3500 לוחמים עקרוניים , אולי אפילו רק 350 מטורפים ממש. כי אין הרבה כאלה שמוכנים להקריב את המשכורת שלהם כדי לסכן את חיי הילדים בישראל. אבל אם זה בחינם, למה לא? אם סרבנים יוכלו ללמד בזום כמו שמציע רן ארז יו"ר ארגון המורים - זה אפילו פרס. לא מגיע להם. מגיעים לנו מורים אחרים. ואם נצליח להיפטר בהזדמנות זו ממורים אנטי חינוכיים - פעמיים שכויעח.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yakov, what would you propose to replace democracy with? For all its limitations, history tells us it’s been much better for the Jews than any other system.

      Delete
    2. "This is what an authoritarian government would do"


      Wrong. This is what democratic governments have been doing for decades.

      Delete
  29. It’s very disturbing to see so many people who smart enough to appreciate RNS's blog now being so deceived or so ignorant as to disparage as an impressive a scientific accomplishment as the rapid development of multiple COVID-19 vaccines. It pains me to see them energetically promoting conspiracy theories and other nonsense, heedless of the possibility that their rants might dissuade someone from getting the vaccination that would otherwise save their life.

    To my surprise, I'm going to be 70 soon, and although age doesn’t necessarily grant wisdom, it does allow me to remember what the past was like in the United States back in 50s. Back then, before the Salk vaccine for polio, we had to fear being crippled or ending up confined to an iron lung. I personally knew people who'd had the disease, my favorite uncle among them. He caught polio while a child in Jerusalem and was lucky enough to escape with no more than a bad limp that nevertheless warped his life. It was a joyous day when the Salk vaccine was approved in 1955. A mass vaccination campaign soon followed, and the annual number of U.S. polio cases fell from 35,000 in 1953 to 5,600 by 1957 and only 161 in 1961.

    It’s a safe bet that no one on this blog born after 1955 knows anyone who had polio. Maybe if they had, they wouldn’t be so quick to trash what Pfizer, Moderna, and the other companies have accomplished. You can make a rational argument that caution and hesitancy about being vaccinated made sense when the vaccines were new, but after millions and millions of doses have been given around the world and the vaccines found to be as safe and effective as the others we give our children as a matter of course, continued resistance looks much less like reasonable and much more like baseless paranoia.

    Appropriately enough, I'm writing this on the day our FDA has upgraded the Pfizer shot from emergency status to full approval. I beg those of you who still decline to protect yourselves to at least have the grace to stop trying to lead others astray.

    Shemot 23-1 tells us:

    “You must not carry false rumors; you shall not join hands with the guilty to act as a malicious witness…”

    ReplyDelete
  30. In the same way it is misleading to suggest that because most people in hospital are vaccinated that vaccines are promoting Covid it is also misleading to look at cases per 100,000 population for vaccinated vs unvaccinated; there are so few people unvavcinated that even a small effect size will look large.
    Headlines about how the young account for ever higher percentages of people in hospitals with Covid are also misleading without contextualisation of actual numbers in hospital.
    I think therefore that it is important to consider that both proponents and opponents of specific interventions or outcomes are guilty of the same sin.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Why have an anonymous choice if it is no choice? Basic false equivalency. Not quite statistics but definitely a damn lie

    ReplyDelete
  32. I will not take the vaccine because the same American organizations that suggest taking this shot also suggests the removing of half of my penis when I was born. They use statistical lies anr non reproducible studies. A Jew / Doug sing a study of nine Jews and saying that justifies the mutilation of Millions. Damn lies so why should I listen to them AKA You Now.

    ReplyDelete

Comments for this blog are moderated. Please see this post about the comments policy for details. ANONYMOUS COMMENTS WILL NOT BE POSTED - please use either your real name or a pseudonym.

Shaken By The Lulav

There are many aspects of Judaism which make people feel uncomfortable. The mitzvah of arba minim sometimes falls into that category. Shak...