Thursday, May 28, 2020

Why Science Is An Annoying Bitch


















From Comments:
"Aesop,
Would it be fair to suggest that, as lay persons, we do not know shit about the CV-19? Would it be further advisable, considering the lack of consensus among the researchers, to err on the side of caution? Is there definitive, rock solid information upon which we can make informed decisions other than the suggested cautious approach?

I need someone to tell me what I need to know. I need the certainty. I need succor.... "

Everyone is a layperson at something, in fact, at most things.

The bigger problem is that most people stopped doing science somewhere around high school.
So they forget (if they ever learned) that there's no such thing as "settled science". Nor "scientific consensus".

As Michael Crichton famously said in a lecture I refer to and quote from frequently:
"In science, consensus is irrelevant. What is relevant is reproducible results. The greatest scientists in history are great precisely because they broke with the consensus. There's no such thing as consensus science. If it's consensus, it isn't science. If it's science, it isn't consensus."
It's fair to say that the experts don't know shit about COVID-19. If anyone looked at the JAMA Online website on a recent post where I linked to it, one of the papers published was a list of all the things that were known and unknown about Kung Flu, specifically with the purpose of jerking people's chains in the research biz about things that they should be trying to nail down, to the extent possible.

At this point, most of the map of Kung Flu is marked "Here be dragons." Most of what we know is extrapolated or interpolated from other versions of coronavirus, and prior pandemics. Science is a tool for exploring the unknown. It provides clues, and a framework for learning. What it isn't designed to do is provide philosophic certainty and ontological comfort.

Actual honest science is but a framework, just as certainly as a latticework of 2x4s begins a house.

Science is not, nor was ever intended to be, a paneled living room with nice paint and wallpaper, cozy décor, and a comfortable chair next to the fireplace.

This is why people who do science are generally lousy at building houses, and people who actually build houses are lousy at doing science.

And the people who cannot cope with things they don't like, because they don't like them, are usually lousy at both things. Rich people have choices in that, and can order life to conform to their wishes in many instances. Those less financially fortunate have no such options, and end up living in cardboard boxes, because life refuses to bend over and kiss their ass. Those of us between the two extremes pick our battles, and try to ignore the things we cannot change and cannot stand to deal with, if we don't have to do so.

What's kicking most peoples' asses now is that they cannot ignore Kung Flu, and don't want to deal with it, nor will it conform to how they wish the world was. Hence the massive amount of hitherto sensible people who are serially and collectively losing their shit.

They just can't cope, and they're not resilient enough to deal with uncertainty and chaos that seemingly never ends.

The rest of this year, and this crisis, will not go well for them, and their responses thus far bode poorly for their eventual status.

Darwin snickers in the wings.

 

Another Headshot To "Just The Flu, Bro" Narrative






USA! USA! We're #1! We're #1!
How did we get there?



Now you know why.

2020: the Year Of The L-Shaped Recovery












It is said that the measure of a man's intelligence is related to how much he agrees with you.

By that standard, John Wilder is brilliant in his latest post.

In it, he looks at the recent prognostication by Scott Adams, of Dilbert fame, that the economy is going to come surging right back.

Unfortunately, Scott is wronger than two boys fornicating.

And as noted above in comments at the OP, Adams is, indeed, smoking industrial quantities of hopeium.
I share his wish that things would be otherwise, but people can't buy groceries with wishful thinking.

As we told you back at the beginning of the month, the oil business isn't going to bounce back. Probably not for near a decade.
The auto manufacturing business - and 400 ancillary industries - aren't going to bounce back.
Airline travel drop-off is going to kill some major carriers.
Tourism, hotels, and everything related won't be back for a year.
Hollywood is looking at the south end of a northbound worst-movie-summer-in-recorded-history since Thomas Edison invented the motion picture. TV production is on the longest hiatus since the last writer's strike. People in the biz are losing their houses.
Concerts? Gone.
Trade shows? Gone.
Sportsball? On life support.
Farmers? Lucky to stay off of food stamps this year.
Restaurants? This year will probably be the most closures and bankruptcies since 1929.
Retail? Aloha. Malls are going to be the new ghost towns.

And all those employees? The ones not working anytime soon?
They'll be the exact ones NOT buying all of the above goods and services.

This isn't going to be a V-shaped recovery.
It isn't going to be a U-shaped recovery.

Welcome to 2020: The Year Of the L-shaped Recovery™.
(Anybody can use that one, but *I* said it first.)

And before this year is out, we'll be happy if we could just get back to the Obozo economy.
Getting back to the Trump economy from 2019 will likely be something that takes years and years.
If ever.

Ask Weimar, Zimbabwe, or Venezuela: you can't inflate your way to prosperity.
It fails every time it's tried.

Buckle in, kids. if you've got a paying job to go back to, count your blessings.
And if not, start scrambling.
Like Tom-Brady-looking-at-a-wall-of-blitzing-linebackers scrambling.

Because if you don't you're going to be sacked, and become roadkill.
Just part of the collateral damage from Kung Flu.
And if you aren't careful, you'll find out that massive unemployment brings Famine, which brings Plague, which brings Death. And the unrest from that brings War. Which doubles down on the first three.

No points for noting that all four of those riders come visiting on Four Horses.

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Why It's Easy To Make This Look Easy
























There are some smart people blogging out there.
There are some others who are smart within their own subject matter expertise.
And then, there are a whole lot of dumb people who don't have even that narrow skill set.

Literally anybody can play pretend smart on the internet. You don't even have to take a physical.

The ass-kicker problem there is when you say something that sounds smart, until someone with 1 more IQ point starts looking a micrometer under the surface.

Say, for instance, you decided to report on the hot-button issue, COVID-19, AKA Kung Flu.

You might link to a partisan agenda-driven article, written by a guy whose entire science expertise peaked in eighth grade earth studies, and whose math skills are severely taxed just to balance his own checkbook.

And then distill that questionable fount of received wisdom down to something like this:

"Antibody testing in New York has also arrived at 13.9% infection rate."
Someone who didn't know you were half-bright, and quoting another half-bright, (we'll let our brighter readers work the math on that for the product of that problem) and had not done even the most rudimentary link-following on the problem, wouldn't see the gaping flaws in that conclusion, or the 57 problems with doing things so slap-dash.

They wouldn't for example, have followed their first link to find the breadcrumbs from which that narrative was woven. Like this one:

(CBS-NY 4/23)New York has its first real data of how many people may have been infected by and survived the coronavirus.Gov. Andrew Cuomo released the results of a preliminary antibody study.{Emphasis mine. -A.}
The clever words  "may have" are what we call "weasel words", not because they're false or even trying to deceive, but because they are useful, and frequently necessary, words used to leave room for the possibility of change, when all the data are collected, collated, and analyzed properly, before it's finalized. Life is shades of gray, not black and white. Cement-heads (so called because they can only do concrete reasoning, and not hypothetical reality-testing) unaccustomed to analysis don't get this obvious reality.

They would also miss that this was a preliminary study, for exactly those reasons.

But the most glaring omission was failure to investigate and find out that this recent conclusion was based on news which came out back on April 23rd, not yesterday, and the entire "survey" upon which that dubious conclusion was based was full of more shit than a Christmas goose, which was well-known within minutes of it being revealed publicly.

Like the obvious sampling bias in only surveying the people out and about in NYFC at the height of the outbreak when the virus was killing 2000 people/day in the US.

Like using an unproven test, with no validation ever even attempted, merely because it was available, though potentially hugely inaccurate.

Like failing to note that quoted 13.9% blended rate ignore gaping omissions of relevant facts, to wit:

As far as the breakdown by region:
  • Long Island, 16.7%
  • New York City, 21.2%
  • Westchester/Rockland, 11.7%
  • The rest of [NFY] state 3.6%
 Like failing to note obvious realities, such as the fact that antibodies may not indicate infection by Kung Flu, but merely mild exposure to someone with the disease, and thus no post-infection immunity.

Like ignoring that the entire test may indicate coronavirus antibodies, without indicating specific COVID-19 coronavirus antibodies.

And overlooking the accuracy of the test itself is totally questionable:

(CBS-NY 4/20) Med-Rite and practices like New York Internal Medicine in Whitestone are utilizing tests produced by Brooklyn-based Lenco Labs.  

Lenco is one of around 100 companies offering antibody testing after the FDA announced there would be regulatory flexibility without its usual standard formal review because antibody tests have the potential to answer complex questions regarding when we can return to work.

The FDA has granted emergency-use authorization of the tests to a select few, including Mount Sinai laboratory. Emergency use authorization means the organization can use an unapproved medical product in an emergency to diagnose, treat or prevent serious or life-threatening diseases when there is no available approved alternative. 
“Even a very small false positive rate could lead to hundreds of thousands of people being told that they’re safe, when they might not be,” said Dr. Ania Wajnberg, the director of Mount Sinai’s antibody testing program.

The governor says patrons of supermarkets around the state will be recruited at random for testing.
And then, it gets even worse:
Dr. Steven Spitalnik has overseen the development of a test distributed to some health staff at Columbia and New York-Presbyterian hospitals. 
“We also do another nasal swab to see if they’re still positive. Between 14 and 28 days after resolution of symptoms, we and others have found up to 30 percent of individuals are still positive by the nasal swab, and they have antibodies too,” he said.
For the Common Core grads, that means a good number of the Swinging Richards out there testing positive in this half-assed "survey" with antibodies were/are walking around fully infected, contagious, and spreading them like Johnny Appleseed  everywhere they go 24/7, which is why NYFC is the Ground Zero of this pandemic outbreak in the U.S.

Because they're fucking idiots.

This is before simply granting the thesis of the original stupidity, arguendo, and then asking simply,

"Okay, genius, NYFC has a 20% infection rate. So you're telling us that you want to jack that up by 5X there, and 25X everywhere else, because we don't have enough people dead from this yet???" 

Now, look, kids.
We kicked the shit out of the retardation behind this bogus and half-assed NY "survey" weeks ago. And then, too, we did it for the specific benefit of the recockulous assertions of the same internet soopergenius, who evidently can't follow a link or read and process a story to save his life. Literally.

The test was crap.
The "sampling" was crap.
The preliminary results were and are crap.

Shit x shit x shit = More shit.
Then you take partisan hack with an axe to grind, basing his recockulous conclusions off of such total shit, and run it through the filter of someone not bright enough to notice, A, B, C, and D through Z, and you get the original thesis.

And all it took to uncover that was about three mouseclicks, which the OP never bothered to attempt, obviously. Let alone reading what was then found, at even a middle-school level of comprehension.

If someone is going to blog without doing that level of due diligence, they're going to need 9-1-1 on speed dial.

Cleat marks in your dick are always hard to heal, but it really doesn't help when you put on a blindfold, and sharpen your cleats, before you stomp all over your own junk.
Take the blindfold off, take the cleats off, and sit down. And probably, go put on some serious bandaging, before you do yourself even worse injury. If such is possible.

BONUS: For those able and willing to read something harder than an agenda-driven column, the facts about the outbreak, and how it compares to seasonal influenza, are accessible online, and digestible by anyone who made it to 9th grade:
JAMA Internal Medicine: Deaths from COVID-19 and seasonal Flu.


Monday, May 25, 2020

The Price For Your Today Was All Of Their Tomorrows





































"If you are able, save them a place inside you,
And save one backward glance when you are leaving,
for the places they can no longer go.

Be not ashamed to say you loved them,
though you may, or may not have always.
Take what they have left, and what they have
taught you with their dying, and keep it as your own.

And in that time that when men decide, and feel safe,
to call the war insane, take one moment,
to embrace these gentle heroes you left behind."

- Major Michael D. O'Donnell
KIA, Cambodia, March 1970





Sunday, May 24, 2020

Sunday Music: Big Yellow Taxi




This particular earworm has been quietly sitting on The List since last June, waiting patiently for its appointed day, and now I find it eerily prescient, as I listen to the chorus, and think about the world and economy of only this past January.
Don't it always seem to go
That you don't know what you got till it's gone...
Truer words, gentle readers, truer words.

Appreciate what (and who) you've got, while you can.
You have no idea how fleetingly they may be there to enjoy.
Have a happy Sunday.

Saturday, May 23, 2020

Live By The Celebrity Jackhole, Die By The Celebrity Jackhole

h/t WRSA

























Sounds pretty good, right?











Everybody gets old. Most of those who do eventually get senile. I watched it happen to my mom before she passed. It'll probably happen to me, and you, unless you get really, really lucky, if you live long enough, and your mind leaves you before your heart stops beating.

Consequently, everyone says and does things at the twilight of their life that are not only unlike them, and horribly bad examples of someone who's lost their craft and/or their faculties, they're actually jackassically stupid, bordering on outright crazy.

The Right has somehow latched onto Ted Nugent as a banner carrier. Call it Stockholm Syndrome and a foolish pining after vacuous "celebrity" opinion. They picked Nugent, who hasn't had a hit album in 30 years, because he likes guns.

Well, hey, that's nice. But he's still a very minor talent in the rock-and-roll pantheon, who hasn't been otherwise relevant to anyone or anything important since Jimmy Carter was president. And he's now 71, after ducking the draft, and spending his salad days drunk and stoned for much of the time. That takes a mental toll. And Cal Thomas, who both quoted him, and should know better, is no spring chicken either at 77. So old fart commentator trying to be hip by quoting septuagenarian minor-talent rocker, FTW. Not.

So once again, let's get serious.

What Nuge is demanding above, essentially, and expressed in terms even his addled and decrepit mental abilities can grasp, is this:
"I'm going to walk down the street shooting off my shotgun everywhere I go and dropping pipe bombs wherever I feel like it. I don't give a f**k if that affects you or your life. I want to do it. If you're afraid of that, you can stay home and be afraid. You don't need to go to the grocery store for food, or the pharmacy for your prescriptions, or even breathe the same air I do, because it's inconvenient for my blatant jackassical stupidity, but I'm an American, and if I want to drop bombs all day and shoot everything in sight, it's my g**d***ed right to do whatever jackassical thing I can think of, because freedom, liberty, and 'Mericuh, @$$holes! So F*** Y** if you can't stop being afraid of that!"

Sorry kids, that's not "freedom", that's insanity. Or, In Nuge's case, probably senility.
Same-same.

It's like telling someone who complains that you've soiled yourself repeatedly  and haven't had a bath in months that if they don't like it, they should hold their breath. In most states, after that type of exchange of opinion, the next thing that happens is you stopping to pick up most of your teeth off the ground, once you regain consciousness and the pain subsides enough to move.

Were he to put his opinions thusly, he should have a net thrown over him now, and be ordered to appear for a sanity hearing. If he actually did that, he should be shot in the face, for the public good, as one would dispatch a rabid dog.


Because amidst a worldwide pandemic, with eleventy percent asymptomatic virus carriers among the infected, trying to put the onus of protection on everyone else, and describing their commonsense prudence as fear, while claiming your liberty to spread virus like Johnny Appleseed on crack as the rationale for acting the fool repeatedly and profligately, is exactly bassackwards.

Had he instead come out and supported re-opening everywhere with minimal common sense precautions and universal use of PPE while we try and stomp this pandemic out, he could have appeared as a bastion of reasonableness and civic rationality. Instead, he's just a flaming look-at-me narcissistic jackass. That, from a washed up senile has-been celebrity?
















So shut your ignorant piehole, Nugent, and slap a mask on your old ugly puss when you go out, before someone else with carry rights decides to activate your Medicare dental coverage, or punch your ticket as a public service. And seek psychological help for your condition. I never liked your music, I was never fond of the idea of giving you a microphone instead of talking to sensible everyday Americans regarding the 2A, instead of draft-dodging aging ex-hippie drug abusers, and Andy Warhol's Rule says your fifteen minutes are up. Shuffle off quietly on your own two feet, before you further embarrass yourself, and have to be dragged off the public stage ranting, kicking, and screaming, as seems to be the likely course now.

Retire quietly, and STFU, lest someone simple-minded listens to you, and you cause even more mischief now than ever you did in your heyday.

We don't need you, and it's long past time anyone was listening to you. And you've lost what little mind you ever had.
Stop embarrassing yourself.

And can we please stop putting up washed-up celebrity jackwagons as though they're the sort of spokesholes anyone needs to hear from, on anything?
They're narcissistic morons, to about the 96th percentile, and the best of the best even acknowledge the fact:





































For the Gilligans who #AgreeWithTed, restrain the urge. I'm not impressed, I wasn't putting the proposition up for a vote, and the weekly group meeting of Morons Anonymous is a few blogs up the street. Not here. If you still can't help yourself, seek treatment for your OCD as well.

Friday, May 22, 2020

Everyone Could Use The Laugh

h/t The Smallest Minority














I just caught up with this post at TSM from last week.

If you haven't yet, read it.

Your response to it will highlight exactly how far away your inner 10 year old child is.
FTR, I almost laughed salsa out my nose.
For several minutes.

F.Y.I.

















Emperor Trumpus Maximus I technically cannot, as it turns out, "overrule" governors who refuse to re-open houses of worship.

What he can do, is direct the U.S. attorneys in any state that refuses to open them, to secure grand jury indictments of any and all governors who won't re-open churches, for conspiracy, and deprivation of civil rights under color of authority, as well as violations of the 14th amendment "equal protection" clause, send U.S. Marshals to arrest those governors and anyone else complicit in interfering with any religious service, and back it up with federal troops deployed from any and every handy base, cocked, locked, and ready to rock, exactly as Ike did at Little Rock in the 1950s with desegregating schools.

Anyone so arrested could look forward to no bail on the grounds of re-offense before trial, a speedy and public federal trial, a federal felony conviction, and a good stretch in Club Fed, and Trump would win the November election 48 states to 2. Bonus points would be awarded if the governors in question were either/both those of MI and/or IL.

So go ahead, @$$tard governors, go there, and see how that works out for ya.

Popcorn futures are off the charts Sunday morning.

Should churches be holding in-person meetings, as if everything was back to normal?
Probably not.
That's a question of prudence though, not jurisprudence.
They should probably do some modifications, but if they did a few sensible things, they could minimize risk to no worse than letting people into WalMart.

But the one thing that is crystal clear is that it's up to them, not the government, as to whether or not they re-open, and how they go about it.

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;..."
"No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state...deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws." 
In that sense, Orange Man can damned sure overrule any such unconstitutional edicts, on whatsoever grounds, and back that reversal up with force of law and force of arms, if needs be. I wouldn't like the odds of the state police or any state's Notional Guard contingent if a battalion of the 101st helos in to keep a church or three open, but it would have a salutary effect on reminding police agencies of the limits of their power, very possibly in a new-third-eye-in-the-forehead kind of way. NTTAWWT.

Point Of Order



(HORSESHIT COUNTY) Doctors in Northern California say they have seen more deaths from suicide than they’ve seen from the coronavirus during the pandemic.
“The numbers are unprecedented,” Dr. Michael deBoisblanc of John Muir Medical Center in Walnut Creek, California, told ABC 7 News about the increase of deaths by suicide, adding that he’s seen a “year’s worth of suicides” in the last four weeks alone.

Uh, natzsofast, Guido.

Clinical doctors don't see any suicides.
Coroners do.

You could look it up.

Doctors at the hospital only see a very few botched suicides that may eventually succeed, and attempted suicides, many of which were never very serious to begin with.
We call those "desperate cries for attention".

Because generally, people who really want to do it, do it.
And if you step off a tall enough building, or in front of a speeding train, there's no medical cure for the resultant concrete poisoning or failure to fly in which those two methods will result. But no one at the local hospital will ever see those.

The Medical Examiner, OTOH...

People who take an entire bottle of TicTacs or red Mike and Ike candies in front of their families/significant others, on the other hand, turn up fairly frequently.

Having only worked in the biz for 25 years, I can tell you this first-hand.

So Dr. Agendaselling Doofus is, quite simply, F.O.S.
(Hint: the first two letters there stand for "Full Of...").

So, other than the fact that he's lying his ass off, go on ahead and take his other statements for what they're worth.

You might do well to consider the legal maxim,

 
For the record, in the past three months, I've seen exactly one suicide attempt (that subsequently succeeded).
 
I've seen a couple of dozen people depressed (just like always) who were placed on mental health evaluation holds.
 
I've seen no other suicides, whatsoever.
 
I've also seen and personally treated 100 Kung Flu rule-outs, and two dozen confirmed positives, including at least one death (as the rest generally die days later in ICU, I have no numbers on them, but those placed on ventilators tend to have about a 90% fatality rate).
 
So just from personal experience, Dr. Bullshitter should STFU, and get back to doing his job, which includes neither huffing hopeium, nor bald-faced lying to the public. That behavior reflects poorly on his profession, his clinical judgment, and his own integrity.
 
Whatever his other points of view are, if you can't sell them without recourse to outright falsehood, they probably can't be sold to anyone. Nor should be.

Thursday, May 21, 2020

In Case I Wasn't Clear


"Liberty. Equality. Stupidity." Coming Soon...?















I'M NOT ARGUING FOR MAINTAINING A PERPETUAL LOCKDOWN.
Nor any 57 other things that have been done stupidly during it.
What we're doing now is moving on to 57 Stupid Ways To End That Lockdown.
The body count is liable to be commensurately higher than it has so far, precisely because of that stupidity.

I feel like Ian Malcolm in Jurassic Park: The Lost World:
Hammond: "We're not making the same mistakes again."
Malcolm: "You're making all new ones!"

IDGAF if no one locked down because they're infectious is receiving a paycheck. I care that they're locked down, either at home, or in prison. Dealer's choice. If anyone can't live within those guidelines, society should be happy to provide them three hots and a cot, for a year, minimum, and a handy felony conviction as a parting gift.

There are no "acceptable losses" in a pandemic. Citizens are not pawns to be sacrificed. Period. Paragraph.

That error is the exact slippery slope that has seen the greatest slaughters of the 20th century, by governments, and yet people who would claim to recoil if it were done with gas chambers are salivating at letting a pandemic accomplish the same thing. Their hypocrisy knows no bounds.

The first duty of legitimate government is to protect the lives of its citizens.
Without those lives, there's no liberty, and no pursuit of happiness.
We have many morons that can't grasp that obvious fact, or else who would willingly grease the machinery of society with the entrails of some good number of their neighbors, so they can pay their credit card bills and go to Disneyland.

Anyone expressing that sentiment aloud needs a punch in the dick.
Anyone actually carrying it out needs shot in the face.

It's all fun and games for them until they and their family are being put in the grease bucket, and they act shocked that anyone would suggest such was ever possible, or likely, when in fact it becomes inevitable, once you first start down that pathway.

People want to look at the wrong things.
They want to understand how WWI started.
Or our own Civil War.

This isn't that.
It's Germany in 1932, and France the day before they stormed the Bastille.

Tread carefully.
You're about a New York Minute from getting a doctoral dissertation lesson in the madness of crowds.
Right in front of you.

It doesn't end well.
But there will be blood. And no end of tears.

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Coronatardation Bad News: Still A Thing, By The Metric F**kton

 
If you're smarter than this guy, you could be the next head of the CDC,
 the TSA, or the CEO of your company.























A reminder:
Remote temperature sensors are
a) inaccurate
b) only measure surface temperature, not core temp.
And Kung Flu
c) is asymptomatic in (30%, 60%, 90%, you tell me) of infected persons
d) incubates for 2-21 days before symptoms present, during some of which time period the infected person is fully contagious.
So for anyone with more sense than the Almighty gave any jackass in Christendom, anyone, anywhere using any sort of temperature-reading device as a means to screen people for Kung Flu is a thorough-going moron, of the type in the last century usually screened out by attempting to place an iron ring of a given diameter over their cranium.
Because if your head would fit through said ring, clearly there was insufficient space inside to support a brain big enough to breathe, walk, and chew gum without a handy guide, and/or regular reminders for any one of the listed functions - or even all all three - by means of regular applications of a stout stick somewhere between your head and your thighs, as a helpful reminder.

So anywhere you see, hear, or read about anyone using temperature scanning in any form to screen out Kung Flu:
1) the people actually doing it are dumber than a bag of hammers.
2) the people who decided to have people do that are dumber than a bag of dicks.
3) 99.9999% of people infected and fully contagious with Kung Flu are being admitted to the premises as if they were "healthy". That will turn out well.
4) Anyone involved at any level make phrenology and astrology seem rational and scientific by comparison.
5) This practice is akin to hiring Stevie Wonder to drive your bus, and RainMan to drive your car.















We dun tole ya all this, long since, but seeing recent idiot newsmorons (but we repeat ourselves) covering the latest surveillance-state gee whiz face-scanning stormtrooper helmetry,


whatever the point of the exercise, clearly screening out Kung Flu infectees is exactly 0.0000% of the actual rationale; and apparently some people's heads are afflicted with sphincter-induced hypoxia.

























Secondly, for those still addicted to the Tinfoil and Black Helicopter Hopeium-Huffing Theory Of Kung Flu, the following notations and explanations are in order.
Someone, somewhere, (we'll let you follow the breadcrumbs yourself) posted the following, which was picked up in our regular read of Ol' Remus at this week's Woodpile Report
 "Doctors have been instructed to list Covid-19 as a cause of death if the deceased had any of the symptoms associated with Covid-19. They receive $13,000 from Medicare for each Covid-19 patient and $39,000 for each patient put on a ventilator."
Any number of people will treat this out-of-context factoid as their "A-HA! J'Accuse!" moment of Kung Flu clarity. But before you get on your horse bassackwards, and ride off the cliff, a couple of wee notes to temper such blisteringly stupid jackassery.

1) The average COVID patient thusly diagnosed is in hospital for 10-21 days, at an average cost of $2K-$5K/day. For those who only know Common Core mathematics, that would be $20,000-$110,000, just for the hospital, before fees for doctor, laboratory, imaging, etc. are added to the bill.
2) The average intubated COVID-19 patient gets the same course of treatment, except in the ICU, at a cost of $5K-$10K/day, which would run $50,000-$210,000, plus the aforementioned doctor's fees, laboratory fees, imaging fees, etc.
3) So, for anyone thusly diagnosed and treated, you've just informed me that Medicare has, per their paradigm, agreed to pay an amount somewhere between about 20% and 85% of the hospital bill. Which considering their usual M.O. is to pay only about $0.03 on the dollar for all care received, is, for them, the height of fiscal largesse. With other people's money, as usual.
4) Medicare only kicks in for those over 62, and who have it; it pays NOTHING for those under that age, EVER. If this were a presumed inducement, there should be zero cases diagnosed for anyone under that age, and thus not on Medicare.
5) The money is by way of reimbursement for treatment; it is not, entre nous, distributed as a fat wad of money in a briefcase, as if the doctor in question had just brought a coyote hide to local sheriff's office for the bounty money.
6) Doctors, unlike bounty hunters, practice under this quaint form of practice known as absolute liability, which means that risk management, utilization review, best practice, and the entire American bar Association, (along with an army of accountants, doctors, nurses, administrators, second-guessers, Monday Morning Quarterbacks, and other assorted paid medical/fiscal proctologists, in a quantity that would embarrass the planners of the Normandy D-Day invasion) will be expected to crawl and dig through every bit of the record of care, like dung beetles searching out the smallest molecule of fecal material (and with roughly the same scruples and sense of humor), to find any small thing that was out of norms for practice, standard of care, insurance coverage, payment, or medical justification.

Without naming any names, one might expect that a website purportedly dedicated to making sense, and alleging some facility with numbers, especially financial numbers, would have been a little more circumspect than to burp the preceding load of utter horseshit off as anything like a moment of "Gotcha!" theater, when all it really is, is government doing what it does, i.e. underpay for service, by handing you some of your own tax money back, after gathering it at confiscatory rates, and acting like they're doing you a favor by f**king you out of the full price, after they skim their own fat-ass non-productive salaries right off the top, in perpetuity. And then turn around and tax you AGAIN for the money they just underpaid you, out of part of your previous taxes. (Government is not the Tooth Fairy, and while they can print fiatbux out of thin air, they can't actually create nor earn money, as if they produced something and earned a profit on their labors. EVER. They are always and only just the middleman, slapping an extra cost on something you could have gotten without them, for less money, had you the means and wherewithal to go straight to the source.)

If anyone thinks that you're going to get doctors to do something, particularly falsifying medical diagnoses, by promising to underpay them, kick them in the balls, then add a bonus of a punch in the nose (before we even mention getting them sued and/or criminally prosecuted for malpractice and fraud if they do it), and that those same medical professionals will thus be overwhelmingly fiduciarily inclined to take you up on the deal in droves, I have a bridge to sell you, cheap (as long as you don't mind the crotch kick and punch in the nose I'll give you as icing on the cake).

When people who should know better overlook something so ass-chappingly obvious, they're either morons, or blinded by the same sphincter-induced hypoxia.
























Sorry, but there is no third option there.
Fucktards gonna fucktard.

And we remind all and sundry that we cannot, using facts and logic, argue any person out of a position or predicament, that did not use facts and logic to get into that position or predicament. More's the pity.

----------

I told you all that to tell you this:
The tests for Kung Flu, because of the incompetent government @$$holes at the CDC (but I repeat myself again), Suck Balls. Bigly.
The swab tests report an inordinate number of false negatives, and the antibody tests (which AFAIK no one has reliably demonstrated yet are specific to COVID-19, as opposed to all coronaviruses, like the common cold) throw out false positives, like a drunk spilling pocket change staggering down the street.
This leads to undercounting those who do have it, and overcounting those who never had, both of which inexorably undersell how many people are infected who we think have it, and oversell how deeply it's penetrated this society. The latter is a number less than 5%, and probably less than 2%, nationally, at least anywhere outside the Five Boroughs.

Which has inevitably led medical professionals, contrary to the jackassical suggestion above, to use y'know, a clinical medical approach to making a diagnosis of presumptive Kung Flu.

"Like what, Aesop?"

Wee quaint little diagnostic tools like, say, X-rays, kids. (Common Core history grads, look up Marie Curie. #medicine # X-rays #actual things.)

For laymen, esp. those who didn't pay attention in middle school science class, here's what an average normal chest X-ray looks like:


Bog-simple, no problems. Spiffy, right?
What does it look like when you have ordinary pneumonia?


Mini-anatomy lesson: you have two lungs, R and L. You have 5 lobes; 3 on the right, 2 on the left. Upper, middle, and lower on the right, upper and lower on the left. (Your heart is part of the reason there's no Left Middle Lobe.) So, look at the pic above. The red arrows in the original stolen (Fair Use, btw) image came with it. See that area of schmutzy stuff all over the right middle lobe? That's RML PNA: Right Middle Lobe PNeumoniA. The opacity (the blurry part) indicates fluid in the alveoli (little air sacs) in the lung, which is why you can't breathe: your lungs filled with water don't work well underwater, because they're lungs, not gills. That's what bacterial pneumonia, the kind that antibiotics will treat well, and that a shot will help prevent, looks like. In elderly people, pneumonias of the lower lobes, from less physical activity, prolonged immobility, etc. are the most common, and nota bene: as in this illustration, only on ONE side. (Gunny Hints:You will see this material again.)

So what?
So, let's look at a typical CXR (Chest X-Ray) of a Kung Flu patient:


WHOA!
Not typical.
Not even typical pneumonia.
There's schmutz EVERYWHERE.
Schmutz? = "Ground glass opacity".
Bilateral multifocal pneumonia.
Like you won't see in bacterial pneumonia.
Like you'd expect to see in pneumonia caused by a respiratory inhaled virus, and/or virus-induced coagulopathy, and/or both. (Pathologists, chime in anytime.)
Which fits only Kung Flu.
You have fluid ALL OVER your lungS, plural, (and pleural! See what I did there?) on BOTH SIDES, which is why people who have this symptomatically can't effing breathe.
Their lungs, as in the whole contraption, is full of fluid.
And if you're hypoxic (too little oxygen in your blood stream) on room air, or worse, even on supplemental oxygen, like a nasal canula, or a face mask, you're pretty f**ked.
If you have that, and a fever from the infection, and a cough, and this CXR, and your blood tests fit the pattern, neither I, nor anyone witrh MD or D.O.  after their name, needs a gorram broke-dick CDC-approved COVID test to tell you, me, Yellow Dog, or Medicare, that you have Kung Flu!
They can see it for themselves, with their own lying eyes, and they're not going to falsify it for some pittance of chump change from Uncle Sugar.

Go back and read the AAR from the ER doc in Nawlins (like every one of the ER MDs I know and work with did, long since): clinical indications = Kung Flu. Period. A test, good, bad, or half-assed, is a nice confirmation, but the CXR and other clinical indications are diagnostic (that means a lead-pipe cinch sure thing). Testing, at that point, is a luxury, and if it comes back opposite the clinical indications, will be completely and rightfully ignored. Because the tests are all so much bullshit, courtesy of The Usual Gang Of Idiots at CDC, plus Typical Government Incompetence.

BTW, none of these are my actual patients' X-rays, but #3 was what the CXR looked like on my guy from this past weekend. (One of six COVID-positives I cared for, BTW.) He's in his early twenties, kids. Not 80+. Not 70-80. Not even over 40. Barely old enough to legally buy a beer. Full coronavirus bilateral multi-focal pneumonia.

What does this mean for you?

1) Temperature screenings are going to get everyone infected.

2) Getting everyone infected means you can expect orders of magnitude more sick and dead people (from Kung Flu, not with Kung Flu, if you're that particular brand of Coronatarded) than you've seen so far.

3) Lockdowns largely stopped this, but
a) we cannot, and weren't intending to, lock everyone down forever until the economy was in total flames, nor would we wish to continue the experiment
b) some of you were too smart to pay attention to what worked, because "muh paycheck!"
c) TANSTAAFL

4) You (for any value of that term) have essentially decided to throw everyone who dies from this under the bus, in order to preserve the economy.
a) You did it, are doing it, and want to. Own it.
I'm not judging which is better, but don't try and soft-soap and sugarcoat the decision you made, and the consequences as a direct result.
b) Don't yap and yammer about your anti-abortion creds, if you're willing to kill people at the end of life as casually as the Governor of Virginia is willing to kill them at the beginning.
Like Esau, you've sold your credibility there for a mess of pottage, and there are consequences to that sale. As noted in one tale, "we've already established what sort of person you are; now we're simply discussing the price".
c) There was a right way to do this, but most of the country couldn't wait for that.
Suture self. And tell granny and gramps you loved them, and will miss them.

5) Get used to your masks, unless you like bilateral multifocal pneumonia.
a) Unless you're Mary Mallon.
b) And deserve her fate.

6) You have no wild idea who's sick, and who's healthy, never did, and probably never will.
a) You DGAF, never did, and probably never will.
b) You have not hired Helen Keller as your crossing guard on the freeway.
c) EVERYONE is Helen Keller crossing the freeway.
d) Kung Flu is the 5000 busses upstream from you.

7) Good luck with your choices, and may the odds ever be in your favor.

8) I told you before, you're not going to get what you like, and you're not going to like what you'll get.

9) This is a virus. It's real. It kills people. There's no recognized effective treatment, and no vaccine, and neither truth will change, probably this year, at least. There's no evidence - none, nada, zip, niente, bupkus - that getting this confers any immunity to re-infection or that any such thing as "herd immunity" will ever be achieved. Not least of which because it's been genetically altered with SARS, Ebola, and HIV sequences in the gene. (Thanks, Dr. Frankensteins!)
























Luckily for you, it "only" kills about 1-3% of people who get it. That's 1/30th-1/90th of Ebola. It's 20-30 times worse than the flu. But it can't be reasoned with, it can't be bargained with, it'll just keep coming.


Bonus: Getting it symptomatically creates permanent damage to the lungs and other organs, even if you survive.
And as you're seeing now, (and 30-50% of those reading this will totally ignore, no matter how many times we tell it to you) the deaths from this virus are the least of your worries in the grand scheme of things, compared to the other 5000 consequences to life in society.

10) This virus doesn't give a flaming bag of dogsh*t what your politics are, what whackdoodle conspiracy theories you espouse, who you voted for, or for the Constitution and Bill of Rights. People on both sides politically are so full of sh*t about this crisis their eyes are brown, and stupidity is no exclusive province for either side. (No, really. And I can show you their blogs and press releases.)

11) You ain't seen nothing yet.
You're not crawling out of this.
You're not even close to the crawling-out-of-this stage.
You're still in the crawling-into-it stage.
You have no idea how deep this swamp is, and while one can only ever walk halfway into such a swamp, you had no idea how big it was when you walked into it, thus when the halfway point was will only be determined after you come out the other side, retroactively.

Hurts, don't it?



Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Risky Business



Timeless wisdom for the ages, from Guido the Killer Pimp:
 
"In a sluggish economy, never, EVER f**k with another man's livelihood."

Sunday, May 17, 2020

Sunday Music: Son Of A Preacher Man



Born Mary Isobel Catherine Bernadette O'Brien, "Dusty Springfield" spent her entire musical career as the very dictionary definition of "blue eyed soul", being the most southern woman to come out of London since Vivien Leigh, and the blackest white Irish girl to cut an album anywhere. This cut, from Dusty In Memphis, made it only to #10 in the US and UK at the time, but has since been included on every list of the greatest singles of all time, and rocked it just as hard in the soundtrack for Pulp Fiction in 1994 as it did brand new in 1969. Dusty was eventually awarded the Order of the British Empire, and described after her death as arguably one of the greatest singers from the UK of the 20th century, but songs like this will keep her alive for and inspire generations yet to come.




Thursday, May 14, 2020

Turkey Leftovers



As my aunt would remind us, "If you don't finish it all, it just keeps coming back!"
















Yesterday was the most important part about looking at how you fared at an individual level: what did you do, what should you do, and what will you do? I hope you take the time to analyze your own situation, and improve your position.

Now I want to consider the broader implications, and complications, of the current, and ongoing situation.

We already talked about wider casualties of this pandemic, and the fact that even if this thing dematerialized (and no, faithful tinfoil-hat fucktards, this wasn't an illusory pandemic, much though you gnash your teeth at that reality) overnight, like it couldn't, things will not, and probably not ever, be "like they usedta be". The 2020 you woke up to on New Year's Day this year is gone forever, and that world will not be seen again, probably not in your lifetime.

Wrap your heads around that, and start behaving appropriately to that information.

There might not have been many Kung Flu cases in North Dakota, or Alabama, or Mississippi, and only localized problems in Texas and Louisiana, but the departure of the oil business for the next several years, particularly the fracking fields, will change economies in all those places for a decade. Those oil boom jobs? Gone with the wind. Oh, btw: oil was one of the few bright spots in places like Venezuela until Chavez and Maduro, and Mexico until this year. Their industries will be hurting perennially for some time too, which merely increases pressures in both countries going forward. The economic refugees normally pouring across our southern border non-stop for a generation will not abate in perpetuity absent a large, high wall.

The decline, death spiral, and/or outright crash into a smoking hole of several other sectors, both short- and long-term, bodes poorly for the overall economic outlook. Entire restaurant chains are announcing, essentially, "F**K it; we quit." in the face of slow-roll-outs for re-opening. They will, quite simply, never be back. Smaller enterprises (we have friends in this boat) have done the math, and won't be re-opening again either. Maybe in five or ten years, but not this one.

That has upstream effects: on bankruptcy filings, commercial rentals, mortgages on them, lenders, financial services, and the DJIA. Which then proceeds to the Fed, the Congress, and ultimately, you and your paycheck and bank account, if you have any of that left.

Meanwhile, only Bitch McConjob and the Republican Senate stand between Nancy Alzheimer's and spending your grandkids' inheritance, not like a drunken sailor on liberty, but like one on acid, meth, and crack. The latest Porkculus III (or IV? Or V? I forget...) attempt to pack Socialism's Wish List into every crisis is D.O.A., but like the penguins of Antarctica, they will simply keep coming, until we can flip the House back to something less insaniac.

If the Senate and/or White House were to be lost this time around, you should be loading magazines and bandoliers, because the next stop will be Weimar at warp speed. (Remember that when someone tells you voting doesn't matter at all).
Followed, inevitably, by one of the updated forms of socialism originally begun under the branches labeled National, and International.


"Jaw, jaw, jaw, is better than war, war, war." - Winston Churchill
 
"There never was a good war or a bad peace." - Benjamin Franklin

Both men knew whereof they spoke, firsthand. Fight, tooth and nail, to avoid open warfare on your continent. But if it comes anyway, despite your best efforts, stop at nothing to win it. The results for those who fail at both end up in an open trench, just beyond the crematoriums.














A farmer in the Alsace Lorraine, Belgium, etc. could have done quite well, in 1914, or 1939, with simply the means to bunker under the south forty for five years, with a sack of Swiss francs and silver for his re-emergence. Just saying.

Work to get out of any debt whatsoever, as quickly as possible. Diversify your savings from just fiat bux. Multiple currencies and precious metals (PMs) would be wise. (And get it the hell off the grid, and out of the system!!! It's too late when your bank folds, or the .GOV seizes all pension funds and 401ks to pay the tax bill, i'n'it? Think they'll "never do that"? See yesterday's essay.) So would tangible assets. Arable land, potable water, renewable food sources. A man with a cow, a bull, a flock of chickens, a feed lot, and a few acres will never want, and a little more than that will always be an income, even if it's barter or black market. You can raise chickens in part of a garage and back yard, btw.

Getting the hell away from large population centers entirely would be a better long-term plan, but as I'm not yet there myself, I understand those without the ability to do so presently. It is nonetheless a goal to work towards, with a will and a purpose. I am.

You have just witnessed a concerning dress rehearsal for worse things, in recent days. And as we've all seen, morons gonna moron, and tyrants gonna tyrant. Plan for both contingencies, widespread and long-term, and be prepared beyond a continuum that only has "Suck it up" and "Open fire" as options. Life is a fader switch, not a light switch. The problem with false dilemmas is that you may never get to the point where "it's time to shoot the bastards", but yet be far worse off than you are now, for weeks, months, or years, nonetheless.

Prices for some things (gasoline, e.g.) will drop. Then the inflation, driven by the Porkulus Spendomania bills, will kick in, and shortages will begin, and they'll rise again, precipitously. (Usually, just after you've taken a pay cut.) Make prudent plans. Expect chaos.

This pandemic is liable to continue, in fits and starts, all the rest of this year.
The Second Wave of it may be a robust boom, or a bust, but it's still a likely thing.
I think it's going to blossom and wither in a kaleidoscope of places, at varying times, and varying intensities. And I would put a vaccine in the Nice To Have category, but my pessimism about getting one, or its efficacy, runs to between 90-100%, at this point.

And if you think this wimpy little virus was the only pandemic possible, or likely, in the rest of your lifetime, I have a bridge for sale, cheap. Everyone has seen how utterly hapless, helpless, hopeless, and brainless both TPTB, and Joe Average, were for this one. (Not to mention the idjits running healthcare, generally or specifically, anywhere on the planet). We simply aren't prepared for this, and probably never will be. People in any group are comprised of too many Gilligans to get it right anywhere, for very long. Singapore and Korea thought they had a handle on things. Now, not so much.
Island dictatorships fare slightly better, but only if they stay completely isolated, with draconian rules and tabs on the populace, indefinitely. Anyone else that looks good now is most likely either lying about numbers, or dancing on the beach ahead of the tsunami. Or both. The common component of every pandemic is hubris. Ask China or NYFC. Human nature in that respect has not changed since Edgar Allan Poe wrote about it fictionally in 1850.

You can't fix that, nor should you worry overmuch about it. Prepare to cope with smart, half-assed, and/or bog-stupid responses, and you'll be fine. You'll also get all three, at different times.

In short, you just had nearly three fat years of boom. I hope you enjoyed them, and made the most of them. You are now looking at lean years of bust, and the buildings aren't done bursting into flames and collapsing yet. Some of them are just getting warmed up, in fact.

Get used to bare spots in grocery aisles. Make sure your masks are comfortable, and plentiful, because they'll be a thing for some weeks to months. Don't be surprised if there are retreats on opening up, as well as advances. And mind the falling casualties, both actual, and metaphorical, they will continue for the next few years.

The Titanic sank in a couple of hours. The economy, being somewhat larger than a modest ocean liner, can be expected to drag things out commensurately longer.

But however long it takes, it's always more fun to watch from a lifeboat, than from the deck.