I felt a little twinge of the Christmas spirit


It was tiny, mind you, but for just a moment I felt a little holiday joy.

You all know who Dave Chappelle is — once a ground-breaking comedian, now a cranky, transphobic, anti-woke whiner. He still gets comedy concert gigs, but you know his audience has shrunk to just the kind of people who don’t mind a bitter, cruel joke about trans people. He put on a show in San Francisco, which is still his kind of place, a venue where he could pack in the tech bros who usually aren’t very socially conscious, and he brought on stage…Elon Musk. I followed this online, expecting in my grinchy, cynical way, that this was the crowd that would applaud a transphobe and a greedy bumbling billionaire.

That I simply MUST hear!
So I paused.
And the Grinch put his hand to his ear.
And I did hear a sound rising over the snow.
It started in low.
Then it started to grow…
But the sound wasn’t cheery!
Why, this sound sounded angry!
It couldn’t be so!

They despised him! They hated him! They booed that motherfucker for ten minutes straight!

Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before!
Maybe Christmas,
I thought
doesn’t come from a store. Maybe Christmas…perhaps…means a little bit more!
And what happened then…?
Well…in Who-ville they say that the Grinch’s small heart Grew three sizes that day!

Well, maybe a size and a half. I’m not that easy.

The icing on the cake was seeing Chappelle stoop to defend Musk by insulting his audience. They must be poor! They must be the people he fired!

All these people who are booing, and I’m just pointing out the obvious, you have terrible seats.

That’s Dave for you, the once great comedian, reduced to mocking people for being poor, as he panders to the richest man in the world.

Good night, Elon. You’ve fallen and won’t be getting up again.

Comments

  1. Ed Seedhouse says

    What what what? If you keep saying hateful things a lot of people start finding you hateful? Who knew?

  2. mordred says

    Oh wow, the guy once making biting comedy about racism is now publicly rich white ass.

    Is he practising for joining team Trump for next election?

  3. mordred says

    …publicly kissing rich white ass…

    Shouldn’t post while having a migraine. Really messes up my language – and that’s bad enough already.

  4. rorschach says

    Apparently the guy who posted the video on Birdsite had his account killed. Elno is not well, but he is also an unapologetic RW operative trying to turn an important democratic news and messaging service into his fascist chewtoy.

  5. raven says

    Elon Musk has gone antivaxxer.
    His latest target is…Dr. Anthony Fauci, one of the leaders of our efforts against the deadly plague of Covid-19 virus.
    A hero as much as we have heroes these days.

    He wants to prosecute him for what? Saving the lives of millions of people I guess.

    Musk is missing a lot of pieces of what make up a normal human personality.
    He seems to be saying shocking things for attention.
    And trying to wreck the USA because vandalism is fun.
    This is all disturbed adolescent behavior, from someone who never bothered to grow up mentally.

    Elon Musk Faces Backlash for ‘Prosecute/Fauci’ Tweethttps://www.newsweek.com › … › Vaccine › Rand Paul

    1 day ago — Elon Musk’s critics are pushing back after the Twitter CEO posted a … Elon Musk wants to criminalize Anthony Fauci because he disagrees …

  6. raven says

    Needless to say, I dislike Elon Musk as much as he hates people like me.
    I don’t hate him because that takes too much effort and he isn’t even worth that.

    Which means, I will never buy anything even remotely associated with Elon Musk.
    I work hard for my money like almost all of us and don’t want to see any of it going to someone like him.

    I do use Twitter still, because it is still useful, but I don’t have an account and never will.
    You don’t need an account to read it.

    PS There is still no viable alternative to Twitter.
    Mastodon doesn’t have anything even remotely close to the server capacity to replace Twitter.
    If and when a viable alternative appears, Twitter can go and die and it will.

  7. rorschach says

    raven @9,
    “Elon Musk has gone antivaxxer.
    His latest target is…Dr. Anthony Fauci, one of the leaders of our efforts against the deadly plague of Covid-19 virus.
    A hero as much as we have heroes these days.”

    Hang on a second. He said he wants to prosecute him because he knew about the gain-of-function research done at the Wuhan Coronavirus lab and lied about it. Now this, according to Prof Rayna MacIntyre in her book “Dark Winter”, is probably actually true. This lab had financial support from the US government, there were collaborations with staff and virus material between Wuhan and US labs.
    The Wuhan lab moved house in October 2019, and soon after the first cases started to emerge. It’s not Fauci’s fault that the virus spilled from that lab, but he would have known what went on, and he did not tell us. So, as mad and right-wing that guy Elno is, I do think Fauci has questions to answer there, not that it would have made a difference once SARS-Cov2 was out of the bag.

  8. raven says

    @11
    Very little if any of what you wrote is true.
    It is a conspiracy theory without a lot of facts behind it.
    Virtually all reputable scientists accept that the Covid-19 virus is not genetically engineered but a natural outbreak.
    Natural outbreaks are common with one about every 18 months.

    There is a vast literature on this and I’m not going to derail the thread posting dozens of articles.
    Here is what Science has to say abut it.
    This is a long article, I just left a few paragraphs in.

    The tl;dr version.
    Despite the impasse, many scientists say the existing evidence—including early epidemiological patterns, SARS-CoV-2’s genomic makeup, and a recent paper about animal markets in Wuhan—makes it far more probable that the virus, like many emerging pathogens, made a natural “zoonotic” jump from animals to humans.

    https://www.science.org/content/article/why-many-scientists-say-unlikely-sars-cov-2-originated-lab-leak

    CALL OF THE WILD
    Why many scientists say it’s unlikely that SARS-CoV-2 originated from a “lab leak”
    2 SEP 2021BYJON COHEN

    Yet behind the clamor, little had changed. No breakthrough studies have been published. The highly anticipated U.S. intelligence review, delivered to Biden on 24 August, reached no firm conclusions, but leaned toward the theory that the virus has a natural origin.

    Fresh evidence that would resolve the question may not emerge anytime soon. China remains the best place to hunt for clues, but its relative openness to collaboration during the joint mission seems to have evaporated. Chinese officials have scoffed at calls from Biden and WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus for an independent audit of key Wuhan labs, which some say should include an investigation of notebooks, computers, and freezers. Chinese vice health minister Zeng Yixin said such demands show “disrespect toward common sense and arrogance toward science.” In response to the increasing pressure, China has also blocked the “phase 2” studies outlined in the joint mission’s March report, which could reveal a natural jump between species.

    Despite the impasse, many scientists say the existing evidence—including early epidemiological patterns, SARS-CoV-2’s genomic makeup, and a recent paper about animal markets in Wuhan—makes it far more probable that the virus, like many emerging pathogens, made a natural “zoonotic” jump from animals to humans.

    Some of those clues have led Michael Worobey, an evolutionary biologist at the University of Arizona who has done groundbreaking work on the origins of HIV and the 1918 flu, further away from the lab-origin theory.

  9. StonedRanger says

    Im not on twitter, but I understand muskrat is banning peoples accounts on twitter for posting the people booing. It wouldnt surprise me if he was. Free speech and all that.

  10. rorschach says

    “It is a conspiracy theory without a lot of facts behind it.”

    Tell me, what caused the 1977 flu pandemic?
    And then also tell me, what is more likely, Ockham’s razor and all that, that a virus spills from a coronavirus lab doing gain-of-function research on SARS viruses close to an animal market, the genome of which is evolutionarily best adapted to humans and not to bats or pangolins, when half of the first cluster of infected were never near this market, or from said animal market?
    There is no conspiracy theory involved here, just your lack of knowledge. To be fair tho, I had my doubts to start with too. Surely this can’t be right, I thought to myself. Until I read about the 1977 flu.

  11. raven says

    I’ll add one more relevant fact about the Covid-19 virus here.

    We don’t have to blame it on inadvertent escape of genetically engineered viruses.

    This virus has shown that it is very capable of changing and adapting by natural evolution itself.
    We’ve been watching this in Real Time for two + years now.

    The natural evolution of the virus.
    Original strain
    Early selective sweep of a mutation.
    Alpha
    Beta
    Delta
    Omicron
    now BA and BA.5

    The virus has also become resistant to most monoclonal antibody treatments used in the USA and is antigenically escaping from the original vaccines.

    Evolution has shown itself to be a powerful method of genomic change and adaptation for this virus.

  12. rorschach says

    Explain the evolutionary jump between Delta and Omicron? 50 new mutations in one leap? There was a paper in Nature Immunology published in Sept. 2021 that pointed out 20 odd mutations that would be required to render the virus immune to monoclonal ABs and vaccines. 2 months later Omicron emerged, with many of those mutations. You can look that study up, it’s still online. It’s just all a bit odd.

  13. raven says

    There is no conspiracy theory involved here, just your lack of knowledge.

    I know more about genetic engineering than you do.
    I’ve done it in my own research for many decades now.

    The point I made is based partly on Occam’s Razor.
    We see a natural outbreak of some pathogen or another about every 18 months.

    Tell me, what caused the 1977 flu pandemic?

    What caused the original SARS outbreak? Ebola? Zika? Swine Flu of 2008?
    What is causing all the new variants of the Covid-19 virus we see every few months?
    Natural processes that are well known and as old as the biosphere.

    I can’t comment on Dr. Raina MacIntyre’s book because it just came out a few weeks ago. But we’ve seen the same claims she is making over and over again and they have never been proved or gone anywhere.

  14. raven says

    Explain the evolutionary jump between Delta and Omicron? 50 new mutations in one leap?

    That isn’t hard and doesn’t surprise anyone.

    Indel mutations, short for insertion and/or deletion mutations are a common form of mutation in RNA Coronaviruses.
    We have sequenced millions of Coronavirus genomes as part of surveillance and that gives a good idea of the mutation spectrum of this virus.
    “Mar 1, 2022 — As of 23/05/2022, the Sanger Institute has sequenced 2,176,743* coronavirus genomes. All are freely available for analysis via ENA and …”
    That is just from one place, Sanger.

    It is also known that Coronaviruses recombine readily with each other.
    In fact, the original strain of Covid-19 is probably a hybrid of two other Coronaviruses.

    Because the pandemic is worldwide, there are very large numbers of Covid-19 viruses mutating and recombining. A lot of raw material for evolution to work with.

  15. rorschach says

    “Natural processes that are well known and as old as the biosphere.”

    Like I said, you simply lack the knowledge and expertise. The 1977 global flu pandemic was in fact caused by a lab leak in Russia, where a flu strain that had not been circulating in the wild for 27 years was being used to experiment with a vaccine, and the virus turned out not as inactivated as one would have liked, and got out. The Russians even admitted it in the 90s, although the US has suspected this already, since the strain was supposed to be extinct outside of labs. The same just happened in Wuhan. This is really not rocket science, no conspiracy theory required, just common sense.

  16. raven says

    The same just happened in Wuhan. This is really not rocket science, no conspiracy theory required, just common sense.

    Because a Russian lab leak probably caused the H1N1 pandemic doesn’t mean the Covid-19 virus pandemic was caused by a lab leak.
    There is zero cause and effect here.

    We also know of dozens of natural virus pandemics that were not caused by lab leaks and I listed a few of the latest.

    You are just repeating yourself and not adding any new facts or perspective.
    I’ve got real things to do today and can’t spend any more time on what is a derail of this thread.

  17. says

    Too much of society is virulent today (in both the biological and sociological senses of the word). As Louie Pasteur once said, “any old schmoe can create a cure for food poisoning. But, when will somebody come up with a cure for stupidity?”

  18. lotharloo says

    @rorschach

    When did you become such a dumbass? The “lab escape” theory is generally accepted by the experts to not be the best explanation and some incident 50 fucking years ago is not a good evidence; it’s anecdotal.

  19. says

    Musk’s tweet was a twofer: “My pronouns are Prosecute/Fauci” — simultaneously expressing anti-woke and antivax sentiment. He followed that up with a meme showing Fauci whispering “Lockdowns” into Biden’s ear — ignoring the fact that the lockdowns occurred when Trump was in office. I doubt that Musk comes up with this stuff himself–he has hired right wing propagandists to craft these tweets, as well as his “Twitter File” saga that he and the rest of the right have spun as Biden colluding with Twitter to suppress free speech, which is not what the documents actually show at all. Musk spent $44B to create a giant gaslighting mechanism, apparently initially fueled by his desire to prevent Democrats from taxing him, but manifesting as fueling angry right wing culture warriors.

  20. invivoMark says

    Rorschach, you really should stop with the Gish gallop. You are not a virologist, and you do not have a very full picture of the available evidence.

    For starters, there was no “jump” between Delta and Omicron variants of SARS-CoV-2. Omicron evolved from a common ancestor of the Delta variant, splitting from the lineage probably somewhere around mid-2020. This has been well known among experts for almost a year.

    You are making logical leaps based on just a cursory understanding of a smattering of factoids, and a partial or wrong understanding of a lot of others. That is why your conclusion is different from that of actual experts.

    So please, stop with the conspiracy theories. You do not have special insight that the experts do not. Your conspiracy theories are just wrong and embarrassing.

  21. lotharloo says

    @rorschach

    Explain the evolutionary jump between Delta and Omicron? 50 new mutations in one leap?

    Holyfucking shit. Were you always this fucking stupid? First, this is not an argument. Second, the virus evolves in an evolutionary tree and if you pick two far apart leaves, they will have a lot of different mutations between them; evolution is not a linear process. You should know that “If men evolved from apes then why there are still apes” is a dumb question. Third, assuming this is surprising, does the “lab escape” argument explain this? How? Do you think Wuhan lab has been leaking different strands of the virus during the years long pandemic? That Chinese operatives with viruses strapped to them were air dropping into Britain, South Africa, etc. to cause the global discovery of the new strands of the virus? Is this your fucking theory?

  22. says

    Fact: neither lab leak nor no lab leak is scientifically established. Both are possible and even plausible. Calling the lab leak theory a conspiracy theory is a fallacy fallacy: the conspiracy nuts and xenophobes favor it but that doesn’t make it false. Numerous respectable scientists consider it a distinct possibility but they get shouted down and demonized by assholes like Angela Rasmussen.

  23. says

    P.S. #25 does a good job of countering rorschach’s idiotic comment — the “jump” from Delta to Omicron was of course and necessarily natural. But this doesn’t tell us one way or the other how Sars-CoV-2 originated. Just because some people who favor the lab leak theory like rorschach say things that are clearly moronic does not mean that there was no lab leak — again, that would be a fallacy fallacy.

  24. says

    Here’s a summary of Musk’s tweet from Charlie Warzel, a very savvy big tech critic/analyst from a free email from The Atlantic (his whole article is behind a paywall):

    If there’s one tweet that will tell you everything you need to know about Elon Musk, it’s this one from early this morning:

    =====
    My pronouns are Prosecute/Fauci

    — Elon Musk (@elonmusk) December 11, 2022

    In five words, Musk manages to mock transgender and nonbinary people, signal his disdain for public-health officials, and send up a flare to far-right shitposters and trolls. The tweet is a cruel and senseless play on pronouns that also invokes the right’s fury toward Anthony Fauci, the chief medical adviser to President Joe Biden, for what they believe is a government overreach in public-health policy throughout the pandemic and an obfuscation of the coronavirus’s origins. (Fauci, for his part, has said he would cooperate with any possible investigations and has nothing to hide.)

    Beyond its stark cruelty, this tweet is incredibly thirsty. As right-wing troll memes go, it is Dad-level, 4chan–Clark Griswold stuff, which is to say it’s desperate engagement bait in the hopes of attracting kudos from the only influencers who give Musk the time of day anymore: right-wing shock jocks. But that is the proper company for the billionaire, because whether or not he wants to admit it, Musk is actively aiding the far right’s political project. He is a right-wing activist.

  25. says

    And then also tell me, what is more likely…?

    Actually, a zoontic jump is FAR more likely than a lab leak, ESPECIALLY in a town that has an open market with lots of people and both live animals and uncooked animal meat. Even the worst-run lab has less of this type of leak/transmission than an open-air market with civilians constantly going in and out every day.

    Fact: neither lab leak nor no lab leak is scientifically established.

    Maybe neither is established 100.00%, but, as raven’s cite shows, the current preponderance of evidence points most strongly toward a market origin. So we can go with that, at least until actual new evidence (as opposed to just complaining about the lack of absolute certainty) points in a different direction.

  26. invivoMark says

    @Jim Balter

    The only “lab leak” explanation that has any coherence, given all that we know now, is that virus samples were collected from bats by researchers at WIV, and one of the researchers became infected by one of the wild specimens either before or after returning the samples to the lab.

    It would not have been one of the virus samples that was studied extensively (we likely have sequences for those and they do not match SARS-CoV-2), and it would not have been the subject of genetic manipulation (we know what was genetically modified and how – those experiments were described and they do not qualify for NIH’s definition of gain-of-function research).

    Essentially, if the virus “leaked” from the WIV, it is effectively no different from the virus “leaking” from a recreational spelunker, a guano collector, a bat-meat vendor, or just someone unlucky enough to get pooped on by a bat. So anyone making a big deal out of a “lab leak” being a possibility really is talking about a conspiracy theory, not some plausible explanation that “respectable scientists” consider a “distinct possibility.”

  27. jenorafeuer says

    And on top of that, at this point the real answer to the question of ‘did the virus leak from a lab’ is ‘that’s entirely irrelevant by now anyway’.

    It almost certainly was wild-born, and as others have pointed out above, about the only way that original strain could have ‘leaked’ was from someone who was collecting samples, as it wasn’t one of the ones being actively studied. But by this point it doesn’t matter, because the virus is out in the wild and mutating rapidly, and we have to deal with the situation we currently have.

    The only thing the ‘lab leak hypothesis’ gives us is someone to point fingers at rather than admit that sometimes shit just happens. That’s the primary reason people keep insisting on it, because they can’t deal with the concept that life is a lot more fragile than we like to think. (Well, that, and being able to blame it on the Chinese appeals to the racist element.) But again, right now, it doesn’t matter, because the strains circulating right now aren’t what started the pandemic, and we have to deal with the strains we have now, not whatever mythical original strain existed.

  28. says

    Just because some people who favor the lab leak theory like rorschach say things that are clearly moronic does not mean that there was no lab leak…

    Actually, if ALL the people who favor the lab-leak theory say things that are clearly moronic, and none of them offer credible refutations of the alternative explanation(s), then for all practical purposes, the lab-leak claims are NOT CREDIBLE, and should be dismissed. Just because someone made a claim, doesn’t mean we all have to start taking it seriously despite their lack of credibility. If I claim COVID could have come from werewolves, will you all suddenly have to consider that as a real possibility?

    We should also be going with a certain presumption of innocence here: if we’re accusing a certain organization of any sort of negligence — which is what the lab-leak theory amounts to — then we have the duty to come up with actual evidence to support such a serious charge. And “we can’t totally rule it out, it’s still plausible!” is not evidence.

  29. StevoR says

    He can’t even say they were chanting “Booo-urns” coz Elon and Musk just don’t work in that context!

  30. StevoR says

    Seems all the money in the world can’t buy Elon Musk what he really needs – friends to stage him an intervention

  31. UnknownEric the Apostate says

    I don’t get people like Elon Musk or JK Rowling or that Notch fellow. If hell were to freeze over and I became fabulously rich, I’d be far too busy doing awesome things like hanging out with sloths or building a skeeball arcade in my basement or record shopping in Europe to bother being an asshole on Twitter.

  32. rrutis1 says

    Before anyone makes conspiratorial comments about what is more likely lab leak/engineered virus or natural jump you should actually consider the probabilities. I am not a virologist or good at probability or anything related but it seems pretty clear to me that if you have just billion* people and a viral load of just 10^9* per person you end up with 10^18 possible versions of the virus at any given time and some chance, even if its a small chance, of mutation multiplied by a very large number gives you a decent chance that a mutation will be advantageous for the virus to spread.

    There is a video somewhere (showing a lab experiment) how quickly bacteria can become resistant to antibiotics (I know bacteria and viruses are not the same)…it is scary to watch. It was scarier to watch it played out it in the real world for the last 2.5 years.

    *Numbers obviously simplified for discussion but PNAS paper estimates 10^9 to 10^11 virons at peak infection https://www.pnas.org/doi/10.1073/pnas.2024815118

  33. kome says

    It’s funny that Musk is now suspending/deleting Twitter accounts of anyone sharing video of him being booed.
    He’s such a baby.

  34. says

    “if ALL the people who favor the lab-leak theory say things that are clearly moronic”

    False and dishonest premise.

    “one of them offer credible refutations of the alternative explanation(s)”

    Well, see, that’s moronic right there. In science we frequently we have multiple possible explanations, where it is not the case that all but one has been refuted.

    The bottom line is that you are and always have been an idiot, but you have sometimes been right about things.

  35. says

    If I claim COVID could have come from werewolves, will you all suddenly have to consider that as a real possibility?

    I’m constantly amused by the level of dishonesty that ideologically driven shithole imbeciles like RB manage to achieve. Again, a lab leak is plausible and numerous respectable scientists consider it a distinct possibility; that is not true of werewolves.

  36. says

    https://www.infectioncontroltoday.com/view/more-scientists-call-for-lab-leak-covid-19-origin-investigation

    As Infection Control Today® (ICT®) reported in May, what helped to drag the possibility that COVID-19 was caused by a lab leak in Wuhan, China, into the mainstream media was an open letter in The Lancet by a group of respected scientists who argued that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), which runs China, prevented a delegation from the World Health Organization (WHO) from fully considering a lab leak as a plausible scenario. (Amnesty International ranks China as one of the more repressive regimes in the world and says that it became even more repressive in 2020 as the COVID-19 pandemic spread.)

    Now, another open letter—called the Paris Letter—dated this Wednesday goes even further with a demand for an investigation into a possible lab leak that should be conducted either with or without China’s cooperation. It was written by another group of 30 respected and highly credential scientists, and this time the scientists take direct aim at the CCP.

    “The measures taken by the Chinese government to hide the origins, and stop Chinese experts from sharing certain essential information and detailed data clearly show that the current process, without significant changes, has no chance of putting a complete or credible inquiry in place for all possible scenarios,” the Paris Letter states. (The letter was sent to Le Figaro, the largest newspaper in France. That account is behind a firewall but another French media outlet, The Connexion, does a nice job summarizing it here.)

  37. tuatara says

    Elon Musk changes preferred pronouns to midlife/crisis

    The world’s richest and saddest man, Elon Musk, has updated his preferred pronouns to midlife/crisis, saying they better reflect his true self.

    Musk, who paid at least $20 billion too much for a social media network in order to impress his ex-girlfriend, said everything was falling apart and he just wanted some attention. “I am so very, very sad and lonely. Please laugh at my jokes,” midlife said.

    The 51-year-old father of 10* said it was inevitable some people will misgender crisis as they adjust to the new pronouns. “One of the guys in the office who I consider my closest/only friend used the pronouns fuck/wit when referring to me the other day. Just this morning one of my kids spoke to me using the absent/father pronouns. It will take time for people to adjust.

    “But midlife/crisis is who I am. It defines every part of my being. I literally put a car up in space so people would think I was fun and cool. I posted a picture of guns and cans of diet coke on my pretend bedside table to make me look edgy. I post funny memes. I started a flamethrower company. But I still have this nagging feeling that people think I’m a wanker”.

    *at the time of publication

  38. says

    Here is a detailed and balanced analysis, the sort of thing that morons like RB have no interest in:

    https://www.newyorker.com/science/elements/the-mysterious-case-of-the-covid-19-lab-leak-theory

    Without greater transparency from China, it will be difficult, if not impossible, to find the truth.

    For now, the battle between two theories rolls onward. As a friend said to me recently, “Why does it seem like we have to pick a side?” Both camps share a desire to understand the origins in order to prevent the emergence of the next pandemic.

    Well, not really — many in both “camps” (such as rorschach on one side and RB on the other) are convinced that they know the answer and that it is the only possible answer.

  39. invivoMark says

    @Jim Balter

    Here is the sort of sober discussion that is impossible to have with garbage like RB:

    Well the important thing about taking the “enlightened centrist” position is that you feel incredibly smug about it.

    You shouldn’t try to pretend that the “lab leak” hypothesis is anywhere near as likely or plausible as other explanations (especially, as I noted before, if we are talking about any “leak” more involved than a researcher coming into contact with a sample of wild-caught virus).

    A lot of the links you are posting are old. We have learned more information over the past year. We know that the Huanan market was one of the earliest sites of human-to-human spread of SARS-CoV-2. The WIV is not near this market, and there is no cluster of early cases located near WIV. We also know that the virus likely jumped to humans on two separate occasions (which would not have happened with a lab leak), and that it almost certainly had an intermediate host between bats and humans.

    All of the new information we have supports the known mechanisms of virus emergence, and none of it supports a lab leak. Since you seem to like posting links, I’ll post a few more recent ones for you to peruse.

    https://www.wired.com/story/tracing-covid-pandemic-origins/
    https://publichealth.jhu.edu/2022/origins-of-sars-cov-2
    https://www.pnas.org/doi/10.1073/pnas.2214427119

  40. John Morales says

    Well, I reckon good satire should amplify some aspect of the subject to highlight its absurdity, but plaintiveness is not one of those aspects for Musk.
    Misplaced confidence, shitposting, one-upmanship… that sort of stuff would work well, but for me, that piece seems more like wishful fantasy. Just doesn’t fit.

  41. lochaber says

    Our patient host has several posts arguing against the lab leak theory (go ahead and put “lab leak” in that little search box), but the one I remember being the most convincing to me, personally, was this one:

    https://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2020/03/28/where-did-sars-cov-2-come-from/

    Yeah, maybe you can argue that we can’t prove it’s not a lab leak, but I feel there is a lot more solid evidence for it being a pretty typical zoonotic jump to humans. Plus, a lot of the people arguing for a lab leak as the source, are doing so out of racist or xenophobic reasoning.

    And, less important then it’s source, is how we’ve completely failed as a society to limit or slow it’s spread, and allowed so much lies, propaganda, and misinformation about both the pandemic and the vaccine to flourish.

  42. StevoR says

    @ ^ lochaber : FWIW I think Potholer54 has a good video on the covid orgin story here and the earlier one originally referenced therehere on same is pretty good too as well.

    Plus what PZ wrote here :

    https://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2021/06/06/stop-it-it-wasnt-a-lab-leak/

    On the 6th June last year making his thoughts pretty clear.

    @ John Morales : Care to suggest your idea of a better Musk satire then? With examples please?

    @ 45. Jim Balter : “many in both “camps” (such as rorschach on one side and RB on the other) are convinced that they know the answer and that it is the only possible answer.”

    Bothsiderism? Many in the lab leak camp started by blaming China and are associated with Sinophobic Trumpist Conspiracy Theory nonsense. Something that our (Oz’s) then PM – and worst ever PM ever – infamously repeated to the extreme detriment of the Australian-Chinese economic and political relationship which hasn’t fully recovered since. Not that itnecessarily makes them wrong but I’d definitley look a bit sideways at them and take what they say with lumps of halite and really good evidence from their side here very much required.

  43. John Morales says

    @ John Morales : Care to suggest your idea of a better Musk satire then? With examples please?

    Did I care, I’d have done it by now.

    Look: just because I don’t think much of some attempt at satire (others obviously differ) does not mean I think I would write better satire, it means I don’t think much of that attempt at satire, on the basis I provided.

    Presumably, should I ever care to attempt to do so, I would not ignore that salient criterion. Care to wait?

    I note that I do think that, much as with Trump, it’s pretty hard to out-satire the reality.

  44. John Morales says

    As for the issue of the provenance of the pandemic, does it really matter, other than potentially preventing future incidents?

    Let’s say, for argument’s sake, that it was a failure of containment of some secret experiment in exploring the possibility space of some virus; that does not entail that such experimentation should never occur, just that that if it does then containment should be better.

    So, it was presumably secret for $reasons$, but unlikely to have been unlawful if it was a co-governmental collaboration.

    So, I presume the intent of people who worry about such things is to make it unlawful to do that type of research. For what that would be worth.

    So, the impetus in trying to make a determination about the origin is about trying to justify making it unlawful to conduct such research.

    Fair enough, but I note that many things are similarly unlawful, and yet they occur. So, I doubt any legislation will have much effect, should a perceived need be felt by parties who have the wherewithal to do such (putative) research.

    And for what it’s worth, presumably any such (putative) research will be subject to stricter containment protocols henceforth.

    </Idle musing>

  45. silvrhalide says

    @11 Dr. Fauci has never been hesitant to contradict or cross people or movements he disagreed with, whether that was about AIDS/HIV or Covid 19. He didn’t hesitate to contradict the Reagan regime about AIDS/HIV.
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/history/2020/05/20/fauci-aids-nih-coronavirus/

    As the pandemic marches on, there is less evidence all the time for the lab leak theory.
    https://www.science.org/content/article/do-three-new-studies-add-proof-covid-19-s-origin-wuhan-animal-market
    and more evidence for a zoonotic jump into the human population.
    https://www.forbes.com/sites/williamhaseltine/2021/10/06/origin-very-close-relatives-of-sars-cov-2-identified-in-laotian-bats/?sh=28660abb7611
    Specifically
    “The pandemic SARS-CoV-2 virus likely originated from bats in Southeast Asia. There are over 450 million people sharing the region with the bats that live in limestone caves in countries like Vietnam, Thailand, Myanmar, and Laos. One of the predominant genera of bats in the region is the Rhinolophus (horseshoe bat). Bat species falling in this genus contain an ACE2 receptor that closely resembles that of humans. The ACE2 is so similar, in fact, that many of the coronaviruses in these bats have the potential to infect humans as well.”
    and
    “In a startling discovery, the authors report that several of the viruses isolated from bats caves in the Vientiane Province are very closely related to SARS-CoV-2. In fact, they are so closely related that the idea that SARS-CoV-2 originated from RaTG13 coronavirus isolated from horseshoe bat in southern China in 2013 is no longer tenable. The receptor-binding domains of SARS-CoV-2 and RaTG13 differ too greatly.”

    There are a lot of zoonotic outbreaks in countries that eat a lot of wild animals. (Africa has a lot of them. They generally don’t make international news because of racism and because Africa is so huge that the outbreaks generally don’t get very far and a lot of them are never fully identified in the first place.) China is notorious for thumbing its collective nose at CITES and eating/killing/destroying endangered species, many of which wind up in Chinese wet markets, marketed as dinner or medicine. USDA inspections leave a lot to be desired but they look like genius when you look at a lot of Asian or African marketplaces. It is far likelier that an infected animal or animals–keep in mind that the Chinese wet markets jam-pack those animals into containers, the sick and the well together, and they jam different animals in the same containers as well–are the source of the Covid 19 pandemic. (Frequently those containers aren’t cleaned between occupants either, for some real cross-species pathogen exchange.)

    While the Wuhan lab doesn’t have the best reputation, if the lab leak was the original source of the infection, then where are all the other “missing” outbreaks and infections? Sloppy organizations with poor practices tend to keep on keeping on with their craptacular attitudes and piss-poor practices. They don’t perform credibly/well most of the time, then decide “hell, it’s casual Friday” and throw caution and best practices to the wind. Crappy organizations/practices/people tend to be consistently crappy, which should have led to a lengthy list of outbreaks, infections and other problems. So where are the “missing” outbreaks? Not every pathogen leads to a pandemic but for the lab leak theory to be credible, as you have outlined it, there should have been a fairly steady string of minor diseases, infections, outbreaks, etc. and there aren’t.

    The other thing to keep in mind is that if the Wuhan lab is consistently performing passibly, if not with distinction, and there was a breach/failure of containment, they would have notified the wider scientific community. People who generally act with integrity tend to acknowledge mistakes and this would have been a massive one that would have been difficult if not impossible to cover up, even in a repressive totalitarian regime like China.

    Also, the Covid 19 coronavirus seems to be an easy jumper between species.
    https://www.pbs.org/newshour/show/scientists-discover-shockingly-high-rates-of-covid-infections-among-white-tailed-deer
    https://www.pnas.org/doi/10.1073/pnas.2114828118
    https://www.aphis.usda.gov/animal_health/one_health/downloads/qa-covid-white-tailed-deer-study.pdf

  46. StevoR says

    @ ^ John Morales : Fair enough – especially that last line.

    If Trump – or Musk – was written as fictional characters they’d likely be criticised as too Over The Top and exteme as well as unlikeable to be believable. Truth really is stranger as the adage goes.

  47. says

    “The measures taken by the Chinese government to hide the origins, and stop Chinese experts from sharing certain essential information and detailed data clearly show that the current process, without significant changes, has no chance of putting a complete or credible inquiry in place for all possible scenarios,” the Paris Letter states.

    Yes, but none of that shows that a lab leak actually happened from that lab, or that said leak, if it happened, was the origin of COVID-19. Serious question: are Chinese authorities any more open about any of their government or military offices, anywhere on their turf, when there ISN’T a serious incident that needs to be covered up? I’m no China expert, but given what most of us know about their ruthless totalitarian government, I think it’s safe to say that all that secrecy and refusal to cooperate with foreigners is standard procedure in China.

    PS: Jim Balter, your fact-free insulting tirade — solidly refuted by other commenters here, I should add (thanks, y’all!) — really doesn’t do your credibility any favors. Triggered much?

  48. says

    As for the issue of the provenance of the pandemic, does it really matter, other than potentially preventing future incidents?

    If there really was a lab leak, and the Chinese knew about it, I’m pretty sure they would have fixed whatever was wrong long ago; and whoever was deemed responsible for that lapse would have been packed off to a re-education camp by now, if not shot. Chinese tyrants may be evil, but at least they’re competent. So no, it probably doesn’t matter anymore, except to racists and morons who look for scapegoats because they have nothing else to offer.

  49. consciousness razor says

    John Morales:

    As for the issue of the provenance of the pandemic, does it really matter, other than potentially preventing future incidents?

    It seems to me that, either way, we should be doing more to prevent them in the future, so it’s not clear we need that as a reason.

    Let’s say, for argument’s sake, that it was a failure of containment of some secret experiment in exploring the possibility space of some virus; that does not entail that such experimentation should never occur, just that that if it does then containment should be better.

    We don’t need that to entail it.

    Before such research was allowed to happen and a resulting leak was even possible, we should’ve had much broader consent from the global population (everybody threatened by it) about this stuff. What’s flatly and unambiguously unethical, whether or not this particular time the outbreak was due to a leak, is research that (merely) risks a person’s life/health/etc. without their consent. They simply did not have that, despite knowing the dangers it posed, so they shouldn’t be risking our lives for the sake of their research.

    Fair enough, but I note that many things are similarly unlawful, and yet they occur. So, I doubt any legislation will have much effect, should a perceived need be felt by parties who have the wherewithal to do such (putative) research.

    No government funding (for one thing) will certainly have an effect. It’s not like we’re talking about human trafficking or whatever…. It’s scientific research, after all, and the money for that sort of thing doesn’t come from just any old hive of scum and villainy which can’t be contained and has no form of transparency, oversight, or democratic accountability. So in this case (unlike many other unlawful activities), we can effectively target the source and just shut off the supply, because it’s our own governments.

    And for what it’s worth, presumably any such (putative) research will be subject to stricter containment protocols henceforth.

    That’s not something I want to just presume, leaving aside the fact that of course would not constitute a ban on the research itself.

  50. says

    …So in this case (unlike many other unlawful activities), we can effectively target the source and just shut off the supply, because it’s our own governments.

    No, we really can’t do that, because if we want to learn anything about a pandemic originating in China, before it gets out of China, then we have no choice but to work IN COOPERATION with scientists in China, whether or not we’re satisfied with how they do things. Flying our own mobile labs into China and setting up without their consent isn’t really an option; and even if it was, said labs still wouldn’t accomplish jacque merde without sharing information with Chinese labs that are already there, know the territory, and already have samples from local sources. So no, we can’t just shut down such labs, in any country, otherwise the anti-Chinese, anti-science, anti-government-spending Republicans would have zilched their budgets already.

  51. John Morales says

    CR, good to see that you dispute nothing of what I wrote.

    (Tried to put a slant on it, sure. Weak, but)

  52. says

    Before such research was allowed to happen and a resulting leak was even possible, we should’ve had much broader consent from the global population (everybody threatened by it) about this stuff.

    Sounds nice, but what good would that have done to prevent mistakes or lapses in security? The Chinese leaders would say the research was necessary, and represents China moving ahead among advanced nations; the locals would agree (duh); no one would divulge day-to-day details of EXACTLY what was being done, or EXACTLY what sort of pathogens were in the lab in any given month; and even if they did, the locals would not even be able to give informed consent to each specific project; and even if all the locals agreed on the promised level of security, that’s no guarantee that there would never be any lapses.

  53. StevoR says

    The icing on the cake was seeing Chappelle stoop to defend Musk by insulting his audience. They must be poor! They must be the people he fired!

    Y’know if the crowd really had been full of fired Twitter ex-workers that would have been pretty epic and had a moral sting for Musk too. He seemingly desperately wants to be seen as popular and admired and maybe seeing that there are consequences
    popularity and respect~wise for decisions like firing half or more of the staff at the company you’ve just purchased might get through to him how much of a bad idea it was even if other financial and reputational consequences haven’t already?

  54. consciousness razor says

    Raging Bee:

    So no, we can’t just shut down such labs, in any country,

    I said nothing about shutting down any labs, and they could still do much of the same research.

    Some of your ilk even continue to doubt (or say they do) that any gain of function research happens at all. If that were so, then banning it would of course have minimal or no impact on the rest. But anyway, it certainly wouldn’t have the sort of dire consequences you’re speculating about in your comment.

    otherwise the anti-Chinese, anti-science, anti-government-spending Republicans would have zilched their budgets already.

    We can’t shut them down (as if that’s what I advocated) because it must have already happened?? I don’t follow.

    Also, it’s not obvious that said anti-science Republicans share your concerns/motivations regarding that scientific research, as you assume they do.

    They are also not very averse to dealings with China (which anyway isn’t the only other country out there). What they say to their frothing crowds has no bearing on that.

    We’re also not just talking about Republicans in the US, because it’s not the only country in the world. (Adding China to that list doesn’t cut it either, obviously.) Besides, even here, they don’t have all of the power.

    John Morales:

    CR, good to see that you dispute nothing of what I wrote.

    I do dispute that, but perhaps just the “slant” will suffice for my purposes, since you haven’t disputed it.

  55. consciousness razor says

    Sounds nice

    Fuzzy kittens sound nice. What I was talking about is an obligation.

    but what good would that have done to prevent mistakes or lapses in security?

    Are we only supposed to care about preventing “mistakes or lapses in security”?

    What if it was neither? If so, do you think that means we should do nothing instead of something?

  56. John Morales says

    cr, well, since you offer…

    [me] As for the issue of the provenance of the pandemic, does it really matter, other than potentially preventing future incidents?

    [you] It seems to me that, either way, we should be doing more to prevent them in the future, so it’s not clear we need that as a reason.

    You haven’t disputed that, if it were to matter, it would be on that basis.
    You explicitly claim that basis is unclear, without committing.
    But you have not disputed that it would be the justifiable reason, if any.

    By the way, one possible motive for doing better next time is to avoid exposure — a particularly relevant one if the research is supposed to be secret.
    But that’s not some sort of ethical calculus, is it? It’s just pragmatism.

    (Let’s see whether you want me to address other points you implicitly enumerated via your pullquote choices, or whether this suffices to establish that you did not dispute at least one claim)

  57. lochaber says

    I think this thread is a pretty clear example of what Marcus Ranum previously described in one of his posts (I’m too tired to try to search for it right now…) about comment sections deteriorating into a bunch of argumentative assholes.

    Too many people are too invested in cutting each other down then they are in actually discussing the subject. It’s terribly detrimental to the overall atmosphere of the comments. Not trying to tone-troll, but I think there is a distinct difference twixt calling someone out on tone, and pointing out that there is a long-standing, rampant problem with people being more interested in insulting other commenters and arguing over minutiae, then actually discussing a topic.

    It’s kinda sad, and unfortunately, it seems to be a running theme with humans. We can’t address climate change, because it’s more important to argue over conspiracies than address the actual issue. We can’t address misogyny, because some guy said some women in some country have it worse, etc.

  58. John Morales says

    lochaber:

    <

    blockquote>Too many people are too invested in cutting each other down then they are in actually discussing the subject.

    <

    blockquote>

    You, of course, are discussing the subject.

  59. says

    This is the suggestion I was referring to:

    …we can effectively target the source and just shut off the supply, because it’s our own governments.

    What can that mean, if not shutting down (or at least seriously curtailing) the lab by defunding it?

  60. rorschach says

    Sorry to derail the thread, if that is the prevailing feeling, that was not my intention. I used to argue like Raven, in my sceptic and surely-not mode, before I read the book by a biosecurity expert mentioned above. And then I learned something, considered the evidence, and changed my mind.
    It is not true that it doesn’t matter if this thing came from a lab or not. If it did, we need to get to the bottom of why this gain-of-function research was happening and what its purpose was. If this best-adapted-to-humans-not-pangolins-or-bats-virus did come from the wet market and not the close by coronavirus research laboratory, then we need to understand how it jumped over to humans, and how we can prevent such events in the future. Because I think we can all agree that the current situation is a bit shit, 3 years on.

  61. invivoMark says

    @rorschach,
    You continue to demonstrate ignorance.

    The initial spread of the virus was at the Huanan market, not WIV.
    https://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2022/03/03/1083751272/striking-new-evidence-points-to-seafood-market-in-wuhan-as-pandemic-origin-point
    https://www.science.org/doi/10.1126/science.abp8715
    Note that the market is across the river from WIV, far enough to be geographically distinct. If it was a lab leak, that almost certainly wouldn’t have resulted in the pattern of early cases we see.

    The virus is also a generalist virus, as has been pointed out by others, and has jumped species multiple times after infecting humans, which is widely known by the actual experts.

    Look, there’s nothing wrong with ignorance – we are ALL ignorant about something – but if you aren’t going to make the effort to educate yourself, then you should trust what the experts say is true.

  62. rorschach says

    “then you should trust what the experts say is true.”

    My experts say that what your experts, who you quote but still have not named, say is not true. Now what? You’re a clown. People like you used to get banned here 10 years ago for wasting everyone’s time and not adding anything substantial to the discussion.

Leave a Reply