In a very general way, you can divide men up into four categories, based on their role in an organization. In one group you have the decision makers, the people who sit at the top, making decisions for the organization. Then there is the adviser type, who specializes in an area and advises the decision maker. Then there are the executors, who carry out the decisions made by the decision makers, often relying on the special knowledge of the directors. Then, of course, there is everyone else.

Depending upon the arc of your life, the first time most people meet a decision maker is when they get into the work world or maybe in the military. Maybe at your first job out of college you got introduced, along with the other new hires, to one of the senior executives in the company. Perhaps it was in the service when you were in the same room with a senior officer. You did not have to know you were in the presence of decision maker, as you just knew it. They were different.

The fact is, people who make decisions are different. These are people comfortable taking responsibility for their actions. They are also aware of the fact that their decisions have consequences for others. Senior officers put men into harm’s way, senior executives decide the fate of the company and business owners have the welfare of their employees to consider. People good at this role, comfortable with it, have a different air about them. Their power level is obvious.

The adviser role is often where decisions makers are cultivated, but some men are best suited to be seconds. Look around at careers and it is not unusual to see a decision maker have a very short turn in the adviser role. It was just a resume builder, not a training ground. The people best at this role enjoy mastering a narrow area and being the guy relied upon to advise on it. They are also the type of people who have to be reminded that perfection is the enemy of the good enough.

The execution layer is where most people spend their lives. They either give orders to everyone else or they take orders like everyone else. They may not like the policies and procedures handed down to them, but they value the need to follow orders and maintain those policies and procedures. This layer will often get called on by decision makers to tell them how those policies are working. They are the first to see the real-world consequences of the decisions made at the top.

Now, life being what it is, few people like to walk around advertising the fact they are just a person who takes orders. The military solves this by forcing everyone to advertise their status on their uniform. Corporations have floors to let everyone know their status in the firm. Out in the wild, people are free to fake it. This is obvious on-line, where people often wildly overstate their status. There are more top-shelf attorneys on Twitter than anywhere on earth. It is the same with every profession.

Events often reveal the reality of people’s role. These are people who were able to get away with speaking in generalities about their supposed subject, but are revealed to have only a superficial understanding of it. This is most amusing with the legal experts that turn up on cable chat shows. Much of what these people say is nonsense, because they never actually practiced law. Those that did, ended up in the television studio, because they were not very good at being a lawyer.

We see this with the coronavirus and the subsequent lock-downs. The people beginning with “all we have to do” are people who have never made a decision. Most likely, they have never been in the same room where a decision is made. If the answer is easy or obvious, there is no need for a decision maker or his advisers. Those decisions get made by the execution layer. When the answer is obvious, it means people at the top anticipated it and established rules for such a situation.

A similar rule applies to those starting sentences with “We need to do” followed by their preferred approach. Anyone who has been in a decision-making role has heard that many times, often thinking, “if that were true, you would not be telling me this.” This sort of thinking is what comes from people in that advisory role. Those people are not required to contemplate trade-offs. That’s not who they are or what they do. Their job is conjuring possible solutions for the boss.

Obviously, most of people in the media fall into the final category. They are the “everyone else”, people who just follow orders. In the case of pundits, opinion makers and influencers, they play the role assigned to them. The old guy kitted out like Mr. Chips is roll him on stage to play the part of the wise professor. The bookish looking young person plays the role of super-smart nerd. All of the people we see and hear in the mass media are performers, doing what they are told.

All of this is important to keep in mind in this crisis. When someone you think is pretty smart says, “all we have to do is quarantine the country for a month” you know you are dealing with someone who has never been in a room where decisions are made. They don’t know what they don’t know. The same applies to people who say things like “we need to implement strict measures to slow the spread.” If that were true, it would have happened as soon as the virus was detected.

Public policy is always about trade-offs. This is true in the easy times and it is true in the terrible times. There are no cost-free solutions to problems. Every problem presents a set of trade-offs. Decision makers know this and thus avoid million-dollar solutions to hundred-dollar problems. At least the good ones do. Those who rise to the top and fail are usually the ones who get the trade-offs wrong. In the coming months, we’re going to see a lot of that as the decision makers navigate what comes next.

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299 thoughts on “Perspective

  1. Late to this party, but I’d like to amend this statement based upon my own experience:

    “Then there are the executors, who carry out the decisions made by the decision makers, often relying on the special knowledge of the directors.”

    In my world the “executors” are known as operators, and we carry out the tasks that directly result in revenue and profit for the company, often in spite of the lack of knowledge of the directors.

    There’s a meme floating around with a picture of a nice looking young lady shrouded in a complete set of brand new PPE on a job site, clutching a large binder. The caption reads “I have no idea how to do your job, but my book says your doing it wrong.”

    That sums up the relationship between directors and operators quite nicely.

  2. It seems to me that we are looking south across the Rubicon. The time to cross that river is near at hand. Maybe next week. I believe the Trump government will order the end of the shelter at home business and the democrat states and cities will refuse. They will be in rebellion. What then should be done? I have my own favorite actions.

  3. Look
    Wuhan is major supply chain center.
    Corps and the banks they owe were about to take major hit.

    Media is corporate owned, basically its 4 companies; AT&T, COMCAST, DISNEY.

    Of course Amazon Bezos is always leveraged to the hilt, and he owns WAPO.

    So the hysteria by media is self serving.
    So far to the tune if $4 Trillion $.

    But.. it set off a panic.
    So mass quarantines.
    So now recession for sure, maybe Depression.

    And yes they all hate Trump but its past that now cuz they need him.

    Sure the fear is real.
    There is real danger.

    But the facts and the body count aren’t matching the hysteria.

    And over 2 weeks the backlash will start.

  4. OT, but I made it through the fumigation line and the delousing station, so I’d like to trade in a luxury good:

    The promised 6 million doses will turn out to be 270,000 in the actual count.

  5. Speaking of performers, I wonder if Dr. Fauci (aka Dr AIDS) realizes he’s been set up yet.

    Of course I’m out here in the sticks and folks round here are shaking their heads, bemused.

    Dr. Fauci plays to his audience; well heeled but ill bred upper middle class urbanites- just as he did with AIDS.
    He oversaw the massive redistribution of all research money away from diabetes and cancer to HIV/AIDS.

    I wonder if that has anything to do with vaccines being neglected?

    I wonder if the Grandstanding Chump knows Trump has set him up.

    This is a strain of flu that affects upper middle class urbanites. They are yes terrified but that’s not hard, but mostly they’re upset because they can’t eat out. Hence the obsession with test kits; everyone wants CDC to play CSI COVID and isolate the problem without these primitive retrograde methods like quarantine. AS IF it helps once the disease has spread.

    The test kits we may see will end up highlighting how much of this was hype, unlike all the damage our Procrustean Quarantine is doing.

    They’ll try to underplay the final results but it won’t work; if this isn’t incredibly deadly then it will be seen as hype and hysteria that did real harm.

    When men are harmed they pay attention.

    Meanwhile Mnuchin has $4 Trillion for the Fed but only a promise of $1 trillion for the people, and I await grimly the middle class now nicely bankrupted bought up for a song.

    Our politics may move past see you in November to See you on the Barricades.

    (Actually RW is see you from the Rooftops but that’s for later).

    Barricades are for brats.

    I call dibs on overwatch.

  6. A few decades of political correctness and affirmative action has produced our so-called leaders. Even if a white man wanted to step forward and be an effective leader they would be pulled down by the mystery meat and lesbo crowd.

    The so-called current crisis could be used as a good dress rehearsal. When the real thing hits we will be on our own.

  7. Can’t wait for Joe Pro Quo to begin his daily briefings on the pandemic. I wonder if he’ll take questions?

    I need some levity to help me survive my ‘house arrest’ sentence.

  8. how a huge business bailout and $1000 checks supposed to help when ppl cannot go outside or being told to self-quarantine? That eliminates whatever little fiscal multiplier there is. The common argument is that this is temporary until things improve, but what if they don’t. Will we just keep doing this month after month? This whole thing is stupid beyond belief.

    • We can go outside as long as we stay 6’ apart. Parks are open, playgrounds and basketball and tennis courts closed. Groceries and all other basic services open. The liquor and weed shops were absolutely swarmed this afternoon as thy close 8pm tonight for some weeks.

      All our ‘shelter in place’ has done is elevate the panic in the already hysterical shitlib bugmen and harpies.

      My GF’s friend had to start taking anti-anxiety meds. She is out of work – but mostly voluntarily because she is afraid of corona death and wont give private massages to even those willing.

      Some people can’t be helped. $1000 or $5000 or even picking up dollars on the sidewalk in front of them. They need to be managed and are effectively managed already. Thats the thing, they aren’t afraid of corona per se, they are afraid of being abandoned by the system that has raised them, coddled them, financed them, and tells them how to live in 240 characters or less.

      Brave new world isn’t coming, it has been here for a while now.

  9. As good a time as any to shame-circle myself for all the times Libertarian Me snarked for a government that did nothing. Libertarian Me never saw how muh markets, muh free citizenry and muh NAP would play out vs. something like Corona-Chan.

    We’re fortunate that this virus isn’t something as panic-inducing as ebola. Religious Me is thinking this might be a heads-up from our metaphysical head office to shape up or get shipped out.

    • Well Ebola was a real threat wrt fatality rate. Two sides of the equation I suspect. I might agree with the present prescription wrt pandemic if the disease was Ebola. But I admit, my knowledge of that disease is limited, as for that matter was that of CoronaChan initially.

    • Exile, is there any conception of the NAP that forecloses your right to terminate Tyrone for daring to enter your home without your consent?

      Of course, writ large, the NAP is useless if we aren’t prepared to punish those who violate it.

      • My neighbor dude is a brainiac with a brainiac job. Super nice couple. They said if you need any food let us know. I said thanks, if you need any guns & ammo let me know. Wife said “We have a few of Frank’s grandfather’s shotguns, but no ammo, heheh.” Husband is sweet guy and easygoing (and I detect very Liberal), He surely never contemplated people swarming into his nice house. That would be Wrongthink. He probably used to chuckle at cocktail parties and low-key brag about owning heirloom shotguns but no ammo. Anyway, Liberals or not I’ll look out for them, cuz they’re good folk. If they were full Prog zealots I’d not lift a finger for them if shit got dark.

  10. So now the Uniparty has ceded control of the senate to the Dem wing, via Coronavirus quarantines of 5 senators. What’s next? Do they just go full bore, nullify the constitution and merge to form the CCP-West? It seems like end game is upon us, and anything can happen.

    • McConnell has scheduled a second vote for today at 1:45PM. If he has any cajones he will bring the infected Republican Senators into the chamber for the vote, march them up and down through the Democrat benches, and have each infect Senator hug and kiss a Democrat and spit in their coffee.

  11. Early decisions (and lack of a decision is a decision in and of itself) create entirely different menus of decisions and stances later on. All the woulda-coulda after the fact is pointless. One of the essences of making a decision, early or late, is to visualize the menu of choices, later on, that the decision is likely to put on the table.

    I am guessing that good chess players and improv musicians have this skill set in abundance, if it translates to other areas.

  12. In a properly functioning cauldron of competition, the fittest will rise to the top of any organization (it’s evolution damnit). But in a dysfunctional society in which conformity, whining, and grift are rewarded, sociopaths are typically elevated into the role of decisionmaker. As example, see political class in DC (hello Pelosi, AOC, Maxine Waters etc). As a nation, we are in dire straits not because of a new virus, but because we habitually elect the worst among us to lead.

    • This is exactly the situation where free market democracies perform most poorly. A pandemic is not the time for 1000 innovative approaches and consumer choice – it’s a time for consistent, regimented and persistent response.

      Given the inconsistency in responses from city to state to nation so far, it’s going to be very hard to sort signal from noise in evaluating the best strategies for the future.

      Z has a lot of good material from the last 2 years in posts and pods re: the problems of democracy. This situation exemplifies most of them.

      We can debate whether to entirely scrap democracy or keep some of it in the future, but it’s hard to question the premise that we have too much of it right now.

      • Somewhere in all the comments the old Mencken quip seems to apply.
        To wit: Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard.

      • The Conservative decision process: wait, wait, I’ve got it! Let’s jail the pot smokers!

        Then we can get to bombing Papua New Guinea.

      • In NY state we have the one size fits all solution, and we must apply it.
        Because its the only way Cuomo can get Raccoon City shut down, where most of the cases are. The mayor is a useless train wreck and didn’t do it, he blames Trump.

        (There has never been any love lost between Cuomo and DeBlasio).

        So now we in the sticks with 4 isolated at home cases are as shut down, more so I daresay than NYC.

        This bode not well, Western NY state is Northern West Virginia with the guns, angry Scotch-Irish and militia to boot. Businesses are shuttering left and right, and we had just got the town going again. No true scotsman (or this Mick) endureth the Procrustean bed for long.

        I don’t blame Cuomo although I don’t like him. DeBlasio in charge of anything is well no one in charge (he personally is a train wreck).

    • This is the theory but not the practice. The sociopath rises (as you said), not the fittest, and then proceeds to loot the organization. *Especially* when the penalty for bad behavior is not, say, death, like in Feudal societies. The King was on his best behavior because all the Dukes think they’d be a better king.

      The other problem is defining ‘fittest’ for an organization. We’re really bad at that.

  13. Glibness, rush to judgment and oversimplification are symptoms of the processor overload we suffer. Faced with a problem you can’t solve based on information you can’t rely on, you can either go into a wait-state or take relatively uninformed action.

    Our nepot overlords have rarely been tested under fire and tend to either turtle or tilt at windmills. Few can hold two seemingly conflicting ideas in their head at the same time – a vital skill for reaching good faith compromise and operating in an uncertain situation. Few can approach a problem from multiple angles instead of “all we have to do…” They approach risk and reward like newbies in a casino

    Leadership is a dying art. NRXers and Trads are the spear-tip of our nostalgia for an aristocracy that was tested, that displayed its prowess, that literally put skin in the game. Most of today’s Ivy-crowned credentialistas are REMFs, front-office shills or worse – see our recent bioluminescent Deep State candidates like McMullen & Bootystuff.

    No jousting for these Knights of the Cathedral. Don’t even get me started on chivalry or noblesse oblige.

    For all the money we’re dumping into “education” we’re getting little leadership bang for the buck.

    • Ivan Illich, Deschooling Society:

      Many students intuitively know what the schools do for them. They school them to confuse process and substance. Once these become blurred, a new logic is assumed: the more treatment there is, the better are the results; or, escalation leads to success. The pupil is thereby “schooled” to confuse teaching with learning, grade advancement with education, a diploma with competence, and fluency with the ability to say something new. His imagination is “schooled” to accept service in place of value. Medical treatment is mistaken for health care, social work for the improvement of community life, police protection for safety, military poise for national security, the rat race for productive work. Health, learning, dignity, independence, and creative endeavor are defined as little more than the performance of the institutions which claim to serve these ends, and their improvement is made to depend on allocating more resources to the management of hospitals, schools, and other agencies in question.

      (If he’s not on the list you’re compiling…)

  14. Maybe the preponderance of octogenarians running the show in this country has skewed much of the response. Rand Paul could potentially wipe out half the Senate (if we’re lucky).

    • JR Wirth – I always regretted that flight 93 didn’t make a direct hit on the Capitol building. Perhaps Corona is a second chance? One can only hope.

  15. Clearly the trade-offs weren’t mentioned in this national shutdown over grandpa’s flu. When we’re eating ketchup soup in a year maybe we’ll think this was an overreaction. Only the gyrating spring break kids on the Florida beaches will be seen as the ones with any sense.

    • Ketchup soup!
      (I’ve done that. Don’t tell nobody.)

      Only way I’ll eat Campbell’s tomato soup is cold, right out of the can. Love it that way.
      That’s how we dun et while irrigating or bailing hay in the Nevada outback.

      Those Indian or Mexican cowboys around the campfire, who lived on the range- their bandy legs were bowed like fiddles, and looked as strong as banded steel from being in the saddle all day.

  16. The only Lawyer on TV who had talent, now retired, was Gerry Spence. You may recognize him as the Wyoming lawyer who dresses the part.

  17. How Coronavirus Cases in The U.S. Are Going to Explode Out of Nowhere — By Bill Sardi

    This is a very good article for anyone to read who wants some perspective. Note the chart at the bottom is from The American Lung Association. Big Pharma and big Medicine is driving this hysteria.

    I can not believe that anyone who has studied how the seasonal flu works and studied who makes the most money off of the pain of the masses can not see how this “pandemic” is just a seasonal outbreak. Once people get out in the sun it will be gone — just like the flu does every damn year.

  18. Trade-Offs What trade-offs?
    When you can issue 4T out of tin air there is no trade offs
    When you can shift the heavy burden of your stupidity and cowardice on those yet to be born what are the trade offs?
    Every single screeching effeminate asshole running scared has no problem with that as long as he survives and does not have to pay
    They will teach you how selfish you are while accepting this without a single sting of consciousness, they will be hoarding toilet paper and anything else while telling how terrible is to not think about your elders
    It is democracy itself that favors and incentives the feminine man and scoundrel by its very nature by giving the the right to decide to these creatures who no sensible being would remotely characterize as a man along with females which intellectual development goes from getting crazy at pop concert at age of 14 to getting crazy over beta o rurke at the age of 35

    • Did anyone else notice Fractional Reserve Banking just ended? Reserve requirements are now 0% meaning a bank doesn’t need customers (deposits) to make infinite loans.

      I find the cashless society conspiracy folks amusing. You mean to say a society that can’t successfully implement a credit score system and stick to its repercussions (black people not being loan worthy) is going to up the ante to a social credit system? China is openly communist and 80% Han. The United States has a huge black market economy that would collapse without cash. Notice that India banned large denominated cash notes but allows small denominated notes so their black market economy survives.

      The Enlightenment idea of Equality has undermined whatever good Democracy is capable of producing. Athens practiced Democracy while having slaves demonstrating the two need not be intertwined. It’s interesting to note that the Athenians looked down on the Spartans for their “barbaric” practice of using foreigners as slaves as opposed to Athenians who enslaved only Greeks. Indeed the United States also practices slavery if you bother to read the 13th Amendment word for word.

      Voting is supposed to be attached to military service or community investment. This is why one family = one vote makes so much sense and why women’s suffrage doesn’t. The idea of a woman having a vote separately from a man belies the notion of family or community investment.

  19. It is very difficult, even in the private sector, to wait before making a decision. In a high-functioning business, the first question asked should be “are we sure of the data?”

    While waiting to confirm the accuracy of the data, the second question should be what are the contingency plans (reviewing the trade-offs). Of course, this is also a danger because it is difficult to look at an array of options and delay a decision.

    The third question should be, “are we absolutely sure of the data.”

    During my career, 70% – 80% of the issues presented melted away because the data was incorrect.

    Why do I have this nagging suspicion that most decisions to date have been made on faulty data?

  20. The leftists are coming out of the woodwork trying push through all the evil things they want to do, allegedly to “flatten the curve”
    There is a spate of articles about releasing all those non-violent good boys who dindu nuffin and just happen to be sitting in jail because they are black or brown and cops were picking on them. They are even pushing for releasing people from prison! My governor is considering releasing a bunch of “old” prisoners and all the allegedly “non violent” felons who committed enough serious crime to get sent up-state. Of course, none of these non-violent dindu nuffin criminals are going to end up ruining the quality of life these lunatics proposing this stuff. They’re not going to move into their neighborhoods.
    All these insane SJWs oppose the prison system in general, especially for their pets (but if you are white male who thinks wrong thoughts, jail is where you belong!).
    How sheltered are you when you oppose prisons? Unless you are proposing we get rid of prisons by executing criminals, you really have to be either insane or sheltered. Even felons will tell you there are some people who should never be released from prison!

    • Within bounds, I don’t think the prisoner release thing is a big deal. If Trump could say a few low-key words in support of it, it may help him with the minority vote. Or at least they’ll not see him as the racist MSM portrays him as. Anyway, I don’t see it as a big deal because in certain communities, often the only difference between prisoners, and their brethren who are still free to roam around, is some got caught, and the others haven’t yet.

      • The prisoners being freed, if a random selection or so, would seem to be dumping violent criminals back onto the street. To assume that these folk go back and prey on their communities (true to an extent) ignores the mountain of evidence that minority on White crime is the significant cause of White victimhood. So perhaps the Black guy who mugs me, has mugged 5 Black folks in the same week—how am I benefited? Yeah, it sucks to live in the hood, but it also sucks to be White when the odds of your being assaulted grow by 50-80% when these Black con’s are in circulation.

      • Alleged right wingers have been capitulating to the left in order to not “look racist” and win the “minority vote” for decades. Where it has gotten us?
        Prisons exist for a good reason. Crime never stays in the hood. Before prison we used to just execute people for serious crimes. Until we start doing that again, prisons are the next best thing.

  21. Spent most of the last twenty years in the “adviser” role to C-level execs. Do a fair amount of shot-calling, but the primary objective is to cut through fog and bad information. Right now we’re operating in a very short cycle OODA loop–and as with all good strategy–it’s not about how good the plan is, but how fast you adjust to new information. All “C’s” come with distinct strengths and weaknesses and you have to size those up quickly and fill the gaps. That is what is interesting about watching how Trump and the governors deal with COVID–inherently a hugely multivariate problem–with constant tradeoffs. Am already focusing our division’s thinking on “how to we plan for the transition off lockdown” Trade-off decisions will have to be made and the faster you can come back up to speed and adjust for what will be significant economic shifts, the better. We’re in a war, but not the one the talking heads want you to believe we’re in.

    • There are overlaps in that broad categories. Like all rules of thumb, they have their limits. In my case, I have been puzzling through the various short and medium term scenarios. At the same time I’m advising clients on their short and medium term scenarios. I’m playing two roles now.

      The thing I may write about this week is how people into politics differ from people in the dreaded private sector. A lot of “our guys” sound foolish right now, because they operate entirely in the world of meta-politics. Their view of things is theoretical, as they have never been a room where real decisions are made. They don’t know what they don’t know.

      • Agree. Washington has become almost completely insulated from the feedback loops that hammer poor decision making in the real world. We can’t print money and can’t borrow infinitely to cover mistakes. We go out of business.

    • Miforest, only 3 paragraphs in, jumped back to say this is really good stuff.

      It starts out with Ferfal as an example; Argentina after its 2001 collapse is still standing, still corrupted, still with the same ruling class. Globalism didn’t die in the pampas.

      2nd comment in:
      “We are told to have 6 months saved in case of emergency. Many try very hard to achieve this. Meanwhile, corporate America declares insolvency after one month? Send the bastards packing. Rip the C-suiters out of their offices, strip them naked, and do that Game of Thrones thing.”

  22. more lows for the market.. the panic is worse than the virus. lift the restrictions ,accept as that as many .5-1% of the us population will die, and get on with it . Crippling the economy to save a few thousand lives is bad policy

  23. …”Public policy is always about trade-offs. This is true in the easy times and it is true in the terrible times. There are no cost-free solutions to problems”….
    Agree with the first two sentences. However, when it comes to ‘no cost-free solutions’, in the current bizzaro-world of public policy the concept of ‘cost’ – at least in financial terms you and I might understand – I doubt has any relvenance. When a +/- $2 trillion stimulus is bandied about, and then is rejected because it’s still not enough – it might as well be a bazillion, or gazillion dollars stimulus. The concept of ‘cost’ in actual dollars that someone at some point in time might actually have to pay back is completely unthethered to reality.
    Just my 2 cen….er..bazillion worth.

    • I read somewhere that the final bill is going to be 4 trillion. At that point, we are a palace economy.

    • Speaking of two cents. That will be my tax contribution for 2019.

      I figure if the empire can create money from thin air they don’t need 30% of mine. Seems silly to even go through the motions. But I’m tempted to mail my two pennies to Fresno just to make someone deal with it.

      Real money taxation and fake money printing is one of the greatest feats of TPTB.

      Its also one of the more perverse examples of our anarcho-tyranny. Taxes or the business end of a gun for us. Money culled from the ether for them.

  24. For me, that’s the real tragedy — I’ve lost friends over this. They didn’t die from coronavirus. People I once thought were sober, reasonable, intelligent, responsible folks turned out to be shrieking ninnies. Crisis reveals character, and a lot of people I know failed. Badly.

    • Sev. Thats too bad. I had a lot of that in the first Trump election cycle.

      If its any solace, I have taken to counting that as a blessing.

      Learning that about your friends without being counter-party is much better than having to learn that in a foxhole with them.

      Character, like the principles that construct it, doesn’t really exist until tested. And those tests that do not require an actual trade-off that stings don’t really count.

      Character is like callused hands. When it comes time to really chop wood, the fear of blisters is nowhere to be found.

      • Screwtape, yeah, I try to look on the bright side. Pre-kung flu, these were the kind of folks I’d send my kids to (if I had kids). Even better: Often, they’re the ones who cut *me* off first, because I’m such a heartless bastard. “Do you really want to risk your mother for this?” No, I don’t, but… my mother’s in her 80s. She’s a tough old bird who takes all reasonable precautions (as do I). I’m sure as hell not going to wreck the world for my (theoretical) kids, or everyone else’e actual kids, to reduce her chances of getting it another 10% or so. For this, apparently, I’m worse than Ivan Drago — “If she dies, she dies, so go lick some random doorknobs, granny, and let’s hurry this up.” It’s freakin’ surreal. But hey… now I know. It hurts, but in the long run, good riddance.

        • With you on all that Sev.

          For me it was about their refusal or inability to see the evil at work, exposing their naked self-interest, relative to supporting parties and candidates and laws and programs that hate me and my culture and way of life.

          Just so they could look and feel good in their upscale neighborhood bbq as they cherry pick from the very things their beliefs are destroying because they have the money to do so.

          My mom (74) nearly died two years ago from a flu-pnumonia-sepsis-3 days in ICU and nobody, even the doctors, made a fuss about any of it.

          In fact the clinic doctors sent her home twice! “take advil, drink water” in the days leading up to her near-death.

          My sister was pissed because she had to miss a couple of days of work.

          The only reason my mom didn’t drop dead at home alone is my other sister and I who live several states away threatened to call an ambulance if my sister didn’t take our mom to the ER.

          The ER would have probably sent her packing also had she not been so incoherent from fever and weakness that she pissed herself and collapsed in the waiting room.

          None of my moms local relatives could be bothered to check in on her so my siblings and I took our vacations to fly out and help her recover. As we should, thats family.

          But now its coronachan and total strangers for thousands of miles around should forego their livelihoods because old people may die?

          Now that same sister who didnt want to miss work to help her own mom has elected to collect her gov’t pay check at home for the next month because her obesity and diabetes and “asthma” makes her “high-risk” for corona.

          Meanwhile, my mom drives an hour each way to work still – and will most certainly loose her house If she goes more than a few weeks without pay.

          Who are all these people supposedly worried about the old and vulnerable all of the sudden?

          Bullshit. Naked self-interest and virtue-signaling.

          I will stop ranting now but damn. The lies just get to be too much.

          • There it is. One of my most hysterical ex-friends works in a college town deep in flyover country, in a teeny tiny burg that doubles its population when the students come back. It’s 99% White, 1% other. He gets paid regardless, and as for social isolation, see above – half the town is gone. Meanwhile, here I sit, on the edges of a major metro and its attendant Diversity. Give this lockdown another week, and I’ll be sitting up at night in front of my door with a loaded shotgun, watching the ‘hood burn. My ex-buddy, meanwhile, is griping that his Netflix queue is empty. But hey, at least we now have an answer for “How could the German people possibly have voted for that?” They were worried about catching the sniffles. Next question….

          • Screwtape – stay strong, pal. My situation isn’t quite as dire, as I deliberately put both physical and emotional distance between me and my parents/sibs. I have yet to even call my 90 year old mother because I cannot bear to hear the standard line she’s sure to be parroting (classic liberal-totalitarian FDR silent generation). My late mother-in-law, bless her, was fond of the aphorism re “Fish and visiting relatives stink after 3 days.”

    • Meh. I wouldn’t wish her rule on anyone, but she always bothered me less than Obama since she’s not ideological. For her it’s always about what’s best for Hillary; leftisim is a natural “ideology” for a criminal thief like herself, but she’d throw it all away in a heartbeat if she thought it was to her personal benefit.

  25. If one thing has become clear to me it’s that the people ruling us now are the products of nepotism. They are the sons and daughters, perhaps grandsons and granddaughters of our conquerors. People who would have attained their status through merit would not be so damn stupid. I actually think this is great though. It will be much easier to replace them when things completely fall apart, and it seems like this is might happen very soon. I’m excited for current collapse.

    • The Governor of NJ was basically a glorified financial advisor. When you seem him on TV, you realize he is not a decision guy.

      • What a dork Gov. Murphy is. Z has talked about the billionaire plutocrats who pull the strings of their puppet politicians. People like Mike Bloomberg.

  26. The same applies to people who say things like “we need to implement strict measures to slow the spread.” If that were true, it would have happened as soon as the virus was detected.

    This doesn’t compute at all. It assumes a level of competence in government for which there is naught evidence. The observations about types of men is mildly amusing and generally true but not really a central point right now. What I see happening here is denial that an infectious micron just kicked in the door to the ‘Flamin’ Twenties’ and your, understanable, desire to not crash the economy is ‘2019 thinking’, ie the wrong decade.

    Your proposed strategy was tried, in the US, in Spain, in France and before that, in Italy. Then Italy went to hell in a handbasket. And the ‘draconian’ responses now happening, in the US and Europe and other places, are the result of intelligence people, health officials and others whispering if not screaming, in the ears of ‘decision makers.’ But I’m not mocking anyone, no one’s been here before. Understanding what the heck’s going on takes time.

    • You misunderstand. Logically, if something must be done, there is nothing to be decided. At that point, it is about execution. That’s why it is a useful clue about the person saying it. People comfortable making decisions know there are choices and trade-offs, not absolutes.

      • Yes, this. 1000x this. This is the point I keep making to my ex-friends who have shown themselves to be shrieking ninnies. If it’s as bad as you say, then even you, the shrieking ninnies, aren’t shrieking for the government to do enough. Napalm five city blocks around any site of infection, then napalm five more to be sure. IF it’s as bad as you say. But if it’s not, you’ve just handed your liberties away for… what, exactly?

        Look, y’all, I’m a professional historian. There’s a word for what you call it when the central government starts closing businesses and suppressing basic liberties in the name of national hygiene. The masses back then loved it, too. Nor can you justify this with “but this time, it’s real!“, because that’s exactly what they thought back then, too.

        And you know what? That’s fine. Democracy is the theory that the people know what they want, and deserve to get it, good and hard. This “socialize the economy to sanitize the nation” stuff didn’t work out so hot last time, but if we’re gonna do it again, fine, let the people’s will be done. Let’s just not kid ourselves as to what we’re doing, and why. Get it all out in the open. And remember: We told you so.

      • You’re erroneously assuming that politicians, bureaucrats, and hospital executives are A) informed well enough to accurately weigh costs, risks and benefits; B) use logic to assess what, if anything, must be done, and C) that what must be done is – in fact – self-evident to the higher-ups and everyone down the chain of command. As you point out, in clown world, decision-makers don’t inhabit higher office…and most below careerist advisers are barely paying attention anyway.

        Since this thing hatched out of China, the option to remain at the prior “normal” for the economy evaporated, regardless of how much “panic” is manufactured by government and media organs. Doing nothing domestically would still necessarily entail a swamped healthcare system, global supply chain disruptions that cripple business here, and behavioral changes by consumers, irrespective of enforced quarantines. The fragility of our financial system compounds all of the above into an event that – even if we attempted to carry on business as usual – would make (is making) the ’08 financial crisis seem trivial.

        The “panic” certainly exacerbates the economic disruption…but we’d be dealing with most of the economic disruption anyway. You can’t purport to evaluate tradeoffs without considering this.

        If we were smart, or serious, which we’re not, we’d have read between the lines on the Chicoms quarantining 50, then 400, then 700 million people to assess that yes, this virus is in fact a big fucking problem, and we’d have suspended visas and entry to anyone with a Chinese passport in early January. We’d have progressively suspended visas and entry for disease clusters as they popped up. We would have accepted the economic disruption inherent in that in order to allow our domestic consumer economy to keep churning for longer, give the healthcare system longer to prepare, and give science a chance to find clinical remedies for its inexorable arrival.

    • ” intelligence people, health officials and others”

      They forfeited all trust after 9/11, WMD and a failed coup attempt. If their response is the correct one, and let’s just say it is for the sake of argument, that makes the distrust they previously have sown all the worse.

      • Dobson: “intelligence people, health officials and others”…”They forfeited all trust after 9/11”. So, in your mind, a small but influential cabal of Neocons in 2001 represent what the whole of intel & health officialdom is and forever will be? Many of you see personal Distrust as a higher state of being and intelligence.

        • The neocons and Deep State, and, no, this isn’t about flashing intellectual prowess. It’s a simple recognition of reality. The federal government has forfeited all right to be be trusted. If people are economically devastated by what proves to be a gross overreaction, the United States government very well could be toppled and at a minimum quite a bit of power will be devolving to the individual states probably even now–unless draconian measures are implemented that use the military to police America, which I think is a distinct possibility. People are not going to live in a Hunger Games nation with Marxist economic policies, which is the end game, unless under duress. .

        • The people issuing the official statements of the Soviet state in 1985 were certainly not the same as the ones who had that job decades before under Khrushchev or Stalin. Nonetheless the average Russian regarded them as such. It had simply become obvious over the decades that there was something fundamentally rotten in the way power was acquired and used in the USSR and that it was an integral part of the system that didn’t change when the name of the General Secretary did.

          It’s hard for those of us who remember 9/11, the Iraq war buildup, Afghanistan, the various panics over Iran, the ongoing hysterics over climate change, etc… not to just think “here we go again”. Existential crisis? Check. Something must be done NOW? Check. Gotta lay down our remaining civil liberties? Check. At some point it no longer matters if there’s something to the crisis or not. You just tend to assume that whatever measures are being taken are primarily being done to serve the malicious and selfish agenda of whatever little cabal has managed to wrap itself around the brainstem of the Establishment this time around.

  27. Get the medical “experts” off the stage and toughen up. We ain’t China and we ain’t gonna run around with masks on letting our loved ones die alone in a nursing home.
    While our government turns into a totalitarian Cuomo led shit show.
    We are the west.
    Start acting like it.
    We cannot crash the world economy over this. That trade off is not worth it.
    This is not Antietam and not Iwo Jima.
    It’s the damn flu.
    Have we become that pussified??
    Get a grip.

    • It’s far too late for that. The train has left the station. I think you forget how soft and fearful the modern man is. Hopefully the ensuing great depression will toughen us up.

      • I don’t think it’s too late. Put some heat on the softies and they harden like clay. Or melt like ice…

    • The hope is that this will be a short term enough situation that helicopter money can keep the system running since the other option is to utterly destroy the US health care system.

      That is the real risk and frankly it may well be a poor choice. Problem is you chose the other and we lose say 3% from Corona Chan, proportionate casualties to WW2 BTW but a hell of a lot more people over decades as the health care system falls apart.

      Life expectancy would tank for everybody and simply we can’t fix it after./

      Assuming enough adults were in charge again somehow , not just the handful in the executive branch and elsewhere but lots of them, it would cost upwards of 12 trillion dollars to get the US back to workable as well as regulation on a massive scale.

      The thing about Democracy or our half assed Republic is that it selects against good decision making and it requires a crisis, Great Depression, War , Plague, Terrorism to make any real change and often as not its the wrong thing selected

      Our social model, cheap labor and consumerism is too entrenched and now that we can’t grow, expand outward and worse have a population with no reason to be in the same polity its probably inevitable that the system fails.

      Leftism is no solution either but the only options that might work, operative word might Distributism and/or Populist Economic Nationalism are off the table.

      I doubt this outbreak will end up our Chernobyl but you never know and an implosion is coming. If we muddle through the next few crisis my guess is that the US will end up joining the third world at a faster rate no matter the demographics.

  28. The problem is that the trade-offs are different for different groups. The personal trade-offs for the politicians are very different from the trade-offs for the economy. Same goes for the fed and the people that work there. What may not be great for Joe Blow worker or small business owner might be great for a governor.

    In a democracy comprised of BOTH various ethnic/racial/religious/culture groups and an elite that don’t consider themselves connected to the people, you will have very different trade-offs for each decision.

      • Don’t forget. The politician can then “save” the economy using other people’s money but get all of the credit.

      • Citizen, yes that is a great observation.

        Just like how corporations larping toward diversity, inclusion, and other wokeness ends up eroding the misssion as rogue factions and functions vying for power and resources leverage the external power of globohomo to extort and manipulate from within.

        Reminds me of the whole “not who we are!” The entire question of “we” is refracted into a thousand rays of conflicting values and agendas.


        Friday. The economy: not who we are!

        Monday. The economy: who we are!

        Trump: “in 15 days WE will decide who we are”.

    • This genie is out if the bottle forever. From now on every flu season will be treated as a potential shoah if it allows a group or individual to play one-upsmanship.

  29. This is definitely not the time to panic, but it is the time to note who is capable of acting in a panic-inducing situation and who isn’t. Each one of these waves of zoonotic viruses (whether sprung from Chinese wet markets or the rain forest) has basically been scaffolding on the previous one, becoming stronger. This thing will probably go away after killing a non-negligible but non-critical amount of the population, but it’s possible some virus that stands on the figurative shoulders of this one really brings the pain and separates the men from the boys (and reminds women they’re not men). Just to test the guy working at the post office today, when he said, “Everyone’s freaking out,” I pointed out to him that Anbex gave him and other postal workers a store of potassium iodine tablets because, in the event of something extreme like a nuclear attack, when the branches of the military and the cops are indisposed, it falls on the Post Office to inter remains. We may eventually find out who’s got it and who’s a Himmelstoß:

  30. Our government decision makers have decided to lead us into a panic. They are failing as decision makers but they won’t be replaced by good decision makers.

    By Z’s definition, decision makers are comfortable taking responsibility for their actions and are aware of the fact that their decisions have consequences for others. Government officials imposing this lockdown won’t take responsibility for the consequences. So, our problem is that we don’t have people that fit the definition of decision makers making decisions.

  31. If the 0-30 year olds recover from covid-19 handily, and the 65-80+ year olds have high death rate, then I think it appalling that we’re sacrificing the well-being, education, and emotional security of these young people that have not had their shot at life yet to save the older group that have had their shot, I would reason it time to thin the herd of the older ones (and, I might add, patheticly selfish and self centered)….get this country back to work for the youth’s the least we can do….P.S. I’m 70

    • Yes, it is appalling. We the future are sitting at home, severed from our economy and sense of civic productivity.

      • Valuing civic productivity implies there is a society meriting it.

        Otherwise working hard just means the wealth created by your work is tapped off to be used to aid people who hate you whether that is a foreign state or a foreign ideology.

        And yeah sure all the tax revenue we take in just barely pays for social security , Medicare and the military not the point. The Federal government at least isn’t the biggest source of our woes and in a perfectly Ron Paul kind of State , i.e minimal there would possibly be even more money for the other guys to waste.

        Its the only possible upside of this awful CV mess, a smaller economy will start ending the good times and thus reduce the cultural sickness engendered by prosperity.

        Truth is the best thing in the world you can do is to go minimalist , don’t engage in unnecessary commerce , don’t work harder than you must and try and take back the time that business and work steals from you.

        Its healthier and its good for the ecology too.

        Also to those being fine with the older generation passing. Thanks no. They are for good or ill something of a buffer against the millennial lunatics and once they go, that power vacuum will cause endless trouble.

        Plus they are overwhelmingly White and when they all die off, the majority will be made of people not of the founding stock or worse not even allied to its views.

    • Found it amusing reading younger people who are up at arms because the elderly are not taking this seriously.

      The impression I get around the elderly over 70 is that a large percentage are at peace with the thought of dying, and don’t see a reason to upend their lives or destroy the lives of their children for a few more years of living.

      • My SIL is furious with her parents for not living in a bunker. Her parents, particularly her father have the “oh, well” approach and are ignoring her advise. Her Dad already has some issues and has flatly refused doctor’s orders to eat nothing but rabbit-food for his remaining years.

        • We Boomers have lived to see endless predictions of the imminent end of the world.

          “It’s the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine.” Baby Boomer pop cultural reference.

      • Then it’s high time we speak up ….didn’t the Native American elder refuse assistance when they felt too weak to help the tribe?
        They simply stayed behind to make the tribe stronger….

      • Talked to my father about this – he is 74. He is not in fear, he knows death is coming in the future and he has accepted his mortality.

    • I am 70 and agree. I will take my 5% (or whatever it is) chance if that means we all can return to normal.

    • I am older myself Jim-bo-bo. On CTH I told them that I did not want the economy wrecked for younger people in order that people my age might have a slightly better chance of survival. I think my generation needs to cowboy up.

      I was promptly accused of being irresponsible and of wanting death camps.

      • george 1 – ah yes, the death camps/death panels gambit. So original, you know. Daily Mail online was promoting a story about a 95 year old Italian woman who survived Corona (after being hospitalized since 5 March). I’m sorry to whomever I offend, but that’s an utterly irresponsible waste of resources and time and talent in a supposed ‘medical crisis.’ All those Christians who profess they can’t wait to meet Jesus are running around petrified (and I’m repeating this from a friend who is, herself, an extremely devout Christian) and sowing disorder and confusion. Typical AWFLs.

        • A friend’s mother in her 70s at the time (Greatest Generation) was diagnosed with cancer, but she refused to fight it because, she said, she would be with her husband and the Lord.

          There’s an attitude among conservative Christians that they are morally obligated to cling to life no matter what. Right to Life now includes attempting to outlaw death.

          • No, Right to Life doesn’t attempt to outlaw death. You have misunderstood, at least on the Catholic side.
            “Man is not the master of life, but should use all fitting means to prolong life. If the means to prolong life are not fitting or if they impose an excessive burden, they need not be utilized.”
            “God does not desire us to be interested in a long life; he wishes us to be interested in a good life.”
            “It is one thing to kill oneself; it is a different thing to not prolong life.”
            See also:

          • Ris – that’s precisely what I said last week and got a lot of pushback. Just as GWB started endless wars against intangible ‘terror,’ Trump has been talked into a war on ‘disease’ and ultimately death. This idea that every single death is a tragedy, no matter what age or circumstances, is obscene.

            Again, my friend is as sincere a Christian as you’ll find and yet very much a dissident too, and she was specifically disgusted with all her Christian friends and customers panicking about wuflu. She has elderly parents with all the other ailments that would make them susceptible, so she’s extra careful about washing and using a mask at work etc., but she agrees with me that it’s the at-risk who should be quarantined, not everyone else.

  32. It would appear obvious that Dr. Anthony “chicken little” Fauci is an adviser type who needs a strong dose of the “perfect”* is the enemy of the good enough.

    *Perfect to a public health commissar is that there be no consideration of economic consequences to their prescriptions.

    • Excellent point. It seems that Dr. Fauci has been appointed dictator of the U.S. The analogy would be giving a general dictatorial powers in the time of war. Where is the push back from the Treasury or Commerce?

    • See the emails that Conservative Treehouse found of Fauci professing his love for Hitlary during the previous regime? It makes me wonder just how engineered this collapse is.

    • That man’s attitude and demeanor make me want to punch him – epitome of backpfeifengesicht.


    The above address is to the Chicago presser with this chick giving what amounts to an impassioned high school valedictory. That the rulers trot her and her data-free comments out now – and include a sign language guy in oddly tight pants for extra fun – is one of the more distressing things I’ve seen associated with this outbreak. It’s an unserious signal about something that is supposed to be serious. It’s the sort of mistake you can make if you have lots of credibility, but in an environment where the public wonders about the level of basic competence and corruption it is a catastrophe.

    Add to this the likelihood that the relief coming from the Feds is going to be unserious, and you get yourself a problem. People will have to evaluate the possibility that there really is nobody competent among the rulers, even for the serious stuff.

    • Good Lord. Her body language and tone was more in line with an hysterical teenage girl who just broke up with her boyfriend than an adult woman professional.

    • I admit I couldn’t stomach watching the entire performance – I was fearful that at some point she say: “like, OMG, this is totally like…you know…bad”.
      It was more likely I’d be more ill listening to her than whatever CV19 has to offer.

    • I’ve noticed a trend for a long time for our masters in corporations and governments to set up women as flaks whenever there is any kind of interaction with the public. The thinking is probably that they are more controllable and less likely to think for themselves than a man would be.
      There’s also the fact that, when imposing the organization’s more oppressive and offensive policies, it’s less likely that someone will just walk up and punch them in the nose. Standing up a xirl as the spokesblob also allows the real, and still mostly male, decision makers to continue cowering in the shadows of obscurity and anonymity behind the women’s skirts.

      • Pozy, so true. Along those lines, when a company appoints a woman and/or POC as the CEO, there is probably something in the compay, that they did or ignored, that made their situation a bad one. c.f. Mary Bara, GM, and the ignition switch fault. Two weeks after they gave her the gig, the bad thing blew up.

      • We are aware that Blacks are often put in charge of company, but they are just fronts for White decision-makers. Women, too.

        It was pointed out that the first labor unions were in occupations that were strenuous and dangerous, such as working in mines and steel mills. Getting women to work in these jobs served the interest of the employers because the they were easier to push around. “You ladies don’t really want a pay increase, now do you?”

    • What we are seeing is what we have seen before, a great awakening and another category of poz’d profession.

      Medical doctors, once revered are now being seen as emotional actors, rather than rationale leaders. They’ve been elevated from their traditional position of healer of individuals to one they are entirely unsuited for, political leader of a polis.

      Our “hero’s” are rapidly shrinking. Just in my lifetime, news reporters were highly respected, e.g., Walter Cronkite. So were University Professors and such institutions of higher ed. Finally, the military. All now gone. And I suspect medical professions will not be the last institution to fall into disfavor and collapse. There will be a lot of rebuilding to be done—if ever we get the chance.

      • With all due respect to Right Doctor and few others here, I never ‘revered’ medical professionals. They are not nearly as smart as they think they are and hate being proven wrong (which I’ve done to a number of them more than once). I think a healthy skepticism towards anyone in this life claiming to be an ‘expert’ is a good initial strategy. Any human heroes I may admire never, ever claimed to be such in life (all are dead White males).

    • I find myself focusing on the facial expressions of the sign language / break dancers – at these speeches. They’re fucking hilarious. Auto-parody of globohomo at its best.

  34. Good breakdown of people. I’ve spent most of my life in the advisory and execution roles – project, program, and strategy management. My one objection in the essay – if you are an advisor and do not consider trade-offs and present them to decision makers, you are truly terrible at your job. (And yes, there are many advisors terrible at their jobs who operate on their own agendas)

  35. It’s likely that our society has become hostile to decision makers. People who calmly make hard choices are despised, we don’t want our leaders to say that some people will die, we want them to say that we will all be safe.

    It’s the same reason we become apocalyptic when a business owner says a $15 minimum wage isn’t reasonable for a guy washing cars.

    Instead we have people who would have originally been “the rest of us” in positions of power, barking orders to the executors, being advised by lunatics who have been trained mainly in the importance of diversity and the worship of anal sex.

    Our decision makers are trapped in small businesses, low ranking military officers, maybe some blogs such as this one.

    • Good point Trapped. Its not just open hostility, as that is largely reserved for crimethinkers, badwhites, and the deplorables.

      As I mentioned above, I think a system either solves for decision makers or it solves for charismatic administrators (to put it nicely) based on the “books” it keeps.

      The zero-sum of hierarchy selection means that at some point one set of traits becomes favored and thus dominant.

      Aside. Entryism is an issue here as once a clown gains authority in an org, they will select for sub-clowns and the virus spreads. This is why the leaders most important function/skill IMO is selecting his people to guard against this.

      There are two sets of books: truth and power. Truth is power of its own but in clown-world power exists absent truth.

      To your point I think in small biz and other highly specialized areas, reality, in terms of both the purpose and success of an organization can remain dominant while the second set of books (globohomo) can be merely lip-serviced and mostly avoided.

      The problem is once the org scales up or enters dealings with Globohomo, those two sets of books are in direct conflict.

      Serving two masters doesn’t work for long and the truth gets subordinated to the overarching powers of the clown. Its the woke capital event horizon.

      Longwinded but I agree, I think a lot of decision makers are chased out, grown out, and/or self-select out.

      The more principled, idealistic, and rational, the less likely you are to rise-up in clown. In the grand inversion of the current era, those traits are liabilities not assets.

      • That’s where AA led us too and having HR run the company…Inmates running the asylum…

        • “There are two sets of books: truth and power.”

          That’s an instant classic, one for the ages.

          Another, a maxim, cultural anthropology in one sentence:
          “The zero-sum of hierarchy selection means that at some point one set of traits becomes favored and thus dominant.”

  36. Spot on about tradeoffs. Uncertainty is making it hard to judge tradeoffs now. A couple of ways you can address uncertainty (among others): choose moves that have the smaller downside if you’re wrong, and adjust reasonably often based on new information. Closing schools and the China travel ban are examples of the first way. Locking down non-essential businesses may also be one, though depending on how long it lasts it may prove not to be. The bottom line is that we need widespread testing so those tradeoffs can be evaluated.

    • The problem with testing is that it is not actually as good as you think it is.

      For the math, have a read:

      “With a base rate of 1 out of 100, there is still only a 50/50 chance you got the bug! Only 50/50. Flip a burger. Of course, if you’re in Wuhan, or parts of Italy, B = 1% maybe isn’t so realistic. What’s your B? I have no idea. There is no unique B!”

      • Thanks for the link, BadThinker. I’m more familiar with that math than you’d know. We still need testing, and specifically cheap and fast testing of people who haven’t entered the medical system yet (that probably means a non-PCR test, which will take some time).

        • More testing never hurts. Eventually all stat’s will be based of some sort of estimate of cases, but that estimate will only be made better with more testing. The problem is one of philosophy, act without appropriate information, or wait until such information is available—or rather act within the boundaries of fact based evidence and reason—not emotion, panic, fear, duplicity.

          We have decided to crash the economy without appropriate information. Not just on contagion and death rates, but on the cost of such actions as “social distancing”. I have yet to hear anyone grapple with the unseen—and yet unrealized cost—of a population beggared to such a condition as not seen since the Great Depression from one of the world’s envy of prosperity.

          A quick look at opioid related/cause death stat’s for 2016 shows a bit less than 50K—for one year. Sociologists have pointed to one significant cause as the despair in the cohort of White males age 40-50 in the rust belt and more rural areas. No jobs, no future, no hope. What happens when this is spread to the country as a whole? More deaths from addiction, suicide, and so forth? Not far fetched, but difficult to quantify. How about people with no job, no money paying for health care? Would that cause a decline and upswing in poor physical condition and death.

          But don’t worry, grandma will live on, and on. If it only saves one life…

          • Eventually all stat’s will be based of some sort of estimate of cases, but that estimate will only be made better with more testing.

            That assumes that the tests are actually worth a tinker’s dam. If the tests have a high incidence of wither false positives or false negatives then any decisions made on the basis of such test will be nothing more than WAGs (Wild Ass Guess). How much testing has been done of the tests themselves?

        • Indeed. Fast and reliable testing could have prevented most of this. Test and isolate the infected for a couple of weeks. We got the opposite.

      • This is something I’ve been wondering a lot about too. How many of these supposed cases of Coronavirus – even in Italy – are actually false positives? We have some test that’s been cooked up over a couple of weeks in a lab so who knows how accurate it is. And as Briggs points out (And this is literally a textbook example of Bayes law that’s been taught in statistics classes for years. I’ve always used it myself when I’ve taught stats classes.) even if a test is highly accurate, there’s still a very good chance you don’t have the disease even if you test positive if the overall incidence of the disease is small. The flu’s still going around too along with other bacterially induced pneumonias, so even if you show up sick to the hospital and test positive there’s quite possibly some quite sizable chance that you don’t have the Coronavirus.

        I think with AIDS they test several times after a positive result exactly for this reason. It’s a serious diagnosis and a rare disease, so they’ll never conclude you have it without a substantial amount of follow-up testing. I am sure we are doing no such follow-up testing with the Coronavirus. A positive result means you’re added to Fox’s increasingly hysterical running total for the day no matter whether it’s a false positive or no.

        • I thought the same thing because I read that the majority of people who test positive the first time they are tested don’t actually have the sickness. They need to be retested. Also, the majority of people with it are asymptomatic.

        • There was a chart that showed something like 50% of those that died had 3 other serious diseases. 25% or so had 2, and the rest had one serious disease.

          So what really killed them? People with suppressed immune systems die of pneumonia every year often along with the flu. Why would anyone think Coronavirus (an old and well know virus) is somehow solely responsible for every death?

          • Many people with the sniffles will fear that they have the ailment and run to the emergency room.

            About a month ago, before the hysteria, there was a warm day and evening, so I left the my bedroom window a bit and woke up with a mild cold. Maybe it was the corona virus!

          • You jest, but Julie Kelly had an article the other day speculating about exactly this:


            Apparently, there was an big spike in people showing up at the doctor early in the year with “flu-like” symptoms who tested negative for the flu. Those cases actually peaked back in January and started leveling off in February before the Coronavirus hysteria kicked into high gear. For all we know those were a bunch of undiagnosed Coronavirus cases and the whole epidemic had started to level off over a month ago. There’ve been other years for which the number of these mystery illnesses has been real high as well, so for all we know we might have gotten hit by several Coronavirus epidemics in the recent past without even knowing it.

          • We had this in our community in December. A friend had it really bad and was hacking up blood. A couple of mutual friends had their entire family on bed rest. It miraculously missed me and hit my husband. He was dealing with it through January. The only kid that had anything was the 4 year old and whatever it was led to an ear infection.

            We’ve been speculating on if we didn’t have this thing already.

          • Ear infections in kids are often caused by cold viruses and about a third of common colds are due to Coronaviruses in particular.

          • It occurred to me that if every person with a cold underwent this coronavirus test a year ago, how many would test positive for coronavirus?

            “You have coronavirus.” “Oh, okay.” It would have been no big deal.

            According to the WebMD article I referenced on another post, coronavirus causes about 20% of colds and does its dirty work in the winter and early spring. The other types of colds are rhinovirus and RSV and parainfluenza.

    • Most of the politicians making decisions (other than Trump) have little real-work experience in the economy and generally have a bias in favor of state power. In their eyes, being a dictator has no downside.

    • Decision makers are being judged on the efficacy of the decision, rather than on the wisdom of the decision making process when one has incomplete information. Throwing rocks at someone when the result is suboptimal is not hard to do, it is simply piling on, after the fact. What you want are people making wise choices, given big gaps in information about the matter at hand. Policy choices that will not strand everyone in a really bad place if the choice does not work out, and choices that make sense in a complex, incomplete situation. H I is exactly right.

  37. I often wonder if the problem with the modern world is that it demands far too many decision makers than actually exist, so we end up with unserious people in charge, simply because there aren’t enough serious people to go around.

    • Back before government got huge, the local Mayor, Count, whatever made most of the calls. If he was an idiot, too bad for his county – but not a problem for all the other counties. Now we have Governors in NY, NJ, OH, and CT trying to out-idiot each other.

      • Subsidiarity or federalism. Local people know what’s best for local people. Of course, at one time local people paid their own bills and didn’t stick their hands out to the State and Federal governments. With subsidy comes control. On top of that, our Cloud People rulers regard the great mass of ordinary Americans as livestock who need to looked after.

        • If only the scumbags had let My President to what he wanted to in January.

          But they knew, and wanted it to get worse, so they could grab the money sure to come.

          They f**ked up and now they’ll over-reach and blame My Prez to cover their stupid, greedy, criminal azzes.

          Green New Deal and Peeing Prostitutes-Gate went nowhere, so now the pigs are counting on Corona-chan going viral.

      • Don’t forget PA! Wolfe just ‘locked down’ some counties over 644 cases in a population of 12,000,000.

    • BT. Interesting “ we end up with unserious people in charge”
      It seems the excess / luxury of the modern world softens the negative consequences of these unserious meat bags making decisions. Too bad.

    • Interesting, although isn’t big tech’s thing consolidation? I’d expect to see fewer decision makers as data becomes easier to collect, review and manipulate. Fewer *real* decision makers, anyway

      • One thing the machines are good at is spotting patterns based on input data. Problem is that the world is *far* more complex than the data we collect on it. Oversimplification of the world (via economists and sociologists) is one of the reasons we’re in this mess. In marketing the problem is called ‘sales attribution’ – what caused a customer to buy our product? The marketer will tell you it was because of the coupon we sent to them. The realist will tell you “millions of reasons”. There’s a happy medium there somewhere, but it means judgement and moving from the mass back to the personal. Big data is just the end result of the push toward ‘mass’ everything.

      • That’s why I agree with Karl Horst’s report of Chinese Disruption strategy.

        They are planning on consolidating and integrating the physical supply chain while our politicos use this opportunity to consolidate and integrate the feminine surveillance state, their main focus for many years.

        The good and interesting news is purely American- for instance, a microdistillery in Bozeman is producing a local version of Purell and giving it away to first responders (and anyone who shows up.)

        Will our big boys ramp up essentials?
        I’m hoping capitalism responds as we used to before creaky, clunky, cheating China gets there first.

        What we have to watch for are the West’s criminal politicians- will the overseas money pass-back be more than their cut, what they can steal, at home?

    • Maybe the problem isn’t a lack of serious people but a lack of serious people in serious position. Clown World became a clownish world by handing out responsibilities to malicious outsiders and to jumped up trash. The handful of capable people in public life, if there are even a handful, have to play along to get along…or they are spineless obsequious mercenaries.

      • Yves, yes.

        We have a deficit of true decision makers – and an oversupply of middling self-serving administrators whose success is a function of their skill in taking advantage of the decay within the organizations and systems to leverage others into accepting all the risk.

        Further. HR, affirmative action, PC, lawfare, rent-seeking, etc. mean that the system does not cultivate advisors into decision makers or inoculate against Larping leaders and grifters.

        Bad actors are more often elevated and/or protected, than ejected.

        We have mercenaries and their handlers; officers hiding behind cloud policy and procedures insulating them from any direct responsibility; and all the rest, who keep their head down for fear of running afoul of the admin behemoth and/or the personal ambition of their superior.

        Its all rather high-machiavellian.

        • My department did its own hiring for the first half of my career. For the past decade everything, even whom we can interview, now gets filtered through the commissars in HR.

    • the problem with the modern world is that it demands far too many decision makers than actually exist, so we end up with unserious incompetent people in charge, simply because there aren’t enough serious competent people to go around.

      Fixed it per the ZMan from last week.

  38. Let me try to tell you something I’ve noticed about the reaction to this threat.

    Last week when I realized people were actually starting to freak out about doomsday, I had been away from my wife for four days. We talk all the time, but I had never asked her about her fears. She said, Scared of what? Either it’s coming or it’s not. I’m not personally worried.

    It was another reminder to congratulate myself on having married the right woman, because that’s exactly the way I felt. Neither of us is worried in an existential sense.

    By contrast, some of my old friends, who live nearby, suddenly don’t want to pass within ten feet of me when we cross paths walking our dogs. We can chat, but I notice an increase in anxiety if I edge closer. And two couples, regulars, declined invitations to visit or dinner.

    And of course their choice of topic when we speak is, How bad do you think it will be? I almost want to say, You’re already experiencing the worst of it. It’s a panic, and you’re a victim. They might as well add you to the count: you’re a casualty, combat ineffective. What I do say is, “I’m confident that you will be fine.”

    It’s like there’s this axis of human mentality that most of us have never seen before at large scale and didn’t realize still appertained. It’s a primal, brain-stem kinda thinggie. Play along at home and rate yourself from zero to ten along this scale: how much are you afraid of miniature albino giraffes?

    • Yesterday I talked with an epidemiologist with significant medical training. This person supervises projects in coordination with the CDC and told me that the best policy would be to let the virus run its course with the population getting immunity the natural way.

      • NJ,
        Zman said in his comment, doing something stupid is always seen as better than doing nothing. Letting it run its course might be smart but it’s doing nothing. We had to do something stupid and have been wildly successful.

      • Problem is no politician in a democracy can do that. Boris Johnson considered it, probably on advice of Dominic Cummings, then quickly abandoned it when someone pointed out the political fallout of people dying in hospital hallways.

      • They’re all saying that or paid to say it.
        Even CA’s state doctor, on the radio, said, “oh, the young are getting it, and that’s a GOOD thing!”

        This one doesn’t produce antibodies, it hides like AIDS. There are no AIDS antibodies.

        NO IMMUNITY.

        Sorry for shouting.
        Rooster says “disseminate their ignorance far and wide.”
        Fash says, “Two weeks is not very long.”

        The “herd immunity” nitwits are a perfect illustration of today’s Z-post.

        I hope as an ignoramus that “no immunity” is 100, no, 200% wrong.

        If not, ‘society adapting to this virus’ will mean the arbitrary police powers become a permanent feature.

        Not a bug, bro.
        They might never let go, now.

        Whitepill: If the C&A treatment does prove effective, then great. Great! Whiteworld responding as it should.

        But.. I still expect huge expectational spread, as market manipulators and political opportunists make permanent hay out of re-occurrences. Things aren’t going back.

        War is coming. To pull us out of the planned new Depression. No one to stop them, and I’m so sorry to be such a rotten asshole.

        • Of course, this was as if March 6. Has the story changed, Al?
          “So far, most of these cases of reinfection have been in China, where the outbreak started, and research documenting these cases — and confirming that they are, in fact, instances of reinfection — remains lacking, experts say.
          ‘I do not know of any cases at present where I would be definitively convinced that a person had fully recovered from the disease and had been reinfected as opposed to relapsed,’ William Hanage, assistant professor of epidemiology at the T.H. Chan School of Public Health at Harvard University, told UPI. ‘A lot of people are concerned about it, but I don’t think we have any good evidence for it.'”

        • Herd immunity (also called herd effect, community immunity, population immunity, or social immunity) is a form of indirect protection from infectious disease that occurs when a large percentage of a population has become immune to an infection, whether through previous infections or vaccination, thereby providing a measure of protection for individuals who are not immune.

    • My opinion is somewhat like yours expressed 27 minutes later without reading yours….refuse to be afraid….in a way, death stalks us continuously and I will continue to enjoy my day,,,

    • Right now you can divide people into two groups, those who are afraid, and those who are not afraid. You can see the fear (or not) in their eyes when you meet them.

      • Well personally, I’m afraid of the aftereffects of politicians trying to ‘fix the problem’. I’d rather take my chances with the virus than a cratered economy.

        • Unfortunately, we’re probably past the point of being able to avoid a cratered economy and will likely see a depression as bad as or even worse than the one which began 90 odd years ago. Unfortunately, the measures which are likely to be used to “bring us out of it” will almost certainly be modeled on that used by the Democrats back then and we damned well KNOW how well THAT worked.

      • It’s not the dying, it’s the fear of leaving things unfinished.

        My favorite last words, from a book of quotes from the deathbed–
        A businessman: “Still so much left to be done”

    • I don’t fear albino giraffes, I do fear “bread lines”. Now that’s not me, nor will it ever be. I’m that Boomer that got in on the action early and made out like a bandit. But I didn’t check out of society. I have children, my friends have children. Enough said.

  39. Many online show no understanding of the concepts of trade offs or second order effects, let alone what they might be for our current situation. Commo with them is a waste of time, but they tend to disseminaye their ignorance far and wide.

  40. Latest number dead from coronavirus in Italy (the so-called worst case scenario country): 5,476. Total population of Italy: 60.32 million. Mortality rate is .000009%. It does not look to be anything near the black death. Please let me know, anyone, if I am missing something.

      • Okay. Valid point. But that will require a lot of exponential growth and thus be grounds for reasonable skepticism subject to change as new facts come.

        • Italy is also on the steep part of the curve, right? The exponential growth such as it’ll be should be happening right now. Correct me if I’m wrong about that, I’ll admit I’m not following Italy up to the moment.

    • What about the side effects? Its rumored to cause organ damage, and infertility after it passes. So say we left it unchecked, we may end up with a shit ton of alive, but infertile young people.

      There’s also the very real possibility that this is a bioweapon that slipped out of a lab, and we just don’t know how it will work long term.

      I respect Z’s take that this is a nothingburger and agree that the medical field is full of hysterical wimmin. But some kind of response is necessary to slow the spread of this virus. We don’t know how it will turn out.

      Going around telling people “it’s just the flu, bro” is just annoying. Instead we have to focus, as always, on how this was caused by open borders, we literally chose the import the virus. And look how quickly all white replacement has ceased. It’s literally that easy. Talk about how the lack of medical supppy production proves we need to reshore our industry.

      • I lean toward your position. Best measures do have to be taken, even if it winds up being nothing.

        We have gone too far, though.

        • Yes, when you are in your 80’s for example something will kill you. Often it starts with a cold or the seasonal flu. The flu and flu-like illnesses strike, hospitalize, and kill far more people each year than this wimpy-virus has.

          And we know that vitamins and minerals help us with our immune system but doctors never suggest that. We also know that the seasonal flu vaccination causes the immune system to be less effective against other germs; that is other than what was vaccinated against. So many researchers have suggested that vaccines for the elderly are counter productive when you consider all cause mortality. But big Pharma needs to make money, eh?

        • Well, I think there is something unique about the virus vs standard flu that’s not fully understood. I know a family that has it. One of the members is unfortunately in very bad shape. The person is also a little bit older, overweight and diabetic. The rest of the family members that have it are totally fine. This thing seems to go after diabetics hard, causing organ shutdown. Putting undue pressure on an already weakened system.

          That all being said, agree with Z that we can’t keep things shutdown indefinitely. At some point a “least worst option” decision has to be made.

        • Seems in modern times we’ve forgotten the old adage: “Pneumonia, the old person’s friend”. That’s what killed the majority if I recall in hospitals years ago. Took my grandfather as well.

      • And regarding infertility, my fiance is pregnant. It’s got me thinking about that literary masterpiece: Children of Men.The book of course.

      • How about taking this quarantine to it’s desired conclusion. Perhaps that will give us a better view by which to analyze the current process of bending the curve.

        Let’s say, we are successful, even more successful than bending the curve. The virus stops spreading and seemingly disappears within 90 days of the present quarantine. Where does it (virus) go? Well, we know it is not destroyed, indeed it seems to be in most other countries today. Many of those poor and completely unable to fight the disease as we do. Take for example other diseases such as TB, Measles, etc. We are a completely open borders society, the Corona virus will reinfect—especially if shown to have an animal reservoir.

        So we buy time to develop a vaccine. But this is a mutating virus. Our Flu vaccine is at best 50% effective and less than 50% of folk get shots and the vaccine must be reworked yearly to keep up with the virus mutations. We lose-and accept—40k+ death a year to Flu.

        So the long and the short of the argument—we mostly likely are at best prolonging the inevitable, which is that we must adapt society to the virus—as we have the Flu. Destroying the very economy that make this possible is not the answer.

        • BTW, as addendum, I just had such discussion with wife a bit ago, she was of the thought, “We don’t know enough, not enough facts, not enough testing, we must do everything we can think of.”

          My rebuttal (always difficult as she takes such very personal) is that we have logical minds that can sense inconsistencies, sort facts, and predict roughly future outcomes in broad and general sense. Assume the present argument on bending the curve and expand argument to a future in which this outcome has occurred. Now what is accomplished (long term)? If the answer is “nothing of consequence”, then go back and change the premises.

          I suspect she’ll be talking to me by tomorrow. 😉

    • It’s only been two weeks since this thing started to take off outside of china though. I’m withholding judgement until more time passes. Two weeks is not very long.

      • Assume for argument’s sake that it is not – that the numbers coming out of Italy are DELIBERATELY skewed. If that is the case then the numbers are either being UNDER reported or OVER reported. If the numbers are misreported, then WHICH numbers are being misreported and WHY?

        If both numbers – i.e. both total cases and total deaths – are misreported, then there is still something exceedingly odd going on in Italy because the death rate is a tad over 9.5%. If they’re under reporting either numbers then things are still exceedingly odd. And who benefits from such misreporting? Fudging the total cases up means even MORE are dying (%age wise) than the current numbers (which are already way out line with anybody else) would indicate. Fudging the death count up makes Italy look worse than it needs to. No scenario I can see makes Italy look better.

        Nope. It seems to me that, bad as the numbers out of Italy are, there’s no reason for someone in power to report such numbers if they weren’t accurate.

    • The statistics we should be looking at are 2020 deaths vs. 2019 deaths for the population. Are they higher? Are they significantly higher?

    • Your numbers are wrong because your counting the whole population who don’t all have it…You have to take deaths divided by those who have recovered from it but even that is a guessing game because we don’t have enough test kits to see who even has it…

  41. “Public policy is always about trade-offs. This is true in the easy times and it is true in the terrible times. There are no cost-free solutions to problems. Every problem presents a set of trade-offs. Decision makers know this and thus avoid million-dollar solutions to hundred-dollar problems. At least the good ones do.”

    “the good ones”

    What we are seeing is the implementation of policies without much thought at all about trade-offs or consequences, and that’s the best case interpretation. Mostly we are seeing decisions based on turf protection and power grabs, which comes naturally to bureaucrats. We’ll be told it was for our health as we take our places in bread lines and hear stories from the guy in front of us about a friend of a friend who had a really bad case of coronavirus.

  42. But isn’t participating in (some) arbitrary measures to slow the spread just good optics?

    They are terrified of this virus and want to comfort themselves. That in mind, I’m willing to do a few silly things to allay a normie’s anxiety.

    But that doesn’t mean I’m fine with sitting in this quarantine for a damn month.

    • One of the many perverse results of democracy is the incentive to do something is very high. Doing something stupid is always seen as better than doing nothing. In retrospect, I should have worked in a bit on “we have to do something.”

      • I’ve always said that government is best explained by the British sitcom Yes, Minister. From “Power to the People”, the Politican’s Fallacy: “We must do something; This is something; Therefore, we must do it.”

      • One of the things I always say is that more tragedies have been perpetuated by the phrase “But we’ve got to do SOMETHING” than just about anything else. Doing nothing is often the best choice. As we say in engineering, perfect is the enemy of the good.

        See 9/11, which gave us the useless Department of Homeland Security, the Gropenfuhrers of the TSA and two pointless wars against inbred, bloodthirsty degenerates who worship a moon god.

        I remember when I learned guitar, it was reasonably easy to get to 90 percent of where I wanted to be as a player. To get to the 100 percent level, it took the same effort to get the final 10 percent, which was frustrating.

        I’m still going to work everyday. My commute is now 15 minutes instead of 30 minutes and I feel like I’m in an dystopian fantasy film on the empty interstates.

      • So pick something that needs to be done anyhow that is plausibly related to the crisis of the day. Border control, for starters.

      • Z thezman, not to disagree with anything you say am just wondering how would you know in a “popperian” sense that you are right and the POTUS and his admin are making the wrong decisions, or if you wish the other way around.

      • Calvin Coolidge is reported to have said “If you see ten problems coming down the road at you and you do nothing, nine will probably end up in the ditch and then you’ll only have to deal with one.”

        May be apocryphal, I don’t know, but it certainly fits with Coolidge’s overall worldview. Doing something stupid as opposed to doing nothing is only valued in a feminized, hysterical, infantile society, not a society of free and independent men.

        Machiavellian politicians know this, and consequently they always try to manipulate the “do something” hysteria to fit a pre-existing agenda. Nowhere is this more obvious than with gun control. The probability that the precious little brat you chose to give birth to after having three abortions will get run over by a bus or knifed by Darnell has gotta be a hundred times higher than the probability that he will die in a school shooting. Clever politicians know that, so they encourage the hysteria to allow them to accomplish goal they always had, which was to gut the Second Amendment.

        And it works. Continual, manufactured crisis is the crack cocaine of politics in a democratic nation…

      • Prior to COVID Mr.Z the credit lines of corporations and the Stock market, banks were into crazy town levels heading for a correction.

        Then Just In Time Wuhan hit.

        The Stupid people who hyped this got their masters $4 Trillion in “Liquidity” injections. Like Heroin you always need more injections.

        But then the hype became mass hysteria; and the government must act. So it did; It just TSA-d the entire country. For those to young to remember flying was once easier.

        Who’s stupid Z?

      • Z Man seems to ignore the gray areas in decision making about the Wuflu crisis. Everything now is a shoulda woulda coulda. If the Chinese had done this we wouldn’t have to do that. If the president had done this we wouldn’t now be doing the other. This situation is a damned if you do and damned if you don’t. Z Man is wildly optimistic that this is a mere panic and over-reaction. The Z Man’s proposed trade off is that a million or more Americans dead is worth it for the economy’s sake. But I thought the economy existed for Man, not man for the economy.

        • This is what is called a false dichotomy. There is no evidence that this Chinese virus will result in an additional million deaths this year. That’s a fantasy number based in nothing. As far as the economy, it’s not some abstract thing. The depression that has been launched will impact tens of millions of real people. They will be thrown into poverty, lose their homes, see their independence eroded. Small business will be crushed, corporate power will grow and the state will assume power it will never surrender.

          • I’m no economist but it seems like with a QE bubble this big, a depression was inevitable anyway. This may be youth and inexperience talking but I’m cautiously optimistic, crisis and chaos creates opportunity for all sides. Not just theirs. The French Revolution was catalyzed by two main factors. A decadent and disconnected elite, and economic collapse punctuated by a food shortage. One ingredient has been present for decades, the other might be added to the pot shortly. I’m willing to tolerate a few terrible years if they pave the way for a potentially brighter future. Better a lot of strife now followed by relief than a slowly increasing amount of strife for eternity.

          • One lesson “learned” from the mortgage meltdown is that is may be impossible to put too much cash into the system when asset values are collapsing. I’m putting “learned” in quotes because it may not be true. There may be some really bad things that happen when too much cash is pumped into the system in an effort to stabilize asset values. For now though, that limit does not exist, so they are going balls to the wall.

            I’m with you when it comes to the opportunity that lies in chaos. There’s also great risk. Things can always get worse. If it is my job to sell people on new ideas after the old ideas have been discredited, I don’t want to be the guy who cheered the implosion of the economy and consequent suffering. I’d much rather be the guy who warned about it. I think a lot of people laughing at it now will be crying when they are in a soup line, boring the crap out of everyone with their fashy memes.

          • I don’t think it will be about memes at that point. If things do indeed devolve to the level of soup lines, I think it will be about pointing the finger at those responsible for leading us there.

          • It is no falsehood that this disease is at least ten times the killer a usual flu is. You are ignoring Italy’s numbers which allowed the disease to quickly spread. Isolation is slowing the rate of the disease so now you et al are saying where’s the numbers. You expect the bubonic plague before you think this matters. If people don’t want small businesses to be crushed, they won’t be. You don’t think small businesses weren’t being crushed before this by govt and big Corps? State and Corp power will grow? It has grown already to the point that we are being crushed in slow motion. So, you object to the rate of crushing now?

            How did you go bankrupt, sir? Slowly at first, then all of a sudden.

            Business failure is preventable if people and the state care. Loss of paychecks can be remediated. A killer virus is preventable or else it kills. I stand with preventing many deaths and preventing business failures and loss of income.

            One answer is simple: testing so healthy people can work. Make the tests en masse with a real capitalist effort in a few weeks and then worry about the economy.

          • Let’s say it is ten times worse than the typical flu. That’s 300,00 deaths, not millions. Given what we actually know abut the virus, most of those deaths would be from the pool of three million people who die every year in America.

            All of this has been addressed here and elsewhere. Read through last week’s posts. It’s all right there. The irony here is this particular post is about identifying people who have never been in a room where serious decisions are made. Thank you for making my point.

          • You needn’t have bothered with your final reply, ZMan. I doubt it even ruffled his hair as it went over.

          • “The irony here is this particular post is about identifying people who have never been in a room where serious decisions are made.”

            Heheheheh, being witness to what goes on in a head shed is an eye-opener. Realizing there almost never some Illuminati-like control mechanism in place made me wonder numerous times how civilization made it this far.

          • Bullshit. You’re just making stuff up now, Ten times is the lowest estimate and most of those 300K you mention would not die within the year. You don’t know that. You don’t like what’s being done? Tough. This is the democracy you like to scorn for being a dumbocracy. The decision makers are doing — guess what? — they’re shutting things down and not being advised by the likes of you who prefers to get people killed while jobs and businesses can also be saved. You have no policy for this except to let people die and applaud your own ruthlessness. This is not an either/or situation. 300K and more lives matter so, on this matter, go fuck yourself.

          • Don’t puff yourself up when you try to make a point. People will use your anger to discredit your argument, and often with success.

            You don’t know the potential extent of this depression. It’s not as dramatic as a plague, but that doesn’t mean it should be overlooked. Do you understand how many people are going to lose thirty years worth of labor? Their cars and properties?

            And because the virus is here to stay, the newly minted homeless will make perfect vectors for the disease.

            How the hell do you expect us to adequately address this plague with a shit economy? It’s totally bonkers.

          • Feb 12 – March 16
            Total reported cases (2,449)
            Hospitalization 20.7 – 31.4 %
            ICU admission 4.9 – 11.5 %
            Fatality 1.8 – 3.4 %
            Age 45 – 54 fatality 0.5 – 2.6 %
            55 – 64 fatality 2.7 – 4.9 %
            65- 74 fatality 2.7 – 10.5%
            75 – 84 fatality 10.4 – 27.3 %

            Sure, go ahead and sneeze at these numbers.

          • You are right. it is not a either/or situation. Hilariously, you don’t seem to grasp that though. Again, this has been covered here for over a week. That’s the whole point of discussing trade-offs. Your problem, to blunt, is you simply do not understand the material.

          • I see an awful lot of people comparing this WuFlu thing and it’s projected death rate – to how many people die from the seasonal flu and things like car crashes.

            Now we’re supposed to believe that it’s ok to crash the economy to save some assumed number of lives – which I’ve never seen clearly elaborated upon (I never see PROJECTED deaths – I only see the media touting how many people have died so far – as if that really means anything in the bigger picture).

            Well here’s another thing to remember: When towers fell on 9/11 – it set this nation on the path to perpetual war. The original neocon con was that it was all going to be over in lickety split time – with almost no money spent and no discernble death count.

            Anybody who was paying attention knew this was bullshit – but none of this is the point.

            The point is that the elites had no problem starting a war where there was GUARANTEED to be a bunch of death. They didn’t make us all quarantine and then go around the country gathering up Muslims to get rid of the infection – no – instead they chose a path that was going to lead to more death.

            Which is my way of highlighting the fact that death count alone – isn’t the most likely driver of why we’re all under quarantine – it’s got to be something else.

            The elites have no problems whatsoever with choosing the high death count option when it suits them.

      • I think that forswearing all of their sanitary rituals is bad optics. One day, they’ll publish a scientific study concluding that the dissident right is a motley of plague-breathing slobs. And people will believe them because the risk of death is real.

        So I’ll don a mask and “do my part.” It’s placating and easy. If it helps Aiden stand in line without cowering 8 feet behind me, whatever.

        That doesn’t mean I approve of this social and economic disruption, though. I went to the market today and people had to stand 6 feet away from each other. Nobody was talking and some people were so hypervigilant they didn’t even look at their cellphones.

      • Trump is already testing the waters in Twitter with stopping the quarantines. I expect a gradual softening by the end of the week.

        Of course, Trump can be insanely schizophrenic, so take with a grain of salt,

        • I hope he does soften restrictions. But I predict it will not be that soon. I expect two more weeks of this, minimum.

          • Trump pointed to the ripcord but his phrasing is retarded as usual. “We” will decide”? Who is this we?

            The lack of leadership is just striking. I mean I don’t expect these clowns to look out for my interests but I do expect them to at least be men and take responsibility for actually making a decision.

            The ambiguity and schizo irrationality is worse than just making suboptimal – but at least definitive, choices.

            Meanwhile my greasy chosen gaypedo gov is hiding behind orange man bad. His pressers tell us nothing of value. Just a bunch of slippery qualifiers and excuses.

            Apparently because Trump didnt do this or that – soon enough or fast enough, my governor can’t be responsible for what is happening here or make a decision based on the facts on the ground.

            I hate these people more every day.

            I am an advisor. But realistically, in terms of actual production, I am most often an executor because to generate a recommendation requires a lot of sausage making.

            I am a craftsman at heart so this suits me. But what doesn’t suit me is when the natural hierarchy is perverted by cowards and liars and psychopaths. I despise making sausage for psychos. Thats why I walked from the empire in the first place.

            Men intuitively follow good leaders and will go to great lengths to advise and execute for them, even if the ultimate direction he chooses is flawed. Because the subordinates know their leader fully owns both authority and responsibility.

            Cowards and conmen, traits selected for in clown world, erode this natural order. All authority, no responsibility. When initiatives fail its all whiny little bitches and many good men tossed under the bus.

            The toll this takes on advisory and execution is order of magnitudes more destructive than the poor choices he makes.

          • My Dad was career Federal Government, and he said “There are no honest generals, maybe some honest colonels.” And he retired in 1972! To all appearances, the situation has not improved in half a century.

          • Well said my Brother and which is why I push Community so hard which is why I’ve been absent from around here because I’m trying to practice what I preach and help fill in the gaps that others in my Community have…Hope you are well and have what you need to ride out this storm in whatever form it comes at us…

        • I suspect Trump would like to put some daylight between his position and that of the (mostly Democratic) big-State governors who are completely shutting their states down.

          • Wait a minute. It was the a$$#%^&e Repub Gov of Ohio, a pretty big state, who started that ball rolling last week. He has a horrible female Pubic Health Director, too, who claims that they will have 100,000 cases/deaths there soon. She’s a big Planned P’hood proponent, too, and Gov DeWine, who is a huge pro-life guy — has 8 kids or something himself — managed to install this witch in his cabinet. I question his sanity. Also, his political creds as he was the only Gov to postpone the primary election there last week. No one gives a rat’s behind that it is now set for June. Really? Make your state a joke, will you.

          • Dre;

            Louisiana too. First actually, they claim. See below.

            Poll workers (largely nominally paid volunteers) in the remaining primaries were potentially exposed w/o masks, gloves and surface sanitizer because they must sit 12+ hours at a table while every voter steps up to them and must state their name and present ID (which must be handled) to get a ballot. Poll workers refused to show up in many states for that reason.

            Perversely, his was one of the few closures that was *not* silly.


          • I’ve already committed to voting for whoever is running against him in 2022 (assuming we’re holding elections by then). Democrat, National Socialist, LaRouchian, whatever. Failure that great has to be punished.

        • Watched some of his press conference yesterday. They are starting a very large scale trail with the malaria medicine and should know if it works as well as advertised within a week.
          If it does work, I bet Trump has the feds order up billions of tablets, declares victory, and starts to wind it all down. If Governors want to keep their states locked down, they’ll be doing it without fed support.
          That’s my hope…

        • But Trump isn’t really imposing the quarantines. It’s mostly governors and big city mayors who apparently can assume dictatorial powers on their own say so.

          • One of my YouTube gun channels reports that the Gov of NJ has shut down the NICS background check system in that state. I keep wondering how the state police haven’t gone to his office and arrested him yet. The system has also been shut down in Tennessee it seems.

          • In Ohio gun stores are not “essential” and should be closed, liquor stores on the other hand are essential and should remain open.

          • It’s not neurotic if you either buy when the prices are low – and sell to the retards when the prices are high (like right now)…… then it’s an “investment”.

            One that can reap pretty good rewards BTW. I don’t know what a case of .223 is going for right now because I haven’t checked. But if you buy right you can get 1000 rounds for about $350. I know when one of the Obama gun crusades was ongoing and everybody was buying everything gun related – 1000 rounds was being sold in some cases for as much as $700.

            I know a number of guys who own full auto stuff as well. Those guys tend to buy ammo by the pallet load – because they need to.

          • Oh yeah, Vizzini? If you dont have 100#+ of Pb and a smelter, you deserve a an honorary grasshopper award. (Jk)

          • The irony of someone with the handle “Federalist” poo-pooing local exercise of police powers in a way that diverges from the fedgov position is very amusing.

          • CA, with a population of 40 million and the fifth or sixth largest economy in the world, home to 4-5 of the top 20 research universities in the world, an agricultural production area larger than several other states and nations’ entire land mass, two of the largest and busiest deepwater ports in the world, a massive tourism industry, the birthplace of aerospace and technology and entertainment, the largest taxable workforce in the country, one of the busiest land border crossings in the world, and all of the smartest and best looking people in the world outside of maybe Manhattan is PARALYZED because Trump didn’t scare them soon enough.

            Their governor still looks to the federal gov’t for handouts and solutions to problems real and imagined. Just a whiney bitch. Same goes for my state.

            And yet all they need is swagger when they openly defy federal laws, sovereign borders, and Executive actions and vote for clown world fiscal and social insanity when 50 years of “facts” and “data” and “science” clearly indicate the folly of their religion.

            These pussy govs are perfect embodiments of the modern femme leadership. The federal
            Gov only exists as a scapegoat and money printing apparatus.

          • Best looking people? Smartest? Have you ever been to cali? 25% of our population can’t even pass a HS equivalency exam. Don’t form your opinions based on what the media says. What they present to you is almost always the inversion of reality.

          • Lol fashy, i spent 20 years in the golden state. It was sarc-satire. From boilerplate CA chamber of commerce with a little hollyweird vanity tossed in for giggles.

            When I was starting my career in LA I spent most of my evenings working on pitchbooks for deals and these economic overviews became forever seared in my brain. All the magic kingdom stuff.

            But yeah, its a Mexican outpost coasting on fumes of yesterday men. I earned most of my opinions the hard way.

        • Trump will do what he normally does when confronted with such an option, he will look into it. He does not want to be blamed for increased deaths and cases, which may hurt his reelection, but the death count will rise anyway. Quarantines, shutdowns, and other stuff not working. No need to destroy the economy to save maybe few thousand elderly lives.

          • Losing “a few thousand elderly lives” is OK. How about a few 10s of thousand? Or maybe 10 million? I’m glad you bracketed the acceptable level of results at plus or minus a few thousand.

            Math is hard.

          • increasing resources to corona means resources are diverted form things that my also be lethal but more common,

            670k elderly could die in US if 100m Americans are infected. the reduction of gdp from that many ppl dying is not nearly as much as already lost and expected to lose from shutdowns. the us pop historically grows at 1%/year, so the lost GDP is replaced in half a year.

            Such economic loss is also offset also to some degree by the fact that the elderly are past peak productive and reproductive years and that their wealth will go to their heirs, who will spent it on homes and such. Deaths will also reduce social security and other spending such as medicare. this may seem coldhearted, but you want the math.

          • It’s not going to be 10 million. You can’t just look at the numbers and extrapolate. Consider how few have been tested, and the types of cases who would merit a test given the short supply of them. It’s going to be mostly the sickest who have it bad enough to go to the hospital and actually get tested. Plenty of people have corona but mild symptoms and never get tested. There have only been about 70k administered. The actual mortality rate will be lower. How much lower is impossible to say but certainly lower.

        • In the past week cases in the US have jumped from 2000 to 20,000.

          This number reflects a big jump in the number of people being tested but backing off now after having committed to shutting things down may be premature. He’s boxed himself in.

          • 20,000 positives does not mean 20,000 hospitalizations, let alone deaths.
            The media loves to continue to scare the shit out of everyone with the ever growing list of positive cases.
            The strong majority of those positives are asymptomatic, and most of the symptomatic will not require hospitalization.
            The number of deaths due exclusively to coronavirus is small.

    • getting the national guard involved is bad optics on trump’s part and making people more scared and lending justification for local governments to impose restrictions, not just in those states but everywhere else . This will not hurt his national support much, but it will probably hurt trump supporters in those states. Trump will not pay if things keep going to shit and wlll likely still win. we will.

      • Gray;
        Guard is useful for several things that ordinary state officials are not. Among them:
        1. Logistics planning and execution on the fly. Moving stuff around in a hurry with their own trucks.
        2. Rapid construction of temporary facilities, ie tent hospitals.
        3. Expertise in decontamination via NBC (Nuc, Bio, Chem) Warfare training that all of them get.* During the Ebola outbreak it was obvious that (some) CDC workers were improperly trained (bare skin while dealing with a contact infective agent).

        Of course, there’s also the repression of disorders thing too. But that’s not what’s needed right now.

        Because they were not *federalized* they report to the State Adjutant General, who is direct line to the Gov. and do not report the Pentagon. Any Gov can activate any part of his own guard any time he wants. P. Trump just offered to *pay* for their activation in NY, CA & WA instead of the States’ having to do so. He’s not repeating Bush II’s mistakes re Katrina: He’s making the State and Local Officials own their own response execution (or lack thereof). The IL Toad obviously hates it, keeps trying to blame P Trump.**
        * All guard and reserve train to DoD standards and are inspected thereon periodically. A unit’s failing said inspections used to get their commanders fired. Now, I have no idea.
        ** That’s him standing behind Hysterical Infection Girl in the video referenced elsewhere.

  43. Look, all I’m saying is we have to nuke New York and California.

    Now about this coronavirus, I have no idea.

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