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
Friday, April 17. 2020
Hinderaker: WE ARE NEEDLESSLY DEVASTATING OUR COUNTRY
Subways were the culprit
Vanderleun: Come Out, Come Out, Wherever You Are
The entire country has cabin fever
Fauci Says Tinder Hookups Okay During Coronavirus Lockdowns: “Your Choice Regarding a Risk”
Trump Says Guidelines Would Allow Some States To Reopen "Tomorrow"
Leaves it up to states and cities. Good
Why politicians can't just restart the economy
Only people can do that.
Media sensationalism has scared the heck out of otherwise rational people, and scared the crap out of those who are fearful people anyway
Now Is Exactly the Time to Investigate the WHO’s Catastrophic Public Failures and Internal Rot.
China’s incredible coronavirus counts
Hillary Bought Russian Disinformation - The latest revelations about the Steele dossier reveal who the real colluders were.
Steele Source Voiced ‘Strong Support’ For Hillary Clinton, Had Ties To Kremlin
Duh. Follow the money.
Tracked: Apr 19, 09:19
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Subways were the culprit
The rest of the country subsidizes NYC subways, and other metro/light rail in major cities.
That needs to stop. Not only has Middle America been forced to pay for much of its own traditional economic demise, now it's forced to fund plague so it can be harmed further.
The country subsidizes, one way or another, famers, businesses, arts, etc. etc.
Right or wrong, it's how things go.
It is the wrong way...with a subsidy the consumer has no idea of the cost of anything nor its real value. Its why socialism eventually bankrupts or financially ruins an economy. Those examples are everywhere.
"THE END OF NEW YORK"
Whatever the reason NY City was hit hard. But don't be fooled it is far from over. The shutdown slowed the spread such that we are seeing declining deaths and admissions. But if they end the shutdown those numbers will ramp up again. It isn't over. NY has 16,106 deaths from the Corona virus and that is with a total shutdown. That number will continue to go up and if they end the shutdown it will go up sharply. How many deaths in NY City are acceptable? If it reaches 25,000 would that still be OK? 50,000? 100,000? Where is the number that would make the naysayers take this disease seriously? I know, your first response will be: "no way it will be 100,000 or 50,000. But just two weeks ago you would have denied it could ever reach 15,000 but we passed that easily. Yes! NY will see 25,000 deaths from the Corona virus and yes! even much higher numbers are possible. And eventually every large city will see large numbers of deaths. NJ and Michigan are next in the Corona virus sweepstakes. Followed by Massachusetts, Louisiana and Illinois. California is lagging but when all is said and done it will be the big one. This virus is way worse than we all think it is.
NYC probably will see 25,000 deaths since they have just plucked an additional 4 000 deaths out of their stats and by fiat declared them to be from CV. No test needed thank you. I know this will surprise everyone but the hospitals get 3 times as much for CV patients than flu patients. I can see CV wiping flu out completely in NY.
That is an excellent conspiracy theory, I think you should embrace it.
By the way what did those 4000 people who died at home die from??? We need to know if you want to keep that conspiracy going.
It should be obvious that all or most all died from the covid virus. The sad part of the story is that they got very sick and either out of fear or bureaucracy never went to the hospital. THAT is a very telling problem. How many people died at home because the hospitals were not allowing you in?
Maybe if we parse all the deaths enough we can convince ourselves that the covid virus is nothing to worry about. Wait! I have an idea! Make up different reasons for each and every death in NY City and declare that the covid virus doesn't even exist. Oh, wait! China already thought of that.
You can make up and manipulate the stats all you want to but each passing day NY has some 600-700 people die from covid virus and the U.S, has more than 2000. Each day your denial looks more and more foolish. Maybe it's time to float the idea that since all these people were sick with "something" they were going to die anyway.
Really? It’s likely they all died of CV? No flu deaths? No pneumonia deaths? No heart attacks? No cancer? No infections? None? Keep telling yourself that.
"This virus is way worse than we all think it is."
No. It isn't.
Just keep telling yourself that. New York's deaths today are 1025 already. Yesterday they were only 606. I say it is time to rethink your position on this virus.
I would like to comment on Hillary and Steele.
But I think it would be really hard to clean the puke off my keyboard.
Oh! And all those polls that say Biden is ahead; President Hillary Clinton understands polling very well.
Hindraker is writing the same thing every day, multiple times. He's a smart enough person and I usually like him, but he is one of those who can't think of anything but the seasonal flu to compare this to.
Many people have concluded that we took rash action before enough real data was in. That could be. They now propose we take the opposite rash action before enough real data is in. There is still very little known. On the plus side, new cases seem to be leveling off in many places, including most of the hotspots. On the negative side, both the Brits and the South Koreans are finding that recovered patients don't always have much in the way of antibodies and may not have immunity after all.
“Media sensationalism has scared the heck out of otherwise rational people, and scared the crap out of those who are fearful people anyway“
1000%. This is one of the biggest takeaways for me with this entire ugly ordeal.
re Parallels Between COVID-19 Alarm and Global Warming Alarm
A good post by Warren.
Re: WHO and the UN
The UN generally has a fatal flaw that is buried in its very foundations. It is not an organization of the world's people or even peoples; it is an organization of the world's governments. As such its natural inclinations will always be to support and protect the interests of governments over the interests of people, even when these interests diverge. It will never say that a particular form of government is antithetical to human liberty, because its goal is to promote stability, and not liberty. Admitting that the Chinese government is failing, greatly and on many fronts, is to promote the exact kind of instability that the institution exists to preserve.
We still lack complete data about this new virus, but we have some useful information about how hard it hits hospital resources. Since the fear of overwhelming hospitals turned out to be misplaced, we ought to be rethinking the "flatten the curve" argument that really was the only rationale for widespread economy-smashing.
No one ever credibly predicted we could stamp out the virus entirely, so all we're talking about is how to manage how quickly it spreads before one or more of three things happens: herd immunity, effective treatment, and vaccine. Shutting down businesses and putting over 20 million people out of work may be a small price to pay if we're talking about a few weeks and avoiding a hospital catastrophe, but not if we're talking about 3 months and no great impact on hospital resources. We can't realistically put 20MM people out of work--if not many, many more--for 18 months while we get a vaccine out to 350MM people. Effective treatments might come a little faster; there already are a few encouraging signs, though ambiguous.
We need to be focusing on a combination of renewed employment and long-term sanitation measures on the job. Those will depress efficiency but will at least allow people to support themselves over a long period. In the meantime, anyone who is at heightened risk can stay isolated, and the rest of us should help as necessary to support them in that choice, which means income supplementation and food deliveries, at a minimum.
One problem with success is that it makes it look easy. Our only "success" so far is that the quarantine/shutdown kept our hospitals from being overwhelmed. Because that didn't happen it is easy to jump to the conclusion the fear of it was unfounded. It was not. We were close to that in NY City. It happened in Italy and many people died who would have lived with adequate hospital care. The biggest fear was that hospitals would have to make choices as the patient came in the door which to care for and which to leave in the hallway unattended to die. Think of that on a massive scale. But the unstated fear of overwhelming a hospital is that you would lose doctors and nurses. Not just because they might get sick but doctors and nurses actually choosing to not go to work, either because they could not deal with making that terrible decision to ignore patients OR because they knew that they themselves would not be safe in the hospital. The concern for this was real.
To AVI and others:
You will never have “enough” data. It is important to recognize that and adjust to that reality. There’s always some reason to wait longer to get perfect information and reduce risk, but what is the risk of delaying? Often that is worse than decisive action take earlier, which even if it proves to be wrong, can be adjusted on the fly. That’s what leadership is: acting on imperfect information (and it’s always imperfect).
Glenn Reynolds had a great quote last night: MODELS WORK BEST WHEN YOU HAVE PERFECT DATA AND A COMPLETE UNDERSTANDING OF THE PROCESSES INVOLVED, WHICH IS NEVER. (excuse all caps, it was in the original)
We don’t have time to continue analyzing and delaying, with 22M people now out of work (an insane and entirely self-inflicted “own goal”) and every day that we wait makes it worse and makes more and more people sedgier and impatient and a little bit crazy.
We used a sledgehammer where a tack hammer was needed. It’s time to unwind it, and quickly, and then start figuring out how to apologize to all the people whose lives we screwed up, even if only for “a few months”.
You keep writing, correctly, that we don't have enough information yet we acted on that. Then every one of your comments is in favor of the the idea that we should be restarting, and fast.
Which implies that you think you have enough information to make that assessment. You don't. Just stop the constant posing as the only objective person in the room, thinking you are the only one who can take a derivative, shouting at the rest of us as if we are fools.
If you resent being taken to task in this tone, then you shouldn't take others to task in this tone. You might at least browse McNeill's Plagues and Peoples, the classic text in the field before being quite so arrogant.
Not shouting at anybody, dude. Chill out. Not calling anyone names like you just called me. Take a deep breath or two.
Just raising points that others like you don’t want to hear. That’s not my problem.
“You keep writing, correctly, that we don't have enough information yet we acted on that. Then every one of your comments is in favor of the the idea that we should be restarting, and fast.”
I’ve said we had bad information, not that we didn’t have enough.
I do not need more or better information right now to know that 22 million jobless is far, far too many. It just IS.
If you need tons of data thrown at you to understand why that is, I’m not the guy for that job.
"Masks, hand-washing, and gloves might have prevented a lot of that"
This is a myth. If you put on a mask it becomes contaminated immediately. If your mask is stopping covid-19 virus then it is itself contaminated with that virus. Good! you think, it stopped the virus. But now how do you take the mask off? You cannot take it off without contaminating your hands. OK! You wash your hands and dispose of the mask. GOOD! That is the only way possible to prevent contamination. But the only people who practice that level of care are doctors and nurses. It is unlikely that you will not touch your mask at some point while wearing it and then you have defeated the mask. It is unlikely that you have so many masks that you can toss a dozen or so away each day. And because of this the mask has become a liability exactly because it does what it was intended to do: capture the virus/germs on the surface.
And that is just the mask. Do you wear the gloves? Those too are contaminated. Which do you take off first the gloves or the mask? How do you take the gloves off without contaminating your hands? Can you answer your phone with your gloves on? When you take the gloves off do you dispose of everything you touched when you had them on? The phone for example? How many pair of gloves do you have? Can't reuse them once you remove them, even if you removed them to use the phone.
What if the gloves or the mask touches your clothing, hands, phone, steering wheel, children??? What if you reuse the mask? The point is unless you are following some complicated and strict rules with the gloves and mask you actually are more likely to contaminate yourself.
And then there are your shoes which picked up to virus wherever you walked. Do you leave them outside or put them in a plastic bag? With the gloves on or off? There is no end.
Good comment. To bad those that make policies don’t have this knowledge. And to bad there is no convincing them of the errors in their logic. If you want to do containment right, you better strip down naked in the garage, get yourself in a shower. Your body hairs could contain virus particles, etc, etc...
Joggers wearing N95 masks: they were designed for a more normal respiratory rate. Speeding up the velocity of the air particles going through the mask, degrades the efficiency.
"Leaves it up to states and cities. Good"
Legally, constitutionally, it was always up to the states. The cities ability to demand and enforce a quarantine is very weak and probably not legally possible. But even for the states it is a grey area. From a strict constitutional basis I doubt that the Supreme court would say that quarantining (and worse) healthy people was constitutional. Quarantining sick people would probably get a pass. By comparison "stop and frisk" was a good idea, but the courts still shut it down.
I completely agree with your comment.
All one needs to do is read the 10th Amendment.
We're ALL GONNA DIEeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee. Eventually. I'm likely closer to that than most of the readers/commenters here, but if I am like my mother, I should be good for another 18 years.
There is now evidence that the virus peaked and subsided in 6 different countries regardless of whether they quarantined or not. It will likely turn out that a quarantine for corona will be no more useful than a quarantine for the cold season or for the flu season. Work at getting your immune system up to speed and if you are in a compromised health condition then quarantine yourself. Kind of what we already do with other diseases.
Excellent point. Please list those countries so we can watch the stats and see if this is true or simply a statistical anomaly which will regress to the mean over time.
in my opinion no country has stopped the transmission of this virus it is too communicable. But I could be wrong and I hope I am. Maybe Sweden has the right idea but I have a feeling that when the dust settles in 6-12 months Sweden's death stats from this virus will not be pretty.
You can read the information at Townhall.com and its an April 15th article titled "Israeli professor shows virus follows fixed pattern". Countries are given in article.
I am thoroughly disheartened – nay, sickened — by the sheeplike behavior of so many of our countrymen. I cannot believe they think the proper response to “our leaders’” overweening usurpations of authorities never granted is to politely ask for their rights back.
Americans don’t do that. Americans exercise their rights openly and confidently. They don’t ask for anyone’s permission.
Your rights are not permissions. They are yours, not because some “authority” has granted them to you, but by virtue of your membership in the human race. To treat them as permissions is to surrender them, such that any “crisis,” whether real or notional, can be used to nullify them. And there are plenty of wannabe dictators who are grasping at that opportunity — with the support of the left-wing media…
It hardly matters what rights you claim if you refrain from exercising them. That’s how the Second Amendment was gutted. It’s how the rest of the Bill of Rights is being reduced to meaninglessness. And if we permit it to go one millimeter further, we are unworthy of the term “free people.”
It’s not about the economy. It’s not about the virus. It’s not about “science.” It’s about freedom: holding onto the pitiful amount we have left after two and a quarter centuries’ incursions upon it, usually in the name of “crisis” or “safety.”
Free men accept that life entails risk.
They don’t ask their “leaders” to “protect” them.
When “leaders” tyrannize them “for your own good,” they rise up.
Such “leaders” become lamppost decorations, pour encourager les autres.
Are you a free man or a sheep?