A Sign from God

a sign from God

It is a well-known fact that God is in the business of micromanaging the universe. The thought is captured in this beautiful hymn:

Unfortunately, some professed Christians deny and revile one of God’s greatest gifts: our rational minds, and our ability to do scientific investigation. A New York Times op-ed captures the consequences of this grievous impiety: The Road to Coronavirus Hell Was Paved by Evangelicals: Trump’s response to the pandemic has been haunted by the science denialism of his ultraconservative religious allies.

If God micromanages the universe, it follows as the night the day that God micromanages who gets covid-19 and who doesn’t. Thus, as the Times op-ed notes, some pastors are keeping their churches open and packed on Sundays, confidently declaring that God will protect them.

And, by like token, on a larger scale, God has the power to micromanage which countries suffer the worse outbreaks and which do not. If, today, the United States is suffering the worst ravages of the pandemic, it must because God is especially angry at the United States.

Likewise, if God starts killing congregants at megachurches that defy the pandemic and stay open for business, it follows by ineluctable logic that God is angry at them.

And what, you may well ask, would be the reason for God’s anger at the United States, and His coming decimation of the megachurches?

There can be one reason, and one reason only: divine rage at the impious denial and refusal of His greatest gift, the gift of reason.

As one of my posse remarked yesterday, “Two paths diverged in a yellow wood, and America chose the psychopath.”

And now, ladies and germs, let us all rise for our closing hymn.

As the Stomach Turns

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This afternoon, fivethirtyeight.com’s poll of polls shows a distinct uptick in Trump approval. Unbelievable. Meanwhile, Stanley Greenberg, a Democratic pollster, assures us that Americans’ Revulsion for Trump is Underappreciated: As Democrats fret about their own prospects, many fail to recognize the president’s fundamental weakness. Welcome news, provided It’s actually true.

Someone broke my crystal ball, so I’ll go on gut and logic. Pretty soon, Trump is going to order us back to work. (See Greg Sargent, A viral plea to let grandparents sacrifice themselves captures a truth about Trump.)

And that is when the shit will well and truly hit the fan.

I Wonder How Long Before Trump Fires Dr. Fauci

face palm

Washington Post, Fauci disputes Trump on available treatment drugs, says it’s about hope v. proof:

Anthony S. Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, was asked at the daily White House coronavirus news briefing about an hours-earlier tweet by Trump that claimed the FDA was working on a combination of an anti-malaria drug and an antibiotic that could treat the infection.

“I’m not totally sure what the president was referring to,” Fauci said …

A Little Context

Not everyone—including, apparently, some reporters—is aware of how drug regulation works. The FDA requires that drugs be (1) safe and (2) effective, and regulates the labeling and advertising of the drugs. Thus, if Drug X has not proved effective in treating histoplasmosis, then its label cannot indicate that it is effective for that use, it cannot be advertised for that use, and the drug company cannot lawfully urge doctors to prescribe it for that use.

BUT BUT BUT it is legal for doctors to prescribe drugs for “off-label use,” and this often happens, when there is some reason to believe a drug may be effective for a particular use and the circumstances are exigent, but the testing has not caught up with FDA standards.

All That Said

All that said, Trump did not stay in a Holiday Inn Express last night, so I don’t trust him to play a doctor on TV and prescribe drugs for off-label use.

The Ministry of Truth

Greg Sargent, Trump is frantically rewriting his epic failures. Don’t let him.

Sparknotes summarizes 1984’s Chapter 4 this way:

Winston goes to his job in the Records section of the Ministry of Truth, where he works with a “speakwrite” (a machine that types as he dictates into it) and destroys obsolete documents. He updates Big Brother’s orders and Party records so that they match new developments—Big Brother can never be wrong. Even when the citizens of Airstrip One are forced to live with less food, they are told that they are being given more than ever and, by and large, they believe it. This day, Winston must alter the record of a speech made in December 1983, which referred to Comrade Withers, one of Big Brother’s former officials who has since been vaporized. Since Comrade Withers was executed as an enemy of the Party, it is unacceptable to have a document on file praising him as a loyal Party member.

Winston invents a person named Comrade Ogilvy and substitutes him for Comrade Withers in the records. Comrade Ogilvy, though a product of Winston’s imagination, is an ideal Party man, opposed to sex and suspicious of everyone. Comrade Withers has become an “unperson:” he has ceased to exist. Watching a man named Comrade Tillotson in the cubicle across the way, Winston reflects on the activity in the Ministry of Truth, where thousands of workers correct the flow of history to make it match party ideology, and churn out endless drivel—even pornography—to pacify the brutally destitute proletariat.