The Garden Gnome Gambit

Everyone is familiar with the garden gnome, the little ornamental figurines that look the dwarfs from children’s stories. Most people assume they originated in Germany, but they have their roots in ancient Rome. Small stone statues depicting the Greco-Roman fertility god Priapus were placed in the garden of Roman citizens. Like many Roman customs, the use of garden statues spread throughout the empire and eventually we got what we now call the garden gnome.

Of course, we use garden gnomes to keep the giraffes out of the garden. Not just any giraffes either. Normal giraffes are not a problem obviously. It is the albino miniature giraffes that attack the suburban garden. The liberal use of the garden gnomes has kept the miniature albino giraffes from terrorizing gardeners for generations. The proof of this, of course, is that we have no problem with miniature albino giraffes. In fact, it has worked so well no one has even seen one of these giraffes.

That may strike you as ridiculous, but it is something to keep in mind over the next few weeks as our leaders figure out how to unwind this virus panic. You see, a month ago they had two possible outcomes. One was the virus spread and killed a bunch of people, which would be very bad for the ruling class. The other possible outcome was a mild spread that got little notice and then it petered out. Heads they got blamed for ignoring a pandemic and tails they get no credit remaining calm about it.

That’s a bad gamble for a politician, which is probably why Tucker Carlson talked Trump into declaring total war on the virus. If all efforts were made to stop the virus, even if it craters the economy, the possibilities get much better. If the virus runs its course without much trouble and goes away like every other virus, Trump can declare war and throw himself a triumph. If the virus turns out to be the Antonine Plague, then Trump can fairly say it would have been much worse if not for his efforts.

What just happened is Trump has flipped the odds on what happens after the panic subsides this summer. In the do-nothing scenario, one outcome was neutral and one outcome was terrible. In the do-everything scenario, the outcomes are reversed. There one great outcome and one mostly neutral one. If it is the Antonine Plague, civilization collapses and none of this matters. Since the most likely outcome under all scenarios was closer to the Honk Kong Flu, this is a neutral result.

This is where the garden gnomes come into the picture. Just as we know that garden gnomes keep miniature albino giraffes from attacking our gardens, we know flattening the curb keeps this virus from becoming the Yellow Death. Anyone questioning these assertions is on the side of the miniature albino giraffes or the virus. The fact that these assertions are nonsense is beside the point. If people can be made to believe it, then these claims are true, as far anyone needs to know or care.

Now, the only way this works is if they can plausibly say they pulled out all the stops to prevent the worst pandemic in human history. If it was a bunch of talk and half-measures, they could get blamed for not doing enough. If the virus was a dud, then they would be accused of over-reacting to a minor event in order to politicize it. The only way to make the garden gnome gambit work is to go heavy on the response, regardless of the consequences. There can be no moderation.

The extreme measures also have the added benefit of swaying the public that the virus is Godzilla attacking Tokyo. This unprecedented shutdown of civic life, which is really just getting started, is the real monster of the story. At this point, you have a better chance to be struck by lightning than to know a virus victim. Even the girls on social media have not started faking infection yet. People look at the massive disruption of daily life and just assume the threat must be genuine.

Now there is one flaw with this approach. The shuttering of the country is going to come with a massive price tag. Current estimates, for example, suggest the rosy scenario for the economy is a 5% contraction in quarter one followed by a 25% contraction in quarter number two. It’s anyone’s guess as to what will happen in the second half of the year, but those are numbers that dwarf the first year of the Great Depression. Maybe after the quarantine is lifted, a massive recovery starts in the summer.

Of course, as soon as the coast is clear and the virus has been defeated, Trump throws himself a triumph and launches a new war on the depression. The people in the breadlines will not be impressed, but if the economy starts to recover in the summer, he can plausibly say the sacrifice was worth it. He can do a bunch of campaign stops at retirement homes to pose with octogenarians spared by the virus. That all sounds terribly cynical, but politics is a cynical business.

Another side benefit of this is the alarmist can claim to be vindicated. Like the people claiming their garden gnomes keep the giraffes away, the alarmists will say these extreme measures headed off an extinction event. By the end of the summer, they will be telling tales about an anthropomorphized virus that was eating men whole. Even if they hate Trump, they will celebrate him for taking their advice. The garden gnome gambit lets everyone be a hero, no matter the results.

Finally, Trump came to Washington as a chaos agent. He created chaos in the primary and the general election. His arrival in Washington set off panic among the establishment that has never subsided. This response to the virus and the ensuing panic it has caused is best suited for someone, who thrives in chaos. The garden gnome gambit is also best employed by someone, who relentlessly boasts about his achievements. Trump is now fully in control of Washington.


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ConservativeFred
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ConservativeFred

I have yet to hear of a friend of a friend that has the virus. I have heard of a friend of a friend that lost a job.

Paintersforms
Guest
Paintersforms

Yep. Lost mine yesterday. First coronavirus victim in my neighborhood. Perfectly healthy, mind you. The stupid tax.

BadThinker
Guest
BadThinker

Very sorry to hear. Good luck, and God Bless. Is there a chance that when things stop being crazy you can go back? Wish we anonymous internet people could do more to help.

Paintersforms
Guest
Paintersforms

Thanks. It’ll all work out for the better.

My company wants to bring back everyone asap. They didn’t buy the panic and fought shutting down. The problem is customers taking their business elsewhere in the meantime.

ConservativeFred
Guest
ConservativeFred

Thoughts and prayers. Stay strong.

Paintersforms
Guest
Paintersforms

Thanks, I’ll be fine. Just being my usual sarcastic self. First in the tank, first out.

SidVic
Member
SidVic

WTF, barely been two weeks?

ConservativeFred
Guest
ConservativeFred

In many areas of the economy it is not a “slow-down” in sales, but a dead stop. The two projects I have been working on for the past six months are dead in the water. That means no sales from our vendors, no commissions for the salespeople, no consulting hours, no infrastructure spend, etc. To compound the problem, no one is restarting anything until a bottom has been reached, whenever that is . . .

Screwtape
Guest
Screwtape

CFred, same goes for me. Full stop. Retrench. No transactions in the pipeline. The knife is falling and even the capital-flush distress guys I know are a bit queasy. Most are looking at rent and payroll, not bizdev. This may take a while. I am going to spend the next week looking for a government job. Being 1099 means I’m unemployed without the unemployment checks. Luckily this also means I am well practiced in the art of income volatility smoothing. In fact I just bought a real nice used ninja blender for $10 to make my smoothies. Next up is… Read more »

Member

Yes, the virus is only the catalyst that reveals the fragility of the system, and the system is very, very fragile.

Member

And the people with secure income stability are the all the wrong people.

Paintersforms
Guest
Paintersforms

Hopefully your governor isn’t brave enough to shut it down. There was no economic reason for this to happen now, no public health reason either imo. And no legal reason for anyone to comply (imo), but this is the land of the sheep, home of the slave.

Member

This is what I don’t get about all the “shelter in place” orders being issued by all these local Grand Imperial Dogcatchers. Why is anyone listening to them? Is anyone listening to them? Are local police actually listening to them? I do hope that one thing that comes out of this are measures to define (and strictly limit) the powers of governors, mayors (and dogcatchers). I’d also like to see guys on Our Side doing some lawfare. Those of you whose businesses were paralyzed and suffered losses or even failed because of this need to start suing people like Gov.… Read more »

Compsci
Guest
Compsci

Two weeks is a lifetime for some of the hospitality businesses. Coffee shop down the street had 10 employees to serve coffee, make breakfast and lunch. Immediately after mandatory shutdown of dine in facilities, they switched to take out coffee and danish. That required only 3 employees and the walk in trade is dismal. So 7 employees are laid off right there. I come in and grab a coffee, but I can see the hand writing on the wall—a once thriving business (I was there at the start 20 years ago), employing a dozen or more low skilled (but wonderful… Read more »

Compsci
Guest
Compsci

Don’t worry, the Fed’s will send you a check for a few bucks. Save you from selling apples on the corner. Seriously however, it’s upsetting to me. I’m in that age group we all point to as in danger, when it’s really you and a few million like you that are in danger. Best of luck, keep posting. People here need to hear from you and others bearing the brunt of this farce.

Paintersforms
Guest
Paintersforms

This will boomerang on the panickers like you won’t believe. Reading your posts, you sound right, but anybody out there reading— get right for your own sake. Panicking will only make it worse for everybody.

What a mess!

S. Bishop
Guest
S. Bishop

It is a mess! Just try balancing the potential virus spread rate, the potential final death count, the potential economy lockup, the market crash and the potential to overwhelm the entire healthcare system if we can’t ‘flatten the curve’, all while dealing with a corrupt media and the Democrats blathering reedited CCP talking points. We are truly blessed having President Trump at the helm.

Paintersforms
Guest
Paintersforms

Trump wasn’t going to get his way trying to calm everybody down. I hope nobody is putting all the blame on him.

Compsci
Guest
Compsci

Somebody throws a match on some tinder, another tries to put the fire out with gasoline. Who’s responsible for the resulting conflagration?

Bill_Mullins
Member

I hope nobody is putting all the blame on him.

Somebody will. You can bet your left nut on it. Some never-to-be-sufficiently-damned DemonKKKRat or RINO-Never-Trump-er is going to blame any/everything bad on the Prez. Mark. My. Words.

Connectwme
Guest
Connectwme

Paintersforms, I know you have a brain, or you wouldn’t be on this site. Are you in a highly specialized field? Do you have leadership experience in manufacturing? Live anywhere near Wichita, KS? If you answered no to the first question and yes to the second and third I’d be interested in talking to you about a job.

Rogertheshrubber
Guest
Rogertheshrubber

Midwest native, idled while managing a manufacturing restructuring in NY. (BTW, Upstate, in a county w/0 cases). About 6 hrs from Wichita. Extensive leadership in manufacturing.

Normie
Guest

Listen to this guy… ha! This is what you get Zman when you try to boost readershiip with pro Orange Clown BS… Sad.

The Clown is done. He slaughtered the economy and bowed down to the liberal fear mongers like the King if Isreal he is.

You’re better than this pandering…

Paintersforms
Guest
Paintersforms

Thank you very much, Connectwme. Yes, yes, and no. At any rate, I’m rooted in PA. Family land going back to the 19th century and all of that. Won’t abandon until I’m forced to, which, at this point, doesn’t seem likely. But thank you, genuinely.

3g4me
Guest
3g4me

Dear friend’s private business is down about 30%. Her husband is working from home and afraid he’ll be among the first to be laid off (older White man). Her brother is working from home and has been told, despite stellar reviews, he’ll be among the first because he was only hired about a year ago. My husband mentioned AMC laying off 26k and a customer told him about Textron furloughing 7k. Tip of the iceberg.

Compsci
Guest
Compsci

Same with my oldest child. Whole plant shut down. He’s busy basically sorting odds and ends for a closure. Then he expects to be gone. Companies are “firing” their staff due to unemployment insurance laws so their former employees can immediately apply. Of course they claim it is their intention to rehire all after this farce subsides, but you know that won’t happen as business takes time to ramp up—if it ever does. Just keeps folks idle and hoping. This is gonna be as cruel as any recession/depression ever recorded.

ReturnOfBestGuest
Guest
ReturnOfBestGuest

And yet the gov is still “streamlining” H-1B and H-2A visas. Why isn’t there ever a program to help willing citizen workers re-locate to where the jobs are?

UFO
Guest
UFO

They’re doing the jobs white people are too lazy to do. What are you, a bigot or something?

Paintersforms
Guest
Paintersforms

I get that feeling too and that’s why I’ve been practically freaking out to people. Not panicking btw 🙂 just getting very frustrated. Older generations might have the money but younger generations have the power of life and death. If this turns into a matter of survival for everybody (and national bankruptcy would do that) it could get tragic. I just can’t see people taking fiat handouts for long when practically everybody is aware of how that works and the inevitable consequences. It’s like giving someone a free meal voucher to a restaurant that’s going out of business. I don’t… Read more »

Screwtape
Guest
Screwtape

Local burrito chain (very woke!) was the first to voluntarily close “for the safety of our customers and employees”. Made a big deal in the local smut rag about it.

Barely two weeks later and they laid off everyone outside the corporate office. No press release this time around and the local woke smut rag hasn’t touched the story. I learned from a friend who manages some of the owners money.

Illustration of our current year.

Member

Well, I supposedly have it. I’m a Gen-Xer. A bit overweight but generally very healthy. I got pretty sick lately and went in to get looked at. I was reluctant to go because I knew they didn’t have the test kits and didn’t really want to expose people to what I had or take the chance the I just had the flu and could then get Wu-tang fever on top of it from the people in the waiting area. Then tested me for flu – negative. The conclusion was that, based on symptoms and that negative flu result, I probably… Read more »

Compsci
Guest
Compsci

Pozymandias, now that you’re better, can I have a pint of your plasma?

Bill_Mullins
Member

The wife is a school bus driver. She’s out until the 6th of April (i.e. including spring break the week before this past week a total of FOURweeks) – SO FAR! I’ve been doing food deliveries and so am our only source of income (social security aside). At least they are letting the grocery stores and carry-out/drive-thru restaurants operate so I can run. Damn good thing I have my wife’s Prius to drive. No idea how we’ll meet expenses if school doesn’t start back.

Monty James
Guest

Not getting my hopes up that chaos and panic would do anything to reverse four decades of stripping out domestic manufacturing capability and sending it to China, but maybe this is the event that could do it. Not since the last Buchanan campaign do I remember as many people talking about the subject.

UFO
Guest
UFO

Honestly – I don’t think so. Our elites hate us and want us dead. They only react out of fear: they’re dealing with the virus because otherwise they fear an uprising. They don’t care about the dead dirt people (of all races) and take special pleasure in the deaths of white people. It will go back to business as usual. It’s raycis to oppose outsourcing to China and that’s not who we are. However, I hope we start noticing the Chinese 5th column in this country. ALL chinamen are subversives and the chicom gov has massive media and political influence.… Read more »

Tarstarkusz
Guest
Tarstarkusz

This reminds me of another reason to hate the libertarians. They talk about the hollowing out of America as lifting 300 million people out of poverty in China and how wonderful it is. Their love of “humanity” makes them indifferent to the suffering of their neighbors. Disgusting.

Screwtape
Guest
Screwtape

Tars, it is like how in the patriotic glow of post-9/11 they had them convinced that the way to spread freedom and democracy over there was to destroy it over here.

And now we have “social-distancing”, house arrest, and bankrupting of the healthy and able to save the most feeble.

Like the corona witch trials test: 50% of the time, it works every time!

Compsci
Guest
Compsci

Yep, this Boomer thanks all who self sacrificed to keep me living high on the hog for another dozen years. Sarcasm off.

Bill_Mullins
Member

Tars, I’m a lower case “L” “libertarian” and I think the hollowing out of America was a terrible thing. I just don’t happen to believe that more government interference in private business is the way to keep such things from happening. I have no problem in protecting domestic businesses to the same degree other nations protect theirs. I suspect that the reason so much manufacturing went overseas was due to the confiscatory tax system so beloved of DemonKKKRats and RINOs. That and the terrible burden imposed by mindless and capricious federal regulators clearly made it more profitable to do business… Read more »

FashGordon
Guest
FashGordon

Billionaires or bureaucrats, thats who’re gonna be the corrupt people in charge in either of those systems. I prefer a third position.Our beloved uncle would have forced those industries to remain, passed beneficial regulations, pulled the economy out a recession and taken on the rest of the world outnumbered 10 to 1 and almost succeeded. But alas, *almost* is about as good as never. But that belies the point, a strong polis is what creates prosperity and strength. Our main weakness is a spiritual one. People don’t believe in anything, because multiculti pantheism provides nothing for them to believe in.… Read more »

John Smith
Member

That worked while everyone could pay the bills, flip the channel off the nooz and watch sportzball and snooze on the couch. With people losing jobs, facing unpaid bills and possibly full blown economic depression…they’ll be a lot more likely to put their feet down. Hell, yesterday even Prime Minister Pink Socks – Turdo La Doo – put an end to the refugee scam when he learned that the Canadian public was liable to lynch him given the current circumstances. They are getting sent back to their chit holes of origin. The new virtue signal will be “made in America”.… Read more »

UFO
Guest
UFO

Again, the ban on refugees is just temporary.

As soon as the panic over the virus dies down the border will be wide open again.

The gov will give out billions in cash to make people happy. Things will just quietly return back to normal in a few months.

Juri
Guest
Juri

“””…temporary….”” Don.t know about US but in Russia and Eastern Europe temporary things tend to be most long lasting.

FashGordon
Guest
FashGordon

The 2nd great depression that may well result from the panic will not however, be temporary. The gov’t is already deeply in debt, printing a shitton of money is only going to lead to rampant inflation which, coupled with the financial losses already sustained and likely to continue to be sustained… yeah. I wouldn’t pin my hopes on things going back to normal. We have already seen the fastest one month drop in the stock market ever, and the slide has likely only just begun. Over half of americnas are living paycheck to paycheck with the average amount of credit… Read more »

Dutch
Guest
Dutch

“Temporary”. Per the Washington Examiner, while we sit in lockdown, the local Border Patrol agents on the border in Arizona decided to swing open the gates and let everyone drive north. Likely they are earning a few sheckels as a side hustle, but the galling thing is how our noses are getting rubbed in it now.

Bill_Mullins
Member

DAMN I hope you’re right. Don’t expect you WILL be but damned sure hope you ARE!

TuNeCedeMalisPJS
Member

UFO: You are so spot on.
Hug a Chinese day at the onset of this virus in Milan:
https://summit.news/2020/03/12/mayor-of-florence-encouraged-italians-to-hug-a-chinese-before-coronavirus-pandemic-hit/
Why Italy is answered:
https://uncoverdc.com/2020/03/20/why-italy/
To world leaders we are all economic units (thank you Z-man for the red pill)…

UFO
Guest
UFO

“To world leaders we are all economic units” Correction: To gullible white leaders, we are economic units. The Chinese leaders see it in terms of ethnic conquest. So do the Jews. Read your article about Italy, btw. Never noticed the Chinamen there but holy shit are there alot of Africans! I don’t know how any white person can visit there and not become racist! Italy is a just a museum of a formerly great civilization, being viewed by curious Chinese tourists. The great architecture there is 800+ years old. In 800 years, what will Italy be like? 50 years from… Read more »

FashGordon
Guest
FashGordon

It’s gonna be awfully hard to support a parasitic third world population if we enter a 2nd great depression.

Bill_Mullins
Member

How much of Africa – for that matter how many Muslim nations – feeds itself? In a world depression, how much food do you figure is going to be raised in the U.S. for export?

Dutch
Guest
Dutch

TuNe, I have a vision of Chairman Xi and his people generating the “Italians hug the Chinese guy” video, and getting a good laugh at how stupid people can be. A version of “let’s try this and see if people are stupid enough to fall for it”. Yup. The Eye-talians fell for it.

Compsci
Guest
Compsci

UFO. Along the old line…maybe they don’t care about the “dirt” people, but after this farce maybe the “dirt” people will care about “them”. We can only hope.

Rwc1963
Guest
Rwc1963

The military/DoD was well aware for the last 40 years we could not trust even American born Chinese in sensitive positions. They are tribal as can be. And for as long they have also had one of the most extensive intel networks in the U.S. even surpassing that of the Jews and Russians during the Cold War. it was why we kept them out of sensitive positions for so long. That said don’t expect the economy to come roaring back. It’s pretty much been fried We’ll be lucky if we don’t end up in a Depression and a collapse of… Read more »

joey junger
Guest
joey junger

I read some center-center think tank publications and “decoupling” is not only being mentioned, but openly advocated. I don’t know if the jobs or factories will move (probably not) but the Window just did.

Member

I wrote a rather long post here in the “I am Legend” thread yesterday – http://thezman.com/wordpress/?p=20094#comment-153776. I’m glad to hear some think tanks are saying similar things. The Window is definitely moving our way. I really do hope this finally means real movement back to sanity globally and soon.

ConservativeFred
Guest
ConservativeFred

To put a little more information behind it. My wife’s company started lay-offs yesterday. My company is reducing hours for certain employees.

I’ll call this the end of Week 2 of the panic.

Jack Dobson
Guest
Jack Dobson

“Now there is one flaw with this approach. The shuttering of the country is going to come with a massive price tag.” This. Finally people are raising this point, even the supine cucks at National Review. Looking at the CDC website daily, we see negligible numbers of deaths even as confirmed cases escalate sharply; even the WORLDWIDE death toll (obviously unreliable due to China, but still…) thus far would not justify the more draconian domestic actions. There was no cost/benefit analysis by the sincere doom-mongers. Reasonable people are coming to this conclusion. I have no idea how this will play… Read more »

MBlanc46
Guest
MBlanc46

The Leftists and Nervous Nellies have persuaded President Trump to destroy whatever chance he had of re-election. And do it eyes-wide-open. There’s n-dimensional chess for you.

Major Hoople
Member
Major Hoople

From up here in the country, where people are already fed up with downstate politicians wrecking things, it looked to me like a virtue signaling cycle among politicians, each meeting and raising the bid of the other. People are scared. Got a hair cut three days ago. Figured I’d better. Woman who runs the shop, started her business, very down to earth and level headed, not a urban liberal bird brain, was close to panic about losing all her customers and business. I told things would work out, we will get through it, and to run her business like a… Read more »

M. B. Lamar
Guest
M. B. Lamar

Election. Hmm. Most likely. Still. What other contingencies are hiding in the Stafford Act?

Screwtape
Guest
Screwtape

I’m thinking that the testing will have to roll out quickly, including bulk releases of the backlog of actual test results, to then create more “outbreaks”. Of course the media is providing zero context to the data. Its just “facts” repeated on the usual rags and twits. The challenge being, as with most of this process, is the seesaw effect of increased data visibility. More testing means more positives but also means a lower death rate. As of now they can still toss around the 1% to 3% or whatever keeps the climate change I mean epidemiology models in the… Read more »

Dutch
Guest
Dutch

I see Newsom and Cuomo positioning themselves as “Trump but more civil” alternatives at the DNC convention.

The Right Doctor
Guest
The Right Doctor

I defended the idea that the illness will get more serious and touch more people yesterday. I did not defend the reaction, this re-structuring of human relations and behavior, which is absurd.

Your breath is second-hand smoke now. Your touch is radon.

And you – virus dissident – you are breeding miniature albino giraffes!

Dave
Guest
Dave

We know several doctors here in NYC, one of them is an emergency room physician, and there is no massive spike. The guy in the emergency room says he has seen coronavirus cases, but not an overwhelming wave. They are running out of ventilators and masks, though, and that is making many of the doctors in the ER panic, despite no wild increase in hospitalizations. The media continues to paint each new increase in cases as an increase in deaths, the two are indistinguishable to them, and they are intentionally skewing peoples perception of the real numbers of serious hospitalizations.… Read more »

Nunnya Bidnez, jr.
Guest
Nunnya Bidnez, jr.

Hey Dave-
I’m in Bay Ridge;
whereabouts are you?

SidVic
Member
SidVic

show a lot of curiosity for a guy whose name is none of your business. Lol

Nunnya Bidnez, jr.
Guest
Nunnya Bidnez, jr.

I’m thinking of organizing an NYC get-together. We’re all here together, yet we’re all so isolated. I don’t care what Dave’s real name is, or yours. I can hardly remember my own.
Build community, even if it’s an anonymous community. We’ll need it soon.

Compsci
Guest
Compsci

Wife told me today she heard on the news that one of the epicenters of the COVID-19 outbreak in NYC was in Elmhurst, Queens. She knew I was there last in NYC. I stopped and immediately asked, did they say anything else about the population there? Yes, “poor and immigrant”. Interesting I said, last I was there it was a Chinese enclave. Milan, here we come.

Nunnya Bidnez, jr.
Guest
Nunnya Bidnez, jr.

Elmhurst is mostly Hindu, Arab, Pakistani, Chinese and Mexican. Still some holdover white people.

Compsci
Guest
Compsci

Oh my, what a vibrant mixture. How’d COVID-19 pop up there?

S. Bishop
Guest
S. Bishop

If only we had elected Hillary….

/Corona-level sarc – I’ll see myself out.

Member

I saw your post yesterday and read the thread. I was wondering what you think about this Italian situation. The media is screaming about all the Italians dropping dead and as usual providing no context. I’m sure people watching this stuff are picturing poor Mario and Luigi on respirators and no longer able to battle Bowser and Bullet Bill. It’s my understanding though that a lot of these “Italians” are actually Chinese brought in to provide cheap labor and so the Italian cases should be mostly classed as a direct branch of the Wuhan cluster. A nice infographic to construct… Read more »

UFO
Guest
UFO

Yeah so weird that ages and sex is being released but not names or race.

I REALLY want to see this data.

So far, anywhere with a significant Chinese population is having the most deaths. Except Iran. But maybe they have some secret thing going on right now.

Hun
Guest
Hun

The median age of the alleged coronavirus victims in Italy is still over 80. I doubt they are Chinese.
That being said, 99% of them have other conditions. I wonder if the total daily deaths are any higher than the usual for this time of the year.

The Right Doctor
Guest
The Right Doctor

The Italians seem to have caught a bigger ‘load’, injected into one particular area, to be crass. I’ve seen figures of 300,000 Chinese living in that part of Italy working in textiles and learning to make better knock-offs of the Milan houses. Some ten of thousands of them went home for New Year – late January – and came back with undeclared biologics.

The population in Italy skews like Miami Beach: God’s Waiting Room.

And, they were caught unawares, certainly relative to us.

Member

Life carries on normally out here in the distant provinces. Most everyone is laughing at all the urban neurosis coming out of the NY-based media outlets. At some point, we’re going to start getting fairly accurate reports of how powerful this virus actually was. Once people you know come down with it and start reporting their symptoms, the media will not be able to hide the truth. If this doesn’t turn out to be the Black Death, then it’s just going to be the flu. And that will be one more nail in the coffin of the media/politico alliance we… Read more »

SamlAdams
Guest
SamlAdams

What is putting a fine point on the panic around here is not the fatality rate, but rather the fear that if you get sick there will be no one able to treat you. Here in NY people have become so inured to “on demand” everything that the thought that might not happen puts them in full freakout. This is not the land of http://grahamcombat.com/the-killhouse-rules/ . Just monitoring FB, you have people now in full freakout about Amazon not guaranteeing Prime and being out of many products. One thing I learned in the Fire/EMS business working during disasters is that… Read more »

Member

Unless you are a high-risk person, you are unlikely to need anyone to treat you.

M. B. Lamar
Guest
M. B. Lamar

Get thee behind me, Giraffe-lover!

Member

Nobody is willing to consider the benefits of miniature albino giraffes.

Giraffe Lover
Guest
Giraffe Lover

Following a boozy night out, I woke up next to a miniature albino giraffe. True, the long neck did have benefits. But it just kept calling me and calling me with nothing interesting to discuss. Some of you gnome what I’m talking about.

SamlAdams
Guest
SamlAdams

You have to have spent 25 years among “high maintenance” types here to fully appreciate a)what is considered a “crisis”. I’m waiting for the first report that someone in town has spontaneously combusted.

Major Hoople
Member
Major Hoople

That’s why I like living in the country.

ProUSA
Guest
ProUSA

Please explain insider trading to me. Who would not sell off stocks on the advent of this news? Human nature at work, a cause and then an effect. The public doesn’t get the news as fast or first, but once you get a report you follow with a rational act. Feinstein, OTH, is a different kind of criminal, the kind who uses position to leverage personal wealth.

Member

Burr took advantage of his office by obtaining information before anyone else had it. After he sold his position, he went around fanning the flames of hysteria. Prior to that, he was urging caution. Oh, yeah…did I mention his stock positions were in the hotel/travel industry? Burr is an asshole.

ProUSA
Guest
ProUSA

I agree that Burr is an A-hole. Still, I don’t understand how one should react against one’s own interests. Is he legally obligated to not transact and if so, when does he get the go-ahead to buy/sell?

LineInTheSand
Guest
LineInTheSand

If Burr is not prohibited from acting in him own interest under those conditions, he should be. Most people don’t want to live in a county that is each-against-all.

The fundamental mistake of the individualist is to believe that he can survive outside of a tribe. The tribe is the basic unit of survival and thus the first law of tribe members should be not put one’s own interests above the tribe’s.

(I’m not suggesting the USA is a tribe, of course. It is a snake pit of competing tribes and only conservative white men don’t realize this.)

Al from da Nort
Guest
Al from da Nort

Pro; Prohibition of insider trading is a key part of US Securities Law. The overarching idea is that all investors should be in the same position re information about any publicly traded firm. So corporate insiders (officers and directors) are prohibited from trading on undisclosed-to-the-public information relevant to the price of their firm’s securities. Once said information is disclosed, the prohibition ends. Tl/Dr: Sounds nice, hard to prove in court. Senators are not technically ‘corporate insiders’ but they do routinely come into possession of information relevant to securities’ market prices unavailable to the public, like a possible pandemic and possible… Read more »

ProUSA
Guest
ProUSA

I read your comment again and it was informative. Thank you.

Compsci
Guest
Compsci

Legal has nothing to do with it (yeah, I know in a sense it does). It’s the ethics one might be concerned about. In theory, he is a servant of the people, not there to serve himself. Of course ethics are for the little people as they would say.

Al from da Nort
Guest
Al from da Nort

Comp;
Just explaining a bit in case the question was sincere.

Couldn’t agree more. A truly ancient human value is the rulers being expected to be ‘protectors of the poor’. Also it is a ruler intelligence test. You can’t last long as chief if you favor the clan heads over the hoi polloi: Every one of them thinks *he* should be chief, not you.

Compsci
Guest
Compsci

No, Burr is a criminal. I’m an asshole, but I won’t rob you.

Dutch
Guest
Dutch

The equivalent of “insider trading” was somewhat explicitly legal for Senators and Congresscritters until recently. Once it was pointed out, the laws were changed so that no one understands what is legal for them anymore, but no one can point to where it is deemed illegal. DC protecting its own.

As to the ethical element of the thing, that says a lot and speaks for itself, doesn’t it?

ProUSA
Guest
ProUSA

I really am trying to understand the nuances, if that is the correct term, for insider trading. For example, if I am just a lowly civilian and I hear a tip that something is about to happen, then I would react immediately rather than suffer the consequences financially or otherwise. So I really don’t understand the definition of insider trading in this case. Am I correct to think that Burr should have told himself not to sell off his stocks? And if so, at what point after he is tipped off does he have permission to sell stocks? It’s kind… Read more »

S. Bishop
Guest
S. Bishop

Any chance we can still sign up for Senator Burr’s Investment Newsletter? He sounds like a world-class market timer that could make Bernie Madoff blush and my advisor told me to stay put.

Member

Burr is more like a snake oil salesman. He had access to highly sensitive information about a possible pandemic and acted on it while everyone else was serenely unaware. Once he had divested himself of his positions, he turned around and tried to panic the market. What a guy!

Major Hoople
Member
Major Hoople

Burr has done a lot more than that. The last three plus years he has stuck the knife into Trump on the Mueller Russia business, and schemed behind the scenes with the Dems. Let him burn.

miforest
Guest
miforest

MH is exactly right about this . If he goes down it would be great. an anti trump GOP is a traitor and worse than an openly disagreeing democrat

joey junger
Guest
joey junger

The smartest Doktor-Doktors at Robert Koch (yes, Germans really do these multiple titles) are saying that this thing will probably hit in waves over the course of the next two years or so. Anything zoonotic that can jump from species to species can easily mutate to jump from one age cohort to another. So if this thing does hit again (knock on wood) and instead it gloms on to healthy people in the prime of their lives, some of the more extreme measures taken now for the “Boomer Remover” (as someone callously called it) might be justified; but even then,… Read more »

Jack Dobson
Guest
Jack Dobson

If/when Armageddon doesn’t happen and particularly if the coming New Green Deal power grab fails, expect a lot of claims the next time will be worse. The most amusing part will be the simultaneous claims we have to continue to outsource our livelihoods to China.

Sandmich
Guest
Sandmich

That’s the thing I beat into people when discussing this: this disease, like the flu, is something we chose to import, and we can also choose to not import it. No one in our country has to die from the flu again, if we so desire.

mobiuswolf
Member

And open the borders wide.

joey junger
Guest
joey junger

I think even pathologically altruistic whites got a wake-up call with this thing. I could almost read the thoughts of the normies I’m seeing in the grocery stores: “Hmm, if there’s not an unlimited amount of toilet paper, and there aren’t an unlimited number of face masks, maybe letting the whole world into America isn’t as good an idea as the smart people think, and maybe the dumb racists might be right about some things.” Ditto for the Bernie/Ocasio-Cortez sell of some horn of plenty just over the horizon. People who’ve had to think about scarcity (even if they’re focused… Read more »

LineInTheSand
Guest
LineInTheSand

I hope that you are right that normies are thinking about limited resources and lifeboat ethics. Our future depends on that kind of thinking.

SamlAdams
Guest
SamlAdams

Side note– the series “Charite” was a fascinating look at Herr Doktor Koch and the evolution of public health and surprisingly accurate. Recommend it for anyone stuck binge watching during the Great Plague.

SamlAdams
Guest
SamlAdams

I’d write something longer, but have to make a quick emergency run to the dentist—the number of lightning zaps this week has melted a couple of fillings. But I’m at the epicenter. Had properly socially distanced cocktails last night with a banker friend—8 feet apart, brought own bottles and there was a fire pit between us. If this does not get resolved quickly, the Great Depression is going to look like child’s play. Way too many financial dominos will start to kick over and once over no way back. You’ve got oil field services companies that have taken 600mm draws… Read more »

ConservativeFred
Guest
ConservativeFred

For reference, Friday the 13th marked the end of week 1 of the virus panic. Friday, March 20th marked the end of week 2 of the virus panic.

I am amazed at how fast the 2d and 3d order effects are moving. I spoke with someone in real estate development, and already tenants are saying “no money for rent.” This includes individuals and businesses. Even if the panic ends tomorrow, April 1st rent will not be there.

The cascade has started.

Jack Dobson
Guest
Jack Dobson

I just laughed at the recollection of people posting #twoweeks when Hannity was claiming nightly the Deep State coup plotters would be prosecuted. It is totally unrelated but inexplicably funny to me.

ConservativeFred
Guest
ConservativeFred

[sarcasm on] I am sure “The Storm” is raging [sarcasm off].

SamlAdams
Guest
SamlAdams

Yes it has. I’m in the process of a side project on real estate requirements for my operating division. Have two major leases up and looking to retrade the prior negotiations. Our real estate guy is ex-Goldman so knows how to pinch a nickel till the buffalo shits.

ProZNoV
Guest
ProZNoV

My state governor already asking landlords to “defer collecting rent payments” for a month or two.

No call for banks to “defer mortgage payments” from landlords who are renting their properties out. Funny how that works.

Bill_Mullins
Member

No call for banks to “defer mortgage payments” from landlords who are renting their properties out.

Nor for them to defer collecting from people who are paying for the homes they LIVE IN either.

Forever Templar
Guest
Forever Templar

Lay off the doom porn dude. I miss the days of the Cold War when a post-nuke apocalypse future was feasible and more interesting.

SamlAdams
Guest
SamlAdams

I’ll always admit my biases–and in my profession have to look at ranges of outcomes, everything from current year to 1 in 500 year outcomes–so it comes from the territory. But also enjoyed ringside seats to the .com crash, 9/11 (nearly in the ring there), 2008 and now. Getting right up the edge of the abyss a couple times leaves a mark.

M. B. Lamar
Guest
M. B. Lamar

Agreed. Raised on nuclear war, aliens, and zombies, apocalypse-by-mild-cold just isn’t cutting it. Well, one can dream.

Screwtape
Guest
Screwtape

Yeah Sam the write-downs and subsequent cascade of hurt is gonna be epic. Short of freezing the entire market and economy like in a war, the reality of kicking the credit can from the last “great recession” will reveal quickly. Turned that beer can into a 55gal barrel of crude. Last time it was mortgage, this time corporate bonds and derivatives that turned junk bonds into “leveraged loans” and investment grade paper. Hell Deutsch Bank still has bad asset-backed derivatives squirreled away from last time that probably approach Germany’s GDP when added up. Speaking of RE. A useful microcosm of… Read more »

LineInTheSand
Guest
LineInTheSand

“RE”?

Screwtape
Guest
Screwtape

Sorry, real estate.

SamlAdams
Guest
SamlAdams

Couldn’t figure out WeWork. We used one as a project overflow space for a while since it was across the street. Offices were basically cleaned up Class B space. But the business model was no different than a guy selling “loosie” cigarettes. You can make a nice margin piecing out the space. But not “fuck you” money. Plus no real barriers to others doing the same. There is a ton of former Class A space in NYC that has been repurposed to apartments and incubators of different stripes.

Dutch
Guest
Dutch

Two words: Counterparty risk. When this is done, everyone will know what that means.

Also, the compounding of returns via leverage, and how leverage screws you when values are unwinding. The math is skewed against you on the downside, and forced liquidations and margin calls in the system move things along at lightning speed, in a way that doesn’t happen on the upside.

As Mandelbrot’s fractals will tell you, nothing much happens for a long time, and then everything happens at once, in chaotic fashion.

Paintersforms
Guest
Paintersforms

The authorities will claim they saved the world again, proving we should all be slaves to the ‘smart’ people. The bleating sheep will agree. Idiocracy.

Member

I really really hope you’re right here at least as it pertains to Trump coming out at least a little bit on top since we’re completely cooked if he doesn’t, but I really can’t see anymore how he gets off the tiger. Governors all across the country are willing to utterly destroy the economies in their states just so they have another excuse to shout “Orange Man Bad!”. I don’t see how Trump can ever say he’s gotten the virus under control when half the governors in the country will just turn around to claim that he hasn’t and the… Read more »

Jack Dobson
Guest
Jack Dobson

It’s far too early to draw any political conclusions. The Cloud People do see this as their opportunity to implement the Green New Deal, and therefore have latched onto a brain dead puppet with dementia.

But Z is exactly right about how this is being played, and while I have no faith in the (non-)American people any longer, even they will notice the lack of dead bodies as they stand in bread lines.

Member

The lack of dead bodies just shows that bread lines are halting the spread of the disease! The rationing will continue to ensure that the virus is kept in check!

Screwtape
Guest
Screwtape

Yeah the Hubris Virus is a slippery bitch like that.

Bill_Mullins
Member

“bread lines”? Where?

Alzaebo
Guest

Bread lines. We’re back in the USSR.

Screwtape
Guest
Screwtape

No way Al. Our bread will be gluten free. Sawdust and reclaimed carpet glue have a lower carbon footprint than wheat.

Compsci
Guest
Compsci

I’d need to add that here, some of the worse and extreme measures have been implemented at the City and County level. It seems to this naive individual, that one only needs to declare a “State of Emergency” to assume dictatorial power. However, we’ve seen only compliance at this time (1 week). It remains to be seen what enforcement actions will be taken when folks catch wise and ignore such edicts.

Josh
Guest
Josh

I think there will be push back sooner rather than later. Millions of people are laid off, had their hours reduced, or loss their job completely, and many of them were living paycheck to paycheck. My brother is a nurse and says this is blown out of proportion, there is no propionate responses going on right now. They just extended restrictions for another 20 days in my area, so now I’m helping laid off neighbors and friends. If we help others, people are more apt to listen. This may be a good thing for dissidents as people see there are… Read more »

Screwtape
Guest
Screwtape

My hospital called yesterday. Canceling all non-essential/emergency appointments.

My physical therapy got punted “indefinitely”. They were super nice about it and are offering telephone appointments, looking at video options, emailing pamphlets etc.

I planned to cancel anyhow. That place is like a Tijuana flea market on the best of days, but they are clearing the decks.

The question will be how many smoking planes will actually land.

Yves Vannes
Member

I live in a state with 56 confirmed cases of infection. 56. This weekend the state police will be coordinating with local police departments in crowd control exercises. Towns with high concentrations of college kids (off campus housing) have hired lots of temp cops to make sure house parties and other gatherings keep their numbers under 12. Meanwhile, the state prison is releasing non violent inmates so the violent ones can better engage in social distancing. Social distancing seems to have also become the latest in policing tactics because arrests have tanked. The US-Canada border in the East is backed… Read more »

ToM
Guest
ToM

Went to the shooting range, packed with Chinese restaurant workers practicing. My demographics is similar to Lagos, I suspect these Chinese think some sort of South African situation is coming.

ProUSA
Guest
ProUSA

I hope that they keep going to the range and run out of ammo for when they need it. Since the 1980s, I have met a few of what we would call Chinese-Americans.

Tykebomb
Guest
Tykebomb

Asians are all acting real squirrelly. Between this and Yang’s “Implement UBI before the round eyes kill us all” freakout during this campaign I’m starting to wonder why they are all freaking out. It ain’t becuase of the Blacks.

UFO
Guest
UFO

Yeah it is very weird. I noticed that about a year ago the Asians attitude changed. They went from friendly and normal to extremely anger and hostile towards whites. Even 2nd and 3rd generation Asian ‘Canadians’. Now they’re in full blown panic mode, and seem terrified of YT. Despite 99% of the “hate crime” incidents being done by blacks… The CCP does text them. Hard to tell if their attitude is just reflective of what the CCP says it should be. They are hive mind, insect-like people after all. Maybe they know something we don’t… about the origins or purpose… Read more »

Dutch
Guest
Dutch

UFO, notice what they are afraid of about you, and then you will know exactly what they would do to you, given similar circumstances in the other direction.

abprosper
Guest
abprosper

At least in my area Latinos in general loathe Chinese and other Asian people. Whites are staring to get to that idea as well. Its bad enough that the city in my Red part of So Cal will legally make the life of any Chinese landlord a living hell by comparison treating renters poorly and homeowners White and Latino pretty well. Its been building up for some years. As an aside I had a Filipino of my acquaintance sell his property owned and rental and move to L.A as the felt like a place that someone of his ethnicity shouldn’t… Read more »

Compsci
Guest
Compsci

ToM. East Asians are smarter than we think. 😉

Member

When this first started to escalate outside of China and hit the U.S., I thought it would be terrible for Trump. People were saying it will be his Hurricane Katrina. Now? It kind of looks like it is going to maybe help get him re-elected. Who is talking about the Democrat primary right now? And who wants a dementia patient in charge during a pandemic? I figured until recently that Trump loses because of demographics but now he might pull it out. Of course the economy will be in the toilet but it is better than the economy in the… Read more »

SamlAdams
Guest
SamlAdams

Joe is trying to figure out how to campaign. Apparently was going to do a daily briefing to point out everything that Trump was doing wrong. Until somebody realized that meant lots of unscripted questions from the press…not a good idea. Expect to see him forget to show up wearing pants at some event that’s all she wrote.

DLS
Guest
DLS

The media is reelecting Trump. Their sensationalism is giving him a bigger dragon to slay. And by “slay” I mean the virus takes its natural course and Trump takes the credit.

SidVic
Member
SidVic

John Hinderaker at Powerline is reading the Z blog. His last post was a recapitulation of Zs post. Getting influential.

Member

As usual, great observations. But, in the end, I care little about gambits. There is some level of societal disruption coming. Will it be severe? Only time will tell.

I started preparing a long time ago. I am as ready as I can be and can protect me and my charges relatively well. As for the rest, it is not important. Good luck to all of you. I hope you fare well.

mobiuswolf
Member

As well as they’ll let me, anyway. ;o)

Ris_Eruwaedhiel
Guest
Ris_Eruwaedhiel

As of this morning in NJ, can’t even get a self-pouring soft drink, only bottled. Even fresh donuts are wrapped in plastic now. I remarked to the young man at the checkout counter that this was ridiculous and he agreed. Might be further shutdowns of “non-essential businesses,” so better do my errands today.

Sandmich
Guest
Sandmich

Some of this stuff I wonder about long-term. I go to the gas station and use their cups that have been pawed through and resting it on the soda release that’s seen many a take-a-sip-and-refill touches. My wife said they now require that you bring in your own cup, that would seem to make things even worse.

MBlanc46
Guest
MBlanc46

“Trump is fully in control”? Maybe. But maybe this event has torpedoed what slim chance he had of re-election.

Mark Stoval
Guest
Mark Stoval

I went to a Publix in Orlando at opening time last Saterday. There were about 7 of us waiting there 5 minutes before the doors opened and the store was ok and well stocked except for paper products and cleaning wipes. No hand sanitizer of course. Today I went to the same store and got there about 10 minutes early. There were about 75 people with empty carts lined up to get in. There were about 15 of us who were standing and looking on in awe and not going to try it. I joke with an old guy (he… Read more »

Sandmich
Guest
Sandmich

Yeah I think we all thought “giant asteroid” or “nuclear war”. It does remind me of 1984 though where Winston starts to wonder if the war that has them on perpetual lockdown even exists; “we have always been at war with Coronachan!”

NJ Person
Guest
NJ Person

Der Fuhrer NJ Gov. Murphy’s Law says: “This is going to be ‘our way or the highway’ time” as we head into some lock down. The brazen arrogance of the political class takes my breath away. I, a mild mannered normie, am rapidly turning from being a sceptic into a complete cynic. All this is happening way too quickly.

Member

Did you see this article from this morning?

https://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2020/03/it-begins-police-in-new-jersey-arrest-homeowner-for-hosting-wedding-with-more-than-50-people-amid-coronavirus-panic/

They arrested some guy in NJ for having a wedding party at his home.

Here in Philly, they’ve told criminals that they are free to rob and steal and deal drugs with impunity as long as they don’t leave a dead body lying around that somebody needs to come collect. Woe betide you though for not slavishly “distancing” to the degree our betters have so decreed.

NJ Person
Guest
NJ Person

This is from only 11 confirmed virus related deaths in NJ! Neighbors spying on neighbors. This is something that no twisted sci-fi writer could dream of. Imagine a story where the whole human race has a huge nervous breakdown and dies.

Member

Maybe we just need to roll with the times and adapt our behavior. Instead of a wedding party at the house, why not take advantage of the new attitude towards crime and have the guests go out in small group looting bands around town. The wedding organizers could hand out the addresses of local politicians as suggested “party sites”. Everyone brings whatever they can steal back to the groom’s house and those become the wedding gifts! Think of the savings!!

Bill_Mullins
Member

“Land of the free and home of the brave.”
Yup. Yup. Says so right here on the label.

Mark Auld
Guest
Mark Auld

Welcome aboard the oblivion express, pale face.

Marko
Guest
Marko

Z, what’s up with the European commas? You use them to separate clauses. This is an annoying habit of the Continentals, and perhaps you picked this nasty virus up from one of your European trips? For example: “The garden gnome gambit is also best employed by someone, who relentlessly boasts…”.

Yves Vannes
Member

Comment comma, define don’t…

Ris_Eruwaedhiel
Guest
Ris_Eruwaedhiel

I re-read the article and found the comma placement appropriate. I have caught spelling errors in Z’s Gab postings, though.

Secretarial impulse kicking in.

Marko
Guest
Marko

I lived in Estonia for a few years and this is where I noticed the comma thing. I used to X all those commas out when I was grading papers. It never helped. I couldn’t stop the onslaught of commas.

LineInTheSand
Guest
LineInTheSand

Lothrop Stoddard wrote a prophetic book in 1920 called “The Rising Tide of Commas.”

Dutch
Guest
Dutch

Commavirus.

james wilson
Member

You will, never again, witness, the deluge of commas, invading the writing of 18th century Americans. Which also explains all the bullshit arising from one single misunderstood comma in the 2nd Amendment. Here’s a single sentence from the man himself, Al Hamilton–“To judge from the history of mankind, we shall be compelled to conclude, that the fiery and destructive passions of war, reign in the human breasts, with much more powerful sway, than the mild and beneficent sentiments of peace; and, that to model our political systems upon speculations of lasting tranquility, is to calculate on the weaker springs of… Read more »

Sleepy
Member
Sleepy

The Z Man comma-ed while Rome (and the rest of the world) burned (with a high fever).

The Right Doctor
Guest
The Right Doctor

Why would you put a comma after ‘and’ in your third sentence? That’s just wrong. I can’t even. You need your hand spanked with a ruler, young man!

Moran ya Simba
Guest
Moran ya Simba

I disagree w the take on this crisis here, I also think there are important epidemiological misunderstandings here (e.g. ‘flatten the curve’ is containment, not suppression. That doesn’t seem to be clear here). But I read it to get the other argument compared to the rising chorus.

LineInTheSand
Guest
LineInTheSand

Moran, can you provide a link that best summarizes your outlook? Like you, I want to hear from smart people who see things differently.

Compsci
Guest
Compsci

I’ve heard both analyses, containment and suppression, discussed. What seems consistent though is a dragging out of economic restrictions and pain. I don’t know who to believe here.

Moran ya Simba
Guest
Moran ya Simba

There is no single source that forms the basis of my views. I don’t want to pull rank but I am a physician as well as an applied mathematician. While epidemiology is not my usual focus I have done models on epidemics. But this is a black swan; I don’t believe in experts in black swans. There may be experts in the field that has the black swan but not in black swans themselves. So briefly here are my views. There’s a lot we still don’t know about this virus but so far it has shown a combined infectivity and… Read more »

TBD
Guest
TBD

Thanks for that overview, MYS. This is largely my take as well. I recognize the painful economic walloping we’re about to take, but I’m optimistic about our respective countries’ hopes of coming out of this wiser and stronger. I anticipate a massive bout of economic growth as the west rebuilds essential manufacturing. Side note: I’ve long said that the Chinese have an amazing capacity for self-destruction. Didn’t think their run would come unstuck in this particular way, yet here we are all the same. After this, we won’t be more free. Every city dogcatcher’s become a pocket dictator, and people… Read more »

Severian
Guest

Trump is now fully in control of Washington. Maybe that’s why I have such a hard time taking any of this seriously. It’s hallucinatory, watching every hardcore Leftist I know — which, since I live in a college town, is pretty much every single person I know — screaming and moaning about how the government didn’t do enough, isn’t doing enough, can’t do enough. Ummmm…. y’all realize that you’re begging Donald Trump to do all that, right? Orange Man Bad, and yet you can’t wait for him to call out the Army and impose martial law. I know, I know,… Read more »

Al from da Nort
Guest
Al from da Nort

Sev;
Seriously, if Trump is in full control of DC, where are the heads of his enemies on pikes_? The profiteering Senators would make a nice start.

At least now we know why Sen Burr suddenly got a lot more accommodating about confirming Trump’s choice for DNI that he blocked previously.

And, this *is* an interesting swamp rat intelligence test. Coumo (NY) and Newsem (CA) have figured out that the bar is now open so they ought to be nice to the bartender (for now). DeBlasio (NYC) and Pritzger (IL) aren’t even that smart.

Severian
Guest

There it is. For those of y’all worried that Trump *won’t* go full Pinochet, well, there will never be a better opportunity. I’m pretty sure Trump could publicly execute 3/4 of the Senate at the foot of the Washington Monument if he said they had COVID-19, all with the breathless approval of every shrieking ninny Leftist in the land (I know, I know, BIRM at least twice). And yet, when I point out that there is an exact historical parallel to this situation — that “government shutting down businesses and suppressing civil liberties, all with the screaming approval of the… Read more »

Nunnya Bidnez, jr.
Guest
Nunnya Bidnez, jr.

what does BIRM mean?

Severian
Guest

But I Repeat Myself, as in “shrieking ninny Leftist” ( BIRM x2 in that case).

Compsci
Guest
Compsci

The “bad boy” in me sometimes wishes to bring back Soviet style “show trials”. Those I’d bing watch.

TomA
Guest
TomA

Parasites feed. They have no natural defense against rejection by the host, so they require a jackboot force to protect them. And a phony induced panic creates a pseudo-justification for keeping the Little Hitler politicians in power and protected by their palace guard. This insanity will continue until natural selection once again rids us of the stupid gene.

Lorenzo
Guest
Lorenzo

“Lisa, I want to buy your rock.”

…Homer Simpson

ProUSA
Guest
ProUSA

Hannity and Gov Cuomo got all warm and fuzzy on the radio show yesterday: Cuomo comes out on top and we get The New Deal 2.0.

The overwhelming existence of socialists in the main stream media and in government has forced Trump to play FDR. China and its American allies, who recoil even at the use of the term Wuhan virus or Chinese virus, have everything to gain by this so-called accident in a country that was getting its ass kicked by Trump.

JR Wirth
Guest
JR Wirth

Trump was just fitted with a FDR cape. He’s about to start smoking cigarettes from a holder. He knows that FDR was the last President (monster) elected during a depression, and only by keeping the country in perpetual crisis in which the President is seen as a father figure guiding us through with a lantern. In a nation of bastard children it has even more resonance today. I’m going find some tracts of land to park my money in while this decade long fiasco unfolds.

Nunnya Bidnez, jr.
Guest
Nunnya Bidnez, jr.

so, he’ll get re-elected to 4 terms in office?

that would make a lot of heads explode.

abprosper
Guest
abprosper

He won’t, too old for those shenanigans. However the ham handedness of so many State officials is going to make the flaming twenties a lot worse than it was already going to be. 2024 will be a rather memorable year I think, one of those years that makes me glad I have no children. IMO there a is rather narrow window to get the economy into some kind of functioning as any kind of lock down that lasts for more than a few months will destroy the entire edifice beyond any kind of repair. It could basically end the US… Read more »

Member

JR, for a lot of you, no matter the event, it must always lead to a depressing extreme. Perhaps it’s just the congenital brain chemistry of the Dissident and you can’t help it. It can get tiresome though.

JR Wirth
Guest
JR Wirth

It’s called life you stupid idiot. The pendulum keeps swinging. It goes to the logical extreme and then starts swinging back. Happy mediums are fleeting.

Member

I just like that you called me a stupid idiot instead of a dumb mother*ucking c*nt.

LineInTheSand
Guest
LineInTheSand

The pendulum analogy is mostly inaccurate. If there is a swinging pendulum it is on a train going full speed towards the progressive left.

Vegetius
Guest
Vegetius

People are watching The Seventh Seal.

JR Wirth
Guest
JR Wirth

Yesterday was interesting. I reached out to a CEO of a small company, needed his autograph on something semi-important, and he snapped at me, “don’t you understand that I’m trying to save my company right now??!! This can wait!!!” The customer is always right of course and he was right. Right now thousands of CEOs across the country are saying the same thing. And many won’t make it. I’m not sure that this one will. I know that the last company I dealt with won’t. The economy is a bundle of hopes and dreams. When politicians barge in, treading on… Read more »

Sandmich
Guest
Sandmich

They’ll need to do something radically new. The entire economy is a house of cards built upon debt. In the late Obama/Early Trump years the financial mavens hit upon the correct short term formula to keep the party going without killing the guests. That started to fall apart in September with the Feds repo issues and the virus actions took what was already an awful situation and pored gasoline on it. At this point there’s way too much debt, government, corporate, private, you name it. Trying to build up more debt for economic growth when there is no base to… Read more »

JR Wirth
Guest
JR Wirth

https://thehill.com/business-a-lobbying/business-a-lobbying/488497-candy-industry-calls-for-500-million-in-federal

When even the candy manufacturers want a bailout, run don’t walk to the nearest Montana compound. If you can find one for sale. Lineman was the smartest of all.

Citizen of a Silly Country
Guest
Citizen of a Silly Country

The blow out in credit spreads and the dollar is disconcerting. If this thing starts messing with the plumbing of the system, things will get very bad. According to JP Morgan, the average small business has a cash buffer of 27 days. The average restaurant is 16 days. The longest small business sector – real estate firms – only have a cash buffer of 47 days. About a quarter of small business have a cash buffer of 62 days or longer, probably ~90 days max. These companies will need bridge loans to get them through, but who’s going to provide… Read more »

JR Wirth
Guest
JR Wirth

They wouldn’t be bridge loans they would be pier loans. Just adding more debt to the pile. The sad thing is that they Fed will directly intervene in the stock market before PE ratios hit 9 or 10, the place in which I personally would jump back into the market. From here on out it’s more intervention to correct the last intervention. This is why smart people many decades ago had gold on safe deposit. And still a hand full of throwbacks today. Too bad my bullion dealer won’t be replenished until April. I would buy more. Silver and platinum… Read more »

Compsci
Guest
Compsci

Company I buy precious metals from is simply out of all silver and gold, and that which they offer is not today priced to market. $12 silver, they ask $20 for. OK, price as whatever the market will bare, that’s capitalism. But before the great plague, price flux followed the spot market. JR, you are not the only one out there concerned.

Dutch
Guest
Dutch

Metal on the barrelhead versus paper on the barrelhead. Two different things, and the price differential is widening quickly.

Compsci
Guest
Compsci

Which is why one needs a bit of metal in reserve. When the economy gets weird, metal will get you farther than paper. When metal is no longer good, then you best have a firearm.

Bill_Mullins
Member

These politicians think that the economy will just snap back after they’ve run their social experiments.

Politicians think? Shirley, you jest! Especially progressive politicians! Nope. “Feelings; nothing more than feelings” is the rule.

Mac
Guest
Mac

As usual, Z, a unique (and much-needed) perspective on this situation. I thought that Trump was going to get re-elected anyway, but I hadn’t worked out the mechanics of it the way you just did, very clearly, in this post.

Maus
Guest
Maus

Ah, the dreaded miniature albino giraffe. A wonderful demonstration of the post hoc ergo propter hoc logical fallacy (after the use of gnomes no scourge of giraffes therefore because of the gnomes) used perennially to gull the stupid. The total war on Wuflu also reminds me of the old Vietnam War chestnut that “We had to destroy the village in order to save it.” One thing that will never be lacking is abundant proof of human folly.

Potato88
Guest
Potato88

StanFL

roberto
Guest
roberto

An update from the hospital I work at. (major west coast VA medical center. The patient population is overwhelmingly male and over 60, so should be way worse than a typical community type med center) As of yesterday, out of 80 tests returned so far still only 3 positive . Unchanged from thursday. They are only testing patients with clovid-19 type symptoms. Yesterday I was on 2 of the nursing floors just for a minute and they both had about 6 or 7 patients. These are units with about 40 patient capacity which are usually very close to full, so… Read more »

roberto
Guest
roberto

Last week my boss told me that in a normal week the hospital uses about 3000 surgical masks. 2 weeks ago they went through 17000 masks in one week. I told him yea, everyone is taking them home. It hadn’t even occured to him that people were stealing them.

Major Hoople
Member
Major Hoople

Your posts are excellent. Please keep us updated.

JimmyJ
Guest
JimmyJ

You are talking about the means by which this crisis is possible. The reason for it may be more important. The wheels were falling off the world economies, what with all the bubbles and zero interest and whatnot. Politicians in power at the time of the inevitable crash are ruined. So, why not let some bad virus out and respond to it in such a way that the economic crash is a cost of virus fighting. Now the politicians in power look good. Besides, the crash is a great way to strip the remaining wealth from the lower 99% and… Read more »

Compsci
Guest
Compsci

The lower 90% don’t have any wealth, really. Just about 20%. It’s the upper 10% that has 80%. Go ahead and reduce the lower percent of the population to zero percent of the wealth, then things get interesting. Go ahead, I dare you.

Alzaebo
Guest

“Trump can declare war and throw himself a triumph.”

OT– a belated ‘thank you’ for introducing us to the concept of abduction.

I think both Trump and the Zman are abductive thinkers.

The Z strikes those mystic chords daily, making his readers stretch and think beyond the bromides. His readers, to their great credit, respond in fine fashion, birds of a feather.

Update: reading the comments now. You good people are certainly impressive. I wish like hades the Z-readers were running the country.

Member

Re the hidden damange of halting the economy. In normal times the effect that stress causes to the body, heart, and mind is about as hyped an idea as an idea can get. Both in the popular imagination, media, and the medical community. Funny how when considering whether to shut everthing down, the Stress Kills craze was pushed under the rug. How many addicts are going take up smoking, drinking, meth and marijuana again because of money worries and having to sit in a small room with people you can’t stand? How many men wearing wife-beaters are going to start… Read more »

Toasty
Guest
Toasty

—-If the virus was a dud, then they would be accused of over-reacting to a minor event in order to politicize it. The only way to make the garden gnome gambit work is to go heavy on the response, regardless of the consequences. There can be no moderation.—- I have to strongly disagree here. We don’t live in a bubble and there are many countries for which a strong response is impossible. If this virus is a dud it will be obvious to everyone if there are no mass die-offs throughout the third world. There will be no way to… Read more »

Severian
Guest

That’s just the thing, isn’t it? How is, say, India doing? The Himalayas aren’t much of a barrier anymore. If Kung Flu is what they say it is, India is fubar. Any cases there yet? What’s the death rate?

tonaludatus
Guest
tonaludatus

According to https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/#countries
India has 332 infected (with 83 more than yesterday) out of which 12 are critical, 5 have died so far

Bill_Mullins
Member

Severian, you asked about India. According to the current numbers on worldmeters.info, India is reporting 332 total cases (83 new) with 5 deaths. That would make India’s death rate 1.5%.

Compsci
Guest
Compsci

Such observation wrt the “great plague” will be apparent within the next two weeks. The exponential growth pattern will either follow the predictions, or be mild and linear—with the exception of the few national hot spots, like WA and NYC. At that point, the people need to scream “fraud” and break quarantine. Hopefully with local government rescinding their most extreme reg’s.

ExNativeSon
Guest
ExNativeSon

This morning at 1am when I picked one of my sons up from his warehouse job he showed me the purple plaque I am supposed to put on my car if driving after midnight. It shows that I am picking up someone from an essential business so I don’t get arrested.

This in the same state where the Gov said that criminals breaking into houses (where by the way we are all supposed to sit quietly 24/7) would face no jail time as long as they did not assault anyone.
Draw your own conclusions.

Purple Dank
Guest
Purple Dank

Anarchotyranny – simultaneous suffocation by pointless regulations, combined with lack of real law enforcement/protection. The worst of both worlds.

There were some YouTuber journalists who went to Venezuela a few years ago, when it started to get real bad, and they said that there were prominent no smoking and no gun advisories in all public buildings. As if smoking is the biggest problem facing Venezuelans!

Rob De Witt
Guest
Rob De Witt

Ahhhh….what the hell does “flattening the curb” mean?

ReturnOfBestGuest
Guest
ReturnOfBestGuest

“Flattening the Curve” refers to a hypothetical graph of the projected number of infections. One theory being that it’s less strain on the health care system if the number of cases (y-axis) are spread out over a longer period of time (x-axis) rather than overwhelming the system for a shorter period.

JR Wirth
Guest
JR Wirth

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yZ8k6fVe25k

Kenny Rogers knew when to check out of this shit show.

Member

It’s kinda cute, the flakes are now starting to call those of us that don’t quite believe that the only way to save our lives is to give up living, science deniers.

Compsci
Guest
Compsci

Scientism is our new State religion. Its anointed acolytes are called “scientists”. They brook no dissent. Those occasional scientists who do dissent are called heretics. They are defrocked and cast into the void whenever discovered.

Stranger in a strange land
Guest
Stranger in a strange land

But of course…cuz the science is settled

Rob De Witt
Guest
Rob De Witt

And I ask again:

What does “flattening the curb” refer to?

Member

bell curves and shit. use your imagination

Rob De Witt
Guest
Rob De Witt

Thanks, smartass. So the writer doesn’t know the difference between “curve” and “curb,” and I should assume the interpretation.

Gotcha.

Dutch
Guest
Dutch

“curve”. “curb”. Autocorrect is a byitch. Chill out.

Bill_Mullins
Member

Looks like a typo on ZMan’s part, halfwit.

james wilson
Member

He meant to write “fattening the curb”, but autocorrect. Sometimes you gotta forget the literal and use de witt.

ReturnOfBestGuest
Guest
ReturnOfBestGuest

See my reply to your earlier post (I read in old to new order.)

M. B. Lamar
Guest
M. B. Lamar

It means Two things: hide Creepy Joe, and no more Trump rallies.

Karl Horst
Guest
Karl Horst

The Germans have managed to find 50-million Euros to fly home stranded tourists around the world. Switzerland is following suit.

I wonder if they’re testing them all before they get on the plane?

On the upside, with the nice spring weather upon us, the homeless, who we obviously have no money to house and feed, will be able to die under bridges and drain culverts warm and comfy. I mean if this was January, people would be REALLY upset.

EarlSandwich
Guest
EarlSandwich

At which juncture the zika virus will rampage and attack the covid 19 victims to end this mess.

Rwc1963
Guest
Rwc1963

The economy isn’t something you can shut down and restart like your car Z. The longer he and the big states like NY and CA are shuttered the worse the damage becomes and the longer it takes to restore and worse many small businesses will not come back since many of them don’t have the resources to weather a multi-month shut down. At the very least we get a nasty recession, more likely another depression. I know we like to think of the ruling class can fix everything by throwing unlimited fiat money at it. But won’t work this time… Read more »

Dutch
Guest
Dutch

Even the ruling class knows throwing money at it won’t fix it. But like the rich, absent dad and the wayward son, what else have they got?

Jack Dobson
Guest
Jack Dobson

People below mention the libertarian clown show.

Hmmmm….the ACLU sure is on board with martial law and forcing people to stay home, aren’t they?

LineInTheSand
Guest
LineInTheSand

Many dissidents wonder what policies the elites will execute under the cover of flattening the curve. One is emptying the jails and not arresting criminals.

https://twitter.com/Nature_and_Race/status/1241357146882703365
(This tweet will probably be removed soon.)

Ask yourselves why the elites want to do this. It’s not to increase their personal wealth.

Bill_Mullins
Member

You nailed it, ZMan. You abso-FEKKING-lutely NAILED it! Not an angstrom unit deviation from dead center in any direction. DAMN!!! But I hope you’re right about the post-pandemic recovery part as well. Otherwise we’re gonna see a depression like never before seen. And I’m sure you’re fully aware of how well all of FDR’s “New Deal” policies worked WRT ending the Great Depression. I recall reading that the U.S. was the last of the developed nations to come out of said depression. If things don’t turn around tout suite you can bet your last penny that come January Trump’s gonna… Read more »

Lawdog
Member

The suffering created by the shutdown of our economy will quickly eclipse the suffering caused by the virus. And there is scant evidence that our economy will simply “bounce back” after government intervention — as though it were attached to a magical bungee cord. Do you trust the likes of Trump and Pelosi to handle it? Yes, measures should be taken to stop this virus. Yes, it is a serious threat. But abruptly halting an economic superpower is historically unprecedented, and will likely have dire consequences. As we can see, the consequences have been dire already. Imagine what a 30-day… Read more »

Alzaebo
Guest

What you’re seeing is the gentrification cycle, I call it “fallow fields”. You make one field fallow, unplanted, while you plant other fields in rotation.

Offshoring left us fallow, as Civil Rights did a generation before.
They’re bringing in urban tanks while the prison is in lockdown.

We’ll be reduced to begging. Then healthcare is corporate-nationalized and the factories come back.
The gentrification at a steep discount will begin again. The Owners, of course, can outlast us as they hoover up even more.

Trump is in charge for now; the question is, who’s side will he be forced to play on?

Alzaebo
Guest

This is why I agree with Horst’s report on the disruption strategy of China. As a critical supplier emphasizing physical supply infrastructure and B2B coordination, they can and will be able to afford the cost and casualties.

We won’t have enough time or cash to turn anywhere else for now, and will have to pay the market price, putting them ahead for a long time.

Their ruling class are about getting rich, not investing capital fighting albino giraffes.
Our current ruling class’s economy, instead, is based on albino giraffes.

Alzaebo
Guest

PS- remember Venezuela?
Betcha that Orinoco Basin is looking really cheap right now, as our Permian and Marcellus, and Alberta’s tar sands, are soon to be.

Before you gentrify, you want to knock the price down to where you can get it all.

(China, instead, is offering to build a customer base of other local rulers.
We’re rich, they’re poor, that’s why the different strategies.)

Member

By chance I’m listening to an album by the Chameleons titled “What Does Anything Actually Mean?” Corny and overly literal for an album name. But after a second thought, it’s pretty apropos right now with all the dizzying variety of opinions, mindsets, rhetoric and statistics.

LineInTheSand
Guest
LineInTheSand

Frip, I was going to ask you how they answered the question but decided to listen instead. Great! Cure-ish and Joy Division-ish

The Right Doctor
Guest
The Right Doctor

Right up my alley, too. Thanks!