Are we really up to the task?

MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 21, 2020

The endless roads not taken: In what world can a presidential election occur without anyone citing the data shown below? Without anyone asking the commander in chief to explain these numbers?

Deaths from Covid-19, September 10-16:

United States: 6,258

Germany: 30

In what universe can those numbers exist without anyone citing them? In what world can President Trump praise his handling of the virus without George Stephanopoulos asking him about those remarkable numbers? 

In what world can that exist? In the largely Potemkin world we're all living in!

Over the years, we've mentioned other remarkable data sets which never get reported or discussed. 

We've mentioned the data about the large rise in public school test scores recorded by all demographic groups. We've mentioned the very large "achievement gaps" which remain, even as each group's scores get substantially better.

Those remarkable data never get mentioned. Neither do such remarkable data as these:

Per capita spending, health care, 2018

United States: $10,586

Canada: $4974

France: $4965

United Kingdom: $4070

Say what? Why do we spend more than twice as much on health care, per person, as almost all major peer nations—major peer nations in which everyone is covered? 

Where does all that missing money go? How can this be explained?

Such data are never reported, let alone discussed or explained. Your upper-end press corps doesn't care about matters like this, or perhaps some sort of fix is in.

Remember Kevin Drum's remarkable reports about blood lead levels in Flint as compared to the blood lead levels which were common in Flint, and around the nation, within just the past two decades?

The New York Times and the Washington Post took a pass on those data. Data are boring, confusing and hard. Storyline is pleasing and fun.

Let's put it very simply. We've all heard that we the humans are "the rational animal." We also see that our major journalists are often straight outta Harvard and Yale. 

(Stephanopoulos graduated from Columbia—second in his class!)

We tend to believe our own propaganda about the nature of the species and about the way a person becomes "highly educated." In fact, our major journalists, and our major news orgs, seem to be functioning in some wholly other realm.

Statistics, data and facts are hard. Storyline is easy.

Statistics, data and facts are boring. Personality and gossip are fun. 

Maya Angelou is said to have said it, and we liberals love to repeat it: "When someone shows you who they are, you should believe them the first time."

Our journalists and our major news orgs have persistently shown us who they are. They're a weirdly unimpressive gaggle. More on this problem all week.

23 comments:

  1. Somerby is a lost soul. Nobody was doing anything about lead levels in water until Flint. Gore looked around for a place like Love Canal, which was not the worst environmental disaster, but it struck a chord with the public. Curiously, Somerby disparages easy and fun, what a moron.

    ReplyDelete
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      HOW I GOT MY HUSBAND BACK WITH THE HELP OF PRIEST WISDOM CONTACT ON WHATS_APP NUMBER +2348124644470


      This is my testimony about the good work of priest wisdom who help me ... I'm Ann Earnis from north Carolina USA. And am sorry for putting this on net but i will have to, by this world best spell caster that brought back my husband who left me out for past 3 years, i eventually met this man on a blog site posting by one of is client for help, i explained everything to him and he told me about a spell caster that he had heard about and he gave me an email address to write to the spell caster to tell him my problems. In just 1 days, my husband was back to me. I just want to say thank you to this truthful and sincere spell caster, sir all you told me have come to pass and thank you sir. Please I want to tell everyone who is looking for any solution to their problem, I advise you to kindly consult this spell caster, he is real,he is powerful and whatever the spell caster tells is what will happen, because all what the spell caster told me came to pass. You can kindly contact him on: his email address is supernaturalspell1@gmail.com or directly on whats-app +2348124644470  https://supernaturalspell21.blogspot.com/

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    3. HOW I GOT MY HUSBAND BACK WITH THE HELP OF PRIEST WISDOM CONTACT ON WHATS_APP NUMBER +2348124644470


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      This is my testimony about the good work of priest wisdom who help me ... I'm Ann Earnis from north Carolina USA. And am sorry for putting this on net but i will have to, by this world best spell caster that brought back my husband who left me out for past 3 years, i eventually met this man on a blog site posting by one of is client for help, i explained everything to him and he told me about a spell caster that he had heard about and he gave me an email address to write to the spell caster to tell him my problems. In just 1 days, my husband was back to me. I just want to say thank you to this truthful and sincere spell caster, sir all you told me have come to pass and thank you sir. Please I want to tell everyone who is looking for any solution to their problem, I advise you to kindly consult this spell caster, he is real,he is powerful and whatever the spell caster tells is what will happen, because all what the spell caster told me came to pass. You can kindly contact him on: his email address is supernaturalspell1@gmail.com or directly on whats-app +2348124644470  https://supernaturalspell21.blogspot.com/

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  2. "In what universe can those numbers exist without anyone citing them?"

    In humyn universe, dear Bob. The one that is not obsessed with meaningless Orange Man Bad zombie propaganda.

    And what about this one:
    deaths per 1M pop:
    NY : 1,705
    Alaska: 62

    How 'bout them apples, dear Bob?

    ReplyDelete
  3. Somerby is running out of things to talk about, so he recycles these old favorites.

    But I have to ask, in what world has Trump not been asked about his covid performance? In what world is health care not an election issue?

    Then Somerby suggests that no one is allowed to have any fun until journalists have asked exactly the questions Somerby wants them to, in exactly the right words.

    And Somerby once again claims that Kevin Drum invented the lead story, which was originated by an academic and reported several places.

    Here it is in the NY Times in 2007: https://www.nytimes.com/2007/10/21/magazine/21wwln-idealab-t.html

    And here too: https://www.nytimes.com/2016/02/09/upshot/what-the-science-says-about-long-term-damage-from-lead.html

    I wonder if Somerby is aware that the lead-crime hypothesis is controversial and has been "debunked" or called into question?

    https://www.discovermagazine.com/environment/does-lead-exposure-cause-violent-crime-the-science-is-still-out

    ReplyDelete
  4. "In what universe can those [death] numbers exist without anyone citing them? "

    Maybe people would prefer to cite death rates, total deaths adjusted by total population? Isn't that the gold standard for reporting on covid?

    I wonder if Somerby understands what would happen to our economy if all of the money currently pumped into health care were removed? He asks where the "missing money" went but I'll bet health care workers and insurance workers and pharmaceutical companies all know.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The corporate mass media isn't citing comparative death rates either, certainly not the weekly death rates that Somerby rightly says we need to compare our recent progress with that of other countries. I don't see why anyone would object to this request other than certain bullshit artists who seem to plague this blog with their rubbish comments.

      Delete
    2. "He asks where the "missing money" went but I'll bet health care workers and insurance workers and pharmaceutical companies all know."

      If there was such a thing as a missing-the-point Olympics, you would win the gold in every event.

      Delete
    3. Any discussion of comparative health care costs needs to take into account the difference in economy and other types of costs as well. Nothing in the US is cheaper than in many other countries.

      I've been coming to this blog for 20 years. I'm not going to leave because of a gnat like you.

      Delete
  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Here was an opinion piece in The NY Times from 2014:

    “How Health Care Systems Stack Up”
    By The Editorial Board
    June 16, 2014
    https://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/17/opinion/how-health-care-systems-stack-up.html

    In it, there was this statement:
    “The other 10 countries spend much less than the United States on health care per person and as a percent of gross domestic product, yet achieve better value for it. Britain, the leader in the rankings, spent only $3,405 per capita in 2011, while the United States, last in the rankings, spent $8,508 per capita.”

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