We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Our Recent Essays Behind the Front Page
Saturday, April 11. 2020
A general question: Why don't Beijing or Shanghai have a virus problem? I've seen no answer. Was travel completely blocked?
The Resurrection of Jesus in the Light of Jewish Burial Practices
Mort Drucker has died, age 94, after many years of drawing covers and other art for Mad Magazine
Cardinal Pell’s Acquittal Corrected Many Legal Errors
What Do You Do With Your 401(k) During the COVID-19 Crisis
100 years ago, polio terrorized New York. The US defeated the disease in 1972, but it still persists elsewhere.
How COVID-19 Could Shift The College Business Model: ‘It’s Hard To Go Back’
Call It a Ponzi Scheme - Even during the Covid-19 crisis, colleges abuse their economic and reputational privileges.
Fauci: Coronavirus antibody tests coming, immunity certificates 'being discussed'
Journalists excel at perfect hindsight
Democrats seem to be enjoying this authoritarian moment
President Trump Says "Two Very Smart People" Came into His Office and Urged Him to Lock Down Economy or 2.2 Million Americans Would Die
"Let Them Fail" - Billionaire Explains To Gobsmacked CNBC Host How Capitalism Is Supposed To Work
U.S. consumer prices post largest drop in five years amid coronavirus disruptions
Libertarians are losing the argument
The Climate Crisis Could Maybe Possibly We Think Cause Lots Of Extinctions Or Something
‘Blaming China and WHO Isn’t Scapegoating’
NBC News Reports on Trump’s Crime Against Humanity
Boeing plans limited return to work next week after coronavirus shutdown: reports
Leadership Means Reopening America Now
Pelosi to Trump: Reopening Country Too Quickly Will 'Make Matters Worse'
Racial warrior offended when the Surgeon General tells minorities that behavior affects virus risks
FBI failed to review Steele's ties to Russians, warned some of dossier was Moscow disinformation. Declassified footnote lays out intelligence community concerns about Steele's ties to Russia and disinformation
FBI Knew Before Mueller Probe That Hillary’s Steele Dossier Was Russian Disinformation
What's The Bailout Situation In Europe?
House Oversight Committee Members Press WHO for Role in Spreading China’s Propaganda
UN’s Irrelevance in Corona Crisis Invites a Rethink of the World Body
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I love how the national review article on Drucker has not a single example of his work. Pathetic.
It was a one-paragraph article, not a retrospective. Why is that pathetic?
Ah, because people are unhappy with the source, therefore all its decisions are wrong. Got it. Reasoning like a liberal.
So, not to be too blunt, but when may we expect that "southern" surge of hospitalizations/fatalities? ERs at TMC are quite empty, and number of patients actually diagnosed has dropped to around 1K.
'Tis a bit funny (and yes, sad) to see Harris county buy into the forecasted wave and turn NRG into some sort of care facility...
(Texas Medical Center, BTW)
Texas has 12,000 cases already.
We hope little or no Southern surge occurs. The downside of that would be all those people who insist there never was a problem. Success will be regarded as failure. I predicted exactly that in the comments section here over a month ago.
Well, aren't you "special!"
How many cases of contagious seasonal influenza (for which there is already a questionably efficacious---50% effective this year?--- vaccine), are there? How many cases of contagious "bad colds"?
FAR MORE THAN 12,000, I'll wager!
DID THEY SHUT TEXAS DOWN FOR THOSE MALADIES?
Of course they didn't. Not a good comparison. We know the range of deaths from influenza and other contagious illnesses every year under current levels of protection and have decided de facto that this is an acceptable level of risk. Because we do not know the level of risk from C19, but do know that people are dying in the streets in some other countries, we decided to take more extreme measures. Whether that was too much is not currently known. Somehow you seem to know.
For all the people who will now appear as instant 'I was right!" experts, they should lead with their original prediction and the thinking and work that supported it, including why they concluded that the US would not become an Italy or Spain.
I think the shutdown was the right thing to do, and that the results have met the aspiration. Being within an order of magnitude on a epidemiological model of a disease with unknown virulence or communicability should be considered success. But even if I'm wrong, I would think it cheap to attempt playing gotcha on some alternative hypothetical, as if it's more right.
Now that it appears increasingly clear that we are dodging the worst, it's time to start communicating the plan to get the economy ramping up again.
Trump can be forgiven for listening to "Two Very Smart People", but it has become obvious to the most casual observer that the "experts" were wrong. Trump must realize that now, so from here on, the damage to our economy is on him.
And the saved lives? Are those on him as well? Or were those deaths never going to happen?
The experts were not wrong. The shutdown worked. We flattened the curve and that is important because we still need to shore up our health care system and acquire PPE materials. The effect of the shutdown went well beyond just reducing the numbers of Covid-19 cases and deaths it also reduced all accidental deaths and almost all other ER cases. It succeeded beyond all expectations. The virus did not go away it will continue it's course until everyone has been exposed. Some percentage will indeed die. Not as many thanks to the shutdown and the time needed to better prepare for this. But before it's done it will kill well over a million worldwide and perhaps well over 100,000 in the U.S. If the hospitals had been overwhelmed that number would have been much larger.
Most people for some reason cannot see what is happening. We had over 2000 deaths yesterday, more than double what it was three days ago and people are wasting their energy trying to show this prediction or that prediction wasn't perfect. When we lift the shutdown, which we must do, the cases of Covid-19 will increase again. There is so much yet unknown about this disease and we won't know most of it until it runs it's course. About the only thing we know with any certainty is that the shutdown and self quarantine worked and gave us some breathing room.
"flattening the curve" (not actually preventing deaths) to 'shore up the system' by destroying the very economic engine it needs now and well into the future. Not at all good. The disease is serious but far from apocalyptic. Quite a few diseases kill FAR more people.
The truth is, virtually everyone will get it in one form or another.
There is a strange parallel here: Like some other respiratory infections, it does the most damage by over-stimulating the body's defenses, in effect they body is tricked into damaging itself, and becomes vulnerable to all sorts of dangers.
Similarly, the panicked reaction by governments (acting as a hysterical group here) is causing governments to destroy the vibrancy of of their own countries, leaving them weak, poor and very vulnerable.
The vast majority of deaths were to the 70 and older group that had other medical problems as well. The older group is likely retired and could have been home quarantined. Instead, the expert class quarantined everyone and killed the economy. But perhaps that is what the administrative state expert class wanted to accomplish. With Trump gone that are free to continue the relentless nanny state oppression. And if you follow the Bill Gates mandate of population control then you also have far fewer old to support through medicare and social security. That's a win, win for the neo Malthusian state elitists. And to think they have Communist China to thank for the assist.
I think that the vast majority were the 50 and older group. I believe that you and others ONLY claim it is the 70 and older group to bolster your point that "what the hell they were going to die anyway". I am opposed to writing off the 70 and older and the 50 and older too. Imagine that some crazy jihadist runs down half a dozen people and kills them but they are all in their 70's. Then you chirp up "What the heck they were all 70 or older so they don't count". Gee, won't that make all those at the funeral feel better. IMHO That is a stupid argument. You are better than that. I would suggest that you fall back on the less cruel meme that most deaths are from pneumonia and not from Covids-19. Still a stupid argument but you don't appear to be as blood thirsty and anything will be an improvement.
Here you go, 80% I’d deaths are in the 66+ age group, age 75 and over make up 45%.
You do understand that my statement "I think that the vast majority were the 50 and older group." is 100% correct and there is no stat you can cite to show it is incorrect. So you go about splitting hairs. Which is exactly the point I am making; for you and others if they can just show that all these dead bodies are old folks who were gonna die anyway and who cares then you feel justified. Good for you, please call your grandma and your mom and tell them you love them
Well actually, no, you were wrong. I’m not splitting hairs, you are. I guess you could have said the deaths were in the over 10 year old range and you’ll still be right. I gave you the static’s that show the majority of deaths are of the very elderly, 99% of them have had other serious health problems. Healthy 80 year olds are no more likely to get CV than the average person. I don’t need to call my mother, I’m in a high age bracket so, except for the fact that I’m otherwise healthy, could be next. That doesn’t change the facts. Except for NYC the rest of America has had fewer deaths than in a normal flu year and deaths attributed to flu are almost non-esistant.
I'm 73, nearly 74. Nothing bloodthirsty in my statement. The argument I make is that as retirees it is far easier for our older group to quarantine so that those younger can go about business and they are far less likely to be a fatality. Why should the entire country be locked down when the retiree generation can kick back with fewer social contacts and we don't kill the economy as we are currently doing and spending trillions to add to the debt just trying to offset the lockdown. Seems reasonable.
I think your original statement about the Nanny/Deep State wanting to come back after getting rid of Trump is spot on. I'm still waiting for all the layoffs of non essential government employees. Maybe the deep state would be more concerned if They were getting laid off. Right now they haven't missed a paycheck. Please someone correct me if I'm wrong.
The economy was going to die anyway. It was systematically being killed by the Fed and the dirty rotten dealings of our political class and their incestuous relationship to big business, big pharma and big surveillance. The last bubble popped and they can't hide it anymore.
This 'shutdown' was not for OUR safety, it was for THEIRS. To keep those that caused it from being hung from light posts and other tall structures when it became apparant that something was amiss economically.
The election of Trump was to keep the kafabe going that there are two opposing political parties and that they are competently "representing" us peasants.
Welcome to the gullag, comrades. The entire country is a gulag. And the ever shrinking working class will continue to feed, water and make your lives comfortable while the shit show continues.
Unless someone decides to vote from the rooftops. Although 5G and the new surveillance on us has taken care of ID'ing any of those planning it or capable of it.
I don't think hydroxychloroquine is going to prove out.
See Pharma research chemist Derek Lowe's "In The Pipeline" for April 6
True-- we still don't know if it works or not.
Did anyone spot the problem with the article on the French 1000-patient study?
No control group! For all we know, 98% of them would have recovered if they were given a placebo. (If anyone who can read French spotted it in there, please correct me.)
The study is completely meaningless for this reason. Fervent wishes and high hopes != science.
Exactly how would you ethically introduce a control group under these circumstances? You have a treatment that poses little risk, but might help. Get your head out of ideological purity. Sometimes anecdotal is the best you've got. As someone pointed out, Fauci is behaving more like a scientist and less like a physician. That's fine when there's no crisis.
You're in a war. A general does not have the option of trying several strategies to see which one is more successful.
Doubling down on "STOOPID" today, are we???
How many cases of this crud has left-wing "journalist" Lowe treated?? Oh, yeah : NONE!
Virologist Didier Raoult has treated over a 1,000 using HCQ, with excellent results---98% cure rate. And experience has benn replicated, observed and measured several times over by other physiicans all over the world!
Those who insist upon "double blind testesting forget the such testing has two purposes: 1) safety for use in treatment of humans (HCQ has a 70 year history of safety) and 2) clinical efficacy (does it work better than a sugar pill?) From direct observation of treatment HCQ works!
Those who insist that double blinds be completed first, are like the Doc who refuses to use a common dress belt as a tourniquet to stanch the flow of blood from a ruptured artery, because the belt doesn't bear an FDA stamp of approval (Belts weren't designed as tourniquets, after all!).
The true measure is: DOES IT WORK? Those engaged in treatment of actual patients say "YES".
Those engaged in musing over theoretical bureaucratic niceties say "We must test first! Observations be damned!"
Yet, I'd wager everyone of those bureaucrats, if seriously infected would choose treatment over the alternative---death!!
Ah, so you didn't actually read the article, you don't understand how research works, neither in an emergency nor in calmer times, and for some reason think Lowe must be left-wing. Thank you, doctor.
My best reason for supporting those who do not want to remove the restrictions, such as the POTUS and Gov Sununu, is that those criticising them have a random assortment of facts they find important and a leaky bucket of ability to reason. They resort to all-caps because they think that screaming and being insulting is an actual argument. There may be better arguers out there who can make a reasoned case. I'm not seeing them at present.
I shall not bother to answer you again. There is no point.
Texas has 12,000 cases already."
Didn't mention cases, and that's not what's been discussed. Fatalities and hospitalizations haven't been what was predicted, including "distancing" and other practices.
You said 1k cases had been diagnosed. Perhaps you want to clarify what you meant when you made that badly inaccurate statement?
So I’m going to have to have my Dr. Fauci immunity certificate with me everywhere I go? I’m sure the homeless and illegal immigrants will naturally be exempted from this totalitarian law. Or will it even be necessary to go through Congress? Will it just be an order from the swamp? No right for redress? Amazing what subservient people Americans have turned into. All based on models that have been orders of magnitude WRONG. I do believe this is a serious virus. Very serious for those with underlying conditions. However, I am very disturbed by how readily Americans except the yoke of slavery to the state, and how quick governors, mayors and city council have let their dictator flag fly.
"Democrats seem to be enjoying this authoritarian moment'":
"Seem" to be? Like pigs in mud, they ARE.
Ginger, the emotional support dog who found out she wasn't cut out to be an emotional support dog- made me glad I wasn't drinking anything when I read it.
How capitalism is supposed to work: I agree with him, but, this case is different because the government shut it all down. What should have been added to the conversation is that in a free country the government would not have the power to shut it down even if that meant more people died. We see people today being forcibly ejected from riding on a bus because he wasn't wearing a face mask. Should the government be able to do that??? I see people with purple or blue hair why aren't they forcibly arrested for being dufuses in public? I see people occupy college offices for days or weeks at a time and nothing happens to them. But some guy who isn't sick rides the city bus and half a dozen police show up and manhandle him for no legal (as in constitutional) reason.
Asia was much more prepared because they already wear masks:
Ignore the reason they wear masks is because of poor air quality and living in "shit hole" conditions? Can we thank our system of cleaning everything up so it wasn't deemed necessary, that we have less immunity?
See George Carlin swimming in the Hudson Raw Sewage.
With in the cow herd, we have a measurement of white blood cell presence. If you're over 400 count, you have Charlie Brown Pigpen conditions. But if you're under 100, you have high production animals that basically die when hit with something that wouldn't get kill one that was at a 200 count. Immunity.
The next malady people will get is that cleaning our hands so much beyond simple water and soap opens your skin to things to get through. Time will tell.
Asians wear masks out of a cultural paranoia. The masks do very little to prevent the wearer from catching a communicable disease. They are somewhat effective to prevent the wearer from giving others their germs/virus from body fluids. Masks are mostly to make you feel that you are doing something. They are more effective in a very unhealthy environment, like a hospital. But in that circumstance they are not nearly enough protection and the individual should wear a full PPE.
Remember when India publicly said that they would gladly share their hydroxychloroquine supply with the U.S.? Well now we discover that there are strings attached. They want Trump to extend H1B visas for hundreds of thousands of Indian workers. Hundreds of thousands! That is hundreds of thousands of American jobs that Americans have been restricted from applying for or kicked out of. Why do we do this? Well the reason is graft/corruption. You can bet that some congress people and others get money to vote for it or to look the other way.
How many hundreds of thousands of Chinese workers are allowed in under H1B (and other paragraphs in this anti-American law). How many of them and their families and extended families ever go back home? Yeah, zero!
As I have been saying for quite some time now--Boeing (WA State) is a nation unto itself, with a larger fealty, and financial obligation to China than to the US.
As an aside, Gov Abbot announced changes in Texas programs to start next week.
" What Do You Do With Your 401(k) During the COVID-19 Crisis"
During the Wuhan Coronavirus, your 401K should be like your face. DON'T TOUCH IT.
As a case surveillance epidemiologist I just want to say that I completely agree with you about Beijing and Shanghai. WTF.
The case data for the Covid-19 pandemic make no sense. It’s baffling. Epidemics are supposed to spread, not bounce around the planet with seemingly no rhyme or reason.
Why has New York been slammed but San Francisco and LA have not? California recorded its first cover 19 cases in January; New York State did not have one until early March. There’s some other factor I play here but it’s not clear what that factor is.