Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Dr Erickson, Covid, Isolation Risks

It is WELL worth your time to watch at least "15 min" of this excellent video. The summary is easy:

  • We now know that unless you are in a vulnerable group, Covid is mild flu and needs to be treated as such.
  • Your immune system is like your muscles. It must be "exercised" to stay strong. Isolate, wear a mask, it will weaken -- and then you get sick. There are LOTS of germs and viruses can make you very sick and/or kill you. They did not go away just because everyone decided to focus on Covid! We used to keep sick people in bed for a long time, now we get them up ASAP -- we LEARNED! 

Get out, don't wear a mask. BE WELL! If people shame you, remember to love your neighbor! (unless of course you are in a vulnerable group!

The video is well done, lots of solid information with NO NAME CALLING! One of the bigger points is simply that "projections are not reality". They don't fault anyone for making doom and gloom projections, they would have done the same, early on!

What they want to get out now is that as for "some reason", our global health system (especially Europe and US) is failing to adjust for what is being seen in the real world as that information increasingly becomes available. 

WHY the the over reaction was as extreme as it has been, and why there is such reluctance to learn from the GOOD NEWS is still a mystery that needs to be better understood. This can't be "the new normal"!

Vary your news sources, look at sites like Worldometers, and SCALE THE NUMBERS to population. Observe that Sweden with no lockdowns, reasonable social distancing is doing pretty well.

Observe that in the US, the deaths are very localized:

Take a deep unmasked breath and LEARN!

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Face Masks For Viruses?

The evidence that they provide more than virtue signalling is sketchy at best.

Tribal Virtue, Biden "Standard"

As new evidence (largely ignored by MSM) that Biden was sexually harassing Tara Reade in 1993, we see a great example of the "Tribal Virtue Standard". The MSM / Deep State ruling class firmly established that standard with Chappaquiddick, and then doubled down with Bill Clinton.

Then there is the standard that the MSM / Deep State apply to conservatives. We recently saw it clearly with Kavenaugh and Roy Moore ... no matter how old or uncorroborated the allegations, they must be taken as gospel! The higher standard of "political virtue" (destroying conservativism) demands it! You can show your "virtue" by demanding that the "standard" of "all women must be believed" -- when they are attacking conservatives!

I could go into a long boring list of cases (Bob Packwood, Clarence Thomas, ... yes, sometimes the accused does "beat the charges", but not really -- where would they go get their reputation back?

As the above cases show, the "standard" applied to conservatives is "the accused is presumed guilty" -- the standard of tyranny. In California they have made it official.

So we have the current case of Sleepy Joe Biden with a video of the accusers mom calling Larry King back in '93 for corroboration. Naturally, “The Times found no pattern of sexual misconduct by Mr. Biden, beyond the hugs, kisses and touching that women previously said made them uncomfortable.”  Biden complained that the NY Times would report facts damaging to a Democrat, so they modified the story. Why can't we just all see that it is much better to be leftist!

Will Conservatives go all the way down to the Democrat "standard" in seeking to get a "media conviction" on Biden? Certainly Trump might indicate minor direction in that way -- although his failings were prior to his presidency.

OTOH the Roy Moore treatment indicated conservatives have a LONG way to go before they get even close to the "Biden Standard". when the ancient accusation is against one of their own. For conservatives, and especially conservative Christians, it is HARD to accept how corrupt the nation they once loved has become.  At least they showed some sense of "getting it" when it came to Kavenaugh. Sadly, the "Kavenaugh standard" means that SCOTUS appointment that supports the Constitution can only get confirmed when Republicans control the Senate.

What Corona makes abundantly clear in addition is that conservatives must build a much stronger backbone if the civilization is going to remain on life support rather than drop to total brain death! When politics becomes "god", as it has for the vast majority of the left, then "virtue" depends on following that political dogma perfectly,  even if it means giving up your religion, your freedom, and eventually, your life. MUCH better to understand that before the left tears down your church -- rather than just labeling it "nonessential".  If you cower just because the "experts say" that this virus is REALLY dangerous, you will certainly cower even more if the threat is greater than just "stay home and shut up".

The next few months and likely years will give us real insight into the costs of following the MSM / Global/Davos/ Deep State elite on Corona. No matter how bad it is, it is easy to see how it can get REALLY costly from here! Money is just money ... eternity is much more serious.

Freedom never has, and never will be "free" -- it is always costly. Christ gave his life so you could be eternally free from sin and death.  For us, it means taking reasonable risks, because freedom is always going to involve "harsh" things like risk, responsibility, hard work, standing up even when your position is unpopular, protesting loss of freedom, clinging to your guns and religion, and the rest of the Constitution, standing up for life, etc. Being free often means even being wrong -- that is often part of the cost of learning. If you think education by experience is expensive, try stupidity learned from a book!

Freedom means that if all your friends and relatives jump over a cliff, you DON'T FOLLOW!  You pray and follow Christ (even if he and his followers are being crucified)! Back in the bad old days, when I was kid, that was something parents taught -- along with "sticks and stones will break your bones, but words will never hurt you". Freedom absolutely requires that unpopular views MUST be stood up for! Sometimes people will even be hurt -- usually just their virtue and pride, but sometimes even their bodies. Historically freedom  often means standing up in war, as it Revolutionary, Civil, WWI and II, etc, etc

If you believe that freedom is too expensive, read "The Gulag Archipeligo" ... none of us get out of this mortal coil alive.

Once you give up standing up, you are reduced to just hoping that your rulers let you out to celebrate your "freedom" on the 4th of July. As Reagan said, "A liberal will strongly defend your right to agree with them!"

Let Joe and Corona go and you are walking toward tyranny. Walk toward the Cross vs popularity, science, wealth, comfort, likes on FB,  etc ... you will be eternally grateful!

The End Of The Corona Myth

An excellent summary article. Much like the end of the USSR, fracking will never lower gas prices. we are out of oil, cholesterol is bad, Trump colluded with Russia to steal the election, or countless other MSM / Deep State / global Davos elite myths, the "millions will die" Corona myth is fast taking its place in the litany of Mass Effects Mythology.

As it recedes into the past, the "powers that be" -- MSM, Deep State, global Davos elite, etc will move it into being the "fault" of Trump, corporations, big pharma, etc ... the big lie of "we are all in this together" will cover the tracks of reality.

 Was there actual elite panic? Was there massive short selling, or investment in producers of PPE (Personal Protective Equipment)"? Did China release this on purpose, possibly in concert with Russia and the Saudi's to tank the energy markets and try to kill the fracking companies? The list is way too long to draw any conclusions, but from the start, the response to Covid 19 was clearly extreme and and highly out of character to the many VERY comparable viruses of the past. "Why" is something very few are asking.

Naturally, it could all be just massive global incompetence. Consider that as of today, the deaths per million in NY are 1,153,  in Japan, 3 (THREE), and in South Dakota, castigated by the MSM last week for being a poorly managed "hot spot", they are 13 per million. Open your mind, escape the MSM matrix! Having an open mind and being able to honestly assess rather than follow the crowd of WHO/CDC etc can make a HUGE difference!

Anyway, we now know that Corona is way more infectious than even the worst case projections, and other than for the elderly and immunocompromised, WAY less serious/deadly than even the best case projections. Yet again, "predictions are hard to make, especially about the future", and "the map is not the territory"

One might think that we know these things, but clearly as a general population. we do not.

Thursday, April 23, 2020

Excellent Sheep

This book is old news for my regular readers -- we are in decline, our elite are significantly at fault, the abandonment of "soul" is a major cause. The author is not a believer, so his idol is "Great Books" ... Alan Bloom is often mentioned. The author has seen the problem that meaninglessness is a really bad problem, and credentialism is just making it worse. I agree -- we are meant to have a reason to live, a "what is it all for". Meaning matters.

He may have more credibility in the leftish quarters as he is a non-believer (in religion, he believes in "The Great Books") and a Yalie PHD / professor ... he has seen first hand that the elite pipeline isn't even good for the elite, let alone American culture.

"The system manufactures students who are smart, talented, and driven --yes, but also anxious, timid, and lost with little intellectual curiosity and a stunted sense of purpose: trapped in a bubble of privilege, heading meekly in the same direction, great at what they are doing but with no idea why they are doing it". 
 A quote from a student transferring out of Stanford:"I've seen my peers sacrifice health, relationships, exploration, activities that can't be quantified and are essential for developing souls and hearts, for grades and resume building". From a Yale student:"A friend of mine said it nicely -- I might be miserable, but if I were not miserable, I wouldn't be at Yale".

One of my favorite quotes from the book that reminds me of my IBM career:"It's hard to build your soul when everyone around you is trying to sell theirs". My soul was very screwed up in search of "money, promotion, recognition" while I was at IBM -- with a lot of Grace, I hope some healing is in process ... to the extent it happens, it will be by Grace through the Holy Spirit.

The author likens the assembly line of America's leading sheep to a salmon run. "The key word is "safety". Beneath the other factors - the entitlement, the lack of direction, the desire to not close down options - the force that drives the salmon run is fear."

In this spring of our Corona imprisonment, we see the fruits of the majority sheep flock being "led" by excellent sheep. The sheep-leaders panic and run this way and that as the now apparent puppy of Corona chases them (they were crying WOLF!, a true fear for elderly / infirm). They are driven by FEAR -- "what IF"??? Originally, some fear of over-reacting, followed by a panicked over reaction, now trending toward the cover up for the over reaction and economic damage. Sheep make poor "leaders" ... even "excellent ones".

His hope is "The Great Books", mine is Christ -- and Christ was the hope of the elite up to "God and Man At Yale" -- hope is certainly better than no hope, I prefer hope that has been shown to be valid for over 2K years.

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Limiting Free Geach

The linked lets you explore the case of Jonathan Geach, a Tennessee physician M.D. anesthesiologist who appears to be a "practical common sense country doctor" of the type of Lenard McCoy of Star Trek fame. Clearly the type of professional that must be silenced in today's "Yavol, you must follow the diktat of your state masters!" world. I'm beginning to think that Gates and the rest of the Davos elite have decided that things like Brexit and the Trump election are just much too threatening to their power and MUST be stamped out with "extreme prejudice" (no matter how many Deplorables  are collateral damage.

"We live in a world of liberal intolerance, of which I would never before have believed. Deplatforming, as this is called, is really a modern form of book burning. We must burn books that go against the dogma. I have good credentials and am a physician. My co-authors — four other physicians and a nurse practitioner — also had good credentials, and we advocated well-reasoned and duly sourced positions. Unfortunately, we hold the wrong opinion, and a “dangerous” one at that."

Freedom, as life itself, always will, and always has real costs. For those with "power", it means that their "power" is limited. For all who live, it means that life will remain full of uncontrollable risk. Certainly, attempts can be made to mitigate risk, however those will also always come with the very real chance that the mitigation turns out to have costs that turn out to be unacceptable in the longer term -- (and often every attempt is made to hide those costs).

The short version":

  • we know KNOW on the basis of real data that the extreme models are WAY wrong. Deaths per day has peaked  ... and that is with deaths likely being vastly over reported (if you die in the US, you are supposed to be tested, if you show Covid19, that IS the "cause") 
  • "Flatten the curve" turned out to be so "flat" that in all but the real hot spots (NYC, NJ, etc), medical practitioners are furloughed. People are drying from not being able to get treatment for standard medical conditions. 
  • Further testing has shown that the virus was much more widely spread already than was thought, thus bringing the actual death rate down to a bad flu season. 
  • Geach makes a good argument that the dread "2nd wave" is likely a paper tiger ... a bit technical to summarize easily, but worth looking at. 
The whole chain is a good read for those not already convinced that tyranny is acceptable.

Monday, April 20, 2020

The Big Lie

Just a good one to read and keep around. "We are all in this together". 

At the heart of every mass delusion, there’s a “big lie.” The big lie is a falsehood so outrageous and so obviously wrong, in retrospect people can hardly believe that anyone took it seriously.

Thursday, April 16, 2020

South Dakota Pork, Fake News

UPDATE: In observing comments on FB I realize that many failed to understand this post. I will attempt to simplify:

  1. READ THE LINKED Power Line post! They are MUCH better writers than I am! 
  2. The **KEY** is that WaPo converts an obvious correct action by Noem into a fake political issue. The plant was/is essential, the path of CDC, the state, and Smithfield is to quickly re-open! 
  3. The responses to the post in general indicate that the desire of many responders is to keep this in the political vs practical realm. There is even a desire by many to obfuscate a very simple issue by linking it to Michigan, having political parties, etc. Politics inhibits action! 
  4. I hope and pray that we can ALL agree that food is essential! There is no life without risk. The plant, nor the country can get back to production of food without risk. "Risk free" is not an option! 

So WaPo says the nasty SoDak governor Kristi Noem has resisted the call to lock down, and now SoDak is one of "the nation's largest Corona hotspots"!

Let's give that a tiny sniff -- all numbers from

So, this isn't so hard ... NY 11,148 cases per million, SD 1,351 ... SD is the 16th hottest "hot spot" in the US ranked by cases per million (which I use because it is a valid measure, it's 40thj if you use raw cases). Of course "cases" is pretty meaningless  ... try DEATHS per million SD is 45th "hottest", NY,  NJ,  CT,  LA,  MI,  MA lead that list as well.

For contrast, if you take the top 10 by cases/million, you find that Corona is remarkably concentrated in the US. It isn't very hard to tell that is something the MSM doesn't want us to pay much attention to. "Look at SD folks! It is governed by a REPUBLICAN and it is TERRIBLE!

So the political party of the governor has an effect on Corona response? Let's check that:
New York -- Andrew Cuomo (D)
Louisiana -- John Bel Edwards (D)
New Jersey -- Phil Murphy (D)
Massachusetts -- Charlie Baker(R
Connecticut -- Ned Lamont (D)
Rhode Island -- Gina Raimondo(D)
DC -- Muriel Bowser. (D)
Michigan -- Gretchen Whitmer(D)  
Pennsylvania -- Tom Wolf(D)
Delaware -- John Carney(D)

I'm certain that there is NO correlation there! Probably MA is in this list due to the incompetent R governor. It seems crystal clear!  ( ranked by cases/million)

So why DID Smithfield close the plant?

Next: the Smithfield story is actually an interesting one, but the Post tells us essentially nothing about it. First of all, the Sioux Falls facility is massive. It has 3,700 employees, of whom fewer than 10% have tested positive for COVID-19. The Sioux Falls facility is one of the main pork producers in the U.S., turning out around 18 million servings of bacon, pork chops, etc., per day. You may wonder, why were so many diagnostic tests performed on employees at that plant? The answer is that Smithfield implemented an aggressive program, in partnership with two major hospital systems, whereby anyone who entered or left the facility was questioned and had his or her temperature taken. Anyone who reported having a cough, etc., or who showed an elevated temperature was tested for COVID-19.
So, if you do aggressive testing, you find more cases!

The whole Powerline as well as WaPo article is worth a read. Naturally, WaPo, with their motto "We Worship Darkness" follows this to it's "root cause" ... TRUMP! If you only get your news from articles like this in the WaPo, it would seem clear that Republican Governors are a major cause of the spread of Corona! 

But the governor continued to resist. Instead, she used a media briefing Monday to announce trials of a drug that President Trump has repeatedly touted as a potential breakthrough in the fight against the coronavirus, despite a lack of scientific evidence.
Yup,  as experts castigated Trump in late January as being too aggressive, the constant is always "Trump is wrong" -- and as you can see, the media is always trustworthy!

Monday, April 13, 2020

The Biggest Corona Problem Is Eternal

Always among the most sobering or truths ...

Stated by Socrates:  “The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing.”

Stated by Solomon: "The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding."

Stated by Jesus: "I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing."

Stated by the linked article which references Cardinal Ratzinger, whose wisdom I have often appreciated:

The bigger (perhaps biggest) problem is that nobody has any idea what is true. Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, just before Pope Benedict XVI talked about the ‘dictatorship of relativism.’ What he meant is that, without any grounding in Christian concepts of natural law, humans have a tendency to believe in anything so long as it satisfies their sense of self. This leaves us living under a tyranny which, as Ratzinger put it, ‘recognizes nothing as absolute and which only leaves the “I” and its whims as the ultimate measure.’ 
That’s what is happening with the COVID-19 panic. Nobody really understands the scale of the problem. Almost everybody, truthers and alarmists, are grasping at nothing. We can’t admit the most frightening truth of all, which is that none of us knows anything at all.
I certainly lean "truther" because my bias is to question the prevailing elite dogma. The more I'm called a "bitter clinger" or a "deplorable", the more I question the earthly wisdom and cling to the Cross.

Because my understanding of the human condition is that we WILL believe in something, my faith is in Christ -- and since it is faith, it won't be defended here as "rational", however it is just as easy (and I find it easier) to RATIONALIZE in comparison to Materialism, Progressivism, Secular Humanism, Scientism, Historicism,  etc 

Saturday, April 11, 2020

Heretics, Wisdom, Hydroxychloroquine

So on Monday the NY Times published a story that contained the following:

“Mr. Trump himself has a small personal financial interest in Sanofi, the French drugmaker that makes Plaquenil, the brand-name version of hydroxychloroquine,” the paper reported. The story later went into more detail: “As of last year, Mr. Trump reported that his three family trusts each had investments in a Dodge & Cox mutual fund, whose largest holding was in Sanofi.”
For those deep in TDS (Trump Derangement Syndrome), naturally this had to go viral -- it fits the narrative! Trump is only in it for the money, and now he is trading people's health for his financial gain! Spread that "fact" far and wide!

However as the WaPo (not exactly "right wing") points out:

That Sanofi investment would therefore constitute between 0.000003 and 0.00005 percent of Trump’s net worth. If you were worth $100,000, it would be like worrying about the nickel in your pocket.
So I hear that "Trump is pushing this drug to benefit his finances" from a not very politically interested source. When I question where that came from, the answer is "a reliable person" ... and there is disbelief in my questioning the information. "How are we supposed to know who to believe"?.

Indeed. My personal creed is "nobody but God -- in him I trust, everyone else gets verified". Oh, and I definitely don't trust myself!

How do I verify? One way is AllSides ... it looks at the story from left, right, and center.

Another is simply to go to "the other side" -- WSJ and National Review lean right, and 90% of the MSM leans left. Once you look at both sides, as in this case, "if it seems sensational, it is most likely fake"! Why? Because sensational sells! "Nothing much of interest happened today" doesn't. Media is a business. There is also a tendency of media to lean left, because media is a "watcher" rather than a "doer" profession.

 When you DO, you get more humble and uncertain -- stuff you do fails, breaks, doesn't turn out like you expected, etc, etc When you WATCH, it is easy to construe your ever changing positions as "always right". This is the reason that people that "do" tend to be more conservative.

This is a pretty classic case -- since there is "some truth" in the claim "0.000003 and 0.00005 ", it isn't a "lie" to say that Trump might get "benefit" from this. If you hate him, ANY benefit he might get is going to turn your stomach, and certainly if you hate him, spreading the negative story is going to feel good to you and get "likes" from those in your tribe. It will signal your "virtue" to your tribe.

Then, like the Corona virus, you spread it! And most likely those who are not in your tribe know what billionaires don't worry about "0.00005" of their wealth ... neither do you. However we ALL like to be "right" and have a "scoop" to share  ... "hey did you hear" is fun interaction, only with advent of Fake News, it is now often also "community/family poison". Nobody likes family and friends not believing what they are passing on. They got the scoop from someone they trusted and they are passing it on -- if you are their friend, why don't you just assume that it is the truth?

Social media worsens this effect -- the natural human instinct is to "like like" -- we will feel little serotonin  jolts when we get agreement in any form, and getting "likes" and positive comments on Facebook gives those jolts, and it is addictive! (that is why Zuckerberg is rich. We are working for him for free!)

Until Trump came along, the number of people that realized how actually biased and "fake" news really was maybe "30%". For both good and ill (the "ill" being less blind agreement), Trump changed that -- he questioned the news, and it turned out he was often right. "Russiagate" was in fact a political witch hunt based on illegal spying by the CIA, FBI, etc. The "investigators" finally had to bear some well deserved scrutiny. With the addition of Trump, the number of people that questioned the "accepted narrative" went up -- GREAT for freedom and effective democracy since every issue has at least two sides, and typically many more. If the issue is "settled", it is most likely significantly wrong, and likely getting more wrong as time goes by.

Why? Because apart from God, change is at least a constant in human affairs. There are new discoveries, new technologies, new ideas, etc, -- without the grounding of God and Truths "endowed by our creator", and support of things like hard to change Constitutions,  it is indeed very easy to slip into post-modern "there is no truth, it is all relative / white privilege"!

Of course, humans created by God still hunger for TRUTH! So while they smugly say that "there is no truth", in the next breath they will proudly say "it's settled science". Since we are not rational, but rather master rationalizing creatures, this is "only natural". When you fail to pray for the wisdom to accept that GOD is the basis of all wisdom, and any little hint of it we can discern is an undeserved gift from him.

I was blessed with the experience of not being able to remember my name due to a brain infection, though I was fully conscious and aware -- just not "intelligent".  I thankfully was able to pray "Lord have mercy" -- no hope of the Lord's Prayer that I had prayed twice a day for years though. I've been blessed to be a person with much to be humble about!

Back when I read Bernard Goldberg's "Bias" I was struck as he talked about the CBS NY newsroom stunned that Reagan had won in 1980. None of the people in the room knew a singe person who had voted for him, yet he won by a landslide! How could that be? What Goldberg realized then was that they were all so biased and in such a bubble that they didn't even realize they were biased. They in fact thought that they had no bias at all!

We are all mostly in that state most of the time, and it takes A LOT to even realize that, let alone be able to see and understand the typically MANY "sides" of reality. To add insult to injury, especially when we are afraid, our natural tendency is to become sheep -- feeling those jolts of serotonin as we become more and more compliant and increasingly bleat our "virtue" of our maximum compliance with the herd. Hitler is easy to understand in the time of Corona!

In this Easter Season, pray for God to send us heretics! !

Friday, April 10, 2020

Bad Models, Politics Kills, Learning

A FB responder to the excellent PL report said the following:

"Look up how CDC estimates the burden of seasonal influenza in the U.S. and then look up their post-mortem guidelines for handling Covid-19. It's interesting when you approach it from the position of having to create models, especially under pressure, with flawed and/or limited data."
My methodology (below) as I thought of this ... I THINK what the FB responder may be trying to say is "well, the reporting / models might not be right, but it is really hard".  

Well, yes ... "Predictions are hard to make, especially about the future", AND, the map/models are NEVER reality/the territory! 

SO, in pretty much every case prior  to this Corona,  FIRST, "we do no, or minimal harm" ... like we isolate the elderly / vulnerable, we start doing randomized testing and observe hot spots, we take "reasonable measures" to isolate those hot spots ... and we keep doing that randomized testing to get an increasingly accurate ACTUAL death rate, and with increasing knowledge we continue to adapt, making adjustments as we learn. 

So the really big question is WHY NOT THIS TIME? 

So I read CDC methodology for estimate of seasonal flu burden ... in summary:
  • It's complicated
  • It's slow so we keep revising it 
  • Since we keep revising it, comparisons with past numbers may not be valid. 
  • We do a lot of "adjustments" whenever we want, based on our changing "assumptions, models. etc" and especially to justify our existence and get more funding (we REALLY hope they don't consider that last part very much!) 
Really short summary -- "trust us" ... no matter what changes we make.

Then I read ... most interesting to me was that they changed the reporting on the 15th of March to get rid of "presumed". 

I've looked at CDC reporting on H1N1 in the past ... summary "to calculate the burden of 2009 pandemic influenza A (pH1N1) in the United States, we extrapolated from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Emerging Infections Program laboratory-confirmed hospitalizations across the entire United States, and then corrected for under-reporting. From 12 April 2009 to 10 April 2010, we estimate that approximately 60.8 million cases (range: 43.3-89.3 million), 274,304 hospitalizations (195,086-402,719), and 12,469 deaths (8868-18,306) occurred in the United States due to pH1N1. Eighty-seven percent of deaths occurred in those under 65 years of age with children and working adults having risks of hospitalization and death 4 to 7 times and 8 to 12 times greater, respectively, than estimates of impact due to seasonal influenza covering the years 1976-2001. In our study, adults 65 years of age or older were found to have rates of hospitalization and death that were up to 75% and 81%, respectively, lower than seasonal influenza. These results confirm the necessity of a concerted public health response to pH1N1.

So, H1N1 had a much greater impact on the young than Covid-19, as of today, total US deaths reported are 18K ... HEAVILY (like 89% + skewed to 70+ age) -- which makes "how you report" a very critical factor (PL post). As of today we are just short of .5 million cases, vs the 60 million final total for H1N1 . 

It isn't hard to find much higher estimates for H1N1 ,,, this CDC source says 10x, or 200K deaths WW.

Here is a great article on the likely extreme overstatement of Covid-19 deaths. Again, WHY are many WW heath organizations looking to overstate Covid -19 deaths, while in comparison, I think we can be pretty certain that China is vastly under-reporting for obvious reasons. 

We all need to be aware of Japan ... as of today their death rate is .8 per million compared to our 54 and Spain's 342. Those are VERY different numbers, therefore HUGE opportunities for learning! 

That is my biggest concern here, that we LEARN! Socialism and open borders KILL

The Socialist-led government of Pedro S├ínchez reacted late and clumsily. The country lacked essential equipment. Ventilators, protective clothing for doctors and coronavirus tests are still only just being sourced. China has gone from villain to saviour, as equipment and tests pour in – much of it brokered by the same Chinese immigrant community that has closed shops and shut itself away to avoid a racist backlash.

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Corona, The Eeyore Syndrome

An excellent analysis, as nearly everything by VDH tends to be.

I especially liked this trenchant observation:
The sunnier prognosticators suffer a lose-lose dilemma rather than the pessimist’s win-win chances. If one doubts these original nightmarish Imperial College worst-case predications of 2 million-plus deaths in the United States, and is proven correct, it matters little. The pessimist argues that it was only his bleak forecasts that changed behaviors and that, without such changes, the optimist’s obviously faulty data and poor reasoning would have led policymakers over a cliff.
If the optimist is wrong and the situation becomes far grimmer than he initially predicted, he is not just wrong but culpable, with, to quote the Boston Globe, “blood on his hands.”
In the Deep State / MSM ruled present, we are always in a "Heads I win, tails you lose" dynamic relative to the elites. Sadly, in even the medium run, that is precisely why civilizations fall -- learning requires accepting and learning from failure.

Why have we been increasingly failing to learn since FDR? 

The punchline ...

Given the media’s horrific prognostications of mass death, and given the Left’s insistence that Donald Trump owns the nation’s reaction to the virus, if the U.S. dodges the viral bullet and ends up by midsummer with far less death, infection, hospitalizations, and economic damage than predicted, then we know what follows: a boomerang that paints Trump as also owning a miraculous recovery from what was once forecast as some sort of 1918-type wipeout. 
So what is called for from our modelers and pessimists is a little humility. The Eeyores simply do not have enough information — yet — to issue the sort of dire warnings that have now become characteristic and determinative in setting policies of life and death for hundreds of millions. 
Finally, because of the new role of the electric lynch mob of social media, the polarized red–blue divide, the murky continuing role of China, the 2020 election year, the novelty of the coronavirus and the reaction to it, and the sensationalism and institutional bias of an often reckless media, be prepared for an impending Armageddon of blame and hindsight.

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Nothing About Everything (NAE), Vs Everything About Nothing (EAN)

The title is the unfortunate choice required of our limited human brains -- as you can no doubt see, I know nothing about everything (NAE).

Naturally, being human, we all assume that our "knowledge slice" is the "best one". News at 11, it isn't .... maybe MacGyver, the FICTIONAL character had "the right slice", but I doubt it.

Being human, we also are beset with an unfortunate fascist, pious, pride -- "if you don't agree with me, SHUT UP!" In this age of incivility many tend to throw the ubiquitous Fword in there to REALLY impress!

For some people, it isn’t enough that we have locked down our daily lives. They want us to lock down our brains, too. Raise so much as a peep of criticism about the shutdown of society in response to COVID-19 and you will be raged against. And the cry is always the same: ‘Are you an expert? No. So shut the hell up.’
So when there is a chance to go full "feminazi", or "PC saint", many are prone to go for it ... and even revel in it. Me being no exception. I do have to pray for humility in my NAE! (although, they don't give a Nobel for NAE, so I also get to feel justified in being discriminated against! ;-) )

Thus, at one time in the dim and distant past, we believed that difference of opinion was one of our more sacred moral precepts. We held things like the First Amendment to be more than just dead words in a document -- we LIVED THEM,! We understood that each of our opinions had their own little civic sacredness. We once taught our children that "if everyone else jumps over a cliff, are you going to follow them?"  Following the crowd was not an American ideal. Independent thought was a core American moral principle. ALL were all CREATED equal -- we were each a unique creation of GOD, and honoring that in especially those whom you disagreed with was critical to our society!

YOU (meaning everyone) were once special and your opinion was valuable!

Today, not so much. For many, the "experts" are to be slavishly followed over the cliff with no discussion.

It won't be those quietly sitting on the couch and whining about anyone that dares to question authority that get us out of this. One by one, people are going to have to stand up!
So we actually need more debate, not less. Everyone’s opinion and judgment to be thrown into the mix. All those ‘nobodies’ who don’t even have PhDs and may never have been to university — let’s not leave them at home awaiting news on their own futures; let’s engage them in a massive democratic debate about how we think this virus should be tackled and when we think the lockdown should end.

Monday, April 6, 2020

After Liberalism

A worthy article to ponder a bit more, the biggest issue being "define liberalism". Since it is Brtitish, I'm assuming they mean "small government, lots of capitalism", but I'm not sure, they mean "progressiveness" ... but I doubt it.

The following is more true of progressiveness -- and it adds to the confusion of the piece. Traditional liberalism focusing on limiting the government, which DOES "liberate and elevate the individual", however since it is supportive of community, family, and tradition, it doesn't have the same expense for"faith, family, community, etc" ...
Liberalism aims to liberate and elevate the individual. This is very appealing, but it has maximized our freedom at the expense of the ties that bind us to place and people: faith, family, community, class, nation. To repeat, this is not an inherently right-wing critique. For the past three decades, various thinkers — Fred Dallmayr, John Gray, Frank Furedi, Phillip Blond, John Milbank — have warned their fellow progressives that individualism comes at the cost of solidarity, and that solidarity is just as important to the happiness of the individual as autonomy or choice.
Again, it is "progressivism" rather than "traditional liberalism" that is predominately failing -- though traditional liberalism also has it's problems. "Why Liberalism Failed" covers this well.
The confusion of aims and policies on both sides of the Atlantic can be explained simply: the goal of post-liberals is to preserve tradition, but being westerners, their pre-eminent tradition is liberalism, so that’s what they find themselves defending.

Feynman, Science, Experts, Trump

My favorite quote from this piece is “Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts. When someone says 'science teaches such and such', he is using the word incorrectly. Science doesn’t teach it; experience teaches it”.

I was once an actual assembly language programmer. As a university graduate, I knew something of the theory as to why things worked, however some of the guys that were derisively called "sweepings from the manufacturing floor" (no degrees, IBM trained them in-house). were actually better at "getting it done". 

Another way of saying it is "Those who can, DO, those who can't, teach". 

Yet another is "The map is not the territory". 

We have a fantastic opportunity to understand these truths much better at this point in time. As TR said so well: 

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat. 
Trump is the man in the arena. The media, the FB critics, the Democrats, etc are not -- and we can be thankful that is the case.

In this day of thoughtless judgement and snap tribalism, I sadly have to explain that this is NOT to say that "experts, teachers, critics, opposition parties, etc" are not needed, THEY ARE ! We just need to return to "common sense". If my plumbing is bad, I don't need a PHD in flow dynamics, I need a PLUMBER!

Reality often falls to comply with theories, models. the most votes, etc

God gives different gifts -- use them them with thanks, and be thankful for others using their gifts! Rom 12:6-8

We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith;  if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.

Sunday, April 5, 2020

Dyson, Heresy

Dyson was a heretic, Christ is a heretic, Luther was a heretic, Churchill was a heretic ... we NEED heretics! Heretics are always dangerous to the accepted wisdom, and they are often dangerous period -- like people have died because of each of those mentioned. Reality is also dangerous -- the death rate is 100%, and freedom is NOT everyone being treated the same! We are each God's unique creation FOR HIS PURPOSE ... not ours.

A heretic questions the prevailing dogma ... Dyson questions AGW, Christ preaches Grace fulfilling the Law, Luther preached Grace in place of Roman Catholic law, Churchill questioned the belief that suing for peace with Hitler was the only option.

The article is worth the read -- especially in this time of plague in which I am writing, heresy even less popular than it always is. Typically, a time when we need it most!

I will not attempt to summarize the lessons that my readers should learn from these heresies. The main lesson that I would like them to take home is that the long-range future is not predetermined. The future is in their hands. The rules of the world-historical game change from decade to decade in unpredictable ways. All our fashionable worries and all our prevailing dogmas will probably be obsolete in fifty years. My heresies will probably also be obsolete. It is up to them to find new heresies to guide our way to a more hopeful future.

Friday, April 3, 2020

Edison, Edmund Morris

I mostly enjoyed this book, though I found the Morris technique of chronicling Edison's life in reverse to be unhelpful.

I had not realized the worldwide fame and admiration of Edison around the turn of the century ... comparable to Lindbergh after his flight. With a little reflection it is pretty easy to understand. For conscious beings, the power to turn night into day was indeed Promethean, and they were grateful.

Edison liked to be in control, and he was supremely confident in his visions -- he was certain that he could employ magnetism and massive technical advancement in mining to corner the market on iron production. He lost massively to the iron rich Mesabi Range in northern MN to the tune of many millions and years of wasted time for a brilliant man.

When we say "hello", Edison invented that.

As a mostly deaf man, he was a strange sort of audiophile -- always searching for perfection in sound with the phonograph being his personal favorite invention.

He was BOTH an inventor and a master of applied technology  -- he was able to visualize all the parts that were needed to deliver PRACTICAL electric lights to the masses, and was able to invent the pieces required to make  it happen (wiring, substations, dynamos, switches, etc). He, was able to lead a band of technologists (in his own eccentric way) to get the WHOLE THING done.

Possibly his most critical invention was the development laboratory.

To vastly oversimplify the AC/DC decision, Edison was "technically correct" about AC, however in the day, AC was more practical to widely distribute. Today, we may be heading to the DC world of Edison's vision. The Tesla / Edison personal "war" was more a made for media creation than a reality.

He was a difficult father and spouse -- which is not at all uncommon for men of at least near genius and absolute dedication to their visions -- many visions in Edison's case.

His "kaleidoscopic laser" focus was a great asset and a great liability. He could shift his focus at the drop of a hat and be "gone" for days, months, even years (in the case of mining), when that focus would have been much more "productively" applied in other areas. However, who is to say if that was possible -- the muse is hardly ever a slave to practicality.

His energy and stamina were incredible throughout his life 20 hour "average" workdays for long stretches, driving himself and certainly his assistants to exhaustion in pursuit of the "aha".

The time in which a book is read has an effect on what the reader sees in it. Edison lived through the time of the Civil War, WWI and of interest today, the Spanish Flu -- none of these were of that large an effect in Edison's life. WWI the most, because his batteries had explosive issues and submarines were important. The US military made a fairly big show of having Edison involved in weapons research, however the bureaucracy largely just wanted to use his name, not his innovations or recommendations. 

 I don't believe the Spanish Flu was mentioned in the book. Reading history gives perspective. When we live through an event ... JFK assassination, moon landing, end of the USSR, 911, etc, it SEEMS to be "historic"  at the time, however time -- and our personal and societal biases of course, are the arbiter of it's actual effect. We all know this life is finite. If this is all there is, then history, nor our lives really "matter", because mattering involves some idea of "meaning" or "purpose", and godless randomness lacks both.

In the context of "progress" toward more ease, longer less painful lives, more atomization of community, family, culture, etc, Edison is very much a hero. He was a firm believer that technology was the solution.

In today's psychological language, Edison may have been quite high on the Asperger scale -- his experience as a young boy of having a playmate drown, wait around for him, get tired of waiting then go home and have to be woken up at night to be asked when he last saw him seems quite disconcerting  (they found the body after Edison told them where he disappeared). The incident seemed to have little effect on him.

A decent book ... I would be tempted to do more evaluation and would likely choose another given a second chance.