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
Tuesday, May 12. 2020
Sorry about that, but either the bug or governments' responses to it are messing up everybody's life in the US. May I ask one question: What happened to the "two weeks to flatten the curve" that was offered?
Let's return sanity to college admissions. Coronavirus pandemic gives us an opportunity.
Rutgers University prof: Reopening the country is about killing black people
Social Distancing' is Snake Oil, Not Science
Could help flatten the curve, maybe, but lengthen the pandemic
Should Patients With Mild Cases Isolate At Home?
Jacobson: The center did not hold under prolonged and arbitrary lockdowns, as predicted. We are at the inflection point I predicted two months ago would arrive in May. Reopening the economy is the only sustainable option.
Scientists Pushing The Goal Posts Further …Vaccine Needed Before Normal Returns
Don't hold your breath for that
Some permanent damage has already happened. Seen it.
Now Chinese Hackers Are Trying to Steal Coronavirus Research
Was there an emergency shutdown of the Wuhan lab in October?
Whistleblower Chinese all died. Sheesh.
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Before I clicked the link, I knew which 'Rutgers professor' it was. But I'm sure she has a secure job because of her history of insightful, well thought out analyses.
Re: College Admissions
"College applications ask students to submit multiple essays, assorted recommendations from counselors and teachers, and offers spaces for 10 activities — lines that students looking for an edge feel compelled to fill in. It’s so much information, in fact, that I watched admissions officers — by necessity — give only a passing glance at some of these pages as they waded through the application piles."
The reason that colleges have become so political is that the standard tools for admission are not allowed to be used anymore. If colleges were honest, they would start with a simple I.Q. test. But they can't do that, because black people have a low I.Q. Then they would look at high school transcripts, but black people have terrible grades. Then they would look at family history. But black people are mostly illegitimate. Then they would consider poise, cultivation, and personal grooming. But black people dress and act like criminals. Then they would consider potential. But black people don't have much. So there's nothing left to consider; except the claim that a student is very "compassionate". So each applicant must list all the compassionate things he has done.
But he can make it all up, it doesn't really matter.
It is all pure BS. What a child does in their junior year of college may or may not be relevant for college. Writing essays, or buying them, means nothing. recommendations from counselors and teachers are handed out to favored students.
If you really want a fair and productive system for college admissions the colleges should set up their classes so that they can accept all or most all applicants to their freshmen year. Then it is a swim or sink situation where students can shine or not based on their ability and commitment right then.
So, what if they gave a test and nobody came?
charming Texas anecdote follows
Helping out a family friend (I'm the guy with a long bed pickup and power tools... the call starts "Hey, can I borrow...") in Harris county yesterday, quite literally around the corner from a new COVID 19 testing site. He knew the Constable stationed there, so we stopped for a few minutes - then coming back thru about and hour and twenty minutes later, stopped again and asked about numbers in that time. Said official looked at his checklist and yawned "Three"...
One can find videos all over youtube of empty emergency rooms, empty testing centers, and empty hospital parking lots.
Also, "Americans create new economic threat"--tsk, tsk, a link to CNN, aka commie news network looking for the latest crisis.
The state set up two days of testing in April in my little Gulf Coast town near Corpus Christi. 187 people were tested, all negative, apparently not even any false positives. There have been only two confirmed cases in this county, both mild. Businesses have been allowed to open at 50% capacity.
Pushing the Goalposts:
Science brings a great deal of knowledge to the world, but there is a common but dangerous tendency to go beyond informing public policy to actually defining public policy. Being a scientist does not qualify one to land a jetliner. Being a professional pilot does not qualify one to prescribe medicine.
Public policy is not science. it's part group psychology and a whole lot gut instinct, Dr Fauci is an example. He certainly knows his subject matter, but tends to be data driven (good for research, bad for other things). He tends to treat this almost like a large scale Sim City game, where disease control is a matter of inputs, rules and outputs. But there's much that he seems to ignore. The importance of the economy, psychological effects of uncertainty, isolation. The fact that people in a group behave differently than people isolated (this is deeply based in our evolution) and that people as individuals often do not choose to do what the experts decide is 'in their best interests' (another key factor in our evolutionary success--difficult times spark wildly different responses, some will succeed).
[Side point: Some people were puzzled by the cutting short of the remdesivir trials, changing the the measure to treatment time rather than outcome. Some felt that it was a hedge by Fauci to get some success scored... but the issue is quite different. It was planned as a placebo/treatment test but when it became evident of at least some effectiveness for the drug, a number of researchers (including Fauci, as I understand it) wanted to pull the plug and start treating the placebo group. Astonishingly, quite a few of the hardline data driven researchers wanted to continue the test as planned. Fortunately they lost that battle, the results were declared a partianl win and the placebo patients got belated treatment.]
WHAT HAPPENED TO THE TWO WEEKS AND THEN WE RETURN TO NORMAL?
It's easy for the government to handout candy, but virtually impossible to take it back. The same thing will (or is) happen with the so-called stimulus payments. People will get the "free" candy and then the people (a.k.a. voters) will feel entitled to it. Even now, the (democratic) socialists want to give $2000 per month to everybody making less than $120K per year. They will make this a permanent condition. That's either $2000 they must steal from someone who does the work or $2000 they must print (which effectively steals the purchasing power of anything you've saved).
And, if you've never saved anything, it's stealing from the people who did save. We never get past the story of the Ant and the Grasshopper.
In OK phase 2 will begin in a couple days. Already, I've seen sports teams practicing in the field behind my house for weeks. Lowes was probably more full on Saturday than I've ever seen it. Grocery stores and gas stations have been busy the entire time. Kids on my street have been playing outside all day, everyday the entire time. Any restaurant with a drive-thru has been full the entire time. Non-essential surgeries and doctors' offices have resumed weeks ago. I'd say about half the people wear masks in public. Social distancing is a joke. People pretend to do it for a while, but nobody really does. Mass is open to the public for Tulsa Diocese starting May 18th, but there is still a dispensation for people who are not yet comfortable with it.
I feel sorry for people who were unable to work, but for those of us able to I don't think life hasn't been that much different. It seems that almost every business has been deemed essential except for entertainment venues. People are ready and willing to go out and do things.
I'm in OK too.
Stores open for business and parking lots filling up. Restaurants open and customers are inside, maybe not full capacity but that will come. Home Depot and Lowes as well as nursery's and landscaping have hardly missed a beat, Road construction never stopped. Traffic has increased notably on the highways and streets leading to downtown as people go back to work. That's the real news--OK is back to work.
Traffic has increased notably. I'll miss hitting 80 during morning and evening rush hour. The best piece of news reporting I've ever heard was a couple weeks ago on a local news radio station for the rush hour update. "Traffic is moving at the speed limit or Better on all the highways."
Had my first COVID perverse incentives outcome this week ... Concrete contractor had to fold up and give deposits back for all his May and June work orders. Reason? His 'employees' ... i.e., independent jobbers ... won't come back to work until their rich unemployment benefits run out. But that means he can't take work until half the season is done. Thanks congress! So the contractor threw up his hands.
I see headlines today expecting near instant "bounce back". While I know the natives be restless, and the traffic is increasing, I doubt instant will be the result. If restaurants and retail has to operate at half of their normal footprint, they don't need to hire everyone back. With everyone in their faux gas masks and glaring down their neighbors who get too close, this isn't going to be a quick return to normal.
Vaccine Needed Before Normal Returns
Well, if you define 'normal' as the way we were acting on January 16, 2020 to pick a date then you're probably right.
To paraphrase a comment I read at Ace's place a while back, let's put some rungs on the ladder between putting everybody under house arrest and acting like we never heard of Wuhan Flu.
REOPENING COUNTRY IS KILLING BLACK PEOPLE
There is a possibility the racial disparity in COVID 19 deaths may be due in large part to vitamin D deficiencies. Most of the disparity is seen in northern states while in most southern states the disparity is much less. For Latinos in some states like California and I think Texas they are the least likely to be over-represented. Simply taking vitamin d supplements or getting more sun when the UV index is 3 or higher would increase D levels. I think it was in Taiwan a study showed those with low levels of D were 19 times more likely to be hospitalized with the virus. I am not saying racism does not exist. I am saying the lack of D, which is much easier made in white-skinned people may account for much of the racial disparity seen in people with the virus among blacks and Hispanics.
The gender disparity is huge while the racial disparity is minor. Far more men die from Covid-19 than do women. Following the liberal logic this is the result of a decades of discrimination against males. Therefore we want more free stuff.
Liberal logic always points to more free stuff! More government!
re What happened to the "two weeks to flatten the curve" that was offered?
Well . . . why even bother to shut down the economy for an illness that 99.8% of us will survive?
Unless of course there are cronies that want to make money off the crisis, or votes to buy, or an opportunity for a power grab by government, or there is a perceived political edge to be gained.
The whole sorry affair is so very disheartening.
"Social Distancing' is Snake Oil, Not Science"
Same is true of masks and gloves. In fact masks and gloves increases the likelyhood of virus transmissions not lessens it. Washing hands and hand sanitizer is good and not touching things or your body is good.
Social Distancing = Snake Oil
That's a little disappointing, isn't it? The history of quarantine is literally founded on social distancing, ships coming into port from plague countries and being confined for forty days. And in the COVID-19 era, the 6 ft / 2m separation distance is based, I thought, purely on the concept of droplet-borne virus transmission from coughs, sneezes, etc., not to mention direct physical contact.
I've been seeing workers moving through the stores wiping down every touchable surface on a pretty continuous basis, and prepping grocery carts for customers, all with disinfectant. Is that snake oil too?
I think such sentiments do a disservice. It seems pretty clear that the curve has been flattened in all but the most crowded cities, where S.D. wasn't truly embraced (e.g. subways & nursing home edicts). We need to open up, and we need to get on with things and start healing both the economy and society, but we need to be encouraging critical thinking and deliberate actions, not sowing scorn and ignorance.
Scientists pushing the goalposts further.....Like Fauci, he is not a practicing scientist but is instead a practicing administrator. His job is to keep the money flowing one way or the other. Demanding a vaccine and fearmongering over having no vaccine seems to be the M.O. of those tied to government and at the government trough.
A vaccine? What are the successful vaccines for RNA duplicating viruses? The seasonal flu is a a DNA replicator and its successful but a year late. There has never been a common cold vaccine and, (correct me if I'm wrong) its an RNA duplicator.
Never been a vaccine for a coronavirus ever. Not MERS, SARS or any other.
Americans create new economic threat with their own savings:
It's CNN, the Crap "News" Network. Ah wouldna believe anything it broadcasts.
In the video below, Dr Yvette Lozano confirms that COVID-19 is serious but does not warrant panic and that the lockdowns are unwarranted. She also provides an alarming insider’s view of what the establishment has been doing to suppress hydroxychloroquine, making us wonder why the authorities don’t seem to want there to be an effective treatment.
Watch fast; this is certain to be banned by YouTube:
Insisting from the start that "People will never put up with this" is of course part of the self-fulfilling prophecy that people won't put up with it. It is analogous to the decades of "Well, kids are going to have sex/take drugs/drive drunk/cheat on tests anyway, so why bother to fight it?
I'm not impressed with prescience that people help create, comrade.