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Our Recent Essays Behind the Front Page
Tuesday, February 16. 2021
Bill Gates Goes Full Captain Planet, Wants To Change 'Every Aspect Of Economy' While We Dine On Fake Meat
Get Ready for COVID-19 Variants Panic Porn Perma Mandates
How The Legacy Media Convinced Americans That Andrew Cuomo Was A Hero
Why Did the Pandemic Drive People to Purchase Tons of Toilet Paper?
NYC Public High School Calls for White Abolitionists
They Can't Quit Him: Democrats Have a New Plan for How to 'Get' Trump
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Why Did the Pandemic Drive People to Purchase Tons of Toilet Paper?
While it doesn't really bear on why people would purchase it in great quantities, there really is no adequate substitute for toilet paper. The other factor that seems to be missing, or at least only touched lightly, is that it's not perishable. People may grab bread and milk before a storm but the quantity is naturally limited to what you can consume before they go bad, or you've wasted money. Food products also have a lot of natural substitutes, either in form (frozen, fresh, canned) or type.
That was a rather silly article, calling the toilet paper shortage "a bit of a mirage". When you shut down all the schools and the businesses, you've suddenly got everybody using the bathroom at home rather than at their schools or places of business, using home-standard toilet paper rather than commercial-standard toilet paper. It's not like toilet paper manufacturers produce widely-varying amounts of toilet paper, they know pretty much exactly how much toilet paper to produce to meet demand. When demand suddenly changes it takes them a while to react, you can't just push a button to change production, you have to retool production lines (and if you don't know how long these lockdowns are going to be in effect you have to guess at whether or not it's going to be worthwhile going through the expense of retooling to meet a temporary shortage) so there was a very real shortage. People aren't stupid, if they know there's a shortage they grab what they can while they can.
Which is exactly why "price gouging" during emergencies is actually a good thing and the government is stupid for passing anti-price gouging laws. If a hurricane hits your town and gas is suddenly $20 a gallon, you're only going to buy as much as you absolutely need. If gas stations aren't allowed to raise their prices, everybody stocks up and there's no gas available for anybody at any price no matter how desperately you may need it. And nobody's in a big hurry to take any risks re-supplying if there's no profit in it for them to do so.
It strikes me that they're ignoring the unseen half of the toilet-paper market.
Georgia-Pacific, who makes the Quilted Northern and Angel Soft brands, estimated early in the pandemic that households use 40% more toilet paper when stuck at home and not going to work or school.
We started out with people being told to stock up for 2 weeks so that they wouldn't need to be in the shops interacting with others, toilet paper is a non-substitutable item, and it turned out we were all using 40% more of the stuff distributed in retail channels because we were using near on 100% less of the stuff distributed in commercial sales to schools, restaurants, and offices. Sales in that channel didn't swing much because of long-term supply contracts, but they've all got a bit of a surplus now.
We buy our toilet paper 48 rolls at a time under normal circumstances. We need something that's septic-friendly, and we got tired of not being sure the local stores would have it in stock regularly. That's how much trouble I'm willing to go to to make sure I don't have to go without toilet paper: if I'm going to order it on-line anyway, why not order in bulk? Our normal supply easily outlasted the shortage last spring.
This is hurricane country. I imagine we do just as people do who live in ice-storm or blizzard country (which normally isn't here!): make sure you have a comfortable supply of things that would be really inconvenient to do without for a week or two at least.
Which brings me to the point: Generators! Fireplaces! I can't believe how many people couldn't take realistic account of the danger that the electrical grid might fail. It's not like we haven't seen it happen repeatedly in recent years. We lost power for two weeks here after Hurricane Harvey in 2017, but we had AC, lights, water (cistern and pump), and sewer (septic) the whole time.
All the commenters on this threadlet hit good points. I will add that it seemed to start in the places where people have gotten stuck at home before: hurricane country and blizzard country. We kid about bread and milk up here, but toilet paper was already gradually getting added to the list even before Covid. (I still think Dunkin's is missing a trick by not having ad campaigns to instill the idea that you should stock up on them before a storm, too, BTW.)
So some people, like me, just thought "I'll pick up more than usual this week and next, just in case." It doesn't take many people buying 20% more to change the grocery chelves. And all that unused paper sitting in schools, restaurants, and offices is not of the same type, and can't just be switched to retail.
Once started, panic can intensify quickly. Not only news stories but social media photos travel to other regions instantly now.
Quite right AVI.
Panic buying can take on a life of it's own.
I recall back in the 80s, an anti-freeze shortage. Once it was announced people came out of the woodwork to buy existing stocks.
I remember elderly ladies who never changed their own anti-freeze were buying a jug or two and putting it on the garage shelf, "Just in case . . ."
It's just human nature I guess.
I happened to be living in Las Vegas when a California TV personality claimed that because of fuel shortages that outlying cities like Las Vegas would run out of necessities like toilet paper. It became a self fulfilling prophecy. Everyone in Las Vegas who watched his show went out and bought up toilet paper and sure enough the stores ran out.
there really is no adequate substitute for toilet paper.Have we become a nation of wimps? Hell, my grandparents used corn cobs when they were young for God's sake. Has nobody ever raised a child with cloth - not paper - diapers? Just use a washcloth to wipe your butt and rinse it out under the faucet like you would a diaper. On a Boy Scout hike, we used grass or leaves. Need I remind everyone that the Arabs just use their fingers? Sheesh...America has gone squeamish, I guess...
That reminds me of a comic who did a sketch about how you could tell the quality of an establishment by the size and durability of the toilet paper squares in the bathroom, finishing up with the line..
"I'd like to meet the guy who can use just one of those little squares in this joint.
I just want to meet him, I didn't say I was gonna shake his hand."
Of course Cuomo was a hero to the national news media - who did they have to compare him to? The national news media is based in New York City with a secondary news bureau in Washington, DC and that's the entire known world as far as they're concerned. It's like the current big story about school re-openings, the NYC schools are closed so all the schools in the world are closed as far as the national news media knows. Do you know what percentage of the nations schools are currently open right now? I'll bet you don't. I know the "journalists" at the New York Times or CNN don't.
It is impossible to have a discussion about race and be honest. 100% of black people's problem is the fault of black people not white or other races. Yes there is prejudice and discrimination towards blacks which was earned by blacks and is well deserved. If you are not black in America you are far more likely to be killed, mugged, raped or assaulted by blacks than you are by all of the rest of the ethnicities put together. There are multiple reasons why this is true but never the less all of those reasons are controlled and driven by black people themselves. The only solution to this is to stop all welfare, replace it with workfare and to run the justice system exactly as Rudy Giuliani did when he was the mayor of NYC. The black leaders and race baiters continue to blame whites for their problems and this continues to make the black's problems worse. We ca choose to treat them like spoiled children or expect them to grow up and learn to take care of themselves. Tough love!
I habitually call out anyone saying "100%" or always, never, unquestionably, obviously, etc. It shows that people are more concerned with making a dramatic claim than they are about thinking things through.
Then how's this AVI? More to your liking or do you have another quibble?
With apologies to Anon, I have edited:
It is impossible to have a discussion about race and be honest. Black's socio-economic problems are the fault of black people not white or other races. Yes there is prejudice and discrimination towards blacks which was earned by blacks and is well deserved. If you are not black in America you are far more likely to be killed, mugged, raped or assaulted by blacks than you are by all of the rest of the ethnicities put together. There are multiple reasons why this is true but never the less all of those reasons are controlled and driven by black people themselves. The only solution to this is to stop all welfare, replace it with workfare and to run the justice system exactly as Rudy Giuliani did when he was the mayor of NYC. The black leaders and race baiters continue to blame whites for their problems and this continues to make the black's problems worse. We ca choose to treat them like spoiled children or expect them to grow up and learn to take care of themselves. Tough love!
#3 Anonymous on 2021-02-16 11:32
Thanks, that actually was better. I have a terrible habit of typing stream of thought without checking it over for typo's or awkward wording.
Van der Veen's dressing down of that media hussy the other day was spot on: The media has to start telling the truth.
Desperate to try to make the President look bad during the early COVID scare, Cuomo was deified not only by the media but by Hollywood. That pompous ass was given hour upon hour of air time to sit on the dais with his 'officials' and pontificate. It was the most Soviet-era Politburo thing I've seen in a long time. Then the achievement awards started dribbling in, celebrating this farce, with cameo appearances by DeNiro, Crystal, Stiller et al, all paying homage.
But what did Cuomo actually do? He panicked and believed that CDC unsupported prediction that he was going to run out of hospital beds. Desperate, he shipped sick, COVID-infected patients back into the nursing homes, rather than putting them on the empty hospital ship sitting in New York Harbor. And then rat-holed the data. All of this with the steady beat of adoration from the media and Hollywood. Talk about blood on your hands.
The Democrats were panicking at the time about being "blamed" due to their early dismissals of COVID precautions as racist, their inexplicable decision to proceed with Impeachment v1 in the face of the pandemic, etc.
Covid-19 is a new reality for the world. It won't go away. It will mutate forever and will probably kill a couple hundred thousand Americans every year forever. It isn't stopped by lockdowns, masks and social distancing but our economy is. The correct way to deal with this in the future is exactly the same as how we deal with the annual flu; vaccinate and protect the most vulnerable but otherwise live life normally. No mask mandates, no tests before travel, free choice on how you choose to protect yourself.
Texas rolling blackouts:
The generation shortage in TX looks like it is double the normal generation supply from wind and solar, and Texas -- while it is generally good for wind -- does have occasional still weather in high-electricity-demand times -- so they normally have plenty of backup for their wind resources.
The deficit of 30GW exceeds the installed capacity of wind there, not just the expected. Something else is causing the problems other than a big proportion of the wind turbines being offline
There's a postmortem from the February 2011 cold weather incident here: https://www.powermag.com/ferc-nerc-february-blackouts-in-the-southwest-could-have-been-avoided/
It looks like on that occasion the extreme cold affected coal, gas and nuclear plants as well as wind and solar, and that localized shortage of natural gas to fuel generators had an effect also.
The Southwest Power Pool (SPP) is suffering the same issues yesterday and today, it is not just a Texas thing.
It appears that a significant amount of natural gas capacity was shut in (not producing) because wellheads were frozen. This does happen and natural gas wells do often produce water, although it's normally not purely fresh, but briny. It can be brought back online, but if your production facility isn't set up for cold weather - a significant investment - then a defrosted well can soon freeze again. Yesterday started at 8° F and got up to 19° F, for me. Today it was even colder at 5° F, but it's supposed to start a warming trend today.
Another problem with the windmills in Texas, aside from the freeze, is that there's no wind with this polar air mass.
Nuclear is really the only way to go for supplying the grid over the long term future. The American Experiment article linked at the story is worth reading. This article is also very interesting, I find.
As with modern nuclear, the best solutions always seem to be scalable.
I was surprised to learn--that is, to be convinced, unwillingly--that while green energy was a piece of the puzzle, the really big hit came from a large number of thermal plants that shut down because their ancillary equipment was not winterized. In particular, instrumentation failed. You wouldn't think a plant that burns stuff would fail in the cold, but not everything is close to the fire. Plants up north winterize more effectively, but it's expensive, and apparently we gambled down here that we could save the money and not have such a severe, long-lasting, wide-spread super-cold siege. We came close to trouble in 1989 and again in 2011, but we just didn't think we'd be this badly caught out. It's quite a severe cold snap.
I wonder if some of this is because we have a more Laissez-faire approach to regulating the utilities here. In more structured states, the investment in utilities infrastructure is regulated to guarantee payout via electricity fees paid out over time. Is it the same in Texas, where there's more of a free market selection for consumers? I don't know the answer, but if it's more competitive and investments don't come with assured - if not guaranteed - payouts, then there would be incentives to limit investment in long-odds disaster protection. They might decide it's better to protect against hurricanes and tornadoes instead of severe cold snaps.
Hi, Texan - you might want to look to the "Great White North" for tips on properly winterizing equipment. We've just endured ten days where temperatures of -30 degrees C were not uncommon overnight, but have had no natural gas interruptions (touch wood).
There is something to be said for properly insulating homes as well. Have Australian friends who - many years ago - came to Calgary to take grad courses as the local uni. We all thought they'd perish in the cold, but they loved our winters. When they returned home, they promptly had their house retrofitted with good insulation, which worked well both in summer and winter.
Another minor trick: when it gets below freezing, leave the cupboard doors underneath the sink open 24-7 so the air can circulate and help prevent freezing. Even with good insulation, we have found those under-the-sink cupboards can get really cold.
How The Legacy Media Convinced Americans That Andrew Cuomo Was A Hero: Not THIS American!
Unspeakable Truths about Racial Inequality in America: It seems that most black people shot and/or killed were shot by other black folks.
NYC Public High School Calls for White Abolitionists: That, in and by itself, makes no sense to me. Idiocy, yes.
Asylum Seekers Stage Hunger Strike: "Beggars can't be choosers? Guess again. Lesser Britain's really getting the world's finest: "The food is awful, and the portions are meager!"
Not to mention, it was prepared by English cooks. Bummmmmmmmmmmmmer...
They Can't Quit Him: Democrats Have a New Plan for How to 'Get' Trump: The BOOGYMAN will haunt their dreams for EVER!!!! Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ah. (The SHADOW knowsssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssss.)
Bill Gates wants to change every aspect of the economy that made him one of the richest men in the world. Now, why would that be?
And he wants us to eat fake meat made out of a fungal molecule somebody found in a geyser in Yellowstone. Good luck with that one, Bill.
He and his weird wife should step outside their ivory tower and take a look at the real world.
Do you remember the riot in Charlottesville? The city and the police engineered that event so that it would maximize the interaction between the conservatives who had a permit to hold a rally and the Antifa crazies who wanted to cause violence. The death that occurred there was more the fault of the mayor and police chief than the man driving the car. The entire event was coopted by the left with the intent of creating a violent situation where the right could be blamed. The MSM cooperated fully and if you only read or watched the MSM you would think a bunch of rabid white supremacists attacked innocent people who were only there to protest the Nazi right.
But if you dug deep you realize we were all duped by the scheming left and everything you saw and heard was a lie.
Fast forward to the Jan 6th riot. Same thing except this time it was the DC Mayor and Nancy Pelosi setting up the violence. They intentionally held back the police and refused the offer of national guard troops. Inexplicably the capitol police actually helped the demonstrators get into the capitol even while many of the Trump supporters were trying to warn the police that Antifa had infiltrated the movement. Of course they knew Antifa had infiltrated, that was the plan. There is sufficient evidence to prove that Antifa were the activists causing the violence AND that there was a setup just as there had been in charlottesville to create a violent made for Television event that could be used against Trump and his supporters. There is plenty of video where the capitol police were colluding with the Antifa activists to set up situations intended to be caught on video.
Yes there needs to be an investigation but I suspect that the 'investigation' that Pelosi is calling for is intended to make sure only the damning evidence against Trump supporters surfaces while the truth is buried. We have been duped once again by the communist left Democrats.
"Bill Gates Goes Full Captain Planet, Wants To Change 'Every Aspect Of Economy' While We Dine On Fake Meat"
1. If nations aren't working together to defeat a relatively narrowly defined pandemic, what makes anyone think they're capable of working together to tackle a vastly more broadly defined issue like "climate change"?
2. I can't help thinking that "climate change" is now yesterday's news as an all-encompassing ideology. It's just that none of its acolytes seem to have quite realized it yet.