Burning Down the Social Networks – by CrossoverChaos

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Burning Down the Social Networks – by CrossoverChaos

If you’re feeling the tension singing in the air and over the Internet, and wondering “why are people cracking now, instead of last week, or the week before that?” I suspect the reason has to do with how the brain works. Or doesn’t. There’s some really neat stuff on how outside environments affect the brain for depression in this book.

Lost Connections: Uncovering the Real Causes of Depression – and the Unexpected Solutions by Johann Hari.

(Yes, I know whose endorsements are all over the covers. No, I don’t agree with all the guy’s proposed solutions. There’s still a lot of useful info to chew over in it.)

Short version of what he put together: Depressed people tend to be suffering from one or more environmental and social disconnections. The seven he identified are disconnection from meaningful work, other people, meaningful values, childhood trauma, status and respect, the natural world, and a hopeful or secure future.

Look at what we’re dealing with now. Too many people are out of work. We’re not supposed to get within six feet of other people in public, and in many places if you are hospitalized with COVID-19, your family will not be allowed to see you, even in extremis. Meaning there is a significant chance you will die alone.

Values? The churches are closed. Donations of anything not food or protective gear are shut down. Sometimes you can’t even properly care for your own children by getting them vaccinated – it’s a “nonessential medical procedure”. Trauma? If you were traumatized as a child or adult by being controlled (and all abusers try to control you), the constant round of “you can’t do X, you can’t do Y, Because We Say So”, is hitting all those panic-buttons that tell your body your life is in danger. Status and respect? Job loss. Businesses closed. Oh, we get to see the politicians and media bigwigs getting haircuts and heading to summer cabins, but so much as head out for groceries without a mask on yourself, and you get the Evil Eye from perfect strangers, you ignorant peasant, you. Head for nature to try and regain your sanity? Parks, closed. Beaches, closed. They’re hauling in paddleboarders off the coast of California and arresting them.

Hope for the future? Fauci keeps gleefully recounting that we might have to keep the country closed another year or more. Too many politicians seem to be fine with that, while the rest of us who work for a living are watching what savings we have evaporate, and everything we’ve tried to build go down in flames. And nobody knows what the hell is going on.

Long story short – the shutdown of the country is taking every last one of those connections that normally keep people from getting depressed, and setting them on fire.

Humans are primates. Primates do not live alone. They get sick. They go crazy.

The majority of Americans are not crazy. Yet. But we’re hurting. Most of us have been confined in one way or another over a month, and that’s more than enough time for our brain to decide this is the “new normal” and start shedding neurons related to better times so that we can survive in this horrid numb depressed state. Good news is that the brain can recover from this. Bad news is it’ll take time and a lot of good feelings, sort of a neurological kick in the pants, to get out of the depressed groove.

Worse news is that depression seems to be the primate response of “please stop beating me, I’m no threat to you.” Which, of course, means that the tinpot dictators coming out of the woodwork have every reason to keep this up.

What we have is a situation in which all of America is being abused. I do not use that term lightly. Loss of jobs that you have no control over = financial abuse. The media constantly going on about “if we don’t do X, we’ll have bodies in the streets” = constant negativity, gaslighting. “You want the economy reopened? You want people to die?” = emotional abuse. Being shut up into your own house with people you may or may not be able to stand, not able to get the medical care, food, or other things you need freely = emotional, environmental, and physical abuse.

This is a situation tailor-made for narcissistic abuse, with the media and the politicians, too many of whom have those tendencies in the first place, taking full advantage of it.

https://pjmedia.com/news-and-politics/heres-one-thing-officials-can-do-to-make-lockdown-life-better-stop-being-hypocritical-tyrants/

(If you want some horror stories check out the “raisedbynarcissists” reddit – too many people posting there are forced to shelter in place with the same people making them suicidal. Some are moving out with no job, no resources, and no place to go, because otherwise they’re going to die.)

I’m not surprised so many people are cracking and afraid. I am angry. I’ve seen this before. I’m an Odd, after all. And I grew up in a little town that was distinctly not Odd, with parents that encouraged said town to believe I was the problem child and they could do what they liked to “correct” me. And when I say “could do what they liked” – that list of seven disconnections? I was forced into all of them. All of them.

(Books saved me. I know others might not have been so lucky.)

There’s an interesting bit of history that leads me to believe Hari’s more right than not. I can’t remember the exact details, but… let’s just say, at one point as a child I was told I should have been burned as a witch. So I looked up the subject.

Some researchers studied the history of witch-burnings in Germany, trying to figure out why some areas would pretty steadily burn one or two witches every twenty years or so, while others would have one massive flare up and then maybe nothing for a century or more. It wasn’t religion – Protestant and Catholic seemed equally hit. Didn’t seem to be famine-related, or wealth, or any of the things they expected.

What they found, was it depended on where the victims were in the social networks. So long as witch-burnings targeted people living on the fringe, who had maybe one or two other relatives/other social connections in the area, you got the low-level steady burnings. But if a true hysteria got started, to the point that the accused started being people of middle to upper-class status with lots of social connections-

Then it ended. And there wouldn’t be another accusation for decades, even centuries. Because important parts of the social networks got impacted, people who hadn’t been ostracized, and therefore it stopped.

What’s happening to America right now is our own government sawing through our social networks. Telling each and every one of us anyone we know might be a life-or-death survival threat. It is crushing the spirit… and people can’t take that and survive. Either they give up, curl up, and die….

Or they start looking for enemies. And they’re being told people around them, anyone who’s not behaving just like The Authorities demand, are the enemies.

I’ve seen this before.

I’m not afraid of the virus. I’ve never been afraid of the virus.

But I can hear the roar of the mob in the distance, and it’s bearing fire.

 

[Because C.C. is right, and depression is a passive mode, also a vulnerable mode that makes you susceptible to getting ill and to just not doing anything, even what you know you should do, I’m going to combat mine starting tomorrow (but taking the weekend off for the other stuff, including promo I didn’t do last wee) to sketch where we are, and where I think we’re headed.

The where I think we’re headed will be four scenarios, only two of which avoid the boog, and only ONE of which is in any way good. (And the one that requires the most action NOW.)

You should have received your “Please don’t boog” money and if you don’t need it for immediate expenses, it’s time to consider how to put it into durable goods, because where we’re going, you’ll need a barrel of money to buy coffee.

So tomorrow I’ll explain my sense of where we’re going (why, let’s tie a ribbon on the handbasket handle. That will make it ALL better.)  More tomorrow.  – SAH]

351 thoughts on “Burning Down the Social Networks – by CrossoverChaos

            1. But you noticed the buttons being hit, and talked about it— I know that’s why I noticed I was slipping into depression for the last month and change. Otherwise I’d just be spinning deeper and deeper, would’ve canceled by FF14 sub by now, done several other “cost saving” measures that are only savings because of a temporary imbalance– and I’d probably have dragged my husband into stopping things that he really shouldn’t, too.

              Like the song says, when you’re going through hell, keep on going.

        1. Gonna do it also.

          I think letting the prayer life slide is part of my current problem.

          I don’t think I have anything new to say that might help. I’ve been in bad places, partly from external factors, and moved on to better places when some of those factors proved transient. I can’t promise you, or practice medicine to the effect of ‘it will get better’. I am hopeful for you.

          I’m pretty sure enough things are in common that I know a little of how much it sucks. Endure. There are things you can do, and things that cannot be controlled. Live to spite the adversarial forces. The opposition tries to get inside your head, and get you to do their work for them. The black dog lies.

          I’m sure this is also a difficult time for Dan. Everything I’ve heard tells me that he has your back, to the best of his ability.

  1. On one page, I saw a headline titled (IIRC) “Choice Between Health and Wealth”.

    Obviously it was about restarting the economy (stopping the lock downs) but the headline made you “think” it was about “Rich People wanting more money and not caring about people dying”.

    Idiots! (or worse) 😡

    1. Today my feed is full of people sharing the dumbest meme yet – one comparing the situation to a Mongol siege and people who are worried about the economy to peasants fretting about cabbage harvest. The implication being that duh, worrying about cabbages when there are Mongols around is dumb! It’s so ahistorical I could puke and I kind of did on one friend’s post, pointing out that YES, when there’s a siege, you are supposed to worry about food. I mean that’s the whole point. Lack of cabbages will eventually kill you and there’s a chance the Mongols won’t. Likewise this economic shutdown will kill us if it goes on too long, and telling people not to even talk about that side of things is evil.

      1. How can you think about how to feed the population at a time like this? Do you want people to die???

        /sarc

      2. I was thinking about this food thing the other day, and it hit me. Yes, I’m planning on putting back a reserve just in case, BUT… The US is the largest food exporter in the world. So, if it really comes down to food riots, there is hope that those food riots are going to be in some other country. Not nice… but not as dangerous to me and mine.

        1. That assumes that we would actually not export food so the rest of the world is fat dumb and happy while people starve here. Both corporations and our government have proven they care more about their overseas constituents than their domestic ones.

          1. Indeed – they certainly care much more about the sensibilities of movie-goers in China than they do to us home-grown Americans…

          1. During the Irish Famine, Ireland was one of the worlds largest exporters of beef and pork. The peasants had no money to buy it. Amyarta Sen, a lefty but an honest one, points out that there’s always food that can be moved from other places but it’s either denied (Ethiopia, China, Ukraine) or too expensive (Ireland in the black 47, various famines in India,) His analysis, if not his remedies, struck me as accurate.

            1. There is a school of historical thought that holds that ‘famines’ are almost always not the result of a lack of food, but of political or social idiocy keeping the food from the starving. I don’t recall all the details, but it mentions specifically two ‘famines’ under the British Raj when the scarcity of food was caused by panic over supposed poor harvests (they were nominal) resulting in hoarding.

              Kinda apropos, yes?

              1. Sen talks about that. He blames the Raj because they were Foreign and, thus, not responsible to the people. Problem with his theory is that the famines were much worse in the Princely States than in the Raj proper.

                In any case, there was food but no money to buy it. Ireland did export massive quantities all through the famine, They sing songs about it so it’ll never be forgotten, but then we never forget anything and still sing of Cromwell and Eoghan Ruadh O’Neill as any readers of James Plunkett’s Weep for our Pride would remember Did they dare, did they dare, to slay Owen Roe O’Neill

                1. OTOH, the forcible removal of all the good crop lands to Protestant hands was probably a bigger contributor.

                2. In this era, with all the government bailouts and stimulus packages, combined with lockdown, there will be plenty of money but nothing for it to buy. And the idiots will cry out for more government assistance and control.

                  1. THIS. I’m having trouble explaining to my suburban-American-raised husband how bad it will get.
                    And I’m despairing of prepping, because if this is forever, we can’t save enough food to last forever.

          1. Thanks for the link. I’ve been mulling a post on my LiveJournal about the mess in the food distribution system, and its relation to Just In Time manufacturing and distribution, and this gives me some authoritative sources.

            It’s interesting to see that Sonny Perdue as Secretary of Agriculture has proven invaluable in the present crisis, since he knows the agribusiness supply chain. (Given that the USDA has regulatory authority, his industry ties would normally be cause for concern).

            1. JIT has been one of the most destructive policies practiced in my lifetime. Without JIT even the offshoring may have been buffered by warehousing.

                1. I would say, rather, that the Thor Powertools decision greatly accelerated the adoption of JIT, and made it more pervasive than it otherwise would have. You can see some moves toward keeping less stock on hand as early as the twenties in some areas, in some industries. For example, some of the auto manufacturers switched from steam railroads to electric interurbans (and later trucks) for faster delivery of some parts from Indiana suppliers to Detroit assembly plants so they could keep less stock on hand.

                  1. I don’t think the problem is JIT per se — as you point out, there will have always been some of it — but even with JIT, there is *always* some benefit to having a buffer.

                    The Supreme Court decision, and the boneheadedness of the IRS in general, means that businesses are going to keep that buffer as small as possible. Without thad decision? I would expect having a bigger buffer (even with JIT) would still be desirable. While there is value in minimizing space use, there’s *also* value in having everything you need at hand, when you need it.

        2. Given the American left would be happy to feed the rest of the world to teach the deplorables a lesson, taking inspiration from the Holodomor, I would not plan on us being a net exporter saving us.

          1. This is especially true on the Left Coast, where all the ports are controlled by blue governors.

            1. They will need to pay close attention to the union-controlled ports. If the union members and their families get hungry, the containers with the food will mysteriously vanish no matter how many political cops they station there.

      3. That is exactly the sort of Mongoliaphobia which has too long plagued this world and I, for one, will not hesitate to denounce it. Shame on people who, to advance their political suppression, would employ that type of anti-Mongolian prejudice, slandering a noble nomadic people who’ve never done anything to harm them!

        The facts are that the Mongol armies were armies of liberation, freeing people from oppressive satraps who kept their cities penned within walls (obvious xenophobes!) The enlightened Mongol ruler, the Great Khan, established the principle of Diplomatic Immunity in order to foster commerce and full employment of the people under his leadership, establishing a regime of such Social Justice and gender tolerance that it was said a beautiful virgin maiden carrying a sack of gold could ride from one end of the Empire to the other without fear of molestation.

        It is time to cease the slanderous demonization of our Mongol ancestors! Shame on anyone who would attempt to win a political argument by such defamatory stereotype.

        1. As I understood it, they sacked cities that resisted and didn’t sack cities that surrendered up front. Killing the mongol emissaries as some of the more desperate ruling class did meant that everyone died messily. The mongols always struck me as completely rational that way.

          The meme, then, is that the rulers did a very stupid thing and now we’re all paying for it, which is true; but not what they intended in the meme. Considering how expensive their education was, they really don’t know very much or possess anything resembling self awareness.

          Number 2 son, the historian, fell about the place laughing.

        2. The Mongols were just proto-environmentalists, reducing the carbon footprint of the nations of Eurasia.

            1. Eh, if you mean “quit plowing up land that’s too dry and powdery to grow anything and let it go back to grazing,” then yes, they had a few good moments. Very, very few. Of course, it also required reducing the population of ethnic Han in the region to well below the carrying capacity of the area . . .

            2. The vulture population in Central Asia rebounded after the Horde invaded. The Earth was healing. We were the virus.

                1. Pretty sure the eco-doom crowd doesn’t care about ethics or biology.

                  1. They improved horse stock all over Asia and Europe, and brought new cuisine and culture to Korea! (The Mongols were not all bad. Just don’t live in the wrong cities.)

      4. I’ve seen that one, too. And then today, one about the so-called analogy between a parachute slowing your descent and the lifting of social-distancing measures. Do people just not understand the difference between deliberate human action and acts of nature?

        Do they not understand how analogies and metaphors actually WORK?

        1. Problem is they want everything to be perfect before letting up. Yes, the idea is to slow down how fast it expand but at the same time the parachute (savings, govt backstop, etc) is rapidly fraying. You can jettison and go for reserve, risking that you are too low but stay like this and its gonna fail.

          1. But… but… Things were not perfect BEFORE this whole circus started! Things were NEVER perfect!
            ———————————
            There is no shortage of people convinced they can create the perfect world. Trouble is, they always start out by fucking up this one.

        2. Do they not understand how analogies and metaphors actually WORK?

          These are the folk who tell us “A woman without a man is like a fish without a bicycle” – so what do you think?

        3. I once told a woman that of course it was imperfect, it was an analogy, if it were perfect it would be an identity, and she mused as if it were a revelation that the only thing exactly like another thing is itself.

    2. In this case the rich are the ones being least affected by all this. Hell, the very rich want this to continue so they can get even richer by further hoovering up possessions of the middle class that is being obliterated by this.

      1. Thus the “eat the rich” movement – fatten them up so there’s more there there!

        1. The richest counties in country are around DC. They start there and silicon valley and I’ll be in full dambed support even if it ends up in literal eating

    3. “Choice Between Health and Wealth”.


      Logical fallacy #8: False Dichotomy.

      It was the huge explosion of wealth created by the Industrial Revolution that made enough resources available to take care of most people’s health for the first time in history. Putting it in simple terms for their simple minds — without wealth, thar ain’t no health. It takes serious money for hospitals and doctors to take care of people, to keep the water on, the sewers flowing and the garbage trucks running, to get food to the stores while it’s still edible. They must never have read about life before refrigeration.
      ———————————
      Complex questions never have simple answers. Hell, most simple questions don’t have simple answers.

      1. But how do you explain ABJECT POVERTY in the United States? It can’t possibly be that they aren’t really poor but just selfish and envious.

        1. I forget which book it was, I think a John Ringo book, where an immigrant answered ‘Why did you come to the U.S.’ with “It’s the richest country in the world. Even your poorest people are FAT and have cell phones.”
          ———————————
          Everything the left-wingers do makes perfect sense once you realize that they have given up on getting people to want to vote for them, and are putting all their efforts into making people afraid to vote against them.

  2. Did anyone else notice this odd coincidence?
    Exactly 100 years ago on January 1 the Volstead Act went into effect.
    What we commonly refer to as Prohibition.
    That over reach of nanny state only lasted for 13 years, repealed in 1933, but we can see the lasting effects of that well intended yet thoroughly evil and abusive legislation to this very day.
    I expect the long term effects of the current cluster fisk to propagate down through the next several years in a similar fashion.

      1. Well, we might, but the path to make it disappear in my lifetime is by throwing the dice with a small chance of making it disappear and things being good and a huge chance of just replacing it with something worse.

        I don’t want that, but I’m sharpening the list just in case.

        Got to get to Lowe’s to get that halbert.

        Right now, I made myself a jointer’s mallet (a crappy one, but I’m still not much of a woodworker) and starting a low Roman work bench.

        And writing every day.

        And making music for the first time in years.

        1. “…starting a low Roman work bench.”

          I’m making one of those. I actually -am- a woodworker, and the peg-leg Roman bench is much more sophisticated than it seems at first blush. It is also harder to make than one might think.

          Key dimension is getting the holes for the legs at a good-enough angle (and all the same!). I cut mine with a Forstner bit, because that’s the only thing I had that was big enough for 1-3/4″ through tenons. A Forstner bit is not the right thing for those angled holes, unless you mount the piece in a drill press. I used a big fricking drill and took it very easy indeed. The thing you want is the good old fashioned brace-and-bit (or power drill and bit) because it lets you hold the correct angle.

          Of course I can’t buy a proper bit because all the stores are @##($)(%)#(%$U!!! web-order and curbside pickup, and their websites are trash. (Home Depot, seriously. Fix your website dudes.)

          But anyway, after trying the bench with the first iteration of legs it came out wobbly, so I’m changing my wedges to a steeper pitch and making the tenons a little larger diameter. Hopefully a little closer attention to getting the wedges the right size will pay off in nice tight leg joints.

          1. I’m not much of a woodworker. Yet.

            I’m using Rex Kruger’s version that uses laminated 2x4s for the top, designed for new wood workers. I do have a brace, but none of my bits are large enough, so I’ll be using a spade bit.

            My Home Depot is open to going in. Do they carry traditional bits?

            1. Spade bits? Mine does.

              Old-school (1800s and back) drills were all like that; a piece of flat bar forged flat on one end, then ground with cutting bevels. That’s one reason why antique braces have square drives. Twist drills don’t actually cut any better, but they can extract their own chips, which flat bits can’t do, so flat bits went away for metalworking, though they’ve always been the standard for woodworking.

              But engineering is like a big lava lamp; technologies seldom go away. In the 1970s “insert drills” were invented, which are just two-piece spade drills with carbide inserts…

              1. No, the more spiral ones that look like a Forsner bit and a twist drill had a love child.

                I have a nice selection of spade bits.

                1. the auger bits the big boxes have are designed for drill motors, not the brace, but depending on the head design, your brace might twist them fine. They don’t work as well as the good old ones, or really expensive new ones, but they can work.
                  Also, do you watch Mr. Chickadee as well?

                  1. I watch him from time to time. I have a little less lately because it’s more discouraging than inspiring right now. I suspect once I have a few projects I’m not embarrassed by he’ll go back to inspiring.

                    1. The number of maker, for lack of a better term, channels I follow on YT is…large.

                      Laura is one of the ones I tend to yell “fuck you” at out of jealousy/frustration/admiration on a regular basis.

                      Why some of the people who are admired by the culture at large are worshiped while people like this struggle to get a million supporters is beyond me.

                  2. The screw-point augers will work OK with a brace. It might be worth trying a Forstner bit. The circular form lets the cutting edge get a better angle to the work, and they cut clean holes.

            2. According to my research Home Depot have spade bits which are cheap and good enough, and come in large sizes. They have three-wing auger bits in sizes up to 1 1/2″ which I really like because they make a very smooth hole with the power drill. You can get single-wing auger bits up to about an inch or maybe 1 1/4″ from what I could see.

              I did see an adjustable single wing bit that might be amazingly handy for getting tight fitting holes. Sometimes you want the clearance to be closer than the usual 1/16th I seem to end up with using hardware store cutters. YMMV.

              Naturally, nobody has an auger bit in 1-3/4″ so I’m stuck with my Forstner or a crappy spade bit. The spade bit will make a hole, but the chip-out and rough sides offend my fussy nature. I do believe I will be forced to MacGyver a holding jig for the drill press, or possibly abandon the round holes and go with a chopped (square) mortise. The mortise has the advantage of being directional, which makes it easy(er) to add stretchers between the legs. Stretchers are not Roman, but they are -strong-. Down side, lots of angled mortises and tenons, which are complicated. Round legs are super simple. Unless they wiggle. ~:(

              I’m building the Roman bench as a test to see how the wedged legs do. Later on there’s a 2″ thick plank of live-edge walnut that’s going to become a coffee table, and another one that will be a TV stand. Its better to experiment on glue ups of shitty off-cuts from previous projects. ~:D

              On the round-leg front I got this kick-ass tenon cutter from Lee Valley before the Wuhan Flu made its debut:

              https://www.leevalley.com/en-ca/shop/tools/hand-tools/dowel-and-tenon-cutters/63795-veritas-tapered-tenon-joinery-system

              You don’t -need- this thing to cut a round tenon. You can definitely do it with a chisel Like Rex Kruger does in his video. That’s how the Roman dudes did it. But. I chucked that cutter in a 1/2″ drill and it cut a perfect 1 3/4″ tenon end on a piece of square maple in about a minute. It could have gone faster but I was taking it easy. So very, very sweet.

              Now I can take a stick of random diameter from the woodpile, hack the end of it down so it fits the cutter, and turn out a tight-fitting tenon really fast. Getting the wedges right turns out to be non-trivial, but I have a big scrap pile and I’ve got time.

              I watched quite a few of Rex’s videos, he’s got some fun projects there. The one thing he does which makes things seem easy is time-lapse. That’s for video purposes of course, but what you don’t get to see is the amount of frigging around he does getting stuff to fit, and the number of times he has to scrap a part and do it over.

              There’s a lot of do-overs. I just scrapped four legs that didn’t work, had to cut them off the bench and re-cut new tenons on them. Now the bench is 6″ shorter, which is okay for me because it is a test piece. It can be challenging to continue a project after getting something super wrong, but it helps to know that Rex and The Phantom get stuff super wrong about every day.

              My favorite was the time I had a blanket box floor all glued up and surfaced, and I was on a time limit. I very -carefully- measured that part, twice. And cut it precisely, exactly, perfectly… 1/2 an inch too short.

                1. Oops, 404 not found. Probably truncated.

                  Since it is -snowing- here in the Demented Dominion, making it very difficult to cut the grass (which you wouldn’t think would be growing, but it is) I got my wedges whipped into shape and wedged the legs in this afternoon.

                  Success! Nice and tight this time.

                  The important difference between Attempt 1 and Attempt 2 was the steepness of the wedge, I’m using two of them on a 1 3/4″ tenon, ~1/4″ thick at the top and ~2″ long, give or take. The first time they were ~1/8″ thick, half the size. This time they stopped moving before they got all the way to the bottom of the slot, which is what you want. Mechanical friction for the win.

                  Important safety tip from previous adventures in wedging, if you make the wedge longer than the slot it can split the thing you are pounding it into. Then there is a nasty -CRACK- sound that makes you say “oh oh…” followed by bad language.

            1. I built one of those. It works great within its limits. very old school, ancient in fact. I have an old Nicholson bench that my father made years ago.

            2. I’ve watched this video, it is quite good. This is what decided me to make the Roman bench.

              For a beginning project this is a really good one. The low bench is something I would have found incredibly handy back when I was starting out, always working in asinine basements and f-ed up garages. Or the apartment balcony one time, that was fun.

              I’ve been using the same Black & Decker Workmate as my bench since the 1980s. Its not great, its a little tippy, but I have made a lot of furniture with that thing. From dovetailed boxes to book cases, gun racks, the beefy trestle table I’m typing on, a pretty nice tool chest, all kinds of things.

              I had a piece of 2″ thick x 7″ wide maple for like 20 years that I was “gonna get to” and make a proper cabinet maker’s bench out of once upon a time, but Life (TM) interfered and the planned bench turned into a kitchen table, and a side table, and a changing table, and a desk, and a whole lot of other things. I’ve been moving this one plank from house to house for a long time. So when I saw the video, I decided that the time had come, and the plank would finally become a bench. And now it is. Yay!

              I will say that laminating your first one out of crappy construction lumber is a great way to go. You learn how to saw and plane on nice soft pine. Flattening a big chunk of maple with a handplane is no easy task. Pine is much better for hand tools.

              1. Yep. Step one was reconditioning the two #5 planes I have. One a Stanley with a slightly pre-war design (no frog adjustment screw) and the other a Craftsman copy from the 70s, although it has a corrugated sole.

                I’m tempted to grind one of the blades into a scrub shape, although I’m also tempted to try and just make one out of some tool steel (if Metal Mart is open…need to call).

      2. There *is* some good news on this front. In previous crises, the President typically responds by expanding his powers, usually to the detriment of Congress and the People.

        *This* President, however, has responded to increased Federalism, calls for private-sector help, and deregulation. He’s setting up a *very* interesting precedent for responding to crises. (Heck, even Trump’s claim that he has all power has Democratic Governors flexing their Federalist muscles!)

        Hopefully, this precedent will stick!

    1. They repealed that one abuse, and yet the authoritarians never learned the lesson. They haven’t made any great efforts to ban alcohol again, but they try to ban everything else. The War On (Some) Drugs, their neverending war on the 2nd Amendment, prostitution, trans fats, sugary drinks, the list is nearly endless.

      If they can’t ban something, they regulate it to death. Requiring a government-issued license to cut hair? Who has died of a bad haircut, EVER? You need a license to cut a DOG’S hair!
      ———————————
      The world is full of self-important, self-righteous assholes, obsessed and tormented by the conviction that Somebody, Somewhere is Doing Something they don’t approve of, and driven by a compulsion to Do Something About It at any cost.

      1. At least they admitted they needed to do it via an amendment. Today it just takes the word of a lawyer to overturn the will of people

        1. or a political appointee who can’t be voted out or removed until death or long drawn out legal sludgework
          granted some of them are/were lawyers

      2. Some of those regulations are the result of people demanding them. Like the ones for hair cutting. Someone forms an “association”, let’s say “Conservative Bloggers’ Association.” Then they try to storng-arm other conservative bloggers into signing up, paying dues, and supporting the narrative. When that doesn’t happen, they hire lobbyists, who tell the local legislators that conservative blogging is an activity that affects the public health, and that it needs regulation. (politicians love regulation) And, as the Conservative Bloggers’ Association, they’re already organized and in place to do exactly that.

        So a bill gets drafted, and generally goes through unopposed since nobody knew anything about it. The CBA is now empowered to license conserative bloggers, and blogging without a license is now a crime. Pay up, obey the bylaws – which you didn’t get to vote in – or stop posting. Or get fined and/or go to jail.

        That’s why fingernail salons, makeup people, dog washers, and in some places lawn care, all require licensing.

        Good scam, if you can work it…

        A friend’s wife is a cosmetologist. She had to put in 2,000 hours to get her state license. The FAA only requires 1,500 hours to be an airline pilot.

        “Your government, working for YOU!”

        1. A lot tends to be the “don’t just stand there do something” and then lobbyists get their claws in. And it’s from the brand new stylist to the doctor. Credentialism is one of the things that has killed the us.

      3. People make this mistake all the time! Prohibition was just never done right! If is just that the right people never implemented it!

        1. Which is how we get the War on Drugs(TM), the War on Whore (h/t Maggie McNeil), the War on Unpasteurized Milk (Okay I think unpasteurized milk tastes gross, in addition to being potentially unhealthy, but you do you)…

    2. That over reach of nanny state only lasted for 13 years, repealed in 1933

      I’d argue that the empowerment of Federal law enforcement and intrusive Federal regulatory overreach that resulted from Prohibition is still with us – The FBI was vastly empowered and expanded in the reaction to organized crime taking over the supply side of the alcoholic beverage market in the 1920s. The fact that the stupid prohibition experiment was ended did not end the giant and now proven unreliable Federal law enforcement monolith – and anyone who has read the history of J.Edgar knows the recent ignore-the-rules praetorian crap are very much within the institutional character.

      1. And that, which you have so correctly expanded upon, was my whole point. The government over reaches, gets put back in their place, but each and every time some level of infringement remains in place.

      2. The detestable BATF is a direct result of that period. Eliot Ness and his gang made their reputation taking down Capone and his gang for alcohol distribution, and then leveraged their fame into a full time agency of their own – an agency that harasses, abuses, and unjustly persecutes citizens to this day.

        1. Think about that for a second — they collect taxes on alcohol and tobacco, and do, what, with guns? Something that requires armored vehicles, anti-tank weapons, and attack helicopters, apparently.

          There will be a line in a story I’m working on: “They’re not the Gestapo, they just wish they were!”
          ———————————
          No matter how much it sucks, you can’t fire the government.

    3. The thing that annoys me about the whole Prohibition episode is the obvious lesson that never seems to get noticed;

      WE CAN TRY THINGS, AND THEN REPEAL THEM IF THEY DON’T WORK!!!

      Even today, when discussing legalizing Marijuana (or Prostitution, or any one of a dozen other things) people act as is a Law, once passed, is graven in stone. Which it obviously isn’t, since we’re talking about changing the law anyway. We can legalize drugs, and if that turns out to be a mistake we can prohibit them again.

      I’m tempted to say that it’s the authoritarian impulse of the Lefty Establishment, and that certainly contributes. But it seems to be wider spread than that could account for.

      *sigh*

      1. Outside of Prohibition itself, when’s the last time you ever heard of a law being repealed because it didn’t work? Trying to get laws changed back is something our media fights all the way.

        1. The one rather miraculous case was the sunset of the 1994 Assault Weapon Ban. Thing is the liberals had to include a ten year sunset in order to get the legislation passed, but in their delusions had every faith and confidence that after ten years of resounding success the ban would be renewed permanently. Instead, the ban was so ineffectual that there was almost no movement to extend it past the sunset. Of course it did not hurt that its passage was held at least in part to be the reason the Democrats lost both houses of Congress later that year in the mid-term elections.

        2. I got quite an interesting lecture on that once from a lawyer acquaintance. It seems that more law gets repealed than is generally realized, as there is a long established legal process whereby new laws are automatically understood to repeal most if not all the laws they are replacing. I asked him if it worked as well in practice as in theory, and he admitted it does not. But it does happen.

          As a strong example; the March of 2nd Amendment activism across the States has repealed a lot of gun control laws by passing new, more liberty oriented laws.

          Still, we should repeal a damn sight more law.

        1. Or a vending machine. An ATF Machine would be an awesome vending machine. It might reduce the line I have to deal with on those occasions I pick up something at the convenience store.

  3. > That over reach of nanny state only lasted for 13 years, repealed in 1933,

    At the Federal level, yes. In my state some counties continue the prohibition, as does the town I live in. And in Little Rock, it’s enacted at the precinct level

    1. Around here (North Shore Massachusetts) many towns were dry. Rockport only allowed alcohol at restaurants in 2006 and only permitted sales at stores (package/Grocery) as of 2019. It had been dry since 1856. And I think one of prohibitions worst effects was it provided a large and steady revenue stream to organized crime. took them from small time nuisance to major player in 13 years.

        1. Or offer the Pols a bribe or even an offer they couldn’t refuse. Either they didn’t or it didn’t work as here we are. That’s kind of like the Syndic by C.M. Kornbluth.

  4. There’s also the geopolitical observation that totalitarian states get revolutions not when they are stomping the hardest, but when the boot is lifted a bit off the subject peoples necks.

    Imperator Gavin and the newly empowered public health czars may very well induce Booginess by trying to let things open up only just a bit.

    1. Where I anticipate trouble is with the tri-state (unconstitutional) compact. Seeing rural counties in all three states being forced in house arrest to keep LA standards is *not* going to go over well. It’s bad enough when Portlandia is running things, but bring in the California Kamel(a) and the boog might get serious.

      (I don’t think our sheriff has the nerve to do a Will Not Comply, but he’s running for reelection…)

      1. some of that is happening here.
        Whitless rules are causing people to break them out of spite. I saw several groups chatting outside (and some not maintaining Social Distancing™ . . . children were involved) and I know one guy from WI who is alway over on the MI side with his best friend, working on his boat or vehicle. I think they work in close proximity as well, so where’s the harm? I’m sure Whitless has Reasons™

        1. That happened to me at the Supermarket the other day. I found the “one way” signs so absurd, I deliberately walked most of the isles going the opposite direction while waiting for a prescription to be filled!

          1. I was initially going to overlook what I presumed a minor typo, but on reflection realize is a potential source of confusion. I had thought your intended term was “aisles” — those long paths between two rows of shelves — but then realized perhaps you were referring to the “isles” often used as stand-alone displays in the produce, bread and deli sections of many contemporary food marts.

            If the latter I trust you were careful in placement of your feet, so as to avoid squishing valuable product the grocer was offering for sale.

          2. I will be finding how silly it is in the WI supermarket soon. Running out of the items that are only in the one store on that side of the river.
            I would like to pop into the MI store as well, as some of the items I am about to run out of are better and cheaper over here.

      2. Kamela is keeping a remarkably low profile since she bailed on her prez run – it’s all Imperator Gavin I here.

        And the same thing is already rumbling here – keeping Shasta County on lockdown because the numbers are too high 500 miles away in Los Angeles is like locking down Raleigh, NC due to the situation in NYC.

  5. That certainly explains why I had a mood plunge when the local authorities said, “Um, no, we’re moving the end of the shut-in to April 30 and then we’ll see what happens. And you will have to wear masks or, um, or, um, something.”

    Uncertainty, knowing that someone will be out to get me for being different, someone else controlling my world . . . Yes, that’s a good way to bring up a lot of stuff I’d rather not remember, thank you.

    1. In my case aggravated by the fact that I just. Finally. Got someone life-threateningly toxic mostly out of my life, and was digging out of the financial wreckage, was finally seeing some light at the end of the tunnel, and-

      This. Mess.

      Words cannot express.

      1. Similar. Probably not as bad as your case. But I just got some sizable debt paid off, and was looking forward to starting to actually *gasp* save money.

        Oops.

        Though I will be the first to admit that going into this situation without that debt is much better than going into this situation with that debt.

          1. Lucky to be still working.
            can’t really spend (though amateur cobbling is eating some funds, so I am getting more money that might soon be Zimbob’swean in worth.

    2. Several days ago, the April 30 end date here got moved to May 4. Sadly, it will not surprise me if Gov. Walz tries to push it out further. Having things return to an approximation of normal (we ain’t gonna get normal for some time, I fear) even in a phased manner is a hope, not an expectation. Walz should send nice Thank You cards to a few other Governors for making him look relatively sane.

      1. Next door in ND Burgum just extended his order closing businesses until April 30. And a bunch of “Karens” are chomping for more.

        1. And Wisconsin just had it’s nonsense extended to 26 June – with the tiny morsel that golf course could open 24 April, provide essentially no on-site facilities are used, and the threat of closing parks etc. if people dare to actually live and have some fun.

      2. You know, if there were even a VAGUELY sane reason for this, if this were oh, 1/5th as bad as they said it would be? I’d be scared for the economy but go along.
        BUT THERE IS NO REASON FOR THIS. OTHER THAN COMMIES WANT US ALL DEAD.

        1. It’s follow my leader. May 1st has become a magic number and no-one wants to be earlier. I think Cuomo saying May 15 is huge since I can’t see Andy one going longer than that. This is all just herd behavior.

          I think there’ll be one last display of narcissistic angst from the Karen’s and then that’ll be that.

          1. Legal liability follow-my-leader. “But if we go first, and someone gets sick and dies, we’ll be sued! Let them go first, and see what happens.”

        2. I am now picturing Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck in Elmer Fudd style clothing, complete with shotguns, captioned, ‘Be vewy vewy quiet. We’re hunting Kawens.’

    3. Put on hanky scarf mask, ye-old-bank-robber triangle style and my thought is “Oh good lord I feel like an idiot!” Mom has taken a pattern and made family masks to wear when “socially appropriate” or when state-boot Kate Brown says we have to (or has she without the order to open up?). Also have a method to use the hanky scarf so it doesn’t look like I’m out to wrangle or rustle livestock or rob a bank. I have a lot of hanky scarf’s, they are my “Oh Look How Cute” souvenir purchases. At least they’ll get used. Won’t guaranty how sanitary they, or the one mom made, are because that isn’t why I’m wearing the dang things.

      Regarding the “Emotional Abuse”. I still have the empathy response. What I don’t have anymore is the ability to burst into “oh my god” sobbing with full waterworks at the slightest hint of criticism. It devolved when the “my give a dang broke” and the “F off” response or berserk impulse evolved. I don’t get physical. But I do see RED and start spouting stuff that really, really, shouldn’t be said, no matter how true or valid. To get driven that far is 100% emotional abuse. I’m old enough that I can also claim elderly abuse. I think I might start taking advantage of that. Even tho I can’t be old. That is impossible. Mom is still alive. (Note. I won’t be old in 15 years even tho I’ll be close to 80, because mom will still be alive, but 100 …)

      1. My wife made Thomas the Tank engine masks for my adult children. They’re wearing them as needed. I want a Mickey Mouse giving the finger mask but we don’t have that fabric and my wife wouldn’t play along with it if we did.

        The dorkishness of it will end it

      2. Also have a method to use the hanky scarf so it doesn’t look like I’m out to wrangle or rustle livestock or rob a bank.

        Or you could go whole hog and embrace the look.

          1. If I had the materials (and building talent) I’d probably use something like this:

            1. You know, I was thinking about appropriate helmets.

              Obviously Clone Trooper or Storm Trooper would work for grocery shopping – bonus points if they have the comms in it so you can tell the bagger “Move along”, but the visibility sucks in those.

              Vader’s helmet visibility would not be much better, and you need a James Earl Jones voice synth plus the breathing sound effects to really make it work, plus the cape would get caught in the shopping cart (Edna’s voice: “No capes!”).

              A Mandalorian helmet would have a little more vis from the eye slit.

              One could wear the current mil HGU fighter pilot helmet with an oxygen mask, but hooked up to what?

              And while they look cool, the helo-crew helmets with the face guard would not satisfy the blocking of the high speed germ launch that they say happens when you talk, but that dies off just at 5’11.5”.

              Perhaps one of the classics – a gorilla mask a la the original Magnum, not the cheap knock off new one.

              For now I have one of those fishing head socks (try Tractor Supply online) that I wear in mask mode. But there has to be something cooler.

        1. Black pants, black shirt, black gunfighter mask, mirrorshades, stainless .460 longslide in a tiedown holster. I don’t ordinarily wear hats, but I’m thinking of one of those Australian jobs with one side turned up…

          “Unknown unknowns.” An unforseen consequence of our recent Constitutional Carry legislation seems to have resulted in easy accessorization.

      3. Won’t guaranty how sanitary they

        Sanitation doesn’t matter, that isn’t why they’re being worn. They are the contemporary equivalent of “yellow-star-armbands” worn to demonstrate submission to The Powers That Be.

        Them Powers don’t realize the masks are concealing feral grimaces as people grow angry at forced submission to their presumed betters.

        There will come a reckoning. Let’s try to keep it orderly and appropriate, with minimum of shed blood. These things have a way of getting out of hand and then the clean-up is awful.

        1. Define “orderly and appropriate” and “out of hand”.

          Also, if we’re to have a minimum of bloodshed, is there a bagging limit? Is it per day or lifetime?

          Also, are there separate limits by method? What about those of us who prefer bludgeoning, cutting, fire, and explosives to fire arms? Also, is body based bludgeoning a separate category from tool based bludgeoning?

          1. There will be blood in the streets. The pols are too stupid to know when they’ve gone too far. If we get to famine, we will have blood in the streets.

      4. Hmmm, they want us to wear a face mask? Bandit scarf sounds good. They passed constitutional carry a couple years back, might as well strap on the revolver as well.

        1. And the magazine limits they are so fond of lead directly to the sort of hand cannon calibers that revolvers still have an edge in.

      5. Johnny Carson once joked that “old” is always fifteen years older than you right now. 15? 30 is old. 45? 60 is old. Etc.

    4. I’m learning a lot about how people probably thought if they lived in Eastern Europe or various of the Soviet Socialist Republics.

        1. Most people are for liberty in liberty oriented societies and Stasi in Stasi oriented societies. If Lenin understood one thing, it was that the vanguard sets the tone and most people follow. That is why liberty is hard to maintain, because it’s easy to mouth but hard to do by following. When alternatives are offered the tendency to conform and then tendency to laziness meet up to say, “yeah, that’s better”.

        2. Dorothy Thompson in Harpers 1941. Who goes Nazi. Read it years ago and it’s stuck in my mind. My wife and I play the game fairly often and the current shambles has shown that our predictions have largely been accurate.

          The need to conform seems to be the best predictor.

        3. Right? People you think “Oh, they’re all right” but now we find out no, not really. They were just waiting for a good enough excuse.

          Vermin.

          1. My wife had a friend well up in her 80’s who used to complain about the mean old biddies. She said that they’d been mean all their lives and now that they were old didn’t have to hide it.

    5. Cuomo just pushed ours out to May 15th and is requiring facemasks. -_- (I’m thinking of getting one of the ones from Liberty Junkies. Or making a Winnie the Pooh one, but I suspect no one would understand.)

      And my mom is all “Trump is going to kill people, and I’m not going to be able to go outside until 2022!” and I mean, I know she’s 66 and has COPD, but isn’t it *still* a pretty low-risk, all-told?

      But she also lives alone in a senior building with her cat, so… everything here probably applies even more to her.

      I miss church. I miss being able to take the kids to the zoo, or McDonald’s, or the park. I miss the presumption that my safety was my own goddamn responsibility, and not “OMG we have to live in Matrix pods because IT’LL GET US.”

      I’m getting mad. But I don’t have anything to aim it at.

      I should try to clean things while the baby is sleeping. I’ve let things get out of hand. -_- (The fact that the baby is constantly getting into ALL THE THINGS and turning over everything as soon as you’ve put it back is… helpful. I think he’s feeling boxed in, too. hopefully it stops snowing soon. -_-)

  6. Someone has to move first. It’s fairly obvious to me that our “leaders” are stuck in a loop, they don’t know what to do so they’re simply kicking the can down the road and we’re all hung up by their uncertainty. Here in NJ, our governor is talking about late summer, maybe. When you couple that with the Acela crowd still talking of millions of dead children the paralysis is understandable.

    I remember when my mother died. There were at least 8 people standing there not knowing what to do until I came, closed her eyes, and set them to it. Number 2 son had a similar experience when a teacher of his passed out in class. Someone has to take charge, someone has to go first. Once they do, I suspect the logjam will clear as fast as it set. I’m starting to get annoyed with Trump since this is his job and he’s still faffing about.

    My dentist sent a note yesterday that his practice would be reopening on May 4, since that is the day our governor’s diktat expires. He’ll have to do something to extend it and, after his catastrophic interview last night, it will be interesting to see what he does. Unless he explicitly extends it, the economy will start to open on its own. If he does extend it, the economy will still start to open on its own, but it will be slower and more painful.

    There seems to be some consensus on Serology testing and masks but the tests aren’t very accurate and so useless for knowing whether any individual is immune or not and the masks won’t survive the first hot, humid day. Of course, the testing will show the disease is less lethal than believed, possibly by an order of magnitude or so, but I can’t see any of these clowns admitting they were wrong.

    Thus, reason for hope. In particular, I think it unlikely, unless Trump surrenders utterly to Malignancy, that coffee will cost a barrow load of cash. This is a deflationary event, but that is another topic.

    1. unless Trump surrenders utterly to Malignancy

      Speaking of whom, today’s delusional claims come from the Crone of ‘Cisco:

      Pelosi: Trump to blame for cratering economy
      House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told reporters President Trump is responsible for the nation’s sharp economic downturn that has come in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak.

      Pelosi, a California Democrat, offered the criticism after telling reporters she is negotiating with Republicans and Trump administration officials on an urgently needed small-business aid package Democrats are blocking. Pelosi said she is awaiting a compromise offer from the GOP that could come as early as Thursday afternoon.

      Pelosi has come under intense criticism from Republicans for refusing to agree to a bill that would replenish a now-depleted federal aid program that has been helping small businesses stay open during the coronavirus pandemic.

      Pelosi turned the blame on Trump, arguing he is responsible for the sharp economic downturn, which has wiped out years of economic and employment gains in a matter of weeks due to the state-at-home and closure orders by state and local governments.

      “The truth is, because of the incompetent reaction to this health crisis, the strong economy handed to Donald Trump is now a disaster, causing the suffering of countless Americans and endangering lives,” Pelosi said.

      Pelosi also called Trump “weak” and “a poor leader who takes no responsibility.”

      Pelosi said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Kentucky Republican, should “show respect to the facts” as the two sides negotiate to pass the small-business package.

      [SNIP]

      Republicans on Thursday criticized Pelosi for holding up the $250 billion funding measure amid dire unemployment figures.

      “I cannot understand, after watching another 5 million get unemployed, Speaker Pelosi continues to say no,” Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, a California Republican, said Thursday. “It’s just unheard of. A whole program that is working that only provides the small businesses to stay afloat, to keep their people hired.”

      Republican and Democratic lawmakers in the House and Senate participated in a conference call with President Trump on Thursday morning to discuss efforts to pass a new small-business aid package and other issues, according to McCarthy.

      1. That they lie doesn’t surprise me. That they lie knowing they will never be called on it depresses me.

    2. > Someone has to take charge, someone has to go first.

      A majority of people aren’t going to do anything, for whatever reasons. So if you don’t do it, it won’t get done, no matter how important it is.

      “There’s us. We’re the cavalry. We’re the last defense. If not us, who?”
      — Sarah Hoyt, accordingtohoyt 02/22/17

      1. Every time we go out, we win and I and mine are out every day. My belief is that this will end either when the politicians fall into line or when the people tire of it, which is even happening here in the people’s republic of NJ.

        The politicians are frozen. once the first one moves, there’ll be a cascade. Cuomo moved it to May 15 to show that Trump isn’t pushing him around. I can’t see any state being later than that.

        There’s a jackass in the FRB who wants us to wear badges showing we’re immune, he can go f@ck himself.

        I wear the damn mask to protect the shops that are still open from the Stasi. The rest can go f@ck themselves.

        Telling them to go f@ck themselves is the best weapon we have and I intend to use it every chance I get.

        1. I have my Gadsden flag and my gilet jaunes. I bought it when we lived in the UK because les flics used to line up the UK cars when we came off the ferry and check. high Viz vest, first aid kit. Easy money for them.

        2. I had this vision of you wearing a yellow sweater with a live snake wrapped around your arm.

          Would definitely get attention!

            1. You can warm the snake up with an electric blanket or heat lamp. And, hey, no fur or dander to sneeze at…

            2. Dad hated snakes. Even harmless little garter snakes. Mom was OK with them.

              Me and my brothers: “Snakes are cool!”
              Dad: “NO SNAKES!!”

              1. My wife is afraid of snakes. I’m not, but I’m cautious because I can’t tell which ones might be poisonous. And if you startle one you can still be bitten.

                And while we’re talking about snakes: Ray Stevens doing “The Ballad of Cactus Pete – and Lefty”: https://youtu.be/0P3SyyWQ1SA

                “Yeah, I cut the toe out of an old sock one time, made him a little sweater.
                Didn’t work, though, he just kept crawlin’ out of it.
                He ain’t hardly got no shoulders at all, you know.
                But lord what a neck.
                Got more neck than Audrey Hepburn.”

                1. Yep. 100%. Working in the woods, back when. Or even hiking & backpacking, now. Occasionally a stick in the path of travel moves. Always startling. But I don’t freak out. Just as long as the snake is moving that away. Where that away is not toward me.

                  1. My parents were out hiking once when a stick moved. It was a rattler.

                    And what was worse, my father had already walked past where it was, and my mother hadn’t.

                    (my father rolled some rocks toward it until it decided to take itself somewhere where it wasn’t having rocks rolled at it.)

                    1. One summer had a USFS timber proposed sale where the rattlers were rather plentiful. Out of 8 pairs (crew was running two person profiles off ridge, mid ’70s) there were 20 rattlers killed. One pair (my partner & I) were the only ones to not see a snake that day. Three of the rattlers were killed at the proposed landing site where all 16 crew members had stopped before being handed out assignments. Last two crews off the spot heard them after everyone else had taken off. Last day crew was in that sale. Should have been more profiles ran so units could be decided, then laid out. This was the summer of safety precautions – Rattlesnakes & Black Bears were numerous in the units we were working in. The crew supervisors took to carrying, openly. Didn’t see any of the local temps carrying, but the could have carrying concealed. I didn’t (never considered it). I never did see a rattler, anywhere. Never saw a bear in a unit or getting there (often had to walk distances on proposed roads). Did see a bear on the forest road returning to district office.

                      Rattlers, Bears, Fires, oh my. Yet the most dangerous situation we ran into was a hidden illegal grow.

          1. Heh.

            Needs a little more yellow …

            Hat-tip to Marvel Serpent Society, Princess Python

    3. “Someone has to move first.”

      I heard earlier this week that Gov. Abbot in Texas was preparing to reopen his state very quickly.

          1. I’m actually starting to believe in a uniparty, honest.
            And thinking our only way out is the boog. Closing the country was NEVER SANE. And it grows more insane by the day.

            1. No, there is not a uniparty, but there is a uberculture* comprised of the managerial-caste. College educated for the most part, refined through the same bureaucratic processes, sharing a common perspective on “how things are” and “how they ought to be.” They live in a bubble which determines who is respectable, how you should speak, to whom you ought listen and who you can safely ignore. Each political party has its own grooming process for their leadership and the results are remarkably similar in exterior. People like Trump & Steyer are theirs for the plucking, never to be heeded and absolutely not to be granted power.

              I recommend re-watching Yes Minister/Yes, Prime Minister while holding in mind it is a documentary, not a satire.

              *No, not people who do all their travel by chauffeur-driven rental taxi

              1. Addendum: this is why the “News Industry” entered its senescent phase when a J-school degree became necessary for working there. Whatever the pictorial diversity, the intellectual diversity, the ability to connect with people from a wide range of backgrounds, disappeared from newsrooms and editorial staff.

                They may have belonged to different fraternities/sororities — but they were still all of them Greek. The student who had worked her way through college by working as waitress in a Greek House (and keenly observing the dining behaviour of the members) wasn’t going to be accorded a plum position on the school paper and wasn’t making the connections that “earned” an entry level job in a prime newsroom.

        1. I’ve heard that immediately following Abbot’s announcement, Trump made a public statement suggesting that he wasn’t happy with Abbot’s move. I didn’t read the statement myself, so I don’t know how serious it was.

            1. 1) he *is* one of them, or was until 2015 or so

              2) he’s operating in an informational dead zone. Everyone he can ask for information has a vested interest in tweaking what they tell him. The more “expert” they are, the less useful they are to him.

              3) the Deep State has not slackened its efforts to take him down, crash the economy, or both; he has more problems than COVID-19. Which, honestly, is going to solve itself, whether he does anything or not

              4) he’s still not Hillary

              1. He’s also not Biden, nor any other Democrat.

                (Well, I still suspect he is a Democrat, and had the Democrats themselves not gone insane, he’d probably be governing more like a Democrat, but even so, he hasn’t been as crazy as Democrats have been, and still are.)

    4. Of course, the testing will show the disease is less lethal than believed, possibly by an order of magnitude or so, but I can’t see any of these clowns admitting they were wrong.

      This is what really pisses me off.

      In late January and February I thought we were looking at something that could be 1919 levels of bad. In mid-March when the schools closed I supported the idea of 1919 measures I keep yammering about: testing with enforced quarantine for known infected, close public schools, close social gathering businesses (restaurants, bars, theaters) while leaving the rest up to business owners. I honestly expected air travel to be suspended overall and flew knowing I might be stuck if it was. I accepted I was taking a calculated risk and to this day I do not understand why airplanes are flying into and out of the highly affected areas (ie: LaGuarida, Kennedy, and Newark).

      I still think given what we knew and a healthy belief China was lying that circa March 15th that was a reasonable path.

      However, I now suspect for 75%+ of the country it was unneeded. It needs to end for the health of the population. Pointed my girl (who is working on a PhD in mental health and rehab mental health) to this and she wrote a ton about mental health issues already being seen and what she and her colleagues expect, especially if we’re here circa June and July.

      I can forgive conservative measures early, but now I can’t. We have a better picture. Open up the non-hot spots and get people out of their homes before the cure is worse than the disease, assuming it isn’t already.

    5. Trump is driving me insane. I’m starting to think he’s been co-opted. PROBABLY still better than Biden, but not if he’s going to let them impose Green New Deal by other means.

      1. I’m getting frustrated with him, too, but I’m waiting to hear what he says over the next few days. There’s supposed to be a big announcement around 6pm Eastern.

        1. Hints are the recommended federal task force guidelines to reopen is essentially rope for the democratic governors to politically hang themselves. President Trump couldn’t & didn’t shutdown the states or country. President Trump can’t and won’t issue orders from on high to reopen what the lower levels closed down. But President Trump can and will hold up the appropriate tyrant mirror they can look into and see themselves.

      2. My thoughts have been exploring the idea that … certain people have played on Trump’s notorious germaphobia to stampede him on this. How it will play out is “to be determined.”

        BUT never make the mistake of thinking him worse than Biden. Biden is bad, on his best days, but that isn’t who we’ll get. I know he will never be president except in name, you know he will never be president except in name. That only leaves the question of whose hands will be manipulating the Biden marionette’s strings. We’ll get the people willing to abuse and exploit a senile elderly man in order to gain political power — they’ll be the ones appointing the cabinet secretaries, the judges, the managers of our government. We’re looking at the people who enabled James Comey, John Brennan, and Lois Lerner.

        1. Kamala Harris. or Obama.
          Seriously.
          Also between national socialism and international socialism always choose the first. It gives you more room to maybe eventually have your grandkids rebel.

    6. Theres still a critical mass that supports this stuff. Media propaganda does still work much as we don’t want to believe. As for monetary supply, we are in the exemplar more money fewer goods and for all his good, Trump is routinely rolled by the legislature into signing high debt bills. We will likely see another round of UI shoring up and government bailouts (I give even odds between that instead of or in addition to payroll protection) before anything is over and none of these imbiciles will ever drop spending but 2021’s m4a and nude eel will skyrocket spending again. May not be wheelbarrows since we will be using cash to heat our homes since nat gas price quintuples

      1. How is he rolled, when he’s routinely confronted by veto-proof majorities? And as I’ve pointed out before, the fact that the number of Senators required to override a veto just happens to be the number required to remove him via impeachment is not a coincidence.

        1. Except he signs and touts the bills.

          I get that it’s a no win situation but it’s still another reminder that were just watching agonal resps

  7. Humans are primates. Primates do not live alone. They get sick. They go crazy.

    It’s times such as these that make me glad to be wallaby.

    Wallabies can’t go crazy. Wallabies come crazy.

    1. In my case I feel very uncomfortable when I’m around people. Even family, though I can stay with them longer.

      Perhaps I’m insane, don’t care. Just want to be alone a lot. (Though the “essential” construction work being done on the apartment next door is not helping me. Power tools are very annoying.)

  8. Not-Little-Brother and I were chatting, and he mentioned his mother was handling all this surprisingly well. After a moment of consideration, of course she is. She’s been convinced for years that we’re living within the book of Revelation. Current events confirm her beliefs.

    Leading NLB and I to the conclusion that a lot of people aren’t okay because they’re having a crisis of faith on top of everything else. Most first worlders really only believe in Inevitable Progress. The world will get nicer, fairer, better, safer, more pleasant, end without end, thanks to Progress and her handmaiden Science!

    This is not any of those things, and Science has failed to fix it, and Progress has made it worse. Of course, it’s forbidden to talk about Religion, and Progress is doing it’s best to eliminate competitors even while dying, so people have no words and no alternatives.

  9. Gonna quote part of an Author’s Note for Embers:

    “Anyone so massively screwed by Fate as to be in a relationship with a psychopath – much less raised by one – will come away with two things: a bent moral compass, and a severely damaged ability to test reality. Both of which, ironically, are in part caused by an accurate perception of the psychopath: this person holds my life in his hands, and does not care.

    Right, wrong, every fact and supposition that make up reality – for the survivor, all are first tested against, will this keep me alive?”

    So the fallout of the current matter has some fairly nasty likely dynamics that I was not fully appreciating.

    1. Yes. Exactly. It’s not just the economic and social damage the lockdown is doing – though that would be more than bad enough. It’s the mental, even the spiritual damage.

      Theodore Dalrymple – ““In my study of communist societies, I came to the conclusion that the purpose of communist propaganda was not to persuade or convince, not to inform, but to humiliate; and therefore, the less it corresponded to reality the better. When people are forced to remain silent when they are being told the most obvious lies, or even worse when they are forced to repeat the lies themselves, they lose once and for all their sense of probity. To assent to obvious lies is…in some small way to become evil oneself. One’s standing to resist anything is thus eroded, and even destroyed. A society of emasculated liars is easy to control.”

      Totalitarians humiliate. Abusers humiliate. This lockdown of even the healthy, in the freest country on the planet, is meant to humiliate.

      As they say in the memes, “Change my mind.”

      1. On the one hand, this isn’t the best timing for me to figuring out some of the new wrinkles. Got some business writing that I’m overdue on figuring out, and the emotional bleed over is not the most helpful.

        On the other hand, what Sarah said in ‘On Losing Respectability’, I say as ‘I identify as a monster’. I’ve long seen keeping my own counsel as an essential survival necessity. My own opinions, not what I may be pressured or stampeded into believing. This necessarily places me in the category of monster to those who define as such all those with opinions outside of what they insist are appropriate.

        On the gripping hand, I’ve lost track of what I was planning to say with all that.

  10. Sooner or later, it’s not a matter of saving lives; it’s a matter of choosing which lives we save. The risk factor for Covid is currently what we’re dealing with, but the risk factors for suicide and domestic violence are increasing, and eventually it’s going to be a big risk factor for being unemployed or poor if we continue with the current lockdowns as the food supply chain gets (more) disrupted.

    “But it saves lives!” becomes “It saves these lives at the expense of those other lives.”

    1. Depending on who you ask the estimates for deaths of despair will be between 30k and 80k. This blameshifting game is gonna kill more than the damned virus.

      1. And unfortunately, deaths by suicide are far too easy to victim-blame: “*tsk* he just self-destructed,” which completely ignored the role of having one’s supports yanked away one by one, making one’s life unlivable and taking away one’s agency, until people exercise agency the only way they know how, by saying, “No, I will not live under these terms.”

        Which may be why cleaning and tidying one’s personal space is so beneficial in circumstances like these. Putting one’s belongings in order and scrubbing surfaces are a way of exercising agency over one’s circumstances. Which would also explain the stress-baking and stress-gardening so many of my FB friends have been doing. Both are ways of exerting agency within one’s personal sphere when one cannot do so elsewhere.

        1. Yep. Why I have the utmost respect for the folks like the Tibetan monks setting themselves on fire. When you realize that the only logical answer is that, may as well make sure the cause of it knows.

          This round makes the latter worse, though. I hate buying major things sight unseen. I need to get shelving and stuff so I can clean. I’ve got the option of amazon or home depot online. If there is an issue with order, good luck getting someone on the line. Since we seem to be looking at a july opening at this moment even food has to be thought about. Will I have supplies for long enough, etc.

    2. With the nasty suspicion the response to that will ba a variation on, “Yeah, but those lives don’t matter because they were white supremacists/bigots/Islamophobes, etc.”
      I sincerely hope that if/when the people who see themselves as the aristocracy of merit start looking for a group to offer up to the mob as scapegoats, they don’t choose “evangelicals.”

      1. Itll be exactly the same as it was til 2017 or something. Basically it’s the fault of the abused that they make the decision to obliterate themselves from the pain of existence as it was thru either drugs or suicide. Oh. And they’re racists that deserve it

  11. My mind has been shifting. After seeing so many of my otherwise intelligent, even libertarian leaning friends, going all in for the jackboot to come down, some of them even farmers ffs, I’m thinking boog might not be any worse than what they’re wishing for us. It would certainly wake a bunch of them up.

    Being in law enforcement and seeing so many law enforcement officers around the country willingly enforce blatantly unconstitutional orders, I can’t even say it would bother me all that much when the cops start getting shot. And if they continue down the stasi road of tyrannical overreach that they have been walking these last few weeks, it will certainly end up with cops getting shot. Because they will lose the support of large portions of the public. Americans may be slow to anger, but once our ire is up don’t forget that we come from a line folks who crossed a frozen river at Christmas to kill our enemies. Things will be bad if we boog. But things will be bad if we don’t end this BS tyranny as well.

    1. And it will be a disaster of their own making. Far too many cops (and cop trainers) looked at the people saying “kill all cops”, and thought “let’s prove them right”.

      1. The police are increasingly militarized, and they’re “at war” with… basically, the population. Their theoretical employers. But not their paymasters…

        People keep trying to claim the cops in Charlottesville, Berkeley, Portland, Broward, Las Vegas, and Ferguson were aberrations. Raleigh, Greenville, MSP, and the half-dozen others who’ve made the national news just in the last week aren’t supporting that claim.

    2. They’re so close to success they can smell it, and they’re going nuts.

      I suspect their lack of patience will be their undoing. They jumped the gun, and all of America has had a nice taste of their Greater Society. I expect after a little time passes and they can distance themselves from being suckered, a whole lot of people are going to be upset.

    3. Doctors posting videos of dancing in the empty hospitals are ALSO forfeiting vast amounts of inherent respect. IF they were doing it to show the hospitals ARE empty it might be different, but….
      Yeah. Lots of people just destroying all respect people had for them.
      This is getting downright brisk.

      1. I don’t think they actually *have* the concept of respect, not as what the word meant up to the 1970s. They operate on a fear/power axis. Their power is established by their position in the pecking order; even if they recognized respect, they would have no use for it.

      2. …Yeah. That one was infuriating.

        Though one such post did attempt a fig leaf of “dance break for stress relief.”

        No. If you have so little to do at work in a hospital that you have time to choreograph dance numbers then you can damn well start rescheduling some of those surgeries you canceled.

      3. Yep. Wanna bitch and complain that we need to bend over backwards to keep you working then you should be working. Especially when there is increasing realization that docs are (giving benefit of doubt) tunnel visioned and going thru the equivalent of shooting the dog for “officer safety” on a traffic stop with the stay home or you want us to die garbage.

        And you have nurses admitting that they would fail to treat based off politics it just adds to the mistrust.

  12. Good post, as it gives me a glimpse into a thought process I don’t have myself. I’ve never actually experienced depression (other than occasional, short moments of realizing I’m screwed by a turn of events, after which I say FIDO (F*** It and Drive On)). This is another reminder to me that not everyone reacts as I do, from folks who’s opinion I respect.

    I have had the good luck have not ever having suffered abuse or entered into relationships that risked abuse (a few close calls). I know others have and that it shapes their views and reactions, but I need to be reminded from time to time.

    depression seems to be the primate response of “please stop beating me, I’m no threat to you.”
    My response to this has always been sooner or later you’re going to get tired/bored of beating me. And then you have to turn your back/sleep sometime. “That which does not kill me has made a serious tactical error”.

    I think the discussion of the Gom Jabbar from Dune helped shape my thoughts on this at an early age (A Human, by the Bene Gesserit definition, would stay in a trap for a chance to kill the trapper rather than chew their leg off to escape.) I was shocked when I first ran into some one that would rather chew their leg off than risk a confrontation with the hunter.

    And of course Heinlein (PBUH) has been corrupting me since I was about 8.

    In short I get pissed, not depressed. And I learned at an early age to control how I get pissed. And to not sweat the stuff I can’t control. Save it for when it can make a difference. (They gotta sleep sometime)

    Part of my relative calm is probably that my “social separation” was a gradual process starting when I went on Disability Retirement 1 1/2 years ago, with not much of a budget beyond the essentials (no eating out, buying toys, even range time as I don’t have access to a non-pay to play range). So staying home is no big deal to me. (I do miss Cheeseburger Wednesdays at my VFW post)

    Besides, I’ve never been that social outside of school/work groups and have come to despise crowds more every year. And my definition of what constitutes a crowd gets smaller every year.

    Staying home and reading, listening to music and watching movies (without the expense of going to a theater and having to deal with groups of people I don’t know) is fine with me. What social interaction I do require outside my family I get from internet forums and on the air through Ham radio.

    I am lucky in that CINCHOUSE is working from home (tracking her students and a side gig of online tutoring) and Darlin’ Daughter is over once a week to use the laundry equipment. Rest of family is doing well in their own little bubbles.

    When I do make the weekly shopping trip I haven’t had to deal with Karen. Of course I may be getting dirty looks that fall below my threat filter, but then I don’t mind because they don’t matter. There’s also the Zen of Concealed Carry, the feeling of calm and peace that comes from the fact that I don’t have to care what you say or what your opinion of me is because you are nothing to me and I can always Mozambique you if you are stupid enough to express your displeasure with me physically.

    This is an extremely long winded and verbose way to say that while I don’t feel what a lot of you are feeling, I get that you are hurting and I’m sorry for that and hope the hurt stops soon. I hope this gives you an insight as to why some of us (or maybe it’s just me) are not feeling the same as you are.

    1. >My response to this has always been sooner or later you’re going to get tired/bored of beating me. And then you have to turn your back/sleep sometime.

      Then you have been very, very lucky. In my experience, they never get tired. Ever. And when they recruit everyone around them to help – and they are just so nice, so charming, of course people will help! – they can sleep completely unmolested. You can’t get to them. There’s an entire town between you and even an attempt at it.

      I honestly hope you stay lucky.

  13. I am reminded, again, of “Catch-22”, at a point where the chow line require every person in it to performs a series of ritual expressions, until one (I forget his name) just said “gimme eat”, and continued to say it until he got fed

    1. It was a general visiting the base, actually. And he didn’t only say “gimme eat” – once he had his food, he looked around at all the hungry soldiers and shouted “Give everybody eat!” At which point the loyalty demonstrations stopped dead.

      The equivalent here will be when Trump shouts “let everybody out!”

      1. Guess what, Trump just went with basically Noisome’s guidelines. “no more infections, and we can lock you up again if there’s infections at any level.”
        If he were running against some party that wasn’t a front for communists, he’d just have lost my vote, and PROBABLY the election. I don’t know if he’s been captured or if he’s just crazy for “experts.”
        Instead? I’m going to respectfully say “Mr. President, SHOVE IT.”
        https://www.foxnews.com/politics/trump-announces-new-coronavirus-guidelines-for-opening-up-america-again

        1. ???

          It looks like it says that, for example, Iowa would be recommended to open businesses back up, with a bunch of “be careful” guidelines, right now. Downward trajectory over the last two weeks. Washington State, too.

          1. with a maximum of 10 people. BUT if there’s a resurgence, and keep in mind that the “sniffles” are EVIDENCE of covid-19. If there’s a resurgence, they can lock them up again.
            SERIOUSLY?

            1. They can take that particular aspect of the guidelines and go jump in a lake of brimstone with it. And take the bit about no patients needing critical care medical assistance, too. Otherwise the first time someone goes on a ventilator, poof! All locked up again. Ix-nay.

              1. It doesn’t say critical care, though.

                It says *crisis* care– which seems to be a meaningless term, trying to find a definition.

                If someone handed me this kind of word stuff in a contract, I’d be backing out of the room with my hand on my wallet.

            2. Nothing on 10 people at work, just avoid 10 person plus social groups.

              And it specifically counters the “this mild cold is COVID” trick by using the ‘covid like syndromic cases’ and ILI reports– they’ll either have to completely falsify pneumonia cases, or start justifying locking folks up.

                1. Usually it’s plausibly deniable falsifying.

                  This is the difference between “helping” a dementia patient vote, and registering them at three different elder care facilities.

                  Especially with the higher pay out for stuff that’s claimed as COVID-19, I foresee audits.

            3. At the risk of being called optimistic, once open it’ll not close again. It’s about the best we could expect and much better than what that the California Cretin came up with.

              In other news, clinical trials in Chicago have found significant results on both seriously and mildly ill patients using Gilead’s Remdesvir. Trump didn’t really endorse it and it’s a bit more expensive so there won’t be the same push back. Once there’s a treatment, the fear goes. Once the fear goes, their leverage goes. Stock futures are rocketing, higher, though that could have rolled over by morning. buy the rumor, sell the news.

              What was dangerous was Noisome’s insistence on a vaccine, or mass testing, or yellow triangles, or any of the other horsesh-t that was flying around. That was truly dangerous and now that’s dead. Under these criteria, California should start to open tomorrow. Noisome is not a free agent and very rich, influential people will start to push him.

              Same thing in NJ. Yeah it’s guidance and Trump won’t push the governors (BS that is). But the criteria are out there, the data are public, and people are tired of it. There will be immense pressure to reopen. NY outside NYC metro same thing, the upstate counties hate the city anyway and they have no WuFlu.

              We all know this was unnecessary, We should probably just shrug and move on. To the degree possible, punish them at the ballot box and never, ever trust them again.

              Oddly, this could work out for the best if it causes us to keep the focus on China, what they did, and what they’re doing. if we’re really lucky, some of the more egregious people will feel some pain, I doubt it but then I’m an optimist.

            1. Looks like the high point for total cases was just over 500 (Whiskey…tango… my sympathies for psycho dude.) on the 8th, and it’s been down since then.

              Can’t find much on rates of positive, etc.

              I’m sure you’ll be shocked, but it’s like your state’s website was designed to hide information, not provide it.

                1. Would you be surprised if Trump noticed that a bunch of the places having folks get antsy had similar “oh, no F*ing way!” high spikes and that’s why he chose that metric?

                  I wouldn’t.

                    1. At least some of them are going to try.

                      Places that aren’t trying? Like Iowa? As best I can tell, we already hit all the points for stage 1 already.
                      And the phrasing on that first page about encouraging states to break it down into regions and cities?
                      That sounds like it involved Iowa’s governor in crafting, as well as being a millstone around New York City’s neck.

                    2. I read the article you linked, and that’s not what I’m seeing. Each state is going to have to set their own guidelines. He’s avoiding court fights from the various governors.

                    3. And since the guidelines are set with such obvious “things are getting better” metrics– with added poison pills like the ILI stats that people likely haven’t heard about– it puts the weight of keeping folks locked up squarely on the guys who did the locking in the first place.

                      If I’m reading the chart second from the bottom, here, correctly– Colorado is 9 days past their high point. The very bottom one is definitely way more tests but not way more positives.
                      https://covidusa.net/?state=Colorado

                  1. Influenza like illnesses pushes back the peak and actually makes it easier to come out. Even NY. I thought it elegantly done

                    1. That’s when my ears picked up, too– and why I saw it said crisis care, not critical care, which is what I’d seen the first time.

                      I was getting very pissy trying to find a place to read the slides, video is really not an option. -.- Dear Mother above, why do all these guys talk SO SLOW!?

                    2. They’re talking to journalists, so they’re probably still speaking too fast.

                  1. More to the point; he has been very good at handing people rope while looking like he is tying a noose around his own neck.

                    I’ve started to reeeee enough times before something turned into a nothingburger that I am leery of doing it again.

                    1. Gee, thanks, Ian. I’m now stuck with the image of Trump as a certain ‘little grey hare” with Biden in hunting costume and Pelosi with a huge red handlebar mustache.

                  2. I think he gave them all, and himself, a golden bridge to extract themselves from the hole they’ve all dug

                    1. True.

                      There are still places that will fail to take it, unless money talks louder than power. Orange Man Bad, after all.

                  3. Do I trust Trump? No.

                    But while I may automatically consider Sarah’s opinions, that does not mean I automatically trust Sarah, or automatically accept her opinions.

                    These past couple weeks have been pretty awful for me, and thinking and feeling have been at a pretty high premium. Personal baggage, only a small amount the shut in. Said baggage has been a little bit more difficult for considering sanity of current governors, and costs of doing business in other states in the future.

                    I don’t actually need to reevaluate my opinion of how well Trump is doing very often. I decided a year or two back that I wasn’t going to primary him, that I was going to shelve my (laughably ignorant) childhood dream of running in 2020, and that my life would be better if I avoided running for political office, even if purely as a troll. If I am not going to launch a Buckmanesque “Let’s Nuke China” campaign for any office this year, I only need to worry about voting for Trump in October.

                    The stuff I am actually trying to do with my life will be easier if I can spend just a little bit more time not worrying so much about politics.

                    Trump has proven that I am pretty lousy at figuring out whether what he is doing is good or bad. Yes, Sarah has a pretty good track record, but I also know about some of the stresses on her, and what they might do to me.

                    Not seeking to form an opinion on this yet is the rational thing for me. So, knowing myself, and some of my compulsive self destructive behavior, I am probably going to find that I have very strong opinions on this that I must share. Here. With a bunch of raving at Sarah ten posts deep if I discover I have even the slightest disagreement.

                    Because I am maybe a little depressed, and not impressed with my track record ATM. Now, some of that is being overdue for dinner because of trying to figure out my RL business.

                    No one here has died for lack of my opinions yet this crisis. And this cycle is too early to assess the potential for a militantly and viciously anti-PRC party, not that I wouldn’t also prove all talk where that is concerned.

        2. I am reminded of Eisenhower’s warning “that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific-technological elite.” Perhaps we’re seeing that here in the response to this mildly-concerning epidemic.

  14. The recent mystery government and policy hairpin U-turn on wearing masks (and/or gloves, but especially the first) by the general public looks more and more relevant to me, in the sense of the original post, every passing day.

    I think they got it right the first time: unless you’re in a special risk group (I know a transplant patient who’s not going out at all, doctor’s orders), or you will not or cannot keep to that 6 ft. “distance” most or all of the time, etc., ordinary (non-N95) masks are pretty much ineffective in “slowing the spread” of this or any coronavirus. Ineffective, as in virtually worthless.

    (Over and over I think of Jerry Pounelle’s reading of the TSA safety-dance as “security theater” — only now it’s “PPE theater” or “security blanket theater”.)

    What they clearly are effective at is social isolation, euphemized as social distancing. Many of the facial-recognition cues, whole sets of channels of normal (and significant) nonverbal human interaction, are muted or blocked. In some ways, I’d actually say, a good audio/video link (high fidelity and low latency) is actually more in-person, not less.

    Now what if “it’s not a bug, it’s a feature”..?

    My personal PPE experience is limited to handling such stuff as high-test lye behind a face shield, or really hot objects with welder’s gloves, but my secondhand experience tells me most “civilians” have not only no training in using real Personal Protective Equipment but are massively innocent of the mindset — that “contaminated” means just that, that you can’t just pull down your mask, take a bite of a hot dog, and go on (for shame, Sean Hannity).

    TL/DR version: most people are NOT going to use “masks” right. If they’re really lucky, they won’t make things WORSE by “using them to protect them and the public” in a way that… simply does not do that. They and those around them may not be lucky.

    The time to push back against (idiotic) practices, and the Stasi/Nazi wanna-bes who push them on everyone they meet, is… whenever you get the chance.

      1. I believe that is according to the Maxine Waters style guide. I have seen a picture of Mad Maxine so wearing a surgical mask but cannot recall where and there is a limit (a very low number) to how many [search engine] images of her that I am willing to peruse, even for a good cause.

    1. It was pointed out – considering this rather cold spring weather – that the masks are quite useful for keeping your face and nose warm. ^_^

  15. Re: “please don’t boog money” — My 401K guy was calling me to see if I wanted to invest more money, because the mutual funds are all buying low and sellling high (or keeping).

    That said, it’s good in uncertain times to have debts paid and investments diverse, and that definitely includes durable goods, firearms, fixed cars and tires, etc.

  16. So. Should we open a book on re-opening. NJ will be 50 not counting territories. Who’ll take the over under on. Colorado.

    1. I only do particularly stupid forms of gambling. Like this thing I’ve been angsting about, that could potentially solve a bunch of my problems, but there is an argument against some of the risks, and I’m not entirely sure I’m not trying to decide on factors that are personal nuttiness.

  17. At the store yesterday, they had ZERO eggs and NO normal milk. Thin stocks of some ‘milk products’ like half-and-half (whatever that is) and sour cream.

    This was not sold out; they were not getting shipments in. NO eggs for DAYS. Z. RO. Not a single egg. No clue when they would get eggs and milk, either.

    WHERE are the eggs and milk? They gotta be somewhere. The chickens and cows did not suddenly go on strike, so milk and eggs must be stuck in some limbo betwixt farm and store, and they can’t stay there long. If they don’t reach the store within a very strict time window, THEY ARE DECLARED UNFIT FOR CONSUMPTION. In effect, so much garbage.

    The insanity doesn’t have to impact the farmers directly. If farm products can’t be delivered on time, the farmers might as well never have raised them.
    ———————————
    They say I can’t be a nonconformist because I’m not like the other nonconformists.

    1. The cheap little grocery chain store by my house has tons of meat, milk, eggs, you name it. The big store I work for — some days we have stuff, sometimes not.

      Supply chains are weird, right now. Truck roulette.

  18. In my neighborhood, not all of us are staying inside and away from each other. Right now my wife is across the street talking with three neighbors; I was there earlier. Not the first time ether, we’ve been doing this for days and none of us are sick or have died. So far the stassi have not come around.

    Thanks for the post.
    Paul L. Quandt

    1. I went out for a walk yesterday in my West Seattle neighborhood at 5:30pm. I saw exactly eight people in the course of a mile. The one jogger I saw swerved into the (residential) street so as not to pass me on the sidewalk.

      1. On the other hand, my next door neighbor (the 2nd-gen Mexican, gay, married, fashion photographer who’s more conservative than me) thinks this is all bullshit too.

        He told me that when the lockdown is over he’s going to go buy a gun. I agreed, and he suggested that we should go shooting together.

  19. If anyone was wondering what the calm, measured, scientifically informed “we must all stay inside the house” types of the world have to say on the plan to reopen:
    Trump has doomed us all. We must shut down the economy until everyone is recovered.

    Yes, actual talk of shutting down the economy, ON PURPOSE, now, rather than just social distancing, flatten the curve, etc.

    -.-

    1. Which means the masks are coming off.

      Now if I can just find the right thin wedge to get through to certain friends and family members. Do it wrong, and they’ll just decide I’m a moral monster who cares only about money, and nothing I ever say will convince them otherwise. I was starting to have a little success, but this could undo all my efforts.

      1. Good luck.

        The crazy up to this point has gotten some of my family/friends to raise eyebrows or even flip sides away from the crazies– I’m watching places like Caffeinated Thoughts to see if they latch on to the “14 days of improvement” system, since it’s hitting all the same notes as the hysterics but has objective measurements and is pointing at stuff the hysterics *don’t* want to show.

      2. *Hands out “Why you should identify as monster” pamphlets*

        I’d say “come to the dark side, we have cookies”, but I never bothered to get a suitable cookie recipe.

              1. Yeah.

                My husband is still trying to figure out if he can modify the Master Chief pattern to work with the old motorcycle helmet we’ve got.

        1. I’d say ‘come to the dark side, we have permit cookies’ …

          Fixed it for you. We tell the HENs (Healthy Eating Nazis) where to stick their granola.

      3. “After analyzing the swabs, the researchers found particles of SARS-CoV-2 on the outsides of both types of mask, suggesting that neither type can contain the virus.

        “Neither surgical nor cotton masks effectively filtered SARS–CoV-2 during coughs by infected patients,” the researchers write in their study paper.”

        https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/new-study-questions-the-effectiveness-of-masks-against-sars-cov-2#More-virus-on-outer-mask-surfaces

        1. Note, though “particles” is not the whole virus and is not infective.
          THIS is the same bullshit as virus on shoes, and virus surviving IN THE AIR for 17 hours. Or flying 12 feet.
          ALL of that is utter and complete bullshit, because fragments of virus or even low viral load won’t infect you.
          Mind you, I think making people wear masks is JUST theater.
          BUT Leigh was referencing the political “mask” of pretending to care for the US that the left wore. It’s one of those codes used by people int his blog, so confusing to a newcomer.

  20. I’ve kept on forgetting.

    Our wonderful guest author also does fiction.

    For fanfic, search Vathara on ffn, and AO3.

    For original fic, C R Chancy on Amazon. If I had to pick one suggestion to start, Pearl of Fire.

      1. That’s also an awesome choice. First of a trilogy, followed by Seeds of Blood, and we would like to see her do the third that she has talked about, but writing is not entirely under the control of the writer.

        I’ve found that I love just about everything she does, and wind up appreciating whatever projects she is able to finish.

      2. *Is trying not to blush too much.* Thank you!

        And drat it all, I’m trying to stamp out at least 2 or 3 brushfires in my life so I can figure out that 3rd plot for Aidan and Myrrh.

        ATM I’m not even sure where I’ll be living month to month. It makes writing… tricky.

          1. Try homicidal ideation instead.

            It’s no better for the blood pressure, but it does externalize one’s focus.

            (I am so full of… advice. ^_^)

            1. Darkwing Duck ep, where he was split into good and evil halves:

              Good!Duck: “Now, now, violence never solves anything!”
              Evil!Duck, about three inches from braining someone with a frying pan: “But it makes me feel better!”

          2. Deep breaths. And some “good guys beat bad guys” TV/anime might not be amiss. I watched 2 eps of Nightwalker this afternoon when the stress got too bad. Shido is a classic “hardboiled detective with marshmallow center for the innocent” guy. And him a vampire. *G*

      3. *runs over to see if the same idiots who hate every single cover are inventing things to dislike about this one*

        That’s my favorite cover, too.

  21. I’ve been saying for a while we’ve been seeing waves of hysteria. Me Too, for example. I was concerned because each wave has been worse, or weirder than the one before, and wondered what the next one would be like. Now I know.

  22. Don’t watch any fake news channel. Spend the day on the porch or in the back yard. Listen to mellow music. When you see the Law make the sound of the sheep, Meee meeee meeee ..

    Ridicule “them” and you will feel better versus sitting in that house all day.

    1. And stay off Facebook! If you need someone to argue with, hey, we can provide a much higher level of discourse than those losers.

      Mr. Vibrating: Oh, I’m sorry, just one moment. Is this a five minute argument or the full half hour?

      Man: Oh, just the five minutes.

      Mr. Vibrating: Ah, thank you. Anyway, I did.

      Man: You most certainly did not.

      Mr. Vibrating: Look, let’s get this thing clear; I quite definitely told you.

      Man: No you did not.

      Mr. Vibrating: Yes I did.

  23. Interesting point: That our present culture is abusive. I’ve felt the same thing for a long time (not just in terms of this present pseudocrisis.), and I think I even used the same words to describe it to myself. Our overculture (the one that people try to put over on us) is abusive.

    Maybe overcultures always are abusive.

    Let’s see: You’re not a citizen, or a worker, or a customer, you’re a “consumer”. (Subtext as subtle as a brick to the head: Nothing you contribute is as valuable as what you consume. You’re a “useless eater”.)

    Nevermind that you waited in line for 2 hours to get into this job fair, apply to our ATS. (I saw some company wad up an engineer’s resume and toss it in front of him after he tried for hours to get into this damn job fair.) Nevermind you spent half your life in frantic training for esoteric technical skills, none of that was “real education”, and we need more foreign workers to do the jobs Americans just aren’t capable of doing.

    After living much of my life without the damn television, being in the same room with it is almost torture. Subtext in just about every damn movie: People, and by people we mean you, are devoid of any redeeming qualities: You’re oafish, you’re base, you’re cowardly, as are your ancestors and plausible descendants. This is a “realistic” appraisal of human nature. The deliberate refusal to acknowledge or entertain the notion of decency or honor or heroism (except, sparingly, in people who are ‘anti-you’) is a psychological attack. It’s pretty blatant at this point.

    1. My parents were watching “Dances with Wolves” the other night. I had never seen it – they just picked a random thing off the list that looked like a western.

      At the end of the movie, I was appalled. $%@@ Hollywood! This is racist slander against the character of our people in the guise of art. If it were only that one movie, I could ignore it, but it’s *everything* since the 80s. And the dial on the spite only seems to have increased with time.

      1. You’re not wrong. There’s a reason I don’t watch hardly any current TV. (MeTV westerns, yep, and Emergency when they had it on.) I got, among other things, incredibly tired of, “We need a plot twist! Let’s kill off this beloved character/make them addicted to drugs/have them have an affair and hide it!”

        The same with the *unprintable* sparkly romantic vampires. Believe it or not I can go for good-guy vampires; Marvel’s Hannibal King (comic version, not movie!) is an awesome vampire detective. Tatsuhiko Shido of Niightwalker: Midnight Detective, too. And there are others. But a key point of both named characters is, they know they’re dangerous, they know they can hurt people, they’re careful. They use the smallest amount of their powers they can, to keep things under control. And if they have to take the brakes off, they make sure they turn their powers against creatures who are trying to kill.

        …If you see parallels there with “proper firearms handling”, yes, so do I.

        1. And there are others. But a key point of both named characters is, they know they’re dangerous, they know they can hurt people, they’re careful.

          Something it took me years to figure out–
          Flash is very possibly the most dangerous member of the JLA.
          And he knows it– he’s smart enough to use what sounds like a silly little power, which he knows enough about to make an already insanely dangerous power, in ways that are more dangerous, and he doesn’t.

          It’s like if Superman was also Lex Luthor.

          Definitely made me respect the goofball a lot more.

    2. That’s because the overculture has been taken over by Marxists. And Marxists hate all humans as they are. They love the homo Marxist they think they can MAKE exist.

    3. > our

      *Their* culture is abusive. But America isn’t a monoculture, and there’s very little overlap between my life and the crazies.

      You don’t have to submit to them. You can change the channel or click somewhere else. They have full-time professionals trying to hook you in; why play along?

  24. Santa Clara County California, 66 deaths, 1700 diagnosed by a test, Fatality rate 3.6%. Panic. Serology testing finds prevalence between 2.5% and 4.2%. Translates to 48,000 to 81,000 infected. using the lower figure, we get an infected mortality rate of 0.1375%. 14 bp. Using the top figure, 0.081%. 8 bp. The flu average in any given year according to CDC. 10 bp.

    Tell your friends, seriously, tell everyone you know. This thing was the biggest clusterf@ck of all time.

    1. But, were they actually that stupid? Test only the sickest 2% or 3% and pretend those numbers apply to everybody? Or did they know what they were doing?

      Because I learned more than that about statistics in the 8th grade. Those were supposed to be professionals. They have fancy diplomas and everything.
      ———————————
      I used to live on a farm. I know what bullshit smells like.

      1. If you have limited tests because of dimwit bureaucrats, you do probably want to reserve them for people where whether they have it is going to make some kind of procedural difference. But then you can’t report it as a representative sample!

    2. Once more with feeling. We are seeing the CFR. A CFR of 1-10%. Flu CFR for 2018 was roughly 10%.

      1. This.is precisely correct. The CFR is between 2 and 5. The IFR or infection fatality rate is between 0.08% and 0.14%. The CFR for the flu is about 10 apples to apples. This is the biggest boondoggle of all time.

        They were that stupid, they are that stupid. Once more with feeling, they were that stupid and are that stupid. They’re not smart enough to make this up.

        There is some justification for what they did in March, there is no justification for still doing so today.

        FWIW I have the fancy diplomas, in Math and Statistics. I built models like this for money for over 25 years. These academic a$$holes do it for nothing, no skin in the game, thats why they get crap models. The question has always been what is the denominator. Even Fauci admitted it was too low, Now we know it was too low by a factor of 10 to 50x depending on the scale and bias in testing.

        Tell your friends.

        1. There was better justification for doing this back in mid-January, when we got our first diagnosed-in-the-US case, in Washington.

          A month and a half before the first Washington state death.

          1. But not the capability.

            PK: “If you have limited tests because of dimwit bureaucrats,”

            Especially when the dimwitted bureaucrats were being systematically lied to…. and wanted to believe the lies because Trump is racist.

            1. Could’ve shut down the air port, and locked down nursing homes, and warned “everybody who went through SeaTac in the last 3 days, you’re exposed!”

              Vs locking down the country. -.-

              I said it was better, not good? /sigh /shrug /headshake /humans!

      1. bp = “basis points”. It’s like percentages, only with “one thousand” rather than “one hundred” as the denominator. If the fatality rate of the average flu is 0.1 %, then it is 1 bp. Wall Street sets interest rates on large bonds in bp, because they’re small enough to negotiate. A 1% difference in interest rates would be a huge amount of money.

  25. Week 1: Okay, I can get through this with some sarcastic humor
    Week 2: All the anger
    Week 3: Depression with an occasional brush with suicidal ideation
    Week 4: Emotional lockdown.

    I’m feeling these days like I did for the final three years of both of my marriages: have to keep functioning, can’t let myself feel much of anything or I’ll burst into tears.

    I’m fine with living alone, and spending most of my evenings in; but not going in to the office, walking around downtown at lunch, and especially socializing at the club on alternating weekends is fucking killing me.

    And everybody I know (with exactly five exceptions out of hundreds) has enlisted in the Hysterical Ninny Brigade for the duration.

    If only there was a way for the Greater Depression to only fall on the people clamoring for it, and leave the rest of us alone.

  26. Retired sociologist responds:

    This manufactured crisis highlights the social realities feeding mass neuroticism. Sociology students are taught abstract theory, obtain their Ph.Ds, and move to the head of the classroom to demonstrate the application of these (imaginary) abstract concepts to everyday life seen through and recast by those filters into their theoretical image. But most of these concepts — especially Marxism — are based on a delusional view of human nature striving for the impossible utopia.

    My own sociology is based on the study of history and personal experience — especially obsessive observation and limited participation in contemporary social life. That generates my own abstract conclusions. Everyday social interaction is the origin and the principal agent in the ongoing construction and production of what we abstractly call “society,” “identity,” the “person,” and yes, “reality.” Peer groups and reference groups actual and imaginary fill the human husk to produce the “person;” their perceptions, values, beliefs, thoughts and convictions.

    The most efficacious strategy for the destruction of a society would be the elimination of social interaction. The current crisis reveals unprecedented destruction of our social institutions and their human constituents. The power behind the destruction is pure evil.

  27. “Long story short—the shutdown of the country is taking every last one of those connections that normally keep people from getting depressed, and setting them on fire. Humans are primates. Primates do not live alone. They get sick. They go crazy.”

    I fully expected riots, or at least serious agitation, in the deep blue rat warrens well before now. I frankly cannot understand why we haven’t seen it. In fact, the major public unrest incidents we have heard of have been by liberty-minded individuals (mostly in concert) protesting totalitarian political “leaders.” It looks like my mental model needs refinement. 😦

  28. “Long story short—the shutdown of the country is taking every last one of those connections that normally keep people from getting depressed, and setting them on fire. Humans are primates. Primates do not live alone. They get sick. They go crazy.”

    I fully expected riots, or at least serious agitation, in the deep blue rat warrens well before now. I frankly cannot understand why we haven’t seen it. In fact, the major public unrest incidents we have heard of have been by liberty-minded individuals (mostly in concert) protesting totalitarian political “leaders.” It looks like my mental model needs refinement. 😦

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