Look Beyond The Virus: The Left Wants Us Destroyed And They’ve Got The Means By Bill Reader


Look Beyond The Virus: The Left Wants Us Destroyed And They’ve Got The Means

By Bill Reader

 Author’s Note: Throughout this article I have referred to the Wuhan Virus—the name that follows the standard practice of naming viruses after their place of origin, said practice being adhered to in the case of all pandemics not originating in countries that have multi-billion dollar disinformation apparatuses at their disposal—as the CCP virus, using the convention put forth by the Epoch Times (paywall). I believe this is fair, given that China spent its energy suppressing discussion of the virus when they ought to have been suppressing the virus itself, and thus massively worsened its impact. Without the CCP, this “gift” to mankind would not have been possible. Also, in what I consider the unlikely event of the virus making good on the worst predictions and killing millions, it will be in keeping with the standard practices of the CCP and communists generally. The CCP virus is also colloquially known as COVID-19 in many sources, because we may have experimental treatments for CCP virus but the cure for political correctness remains as elusive as the Elixir of Youth.

Seeing as how I am, at present, forced to be home during the panic, I have a bit more time than I ordinarily do. This means I have more time than I have recently had to read the news, heaven help me.

I will freely admit that I am not a virologist. This isn’t my area of expertise. I can certainly appreciate the many arguments that CCP virus is more serious than the raw numbers suggest. Exponential growth, as in compound interest, can lead to nasty surprises. I have nothing against common-sense precautions like hand-washing, minimizing physical contact and maintaining decent personal space. And at best we have no real idea how it’s going to behave here yet. The US is not Italy and it’s certainly not China or Iran. That ambiguity holds the potential for much milder performance— but nobody really knows, and the worst case is quite bad.

However—I have worked with enough experts not to blindly trust expert opinion, especially not when huge political pressures are being leveraged and maximizing groupthink. You can take the reliability of an expert’s opinion on most things and decrement it by a percentage point for each US senator intensely interested in making use of said opinion for a pre-defined agenda. If you infer from this that if the expert was anything less than 100% accurate to begin with, their opinion can easily end up with negative reliability—that is, somewhat reliably incorrect—you are drawing the correct conclusion.

More broadly, I was not born yesterday.

I’m going to paint a picture for you of what I see happening. Maybe you disagree. Maybe I don’t have it entirely right. But I’ve talked to a few of my friends and I know for a fact I’m not alone in my thinking. Maybe it’s time we start talking a little more openly about this, for the good of the country.

I’d hate it to be said I’m being ambiguous about what I’m arguing. I’ll be plain: I believe the Left worked to help cause a crisis, worked to maximize the psychological impact of the crisis, and now have been given the means to determine the extent of the crisis. And if we do nothing, they may do tremendous harm to the country. For years I’ve written that the Left has at least passively been programmed to hate the country and works against its interests. I’ve detailed at length how the well-intentioned rank-and-file Democrats contribute to this, and speculated extensively about the mindset that might justify, drive, and predict their behaviors. Yet even for someone as relatively jaded as me, I am shocked at what I have seen in the last few weeks.

So step back and ignore CCP virus for a moment. It’s not that it’s not important and it’s not that it’s not dangerous. But pay careful attention to what it’s being used to justify.

Let’s go back to before CCP virus made landfall—I seem to recall the Leftist media licking its chops at the prospect. In the context of which, repatriating people from the Diamond Princess cruise ship explicitly against Donald Trump’s instructions struck me as an interesting move. By interesting I mean “a move intentionally calculated to maximize risk to one’s fellow citizens”. In the last few weeks it was one of the more brazen and sickening things I’ve seen the Deep State do. Raising blue Hell because Donald Trump ended flights from places most affected by the pandemic was likewise a fairly interesting move—again using the above definition. I was especially amused to read the coverage saying that most of the new infections are community-based transmission, as if this demonstrated that minimizing the infective individuals starting those transmission chains was therefore irrelevant. This school of thought was brought to you by the same sages, one assumes, who would not bother to turn off the water to the leaking pipes if their basement flooded, because after all, the thousands of gallons of water that have already come out of the pipes are the priority.

I enjoyed, sardonically, watching the US media gin up the virus’s presence into a full-blown panic utterly unjustified given the actual objective performance of said virus. I visited my grocery store the other day and had to check the news afterwards to make sure that Trump and Pence were still alive, and Nancy Pelosi hadn’t become president without my noticing. I don’t blame people for panic-buying, though, because the media is essentially threatening them day and night.

And I need to digress on this further. I also couldn’t help but notice—and it was pointed out by a lot on the Right—that the US media synchronized its push to make it forbidden to talk about where the virus originated from with China’s media push to forbid it. That is a deeply disturbing synchronicity with implications I hadn’t even considered until it happened. At best, and I very much hope this is the case, they are the most gullible, anti-American stooges in creation and they will latch onto any narrative that harms the country. That’s bad, but the worse possibility, and one I can’t rule out, is that they are actually working on behalf of China.

Most major media companies have some substantial presence in the Chinese market, and in that capacity publish—as Mike Bloomberg famously admitted—censored news. Which is to say they both depend on China for much of their income and have established pipelines to the people who shape governmental media narratives in China. They should probably be assumed to have a conflict of interest in this situation for that reason alone. I would put hands in the fire that many reporters are sympathetic to China besides. Journalism and academics are not the same, admittedly, but they do by and large have similar political leanings. And I knew a great number of professors who ten years ago were earnestly advising students to learn mandarin because the Chinese were going to rule the world. To people who are old communist sympathizers in good standing— and the Left has many, I assure you; see also: Bernie Sanders— that was not merely cynical realpolitik, but the hope of throwing active support behind the new “good guys”, now that the mass-murderers in the PRC have supplanted the mass-murderers in the CCCP in that role.

The broader and more awful question is that if we simply consider the possibility, for the sake of argument, then that raises the question of how many American news narratives conform to what the PRC wants. Consider the ginning up of a panic in that context. In fact, consider the last three years in that context. Consider the inordinate focus on Russia, given that their involvement in our election was provably minor. Why dig so hard at something that they almost certainly knew was nothing from the start? Consider the sudden insanity that seemed to grip the American media on Trump’s election, the degree of hyperbole in the coverage, the disconnect between what the media reports and what’s objectively seen. And consider also the glowing coverage of people who, even if they weren’t socialists, would still be obviously incompetent for office and a danger to the United States—witness Joe Biden.

I’ve heard many conservatives note that these things seemed to come out of nowhere, that it was disproportionate to all factors we could openly see, and offer psychological or strategic explanations to try to explain the gap. But what if we got all of that wrong all along? What if they became far more insane than was justified because we didn’t see all the factors in play?

For now I am simply keeping the hypothesis present in my mind as new information comes in. I think there’s enough information out there to be suspicious, but not enough to be certain. We are, after all, dealing with hyper-partisan Leftists trained by the most anti-American institutions in America, and mental illness or strategic considerations aren’t impossible. But there’s far too much money on the line for our media companies for us to simply blithely ignore that Chinese interests could be corrupting our media.

But the most disturbing thing that I see, in the context of all this, is that far from merely wishing that the US economy will tank in the wake of CCP virus, the Democrats get to have a direct hand in ensuring it will. Now, to be sure, some closures and limitation of gathering sizes was probably inevitable while we get a sense of how bad CCP virus is in a country where most people aren’t half-starved, chronically severely lung-damaged or geriatric. Businesses that run on thin margins like restaurants were going to be in serious trouble as a result, probably no matter what.

What is modulatable is how long these things go on. Because governors have a free hand to do what they like in the response, they can also be extremely unreasonable in response. While it’s not true of most of my colleagues, I’m getting a lot of secondhand reports of people being fired as their workplaces do some grim calculations on whether they can afford to pay wages during this. Some businesses are going dormant, and that’s the optimistic view. Between that and difficulty getting various products—since large parts of our supply chain were in the PRC, which was always hostile to us in a low-grade sense, and now is coming off months of shutting down the country wholesale—a huge economic hit is in progress. But both of those things are recoverable, and in fact may end up to be the seeds of the solution, since more people may be free to assist us in getting domestic manufacturing up and running at the end of this.

Unfortunately, that depends on the restrictions being lifted in a timely manner, and right now—given that it is explicitly against the interest of the Democrats for the economy to do well and they finally have a good excuse and the means to stop it at will—we need to be weary of governors (and other government officers in a position to do so) enacting excessive shutdowns, and maintaining them for excessive durations, for nakedly partisan reasons. They know, as well as we do, that every week that this goes on costs more Americans their livelihoods, makes more people run through limited reserve funds decimated by the prior decade of Democratic governance and still not rebuilt despite the much better economic policies under Trump, and makes the economy start further behind when all this ends.

“But surely, Bill, you want to continue the restrictions as long as necessary to prevent this terrible disease killing anyone,” you might say. To which I respond that, sadly, life is about optimization, not maximization. The line of reasoning arguing we should try to prevent any deaths is the line of reasoning from which the Left argues that we should shut down the entire economy to prevent all pollution. When you define an extreme enough goal, your solutions become untenable, however distasteful the tradeoffs may seem. By the way, does the “shut down the economy to prevent global cataclysm” narrative sound a little more familiar now? It should. To bring further clarity to the matter I recommend reading this excellent article from Joy Pullmann at “The Federalist”. The upshot is that no, actually, we should not blithely destroy our economy—which we all depend on, young and old—in order to prevent spread of a disease we have no idea the actual severity of, which might well almost exclusively be a risk to people with serious co-morbidities or advanced age. Those groups, incidentally, being the groups at more risk for dying of nearly anything, including similar flu like illnesses we might not have noticed if not for the over-the-top publicity.

When I hear rumors of offices wanting to extend this through May, or even 18 months of intermittent shutdowns, as noted in the article above, insofar as I’m keeping tabs on the progress of the CCP virus and know that it’s not in response to anything I’m seeing, I’m forced to conclude that either there are internal statistics I’m not privy to (which I gage as less likely now that the CDC is no longer acting as a single point of failure and filter for all stats), or they’re responding to motives having nothing to do with the virus. Maybe it’s more that they smell blood—an opportunity to tank the economy. Who knows, maybe they could even expand the welfare rolls a bit. It’s all upside when your main political angle is taking advantage of people when they have a rough time, and you know how to cause a rough time. If your sales pitch is that they need a third party to guarantee their basic needs and then fate lets you start artificially chipping away at same—and you’re morally sanguine about being part of a protection racket with a government address—then this is the opportunity you’ve prayed for.

For this reason, you need to be attentive not just to news coverage but to the raw numbers on the virus. Though I can’t prove it, I think we can trust the numbers coming from our own medical institutions at the moment, if nothing else because it’s been decentralized enough to make lies complex to maintain, with a lot of people who could help provide information to debunk a deception if one was tried. If someone tries to say the utmost precaution is needed or, heaven forbid, inflate the numbers above reports, and it doesn’t conform to reality, people working at the hospitals are still free to say—”gee, weird that there’s only one case at the largest hospital in the largest city in the state if we have 2 million cases”. Because we aren’t China, the information is at least likely to be available.

But absolutely do not count on the media to tell you. They have a vested interest in not telling you when the ramp-down happens even if they are mere partisans, and if they’re something worse, that goes triple. Go to the source. Pay attention to the news in the spirit of knowing what’s being fed to you. Pay attention to whether it continues to connect up with the Chinese official narrative. We may have a whole other crisis to deal with after this one, in that respect.

And once you start to see a drop-off—I’m talking, say, three days of day-over-day drops in active cases—you need to be applying pressure to your governor, by E-mail, telephone, or written letters. Make it clear you’re paying attention. My bet is they’re going to be counting on the public to be over-cautious. That’s the whole point of the media panic. What they want is for you to defer to interpretations of official reports that they get to control or cherry pick the authors of. And if you do that, frankly, I think they’ll drag this out for at least a full month longer than necessary purely for their own gain, and that’s my most optimistic guess. They might even succeed at causing a full-on depression which would be to the benefit of nobody, but especially the old and infirm this is supposedly meant to protect. So make them fully aware that you know the underlying numbers, and that you’re not interested in being in quarantine at their pleasure. Politicians pretty reliably protect their own political interests given sufficient pressure— and that’s where you come in.

Also, start establishing online networks now, if you haven’t already. One interesting side-effect of all this is that it’s almost impossible to petition politicians in the usual way during a quarantine. You can’t have people gathering signatures near public areas, or going door-to-door in neighborhoods, and you probably would have great difficulty even filing the paperwork. If you think that the people in your government haven’t noticed that, you’re being naive. We might be forced to start looking into the tactics of the Left instead—bringing overwhelming online attention to the actions and elevating the noise-level surrounding the subject to the point where it can’t be ignored, however anyone feels about it. To facilitate doing this, you might make good use of your quarantine time by putting together groups of like-minded people who are both paying close attention to news and would be willing to help shine a light on a target if any of you notice anything funny going on.

It might not hurt to knock on a few neighbor’s doors and make friends too, even if you do so from an approved interpersonal distance. There is zero reason to take down the internet during all this— and you should regard anyone suggesting we do so when much of our remaining economic activity, and all of our discourse, is moving online en masse— as explicitly an enemy of the country. But if the idea gets floated, you might be glad to know some people in the real world.

This is a difficult time for our country. Our own institutions are largely arrayed against us. It’s hard, at this point, to even be sure to what extent they are still our own institutions. But even from right there, where you sit, you can do things to help ensure the country gets through it, and to blunt the offensive of the Left against the country in our time of weakness.

I urge you to do so.

415 thoughts on “Look Beyond The Virus: The Left Wants Us Destroyed And They’ve Got The Means By Bill Reader

  1. For now the panic appears global. Different countries with different incentive structures do roughly the same things. While I can see Europe’s leadership trying to get rid of Trump, even at a certain cost to their economies, I don’t see that as likely in Israel or South America.

    If the tide turns in those countries while still being in full swing here I’ll get paranoid.

      1. Other countries have more cases per population because they’re smaller countries.

        Progression is pretty much the same. One or more persons with Covid-19 arrive in the country, gets past quarantine screening somehow, and infects enough other people that contact tracing and after-the-fact quarantines will no longer work, at least at the levels the country is willing or able to apply.

        At that point, the country is now in breakout mode: The virus is expanding exponentially, and can’t really be stopped. this usually happens around the time you have 50-100 total patients.

        from there, the known instances of the virus continues to double every 3 days.

        Because the USA is quite a bit bigger than any one european country, that early breakout phase constitutes a lesser share of our population. the virus needs roughly 7-8 days of additional exponential growth in America in order for the per-capita numbers to match the day 1 numbers of Italy, because America is 5.5 times the size of Italy.

        The rate-of-growth has been pretty constant in America and all Western European countries. We’ll get to where they are, it’s just going to take us an extra 8 days because we started later, and an extra 8 days because we’re bigger.

        Italy STARTED to Panic on about March 8th, when confirmed infections hit about 120 per million, and was pretty definitely panicking by March 11th, when infections broke 200 per million.

        the US should hit 120 per million on monday or tuesday, and 200 per million on Wednesday or Thursday. Friday at the latest. We’ve been heading straight there for the last 16 days: 25-40% growth in cases each day.

        How well the US healthcare system, and American Demographics, will handle hitting those numbers… no one really knows. We’ll find out in a week. Maybe we started panicking a little early, and overreacted…. or maybe we didn’t. We’ll see.

        1. Your first sentence is absolute nonsense. After that I can’t really read ANYTHING you have to say.
          You just said “How high is a mouse when it spins.”

        2. “Other countries have more cases per population because they’re smaller countries.”

          Guys, honestly life offers very few things to be proud of. But I’m proud that MY blog witnessed the posting of the stupidest comment EVER posted on the internet.

          1. MY blog witnessed the posting of the stupidest comment EVER posted on the internet.

            Gack! Never, never, NEVER tempt Fate like that! Call it, instead, “the stupidest comment” posted on the internet to date.

            Life has long since taught me the folly of challenging the universe’s capacity for producing greater stupidity.

          1. Precisely. But after that first sentence I expect he’ll tell us other countries have more days.
            Also he doesn’t get more tests given to those with symptoms, which is what we’re doing, shows more confirmed cases. Not more cases, just CONFIRMED cases.

            1. Now,now the news tells me that testing cause fewer deaths. The more people who test positiv the fewer people will die. Not a lower reported rate but fewer deaths. It was on the TV so it must be true.

                1. If I knew how to post images here I’d post the one of the “Why Not Both?” girl from that old commercial for taco shells(?) I use on Twitter. 😀

                  1. Though now that I think of it, my Ambassador Kosh “Yes” video would work better… I think I can post that.

              1. I am getting so tired of hearing “the number of positive tests is still climbing!”

                Because it’s going to drop, right?

                And the population is saturated with tests?


                1. It’s stupid. I heard from a relative that a friend of theirs had attended a wedding before the social distancing thing was declared and found out that some of the guests had tested positive for the CCPVirus, so they self-quarrantined for 2 weeks. After that they went to the hospital and requested to be tested, citing that event. They were refused, saying that they were not sick or hospitalized, even when the couple offered to pay for a test. Eventually they were told that there weren’t enough tests, so they were limiting it to people who were already sick/hospitalized.

                  Talk about useless!

                  1. What *IS* the logic of testing folks who are already sick?

                    Testing them for the flu or secondary infections, sure, I can see– but you treat the symptoms, and treat it seriously. Have to isolate no matter what. So what’s the point?

                    1. Information.

                      Random sampling would be more informative at this point but they probably are still count in the contact tracing mode.

                    2. But if they’re already sick, you’d get more information from testing folks they’d associated with who have no symptoms.

                    3. I don’t know. I mean right now the limited number of tests and the being picky about who gets tested skews numbers hard anyway. Which is what I think the test is currently being used for.

                      Mom was complaining that the government is now requiring village-level IDs (that’s what barangay translates to) for ensuring that they are ‘allowed’ to go out, while ALSO forbidding the use of public transport like tricycles. Tricycles. Which you can hire privately, so you don’t ride with other people besides the driver. They want PEOPLE TO WALK EVERYWHERE, even the seniors who obviously would have issues walking. Mom is telling me about how some of the people who are expected to man the essential services have to walk from say, the far end of Marikina City, to man groceries in Sta. Lucia Mall. (Google the distance.) This is contributing to very short operating hours, and she got that information straight from the grocery workers who have been helping us shop since I was sixteen years old (and got to see the two eldest from babyhood onward, so are like de-facto kith.) They don’t do door to door visits in their area of responsibility, and assign an ID for who can go run the errands and who has to be able to travel, or even delegate that responsibility to other lower government representatives. Nope, go to the barangay office. There’s already news of buying the IDs, as well as people actively avoiding the checkpoints because the people manning the checkpoints are cripplingly stupid about how they’re doing the checks.

                    4. the people manning the checkpoints are cripplingly stupid about how they’re doing the checks.

                      By “cripplingly stupid” do you mean that they don’t take bribes or that they demand unrealistically high bribes?

                      BTW – it occurs to me that one reason we will never have a truly “cashless society” is that it would make bribery impossible except for the very highly placed, able to command laundered money a la Hunter (and James and … ) Biden..

                    5. More on the line of being given conflicting advice, and unable to make decisions on the ground, as well as instructions not working for real life scenarios.

                      Cashless wouldn’t work either in the Philippines, given our very high population of non-technological poor and rural folk.

                    6. I’m not saying I believe this is the case, BUT …

                      If your goal was to stoke alarm over the seriousness of this pandemic, wouldn’t testing those displaying obvious symptoms produce the most dramatic possible numbers (and headlines)?

                      Our government would never do that, of course, so there must be a “good” reason.

                    7. Such as “making sure that people Do The Right Thing (literal translation: what I want them to) no matter how much I have to lie and manipulate them”?

    1. Look, every other country bans guns, because someone might misuse them (okay, I overstate, but it’s almost every other country.) We chose to go the other way.
      This is the same thing precisely. The dilemma is the same. So, a few people might not social distance/stay home if they have sniffles. Do we put the entire country on lockdown because they might misuse freedom? And destroy our economy COMPLETELY in the process?
      Or do we give warning, instruction, and carry on in the belief our citizens are responsible enough to take care of themselves?
      And if they’re not, are they responsible enough to vote?????

      1. And if they’re not, are they responsible enough to vote?????
        That is the hope of some and the fear of many. Hope – to move us entirely to a technocracy. Fear – because they will vote us into a full technocracy.

        1. If the idiots who make up the Progressive Left actually managed to create a Technocracy (and that’s one hell of a big if) it will fall apart almost instantaneously. Oh, they’ve subverted a few actual technocrats who want to sit at the Cool Kids’s table, but the vast majority of them can barely dial their phones. They use plug-and-play tech and WYSIWYG apps and think that means they actually know how to program.

          I don’t know how to program, but at least I know it.

          An actual technocracy would come down around their ears because technology runs on math, and (as I’ve hinted a time or two before) they’ve been ducking math since sixth grade.

          This isn’t to say that we should sit back and watch them fail. If they do they will make one hell of a mess. But their illusion of control and competence is based on getting a large number of people they openly despise to make things work. And they ain’t good enough actors to keep that up if they go full-on fascist.

              1. Ox old, but not quite that old. Christmas 1979 saw the gift of a TI-30* “Electronic Sliderule” (LED version, then) but a few years later learned to use the real thing. My calculator (app now) of choice is the HP-48. Yeah, RPN. Got so used to it that it’s awkward to use a ‘regular’ calculator.

                * I think I still recall how to turn it on and off without using the ON or OFF keys/buttons. Trick of the keypad matrix, I suspect.

                1. Ours have disappeared over the years. I loaned mine to my little sister when she started college. She replaced it almost immediately her first year. Never got it back. Hubby’s disappeared into the “some place safe” universe dark hole. Dad had a small one. Don’t know what happened with that one. I’m (almost) sure, we’ll find it when we have to go through mom & dad’s home when mom passes (in 10 to 15+ years, please). I knew how to use one. Probably will take some basic reintroduction, but can learn again.

          1. You misunderstand “technocracy”.
            Technocracy is the same as an aristocracy, except entry into the coveted class is based on either knowledge/know-how or accomplishments other than bloodline. So, the aristocracy would be GWH Bush’s family or Clinton’s. But the technocracy includes Everybody Who Goes To Harvard and Yale. And, eventually a technocracy becomes all about signaling instead of actual useful knowledge or true achievement. It’s why Camera Hogg got into Harvard when he’s academically unsuited for it (based on their supposed standards).

            Yes, it will fail, because we’ve already reached the signaling phase. (We’re Americans, we’re over-achievers!) But it won’t specifically fail because they can’t do math/programming. It will fail – if it fails, lots of aristocracies have succeeded for a long time – because it fails to understand humans, and thinks it can make them into perfect little automatons to fill out their envisioned utopia.

            1. Where they (and, sorry, you) make a mistake is confusing certification with ability. A true Technocracy would be based on people who know how to make technology work to their ends. They don’t have that. They mistake being able to hire people who make technology work for the ability to work it themselves. THEY went to Hah-vahd. They MUST be smarter the all those dreary code-nerds!

              Maybe. But they haven’t trained that intelligence to do much besides play stupid Woke games. And stupid Woke games don’t make anything WORK.

              They will fail. But while it might be amusing to watch them fail from a safe distance, living in the wreckage as it’s falling down will be no fun at ALL.

              1. *I* am certainly not confusing certification with ability.

                But, a technocracy is NOT “technology” except in the broadest sense. Ideally it would be truly competent people staying within their lane. But that isn’t how humans work.

                No, a technocracy (by definition of being an -ocracy) will always be certification-centered or (more likely) a matter of credentials (like where you went to school).

                1. As someone who has seen many complete losers who are, nonetheless, “certified” in something that should require knowledge and skill, I certainly won’t be confusing the two.

          2. My husband overheard a staff meeting via Skype and was listening to my peers talk. He kept making gun-shooting his head motions. Then he brought me a stiff drink 🙂

            The wokeness really is in direct proportion to utter lack of math and technology skills.

          3. It’s not know-how, it’s credentials.

            China managed for a long time when having examinations where the questions were so stock that they judged the candidates on their penmanship.

              1. It’s managing better than many a civilization has managed. Taking the existing state of society as a given that need not be maintained is the fast route to lacking it.

      2. It is important to view the draconian oppressive measures being taken by people like Newsom as a dry run for the “national emergency due to gun violence” that the Democrats were already stating they intended to proclaim if a Democrat wins in November. In essence, they will impose Soviet style martial law, demand people stay at home, arrest those who do not comply, all the while going door to door to confiscate guns. We know that Biden’s “gun advisor” Beto proposed that, as have many other Democrats. They also know that just as the ACLU and other groups will go along with the current totalitarian style lock-downs, they will gladly go along with one targeting guns. And if Democrats control presidency and Senate, they will pack the Court asap with Justices who will uphold what they are doing.

        This “state of emergency”, not the virus, is a fundamental threat to our freedom, liberty and our very lives.

          1. The Left has seduced/corrupted a certain number of military officers. Witness the assorted Woke idiocies the military has pursued in recent years. Being the Left and living, as they do, in an echo chamber, they think this means they control the military. They have NO idea.

              1. Apparently not … in one of my early mil-blog posts, I had a long, long, long essay about how the quiet network of mid-rank NCOs had a quiet web of reciprocal exchanges going all over just about every base, post or activity. NCOs have actual access and control over just about every essential service or item required, and wide discretion about how those services/items may be dispenses.
                Old Air Force saying: the NCOs actually run the service, the officers just think that they do.

              2. Sadly…
                1) A lot of contractors run things now.
                And 2) a lot of those NCOs are corrupted, as well. They’ve been thoroughly propagandized into the prog sheeple mindset. (I’m seeing this at work as those vaunted NCOs put up flyers from the CDC that have as the #1 priority “COVID-19 is not limited to one or two races” and crap like that.)

                1. That can be pure protective coloring.

                  Like how nobody argued with my divo when he expressed shock that I had a W sticker on my car, because I seemed like such a nice girl.
                  (I didn’t take offense, I did manage not to laugh at him, it just took years for me to realize that was really inappropriate. Because that’s normal lefty junk.)

              3. They don’t even know that our enemies asked their snipers NOT to shoot our officers, because it made us more dangerous.

            1. The progs have captured the Flag ranks: Think Generals, Admirals, etc. I know a lot of you probably love “Mad Dog Mattis” but he exactly the problem: If you were actually going to fight a war, you’d look at where Gen. Mattis wanted you to go, and head in the direct opposite direction.

              How far down the rot has gone, is anyone’s guess.The guys who actually work for a living are probably ok, but what will they do when all the officers have gone full Stalinist?

              1. Obama directed a systematic purge of officers in order to replace the ranks with those who viewed the military’s main role as being social justice warriors. One of the unnoted but important aspects of Trump’s defeat of Hillary is that it prevented Hillary from completing the job that Obama started with completely corrupting the military into a tool for serving partisan leftist interests rather than defending the nation.

      3. I’ve been phrasing it like Sowell does “Who can be against clean air and clean water” Unfortunately, I can’t remember which of his many writings has that phrase.

        While I’ve been really limiting our families excursions, I would like to be self-limiting, not having that externally enforced. And I’m struggling to understand why the worst case scenario would justify their actions (My estimate of the worst worst case: 15% mortality still leaves 85% alive to be America, run our businesses, rebuild healthcare system and manufacturing and live the rest of our lives) While their solutions will… put many more out of work and steal the money from everyone, working or not, alive or still to be born.

          1. ^^THIS! I’m there with you, being at moderate risk, so I was just taking extra precautions. Going back to my grannies dress sense, of white gloves for ‘going out’. I do need to break out the 1950’s hats with the veils. Yes, I know it’s not sanitized, but I don’t want to live my life in a plastic bubble! LIFE IS DANGEROUS!!!

        1. The economic disruption caused by forty-five million people dying would be considerably higher than that caused by the current state of affairs.

            1. Worst-case modeling I saw figures from earlier today was about 2 million deaths in the U.S., IF WE DO NOTHING. However, our lockdown is the difference between us and, say, Italy or Spain. The U.S. has about 10% as many cases as Europe, but something like 0.1% as many fatalities — across roughly the same area and population. The economy will suffer either way, but it’s a lot easier to recover economically if you’re not starting every day with “Bring out your dead!”

              1. Someone needs to do that scene with dialog like “It’s only allergies!” from the old man. And make sure all the peasants are sniffling and coughing, but keeping their distance while crawling about.

              2. I don’t THINK that’s the difference, Reziac, really. I think the thing is pretty non-lethal, unless it hits a population ALL over eighty and suffering from horrible things

            2. If one assumes the infection rate from the Diamond Princess as the worst possible case, and apples the mortality data from South Korea by age cohort to the entire US population, this absolute crazy perfect transmission everyone-kisses-everone-else-with-tongue-and-licks-handrails infection results in a maximum number of deaths of just under 540k people nationwide for the US.

              And 395k of those are age 70+, which begs the question how many of those would have succumbed anyway to pneumonia caused by the season flu this year.

              I’d say this simple model represents the outside bound, and I’d guesstimate the actual numbers will be something on the order of 1/10th to 1/5th of this.

              1. Note for scale: US all-causes deaths for all age cohorts in 2018 was 2.8 million people.

                1. Where are the dead?

                  3/16. 23
                  3/17. 24
                  3/18. 41
                  3/19. 57
                  3/20. 49
                  3/21. 45 I’m not sure if this day is complete

                  I know it’s low numbers and volatile but still. ….

                  Given the testing is late and still biased toward people with doctor’s referrals the majority of those being reported as new cases have to have been around for a while since being tested does not make you sick. That leaves aside the notion that this has been around since December and there’s “anecdotal” evidence in Italy that that’s true

                  The number of cases is unknown but I suspect the number of dead is accurate if for no other reason than that I had a hard time finding the marginal numbers and had to calculate them from the scary exponential charts.

                  Let’s hope it stays thAt way and the politicians declare victory and go home

                  Great piece on Medium where they break all these numbers down. Course that’s anecdotal too

              2. Back of the envelope, one hundred million dead. From communism.

                Assuming a bunch of failed mental saves. The reds pull off this latest push, and gain power for a while.

                Flawed estimate, because grabbing a fraction that has been talked about in the past, one third, and applying to US population size.

                  1. Depends on what we find out about Covid and about the PRC’s alleged cover up.

                    1. another concern of mine is that this IS partially engineered… that it is version .022b of something they were trying to weaponize and it got out…

                    2. well, my scientific friends tell me it’s not (SOME of them, others… say it might be incompetently engineered.) But yeah, this is what they’ve been trying to do.
                      Also another question is what happens to the wounded dragon and how crazy do they get as they sink and have to lose dreams of empire.
                      Enough to keep me awake at night. Though there’s other things doing that….

            3. I know that. I was replying to the notion that 15% of the population dying wouldn’t be that bad.

              I’d say the high side for us is a million, and based on the current numbers I’d say it’s going to be more like 100K-200K–in other words, between two and four times as bad as a normal flu season.

          1. There’s a story in the OT(belief in literal historicity of the story in question is not required) where David counts the people, God becomes angry and says pick one, three years of famine, three months of defeat by your enemies, or three days of plague. He picks the plague because he would rather trust heavenly mercy than fall into human hands. I think that is an apt story for this moment in time

            I would rather pay a high initial cost now in people, trust in heavenly mercy, but leave our country free to continue to live and create especially if the other option turns our country into an authoritarian state that thinks nothing of 100 million dead (what is the death toll from communism?) and enslaves our future generations.
            I am all for staying home voluntarily, and have been cackling about the unintended consequences of work from home and do school from home (when many women [probably men to, but they aren’t asked] have said that they would prefer a work situation that lets them be home when the kids are home). But I had an allergic reaction when one stupid governor said we ought to nationalize businesses to handle this. Because I don’t believe he just means this one crisis. I think it would turn into one crisis after another.

            1. Precisely this. If they said “Stay home as much as possible, and try to keep social distance” I’d be fine.
              Seriously, we’re introverts who work at home. SOMETIMES we go to the botanic garden or the zoo, where we walk a distance from other people, while looking at things/enjoying the sun.
              BUT putting me under house arrest means I want to to go running out into the most crowded street I can find, hold massive house parties and generally stick up my middle fingers at them.

                  1. “I have a small problem with authority. (It’s smaller than the budget deficit. Also, who wants to know?)”

                    I might have a small problem with authority too. I can reign it in. But, dang …

                    I might have been guilty of finishing my first degree choice because I was told (repeatably) that I would fail at it because I was a girl.

              1. Heck. I’m retired. I rarely leave the house, except to walk the dog around the neighborhood (they haven’t stopped that, yet). But I do have to have some socialization. I mean limited. Classes for the dog (who really doesn’t need more training), pack walks, for fun agility (getting expensive). ALL of which has been shutdown. I’ve got cabin fever, already. It’s like within minutes of being told “can’t” my head went, “But …”

                Hubby still has golf. CA pretty much shut that down, but Oregon hasn’t, yet (I think they’ve forgotten about it as it is still rainy season). They have to buy their beer & drink it at the tables outside for their “socials” (oh heck – bragging, BS, gossip by any other name).

                1. I’m an introvert who likes to SEE people. I look forward to church every week, because we do church, then dinner. It’s still mostly just Dan and I but we get to see a bunch of strangers.
                  Same with walking in the botanic gardens. We have few neighbors and most of my walks in the neighborhood are solitary.
                  We like going to the botanic gardens, sitting on a bench and talking…. while people walk by. or going to the zoo and making rude comments about the hippo. You know, normal stuff.

              2. Hell, the same folks who were screaming at me for not having a flu shot– but don’t want it to be possible for folks to keep sick kids home, or for companies to work with their workers to work from home if they’re sick, and who apparently JUST FREAKING DISCOVERED the idea of washing your hands correctly– are now screaming that we all need to be on forced lockdown.

  2. The question is simple: will more people die as a result of the economic disruption than would have died if we hadn’t started doing all this?

    The answer is–no one knows right now. Everyone’s working with uncertain data, trying to figure out if the numbers here are going to be like Italy’s or South Korea’s, and frankly the politicians and journalists are just as scared as everyone else.

    Hanlon’s Razor.

        1. No. Sorry. There are maps with curves. The only one that is even close to ours is Germany’s. Which makes sense if you think about it: the distance, etc. in the culture is the most similar.
          And we’ve seen how it progresses in other countries and bad as it is say in Italy it’s still a really bad flu for them (A ton more die there per year than here, population wise)
          Apparently the full lock down is based on a computer model. Color me skeptical.

          1. A model that says we may need to shut down all economic activity for 18 months. That model is obviously incredibly flawed, and it’s a wonder anyone except the global warming gurus are using it.

              1. Some are terrified. Many are simply power hungry elitists who think that they need total power to dictate to the ignorant masses “for their own good”. And they are using this virus outbreak as a means to gain power and set a precedent for further and permanent power-grabs. People like Newsom, House Democrats including their leader Malig-Nancy, etc., are in full “never let a crisis go to waste” mode and they intend to use this virus and the steps being taken as a means to achieve their long desired goals, none of which have anything to do with the virus.

                  1. Yup. Though you didn’t need too much info to see this coming. I saw it, and was debating taking another cash loan out of my 401K to make it real money, not vaporware money. But I had to wait two months due to some rules at the company. ::sigh:: So close, and oh well, no crying over spilt milk. (WTF spell check? spilt is a real word!!)

                    1. I though about switching out of some investments and then back in, and didn’t do it. Hopefully they don’t manage to keep us going downhill forever.

          2. Now you are getting into math following graph curves. Please remember the progressives can’t do math. They can’t do simple multiplication and division much less exponents.

              1. Speaking of insanely fiscally impossible demands, the $1,000 per month “:universal income” that many Democrats are demanding comes to $300 billion per MONTH for 300 million people, which means about $3.6 trillion per YEAR, or basically most of the current entire Federal budget. Then add their other Marxist wish list items. They could confiscate everything that every person has and still not be able to pay for it all. In some part of their minds they must know this. Thus, their effort to keep ramping up unsustainable spending is purely for the purpose of instigating a Marxist revolution/takeover using the old Cloward-Piven strategy.

                Add the Democrats and their media arm dutifully pushing the CCP party line (not surprising given that the Democrats want to be the CCP and rule the USA the way the CCP does), and their allied PACs spending millions for partisan ads in key swing states denouncing Trump over the virus, and it is clear that the Democrats don’t care about those they mean to rule by hook or by crook. What they care about is achieving and keeping power and using that power to turn us into another Venezuela, Cuba, Soviet Union, Mao’s China, etc.

                1. You must be mistaken — Yang is Asian and therefore presumptively better at math than you. Besides, they probably won’t be giving money to kids, nor to people already on Socialist Security, so likely not more than 200 million Americans will get that stipend.

                  Unless, of course, they realize it is discriminatory to not pay that to illegal aliens undocumented residents. But it doesn’t matter because all of that extra money in circulation will stimulate the economy and unicorns will fart gold dust to finance it all.

              2. As I say; these people have been ducking math since sixth grade. Well, in some ways, I’ve been ducking it since I graduated high school. But I HAVE read HOW TO LIE WITH STATISTICS. They haven’t. Or if they have they missed the basic lesson that when you use those techniques to lie with statistics, you get fantasy, not information. They use statistics to lie to US and then turn around and believe the lies, because SCIENCE!

            1. Yet, the core of leftism seems to be an animistic faith in curves provided by others. Marx’s curve in particular, but you see it with many many other curves.

              1. That is exactly what it is; it is a religion to them, and they are as adamant about burning heretics at the stake as the Spanish Inquisition was at its worst (yes, I know, NO-ONE expects the Spanish Inquisition, but in this case, the Inquisition is part of the model Democrats intend to use should they regain the Presidency and gain full control of Congress; the other models being in large part Mao’s Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution; we see this already in academia which they control and see how they have been introducing it to society at large at a slow boil).

                1. All of which is very true, but their financial model for continuing is in deep trouble. Hence the widespread talk about ‘Free College’ and forgiving college loans.

              2. Misread that as “an animistic faith in curses provided by others” ….then decided that’s even better. Leftist shamanism being what it is.

                1. Curses is found in very many faith practices.

                  Marxists are the big cult where the other definition is concerned. But there are a bunch of management fads with some of the same qualities.

          3. The only one that is even close to ours is Germany’s.

            Germany also happens to be the one closest to ours in number of critical care beds per hundred thousand population. Just an observation; not drawing any conclusions.

                1. oh and. technically, a lot of our normal beds meet the parameters for critical care beds when a ventilator is rolled into the room… meanwhile, a lot of european critical care beds do NOT meet our standards for an ICU bed, (Fun things while ubering a critical care nurse #3)

            1. They have a climate similar to ours and a like social distance bubble as well. Similar demographic living situations, too. At least more so than Italy, which people keep focusing on.

    1. Pardon me, btw, we do know.
      I don’t know if you’re aware of it, because I don’t know if you have contacts in the health community. I DO. The homeless are frequent flyers at ERs. They take up a disproportionate number of beds.
      Also, though you might not realize this, the homeless have tons of contact with people in other strata of society. Drugs, begging, other stuff.
      So…. How come the homeless aren’t crowding the ERs and dying in droves? One thing we do know is that this virus hits those with co-morbidities — hello, homeless — but our homeless, though fanning out from the center of towns where the begging has gone unprofitable, are NOT crowding ERs and free clinics. They’re not dying in droves. We keep hearing how they need protection and are a population at risk, but ERs should be JAMMED with them. They’re not.
      This is roughly the equivalent of miners panicking that death is coming for them, while the canary keeps tweeting away.
      NO ONE even attempts to explain that, as our states force us into house arrest.

      1. Sure, go ahead and dash all our hopes.
        Some of us were thinking that the virus was a great solution to the rampant homeless problem in so many left/democrat controlled cities.
        Ah well, there’s still bubonic plague I suppose.

        1. “Ah well, there’s still bubonic plague I suppose.”

          Still possible. After all Yersinia pestis is endemic on the ground in mountains & desserts from at least east slope of the Rockies to the Pacific Ocean from the southern edge of the Arctic, down into Mexico, if not S. America. It has limited transmission between animals & people currently through insect bites, specifically fleas (flying insects are not a vector for Yersinia Pestis). Unless it gets a chance to infect the person to the point it becomes transmitted via aerial spray droplets, it is serious, can be deadly, but not epidemic or pandemic. Though it wouldn’t surprise me if other continents have similar regional issues. Yersinia Pestis kills it’s human hosts, so no one carried it between Black Death epidemics of history. Yersinia Pestis. Is. Laying. In. Wait.

          1. So is it the cake or the ice cream which is more likely to be3 carrying the plague bactillum?

            1. Either / Or / Both ?

              I can’t even claim ESL for a reason. Until you pointed it out I would have sworn I had the correct word for Deserts (desserts) or my “s” key got stuck … yep, that was it. “s” key got stuck … (never mind that I picked it from a list of possible words … nope “s” key got stuck …. my story & I’m sticking to it …

              🙂 Also, 🙂 – damn, I was sure my husband hadn’t join the list; to be sure this is something he would definitely do. My shopping list, you know for when I sneak out because I must do some grocery shopping, has baking potatoes on it. Hubby looked at the list & read my scrawl and stated he “preferred fronting potatoes” because baking looked like backing. 🙂

        2. Anyone remember EQ (the original) where if you played an “evil” Cleric part of your story line was arranging to “cure” the people living in the sewers under the city?

          Some of the NPC dialog was super funny but also horrifying because it was all presented as profoundly altruistic!

        3. The homeless maintain pretty good social distance, though not so much from their own choice in the matter. More importantly, we’ll learn just how well this CCPvirus is spread through feces, and whether the 3-day survival rate on hard surfaces is real.

              1. Oh. Yeah. Colorado Springs was like that in the early nineties.
                THOSE homeless I’m not surprised they’re not getting sick. It’s the ah…. flocks in downtown Denver (or downtown CS now) that I think would be dropping dead if this were as deadly as the media insists it is.

                1. Seattle – where it is cold, as in snowing, so they are forced into crowded shelters or freeze.

                  Eugene – where it is chilly. But still most tend to bunch into tent cities, & congregate. When it rains they get closer under bridges. Gets “shelters” open cold … see Seattle.

                  Portland – the congregate in different downtown areas.

                  San Fransisco – do I really need to mention this? With pictures of tents lined along sidewalks blocking foot traffic? The reports of …

                  These are the obvious ones I can think of. Most might not include Eugene but I live here … so …

                  Yes if it was that deadly, there would be homeless dead in their camps. Guess they could be going to the hospital & dying. But the numbers aren’t supporting that either. I doubt like heck that homeless are dispersing because of virus and the lack of traffic to beg from. Mainly because they still want need their free services.

                  1. THIS. No, they’re not going into the hospital and dying more than usual.
                    Well, a lot of them disappeared from downtown Denver, but I later found out they fanned out to the slightly more outlying “outer downtown.”
                    In search of people.
                    Yeah, until and unless the homeless start dropping dead, none of this is REAL.

                2. There’s some weird things about this one.

                  Honestly, I found the Ebola scare of ? – 2014? Less scary because no-one was trying to play hide-the-science with the disease.

                  Here’s one that gave me pause, and not because I find “bio-engineered” particularly scary per se. It’s the “we have to destroy data about BoP-engineered because vested interests.”


      2. Homeless don’t have much contact with globetrotters. That’s probably the difference right there.

        [My cynical little voice adds, “But that can be fixed.”]

        1. Ah, but Hunter Biden has stated he bought his drugs in the homeless encampments in LA.

          I doubt he is the only globetrotting scion to use that marketplace.

            1. Gasp! I CANNOT believe the way you’ve just dehumanized homeless people! The pathos, the humanity, the horror! (clutches pearls) I fear I will never get this knot out from my kickers now!

              1. My dear wallaby, Alexander the Great provides the sovereign remedy for knots…….. 😉

    2. Simple fear does not fully explain the desire to suck up to the ChiComs.

      Okay, yeah, the PRC is expelling journalist organizations, and journalists may well think that this means that they cannot help fix the situation, and it is essential for them to do so.

        1. Left journalists are alien, and may be more alien than we readily imagine.

          1. Have you noticed how many of them move like puppets? Even the ones who don’t seem to have a mild version of Tourette’s Syndrom still have those weird robotlike movements.

            No, totally serious. Could be something as simple as unconscious aping of others in their in-group. Not all SJWs do it, but all the ones who do seem to be SJWs…

  3. No insult intended to Bill or anybody here but it is Insane when the choices are “Believe Somebody Is Out To Get You” or “Believe That Everybody Has Gone Insane (either from fear or other reasons)”. 😡

      1. It is perfectly sane to conclude that alien countries, because they are alien, are inherently hostile, and need to be responded to in that context.

        My problem with @esotericcd’s ‘enemy of all humanity’ formulation for the PRC is that I think that seriously overstates our level of kinship with other populations.

        Communists and Americans do not have the knowledge and values that would permit mutual peace. Americans still believe in this thing called freedom, and Communists inherently lack the capacity for peace, at least in the current version of the faith.

        The basic issue is that previously, we could believe that China had little resources for warring with us after the needs of their own internal security were met. Now, it is certain that we at least need a change in shared thinking where defense is concerned, because we know what China is pulling now.

        It is like how cheaping out on exterminating the Iranians, or at least changing the regime in Iran, seems reasonable so long as Iran only has the resources for terror in the mid east, and not in the US.

        Note that I am not claiming here that I am entirely sane, or that the only sane position is agreeing with me.

        I am saying that a definition of sanity is too narrow that insists on conflating de jure peaces with de facto peaces, and on defense priorities that set by the de facto peaces with all nations we are not officially at war with.

      2. It doesnt even have to be that China is out to get US. Just China acting in its own best interests to leverage the situation, reactivate the economy they shit down since they tried to save face first, and knowing that the panic will result in more buying of all the stuff they sell would do the same. The needs of the chinese govt may not match completely that of the populace it’s a mite more congruent than most of our govt wanting to sacrifice us on altar of globalism.

        But I’m guessing this is gonna be a dress run for start of flu season in october by our enemy government

      3. China is out to assert its ‘natural’ place as the Most Civilized Nation (a delusion they have served for thousands of years, which Communism only makes worse). Since they can’t do this while the US refuses to sink into EU type idiocy, they are against us.

        The Left is in full panic mode, brought on by the Revolt of the Deplorables (the election of Trump, the victory of Brexit, assorted other nasty political surprises), and this is exacerbating their usual nitwiteries. In plain fact, they are flailing. The flailing is dangerous, but is also likely to be ill judged. As our gracious hostess has pointed out, this ‘crisis’ is likely to peak far too soon for their purposes.

        This has been a recurring theme from the Left since 2016. Their timing is off, and their precision is shot.

        Which is why I seriously expect that a bunch of them are going to get CAUGHT committing vote fraud in the coming election.

          1. I doubt like hell they would have the guts. In the first place, the idea off being in close proximity, unmasked, to that many deplorables would scare the bejabbers out of them because of how THEY behave to people who disagree with them. In the second place, if they got the Wu-Flu they would be SURE they were dying, and be in an emergency room loudly demanding a bed (that they wouldn’t need).

          2. Back in 2000 there was a small explosion over such an effort:

            Flu-Spreading Columnist Angers Bauer Campaign
            (CNSNews.com) – An official with Republican presidential candidate Gary Bauer’s campaign is pushing for legal action against an Internet columnist who boasted of infiltrating one of Bauer’s offices with the intent of infecting Bauer and his staff with the flu.

            In a case which has gone largely unreported in the established media, Internet columnist Dan Savage could face legal challenges after he posed as a volunteer for Bauer’s Iowa campaign headquarters and sought to deliberately spread the flu virus to Bauer in protest of the candidate’s conservative ideologies.

            Savage wrote of his infectious adventure in the Internet “e-zine” Salon. He described the steps that he took to spread the flu to Bauer’s staff three days before the Iowa caucuses.

            “Naked, feverish and higher than a kite on codeine aspirin, I called the Bauer campaign and volunteered,” Savage wrote. “My plan? Get close enough to Bauer to give him the flu, which, if I am successful, will lay him flat just before the New Hampshire primary.”

            “I would go to Bauer’s campaign office and cough on everything – phones and pens, staplers and staffers. I even hatched a plan to infect the candidate himself,” Savage continued. “I would keep the pen in my mouth until Bauer dropped by his offices to rally the troops. And when he did, I would approach him and ask for his autograph, handing him the pen from my flu-virus incubating mouth.”

            Savage called his plan “a little malicious” and “even a little mean-spirited” and claimed that those same words could be used to describe the means by which Bauer and the “religious right” carry out their agenda.

            Bauer’s Iowa campaign manager, Loras Schulte, who is reportedly battling the flu himself, isn’t taking Savage’s actions lightly.

            New York Post columnist Rod Dreher reports that Schulte plans to file a “criminal voter-fraud complaint against Savage” and is “investigating lodging assault charges.”

            CNSNews.com has not been able to reach Schulte for comment following Bauer’s last- place ranking in Tuesday’s New Hampshire primary. Bauer’s Arlington, Virginia, campaign staff have not responded to numerous phone calls.

            But the Des Moines Register quotes the Iowa campaign manager saying, “This is not a laughing matter. Mr. Savage is making quite a joke out of a process I take very seriously.”

            “By his own admission, he did a reprehensible, inexcusable action,” Schulte said. “In a civilized world, I would think we were beyond that.”

            In addition to any possible legal dilemmas Savage could encounter over his flu-spreading scheme, he may have placed himself in a position to deal with voter registration fraud, according to some reports.

            Using the hotel address where he was staying while “volunteering” for the Bauer campaign, Savage attended the Des Moines caucus precinct meeting and registered as an Iowa Republican.

            “I was, at the moment, residing in Iowa in a dump of a hotel,” Savage wrote in his column. “But you know what? In the five days I’d spent throwing up in my hotel room, and the two days I’d spent at the Bauer 2000 headquarters making phone calls and licking doorknobs, I’d fallen in love with Iowa. In fact, at the moment I was filling out that voter registration form, I could honestly say I would never want to leave Iowa.”

            Savage signed the registration card on-site and participated in the caucus, according to his column.

            Iowa Republican party officials have turned over Savage’s registration card to the Polk County attorney’s office, according to the Register. The newspaper reports that Savage could face as much as $7,500 in fines and up to five years in prison for felony violations of state election laws.
            – – –
            From Savage’s Wiki page:
            Savage tends to liberal political views, with pronounced contrarian and libertarian streaks. For example, he wrote that in 2000, suffering from the flu while on an assignment for Salon to cover the Iowa caucuses, he was so angered by televised remarks in opposition to same-sex marriage by conservative Republican presidential hopeful Gary Bauer that he abandoned his original plan “to follow one of the loopy conservative Christian candidates around—Bauer or Alan Keyes—and write something insightful and humanizing about him, his campaign, and his supporters”. Instead, he volunteered for the Bauer campaign with the intent to infect the candidate with his flu. He wrote that he licked doorknobs and other objects in the campaign office, and handed Bauer a saliva-coated pen, hoping to pass the virus on to Bauer and his supporters (later he said that much of his article had been fictitious). He also registered and participated in the caucus, which was illegal, as Savage was not an Iowa resident. He was charged and pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of fraudulent voting in a caucus, and was sentenced to a year’s probation, 50 hours of community service, and a $750 fine.

              1. I’ll admit, I was less disgusted by that than by the side issue that “North Yorkshire Police were forced to issue a warning to parents asking them to stop their kids from gathering in large crowds and committing antisocial behaviour offences.” It reminded me a bit of the Baltimore mayor’s directive to the gangs to stop shooting each other for the duration of the crisis: a good indication that you have a society that’s FUBAR regardless of the current crisis.

    1. Apparently Premier Xi absolutely hates the personal comparison to Winnie the Pooh – I would continue taunting him with that, mercilessly.
      Ridicule – a powerful weapon. I’d want the grasping, powerhungry, lying a-hole to be an international laughingstock.

        1. Enough that he has redirected the mechanisms of state security to hunt down and arrest those using the term, and has put thoughcrime enforcement in place on Chinese social media to suppress that particular meme.

        1. There was a meme where Chinese people showed a picture of Poohbear and Xi with a similar pose and expression. That’s it. But it took off, and lots of people used pictures of Pooh to express their feelings. So now Pooh is banned from Red China, but is also everywhere on the Chinese interwebs.

          1. Imagining Pooh Bear’s face as the Guy Fawkes masque of the Middle Kingdom.

            Just consider the Hong Kong protesters all wearing that …

            1. I wonder whether Amazon delivers there? Everybody could send him a jar of Hunny. With a return address of Trespassers William, The Hundred Acre Wood .

  4. I recommend Greg Cochran’s West Hunter blog on this issue. https://westhunt.wordpress.com/2020/03/20/john-ioannidis/

    To quote, “He emphasizes the cruise ship ( why ignore other whole countries?) and he distorts that example. Most never caught it: of those that did, all had excellent medical care. That’s no longer possible when many millions get infected – resources are limited.

    He suggests a scenario in which 1% of the population gets infected and 0.3% of that 1% die. We are not seeing that low level of fatality in China, or Korea, or Italy. As for 1% getting infected, where the fuck does that come from? When a new pathogen shows up, no-one is immune, and the only limiting factor ( barring intelligent human action) is having enough contract it, recover, and develop immunity that the virus has trouble find vulnerable hosts. The limit, in a simple model, is when R0, multiplied by the fraction of never-infected people, is less than 1.0 . Since R0 is something like 3 ( assuming no major efforts at social distancing etc), that would require infection of 2/3ds of the population of the United States – with a death rate well above the 1% we’re seeing in places like South Korea. More like 4%, or even higher.

    Again, where in the name of God does this 1% come from? Is Wuflu supposed to quit because he’s caught his limit?”

    Anecdotally, Wuflu is in New York. One of my children’s friends went to the hospital with all the symptoms. The doctor told him he had it, but they were only testing patients admitted to the hospital. The more gregarious of my kids’ friends are catching it. It is very, very difficult to avoid a virus in a dense city like New York.

    Friends working in hospitals are seeing the ramp up in cases here, on the East Coast.

    The shape of the curves is very concerning. More cases are listed, because testing is finally getting off the ground, but the number of deaths is also taking off. https: //www.worldometers. info/ coronavirus/country/us/ (Remove the spaces in the URL)

    I would not expect the homeless to be the canaries in a coal mine, if only that they spend much more time outside than the norm. Their contact with international travelers is limited. If they catch it, with many co-morbidities, they may die before anyone realizes they’re sick.

    China is not a friend.

    1. Er… why is spending time outside a good thing? For heavens sake, they catch every OTHER airborne disease. And no, they don’t practice distancing.
      Why ignore whole countries? Because the countries are LYING. China outright. Italy by not reporting how many people they choose not to treat. Etc.
      Spain by viewing this as a golden opportunity to seize private hospitals.
      The cruise ship? DOESN’T LIE.
      Access to care? Sure. For 700 of them. 1% of whom died. The others didn’t need it.
      No one said 1% of them catch it. Go look at the numbers again. A good half catch it. They’re just NOT symptomatic for the most part. Which is what I’ve been saying from the beginning: it’s everyone. Everyone has it or has had it. For most it was a non-event.
      It doesn’t strike you as funny that you have to be admitted to the hospital to be TESTED? You don’t think that skews the numbers?

      1. And I’ve seen scientific sorts reporting what you’ve been saying all along, Sarah – it was here for a couple of months, and lots of Americans got it and got over it already. And that impacts the numbers, a lot.

        1. If you count that January wasn’t the start, but December, now November … any bets that it started well before October 2019? Thus when US, & other international, troops were in China, they were infected & it was brought back then? In time to start the infection around the world? People who were infected with little to mild cold like symptoms, at worst? … What? No one taking me up on that (bragging rights) bet? Didn’t think so.

        2. While I think it’s probably not entirely novel, you can’t KNOW if a population was exposed unless you do antibody tests on everyone.

        3. We know for a fact it was in Washington State in January.

          If you want to play conspiracy theory games, Dr. Cho, the scientist doing ‘flu research who discovered the presence of “older” CCPvirus was harrassed by the CDC, who tried to stop her testing the ‘flu samples she had.

      2. I think it’s hard to get numbers in the middle of an outbreak. People don’t usually test people who die from expected causes for infection by a totally new pathogen. The FDA/CDC screw up of testing is a grave mistake.

        We lost the chance to test at the very beginning, because China went out of its way to hide their outbreak, until they couldn’t hide it any more. Then, remember how angry they were that the US closed its borders? “Not very friendly.”

        My daughter pointed out that her friends are talking about the possible scale of the outbreak in China. China admits 3,253 deaths. On the other hand, there are apparently 10 million fewer cell phone contracts this year. You need your cell phone to function in the Chinese society, due to their social controls.

        10 million deaths in ~3 months would fit the scale of the lock down China took on.

        I recommend Jennifer Zeng’s twitter feed.

        I would not assume that having had a mild cold means I had had the virus. Sure, it could be true, but there are lots of nebbishy viruses circulating in the winter months. If we assume the virus began around November in China, and takes at least 5 days per patient to be infectious, and that we are separated from China by a long airline trip, even with a high spread rate, it would not yet have saturated the states. Especially as our living conditions are not nearly as dense, outside the cities.

        1. They are testing people who die from disease.
          Oh, for the love of Bob. Yes, it’s likely to spread through the US. Yes, yes, it is. DO YOU KNOW HOW MANY PEOPLE FLY HERE FROM CHINA EVERY DAY and how far they go. Every university. Every lab, most factories.
          It would be EVERYWHERE. In two weeks. Particularly with 50% catching it (maybe) and 80% having no symptoms.
          And that “a mild cough” is very very funny. That’s not what I had, or what anyone had who is SURE they had Winnie the Flu.

          1. Massachusetts is testing. Out of 3312 tests performed by the state and commercial labs, on people who fit the profile for suspected cases, there are only 328 cases confirmed as positive by lab results.

            So if ~10% of those suspected of being infected by medical professionals actually have the virus, then it is not everywhere yet. There are many flu and cold viruses circulating.

          2. Yep. Colds don’t give me 102F fever and difficulty breathing. ($SPOUSE is running 5-7 days behind me in the progress, which means she’s walking, but feeling like recycled crap and weak. She’s breathing better than I was at that stage, thank God. I *might* try to get groceries Monday (last run was 3/10); last night I slept well, and the detailed information from my CPAP machine says I’m on the recovery road. Barring relapse.

            On testing:

            Until March 17, the state health authority was using the CDC guidelines for Wuhan coronavirus testing:
            They had two groups: (My arbitrary names.)

            Group I: They *would* test if:
            Lower respiratory viral infection.
            Negative flu test
            Foreign travel (China) or close association with a *known* Kung Flu person.

            Group II: They *might* test if:
            Lower respiratory viral infection
            Negative flu test
            Patient admitted to the hospital.

            Part of this was that Oregon Health Authority had something like 40 test per day capacity. The doctor who I dealt with said at that time (March 14), they were having a very hard time getting testing kits for the (undisclosed) number of suspected Kung Flu patients admitted as Group II. The only reported case in the county was a Group I person (since recovered).

            Now that private tests are available, OHA doesn’t regulate. I don’t know what it takes to get tested now, and the prospect of relief meds are too far out to do us much good. $SPOUSE is living on Tylenol and mucus tabs, like I did.

            Because it seems that private testing is having an impact (curiously, our county still shows one (1) positive test result; something is odd) I’m using the USA death count as a better proxy for the progress of the disease.

            1. If you believe the 2% mortality rate, then 100 deaths would be about 5,000 infections.

              I think a telling thing is we’re still getting a lot of the U.S. deaths being treated as human interest stories, like the mother of six, breast cancer survivor who’s death ended up in my FB feed this morning.

              There’s truth to the statement attributed to Stalin: “One death is a tragedy, a million deaths is a statistic” and the media is serving us tragedies rather than statistics.

              1. Not sure where 2% came from [redacts the obvious choice; too early for that image], but South Korea (extensive and early testing) is at 1.16%. Germany is at 0.36%. Norway is similar. OTOH, with the Glorious NHS, the UK is running 4.4%. Did I forget a /sarc tag somewhere? Sorry.

                This morning, Insty linked to a story “US cases rising faster than any other country”. He stopped his freakout when Nate Silver (of all people) reminded everybody that we just started testing like (most of) the rest of the first-world countries. Arggh! Can’t people do braining, anymore?

                I’m looking at USA fatalities from officially tested-positive CCPvirus cases. Yeah, it’ll miss not-a-flu (ie, Wuhan Coronavirus cases not diagnosed as such), but it’s the most solid number available. Other proxies are available, but I *think* it’s the best we’ve got.

                  1. Even harder when the object is to promote panic. It’s like a game of telephone with a sociopath in the chain.

                    1. You’ve really got to feel for OCD people who are prone to excessive hand-washing at the best of times.

                    2. I’m not OCD, but with both us with not-a-flu, I’ve learned that SoftSoap is somewhat less hard on the skin than Lever 2000 bar soap. Cetaphil and O’Keefe’s help some.

                      $SPOUSE is barely starting to feel better, and I’m up to light chores. (Take the garbage to the barn; easier today than a couple-three days ago, though still noticable. This ain’t fun.)

      3. This is the main thing to take away from the statistics, especially any rates: The numerator (number on the top for the lawyers among us) may be solid, but the denominator (number on the bottom) is pretty loosey goosey given the limited testing.

        An example: Say you have a small cruise ship of only 1000 passengers and crew, and say you have 20 passengers and crew get obviously sick and 1 dies. You only have 35 test kits and so you tested the sick ones, who all came back positive, and then 15 more, starting with the caregivers staff and then a couple passengers, and got another 10 positive.

        So your infection rate can be no less than 30 out of the total population of 1000 passengers and crew, but what is the rate of actually sick? Is it 20 showing symptoms out of 1000 total passengers, or 20 symptomatic out of 30 positive tests because you can’t get sick from the bug if you don’t have the bug? And your fatality rate: Is it 1/1000 (total pop) or 1/30 (positive tests) or 1/20 (symptomatic)?

        The number you can trust are the positive and negative test results, those with symptoms bad enough to admit to a hospital with a positive test result, and deaths where there’s a positive test result. Everything else is going to be dependent on the number of negative tests, which is itself dependent on the availability of tests.

            1. You’ve reminded me of a Jimmy Breslin line (from The Gang That Couldn’t Shoot Straight) about a mobster who died from heart failure, “It failed when somebody stuck a knife into it.”

            2. /vimes voice
              He died due to the flu.
              But his head is blown off!
              Because he talked about the flu, which embarrassed China, which got him killed. Died due to the flu.

            3. I believe the Russian expression – probably also in Chinese, since commies hang together – was “nine grams.” Of lead, usually injected into the patient at the base of the skull.

    2. US is big enough, and early deaths few enough, that we can’t rely on anecdotal evidence for death rates.

      Statistical evidence for death rates is likewise potentially suspect. On the scale of the US, one could misclassify a fair number of deaths without being immediately detected. On the scale of a state health system, doctors could be murdering elderly and blaming Corona. NY, CA, etc. health systems are run by the adversary, and it is possible that they have been staffed by sufficiently sympathetic ‘doctors’ to quietly carry out such a program.

      1. Hrmm… this just reminded me that the infamous killer ‘London Fog’… happened without (almost?) anyone really realizing it was happening as it happened. Later analysis revealed just how bad it really was. Not sure how that relates to this, but the memory trigger tripped.

        1. I think most of the great lethal pandemics throughout history have been bacteria based rather than from virus’s; if the virus is too severe its spread is often limited because people die before they can widely spread it (as we saw with Ebola which is highly lethal). Spanish Flu death toll was combination of circumstances (during war and likely aspirin over-dosage due to it being a new drug), and even that was not as bad in the USA as elsewhere.

          I think the danger from antibiotic resistant bacteria is ultimately far greater than the overy 10 years or so new variation of coronavirus. Indeed, I wonder how many of the deaths from this virus are actually result of secondary bacterial infections, including the ever increasing hospital based threat of resistant staph bacteria strains. I suspect, particularly in countries with government run healthcare, that once the virus is diagnosed, they never bother to test for secondary infection, which may be a factor in higher death rates, along with the simple “they are too old so we are not going to bother treating them” attitude of the government poobahs who view old people as an obstacle to imposition of their grand global socialist vision anyway.

            1. That it does, plus the fact that my hands are having more than their usual lack of coordination. Combined with spellchoke, its a dangerous combo:

          1. Yes. Everyone acts like coronochan is a choice between death or cake. You can get CCPvirus, or … nothing. What you can get, with every virus (including Winnie the Flu) is the virus AND—

              1. What are your people? Masai? (yes, they name their kids random things that sound good. Like, you know, autobus. Well, Brazilians do too, sometimes….)

                    1. I hope heat kills it. Not just humid heat. Otherwise west coast through the Rockies are in Trouble. It is called a dry heat, for a reason. Question is “how hot?” Because pretty sure Australia, Mexico, Africa, SW America, etc., are warmer now, than the PNW gets all summer; or at least 95% of the time ….

                    2. No one is in trouble. it’s a cold virus. They’re stepping on us, destroying our economy, burying the constitutional republic, because a COMPUTER MODEL tells them this common cold will kill everyone. GRRRR.

                    3. They’re also the guys who think that sending kids to school sick, going to work sick, and generally acting like door-knob lickers is fine but not getting your 25% estimated effectiveness flu shot is eeeeeeeebil.

                    4. Exactly. Because when they discover exactly that, the PNW and other places aren’t humid hot enough to stop colds and flu in the summer months, they are going to double down. Maybe if it just improves on the East Coast where the larger population is, they’ll take a breath & back off. But if Seattle & CA large populations have to level out too … and don’t … or it actually comes out that the homeless populations are being hit …

                      Homeless populations. The news isn’t blasting they’ve gotten hit. Could they keep that quiet? Or are they getting hit, but those infected not being reported as being homeless?

                      I don’t think the numbers support any of this.

                      The one person that currently looks like a financial seer is mom. She panicked about a year ago & pulled her limited funds out of the market (mostly in funds). Ran the math. She actually puts the money she pulls into savings/emergency/travel funds, VS really needs it. She is required to take minimum distributions since she’s 85. Plus math said at her rate, she won’t run out of money, even without additional earnings, she’ll be 97 before fund is exhausted. Baring a major long term medical requirement, she’s good. Reality check, that money is a drop in the bucket for a long term medical requirement, anyway. Other than making darn sure she properly rolled the money into qualifying properly labeled bank money market account, said nothing (when I told hubby what she’d done, heard a lot of grumbling, but did not pass it on). She’s not making any money on that money market, but is isn’t worth half either. (Full disclosure. Still not looking at our funds now. Not asking hubby either. I know it is down. It has to be.)

                    5. We’re heading into Australia’s winter season.

                      The HELL on eighteen months. Where does THAT even come from?! I got the impression that the 6 month thing is what they expect in terms of waves of infections, but ARGH, if people weren’t so effing dumb, clustering into the beaches and other social places, the borders and level one shutdowns wouldn’t have happened apparently.

                      Russia is probably laughing at the rest of the world, if what is said about their lack of infections is true, thanks to their international border slamming shut.

                  1. There was a fad some years ago, where an additional h or y was inserted into a name to make it look more… interesting? It worked for some names, but some others … eeesh. EX: Dhay (Day), Rhay, Tohmas, Dhario, Mhing, Mihng, Mohna, Rhaychelle, Bhoy… and then there was Jhon/Jhony (Jon. Yes really.) I think there was another similar fad but I forget what extra vowel was used.


                  1. Not fake news: Converting a nebulizer to use saline, and documentation (Hot towel treatment) to start breaking up the mucus as soon as the patient starts feeling even a little clogged up.

                    But yes, ridiculous.

    3. “He emphasizes the cruise ship ( why ignore other whole countries?)

      Because the cruise ship is a PERFECT situation for a worst case scenario– transmission, highly vulnerable population, etc– and has actual numbers.

      Notably, the numbers match the country that is being systematic and open about reporting what they find–Korea.

      Which makes the next part of that quote, with most never catching it, exactly the flipping point.

      Adjust the infected-with-symptoms rate for a normal demographic distribution and 1% is not that crazy….unless you are still buying the raw fecal matter that China pushed when they were insisting that three months worth of transmission was was a week or three’s.

    4. Why use the cruise ship as an example? Because it is a closed Teri dish lab sample.

      Dismissing the “most people didn’t get it” as unimportant is a BREATHTAKING missing of the point. The fact that most people didn’t get it in a perfect storm of transmissibility is GREAT NEWS. The fact that even among those who DID, few people showed symptoms and even fewer died? Important thing to know.

    5. Even with Kung Flu in NY, we’re seeing from testing that only 10% of symptomatic patients are coming up positive. While it’s nothing to laugh at, the government response is overblown

  5. I would put hands in the fire that…
    I’ve never heard that phrase before. Etymology?

    we need to be weary of
    I am both wary of and weary of all the totalitarians.

    life is about optimization, not maximization
    Yes. Well put.
    (We deal with this in software testing. The idea that you can make something totally bug-free – at least not large, complicated stuff – is not realistic. You can’t test everything. The best you can do is test categories and edge cases and transitions/boundaries, and then test for the most likely stuff everywhere else. The best you can do is understand the risk at the end of testing.)

    Excellent post.

    1. Legendary public hero of Rome. Nicknamed Lefty.

      Held captive by an enemy of Rome, and threatened with torture to extract some measure of cooperation, he instead put his right hand in the fire.

      Compare Regulus.

      Sarah has used this idiom before.

          1. Bill is one of my friends from my nom de blog days hanging out at the blog that shall not be named. No, not that one. The one with verdant spherical objects.

    2. I’m forever bemused by my getting “quality reports” on my books on Amazon for TWO TYPOS. I keep wondering if it’s harassment. WHO can have NO typos?

      1. When I buy an indie author, my impulse is to highlight any typos and send it back to help them. Usually refrain because apparently that’s not helpful? But I have wished I could get paid to do copy editing work since I enjoy it, and it lends itself to piece work. I assume I could, but I haven’t looked.

          1. Oh heck no! I wouldn’t report a book to Amazon for typos. If a story is immersive on the first read through, it’s a win, and is shared as such with friends. Sometimes it’s such a win, I read it a second time through because I didn’t want it to end, and that’s when I see any typos. I loved Deep Pink. Didn’t see a word out of place the first time through, it was an immersive story, so I was happy. I read it a second time too. 🙂

        1. Yeah, I labored under that delusion for a while. I mean, I have to REALLY love your story to be willing to read it once, and then read a second time with a notepad to catch the copyedits AND then transcribe it and mail it off

          But not, it is not taken as the gift of love we perceive it to be. Just let it ride.

          1. That is a very good summary of my thought process. I really loved the book, enough to read it twice, and want to share the list back to the author (directly, not through Amazon). But if it isn’t received that way, I refrain!

            1. I actually don’t mind the list. I have resigned myself to getting fifteen of them first week a book is out.
              IF people don’t get upset if I don’t fix it. (Sometimes I’m too ill or life has thrown me a curve ball.)
              BUT I HATE people who denounce typos to Amazon. They should be strung up by their toes and forced to spell German words.

      2. Every time I’ve edited one of your books I’ve intentionally left a few typos in.
        I think it lends authenticity to your work.
        At least that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

      3. I’ve been repeatedly harassed for one of my books because of a page break … tried to fix, reloaded book, told them over and over that I can’t find the damn thing, or figure out how to fix what I can’t even find … nope, still get the weekly warning.

      4. Wellllll … if you accept that Finnegan’s Wake is typo-free, with all supposed “errors” being Joyce’s stylistic acknowledgement of the perversity of the Universe …

        A perfect manuscript is only attainable by the Lord, and all lesser beings must insert “mistakes” to avoid insulting the Supreme Being, ergo I typo to prove I’m human.

      5. I wonder if they report types in old Ace paperbacks too…

        I’m still reading the pulp SF at archive.org. Either the editors weren’t great spellers, or their el-cheapo typesetting outfit was sloppy, or both, but they’re not exactly shining examples of spelling. And then there’s punctuation… the British ones are by far the worst, with some of them putting a space on each side of quotes and periods, and ones that are printed in some 1950s precursor to txtspk, where punctuation may be absent entirely.

    3. Somewhere I have a copy, from some long-gone magazine (Byte, perhaps?) that shows a demon/the devil on a psychiatrist’s couch. The lettering reads, “What does this guy want? Booze? Money? Girls? No. He wants 10,000 lines of perfectly error-free code!”

      1. I spent better part of 25 years in a NASA organization responsible for the generation of experiment crew procedures on Mir, Spacelab, then later ISS. Literally dozens of highly trained and talented engineers creating step by step instructions on how to perform experiments in low Earth orbit.
        Our customers were the astronaut corps, very well educated, generally PhD level of competence whether degreed or not, and highly motivated.
        And one of our best lessons learned was that when you attempt to idiot proof a process all you do is find ever more talented idiots.

        1. Trying, as a mechanic, to decipher (some) pilot’s spelling of faults (not to mention their penmanship – Sheesh!) was sometimes enough to drive a fella to drink. I often remarked, “You don’t have to be able to write to be a pilot, but it would help . . .”

      2. One of the most useful woodworking authors to me (Tage Frid) was such because he not only explained techniques, but what to do when things went awry. I wonder if O’Reilly and Associates ever tried a book on such.

        1. Aye, the best works on subject have some information on “Alright, this wasn’t supposed to happen, but here’s how to get out of this particular mess.” I think one work had a section “Troubleshooting” for diagnosis and followed it with “Shooting troubles” for corrective actions.

    4. ‘I would put hands in the fire that…’
      I’ve never heard that phrase before. Etymology?

      One of the old Europe tests for truth– an advancement over trial by combat, IIRC– was to stick your hand in fire or pull something out of boiling water, and God protecting you from harm because you were innocent/telling the truth.

      Was one of the things the Inquisition smacked down on when they started wanting evidence in court cases.

      1. It stemmed from old Frankish/Gothic customs. Also things like walking on coals, walking on hot metal, and so on.

        If you were certain, you would be quick and brave about it. Also, sometimes there were things like ritually greasing up your hand first.

        But yeah, it wasn’t evidence, any more than trial by combat. (Which was also a Germanic thing. And peasants had their own versions, like chonking at each other with quarterstaves.)

        1. The thing was that trial by ordeal had the highest rate of acquittal of any trial method in the medieval era.

          1. My cynical side wonders how common it was for an individual who, shall we say, strongly benefited from the lack of evidence– was later lynched because folks weren’t putting up with it.

    5. > You can’t test everything.

      The media laughed at Rumsfeld, but anyone who ever did software testing knew exactly what he was talking about. You got yer known unknowns, and then there are those nasty unknown unknowns…

    6. The other thing you can do at the end of software testing is point out where problems weren’t getting caught and clearly reported in general. Your testing should be better for the next time.

  6. However—I have worked with enough experts not to blindly trust expert opinion, especially not when huge political pressures are being leveraged and maximizing groupthink. You can take the reliability of an expert’s opinion on most things and decrement it by a percentage point for each US senator intensely interested in making use of said opinion for a pre-defined agenda. If you infer from this that if the expert was anything less than 100% accurate to begin with, their opinion can easily end up with negative reliability—that is, somewhat reliably incorrect—you are drawing the correct conclusion.

    So. Very. Much. This. With bells and whistles on it.

  7. On Facebork, I saw someone posting an article about China passing the curve on viral cases (taken at face value) and someone posted in the comments about “that’s what happens with a functioning government.”

    Some of them really do want to live in an authoritarian state. They’d never have to figure out what to do.

    (P.S. California’s governor has floated the idea of martial law. Pray for us.)

    1. Dear Governor Newsom,
      I would invite you to consider very carefully the possibility that martial law may not be 100% under your control.

      The theory of martial law in emergencies is partly a break down in civil legal processes making acts carried out under military discipline, within the jurisdiction of the military legal system, the only method of safeguarding the public welfare.

      There are three issues that could be a problem for you if you choose to declare martial law. 1. What code of military law does the California National Guard fall under when not Federalized? Which courts have jurisdiction? When was the last time the code was updated? Are the courts ready? Has this system been tested recently? 2. If you declare martial law due to emergency, Trump can Federalize the National Guard, taking control of them, and the applicable code and courts become the Uniform Code of Military Justice, and the courts the US military courts. 3. If the civil court system is legitimately so stressed that martial law is required, it is not clear that California has a military court system that is equipped to take over. So, martial law will most likely be under Federal supervision. But, a court system that is sufficient for the current manpower of the US military may not suffice to also take on California’s load. The next contingency in this failure cascade is the unorganized militia. What is the correct legal code for the unorganized militia, and under what authority was it imposed? Strictly speaking, the UCMJ appears not to bind the unorganized militia. There are a number of conservative lawyers who are retired military veterans, and do not like you. Specifically, retired officers who are particularly well equipped to argue codes predating the UCMJ, or to make natural law arguments about military law. How certain are you of what advice may be given to the unorganized militia? I am sure you do not want a situation where the unorganized militia is operating under a theory that permits them to assess your choices, and summarily execute you if they are found to be sufficiently negligent or treasonous.

      Please consider the possibility that you may be wrong. Please consider the possibility that civil law leaves outcomes most predictable and under control.

      1. I wonder what would be the effect of bringing suit to block the order establishing martial law?

    2. Somehow, my daughter picked up the idea that China has beaten the Kung Flu.

      “Well, mom, why doesn’t China just tell us how they stopped it, and then we can do what they did?”
      “Because China reduces their number of infected people by killing them. They don’t view people the same way we do, it’s part of why we don’t get along very well.”

      You could see her brain working through “well, yes, that DOES lower the number of infections, but that’s stupid.”

      1. China. “They didn’t die from the infection. They died because their building fell down.”

      2. The only problem with her last thought is that isn’t STUPID, it’s EVIL. China has been misrule by evil swine who thought that way for thousands of years. That’s why so many of their heroic films end with the heroes DYING.

        1. She’s not old enough to really grasp “evil.”

          She’s got the idea that there are people who do not-good-stuff, and knows that animal will do things that will hurt you because they don’t think like people (which, at this age, means the way she does or thinks people do) but “evil” is something that’s in books and stuff.
          She at least says she understands the idea that some people will behave like animals

          But stupid and “bad” is hard for her to wrap her head around. Why do the bad thing if you don’t even get anything out of it?

          1. There you go, showing the advantages of homeschooling.

            I knew all about evil from my classmates, before I’d been in school a year; everything else was just adding elaborations of awfulness.

      1. China wouldn’t let them in. They’d just rot floating in the middle of the Pacifi…. wait… I might have an idea….!

          1. Come now; the US can be proud of how little of the junk floating in the ocean is ours (not that we are *shrug*). Let’s not spoil that. Just air-drop the silly bastards over China. Sans parachutes.

  8. Hadn’t even considered that the need China’s good will for a lot of their income– already know that Hollywood is editing what they put in movies in the first place to appeal to China.

      1. Also, translation has costs, and someone who grows up immersed in US culture is likely not to guess right all the time when it comes to predicting a) what will work for a Chinese audience b) what a Chinese audience will enjoy and seek out c) what will pass the censors.

        Plus, it appears that a lot of the people making money with outright fiction, as opposed to ‘official truth’, in China are doing so in the indy publishing space. If you are so well equipped for indy publishing that you can succeed in Chinese webnovels, you can succeed publishing in English, which still has a massive load of untapped market for indies. Unless you have native level fluency in Chinese, and are deeply immersed in Chinese webnovels, then maybe you want to work in Chinese webnovels instead.

  9. We’ve entered into a dark and stormy sea on a voyage to we know not where. I was just talking with my neighbor, whose spouse earns money by giving piano lessons and is going to online teaching. There will be a great re-thinking and there’s no telling where it will come ashore — but we can influence the harbor. Talk up the regulatory sclerosis that delayed effective response, discuss the ramifications of the steps being taken, and the routes forward from here.

    You can influence the direction we take by calm, thoughtful engagement. And tell a few pointedly funny stories along your way.

  10. A large, large share of our medicine is currently manufactured in China. And yes, China recently threatened to withhold it. A huge share of the personnel working in our labs hail from China. China can call them home. Even if they’re naturalized citizens, they may have relatives in China.

    China just expelled the journalists from the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, and Washington Post.

    1. Good on China expelling the journalists. We should expel them from the US too. Since they’re working for the CCP.
      Seriously, what are you talking about. Yes, some of our meds come from China. It’s high time that stopped.
      I have absolutely no clue what you mean by that. The meds to treat this DO NOT come from China (at least the ones being tested) they’re from the US and France.
      Of ALL my meds, the one that comes from China is a weird one. And I can do without it or pay the extortionate price for the US version.
      BUT none of them have anything to do with virus. So I’m puzzled on the non-sequitor. Is it that this virus will be terrifying because China holds our meds, or that we should be nice to the bastards because they’re deploying outright warfare on us?
      Help me here? I’m drawing a blank.

      1. Not some of our medication. A large share of our medication, for most conditions, including basic medicines used to treat many illnesses. Last year, China accounted for 95 percent of U.S. imports of ibuprofen, 91 percent of U.S. imports of hydrocortisone, 70 percent of U.S. imports of acetaminophen, 40 to 45 percent of U.S. imports of penicillin and 40 percent of U.S. imports of heparin, according to Commerce Department data. In all, 80 percent of the U.S. supply of antibiotics are made in China.

        In a rare high-profile public comment, one former central bank adviser suggested that China could curb its exports of antibiotics to the United States as a trade war retaliation tool. https://www.politico.com/news/2019/12/20/policymakers-worry-china-drug-exports-088126

        As a threat to compel US medical people to comply with demands such as calling it Covid-19, rather than the Wuhan Coronavirus, threatening to withhold medical supplies might be very effective. Note that this possible lever was noted in December 2019 by the Pentagon and others, before anyone in this country knew about it.

        And there was a piece published in a Chinese state publication recently, which threatened just that.

        It is not a good thing for the Chinese to expel established journalists, who have learned how the system works. Any new journalists sent will be easier to deceive. Note that even so, the Chinese have in the past threatened the families of US journalists, for stories they did not like. https. ://theintercept. com/2020/02/18/ mike-bloomberg-lp-nda-china/

        1. WHY are you giving any credence, AT ALL to Chinese publications.
          And yes, it is a good thing to expel journos who “learned to work the system” They’re repeating Chinese lies.
          And please, seriously, yes, there’s some med shortages, but not as many as you’re making out. GENERIC meds will be short, because they’re made in China. Not the brands. Yes, it will be expensive.

          1. My boss recently informed the staff that both the NYT, BBC AND the CDC were “trusted sources”. She’s not crazy. Or evil. Just… a normie.

            So yes. Expel them all.

            1. “Trusted” only means they can lie with impunity, just like the late “Most Trusted Man in America” (may his shade rot in the coldest corners of Niflhel.

          2. Heck. I’ve already stopped sourcing anything that comes out of China. 100%.

            The CCP/China Flu has had nothing to do with it. They lost my trust over pet food.

            1. No! Seriously! The Chinese government is still lying? Oh dear, oh my, I was so going to believe them this time. Honest. I was. Really!

              // to be clear: sarcasm off now

      1. Ring out the Bells. Unless something very bad happens insanity has peaked. Hospitalization rates in NYC are dropping and, since this is still a free society, scientists are looking at the actual situation and concluding as you must that given the actual experience the virus could either be widespread or deadly but not both at the same time.

        Emily Latelle would be proud.

        1. Ring the bells that still can ring. Forget your perfect offering. There is a crack, a crack in everything, that’s how the light comes in — Leonard Cohen.

  11. Here in Indianapolis, even Goodwill has shut down. They’re still taking donations, but the retail floors are all closed. They’re talking about figuring out some way to resume operations, which I’m taking to mean some kind of online ordering. In the meantime, I’m looking at eBay and Craigslist to hunt down the items I still need to put my office back in order

    And we’ve lost one of our biggest spring shows, which is now indefinitely postponed while the promoters desperately negotiate for new dates later in the year. We were counting on that money to stabilize our finances after the storm damage, and to carry out several projects around the house and yard that now aren’t going to be happening. Which means that plumber and landscaper won’t have that additional money to spend around the local economy, and so it goes. There’s going to be a lot of people tightening their belts, and more than a few losing their shirts.

    Right now I’d happily hang every senior member of the Chinese Communist Party from a light post. Give me a bucket truck and enough rope, and there wouldn’t be a streetlight without its decoration or three.

  12. I went to the store again today. The first thing I encountered was a line waiting to get inside. The suits at corporate were limiting the number of people allowed inside the 20,000 square foot warehouse store according to some sort of government guidelines. So, to protect us from catching a cold while waiting in line at the checkouts, they made us wait in line outdoors in the rain. Genius, sheer genius.

    Last week they had 9 of 12 checkout lines open and the wait was almost an hour. Today they had 4 and the wait was about 5 minutes. After the outdoor wait, that is.

    Panic buying is reduced, but still widespread. There were limits on TP, paper towels, water and a few other items. What is it with TP and water? You can only use so much TP, and water is the service least likely to be interrupted — virus or no, water still runs downhill, even in a desert.

    This week there was some pasta on the shelves, about three brands in lonely little random clusters. They were short on ice cream products. Huh? At least the in-store bakery was going full blast. Many people were busy stocking the shelves. I passed one guy pushing a pallet of beer.

    Left to themselves, people might make mistakes, but only the government can force everybody to make the SAME mistakes.
    “Oh, no. You can’t-a fool me. There ain’t-a no Sanity Clause!”

    1. DadRed went to Sams this AM and said that there were watchers and limits on ground beef. Paper goods were a touch sparse, and they were making people stand outdoors in line. In a 19F windchill and misty rain. He was dressed for it, but others were not.

    2. Local store got the usual (though size limited) truckload in. More name-brand stuff than last time. Not a LOT of anything that wasn’t store brand (not everything of that, e.g. low/no salt versions of canned goods), but fewer holes on the shelves. The TP section was if not full, far closer to it than it has been for a while. Was told there was even TP in backstock, which hasn’t happened for a week or so now. Will it last the day? Perhaps not, but things are moving normal-ward, if slowly.

    3. At our Sams Club, there’s a line every morning at opening time, generally of the same 100-180 people every morning. Mostly they are buying for gas stations, stores, etc. Some are resellers. They line up before we open.

      Because it was getting ridiculous, the new rule is Limit One on meat, paper products, etc. There are prominent signs. Other items, you can buy as much as you like.

      Some guy this morning (from the line) tried to self-checkout with five of the high-desirability items. Our female store manager reminded him of the rule. He got angry and took a swing at her. She ducked. Other employees and members moved to stop him, and he left. Apparently Mr. Policeman is talking to him about attempted assault.

      Everybody the rest of the day was as sweet as pie, and again, it was busy but not tense or crowded all day today.

  13. History and Experience prove that there’s no way to predict how the American People will react to events, to efforts to stampede us. A new poll, from ABC/Ipsos shows that the majority of Americans approve of Trump’s handling of this crisis 55/43 — a decisive change and about as good as it will get given that some 40% of the public is hard-core Progressives suffering advanced Stage TDS.

    Which also means the MSM beclowning of themselves about the “sensitive” name of the virus is more likely to disgust than alarm people concerned about serious issues of health, economy and security. Impatience for people wasting our time is a deeply rooted American trait.

    Further, the government is increasingly recognized as exacerbating the problem through over-regulation and malicious foot-dragging, most spectacularly at the CDC and FDA. American businesses rushing to produce safety equipment, medical equipment and treatments for the disease are looking much better in comparison to hide-bound bureaucracies.

    I don’r mean to blow violet-scented smoke up your skirts but there is opportunity here, golden opportunity, to remind people of the importance of liberty and the illusion of government provided security.

      1. I figure most of the country will soon decide it’s a nothingburger and go back to business as usual, and the Democrat states will double down.

        1. Comrade Murphy has promisedafter proclaiming earlier this week that “more DRACONIAN measures are coming” has now promised that the People’s Republic of New Jersey will be further “tightening the screws”. He is openly stating he intends to take the kinds of actions that outright dictatorships take, These steps apparently include a California style lockdown where all businesses deemed “non-essential” by the state shut down (does that include computer stores-after all if they are telling you to do everything on line and you have a computer issue, you need these stores open) and presumably he is going to ban people from going anywhere.

          via NJ . com” “It brings me no joy, but we have no choice. We will, within the next 24 hours, further tighten screws in terms of social distancing,” Murphy said during his daily coronavirus press briefing, without providing any details. “This is tough,” he said. “The only way that we’re going to beat this darn virus is, literally, if we stay home.” Murphy said Friday that the state is “many weeks away from the peak” of the outbreak. The goal, he said, is to cut down on cases as much as possible through social distancing and make sure the state’s health care system is overloaded. Murphy held his briefing from Bergen Community College in Paramus, where the state’s first government-run testing site opened Friday morning. Thousands of people lined up in cars, and officials started turning away people just after noon.

          So he is proclaiming he is going to destroy great numbers of jobs and small businesses, and deprive people of the power to make their own decisions and exercise their own judgment,. He intends to impose this Venezuelan style lockdown for “many weeks”. Oh and since basically only criminals have guns in NJ because the state effectively prevents law-abiding citizens from having guns (they denied an armed guard a gun permit among other outrages), it means everyone sitting in their homes is going to be prey.

          Stalin and Mao couldn’t have done a better job of destroying NJ and the USA than the Democrats are.

      2. Remember Mueller and Impeachment? They won’t drop it until they’ve flogged that deceased equine into steak tartar. Their self-inflicted damage will be legendary.

        I think Trump may have been reviewing recordings of Rumsfeld’s press conferences.

    1. True. But I have a never-Trumper close friend who is convinced that the orange man is the reason for all this bad stuff. Friend is fully aware that the CDC is very much the problem, Informed that the entire staff has been left alone by the Trump admin, and everyone there are Obama holdovers it’s…

      “That clown in the white house”.

      Thoroughly decent person: You’d want this person to have your back in a crisis. But yes. The folly is baked in for some reason.

  14. Next week will be peak insanity and then I suspect it will crescendo and then recede. All the math challenged will be looking at exponential lines on a linear axis and extrapolating the 27% daily increase to infinity. The deaths will start to build. That Imperial College London crowd will divide current deaths by two weeks ago’s infected and, because they were “painstaking” in their data collection find that we’re all gonna die. The fact that the data are completely unreliable will not matter at all. Unfortunately there’s almost nothing to be done about that. This is a panic.

    Today we saw pictures of the morgues in Italy being overwhelmed. They neglect to note that that happens just about every winter and any summer where the temperature goes up substantially. Europe has no slack in the system.

    The two biggest problems are the lack of good data and the howling press. The second can be eliminated by turning off the news. I try to watch the press conference live because the press cannot be trusted to report accurately. It is amusing to hear Trump answer them though. I hated mean girls when I was in school and nothing has really changed. What an utterly unimpressive bunch.

    Data is a bigger issue. Nate Silver is not a neutral party but he tends to be fair and when he sticks to the data I’ve found him to be reliable. Burn-Murdoch at the Financial Times has good Case and Death charts on a log scale. They’re not adjusted for population and the China numbers are taken as given but once this is taken into account it gives a good picture.

    Always keep the Diamond Princess in mind since that’s still the best evidence we have.

    At the end everything the politicians will do will have worked. If this, despite the evidence, turns into a mass killer then their steps were correct because it could have been the Black Death. If as I suspect, this turns out to be a squib, well it would have been the Black Death.

    If you should get sick remember compassionate use and make sure you don’t end up on a placebo. Our government friends will see many die rather than see their precious boxes not be ticked.

    We must remember who did this and who’s doing this. A price must be paid by them not us.

    Noli Timere

    1. One factor to hold in mind is that they are NOT doing random testing. They test probable instances of the illness and thus are sure to find high positive results. Which also amplifies death rates reported.

      It requires but little scientific literacy or careful thought to realize this, which is why so few journalists are capable of it.

  15. … they are the most gullible, anti-American stooges in creation and they will latch onto any narrative that harms the country.

    All too credible — although their anti-Americanism tends to toggle with whether Republicans or Democrats are ascendant.

    Let us keep in mind that we’ve largely inherited our journalistic traditions from the Brits, about whose journalists little more need be said than this:

    You cannot hope to bribe or twist
    (thank God!) the British journalist.
    But, seeing what the man will do
    unbribed, there’s no occasion to.

    Humbert Wolfe

  16. > Also, start establishing online networks now

    Preferably, not on anything controlled by Facebook or Google…

  17. I’m thinking that this was a case of “never let a crisis go to waste,” and the Wuhan Plague is real…but the numbers that have been coming out of China have been seriously massaged, as it were.

    The Media has to be looking at internal polling that says that the only difference between Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders for the Presidential candidate being the difference between Little Big Horn and Carrhae in terms of Democratic election results. They also have to be looking at internal polling numbers that show that most people are seriously starting to doubt the mainstream media services. Nobody might be talking about it in public, but they have to be seeing the numbers.

    We have a lot of politicians that want to do more things, but people would be very upset in 99.9% of circumstances.

    And, China has made it very clear that they’re going to expel any news services that don’t obey the Party line to the letter.

    Is Wuhan/Coronavirus bad? Yes, it is. Is it Captain Trips, H5N1, or any of the Horoth culling diseases? No, it isn’t.

    Do we be careful? Absolutely. Maybe even the shutdown is justified for a short period of time, long enough to catch all the asymptomatic carriers, do some major cleaning, and handle things that should have been handled.

    But, it isn’t “we need to TEAR EVERYTHING UP” bad. Most of the places where things are bad have additional secondary factors. China is a Communist country, a thin veneer of something that looks like 21st Century competence over 10th Century attitudes at best. Pollution is massive, everyone smokes (and smokes very low quality cigarettes), hygiene is “out of sight, out of mind,” and people are crowded in environments that short of a space station is perfect for spreading diseases.

    Italy? Huge aged population, they smoke, major urban populations who use public transit to commute, poor public sanitation…

    Iran? Like China but warmer.

    How do I know things aren’t that bad? We don’t have hourly human interest stories of people having to go through towed RVs and homeless encampments to find bodies and paperwork to try and tell someone that is next of kin about their deaths. Because, you know if there was that kind of issue, we’d be having rending of blouses and breasts about this and how tragic it is and how Trump is a terrible orange man

    1. You can tell from the press-conferences (both reporters questions at Trumps and the ones conducted by Democrats) that the Democrats and their media arm are all in on using this to try to help the Democrats as much as possible in November. That is why they keep hyping outlandish scenarios and unrealistic studies, and then proclaim that the economy wrecking liberty wrecking actions they are taking are “for our own good” and necessary to save our very lives. They are doing exactly what every communist and fascist dictator has done.

      1. you know the dems and the MSM (BIRM) are going to have it rough when the Jamaican nurse in my car is telling me how the press was asking Trump stupid questions and expecting him to fix things he has no control over.

        1. Our vets are mad about order to only be open for emergencies. We might need Euclid …. eased to the rainbow bridge soonest (I swear, he forgets he’s eating and just goes wandering. Or….) And Greebo needs tests. And D’Artagnan needs daily hydration and….

    2. we’d be having rending of blouses and breasts about this and how tragic it is
      Please. No rending of breasts. There’s a shortage of perfect breasts in this world and such.
      But I’m ok with rending of blouses. As long as it’s the right blouses. ‘Cause I’m prejudiced.

      1. I’ve seen a lot of the blouses on the news lately and I’ve not been impressed. Suspect the contents beneath them are not enjoyable to look at.

    3. (Nods) Based on the best statistical case we have–the Diamond Princess–we’re looking at a 20% infection rate or thereabouts (and that was a perfect storm for viral transmission), and around a 1% death rate among the infected.

      Take those numbers out to the USA as a whole, and you’re looking at around 65 million infected and 650,000 dead–a 0.2% mortality rate for the entire populace. For comparison, the number of people in the US killed by the Spanish flu pandemic came out to somewhere between .48% and .64% of the populace.

      Also worth noting is that the American mortality rate for the Spanish flu was lower than that of the rest of the world.

      1. Except we’re not in a cruise ship, our population is younger than the cruise ship inmates, etc.
        I’m putting a bet on 150k being WILDLY exaggerated as an upper.
        Also do not forget the Spanish Flu killed mostly the young which caused a MASSIVE hit on labor, etc.
        The people this is hitting would die of almost anything.
        Not saying they’re not worth protecting, saying there’s better ways of doing it than taking down the whole economy.
        Also not saying it won’t be a disaster for other countries, particularly those more densely packed and social.

        1. I’m willing to bet the same as well-that everything that has happened with the quarantine and “stay in place” may be worse than the disease itself.

          And, if somebody decides to do a class-action lawsuit against the PRC government for fraud or whatever, I’m going to chip in a decent share. Just enough to get some skin back if they win.

              1. No, there’s an amount of lies, and it just hit me WHY this morning. Italy is in SERIOUS financial trouble. Okay, so are we, but they’ve been in financial trouble forever. The mediterranean economies are getting canibalized by Germany and the countries turned into “country estates” for Germans while the population is immiserated.
                It occurred to me this morning that
                a) our over-reaction not only makes them think our case is much worse
                b) because they don’t realize how BAD our secret services and news are, it lends credence to the Chinese nonsense that we created the virus.
                c) they’re inflating deaths because they’re going to demand reparations. From us.
                BET YOU MONEY.

                1. It’s not a bad theory. I think it has a lot of traction and places to go, and I think we’ll both be right to degrees.

                  I especially do suspect that Italy will be hitting up everyone to try and get money to shore up their house of cards. And, I think we might either see the death knell of the EU as the EU or it’s rebirth as what it truly is, the FrankenReich.

              2. A bit of insight from National Review editor Rich Lowry:

                The Catastrophe in Italy
                The numbers in Italy keep getting worse, with nearly 800 fatalities on Saturday. Why is it so bad? Hopefully, what we are seeing is still a reflection of the situation prior to the national lockdown and at some point soon we’ll begin to see the effect of the quarantines. But the velocity of the disease has been astonishing.


                It also wasn’t an ideal time for cultural exchanges with China:

                On Jan. 21, as top Chinese officials warned that those hiding virus cases “will be nailed on the pillar of shame for eternity,” Italy’s culture and tourism minister hosted a Chinese delegation for a concert at the National Academy of Santa Cecilia to inaugurate the year of Italy-China Culture and Tourism.


                The Telegraph points, unsurprisingly, to the old population in Italy, but also quotes an expert saying how Italy categorizes its deaths has played a role in the surge in numbers:

                According to Prof Walter Ricciardi, scientific adviser to Italy’s minister of health, the country’s mortality rate is far higher due to demographics – the nation has the second oldest population worldwide – and the manner in which hospitals record deaths. … “The way in which we code deaths in our country is very generous in the sense that all the people who die in hospitals with the coronavirus are deemed to be dying of the coronavirus.

                “On re-evaluation by the National Institute of Health, only 12 per cent of death certificates have shown a direct causality from coronavirus, while 88 per cent of patients who have died have at least one pre-morbidity – many had two or three,” he says.


                STAT News reports on a new paper by Italian doctors in Bergamo arguing that caring for so many coronavirus patients in the hospitals is part of the problem:

                One such step reflects the finding that hospitals might be “the main” source of Covid-19 transmission, the Bergamo doctors warned. The related coronavirus illness MERS also has high transmission rates within hospitals, as did SARS during its 2003 epidemic.

                Major hospitals such as Bergamo’s “are themselves becoming sources of [coronavirus] infection,” Cereda said, with Covid-19 patients indirectly transmitting infections to non-Covid-19 patients. Ambulances and infected personnel, especially those without symptoms, carry the contagion both to other patients and back into the community.

                “All my friends in Italy tell me the same thing,” Cereda said. “[Covid-19] patients started arriving and the rate of infection in other patients soared. That is one thing that probably led to the current disaster.”

      2. Right now, I’m just going to run on the basis of “I would prefer to complain on this side of Heaven” for what’s been going on. Especially since both of my parents (who I live with right now) have one factor (age) and Mon has two more factors (weak lungs and a single lobe lung transplant).

        But, since the State and Federal Governments called for it, they need to unf(YAY!)k the meatball surgery they did and get everything back up and running as fast as they can when it’s over. Cut regs and laws that make it harder for businesses to stay open and new businesses to start up. I know I’m writing my local legislatures in Sacramento to burn AB5 to the ground and declare a tax holiday on any new small or independent business opened during this time. There’s a LOT of people out there doing some forms of entertainment-book readings, crafting projects, WRITING, etc, etc, etc, and we need to get an income stream going for them while things are bad. When we get things started up again, THEN we can talk about taxes.

        (Yes, I know, People’s Republic of California. Which is why all of my letters have CCs to the various media outlets and to their potential competition in the next election.)

        They need to have a plan and state-just as much as the emergency relief programs-that once everything is opened up again, they’ll be doing everything to get people back to work and small-to-medium businesses up to speed. Maybe reduce or eliminate gas taxes for an equal amount of time as “shelter in place”, maybe the same for payroll taxes, maybe things I haven’t thought of yet.

        We also need to burn away all the red tape kudzu and tax benefits and everything else that made it possible for China to be our (mostly) sole supplier for drugs and materials. Yes, we need regulations and we need to make sure that ass-hat people find doing the right thing easier all around than breaking the law. Right now? It’s time to start going through everything and cleaning things up so that we can start and run things here in the States.

  18. OT: For those in northern mid-USA and perhaps into the Great Lakes area, I hope you weren’t hoping for clear skies. I have just acquired a small telescope, so I expect a week or two of cloudy nights now.

  19. How bad is Italy? Certainly the death rate for tested positive people is horrible but the rate of increase is slowing substantially and if the trends continue you’re looking at something like 60,000 cases in a country of 60,000,000. 10 basis points. My physicist friends will recognize the notion of significant figures. Almost nothing in human affairs can be measured to this level. Had this not been explicitly counted it wouldn’t show up in any of the measures. It’s not even rounding.

    The disease ran free in Italy for weeks and the lock down wasn’t very locked down until recently. So, where are the bodies? Plug a number into a spreadsheet will get you whatever you want but the data on the ground simply don’t support it. From whence comes it.

    Brendan O’Neill has a great article about the luxury of apocalipticism and how much of this is simply performative. Our elites believe in nothing and this nihilism shows that Nietzche was right about the last men. Coupled with Marxian False consciousness and the religious interpretation becomes compelling. This is where I begin to share our host’s fear. They are beyond rational thought and cost benefit calculations fly out the window.

    Perhaps we underestimate God’s irony. It really is to laugh to see these great and good people, who are so superior morally to you and me, run around screaming.

    1. “My physicist friends will recognize the notion of significant figures.”

      So will your accounting friends. “Materially significant” is Accounting 101.

      1. As a corporate accountant I can calculate annual depreciation down to fractions of a penny — but the number is still Bull[droppings], a mere method for amortizing the cost over an estimated useful lifetime. A lifetime subject to change without notice; less than twenty years ago computers were depreciated over a five year period, now they’re simply expensed as they’re bought, just like staplers.

        Yes, the IT still attempts to track them but that’s more to do with software security than asset value.

  20. I can tell you that the numbers we are being told of the total infected is way too low, but that’s good for us but bad if you want to start a panic. Here’s my story. At my place of employment we’ve had people test positive. I coincidentally came down with mild symptoms along with some other fellow employees. Got in contact with my doctor (since I could be considered high risk from past issues) but she told me that she won’t send me for a test unless I get worse. It makes sense, at this point the treatment is the same as if I had kung-flu or standard-cold. Stay home, stay hydrated, and get rest. I am convinced that for those of us with a normal immune system this would be not even a moderately bad cold. It was all the about a crises that couldn’t go to waste.

      1. And the worse TPTB stampede over nothing the worse the blowback will be. In the meantime people I know who have a peek behind certain curtains are saying that bad regulations are being abandoned by the truckload. That doesn’t mean it will automatically stick. But it does put us in a much better position than we were before.

        Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor!?

        (At least if China doesn’t get the war they are now saber-rattling towards.)

      2. Same here. Got sick mid-January. Doctor checked me, said it wasn’t the Flu and that it was a lingering cold that he had been seeing quite a bit of and that it took about 6 weeks to get rid of. First 3 weeks I was really cruddy, lots of coughing, lost my voice, but no shortness of breath and my temp went up and down but never over 100. Probably about half of the people in my 4 unit building got it also and it lasted the same time for them with basically the same symptoms. Since we all got it from mid-January to early February, the whole cornovarius thing was only just breaking at the tail end. Yet know we see that the milder cases have the same symptoms we all had, and that the recovery time from people who tested positive and didn’t have serious symptoms or need hospitalization was….six weeks. Once is happenstance…by the third time…..,

    1. And thus you do not show up in the denominator of official calculations, thus artificially inflating the various “rate per infected” stats.

      Lies, Damn Lies, and Statistics.

  21. Some reporter was throwing the 3% death rate at Trump again today. That’s what has people spooked. 10 Millionish dead in US would spook me too. She should be put in the pillory when this is over.

    Even China has walked away from that number since outside Wuhan it was only 1.2% of diagnosed cases where only people who were really sick were diagnosed.

    I think I’m beating a dead horse so I’ll stop

    1. And then when Trump calls them out on it, the media denounce Trump as “anti-science” and considering the virus a “hoax” while claiming he is a threat to freedom because he dares question the integrity of the reporters spewing such nonsense. Because facts don’t matter, only the party line narrative. (Of note, today Trump called NBC’s parent company Comcast..Con-cast due to NBC and its cable affiliates slanderous coverage.

      1. Preaching to the choir then. I’m afraid this has become an obsession for me and being obsessed with human folly is not helpful unless you can use humor and I simply can’t. It’s all so very sad

        1. Obsessed with human folly….
          It’s really bad if your brain insists you can FIX that human folly. Especially if the fixing involves a soft object over their face and holding it there……………..

          1. Human folly is an expression of human ignorance …

            “Against stupidity the gods themselves contend in vain.”

            The Progressives have supped of the serpent’s fruit and imagine themselves gods, but lack patience for persuading deplorable humans.

            Such affairs ever end badly.

          1. Just channel it, and write up Commissar Fuklaw’s policy recommendations.

            Quarantine is useless if you do not also purge the Chaos tainted heretics.

      1. I would not be surprised, at all, if we were able to have an omniscience POV on this, that somebody in the Wuhan labs was supposed to dispose of the bat and pig carcasses from testing was selling them at the local market. Because you get paid twice.

  22. When it comes to what’s emanating from the People’s Republic, Iowahawk, as always, nails it:

  23. There is always that one bully that manages to get a fearsome reputation, through opportunistic thuggery.

    Then, someone says “I ain’t takin’ this, no more!” and punches that SOB right in the mouth, and commences to whoop ass.

    Only to expose jerk who barks a bunch more than he can really bite.

    It took ten-ish years for the Vietnamese to get us to leave. They worked real hard at it, and had major help. China fought with way less restraint, and got run off quite a bit sooner, and the Vietnamese fought that one largely alone.

    Don’t forget that.

    1. Also don’t forget that for the Vietnamese it was essentially a two front war because they were getting rid of the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia at the same time.

      Defending their client state of Kampuchea was one of the PRC’s motivations for stepping in the Vietnamese tiger trap.

      Also that was some serious hubris, and maybe drinking too much kool-aid, on the part of the Chinese because by that point the Vietnamese had defeated, or at least survived, Imperial Japan, France, and the United States.

      1. … that was some serious hubris, and maybe drinking too much kool-aid, on the part of the Chinese

        That brings to mind something Bill James wrote about George Brett and the psychology of pitchers. Until the 1980 American League Championship Series the attitude of major league pitchers towards Brett was, “He may hit fastballs but can he hit my fastball?” Then in Game 3 of the ALCS Yankees reliever Goose Gossage threw his best fastball past Brett – almost. George Brett blasted the best fastball of the hardest throwing pitcher in baseball into the upper deck for three runs and the league championship … then spent the next two years practicing hitting curveballs, knuckleballs, and whatever other kind of junk they could serve him.

  24. I’m all in for the CCPvirus, but you have to check this out:

    “….Whether or not you believe that the Kung Flu (or Shanghai Shivers, Wu Ping Cough, Wu Flu, Flu-Manchu, Chopsick, Sweet and Sour Sicken, Mi Lung Flu Long Time, Boomer Entomber, Great Cough Forward, Communist Lung Herpes, General Tso’s Revenge, Ming’s Ko-Feng or whatever you call it)

    Communist Lung Herpes has a real ring to it, don’t you think?

    From the WilderWealthyWise blog, which I recommend.

      1. “In my hands, Doctor,” he continued, “I hold a needle charged with a rare culture. It is the link between the bacilli and the fungi…”

        – Sax Rohmer, “The Insidious Fu-Manchu”, 1913

  25. We live in a small town in Tennessee, not too far from Huntsville. Round about mid -January we, too, had the mystery crud run through. Admittedly I have the classic two anecdotes but when two people with no (known) connection tell me they both had a nasty lung infection with a dry cough and/or difficulty breathing, very contagious and lasting a couple of weeks or longer, I suspect we had our bout of Kung Flu two months ago. I surely hope so.

    1. Yeah, there is an allegation that after, IIRC, Margaret Chan was head of the WHO, the organization was compromised and became a puppet spokesman for PRC propaganda.

  26. Well, something had to take the spotlight off Biden! We pray and use (un)common sense about washing/personal space, etc. BUT, something else may be afoot and we’ll know soon enough, I think.

  27. Some random thoughts on Kung Flu:

    Why aren’t we hearing of disasters out of India? If statistics are to be believed a billion + population with accompanying density, (I presume) similar levels of economy and sanitation/hygiene, yet no apparent panic. The virus is there, per Wiki-Bloody-Pedia, but “The infection rate of COVID-19 in India is reported to be 1.7, which is remarkably lower than in the worst affected countries.” Again with the ”reported’, thus to be taken with the appropriate grain (or pound) of salt . . .

    At Dollar Tree after church this AM, clerk asked if I could use a card instead of cash for payment. Since I don’t have a card atm I declined. Payment and change were both passed through a disinfectant bath. Could this be a final driver for the ‘cashless society’? Which, of course raises the hackles of my more apocalyptic brethren & sistren, because in the end ” . . . no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark . . .”

    How does prohibiting the sale or carrying of firearms/ammunition contribute to combatting the spread of the virus?

    Not only do our media organs kowtow to the CCP because of fellow-travellership and desire to cater to the Chinese market, but also I suspect because China has significant ownership stakes in the media corporations that produce our news.

    1. India, our homeless, Brazil, Africa. They’re all fine.
      I’m sorry, saying that it doesn’t survive hot, or it doesn’t survive hot humidity makes no sense. Most of Africa is neither right now, being in mid-season. Africa is not all tropical. Why isn’t the North of Africa in trouble? Why isn’t South Western Africa in trouble? Why is AUSTRALIA?
      Why aren’t the homeless dropping in droves? Why?
      Oh…. it could be because NO ONE is dropping in droves. The numbers of dead worldwide discounting China and no one can guess what is going on IN CHINA, don’t amount to a bad flu season in America, let alone a bad flu season in Italy.
      So what the hell is going on?
      The disease is credulity and media induced panic. And that’s what’s killing the world.

  28. I wealize I’m just a wallaby of little sense and a dark & dismal view of human nature, but a certai theme seems to be manifesting in the news headlines and ledes, and this wallaby is wondering where are the demands for a “clean” bill …

    Dem Rep. [James Clyburn] Told Colleagues Coronavirus Bill Is ‘Tremendous Opportunity to Restructure Things to Fit Our Vision’

    McConnell Challenges Dems to Explain Why They’re Holding Up Coronavirus Bill Over Special Interest ‘Wish List’

    Congressional Democrats Add Last-Minute Ideological Demands to Coronavirus Relief Package
    … As Leader Schumer continues to hold up the desperately-needed relief package, the last-minute list of demands from Pelosi’s and Schumer’s ideological wish list are coming into focus.

    Below are some of the new, non-coronavirus-related demands that popped up after Speaker Pelosi flew back from San Francisco yesterday after taking a week off:

    1) Unprecedented collective bargaining powers for unions

    2) Increased fuel emissions standards for airlines

    3) Expansion of wind and solar tax credits

  29. Noted with interest over at PJ Media this morning …BTW – nice headshot; that “gazing pensively off into the future” pose really rocks for you.

    I Have Questions About Our Response to COVID-19
    By Sarah Hoyt
    How come the homeless aren’t dying in droves?

    Yes, I’ve seen the concerned articles in the press about how our “most vulnerable population” needs help to get through this.

    But the question remains, why isn’t a population that is individually and in aggregate unhealthy, malnourished (not through lack of food but through lack of decent personal choices) ill-covered and generally has poor hygiene not dropping dead of the Wuhan flu?

    Yes, I’ve heard the very odd attempts at answers every time this is brought up. Mostly not from the media, who simply refuses to ask the question or point out the discrepancy, but from well-meaning people. These people, most of them suburbanites not in the health professions, have no clue how the homeless really live, and therefore most of their answers border on the bizarre:

    No one notices the homeless dying because they don’t go to hospitals.

    Anyone whose emergency room is urban knows better. ..

    1. But she doesn’t address how people can move goalposts by claiming that if you haven’t looked at Carl T. Bergstrom’s recent publications and looked for Chinese influenced funding sources, then his criticisms of that one guy must be valid, and so Sarah is wrong.

      (In all seriousness, I can both suspect Sarah is right, and not want to be as into it as she is. I’m already not good enough at statistics. I don’t want to learn epidemiological statistics, or do any of the other things it would take for me to move beyond the level of a casual commentator on this.)

      1. the tell for Prof Bergstrom is in his acceptance of the 2% death rate. He made a categorical error by comparing diagnosed cases to cases. They are not the same thing and it’s fairly clear that the dripping condescension is a product of not reading the piece. His scribble WTF gives the game away.

        Anyone from Faucinto Bergstrom and everyone in between who uses that number should be mocked

      2. The twitter fit guy?

        Not only did he pile fallacy on fallacy, demonstrate a lack of ability to read basic day to day English and complain about something which he had absolute power to fix (that putting a response on twitter would take a lot of posts)– the guy managed to be even less clear than the paper he was arguing against.

        You can imagine how surprised I was to find out that he’s got a book coming out, and he’s a college educator whose big theory appears to be that the phrase ‘viral meme’ is actually a pretty good description of how they work. But with added declarations of false information, fake news, etc.

  30. I have a rule that has served me well for my 63 years on this mortal coil …

    whenever an “expert” makes a claim and does not back up the claim with numbers they are lying. Maybe not an outright lie but a white lie or an exaggeration … a true expert SHOWS their expertise with the numbers … when they say X is worse than Y … they follow that with “we see 10 x’s for each y we see …” and they give context …

    for example, no medical expert should be citing the “mortality” rate of covid19 … they don’t know what it is because the mortality rate calculation requires at least an estimate of TOTAL infected … (and they don’t have that)
    they can call it the death rate or something else but by calling it the mortality rate they know people will rush out and look up the mortality rate of the flu … and make an apples to oranges comparison … real experts enlighten, not confuse …

    they are doing that on purpose and I don’t have any special insight into their motives but life experience tells me its being done for power, fame or money … (possibly all 3 in this case)

  31. CCP virus = Communist Chinese Plague virus?
    Maybe we should just call it the Red Death.

      1. Yellow peril? That would be because of the danger posed by hysterical panicking?

        I cannot understand Dan’s objection.

        Not that anybody here would credit my objecting to any bad joke.

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