Thursday, April 30, 2020

The Economy Will Surprise

I am really wondering about the economy. The assumption is that this is like the Great Depression and it will take forever for us to get out of it. The more I think about it, the more likely it is that the economy is going to rebound surprisingly fast. Here's why.

Let's start with this: political "experts" are predicting the end of the world. Unemployment will last forever. After all we just shut down 40% of the economy. Unemployment has never been so high... not since the Obama years! Most unemployed people can do better on unemployment! The money the government is pouring out will cause Weimar Germany-like hyperinflation. There are breadlines. Shortages! We must accept that we will all be poor from now on.

But is any of that true? Not really.

(1) I've told you before there will be no inflation. The reason is the extra money the government is pumping out just fills in missing demand, i.e. we do not have more money suddenly chasing too few goods. Hence, no inflation. The dollar won't fall either because all governments are doing this, so everyone falls equally, meaning no one falls. I had been worried about deflation as too many good chase too few dollars, but demand hasn't fallen much and merchants are being incredibly stubborn about maintaining their prices. Even all the fire sales you see are pure marketing. So forget those ideas. Condition normal.

(2) But unemployment, right? Actually, I don't think so. The jobs that have been lost haven't been "lost" in the traditional sense. Normally, jobs vanish because demand vanishes or substitutes appear. That means they are gone forever because the economy no longer wants them. What's happened here is different. Those jobs have been put on hold. But the economy still wants those services. So once we lift the hold, I suspect most of these companies bounce right back and the jobs with them.

(3) Further, this may sound cruel but it's true: these companies and their jobs have never been stable companies, so this isn't something our economy has never digested before. Indeed, these companies exist largely in the tourism and food services industry. Companies in those industries implode in the mid-90% rate. So even if 100% of them failed now -- which they won't -- I suspect they will be replaced by the natural business cycle as they normally would have been. In other words, their failure and replacement is a natural process and would have happened anyways. So while this sounds like a disaster, it is a natural process that goes on normally, we just don't see it.

Also, I'm seeing some interesting ideas out of the strong players, i.e. the companies that have proven to survive over time already. For example, there's an Italian restaurant downtown which has survived for years. They are now selling home-cook kits and they are showing you online every Wednesday how to cook the kit. Clever. Ideas like that will make these people stronger when they do open again. Curbside service will too... more customers using the same resources.

(4) But the jobs are gone, right? No. They come back instantly when the companies come back. It's like someone pressed pause and then pressed start. If this thing lasts a year, that won't be true, but lasting only two months, without the economy reshuffling leaves everything in place for things to go right back to where they were, i.e. leases weren't lost, equipment wasn't sold, employees didn't disperse. That strongly suggests that things may largely go right back to the way they were. Moreover, there should even be new jobs as the "new normal" (I hate that idiotic phrase) will be more labor intensive because of safety precautions. That means people whose jobs do not come back may be able to find new jobs more easily.

(5) But they can do better on unemployment? Hardly. Unemployment sucks, and no one is getting it. Moreover, these people work in industries with massive turn over. They are used to job hopping. These are not engineers who freak out about getting laid off and in their depression won't take anything but an equivalent job. Most of these people will likely go right back to the way things were without missing a beat.

There will be more bankruptcies, that is true. But the companies who lose in bankruptcy are not particularly sympathetic. These tend to be bottom-feeder credit card companies who know they are taking a risk and payday loan people who are despicable thieves. Neither is unprepared for this and neither really contributes to the economy. Landlords might get hit too, but again, that is not the most stable of income producing businesses (as rental space has high non-occupancy rates) and they should be able to withstand some unpaid rent. And again, they are not an economic producer, nor is the property lost to the economy... it will be rented out again.

There are some industries that will be hurt. Airlines, hotels, and tourist attractions will hurt in the short term. Buffets will need to get creative. Nursing homes seem doomed. But at the same time, consumers seem happy to redirect their dollars to other industries which means no overall economic loss, which is how the economy has always functioned from caveman days to the present. There will be some shifting and the media will play up ever lost job, just as they did under Reagan, but the overall result should be a wash. Said differently, I'm not seeing a depression or even a recession.

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Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Leftist Whining

So, uh, leftists... amiright?

(1) Racism, racism, racism. Black people die from coronavirus in greater percentages than whites. It has nothing to do with diabetes from bad diets, not taking care of themselves because the black community is "suspicious" of doctors, or the fact the massive house party that got busted in Chicago this weekend was several hundred blacks packed chest to chest without a single mask. No. That's all irrelevant. It's racism.

(2) Mexicans in California are dying at a higher percentage than whites of coronavirus. It can't be poor diet or prexisting conditions resulting from the putrid healthcare system in Mexico... no, it's racism and "economic conditions." Yup, coronavirus does an income check before it strikes.

(3) Men are more likely to die from coronavirus than women, making coronavirus sexist against women. Uh.

(4) Believe women. Truth. Women never lie. And even when women lie, we should believe their lies because they are women. What's that? Creepy, touchy Joe Biden has allegedly been allegedly accused of alleged sexual assault... allegedly? I don't even have to know the facts to know that didn't happen. Seriously, who are you going to believe? Saint Joe Biden or some woman?

(5) I'm still struggling to understand this one. The ozone hole has vanished... but the left is claiming that the shutdown had nothing to do with it. Apparently, colder than normal temperatures (which don't exist in this world of global warming) create the holes and when it warms up, they go away. No human involvement. Huh. I thought it was CfCs?

(6) If we don't give aid to third world sh*tholes to stop global warming, we'll have more pandemics, as proven by this one... which didn't arise in a third world sh*thole or as a result of global warming. Logic.

(7) Letting parents teach children is "dangerous." No, parents NOT teaching children is dangerous.

(8) Don't you dare go outside, you monster! But don't you dare stop immigration even temporarily, you monster.

Talk about mental Whiplash.

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Monday, April 27, 2020

Hold Tight: The Herd Is Turning

This whole VIRUS thing really has been a fascinating experiment in herd mentality. It's proven so much of what we already knew about herd dynamics. Now there are some interesting things telling me the herd is shifting on VIRUS this weekend...

(1) First, we have the article I linked to in the comments last night which says that people are starting to break quarantine more. Those are your actual herd leaders. They are called "early adapters" in marketing parlance. They do things differently than the herd does. And once enough of them do it to reach critical mass, the herd seamlessly follows, with the pretend leaders (like politicians and media types and loudly self-proclaimed "INDEPENDENT THINKERS!") racing to the front of the pack and claiming they were the one to spot the trend first.

Usually, what the early adapter do becomes herd policy. But not always. Will it this time?

Well, the article suggests that critical mass has been reached as the numbers are very high and growing. It's also widespread, being early adapters everywhere. Again, that suggests critical mass is upon us. More importantly, the fact the Daily Mail put the article near the top of its site and didn't treat it with mockery suggests the Daily Mail sees this as the new trend and is prepared to move in that direction, barring a backlash from the public.

(2) There's more. There is an article making the rounds of the news sites now of a "teacher" who got caught on film screaming at some kids that she hopes they die of VIRUS because they dared... DARED to play football outside. The teacher is the villain of the article. This type of article would have been spun completely differently last week or before. It would have been about the sainted teacher trying to save the sinning kids from dying. The fact the devout is being mocked suggests that the religion has changed. VIRUS is a fake god, all praise FREEDOM.

Keep in mind too, teachers are blameless holy creatures unless they are racists or males who offend females. So the fact they are passing this around is doubly significant. But either way, the significance is that the same people who have been printing nothing but confessions by people who denied VIRUS and died or got sick and are begging forgiveness, suddenly are slandering a believer in favor of some deniers. That's a complete reversal in belief. Herd mentality requires villains. It needs clearly designated persons of mockery and virtue to ensure that we know the bounds of behavior. This is literally a 180 degree switch in what is villainous. One day, it was those #floridamorons who went to a beach (even if they were social distancing) and now it's the witch yelling at kids who wanted to be outside.

I guarantee you that the papers are about to fill with celebrities mocking their usual most-hated-persons (e.g. Trump supporters, conservatives, parents, religious types, etc.) who can't stand it that we good virtuous people want to be outside!

(3) Saturday Night Live, no matter how gently or how unfunnily, made fun of Dr. Fauci... the world's expert. The power of experts is breaking and, with it, the herd is preparing itself to ditch the experts. Indeed, herd mentality requires that we ridicule that which we formerly saw as god-like if we are going to go against dogma. So poking fun at Fauci will soothe the herd's fears about a reversal of policy.

(4) Finally, Boring Amy has said she favors opening Minnesota. She's one of the first national Democrats to support reopening. And don't forget, Amy is a saint, being the only woman ever to run for President and with her husband having suffered VIRUS. That's really the first defection among Democrats, who had been taking the position that southern Republican governors wanted people to die. That's evidence to me that the Democrats watched Georgia and Florida this weekend, didn't see a backlash, and now see the herd shifting. (It will be interesting to see if they backtrack in 4-5 days when virus cases show a surge, but for now, this is the new direction.)

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Friday, April 24, 2020

"Tone Deaf" Abounds

Crisis bring out the best in people... and the worst. There's been a ton of amazing "best" out there, but there's also been a lot of worst. Some of the worst is criminal or despicable, like people spitting on food and price gougers. But most is what modern society calls "tone deaf." Let's talk about who's been tone deaf.

Before we start, let me mention some people who have been great.

1. The NFL. The NFL is an amazing institution, which is why the sports media hates them with a passion. They are pulling off the draft right now, which millions of people are craving as a return to normalcy, and it's been great. You saw kids rewarded for 20 years of hard, hard work. Proud mothers crying. Charming family scenes. Tales of the amazing good deeds these kids have done. And through it all, you had constant praise for healthcare workers, people working in dangerous jobs, and just average people sacrificing so everyone can be safe. And it's all been awash in pride in America. They've also raised something like $80 million to help. Very uplifting.

2. Grocery store workers. I talk to store clerks everywhere. These people have worked hard to make sure they have food to sell, to overcome shortages, to protect the public, to help old people, and to have a positive attitude through all of this. They've been amazing. Honestly, the only reason I wear a mask when I go to stores -- and I do -- is to be respectful for their efforts. I don't want them worrying that I might make them sick.

3. Volunteers. So many people have adopted pets the shelters are almost empty. People volunteer to help old people get groceries and stay safe. People are volunteering at hospitals. Society is on its best behavior at the moment.

Now let's talk about the others.

1. When my list first began, I included companies like Carvana, a web-based car sales company, who exploited this situation with an ad calling itself "the safe way to buy a car." That's an unfair attempt to tarnish dealerships who are in no way unsafe to build their businesses. I also included all these fake sales you see -- 40% off our entire site... unless it's a name brand product (DSW). The 40% off everything... that's ugly (Nike)! And so on. Lots of companies are pretending to have fire sales (the Gap) and these are basically fraudulent.

I also included Harry and Meghan, who moved to LA in the middle of the crisis - after declaring Canada their home, whined about not being able to have a welcome party with celebrities, and got caught doing their public relations "good deed" (delivering 20 meals to the poor) in a Porsche... the next day they made sure to use a Cadillac instead because they are creatures of publicity. Idris Elba got slammed for proclaiming that we need to stay home one day a year from now on to remember how terrible we've had it and suggesting he almost died when he only had a minor case with no symptoms. Other celebrities are posting pictures of themselves living in their massive mansions, lounging by pools, and enjoying incredible luxury as they post messages like "we're all in this together." Hardly. But these things are nothing compared to the douchebaggery that has since overtaken theirs.

2. Did you know airlines haven't lowered their prices a penny? They've decided to cut services and live on subsidies.

3. The first corporate monster I discovered was Sea World. Sea World has a huge PR problem. People think that what they do is cruel... pictures of employees standing on dolphins will do that to you. Now they laid off 90% of their workforce while giving their executives $6.8 million in bonuses "for their extraordinary contributions amid the COVID pandemic." What did they do to earn these? They laid off their employees. Two of these execs had only been there a week. Seems despicable. But then...

4. Then came Disney. Disney laid off 100,000 employees. It did that to save an estimated $500 million. Here's the thing, it's about to pay a $1.5 billion dividend. It also took out $20 billion in financing. So rather than pay its employees, it decided to hand out its cash to investors. And then it took on enough debt that it could pay its employees for 40 months, but it still fired them. Adding insult to injury, it tried to dump them on the taxpayer, telling them to seek public benefits. Florida should impose a tax on theme parks to get that money back.

5. But corporate America was just warming up. It turns out that the fund set aside to help small business protect their employees and stay alive during this period was raided by massive restaurant and luxury hotel chains. The Ritz Carlton. The Marriott in Beverly Hills. Burger King. Ruth's Chris steak house. Potbelly Sandwich. Taco Cabana. These are publicly traded billion dollar businesses with locations all over the country. What in the world made them think it was right to apply for money from a fund set aside for small businesses? Even worse, many of these found ways to double or triple the maximum amount allowed.

The Treasury claimed that 25% of the actual loans went to small businesses. Think about that though. That means that 75% of the loans went to big businesses. Insane. Eight luxury hotel companies alone took $140 million of the $350 million fund. Shake Shack took the money despite raising $150 million in a recent stock offering. One real estate investment trust (Ashford Inc.) obtained 56 separate loans, treating each location they owed as a separate small business. The vast majority of small businesses got nothing because the fund ran out of money.

Fortunately, they are being destroyed in the media and some are slowly giving it back. But the fact it never dawned on them that this was basically fraud, even if they found a way to qualify tells you something about the modern corporate mentality. They should be prosecuted and their businesses boycotted.

6. Hollywood has been no better. Not only have they been remarkably lacking in charity, unlike groups like the NFL, but they have been brutal to underlings. Film studios and talent agencies laid off all their workers. Even big name (leftist) actors have been laying off their assistants. Think about that. An actor worth hundreds of millions isn't willing to keep someone making $30k a year on staff for even a couple months during this?

7. The media. We've talked about the media a lot. Fear mongering through deceptive headlines, deceptive reporting. Negligence. Reporting that is so inept that it should be actionable. Rumor mongering. Spreading hate. Spreading ignorance. Herd-mentality shaming. Spreading propaganda. These people are despicable human beings.

8. Finally, we come to the most depressing set of douchebags: The protestors. There is no evidence, polling or anecdotal, that suggests the public has had too much quarantine. Polls suggest 80% support. In fact, most polls say people worry about ending it. There has been ZERO civil disobedience either -- the most reliable evidence of the public's mood. Advertisers, another reliable weather vane, show a strong embrace of it across political and generational lines. Why? Foremost, people are genuinely concerned about their own safety, the safety of older family members, and even the safety of the people working in stores. This is reflected in the huge percentage of people staying home, and the huge percentage wearing masks when they go out. This is reflected in the public banding together in massive charity events too. The new heroes of America are the nurse and the grocery store clerk. You see this everywhere.

Moreover, people understand that in times of crisis, some sacrifice is needed... yet, this has hardly been a sacrifice. Indeed, the quarantine is not oppressive. With a few minor exceptions, you can do what you always did. You can still go to most stores. You can buy fast food. You can buy guns. You can buy booze and weed. You can buy most anything, in fact. And what you can't buy locally, you can get online. Your bank is open. Your doctor is open. Electricity, phone and television all still work. In most states, you can go to the parks. Most governors have, by and large, been very good at letting out enough additional freedoms to keep people content as issues arise. Florida and Texas opened their beaches again. Colorado opened liquor stores when people freaked out.

The only people who are struggling are those who lost jobs... but let's put them aside for a moment.

So, are you sensing a theme? Of course, you are. But the douchebags aren't.

No. They have decided to throw a tantrum. They want their freedom back and they want it now! Forget that they never lost it. Forget that they don't even know what it is. Seriously, are they upset they can only go through the drivethru at McDonalds? "Going into the lobby is my God given right!" What this is, is all some wet dream by pretend tough guys about fighting tyranny which just doesn't exist. Then it gets worse. These losers show up at rallies carrying assault rifles and acting like some special forces wannabes. The wet dream continues. And they mix happily with conspiracy nuts: there is NO virus! ... the government made THE virus to TAKE our freedoms! ... vaccines are poiSON!! ... it's SPREAD by 5G!!! So you have people demanding the end of a quarantine the public sees as vital to keeping their families alive for no particular reason except some jerk-off fantasy about nebulous freedoms, they mix this tantrum with anti-science and anti-medicine, and they show up armed. You could not turn off the public more if you tried. These people are the right's version of the freaks who showed up in assless leather chaps with leashes around their necks at gay rights rallies.

And then came the coup de gras. Three nurses went out and tried to block the protestors, in uniform. Nurses are the new heroes, remember? And the douchebags raced into the trap. Rather than engaging the nurse respectfully and stating their cause clearly and compellingly, they tried to shout them down and intimidate them. Congratulations, you just made yourselves into the new Westboro Baptist Church, protesting military funerals, you assholes.

These idiots reinforced all the negative stereotypes the media uses against the right and set back the cause of reopening the country by weeks. They have turned what should be a natural process of the public deciding it was ready into a political issue supported by people the public despises.

Do you want to know what would have worked? There are people who really did lose their jobs. They legitimately have lost their freedoms. Imagine ten hairdressers, who actually are shutdown, go to a public park and start doing free haircuts as a protest. They are joined by 10 bartenders serving free drinks or a group of dentists with signs pointing out that their clients teeth will need root canals if they can't do preventative care. These people hold up signs saying, "We can operate safely!" and "Can't support my family!" That's a cause people understand. It is sympathetic. It is thought provoking, not revulsion creating. It is nonpartisan. It addresses the public's concerns about safety. It doesn't threaten anyone. And it plays on genuine issues of freedom... not some nebulous wet dream about fighting pretend tyranny.

This is again why the right is viewed with such contempt in this country even though most people share the right's views.

All told, the people on this list are a small number of people and most have a pretty negative history to begin with. So don't feel like this is common, but they are out there and they deserve to be called out.
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Thursday, April 23, 2020

Thought You Might Enjoy This

Everyone can use a little humor, right?

Here were some funny things being passed around about parents home schooling their kids:
"It's only the first day and one kid is suspended, the other is expelled and the teacher was fired for drinking."

"What number do we call if we need a substitute teacher?"

"My kid phoned me from his room this morning to say he'd missed the bus and wouldn't be coming to school."
And there's this one, which is a little ghetto, but kind of funny:
"Still think that teacher lying on your child?"
Then there's this because of the amount of snacking going on:
"So how does this work with the My 600 Pound Life show? Do they just call or do I need to call them?"
Then there's this, which is hilarious... The Future

Yeah, Australia was a thing, wasn't it? Remember, laughter is the best medicine, so laugh dammit! Oh, and share your favorite coronavirus jokes!
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Tuesday, April 21, 2020

The State of Things (Media Version)

Sometimes, in a crisis, you just need to stop and reflect on where things stand. Fortunately, we have quality news sources like the Daily Mail, Drudge and a whole lot of leftist blogs masquerading as legitimate media to inform us. So where are we?

There are so many bodies they are out of body bags and are wrapping them in sheets and leaving them on loading docks so people can STACK them in pickup trucks and bury them in MASS graves!

Everyone in Italy is dead. Everyone. We can’t verify this yet because they all died at home and their relatives lived with the bodies for days until they died too, but EVERYONE.

Healthcare workers are killing themselves because they can’t handle the horror.


Trump cut the pay of all healthcare workers.

Trump stopped funding for a cure.

Trump gave all of our medical supplies to China, then refused to send any to Canada, stole some from Germany, sent none to states and those he did send were defective. All our hospitals are overwhelmed!! There are people lying in the hallways DYING!

Trump contaminated the CDC.

Trump is pushing dangerous drugs because he’s an investor. Those drugs have horrible side effects and kill people. Also, doctors are using these drugs and Trump touting them created a shortage and caused two hillbillies to DIE!!

Trump sent his son to interfere with the doctors seeking a cure.

Everywhere is a hot spot!

All the police in New York City are DEAD!

Everyone in the world lost their jobs and those will never come back. Capitalism has collapsed. There are shortages of everything and those things will never return. The grocery stores are empty and people fight over scraps.

Rats are eating each other in the streets.

The US navy has withdrawn from the Pacific and will never return. China now has a free hand. China is the new super power. All hail China.

Grocery store employees and Amazon employees are literally dying on the job.

The death rate for VIRUS could be as high as 10% or higher! And double that among black people! All of you black people will die! Be afraid!!

Up to 50 million people could be affected in the US and not even know it!

VIRUS causes permanent lung damage, permanent brain damage, makes your testicles fall off, and gives you sores all over your toes... from your testicles landing on them. Young people are particularly vulnerable, as are old people and healthy middle age people.

Maybe things will be better next week?
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Monday, April 20, 2020

The Political Fallout

Let's talk about the politics of this brave new world.

What will the left learn from this?

Nothing. They never learn.

Will The Public Change Its Views?

The American public is largely right-of-center. I would say the numbers are 55% right, 45% left. For a number of reasons, the voting doesn't turn out that way, but in terms of values, this is what I see time and again in terms of fundamental values. Will this change?

Believe it or not, both ideological sides are terrified the public has gone the other way. Neither is correct. That said, the left has more to worry about.

Trust in Government. The right frets that people will now look to government for solutions. That's wrong, though. The government has screwed this up so badly that no one is happy with them. The response has been chaotic and incompetent. Decisions were made, criticized, reversed, criticized and abandoned. Medical equipment was lacking, broken and ineffective. Quarantines came too late and a poor case was made for them. Between Trump and the Democrats, there has been constant whining and name calling. The shutdown orders have been bizarre. Who is essential? Who the hell knows! What's legal? Who the hell knows! The bailout is a mess. Congress can't get out of its own way. Bill Maher actually pointed out that the Democrats have been so gloom and doom that they've handed Trump the high ground. That's true. And interestingly, a study of Twitter found that the vast majority of people have kept a really good humor during this period... which runs counter to how the Democrats are acting, showing the public isn't believing them.

No one trusts the government.

No one trusts the experts anymore either. Trust in experts is the liberal sneak-totalitarianism, but it's failing here because the experts have accurately predicted nothing, ludicrously-wrongly predicted everything, and have no idea how to solve anything except to say get used to the new normal. No one wants to hear that. Of course estimating that 40,000,000 20,000,000 1,000,000 500,000 150,000 80,000 60,000 Americans will die didn't help either. Nor did not knowing the symptoms. Even worse, the Democrats are now tearing the experts apart for political reasons, which has freed the drones to hate the experts who are ruining their lives, and even now people are only listening to the experts they like and only the things they say the people agree with.

Trust in authority is weaker than ever.

So will we shift right? Not in a general sense, but to a degree. Take the election...

The Election. Elections are hard to call, but the left definitely hurt themselves. For one thing, they've made Trump look like a genius. They attacked everything Trump said would work only to be proven wrong and do an about face a few days later. If you make Trump look smart, then you're a fool. They have been so nasty too, at a time of crisis no less, that they are leaving a disturbing taste in people's mouths. Lindsey Graham made the first solid attack on this basis today, saying Pelosi hates Trump to the point of hurting our nation. All of that hurts them, as have missteps in blocking the stimulus package.

Add in that the virus deprived the Democrats of all the free PR of the election campaign, that Joe Biden looks even dumber than ever, and that the left is just not lining up behind him and things do actually look ugly for the left at the moment. And in trying to make this virus about blacks, they will alienate the very white voters they need in swing states who lost their jobs or were scared to death. So, I would say Trump's odds have improved.

But elections are temporary. The real question is, will this change people's views on the issues? For that, let's look at the specific issues.

Prison Elimination. The left has been trying to shut down prisons for some time, with considerable recent success. This virus gave them the perfect moment too to open the doors and let out all the minor convicts. But then they lamented the death of a pedophile in prison. Bad choice. And a killer they let loose in Florida immediately killed someone when released. Bad choice. And they laughed at Harvey Weinstein getting covid, a total undercutting of their own argument. The public wasn't thrilled with prison reform as evidenced by the lack of clamor for these releases, and how it played out killed the movement. Prison reform looks dead.

Welfare/Guaranteed Minimum Income. Will people become dependent on the government for money? Hardly. The government's efforts (at the state and federal level) have been such a cluster-fudge that no one views the government as a reliable way to make a living. No one qualifies for unemployment. Those that do still aren't getting their checks. And the system is broke. Anyone who sees this as a new way to remake society is smoking crack. Perhaps even worse, the people who have gotten their $1200 checks have not been grateful for the "gift," they've pretty much seen it as "finally getting something back." That's not an attitude that shows any positivity toward government largess... it's an argument to stop taking as much in the first place.

But there won't be jobs! We'll see. I suspect the economy will rebound much faster than people think, and even those who are hurt, they won't see a piddly, late government check as the solution. They will want jobs. Is this enough for the public to move right? Possibly. It is for sure, though, that there will be no move to the left.

It's All Racist! This argument has worked in terms of scaring blacks into staying on the reservation. It's been so effective they are trying it on Hispanics now... first major article today. But this is just preaching to the choir and the left knows it. I don't even see the Democrats pushing some sort of fake race bill to protect blacks to try to exploit it. That tells me it's not resonating with whites. And that makes sense. They did their best to scare whites and those whites will not be sympathetic to the diminishment of their fear in favor of others' fear. No change with the public.

Gurl Power! The feminists have tried to exploit this by screaming about a wave of domestic violence and Trump being rude to delicate female reporters. Neither has gotten any traction. We know this because there's zero follow up by the Democrats and little airplay. Add in the left sweeping Biden's alleged sexual assault under the carpet and feminism seems like an issue to be ignored. In fact, perhaps the biggest piece of evidence is that despite the millions of parents who are currently home schooling (and the healthy market in hilarious memes for how much they supposedly hate it) there has been zero support for paying K-12 teachers (most all women) more. All of this confirms the trend of the public just not caring about "women's issues."

As an aside, Yahoo did something interesting with sports last month. They ran contests to vote on the best teams in each sports league's history (e.g. NFL, NBA, MLB, etc.). Looking at the number of votes gave a great indication of the level of interest the public has in each sport. The best women's sports came in far below every male league, and did so on the order of 1/10 of the number of votes. This is despite decades of Title IX and the feminist media pushing the "female sports are loved" narrative.

The Environment. Environmentalists have been thrilled with the changes: cleaner air in China, pollution down 44% in India, animals returning to abandoned areas, clean water in Venice. They think this will help the bees. They haven't caught on to the fish thing I mentioned last time yet for some reason. Either way, these are all admittedly good things... but terrible for their cause.

Why? They think people will see the cleaner planet and say, "Yay, let's fight for more!" But the reality will be different. People will see the earth healing itself in a week and will say, "That was fast. I guess pollution is not really as deep a problem as we've been told." That's what the public did when the Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act worked... they decided that was good enough.

Think about global warming too. If temperatures don't noticeably drop this year, then the whole argument that economic activity creates warming will be seen as a fraud. But if they do drop, then people will think it's easy to fix... or has been fixed. Shouldn't we have reversed almost all of mankind's warming in the past month? Why not? Good luck explaining that! Moreover, people will have seen the extreme cost of what it takes to do this, i.e. what the environmentalists want, and the lack of benefits to them. That will make them less likely to see that as an acceptable fix now. Even worse, notice where the pollution improved. There are no vanishing clouds of pollution over the US... just China and India. That tells people we already have done a great job of cleaning up here, so they will ask why we need to do more? This was a trap for environmentalists and will set them back generations.

Even the anti-plastic campaign, which was on the verge of victory-level social acceptance is about to implode as people now turn to plastics to improve health and safety, e.g. visors and barriers and plastic test kits and devices that facilitate "no-touch" shopping.

Hard shift right.

Peaceniks. The out-of-commissioning of the aircraft carrier and China's provocative moves in the Pacific combined with the fear that China is engaging in chemical/biological research and lied through its teeth to let the world be infected has scared people enough that there will be no desire to make peace. People felt vulnerable. They will want strength so they never feel that way again. Shift to the right.

Unionists. There have been steady attacks on Amazon and then on grocery stores for keeping their workers working despite the risks. "They need unions to protect them in the future!" Yeah, except neither job actually seems hazardous and we needed Amazon and the grocery stores to keep us alive, so any threat to cut those lines and hinder them will not be taken well. Besides, both sets of companies seemed to act responsibly. Look for this to have hardened views against unions as the public will not want to be held up by unionists in a crisis. This play was a mistake. Heck, Democratic governors didn't even chastise these companies.

I think these are all long term changes. This current generation will always be colored by what they saw during this period and the above was it. The left tried to scare them, would not stop whining, tried to make this political to exploit it, and pushed all kinds of things that felt wrong to the public. The public's reaction will be to distrust their policies even more.

So how does it all end?

Forget the rallies. Political rallies never change anything. They come after the change has happened. What changes the world is spontaneous disobedience.

Look to the fall of communism. What killed communism was nothing political. It was average people deciding en mass that they simply weren't going to follow the rules anymore. So they left their homes and did things that were forbidden. In so doing, others joined them spontaneously and their sheer numbers overwhelmed the authorities (like with speeders) and suddenly the system collapsed. This is how it's happened throughout history in almost every country and with every instance of true social change. Bad regimes collapse when normal people suddenly decide to go to the beach.

Now, in this case, there is an interest caveat. American politicians are generally better than their oppressive counterparts and they keep their fingers on the public's pulse. Thus they know how to give just enough freedom to prevent the rebellion. Let the guy going 5 over go and focus on the big speeders... keep the system alive. It's the same here: the lockdown is phony. Colorado is a good example of this. We are under a cower under the bed order. Yet, I can go anywhere and do anything without fear. Really, the only people being held prisoner are hair dressers, dentists, and a few small businesses. Everything else is open. I went to the park today to walk the track with over a hundred other people. Grocery stores are hoppin'. The lines at McDonalds are long. The gun stores are packed, as are the liquor stores. Got my oil changed. Neighbor bought a car. We are under lockdown, but there is no lockdown.

In Texas and Florida, they opened the beaches because those governors knew that if they didn't, crowds would soon appear and the whole lockdown would collapse. So now the beaches are open. The parks are next. Colorado initially closed the liquor stores and pot shops until people growled... then the governor made them essential. Michigan's governor seems to be the only one with a tin ear and it will cost her. Show me a celebrity in California who isn't posing out for exercise or on a drive or getting groceries or doing a photo shoot. All of this is for show, so it will end when people get tired of the pretending, and at that point the governors are going to declare the crisis magically over.

That's how this one ends.

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Thursday, April 16, 2020

The Future...

Let's talk about the future. You're about to see a ton of "experts" predicting their favorite end of the world scenarios and pushing their pet peeves. Let's cut through the bullspit!
"We will need to wear masks from now on."
"Hand shaking will be gone."
Good luck with that.
"We will all work from home!"
"Restaurants will need to change forever!"
"This is the new normal" - New Jersey
"People will flee the major cities!!" - Yahoo experts
Hardly. Idiots.

Let's start with an obvious observation that few of the "experts" understand: basic human nature has not changed in recorded history. What is popular changes... the causes of stress or fear change... but the human reaction to popular things, hated things, fear, stress, imposition, end of fear, and hard work does not change.

A corollary to this: there are patterns in human conduct which repeat every. single. time.

Cities will be abandoned! No. Human beings will not leave cities because they like cities. They like crowds. Young people need cities to find mates. Old people like cities because they don't need cars. Minorities gather in cities to find their own kind. Businesses gather in cities because that is where the workers are, which brings workers to cities. Cities will not change.

This is the new normal! The "new normal" dies the moment this ends. The "new normal" exists because of an immediate fear combined with police power enforcing new behaviors. The moment either of those fades enough, the new normal dies and people go back to the old normal. The idea of the "new normal" or "new (Soviet/feminist) man" is a myth that utopians and ideologues push when they want to see a world that isn't stacked against their deepest desires. It has never once proven true. Never once.

People will be more cautious! We will all wear masks! Ha. We wear masks now because we don't want to get sick. They are uncomfortable. They are an imposition. The moment I no longer think my chances are high enough to get sick, the mask vanishes. As more and more remove the masks, social pressure dies. Human nature seeks comfort and convenience. We only abandon those when force, intense social pressure, or fear force the change upon us. Once those abate, we go back to seeking comfort and convenience. Think people will wipe down their grocery carts next year? Nope. Limit who they can be with? Ha! People are barely doing that now under threat of jail and death. Good luck making us adopt inconvenience forever.

That said, there will be some changes, but mainly at the corporate level. Stores will examine safety practices and keep those that (1) work really well and aren't too expensive -- pre-shift temperature checks, for example (which reduce corporate-wide sick days), (2) those that appeal to the public ("We wash our carts"), and (3) those that make money. Look for all fast food restaurant and lots of stores to start curbside service, a trend beginning long before this and accelerating now because it lets you reach customers who are too lazy to come inside and lets restaurants sell more food than they could with the limits of their seating. Now you can sell it as safety too. Look for increased barriers between customers and clerks, provided they aren't to intrusive because they cost little, look responsible and make robbery harder. Look for architects to study virus proofing new buildings with better air systems and better distancing. This likely will be the end of the emerging trend of group work stations... back to cubicle, b*tches! Look for some regulation of industries that became high profile for unfortunate reasons, like the meat packing industry and cruise ships... but regulations are largely style over substance.

People will be more cautious! (Part 2) This is the end of travel! Ha! People aren't even being cautious now. And the moment this crisis ends, people are going to do what they have always done when a disaster ends: party to excess to celebrate. Cruise ship bookings for next year are already 41% higher than they were last year because people want to party. Business travel will take a huge hit, but vacation travel will boom.

We will all work from home! Doubt it. Whether or not companies will make people work from home will depend on two things: (1) can the job be done at home, and done more cheaply than at an office, and (2) what did the data show during the shutdown. Did the productivity of all those people working from home go up or down? Where it went up, look for more work from home. Where it went down, it's not going to happen. And for those working at home, look for monitoring software to get even more intrusive.

People have become reliant on experts and government! Sheeet. Have you not been paying attention? The experts have made total fools of themselves. No one... no one is trusting any expert because they've all been laughably wrong... every time. They can't predict the numbers within an error factor of 40 million people. They can't even tell you the symptoms. Even the experts people like (e.g. Dr. Fauci), people only accept their opinion when they like them. When they say something people don't like, we ignore them. Oh, he's wrong on that.

As for the government, they caused this, failed to stop it, made it worse, can't handle any of this, screwed up the bailout, screwed up my check, etc. They can't figure out what is essential -- pot? booze? fast food?, and don't know when to back off. The government looks utterly incompetent. All they do is fight and blame and make doomsday predictions. And everyone on every side is screaming that. No one trusts them. Who are people trusting? Grocery stores. Walmart. Amazon.

Amazon is worth $1.1 trillion now for a reason.

Let's talk politics.

The stimulus spending will cause hyper inflation! Wheelbarrows of money! Germany 1930! Sell dollars! Buy gold!! Nein. Pumping out extra money hurts when it adds purchasing power to an economy that has a limited number of goods and no excess capacity. That's when inflation happens. Right now, the economy has crashed. It's like someone took a bite out of it. That missing bite is excess capacity. The money the government is handing out fills that missing bite, it does not pile on top of the economy. With a similar amount of money chasing a similar amount of goods, there will be no inflation. In fact, the real danger is deflation. That will depend on how fast the jobs that got shut down come back, or if they do at all.

The Right is, of course, freaking out that people are now socialist. I Radio Host will save you if you listen to me stoking your fears! Unsurprisingly, the Left is even more worried. It's a battle of paranoids, but one is more right than the other. Who is right? I suspect this will hurt the Left a lot. Let me do a separate article on that though.

Any other changes?

Why, yes. The most interesting changes will come from the environmental effect of the human shutdown. Venice's water is clear... dolphins and swans have returned. Venice was on the verge of severely restricting tourists before this began. I think this clear water change will speed that up and make it more extreme. Look for Venice to close itself off to all but a few thousand tourists instead of the ten million they had been getting. A few other places may follow suit.

The problem in the oceans is overfishing. But commercial fishing is down 95% right now. Fish populations spring back fast. Six months to a year of a 95% drop in fishing may do wonders for the fish population. I will be watching this with great interest. If it does happen like I think, expect future fishing bans.

Going the other way, this is going to kill the anti-plastics movement. That worked when they talked about plastic straws killing fish and plastic lowering sperm counts, but it's DOA now that the world is going to discover the value of plastics in terms of sanitation devices... medical screens... antibacterial shelves and counters, etc.

I see a lot of cool medical improvements coming out of this that are technology related. The ability to track outbreaks with fever reports from digital thermometers around the world opens new avenues for preparedness. Look for lots of research into ventilators too and patient positioning (beds put people on their backs, which is bad), which will help millions of people in the future.

The vast amount of data will lead to lots of really interesting studies. Too many will be done by idiots but there will be some good ones and this really is an amazing economic/psychological/medical experiment. Will flu rates drop? Will small business recover? What happens to personal spending? Where did all the little herd-like Nazis come from? And so on.


Next time, I'll tell you how this will affect politics and I'll explain how this all ends. Hint: the end won't be caused by gun toting Libertarians.
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Monday, April 13, 2020

The Grass Is Not Greener

There are people who worship every country and time but their own. They are fools and they are out in full force again.

China did such a better job than we did. They only have 3,500 deaths after quick, decisive action. We must learn their superior ways! Oops. Actually, they lied and there are suggestions of 40+ deaths. Nevermind.

South Korea. They stopped it cold. Look how good they did! We must learn their superior ways! Ooops, they didn't control it after all. Nevermnind.

California! California wasn't hit like all those other places. We must learn their superior ways! Oops, they were just earlier on the curve. Nevermind.

This is an old story. There is a tendency among a set of people to always look to other cultures and other times as superior. I suppose this comes from the adage that familiarity breeds contempt and the idea that the grass is always greener on the other side. The truth is that the grass is rarely greener, as people always discover. But that doesn't stop them from wanting to believe the next lawn is greener and the one after that.

Indeed, look back in history and you will see each of the following done in eerily similar echos:

1. Nazi Germany was seen as such an economic powerhouse that intellectuals in the left were sure we couldn't compete. Then we learned their economic strength was only a return to pre-depression levels and it was powered by slave labor. Whoops.

2. The Soviet Union was seen as such an economic dynamo because of the power of central planning and a unified public that even experts at the CIA were convinced they would bury us. Then we discovered that it was all for show and the real economy was so sclerotic it couldn't even deliver food to its people. Whoops.

3. Japan was going to crush us with their secretive business structures, their samurai code and their 1,000 year planning. Then Japan hit the recession that will never end and its birthrate collapsed. Now they can teach us nothing. Whoops.

4. The EU! An economic powerhouse of 400 million people will finally become the superpower the world needs to show us how leading from behind is the true way. Persuasion, not power! We were slowing going to fall behind and become irrelevant. And then it turned out that military strength did actually matter and the EU proved to be a eunuch on the world stage... third worlders laughed and ignored them. And then Greece imploded and exposed the Euro as wishful thinking. Now they can teach us nothing. Whoops.

5. China! China's going to pass us up and teach us round eyes good. They have wise central planning, a form of harnessed capitalism and a bazillion workers. China is the future... until it's not. China's economic miracle collapsed and the laws of economics caused their labor to become too expensive and now they are being eaten alive by their competitors in thee region. They're still on the worship list, but not for long. Offers to submit are becoming distinctly muted.

There's more too... mini versions. Brazil is the future! Until it collapsed. India! India is the future. Until you looked closely and found a country without an infrastructure. South Africa was the wave of the future... until other African countries left them standing in the corrupt dust.

It's not just countries either. The British have the enviable national health system! Which rations healthcare. Brazil can teach us about race and harmony... until reports came out that Brazil is rigidly racist. Every native culture can show us how to commune with nature, waste no animal and live in harmony. Every ancient Asian culture can teach us about inner peace.

BE LIKE SOMEONE ELSE! This is the battle cry of fools, and right now you are seeing these same people sell a fantasy version of what is going on in other places. What makes this interesting to me is that in the past, it's usually taken a decade or so for these people to discover that their fantasies are just fantasy, but now it's happening within days as the numbers expose their paradises as Potempkin villages of virus prevention.
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Sunday, April 12, 2020

Potential Shortage Alert

First, let me say, Happy Easter! I hope you are all having a wonderful Easter.

That said, I wanted to warn you about a potential shortage coming up: meats. I've been watching the business pages for a week or so about meat packing plants -- this doesn't seem to be mainstream yet. Several of these plants have closed recently because large numbers of their employees have gotten the virus. The most recent was a Smithfield plant which handles about 5% of the pork products in the US. Right now, this hasn't meant anything, but with the way supply chains work, I would expect to see meat shortages starting in a couple weeks and then lasting maybe as long as a month even assuming they just clean the plant and reopen.

So if you think you need some hot dogs or roasts or bacon or lunch meats... or anything made of meat. I recommend buying extra in the next few days before news of this goes mainstream and before any shortages start.
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Saturday, April 11, 2020

New Phase

So we've definitely shifted away from the dragging penitents before the camera phase of the herd mentality ("I went on Spring Break because I didn't know VIRUS! Forgive me, VIRUS!") to the exploitation phase.

It started with a few ideological types, encouraged by the Trump Bashing Media and Democrats. They slowly but surely started pointing their poo-stained fingers at various invented virus statistics and misinterpreted them into racism or poorism or whateverism. Then they expanded to add their pet peeves... prisoners are dying in cages, VIRUS is racist, poor people are dying in non-unionized Amazon warehouses, and so on. Indeed, the past week has gone full retard when it comes to ideology. It's like a damn broke and these slimey idiots are slithering through the hole.

Well, now the second wave of idiots have arrived. These are idiots with minor causes that get lost in genuine times of stress. Andrew Zimmer is the proof of that. He's out there complaining that he's worried, harumph, that poor people "don't have access" to nutritious food. This is, of course, total bull. Go to any grocery store in any neighborhood and you will see them packed with fruits, vegetables, and other healthy options. What's missing are the twinkies, the fatty foods, and the frozen foods. There is no lack of access... there is a lack of preference. But Zimmer is a poverty advocate who pushes the invented "15% of Americans go hungry" line which is as fake as the "only 10% of rapes are reported" and "gays are being murdered for being gay." And the fact he's now decided to try to latch his fake cause onto the virus tells us something about what the herd thinks of the state of the virus. In other words, if these people think they can now exploit the virus for a totally unrelated cause (the first group at least tried to exploit virus data directly), then any sort of horror is gone. They see the virus as over... contained. Ironically, they're wrong, but watch for any number of causes suddenly to start filling the papers next to the B-list celebrities trying to get noticed as they all fake some sort of concern related to the VIRUS.

I would say the "men(blech!) are beating their wives in record numbers!" crowd are part of this too. Soon you'll see things about poor kids having nothing to do and no backpacks to do it with, girls are being more stressed out by VIRUS, college athletes need to be paid because of VIRUS, VIRUS brings out transphobia, and so on.

My advice: keep isolating from the news.

I'll talk more about how this all ends a little later and the long term effects. Hint: it won't be the ideologues who cause it to end.
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Friday, April 10, 2020

Information Update

Just thought I'd let you know (sorry I haven't had time to post anything). The IRS has added a portal for people who don't normally file tax returns to submit their banking information to get your Covid money. That is here: HERE. Scroll down.

For those who do file but may not have given them bank information because you get a paper check (or no check at all), they will add a portal for that soon. I'll let you know.

Also, I love this headline: Conoravirus Global Death Toll Hits New High. Uh, isn't every death a new high? Idiots.
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Tuesday, April 7, 2020

The Left Is Back

While the left never really stops being hateful, aggrieved and political, they do at least turn their hate down to a whisper for the initial periods of big enough disasters. Remember 9/11? They were nice and patriotic for almost a week before they turned bitterly partisan. Of course, the cost of all that pent up rage was Bush Derangement Syndrome, which was almost as bad as Trump Derangement Syndrome. This time they've been more quiet too, sort of.

Of course, when I say they've been sort of quiet, I don't mean they haven't poured out their hate at Trump. He's done everything wrong, naturally. Pure evil. Here are just some of the things they screamed about him:
● Waited too long to act, "now he has blood on his hands."

● Idiotically touted wearing masks... idiotically won't wear a mask.

● Idiotically touted a malaria drug... not helping people find same drug.

● Downplayed virus... doesn't want to quarantine people... evilly forcing us to stay home.

● Personally fired a naval hero whose only 'crime' was to violate the chain of command in a way which endangered the Pacific.

● Personally pirated masks from Germany... ok, that's untrue, but still TRUMP! amiright?

● Personally taking masks out of the faces of Canadian doctors

● Cut research funding to stop this very virus

● Personally sent defective equipment from storage from the Obama era to Democratic Governors

● Refuses to send equipment from storage to Democratic Governors

● Told manufacturers not to ship medical supplies to Democratic states

● Caused Obama to fail to build up enough disaster supplies

● Personally causing layoffs of ER staffs

● Refuses to send Navy medical ship to New York... well, lied about it arriving on time... well, won't let people with coronavirus onboard!... stupidly let people with coronavirus on board when it was always meant for other sick people!

● Caused massive unemployment... almost to Obama's lowest levels!!

● Forced media to bravely ignore his news conferences because TRUMP! amiright?

● Personally silenced the brave Dr. Fauci weeks ago, who has not been seen since.

● Sent his son to waste the time of medical professionals who could have cured the virus

● Didn't do anything to help people who lost their jobs... well, didn't do enough... well, didn't do it the way I would have done it... and the checks are going to take like weeks to show up... and bad people will get money too

● Sent stimulus money to his friends like the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C.
So yeah, that's been going on. But the left hasn't been up to its usual pet peeves obsessive stuff until this week. This week, they started hitting full stride again. Why now? I suspect they see the curve has flattened and they decided they no longer could be accused of lacking patriotism if they stopped holding their tongues. So away they went:
● The coronavirus is racist... it kills black people in higher numbers. Yup, it's not because they're older, fatter and have more diabetes it's pure racism. There's even a corresponding argument going around that this has renewed black people's "lack of trust in medicine." Apparently, doctors are racist and don't offer quality medicine to blacks. Yawn. Then there are these strange but suggestive headlines like "More than half of Chicago's coronovirus victims are black." Must be racism. No doubt whites are using them as human shields. Or maybe, it's just traveling in their community in Chicago? Nah. Racism!

● The coronavirus "feeds on the poor". Yup, despite the evidence we discussed suggesting that this is a rich person's disease, and without offering even a hint of proof that there is any income disparity in the victims, the left is now foaming that this things "feeds" on the poor because their jobs (if they still have them) requiring traveling (5 out of 4 bus drivers in New York City have the virus), working in Amazon's hellish warehouses where people with the virus are afraid not to come to work, and handing out fast food to rich, white Americans. You monsters. How could you? Universal income would have fixed this... somehow. Unionized strife could be fun now too.

● Trump hates Mexicans because he won't send stimulus checks to illegal aliens. Also, he won't send Mexican prisoners back to safe Mexico from dangerous federal prison.

● OMG! The amount of wife beating is through the roof. DOMESTIC VIOLENCE! MEN ARE EVIL! //breaks down crying. Already only 1 in 10 incidents gets reported and now that's 10 times as bad based on the number of calls to hotlines... uh. Anyways, 300 million US women will be victims of domestic abuse this very week! Somebody needs to do something!

● Prisons are an unfair death trap! That one guy died in prison! No one would have died if we let them all out into the perfectly safe streets! Ban prisons. They're racist, dangerous and they don't do anything to reform these people -- they are just as dangerous as before, so um... we should never have locked them up. //scratches head
There's more but that's about all I can take. As an aside, with all this economic activity stopping to the point that (1) scientists say the seismic signature of the Earth is quieter, (2) animals are returning to land we developed, (3) pollution is abating to the point the difference can be seen from space and is off the charts good... why isn't the Earth cooling?

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Saturday, April 4, 2020

Is Coronavirus A Rich-Person's Disease?

Not all of my best thoughts start as rational exercises. Sometimes, I just get a "feeling" or a sudden realization which eventually turns out to be a pretty insightful discovery. I suspect these are really my brain processing information subconsciously and throwing it out to me when it has enough information to reach a conclusion. Sadly, not all of these thoughts turn out to be right, but enough do that I have learned to pay attention to them. Well, I just had one: coronavirus is a rich-person's disease.

Stick with me here.

There are some odd things about coronavirus and the response to it that have bothered me. First, the response is WAY overkill compared to prior similar viruses. SARS was fun to discuss on the news, but nobody worried about it. Swine flu killed 10,000 in the US alone and infected 50 million Americans without anyone blinking an eye. This thing had the elites shutting down the world before the first American was even killed. Why would that be?

Well, the elites have a history of selfishness. By elites, of course, I mean the media, the politicians, Big Business and celebrities. That unholy polygon of selfishness can be counted on to (1) panic over things that affect them and (2) downplay risks that affect others.

Take AIDS for example. AIDS was the end of the world. The elites demanded that we invest more than we invest to beat cancer to stop it and we needed law after law to make sure that no one who had it felt the slightest bit of inconvenience. Why would they want us to spend billions to stop a virus that affected only a few thousand people and was entirely avoidable, when we won't spend the same to stop something that kills millions of normal people every year and we had never at the time passed a single law protecting anyone who had a disease? Because it was an elite disease. It traveled in their circles, not ours, and killed their friends. AIDS spread through Hollywood, the gay community, New York society and the political class. Cancer only strikes main street.

So they demanded we change the world to save them, but didn't care about us.

It's true in other areas too. Take the bailout. They didn't give a rat's rump about the millions of jobs that would be lost if business and dealerships closed or if risk-averse little old ladies lost their bonds but OMG save the big banks and their investors. Islamic terrorists blowing people up? Couldn't care less. They kill one journalist and Daniel Pearl becomes the nightly news for months. Shoot up a Walmart and it barely makes the news. Shootup a gay club and it's tears aplenty followed by task forces and legislation. The truth has always been that the elite freak out about things that affect them and they remake the world to protect themselves. But if it doesn't affect them, they don't care. What's the worst natural disaster in living memory? Forget the hurricanes that flattened Florida or Texas. Forget the floods and tornadoes no one has ever heard about. Hurricane Sandy still gets mentioned because it destroyed a lot of property belonging to the elites. Worst financial crime Bernie Madoff because he robbed celebrities.

I think the reaction suggest that they see this as affecting them and that is why they are changing the world and demanding that everyone else go along with it.

There's more...

Who is spreading the disease? In New York City, we can actually trace it to an important lawyer, who started it in upper-crust Jewish circles... the same circles many celebrities, New York politicians and journalists travel in. This spread it to expensive bedroom communities and the New York social elite, as you'll see in a minute.

In Miami, it was wealthy gays who were identified as the first deaths. Suddenly, the media screamed that Miami was the new "Hot Spot" even though they had nowhere near as many deaths as other more boring cities.

Further, I don't know anyone personally who has had coronavirus. You probably don't either. Sure, I've heard of people who know someone or whose cousin may have had it, but the odds of you actually knowing someone seem kind of low, maybe one in your family and friend group. YET... look at the news.

Somehow a huge number of the celebrities seem to have it. Tom Hanks and wife, Idris Ilba, Andy Cohen, Pink and dozens more actors and singers (LINK) have it, not to mention an army of minor celebrities. Don't forget the journalists either, like Chris Cuomo, Brooke Baldwin, Doris Burke, 5 people at CBS News New York, one at CBS News Italy, one at ABC News LA and ABC News Seattle, three employees of the Today show in New York. That's a lot for such a small industry, and these people weren't in the field going to hospitals either. These are studio people. Don't forget the politicians either, like the wife of the Canadian Prime Minster, Britain's PM, Prince Charles, several people connected with the White House, some Senators and Congressmen, Brazil's president, and so forth.

That's a lot of famous people. Coincidence? Statistically not likely. More likely, it's traveling in circles they all visit... and they know it.

Then there's a ski group in Idaho who caught it and passed it around skiers -- skiers are a wealthier, often elite group. And in some cases they are absolutely connected to celebrities. Take Aspen, Colorado for example where any celebrity who is anybody has a second home. Wanna guess the infection rate there? As of this morning, Aspen with a total population of 6,600 has 38 cases (0.58%). Colorado Springs, a town of 420,000 has only 388 cases (0.009%). Notice the difference?

I really think what's going on here is that this thing is spreading through elite circles: rich people, actors, journalists, politicians and that is why they've brought the world to a halt. They need this thing stopped just like they needed AIDS stopped. If it was just the rest of us, they wouldn't care, but it's not the rest of us... it's them.

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More Viral Thoughts...

Thoughts aplenty.

● Isn't it interesting that Trump suggested wearing a mask and was crapped all over by the experts. Now the experts want everyone to wear a mask. No apologies to Trump.

● Isn't it interesting that Trump said that this malaria drug hydroxychloroquine was effective against the virus and he was crapped all over by the experts. He was even blamed for some hillbillies taking the wrong drug. Now, a UN survey of doctors says that this very drug is the one they had the most success with. No apologies to Trump.

● The moment that Navy Captain's email went public, he was doomed. That's how the military works. You simply cannot go outside the chain of command. You cannot embarrass the Navy. You cannot declare a military weakness to the world. He may be a nice guy and he may be right, but he blew it.

● I have never seen so many people praying that others get sick as the media outrage that Sweden hasn't enforced social isolation. The media and their fellow travelers are practically begging God to smite those nasty Swedes. And the fact the Swedes aren't dropping in droves just p*sses our enlightened friends off. Why? I think the reason is obvious. If Sweden gets through this no worse than those cowering under their beds, then it will show that cowering under the bed was not the courageous and wise policy the herd wants to believe. That would be upsetting. We burned a lot of witches believing that we were righteous. What if we weren't? Die Swedes, die!

● I was hoping society would return to normal by the end of April. I think people are ready for it. But corporate America keeps pushing the date back, being afraid to be the first to jump right in. So don't look for leadership from them.

● I heard our glorious governor issued some order about everyone needing to wear a mask in public. I won't do it. He can go f* himself. And if I am forced, it's going to be a Guy Fawkes mask.

● It's funny that the media is horrified by a record six million unemployed. NEVER HAPPENED IN THE HISTORY OF MAN BEFORE!!! Well, that's technically only 4.4%. Under Obama, unemployment rose as high as 10% in October 2009 and he was credited with gloriously bringing it down to 4.8% by the end of his term. The median rate for him overall was 7.7%. By the way, that worked out to 15.3 million in October 2009 and he rarely got below 6 million. So how is this a record?

● Our grocery store had everything restocked except (1) brown sugar (too many bakers at home), (2) bleach (although we found some bleach pods), and (3) brussel sprouts. Really, people? I thought I was the only one eating those. We even found a trove of Kraft American cheese. Things seemed pretty normal.

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Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Lies, Damned Lies and Statistics

The title of this article is a famous quote by Mark Twain. It expresses things pretty well right now. We've talked about the liars and damned liars already -- many of whom are now trying to explain away their scaremongering before people figure out that they were had, but we haven't talked about the statistics. Let's do that. How many Americans have died from coronavirus? Believe it or not, you have no idea. Why?

One of the shocking things I learned as I grew up was that most statistics are bullspit, and the bigger the number the more likely it is to be bullspit. GNP is estimated with a fudge factor that is bigger than all the other inputs combined. Unemployment claims, which you think are added up from states, are based on surveys. Television ratings are estimated based on expectations. Book sales are based on pre-orders (estimates of upcoming sales) not actual sales. How many people prefer a toothpaste? That's done from a survey of as few as five people. How many women are wearing the wrong size bra (I actually saw this one once)? Made up from a marketing survey.

So what about coronavirus?

Well, we know the number of deaths, right? Ha. We know the number of people assumed to have died of coronovirus. Most were probably never tested, and even if they were, that only tells us they had it. You need an autopsy to know for sure and very few of them have been done. 7,000 people die every day (roughly) in the US already. 3,000 have died of this virus in two months, about 5 a day. Almost all of them were old and already sick. What are the chances that some of those 7,000 had heart attacks or the flu and it was wrongly attributed to coronavirus? Super high. So a good number of those 3,000 likely weren't really coronavirus deaths. Or what about the opposite? What about people who died of it, but it looked like a heart attack or the flu or pneumonia?

Ditto on who has the virus. We have no idea if someone who has the symptoms has it or has the flu without testing, and most don't get tested. On the flip side, no one who doesn't have the symptoms gets tested. So if 80% of sufferers show no symptoms, then the actual number of cases is 4-5 times higher than the reported number, they just aren't sick. In other words, it could be that almost none of the identified cases really have it and it could be possible that many times the number of reported cases exist.

But guess what?! That 80% figure which seems so sensible is itself based on total guesswork. It requires you to guess who has it (with almost none being tested) and divide the number by the number you think have it (without any being tested) who show no symptoms. So the one number is a guess based on the number of sick people you see without any idea who is really sick of what, and the bottom number is entirely pulled out of the expert's butts to create a percentage that could in truth range from 0% to 99% but sounds good at 80%.

We know nothing.

It gets worse. The media has been debating death rates to determine which country is doing better than other countries. Way to go Germany! Bad Italy! Yet, we not only don't know how many have died of the virus and we have no clue whatsoever how many have it. So they are using a formula that is essentially: Unknown but less than total dead people / no flippin' clue whatsoever, to tell us what country is doing well and which isn't. Does that make sense?

No, it doesn't. So remember that when the media is waving these numbers in your face, they are presenting you with a fantasy as if it were true.

At one point, Trump said the growth in the number of patients was the result of increased testing rather than increased spreading. That's true, but they crapped on him for saying it. The more you test, the more confirmed cases you find, the greater your numbers appear to become. The increase has nothing to do with more people having it or whatever, it's all about getting more numbers. Think of it this way. If you find an orange on the floor in the kitchen you know you have one orange. If you go look on the counter and find five more, the number in the kitchen hasn't increased, only the number known has. But the media is claiming that you have an orange pandemic because you found all six compared to your neighbor who didn't bother to look on the counter and claimed only to have one. That's what's happening here.

The rest of the debate is like this too. We now "KNOW" that healthy people can die. They probably can, but we don't know that. All we know is that people who self-reported as healthy have died. What we don't know -- and they likely didn't either -- is if they were really healthy. People drop dead of unknown conditions all the time. I know this won't be politically correct, but several of the recent "young and healthy" people were gay men. Wanna bet an AIDS connection, i.e. compromised immune system?

Here's the truth:
1. We don't know anything about the numbers, except...

2. We know that the death curve in the US has not been budged to any degree that would be statistically noticeable.
This last bit is important. It means that despite all the claims, there are not significantly more deaths than you would expect on any given day already. That means the virus has not changed the death rate of the world.

But what about this claim about hospitals being overwhelmed? Well, humans don't like overcapacity. That means that our hospital system is designed basically to take care of the number of people who are typically expected to be sick every day already. That means there is no room for more sick people. (For example, the ER at the hospital near me is a huge building, but it has only 36 beds... I know this because I've sat in the waiting room with my kids at times waiting for a bed to open). Add some new cause of illness and amazingly you suddenly end up overwhelmed with only a tiny number of new patients. Five a day would quickly overwhelm supply even though five a day is nothing to society.

None of this means not to worry. Don't think I'm saying that. Take precautions, take this seriously, be safe. It is dangerous and I want you all around. But don't believe the media drumbeat of chaos and the end of the world, and don't believe their attacks based on seemingly-solid but utterly invented statistics. That's just the modern version of witchhunting, only it's done with the false belief that this is genuine science.

Stay safe, but stay rational too.

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