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, May 23. 2020
As Common Sense Returns to the Gender Debate, Radicals Set Upon Their Own Allies
Climate Change is a Threat to Expensive French Wine
Coronavirus pandemic shows how risk-averse Americans have grown
CDC Admits Coronavirus Mortality Ratio is Similar to 1957-58 Flu Pandemic Where No Lockdown Was Needed
California doctors say they've seen more deaths from suicide than coronavirus since lockdowns
As predicted by our idiot President - the press mocked him for that.
Via Cafe Hayek:
Judge Positively Scorches Ohio Health Director for 'Criminalizing' Gyms
Stop Calling The B-52 Bomber ‘Old’ — It’s More Youthful Than A B-2 Stealth Bomber
2030 Scenario: US Navy Robots, Carriers and Mines Counterattack China
Why is China an enemy?
Tracked: May 24, 09:36
Tracked: May 24, 09:51
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Statistics and models I've been taken aback by how much faith people have been putting in models and the statistics.
For example, we have all heard stories of a coworker’s elderly father-in-law, with end stage lung cancer, going into hospice for his last week of life only to have his death attributed to Covid, much to the stunned surprise of the family. Anecdotal,I know. I’m not implying that there is a conspiracy, just that these diagnostic decisions are riddled with ambiguity and subjectivity. Clearly Germany has a more stringent criteria for identifying Covid deaths as their stat is 1 death for every 10,000 of population. For the USA, it is 3 deaths, and in the UK 5.4 deaths, for every 10,000 of population. This works both ways, because in the early days, deaths were under reported since it took some time for nursing home deaths to catch up with the reported statistics. Just something to consider.
I am in favor of perfect knowledge. Do we absolutely know for sure that the elderly father in law did NOT die from Covid-19? Or is this merely a case of a convenient confusion suitable to use to pursue an agenda? If in fact the elderly father in law did have Covid-19 and this last straw killed him then he did in fact die from Covid-19. It does not matter that some doctor had previously said he had a week to live. It does not matter that he had cancer. If Covid-19 is what killed him than indeed Covid-19 is what killed him!! And it is strange that all of a sudden the world is willing to just cast off the old folks as long as it suits their agenda. I can assure you that if Son in law had come to father in laws room one night and suffocated him with a pillow that no one would be questioning how he died. Son in law would be facing hard time for murder. So what is the agenda? To somehow downplay this illness by any means necessary?
"Why is China an enemy?"
Whoa, more insults from Anon. Not surprised.
He was in hospice for a few days. I only know, what the son-in-law said and that is that they were not notified that he had Covid, or indeed, that he had been tested, or that he tested positive.
Never the less it is a little odd that suddenly people want to find alternative causes for death simply because they are Covid-19 deniers. These are the same people who told us all those deaths in nursing homes were just people who were going to die anyway.
I remember a case in my state a few years ago where a old man in his 80's killed his wife in the hospital. She was suffering with a deadly long term illness and it was obvious he wanted to end her suffering. He was charged with manslaughter. No one made excuses or offered an alternative cause of death.
I first believed that it was indeed the Covid-19 deniers. You know the same one's who claim that it is no worse than the regular flu. But now I have my suspicions that they actually indorse or at least tacitly accept these mass deaths in nursing homes. Maybe they are Governor Cuomo supporters trying to save him from the consequences of his fatal decisions. Maybe they own stock in nursing homes. Who knows, they could be too young to care about older folks. Sad...
Sheesh, more half assed insinuations. You know, just for the record there are more than two POVs. It' not just , Covid is just the flu or Covid is 1918 redux, there is a wide spectrum of opinion in between. Wild accusations make you sound like the old geezer at the end of the bar.
Besides the obvious motivation that we should want accurate statistics, the cause of treatment and death is important financially, politically, and most of all medically.
Financially because Medicare pays more for Wuhan virus treatment so there is an incentive to ascribe it as the cause of treatment and death. Also, some life insurance policies could interpret a pandemic as an act of nature and therefore not be required to pay.
Politically because it fuels a narrative that keeps people afraid and aids politicians who never want a crisis to go to waste (and more people would gladly give their freedom to them when otherwise they would not).
Medically because it is important to know how it is transmitted, who is more at risk, how to avoid it, etc. Knowing, for example, that the elderly, especially those with certain medical issues are at greater risk of dying, it should be understood by everyone, even politicians, that it is criminal to put Wuhan virus patients into those populations.
So if the death count is skewed by the actions of hospital administrators (whose hospitals are going broke) or politicians who intentionally put others at risk, does that help paint an accurate picture of the risks from the disease? Would an appearance of heightened risk help power hungry politicians hold more power over us?
There are certainly ambiguous causes of death but it is important to be as accurate as possible and if a single primary cause cannot be determined, then multiple causes should be listed and statistics that are published should reflect that.
I understand that it is not true (i.e. fake news) that medicare or anyone pays more for Covid-19. This was a misinterpretation of the simple fact that the hospitalizations costs and thus the billing was higher. And that is of course because the illness is so serious. If you have identical symptoms and get identical treatment as a Covid-19 patient the costs and reimbursements will be the same.
"I understand that it is not true (i.e. fake news) that medicare or anyone pays more for Covid-19." Saul
Saul, from my limited research, the hospitals do get paid more for Covid-19 patients. The CARES Act portion regarding payments is not easy to decipher making it difficult to say exactly how much is really being paid out by medicare to the hospitals. Read the actual law online and see if you can line it out.
I saw one NYC article that indicates NYC hospitals were pulling in about 12 grand for each Covid-19 body they could tag. That aligns closely with the 13 grand that various news sources reported.
Of course, this is nothing new and anyone who follows health care problems knows that there are always health care organizations, administrators and doctors being hauled before the judge for medicare fraud.
Unfortunately, the taxpayer still has to foot the bill.
Here is a source that takes the time to explain it.
About halfway down the page. He is kinda blunt so be warned. But his opinion comes from being on the job 30 plus years.
You can choose not to believe him or come up with your own logic to explain why Covid-19 patients cost more than less sick patients. But if you understand what he is saying you will see that some have taken a "truth" out of context intending to make it appear to be something else altogether.
T paraphrase what some have done: It is like a body shop telling you that head on collisions get a lot more money to repair from insurance companies than do parking lot fender benders. So the body shops are all reporting parking lot fender benders as head on collisions. Well that should be to obviously fake news but I'm sure a conniving person could parse it so it sounded more like what they want you to believe.
I suppose too that this could all be an honest mistake... Naw! I think they did it intentionally; fake news.
Also, some life insurance policies could interpret a pandemic as an act of nature and therefore not be required to pay.
Please explain this. Life insurance policies pay upon the death of the insured from any cause unless specifically exempted. An exempted activity might be motorcycle racing, or skydiving. But otherwise death is death. I have never seen a life policy with an exclusion for acts of nature. As the end of all lfe is death, all death is an act of nature.
Property damage policies may exclude acts of nature which would be unforseeable for an area, hurricane losses in Kansas, for example, or specific damage where a risk known, such as flooding. Buying property damage insurance along the Gulf coast which excludes all acts of nature would be idiotic.
BTW, suicide is generally excluded only for the first two years a policy is in force, despite what you hear on television or overhear at Walmart.
Apologies Anon, I know the concern you have for the covid 19 victims is genuine. But give a little credit to your fellow Americans, eh.
This point can only be made to work if they don't do the very same attribution during the height of a normal flu season. I don't know the answer to it - just pointing it out. What matters is this: Have health officials instituted a new procedure for Cause of Death solely for COVID? I haven't seen anybody come out and say this, although plenty have suggested it's being done in order to get Federal money, which would be contemptible if it were so. If the government wants us to abide by the data for their rules-making, they first have to take measures to ensure that it's verifiable by audit.
"Climate Change is a Threat to Expensive French Wine"
Er, no, expensive French wine is a threat to expensive French wine. They have priced themselves out of the market leaving the field open for plenty of other countries to produce excellent lower-priced alternatives.
Why pay $100 for a Bordeaux when I can stock my small cellar with three or four solid Argentinian Cab Sauvs? Or splash out on two well-made California reds?
As a connoisseur of Fine Plonk I agree, and suggest going Whole Hog on some tasty Romanian "riesling"* -- $100 nets you a case with enough change for a large pizza and bag of tacos. Better is the enemy of the good.
*Lovingly referred to as "gypsy plonk" in my politically incorrect household
When I lived in Germany some 50 years ago I enjoyed German Riesling. There is probably no better Riesling anywhere than in Germany. So I asked some of my German friends why the "good" Riesling never seemed to make it to the U.S. We had a few imported Rieslings but under labels you would never find in Germany and of a quality that would never be accepted in Germany. German Riesling in Germany is outstanding. Well it seems the answer is that Riesling doesn't travel well and 50 years ago it would have been shipped by boat and by the time it got to the U.S. and was marketed it had lost it's fresh delightful flavor. I have tasted many of the American versions of Riesling and they just don't compare.
Time: Climate Change is a Threat to Expensive French Wine
Over time, it could be, as the climate has been changing
slooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooowly since the planet has had an atmosphere. But what do I care, because I don't drink wine any more.
Coronavirus pandemic shows how risk-averse Americans have grown: Include me out. I live in a rural area. Nearest neighbors are 2-300, maybe more, feet away.
Stop Calling The B-52 Bomber ‘Old’ — It’s More Youthful Than A B-2 Stealth Bomber: This is encouraging.
re Why is China an enemy?
If there was a kid that claimed a bunch of the playground as his own while stealing your lunch and trying to intimidate you, what would you call him? A friend?
China is an enemy because they calculate that is in their best interest.
re California doctors say they've seen more deaths from suicide than coronavirus since lockdowns
My wife refuses to believe this, and says this is anecdotal because, "No official numbers were published." And besides, she's absolutely terrified of the virus, so nothing can be worse.
"Why is China an enemy?"
It isn't. It is the Chinese Communist Party that is the enemy.
Coronavirus pandemic shows how risk-averse Americans have grown
No one can say any American is risk averse or is a risk taker without knowing the objective odds of an event happening and the subjective values that person places on varying outcomes.
But I'd lay heavy odds that the author of the opinion piece has not volunteered to do his part to help create herd immunity.
I say again, comparing the numbers between a long finished epidemic and an ongoing one is the work of a liar or a fool.
and your medical qualifications are?
I'm just trying to decide who to rely on. an anonymous claim that everyone in the medical community is a fool or a liar or centuries of epidemiology and practical experience.
You don't need anything other than common sense to understand that the numbers from past epidemics are known and the numbers from this one are still ongoing. We don't know what the final numbers will be yet.
As Common Sense Returns to the Gender Debate, Radicals Set Upon Their Own Allies: Of course they do. They ALL have to be "holier than thou".
"Coronavirus pandemic shows how risk-averse Americans have grown"
Not "Americans" but those of the 'elite', highly credentialed and easily duped by the media. As well as those who wish to emulate them. A good number of American continued to go to work, were concerned, but looked at real information instead of the panicked, "common sense" coming from the "experts" and officials.
Many are doing it on intuition, but are happy to hear when you lay it out to them as to the most commonality among non-healthcare/sick-household transmission, i.e, prolonged close-range spittle-rich contact...indoors.
But there is no talking to the highly-credentialed, 'elite' who are proving to have ill-disciplined intellect regardless of all their school attendance.
“Why you fool, it’s the educated reader who CAN be gulled. All our difficulty comes with the others. When did you meet a workman who believes the papers? He takes it for granted that they’re all propaganda and skips the leading articles. He buys his paper for the football results and the little paragraphs about girls falling out of windows and corpses found in Mayfair flats. He is our problem. We have to recondition him. But the educated public, the people who read the high-brow weeklies, don’t need reconditioning. They’re all right already. They’ll believe anything.”
— C.S. Lewis, That Hideous Strength
“Radicals set upon their own allies.”
Apparently not. Can’t radicals choose their own allies and enemies? And I respect and support their free choice, since they were born that way.
What a surprise—sexual and psychological derangement reappears as political and social derangement.