Days of Change

Worse Than 9/11

September 12, 2021
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My Project 2996 Tribute

The 20th anniversary of the 9/11/01 attacks fell on a weekend this year. The US has just pulled out of Afghanistan with the conclusion that the country can’t be fixed, but only endlessly maintained. Islamic terror has entered a kind of political phase where they are being paid off by countries (and under Democrat control, the US) in the guise of support and rebuilding. In a war like this, the US can only draw a line in the sand. “Do this much damage to us, and your leadership will be dead, then you’ll hide in a hold until you die.” It’s an uncomfortable fact that third world countries need to know their place in the world, and it doesn’t involve attacking first world countries.

Conventional warfare is being pushed off the page by the (Natural?) biological warfare of the Wuhan Flu. Public health was a concept from a century ago that people’s usual rights could be suspended to keep the public healthy. An early example is “Typhoid” Mary Mallon. She was sequestered at North Brother Island until her death because she not only spread Typhoid by being a carrier, but was released after promising to not work as a cook and then got two people killed working as a cook.

Given the Delta and the false sense of security from vaccination, the US is getting close to the “one 9/11 per day” death total from COVID-19 again. After 9/11, there was a lot of debate over how much freedom was going to lose out to security measures, only some of which were effective. Now, the federal government is giving people two choices: lose your bodily autonomy and get a shot or lose your livelihood. These options are not to keep people with the shot from dying, but the options are there because the shot has been a bigger failure than expected. The answer is more shots.

Freedoms should not be infringed because something seems better “on balance.” Things considered freedoms should only be affected if there are no alternatives.


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The Delta Strain

September 3, 2021
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Since the “vaccine,” I’ve decided to go back to data on separate axes, except it’s numbers instead of percentages. Percent increase is more relevant for a general population where the more people have it, the more opportunities there are for new cases. The point of this chart is to show when vaccination failed.

The number of COVID-19 cases peaked in early January and the number of deaths peaked about a week later. This was the most effective period for the shots, because the most likely to get seriously ill were getting vaccinated. By April, the impact of the shot dropped considerably, as otherwise healthy people were being vaccinated and the administration announced the vaccination prize: not having to wear a mask while un-vaccinated people were suppoed to keep wearing theirs.

However, by July, the worst result was being seen. This questionable COVID vaccine also had an expiration date. People who were vaccinated essentially pretended COVID didn’t exist and were both contracting actual COVID-19 along with spreading it. On the plus side, the shot is keeping most people from dying or ended up in COVID ICU. the negative is that the government can’t accept that and is doing the following:

  • Shame the un-vaccinated by claiming they’re the only virus spreaders (not true) and everyone needs the shot for herd immunity (not even possible while other countries can’t get the shot)
  • Mandate the shot wherever possible, even though this will just reset the clock for a while
  • Approve constant “boosters” for the population that was already compliant enough to take 2 shots. Now, they can take 3 a year!

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No Cure for COVID

June 24, 2021
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I don’t post much anymore, but this media excrement was enough to make me post. Speaking of post, this is plagiarized drivel from the Washington Post. Literally, they published an except from an upcoming book about COVID (and why Orange Man bad, literally they mention his orange coloring). They get to avoid journalism and the author gets free promotion.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2021/06/24/nightmare-scenario-book-excerpt/

Anyway, not much value in the actual story. It is a rehash of the four days President Trump was sick with COVID. What they want you to think is that the White House staff rushed (incompetently, of course) to get Trump unapproved and hard-to-get treatments for COVID right away, while Trump got it from not wearing a mask ever and putting his staff in danger. Cut the commentary by about 80%, and the story sounds more like this:

  • Donald Trump came down with COVID symptoms
  • Trump got treatment
  • Trump got better

The connections anti-Trump media won’t make about the pandemic is that “lockdown” isolated less than 50% of the population, told people they could not get early treatment, made them wait until they needed an ambulance, then stuck them on ventilators after the virus had run its course and the immune response damaged the lungs to a near or actual fatal level. Also, whole families were infected in their pods, along with whatever people needed to drive them to the hospital.

Treatments were largely ignored because doctors were punished for attempting them, while experts curled up in a corner afraid to die from a virus. Seriously, the protocol for COVID was to make everyone stay home, keep the minimum people in the hospital, lock away health care professionals and inflate people’s collapsed lungs in a low success attempt to save them. Even that would be excusable, had it not been for “experts,” afraid of being attacked by Black people, saying that the BLM protests weren’t super spreader events. Read my post before this one. You can literally see the BLM spike that fueled the other two.

Ultimately, this is important because there will be a SARS 3, and none of these coronaviruses have effective vaccinations that don’t put the host in danger. Now mRNA is being used because a traditional weakened virus vaccine seems unlikely, but this type of vaccination has never been widely released for so much as a flu shot until now. Coronavirus does respond to treatment, like Hydroxychloroquine. If you don’t believe me, just don’t believe the experts either. Especially the ones who told us the wrong thing. That’s basically all of them.


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Lies and Statistics

February 23, 2021
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As we’re nearing the end of real COVID concern where only irrational COVID panic remains, I’d like to write about the numbers. I’ve been following the numbers for most of the pandemic. One of the important things about a communicable disease is that population sizes are relative. A super spreader would have to be the only infected person in a group and be in contact with a large enough number of people who were not immune. Calling large gatherings super spreader events make a lot of assumptions.

Wikipedia’s numbers for the US are largely based on hospital reporting and also include percentage increase per day. Daily reporting is garbage, as can be seen in my previous post. Hospitals don’t report correctly on the weekends, so I made each week a data point and used percentage increase (which will only be an above zero value) because it shows trends and cases and deaths can be plotted on the same axis.

Part 1: The Downward Slope

Things got bad in April because, especially in individual cities, because traditional treatments were ineffective People were hanging on, but eventually dying despite complicated treatments. Also, medical workers were also suffering from coronavirus which they could get either in the hospital or among the population. The virus did stop running unchecked by May, where the increase was around 10% of the infected population per week. The increase in deaths was now lower than the increase in cases. This indicates that most of the nursing home massacres had ended and doctors were developing strategies, even if people were still being infected.

Part 2: The Spike

As rates were going in the right direction, a super spreader event undid what momentum was started by lock downs and social distancing. Starting in May, when the rate of increase was below 20%, two peaks are noticeable in the chart. The biggest is in July for cases and in August for deaths. The nationwide BLM protests began in the last week of May. Almost exactly 2 weeks later, (the approximate incubation time of COVID) the trend in cases reverses from downward to upward. 4-5 weeks after that, the spike in deaths shows up as people infected around June die. Much like compounding interest, this early exposure to COVID probably led to hundreds of thousands of unnecessary deaths. The next biggest increase occurred following Election Day. Despite all the fear mongering, Christmas and Thanksgiving were followed by declines in percentage of cases, not increases.

Part 3: Inflection

Cases of COVID have increased at a slightly higher rate than deaths. Some of this could be due to better outcomes, better protection of at-risk groups, or early deaths of people at risk. In any case, about a month ago, new case growth started lagging the rate of deaths. That’s the vaccine. If the current trend continues, (and the slope has been going about a month) new cases could be a rarity everywhere by Spring. This week marks the first time case growth per week has been less than 2%. As of today, the 7-day increase is only 1.5%.

I think that so much was done wrong because of “experts” and “scientists” who lied, made up things and didn’t follow their own advice. There was the social distancing guy who was visiting his married mistress during lock down. Liberals saying China shouldn’t be banned from travel to the US. Black Lives Matter protests were supposedly okay. Anthony Fauci told us to wear no masks then 3 masks until 2022. Don’t believe the science. Verify the science. Verifying is part of the scientific method. Don’t put faith in experts. Use reason.


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Ditto

February 19, 2021
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I started listening to Rush Limbaugh in 1991 when the national show was in its early stages. I watched the TV show. I have a couple books and a few (VHS) videos. I generally talk about Limbaugh and the book 1984 as early influences on my political beliefs. Even given that, I was surprised at the number of times I mentioned Limbaugh in my blog over the last 12 years of so. Lately, it was in terms of his early and consistent support of Donald Trump, which I didn’t share. I was going to write about Rush’s impact on the conservative movement, but it’s all in my posts.

Rush started as a 16-year old DJ in MIssouri. After a few other gigs, he was able to use the end of the so-called “Fairness Doctrine” to host a program where he could talk about conservative ideas without some weenie liberal co-host. As he used to say, “I am the balance.” While liberals, to this day, whine about the end of that doctrine, its existence would be pointless now, because they have moved on to claiming there is only ONE side to issues like abortion, the environment, gender and economics.

Without Limbaugh, it is unlikely Roger Ailes would have become a big producer in radio, started America’s Talking and eventually helm Fox News. Andrew Breitbart started doing what did because of listening to Rush while delivering pizzas in LA. Unfortunately, important innovators in conservative media are gone, but Limbaugh leaves behind a Republican Party with a strong conservative wing and the knowledge that “alternative” media can survive and flourish.


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It’s Close

November 18, 2020
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There’s a saying in politics that “if it’s not close, they can’t cheat.” One thing we can say about Election 2020 is that it’s close.

I am reminded a little of 2016, when Trump was elected president. After he didn’t lose the primaries, he didn’t lose the election. The next step was to try turning some Electors to make them “faithless.” This time, there’s an attempt to get Trump friendly states to choose Republican Electors as a remedy for voting (count) fraud.

This will be very difficult. The voting black box conspiracy theory means that the fraud would have to be so air tight that convincing a judge and then several judges of enough fraud to throw out significant numbers of tainted votes will have little evidence, due to the conspiracy’s success. It’s been two weeks since the election and there are about 4 weeks until the Electoral Vote is taken. The window is closing.


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The Art of Noise

October 15, 2020
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This is a graph of COVID-19 cases and deaths. That nearly flat orange line is deaths, but the blue line of cases looks like a lot of statistical noise. If you think it looks like a series of spikes, you see my point. When the media talks about a one day spike, they are using what is essentially using statistical noise to justify their argument that COVID is “out of control.” In reality, the daily number of cases peaked 3 months ago.

Here’s the same data in a different format. In this case, the cumulative number is used (which smooths out the noise) and two different axes are plotted, so that the “death curve” isn’t a flat line. What’s interesting here is that the cases line overtakes the deaths line in August. This means that while the number of cases is increasing at a (slightly) higher rate, the number of deaths is not. Either there is more testing (there is) or the treatment protocols are better (they are) or both.

This is how much better treatment is getting. I did some back of the envelope guesses of how long it takes from diagnosis to death for COVID-19 and used 2 months as the worst case scenario. Looking at the chart above, the number of days may not be that critical. Since the last “spike” in August, the percentage of cases with deadly outcomes has dropped precipitously. Again, this could be due to new cases found through testing. However, since approximately 10% of Americans are believed to have or had COVID-19 and the total number of cases accounts for only 2%, the case fatality rate of about 1.5% could be less than 0.3% in reality, making it as severe as a flu virus without an effective vaccine.

Lockdowns are ineffective because they rely on fear to keep the population in line. When they go on long enough, and in this case, are trying to stop a minor illness, people will resist. Since one super spreader can undo all the lockdowns put in place for weeks, the media has turned to shame as a tool, which is ineffective because the people defying masks don’t blindly follow the dictates of the media. Protecting the vulnerable and not sending COVID-19 patients back to nursing homes seems to be the key to fighting the disease.


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Tribute

September 11, 2020
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My Project 2996 Tribute

One of the worst aspects of this year is the constant counting of dead people and assigning blame for their deaths. No one I’ve heard about has called COVID-19 60 September 11ths yet, but the COVID death toll is constantly measured against wars and other fatal events.

19 years after September 11, 2001, this pandemic is the next generational event. Some kids going to virtual school have parents who were too young to watch the news on 9/11. People who are now the age I was in 2001 will remember some of the aftermath of 9/11, but the pandemic year, the disruption to their lives and jobs. 2020 could be defining year of their adult lives.

The impact of 9/11 was to bring the impact of Islamic terror to the US. It also led us to strike blows against it. We also know that “ending” terrorism isn’t the right goal. Even our current president is trying to get our military out of places where the residents are not that politically separate from terrorists. The US destroyed Afghanistan after the Russians did, but the surgical strikes that cut off the head of the snake.

George W. Bush for his part tried to build up a stockpile of medical equipment after 9/11, but much of it was depleted and not refilled in the following administration. I’m not sure what lessons we will learn from COVID or how much our view of novel pandemics will change over the next 20 years. I will offer this. I don’t really want to be in the middle of the next global crisis.


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It Doesn’t Matter What This Post Says

August 28, 2020
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When Tea Party rallies started over a decade ago, Nancy Pelosi called them “AstroTurf” and the media disparaged the protesters either as people on Medicare / Social Security / Public Assistance who wanted the government out of their government program or closet racists who wanted Barack Obama out of their government. Then came democracy to spank all the leftists with the 2010 midterm results. The lines were drawn between the Obama-supporting papers or networks and the Tea Party. One of the most telling protest signs simply said “It doesn’t matter what this sign says, you’ll call it racism anyway.”

Around the same time, Donald Trump had pivoted from criticizing the Bushes to going after Barack Obama. His demands for Obama’s “birth certificate” were the ones that seemed to force the issue to the point where the long form, Hawaiian document was released to a fawning media. This created a backlash where Obama and the media attacked Trump personally over his inability to become president after trying to get in the game.

The 2012 Election was a disaster. Without Sarah Palin running, the Tea Party field was too varied and Mitt Romney had the “he deserves it” slot. While he did okay in debates with Obama, the campaign run by the same Republicans who lost to Obama once lost to Obama.

While I’ve been a fan of the Tea Party and Sarah Palin, I still see that Republicans need to win Republican offices. In 2016, I saw governor Scott Walker (who eventually lost his race for governor) as the best qualified, then Ted Cruz as the most conservative. Early on, I referred to Donald Trump as glib, which is kind of ironic given the media trying to say he’s incoherent. Palin may have endorsed Trump, but I didn’t.

Looking back, Trump had an interesting psychological operation where Republicans tacitly endorsed him by supporting John Kasich and driving down Cruz’s vote total. At the same time, the Democrats were promoting Trump with the idea that he would instantly lose the election for the GOP.

Trump has bothered me since the days of The Apprentice. In my business, I hear about “sales guys” who don’t know enough about the product and make unreasonable demands on the manufacturers. But the sales guys make the sales that bring in the money that pays the people who make the stuff. Trump sold the United States on him.

Not knowing that Trump would win, I decided to vote for Gary Johnson because I also believe that we should get away from binary election choices. Had I lived in a state with a better chance of Trump winning, (he lost by 22% in my state) I was prepared to vote for him. Just in case.

Now that Donald J. Trump is the official 2020 Republican nominee, I am going to vote for him and for the first time in any capacity. What has been said by the media about Trump has been said about every Republican since I can remember. The third parties are non-starters this year, Trump has a proven track record and Biden / Harris is the disease I don’t want America to catch.


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Natural Selection

August 3, 2020
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For those keeping score, we are entering Month 6 of COVID-19 lockdown. In New York, it’s been pretty oppressive the whole time. Last month, almost every other state has been forced by media pressure to start their own lockdowns. It took months, but New York’s slow growth in cases has pushed it down to 4th most cases in the US, behind California, Florida and Texas. These 4 states are the most populous. This means that in any group of people in the US, a similar percentage will have (or had) COVID-19. That’s why it’s a pandemic.

A lot has been made of the idea of herd immunity. The fear mongers want to tell everyone that since we aren’t anywhere near 60% of the population having COVID-19, people will drop dead all over the place if we don’t mask up and lock down. This is absurd. California made a strong effort to lock down before they had as many cases as New York and it didn’t work. Here’s why.

Think of herd immunity like microwaving a frozen burrito. The heating energy tends to heat the outside while the inside stays frozen. It takes much longer to heat the center of the burrito and it usually involves super-heating the outside to do it. In herd immunity, it is very easy to infect a population with no natural immunity to a disease. However, as the population develops antibodies, the virus starts running out of carriers and the last part of the population (the center of the burrito) will be the hardest to infect. Also, the people who get a virus like this first tend to have the most interactions per day. While 60% is “effective immunity,” even 30% (which NYC has) will greatly reduce the number of new infections. Masks and social distancing make no difference with this method.

Should we self isolate “just in case” anyway? It’s looking less and less effective or likely to prevent infections or deaths. New strains of the virus may be more infections, but less deadly. This makes sense from a “survival of the fittest” model. If a disease is deadly, it has trouble replicating because people die before spreading it much and people tend to run away from the infected or lock them away. The common cold is near universal and has a minuscule fatality rate. It is the perfect virus and it has been around for thousands of years.

Social activity doesn’t just spread diseases, it helps to stop them. This article explains that the restriction of movement in other countries will be the cause of millions of deaths from AIDS, TB and Malaria that have been controlled through the easy access to medical care and drugs interrupted by a relatively mundane flu virus.

My observation now is that states (and some countries) will see resurgences of COVID-19 based on how few people have natural immunity. Those places like NYC who had a massive COVID-19 infection rate will likely see future cases and deaths drop to zero long before other places who thought they “beat” the disease with ad-hoc solutions created at the last minute.


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