One of These Things Is Not Like the Other

OK, that’s not QUITE right. Some of these things are not like the others.

I’m referring to the death rate in different countries. It varies widely, which would indicate that we really can’t use statistics from one country to predict what will happen in others.

In other words, using them to set up computer models of predicted outcomes will not be reliable.

See the map (from a Daily Mail story):

France shows 7, 574 deaths for a caseload of 90,843 – that’s a 8.3% death rate.

The UK shows 4,120 deaths for 42,449 cases – an almost 10% death rate.

Italy: 15,362 deaths, 124,632 cases – over 12%!

Clearly, these are NOT the numbers we are seeing in the USA. For us, as of yesterday:

9,620 deaths, 336,851 cases – death rate slightly under 3%

NY is almost 1/2 that total number of cases – 123,018. Deaths in NY – 4,159. That brings NY’s death rate to just under 3.4%

Not great, but not at the levels of many European countries.

What does that all mean?

What needs to be addressed is WHY death rates differ so widely among the states. States with similar number of cases have widely differing death rates:

IL – 274 deaths, 11,256 cases – 2.4% death rate

PA – 150 deaths, 11,510 cases – 1.3% death rate

Both states contain urban and rural parts, both have impoverished people/old people/ill people. And, yet, dramatically different outcomes. Go check out the stats yourself, and come to your own conclusions.

This epidemic will be the focus of many epidemiological studies for many centuries (should civilization survive – which, I think likely). But, for now, using the models to make policy for our country would be foolish, as long as the models are based on the extremely high death rates of some countries.

One major way America does planning for public health needs to change – I address it here.

Huh. I Thought the Left Believed That Some Lives Weren’t Worth It

Apparently, in emergencies (such as the precious opportunity to disparage a Republican), ALL Lives become worthwhile.

At least, that’s what the Left is saying now.

I mean, whatever happened to “just a clump of cells” or Obama’s famous response about how his infamous health insurance would affect unimportant people.

“Look, the first thing for all of us to understand is that we actually have some — some choices to make about how we want to deal with our own end-of-life care…we as a culture and as a society [can start] to make better decisions…at least we can let doctors know and your mom know that, you know what? Maybe this isn’t going to help. Maybe you’re better off not having the surgery, but taking the painkiller.”

Funny. You might almost think that it wasn’t all about the principles, but about the potential for political advantage.

Kung Flu, New Books, Preparations, and Other News

Good Lord – and I feel justified in invoking Him in this – what a mess since I’ve last dropped a blog post here. I have a mix of good, bad, and ugly. Some may prefer the bad news first, but I’ll lead with the good instead, because in light of a lot of folks being stuck indoors for the duration, this may be a helpful recommendation.

My good friend Francis is releasing his new book The Warm Lands for free this Friday (Amazon link). We’re all going to need a lot of reading material, I suspect. By nature, I am an introvert, and so I suppose being stuck indoors with a virtual stack of books is not the worst thing that could happen. In any event, folks, nab yourself a copy and pass it along to your friends. You’ll need the entertainment in the days to come.

But then I look at my various investments. You know, a friend of mine known ’round the world as ClarkHat told me I’d be better off going cash. I didn’t listen. Usually I have an internal heuristic: ClarkHat is always right. It’s not 100% accurate, but it’s well north of 95%. Next time I’ll remember that a bit better. I kept a lot of my holdings in gold, and even that tanked, which was pretty damned shocking. Last Thursday I made the mistake of looking at my investment balances, and it took about a quarter of a bottle of cheap scotch going down the hatch to numb the pain.

Preparations-wise, I am good to go. Being the paranoid introvert that I am, I was well ahead of the game in stocking up with canned goods and various foodstuffs. Ammunition? Heh. It’s me. I’ve got enough to conquer my zip code without too much difficulty. I joke about leading a Mad Max Road Warrior gang up the I-4 corridor to sack Disneyworld and make it the seat of my hive of scum and villainy. I’m only mostly joking.

Look, I’m not a doctor. So I won’t dispense advice of the nature, save to mention that my brother is in medical, in the military, and he’s been indicating that things are very bad. They are working him to the bone on lab testing, and the information coming down from on high hasn’t been very optimistic. I’ll summarize my thoughts on the matter:

  1. This isn’t the zombie apocalypse. Fatality rates seem to vary from 0.7% at the low end to 7% at the high end, depending on a lot of factors. ~2% seems to be pretty standard, insofar as we can tell. That’s not enough to collapse a civilization, but…
  2. …It is enough to collapse an economy. If the lockdown/suppression activity ends in a few weeks, I expect the markets will snap back into place like a rubber band. Most of the losses will be made good. Business as usual will resume. But that does not seem likely. If lockdowns continue for months without end, I expect the economic damage will be severe. The rubber band will break. Enter a depression to make the ’08 recession look like a walk in the park.
  3. The fact that Trump is already talking about massive stimulus and UBI packages indicates that he’s well aware of this. Things are going to get ugly, economically. Prepare accordingly.
  4. If all of the above is true, we might get a major political shift. We’re talking once-in-a-generation shift.

Consider that white liberal urbanites have been spotted lining up at gun stores in otherwise gun-unfriendly locales like California. Deep down, I think they know the same truth that Francis has talked about at his place on more than one occasion: urban race relations are very poor. Add social justice race hustling to the mix, and… well we saw what happened in Ferguson. With this crisis comes the opportunity for a great deal of nefarious behavior. We know it. Hustlers know it. And the urbanite cosmopolitans – for all their supposed enlightened sophistication – know it too.

This goes far larger than that, though. Border shutdowns are being discussed even in the European Union. We may see a shift away from globalism, and its supply chain vulnerabilities to diseases like this, to stronger borders and domestic manufacturing and supply chains despite a higher cost in dollars, because now awareness of vulnerability to situations like this one is added to the “cost” column. The fact that China was saber-rattling with Trump about the possibility of stopping pharmaceutical shipments to the US is a big red flag, and probably a knee-jerk misstep on the part of the Chinese. That only adds to this perception.

So while Trump appears to be shifting Leftward on policies like temporary UBI, the rest of the populace may be shifting rightward on matters of border security and “social justice” stupidity. How much time does anyone have for genderqueer fartkin when the economy is taking a gigantic dump and a worldwide pandemic is in full swing? Expect patience for that stupidity to evaporate like a fart in a hurricane.

I don’t know where this leaves the 2020 election, except that if Trump plays his cards right, he could come out looking like a prophet with regard to his on-the-record opposition to Chinese supply chain dominance in particular, and globalism in general. But either way, one of Taleb’s Black Swans has made its appearance, and I expect the ramifications from COVID-19 to continue to echo for many years. The political and economic fallout may well be an order of magnitude greater than the disease itself.

Meanwhile, active debate continues among many very intelligent people in my circle as to how bad the disease really is. It’s probably not worth buying 500 boxes of toilet paper – as some have done. But if you don’t have 3 months of food, water, and other consumables now, you better get on that. A 2% fatality rate is enough that things will be shutdown. No polity can tolerate that high of a death rate for an extended period of time in the modern era. Governments will take all kinds of measures – for good or ill – to prevent it. Navigating the suppression of the disease through social distancing while avoiding catastrophic economic collapse will be a hard road. I expect some countries will fail in this regard. Others (like China) will probably turn to outright tyranny to suppress it.

It may very well be that the WWE President Comacho… er… Trump is exactly what the doctor ordered (sorry, the pun was irresistible). Either way, as a friend of mine said earlier today, this will further reduce the Obama legacy to oblivion, sandwiched between the 9/11 president, and the Kung Flu president. An empty suit who faced little in the way of challenge.

Stay safe, my friends, and attend to your reading lists. May God keep you.

LBO of the Democratic Party?

Steve Bannon makes a persuasive case for the notion that Mike Bloomberg is doing a Leverage Buyout (LBO) of the Democratic Party.

There is NO reason that he is being permitted to be on the Democratic debate stage, other than he has PAID for it.

And, I do agree about Little Mike’s motivation – he is attempting to wrest the reins of the party from the hands of the Seriously Socialist.

As opposed to the Socialist-Lite crowd that has held it in the last 50 or so years.

Now, the Socialist-Lite crowd should not be confused from those Socialists that actually want a revolution. The Socialist-Lite (SL, for short) only preach socialism up to a point. That would be the point at which the Taken-by-Force money passes through their hands – with a hefty surcharge being exacted for the process.

AOC and the other kinda-sorta Serious Socialists do want a revolution. Cue the old Beatles song.

But, in their minds, the revolution will end up with THEM in charge.

Foolish children. They don’t realize that the Original Revolutionaries (ORs) always get tossed out by the ruthless people who follow them. We call them the Kleptocrats, as their only passion is to acquire money – LOTS of money. See list below for a few:

  • Fidel Castro – he was a piker – ONLY $900 million
  • Hugo Chavez – $1 billion
  • Vladmir Putin – $70 billion
  • Michael Bloomberg – $56 billion
  • Yassar Arafat – at his death, more than $1 billion
  • Xi Jinping – personally, not known – his siblings have over $1 billion
  • Justin Trudeau – $10 million
  • Joe Biden – $1.5 billion. However, as VP, he steered a whole lot in the direction of his family members – see Profiles in Corruption, if you want an overview of just how that is done.
  • AOC – although she is just a newbie to the politics game, she’s apparently on track for greater wealth – $100,000, so far
  • The Clinton Clan – more than $300 million, so far.
  • The Obama Family – lowest estimate, $40 million.
  • The Pelosi Family – $140 million.

Hmmm. Maybe we SHOULD turn socialist – it seems that it pays off, quite well.

How to Handle the Cancel Culture Complaints

The always prescient Scott Adams, creator of Dilbert, gives us directions, in a simple-to-follow template. Go to this link to view it.

Simply follow the accusation with that easy step, and – Voilà! You have photo-bombed the accuser, and can walk away, safe in the fact that you are armored against further threats.

BTW, that à? It turns out, that on a Mac keyboard, you just hold the letter you want to accent, and a little pop-up will show you the alternatives, Just click on the one you want with the mouse/trackpad/touchscreen.

I can’t tell you how long I’ve needed to know that.

Boy, Oh Boy – It’s a Full News Week

Impeachment Schiff-for-Brains is calling Trump GUILTY, before hearing the evidence of BOTH sides.

Say, isn’t that what might be called bias? Not a good thing BEFORE the evidence is in. Well, unless you’re a Leftist.

Then, of Republican Nixon (BEFORE the Impeachment hearings had concluded).

And, now – after time and maturity had kicked in.

Corruption – “There is nothing new under the sun”, as the Bible has it (I’m linking to multiple translations – pick your fav).

I haven’t bought the new Peter Schweitzer book, Profiles in Corruption: Abuse of Power by America’s Progressive Elite, yet. I was hoping to find it in the public libraries.

Ohhhh. I’m out of breath – laughing when you have a cold really takes it out of you.

I kid, I kid. When I finish this post, I’m buying it. Hate to part with that much money ($14.99 for the Kindle edition), but, I need something to read while the Senate Democrats and RINOs beclown themselves in the Impeachment farce.

CelebritiesOMZ, Taylor Swift (that erudite and highly educated political philosopher) has written a new song that will galvanize the teen masses to revolution against their “sinister” GOP overlords!

Well, that’s it.

We need to give up now.

If Yet Another Aging Celebrity Poseur (YAACP) has come out against Trump, his supporters, and all that he has accomplished, there’s no alternative we have, but to surrender.

Other – our family has lost another member – my sister-in-law’s brother, at way too young. My husband will be traveling for the funeral; I will not – both recovering from an injury, and coming down with a cold. As well as two business-related events that I can’t miss.

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