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23 August 2020


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blue peacock


Yes, the state subsidies are nicely forgotten!

When you force small & mid-size businesses to shut by government edict but allow mega-corporations to remain open (Amazon & Walmart), there is an economic price.

There are trillions that the federal government has borrowed from future generations to transfer to shut businesses and even not shut businesses. Of course anytime there are such huge cash transfers there must be many boondoggles too. An example that I read about recently, is Sacramento County, California. They took the CARES funding and since like most government funding it is use it or lose it and spent it on increasing head count of county staff, not anything related to the pandemic itself.

We should also not forget that any crisis is always an excuse to feather the nest of the Wall St oligarchs. The Fed has conjured trillions of dollars to hand out to their favorite friends. Socialism for the wealthy financial elites is always necessary for the trickle down to keeping financial markets well lubricated.



I am of both US and Canadian ancestry and citizenship. Neither group are the brave, hardy people that our ancestors were.



"Hell, polio cases and deaths were only a fraction of covid cases and deaths. We went bananas in looking for a cure for that."

Polio mostly affects children between the ages of 3 to 8 years and can leave them permanently paralyzed even if they recover. It is an infectious disease that is spread by infected fecal matter.

Covid mostly affects elderly people with pre-existing health conditions, children have an extremely low risk of developing complications or dying from it. It is an infectious disease that is spread mostly by aerosols (and probably fecal matter too, but that is less important for covid).

Which of those diseases do you think is the bigger health problem where "going bananas" is more justified? And for which disease can the spread be more easily limited by hygiene measures that can be implemented without crashing the whole economy while doing so?



What is the hardest thing you ever chose to do?

scott s.

Tend to agree with Doug Adams that we won't know what worked and what didn't for a couple years. If a country has better results it is probably more a factor of luck. (And this assumes that there is some way to factor out differences which make comparisons irrelevant.)

scott s.


I have type 2 diabetes and asthma. My weight is good and am pretty good shape otherwise. I'm careful but not paranoid and wear a mask inside stores but not outside. Health young need to go back to work, go to restaurants or gyms if they want. I hear and see them partying without masks. That's fine with me. When I was young the Hong Kong flu didn't keep me from working or socializing. I can take care of myself. Oregon and the other states should have left it up to the individual to decide what precautions they should take, like Sweden. The only mandates should have been regulations on old folks homes, hospitals, dentists, the vulnerable. Cooking more for myself has been great for my blood sugars.


If you check statistics you will find that India or Bangladesh have mortality of confirmed COVID cases at 1-2%, with large sample sizes. Why are they doing better than the "advanced" nations of the world? Is it stronger general immune system (or at least more activated)? Sunshine (Vitamin D)?
Use of HCQ against malaria?
Age of population (though the age-mortality distribution looks very similar)?
I am not sure but I sure see the signs that we are being signed up for an expensive and sloppily tested vaccination regime instead of a safer and cheaper solution.

The Twisted Genius


Yes, I still read SST almost every day. It remains enjoyable and informative and, at times, entertaining. I can’t believe you get upset about getting yelled at while wearing a MAGA hat. That’s snowflake behavior. Strident expression of grievance seems to be growing as a necessary part of our culture. Tolerance and respectful restraint is just not in fashion anymore. Suck it up, buttercup.

Your list of current vignettes of strife are still no reason for hysteria. Now if the violence and destruction of the first night after Floyd’s death continued unabated throughout the country for the last 70+ days, hysteria might be in order. This isn’t the 60s and 70s. The CHAZ vanished into history. There have only been a dozen deaths associated with both the protesting and the rioting including the boogaloo boys’ execution of two officers. Most of the other deaths were police killings of protesters, rioters and looters. All the killing, damage and looting together amounts to far less than what a bad flu season does. If this is how the left is trying to bath the country in blood and destruction, they are woefully impotent. From where I sit, the right consists of a lot of frightened chicken littles fearful of the lefties behind every door and every tree. Granted they seem to be able to muster enough of their numbers to conduct a respectable protest locally in a large swath of cities. The alt right can’t do that. Like Charlottesville, they have to gather together from throughout the nation to hold a respectable rally. Otherwise they are vastly outnumbered by the local lefties. That’s why I don’t see any need for hysteria over them or Trump’s new favorite group QAnon. They are more a danger to themselves than to anyone else.

Yes, Biden and Co. will seek to overturn near everything Trump has done if the Democrats win the election, much like Trump sought to do when he defeated Clinton. That definitely points out the weakness of trying to rule by executive action by either party. I don’t hear any veiled calls from Biden about removing Trump. He is loudly calling for everyone to get off their fat spreading asses and vote. He also said he wouldn’t get in the way of any state or DOJ investigation/prosecution of Trump and Co. if he does win the presidency. If that does come about, I wouldn’t be surprised if Trump moves to a new Trump Tower in a non-extradition country. Of course, Trump could very well win in November. I won’t like it, but i wouldn’t become hysterical over it.



The US national mortality rate from COVID is .05%.



You can read my memoir when published and decide for yourself.


TonyL et al.
(24 August 2020 at 12:39)

The Swedish experience, taking a different approach, has interested me, too. For up to date charting, I have found this Swedish site very useful:

I would recommend these charts as some of the clearest I have found for tracking covid in "western"nations, + a few. Multiple charts compare, over time, the cases, deaths,hospital use, both within Sweden and across western Europe & BRICS countries.

As for damn lies and statistics, well, there is no telling. These charts use Swedish stats and Johns Hopkins. Analyzing the stats in more meaningful ways, as do these charts, is one way to address hysteria.

Interesting to note: Since Sweden brought down the covid death rate near end of May, Deaths from All Causes in Sweden have fallen slightly below the average for the previous five years.


correction: "near the end of June"
Since Sweden brought down covid rates near the end of June...


"All the killing, damage and looting together amounts to far less than what a bad flu season does. If this is how the left is trying to bath the country in blood and destruction, they are woefully impotent."

Much of the fearful overreactions, whether to covid or to demonstrations, violent or not, can be laid at the feet of the sensationalizing media, and what they choose to cover, I think. People are not doing math. They are in their living rooms, reacting emotionally. Or sometimes, as with friends who live in midtown Chicago and in Manhattan, they have left the city for the covid-protest season.

When small business owners across the country see windows smashed, businesses ransacked, they identify with those business owners. They ask themselves, "could that happen here?"

As color revolutions have demonstrated again and again, it is not necessary "to bathe a country in blood" in order to undermine a government. It is necessary to have the correct media coverage.

As a counter example of the media role, in 2003 there were large demonstrations in several cities against the invasion of Iraq. They were mentioned barely, in passing. Resistance was not on their agenda.

As for covid, coverage, by US media, of current covid experiences in other countries is scant and selective. In fact, most countries are experiencing new outbreaks, mostly occuring as they reopen, but not fully understood. Political leaders in many countries are being second guessed and criticized, which is exactly what anyone would expect, when people continue to suffer from an unknown and persistent plague, draining away people's livelihoods.

There are the added distortions of an election year.

And, yes, absolutely as you observe, neither party can govern alone, neither has a majority of voters. Surely both parties can count that far. So the only conclusion, from the past couple decades, seems to be that neither party really wants to govern, at least not "for the people or by the people." Benefits for the donor class seem to have a way of happening.

Barbara Ann

"We are not the people our ancestors were."

This sentence is a good illustrator of the yawning divide between the conservative and the progressive mindsets. Veneration of the character, deeds and core values of one's ancestors is anathema to the progressive who believes previous generations to be backward, according to their evolutionary model of morality. The concept of 'progress', in the societal values sense, necessarily implies one's predecessors were unenlightened. Progressivism then, is a kind of temporal colonialist mentality. Needless to say, the wokesters gleefully tearing down statues of slave owning men fail to see the irony.

As for risk estimation, I guess the combat veterans here use an entirely different scale to the rest of us. As a civilian, I am fortunate to have only felt my life truly imperiled on a very few occasions, each experience lasting no longer than a few minutes. All were as a result of willing participation in adrenaline sports, which were my passion until not so long ago. I think even this voluntary exposure to (mostly) mild simulated danger has given me a better appreciation for real risk. My day in day out bike commute through busy traffic to work, for example, was probably more objectively dangerous than almost all of my sporting activities.

"..the average Briton was found last month to estimate that the disease had wiped out as much as 7 per cent of the United Kingdom.."

This is just staggering. How can a society function in which the average person has such a distorted sense of reality? How many of those average hyper-fearful Britons were elected or appointed policymakers? Presumably they assess the risks associated with the 20% shrinkage of the UK's GDP as a result of lockdowns (the worst in the developed world) to be of lesser magnitude. Madness.


On media's selective choices again, an example: Louis Gohmert's covid.

Even for one who checks mainstream news sources only randomly, it was impossible to miss the news crowing that Louis Gohmert, the Texas congressman and mask scofflaw, had tested positive. When he announced that he planned to take hydroxychloroquine, it was covered by some, with a raised eyebrow.

So after a few weeks, where is the follow up? How is 66 y.o. Gohmert suffering from his wayward behavior? Searching the internet, I finally found an answer at Gohmert's own website. No mainstream reports showed up.

Gohmert reports that he followed a standard (outside the U.S.) regimen of Hcq, zinc, zithromax, and VitC. Symptoms lasted one week, and at the end of 2 weeks he tested negative for covid. Of course, there is no scientific way to prove that he was not just one of the lucky ones, with a good immune system, who would have had only a mild case, even without drugs. But neither explanation fits the sensational, fearsome narrative that the media are providing.

Is it cynical to suppose that if Gohmert had suffered a month in an ICU ward, with oxygen assist, or if he had died, it would have been reported? But the quick recovery of an unmasked, 66 y.o man is not news.



Once again you misinterpret observation for personal conduct, or I've struck a nerve for calling you out. The left waged a two year psi-op campaign including intimidation and violence to individals to make wearing a very effective campaign symbol dangerous, which negates its value as a campaign tool. We discussed that here more than once in 2017-18.

"... violence and destruction of the first night after Floyd’s death continued unabated throughout the country for the last 70+ days"
It has occurred in Portland for just that long, a point of observation you wish to avoid discussing. CHAZ has not ceased to exist, it simply outlived the usefullness to the left. Violence by the left has gotten them everything they've demanded. Peaceful assembly like in Lansing or Richmond simply got the local repbubilcans denounced as dangerous and prompted the legislature in Virginia to ram through quite a bit of legislation that would not have otherwise gotten out of committee.

"Most of the other deaths were police killings of protesters, rioters and looters."
Please provide some evidence to your statement as the murder rates in numerous cities is far higher than what existed prior to the death of Floyd. Chicago alone has had 2,250 shootings resulitng in 450 deaths

The alt-right a non-existent menace? I'll agree with you there. That shibboleth has also outrun it's usefulness to the left, especially so as front man Richard Spencer, after a couple of years on hiatus, has come out and endorsed Biden. (Is that how we managed all those color revolutions, backing people like this to coopt support amongst political opponents of those we wanted to remove from power?)

"...Trump’s new favorite group QAnon" That's funny, actually; as was his answer which brought whomever that is into the public eye, and his ordering a pizza in Pennsylvania the next day. Great trolling by Trump. I wonder if he planted the question with the press on purpose?

"All the killing, damage and looting together amounts to far less than what a bad flu season does. "
I've never known a flu season to cause buildings to spontaneously combust or businesses to hold 100% off sales with window breaking optional. Please feel free to enlighten us as to where that has occurred because of the flu.

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