Proactive to Punishment

I can’t decide which is the more dispiriting element of the Wuhan coronavirus pandemic; the fact that so many local authorities in America and Britain are letting their inner authoritarian out for an untrammeled romp while sanctimoniously insisting that it’s all for our own good whether we like it or not (or agree or not), that a large number of ordinary citizens are falling all over themselves in volunteering to inform on neighbors who are doing nothing more than going for more than one walk a day, visiting a park or beach, or exercising in their front garden, and that representatives of our National Media Establishment are as malicious a set of scurvy, biased, panic-sowing incompetents as ever crawled out of a journalism school armed with delusions of adequacy along with the degree. Age 27 and know absolutely nothing, as Ben Rhodes remarked.

I had come to expect absolutely nothing but cheap, dangerous, badly-made and soon to fail products out of China, so there was nothing much new there. All these other listed shortcomings had been rather suspected for a while; but seeing them confirmed in the broad light of day is … discouraging. There were people and institutions of whom I had thought and expected better of … now revealed in all their shabby disgrace as incipient fascists, natural toadies and cheap propagandists.

The main trouble is, as Sarah Hoyt suggested, that we actually know so very little for certain about the Wuhan coronavirus, since it was loosed upon the world, and of what information is out there, so much is suspect; straight dope, speculation, rumor, tentative conclusion, or hair-on-fire panic-mongering. We – and they just don’t know! We cannot trust the scientific and medical minds, nor our politicians, or our media experts. We have little reason to trust anyone representing to speak with authority since we suspect, with good reason, that they know very little more for certain than we do.

They all have an agenda – and with our political leaders, the agenda increasingly looks more like control … not only control of the Wuhan coronavirus, but control of us. Yes, it was probably a good thing to close down schools; at the best of times, a petri dish of infectious cruds, which school kids invariably bring home to afflict their parents and older kin – many of whom do have underlying conditions. One of the things that we do know for certain is that compromised health and advanced old age do not combine well with a case of the Wuhan flu, or a case serious enough to merit medical attention. The other thing known for certain is that many of those who have contracted the Wuhan coronavirus had either mild or no symptoms at all yet could have spread it without even realizing they were afflicted; rather like the regular yearly flu, as it happens. So – social distancing, masks, quarantine of those diagnosed, possibly exposed, or at risk, even restricting large gatherings in confined indoor spaces … probably a sensible solution for a short term.

But arbitrarily confining everyone to their homes, indefinitely? Closing stores right and left, dictating what counts as necessary supplies – and going so far as to rope off store aisles to prevent purchase of so-called “non-essential items” (non-essential in whose judgement, pray tell?), or police officers (as happened in a couple of cases in England) rule on the contents of a supermarket shopping cart? Impose fines on those attending a drive-in church service, or go out paddle-boarding in the ocean, threaten to close city parks, surveille and harass people walking in or playing softball in the park – even while maintaining proper social distance? No – that is not prevention; that is punishment – capricious punishment for not making a proper show of submission to authority. How much longer can we stand this, out and away from the epicenters of Wuhan coronavirus cases? Discuss as you wish and can bear it.

46 thoughts on “Proactive to Punishment”

  1. This sort of thing will continue until we have public trials for the politicians involved, followed by their ostracism and/or public execution.

    There are two key things missing from the Constitution. One is a measure for enforcement by Congress that cannot be abused absent significant systemic failure throughout government (i.e., a means by which the Congress can enforce its diktat, where necessary), and a means by which the electorate can hold their elected officials accountable via plebiscite and public trial.

    Congress, the Executive Branch, and the judiciary at all levels have conspired to take more and more control away from the electorate and hand it over to the unaccountable bureaucrats who really run Washington. We direly need reform at all levels, and a means of holding these faceless cowards responsible for their conduct and performance. Things are spinning out of control precisely because these clowns have arrogated all of this power to themselves, and yet remain essentially incompetent at properly wielding it. Witness the FDA blocking mask production in the face of a pandemic, because their precious process was more important than getting proper PPE into the hands of the public and health care workers.

    There is also the not inconsequential fact that few, if any, of these idiots actually understand what they are trying to control. We are going to see, over the course of the next year, just how little they actually understand of what they administer and think they control. I foresee food shortages and other issues, because of the policies and reactions they have put into place this spring, and unless they get things moving again quite quickly, there will likely be famine-like conditions in at least some regions which will be directly traceable back to these days we’re living through right now. Dairy farmers dumping milk and other agricultural sectors leaving food to rot are just the precursor signs of issues with this stuff.

    Root problem here? None of these people are actually competent at what they’ve taken on. Few of these governors have any idea at all about what the hell makes the economy work, and fewer still have any idea what the effects of their little pronouncements will be. Governor Inslee here in Washington state is a prime example–This little twit gobbled up an entire emergency hospital, wasted the manpower and money to set it up in a convention center, and it’s treated exactly zero patients. Meanwhile, there are places that actually need such resources, and they don’t have them because this twit thought he did need them, based on… What, precisely?

    None of the people in the political sector who think they run things really know what the hell they’re doing. When there isn’t a crisis, things move slowly enough that their little “errors” don’t cost trillions, but this time? Oh, holy spit… The incompetency burns.

  2. The main trouble is, as Sarah Hoyt suggested, that we actually know so very little for certain about the Wuhan coronavirus

    We know one thing for certain, and that is the virus came from China. International circuits connected to China, the Chinese export economy, and the Chinese communist leadership have spread the virus. The locations that are layers away from those circuits – homeless tent cities, Rio Carnavalières, African peasants – haven’t been hit.

    Here’s another thing we know. The answer to all our problems, whether you think this is just a bad breathless cold or the Black Plague II, is universal testing. Simple tests to separate the wheat from the chaff, sheep from the goats, Ruth from Orphah. Test, baby, test.

  3. We must never allow critical products to be made in China. It will take time but Americans have known for years not to buy dog food and dog treats made in China unless you want your dog poisoned.

    We had a scandal 10 years ago with Heparin, a critical drug used in heart and vascular surgery.

    he raw material for the recalled heparin batches was processed in China from pig’s intestines by the American pharmaceutical firm Scientific Protein Laboratories.[1][2][3] The U.S. Food and Drug Administration was quoted as stating that at least 81 deaths were believed to be linked to a raw heparin ingredient imported from the People’s Republic of China, and that they had also received 785 reports of serious injuries associated with the drug’s use.[4] According to The New York Times, “problems with heparin reported to the agency include difficulty breathing, nausea, vomiting, excessive sweating and rapidly falling blood pressure that in some cases led to life-threatening shock.

    The drug was recalled in 2008, then came Obama.

    The FDA has stated that it does not have the funds nor bear the responsibility to inspect on a regular basis overseas upstream processors of finished active pharmaceutical ingredients such as heparin. However, according to the internationally harmonized guideline, ICH Q7, API manufacturers are fully responsible for qualifying their suppliers through on-site audits, testing, and regular communications.

    They also provide “inspectors” who do not speak or read mandarin and who are shown “Potemkin” plants with faked records.

    My daughter has been to China several times and had friends there that she stayed with. One morning they went out to breakfast. Her friends told her to avoid the fluffy looking muffins in street shops. They put detergent in thje batter to make them fluffier, they explain ewd.

  4. Stalin & Mao were able to do such harm not just because of their evil dispositions, but because they had legions of loyal followers — useful idiots. Since human nature does not seem to have changed much since the dawn of history, it is no surprise to find that we live among lots of people who would gladly have been Stasi informers.

    What’s to be done? The pessimist in me says — Not Much.

    Investment guru Ray Dalio is writing a series about the rise & fall of empires which may be worth reading:

    Mr. Dalio has started with what many other writers & historians have noted — all preceding empires & civilizations have grown, thrived, stumbled, and collapsed. Mr. Dalio identifies multiple interacting factors in the decline of civilizations — but I think it could be simplified to one factor: People. When too many people see their place as riding in the wagon instead of pulling it forward, the decline is inevitable. That is a change which takes place over generations, so slowly that we do not notice until it is too late. What causes that change in generations’ attitudes is a discussion for another day.

    The optimist in me says that despite the repeated collapse of civilizations, the human race has continued on a general upward trend throughout history (with long periods of backsliding, for sure). What we should be thinking about is how to preserve the good parts of our culture and the lessons learned, so that some future generation can build on what we did right and avoid our mistakes. Maybe in the way that Irish monasteries did so much to preserve learning during the Dark Ages.

    Our generation is not going to correct today’s problems. Let’s start thinking about future generations.

  5. “The main trouble is, as Sarah Hoyt suggested, that we actually know so very little for certain about the Wuhan coronavirus”

    We know quite a lot about it, If you cannot use Chinese data, then yes you have a point. What would you like to know?

  6. The big complication is that the virus hit us in the middle of a Cold Civil War that was showing ominous signs of going hot. For the Left, the virus is a miraculous stroke of good fortune that’s given them a new chance to finally achieve victory over the Bad Orange Man and his hoard of deplorable kulaks. Of course they’re going to seize the opportunity and ride it as far as they can. Because they’re facing the existential threat of being defenestrated from the Overton Window if they don’t win.

    And one of the ways that the virus is such a stroke of good fortune for the Left is that anti-virus measures intuitively appeal to the Traditional Conservative revulsion against all things icky. Even when those measures are poisoned progressive Kool Aid.

  7. We can’t use Chinese data, Penny. That’s one of the points. Chinese data is not trustworthy at all.
    They lied. People died.
    Small enough words for you?

  8. Sarah Hoyt sold out long ago to the idea that this is no big deal, and everything she is writing now is bent to support that, whether it makes any sense or not. She’s not 100% wrong, but she is also just a one-trick pony at this point. I skip all her entries at Instapundit now.

    I will make a general observation, not specific to Sgt Mom or anyone here, but I think solid in this debate as it has unfolded over the last few weeks. There is significant overlap between the people who say “this isn’t really dangerous, it’s just the flu” and those who say “the authoritarian reach of government is out of control here.” As they seem unable to separate out those concepts, I cannot find their information helpful. Motivated reasoning is not reasoning at all. It’s all dark interpretations of the motives of others, which they cannot in fact know.

  9. My point, AVI – that we don’t know very much for certain, and we’re blundering around trying to figure out what is relevant. Because for whatever reasons – a lot of people are (not lying actually) bending the truth in the way which most immediately benefits them short-term.
    And that too many local authorities are using it all as an excuse to get their fash on, and display their regulatory muscles towards us regular citizens.

  10. “We can’t use Chinese data, Penny. That’s one of the points. Chinese data is not trustworthy at all.”

    I disagree. I have watched the demonization of China as part of your countries cold war strategy, for quite a while now. Its extensive, but you should not believe your own propaganda. Its just not smart.

    We know many things, that they have discovered.

  11. “Chinese data is not trustworthy at all.” Sgt. Mom

    “We know many things, that they have discovered.” PenGun

    These two statements do not necessarily disagree with each other.

  12. The Dallas County Judge just had his ears pinned back by the county commission when he decided that if a one month shutdown was good, a two month one was better. It was especially surprising because one of the people leading the charge has an especially good reason to wish the Federal Courthouse stays closed.

    I expect that a lot of people are working on a way to extend the cost and inconvenience to the ruling class and their handmaidens, public employees like I am. I’m surely not sanguine, we let them get away with exempting themselves from Obamacare and every other edict that they impose on the rest of us so far. The present situation is going to put a real crimp in their purse as the tax checks stop coming.

  13. I’m a little surprised to see Pengun show up after his bullshit predictions have shown to be so false but I guess it is hard to discourage a determined troll.

    I agree about statewide elections but the lines have been pretty well drawn and logic has little to do with it.

  14. My internet experience in February was actually kind of refreshing–the “coronavirus twitter-verse” was pretty much devoid of politics. In March as the story evolved it descended into partisan horribleness, unfortunately but predictably. And some of the “battle lines” cleave across normal partisan boundaries, but then our politics is quite unsettled here in the 21st century.

    The fact that the media is a disgraceful pack of partisan jackals and vipers is a sideshow to this story. As is the fact that some politicians are indeed letting their inner dictators run loose. That can’t be ignored, but it can’t be made the whole story either, as too many conservatives want to do.

    I think we’ll muddle through just fine, and come stronger out the far side, though the only way one can really be so confident is to get off-line. In my experience social media is pure poison right now (even moreso than normal). People in the real world are overwhelmingly pulling together and quite aware that for now it’s quite prudent to change how we act as a society. I’m confident that We The People will make sure we find something like the right balance before too long.

  15. The next stage is reopening the economy.

    I may have been a bit premature last month, but it is time to start planning how it is done. Trump says a task force will be named Tuesday. The basics I describe in the other post still are valid.

    1. We now have an antibody test that is automated and give results in minutes.

    The details are interesting.

    This test detects both early marker and late marker, IgM/IgG antibodies in human finger-prick (capillary) or venous whole blood, serum, and plasma samples.

    It can be used for rapid screening of carriers of the virus that are symptomatic or asymptomatic. Recent studies suggest that a high percentage of patients show no clinical symptoms of the virus, thus screening patients is vitally important. The test is ideally suited for hospitals, clinics and test laboratories. The test can also be effectively deployed in businesses, schools, airports, seaports and train stations, etc., giving it the potential to become a compelling force in the fight against this global threat.

    The IgM antibody is an early indicator. The IgG is the late protective antibody.

    2. There are now Infrared temperature testing devices that are remote, noncontact.

    Non-contact infrared thermometers are held three to 15 cm away from the patient and typically measure temperature on the forehead or temple.

    These are being used to test people for fever upon entering a building or closed space. Both can be used to get the economy going again. Masks may be another tool but I am not convinced they are effective, unless you have symptoms and then you should be home.

    I suspect we will see this on a state by state basis, probably red states first. Republican governors are more reluctant to impose economic harm than Democrats who are still, in many cases, obsessed with Trump. Also blue states have the dense cities most infected.

  16. Here is a bit about Trump’s desire to get the ecomnomy going.

    “When you say get back to ‘normal,’ it’s not going to be a light switch that you turn on and off. It’s going to be differential and gradual depending upon where you are and where the burden of infection is,” Fauci told “CBS This Morning” Thursday. “But the bottom line of it all is, that what we see looking forward, it is very likely that we will progress toward the steps toward normalization as we get to the end of this 30 days. And I think that’s going to be a good time to look and see how quickly can we make that move to try and normalize.

  17. -It’s not just the flu.

    -Many public officials were too slow to respond.

    -Many public officials have overreacted, in some cases engaging in naked power grabs.

    -As time passes it seems increasingly likely that the more pessimistic predictions greatly overstate the death toll, at least for the USA.

    -The virus is highly dangerous for people who are older or have existing health issues.

    -The virus isn’t very dangerous for most younger people.

    -Too many Americans like being told what to do by authorities, will go out of their way to show their compliance, and at the extreme will seek to punish noncompliance in other people.

    -The media, with notable exceptions, are terrible.


    The above statements are not contradictory.

  18. “I’m a little surprised to see Pengun show up after his bullshit predictions have shown to be so false”

    And what would that be Mike?

  19. Couple of observations.

    First, people have been criticizing the lockdown, but when faced with exigent circumstances, it is rational to guard against the very worst case, and then to consider what to do next. In short, exactly what Trump and his task force have done.

    Second, this virus has highlighted the role of the media in society, or more precisely, what should be the role of the media in society. China suppressed news regarding the virus first internally, and then internationally to save face, but doing so cost lives. Healthy media would have reported the problem, thereby spurring efforts to deal with it earlier, and holding public officials accountable. (Although in fairness doing so in China is not a healthy thing to do.) So in no small measure the lack of viable media in China exacerbated this problem worldwide.

    Now consider American media, which are schizophrenic. They hold no one accountable for anything if he’s a Democrat, but hold anyone accountable for everything if he’s not. They are not serving their role in society, which is to provide reliable information on which the electorate can act, and/or pressure public officials to act, as need be.

    In this respect, the American media are every bit as culpable as the Chinese media, and with a lot less justification. (Woodward and Bernstein have SO much to answer for, as do all of the “journalism” schools who view those two as patron saints. Their job is NOT to “change the world,” just to report what is going on in it.)

    Among the institutions that have been weighed in the balance and found wanting have been the media (as well as the Federal bureaucracy), something that some of us have appreciated for some time.

  20. I have to reluctantly agree about the effectiveness of masks. After wearing one for much of the day yesterday I have a lot of respect for doctors and nurses who wear them while performing complicated procedures. Breathing back in your own exhalation is unavoidable and limits productive activity.

  21. South Dakota is probably reasonable to relax but they have an outbreak of 200+ people at a meat packing plant.
    Rural Georgia is probably reasonable to relax but they had 30+ people die after the infection spread at a funeral.
    Social Distancing is going to have to continue (there will be no school, no sports, big events like concerts, county/state fairs, etc. until fall at thd earliest) but some of the moves by overbearing governments (MI, KY, some TX localities, etc) are going to lead to backlash against even reasonable restrictions, and are going to get people killed.

  22. When WWII ended, most Americans were shocked by how fast Churchill was removed from power. Of course, under the British system, virtually no one actually voted against him just as very few had ever voted for him. They voted for the politicians that promised to be most effective. And of promises, there were many, what they got was 30+ years of steady decline.

    After the 2008 debacle, we elected a bunch of promises. That such things would never be allowed to happen again, etc. A lot of people missed, distracted as they were by the tawdry conclusion of impeachment and the arrival of Wuflu, that we were headed the same way again. Delinquencies, defaults and foreclosures were ramping up. Now a third of renters have stopped paying rent. Some, to be sure, because of inability, a significant number because they believe that the government will step in. Some may even be doing it from prudence, reasoning that mass evictions are unlikely now and many months away at worst, while groceries are COD. What will happen is a cascade of defaults that the government will solve by edict because even they will realize that there aren’t enough zeros in the type case to print the bills that would buy a loaf of bread if they try to make everyone whole. At least I hope they realize it.

    We are in a very tight spot. The present lockdown can’t continue. Yet, if the Wuflu were to magically disappear tomorrow, there would be the danger that come November, we would elect another set of promises. That in trying to avoid the pain of a quick hit we will buy decades of depression or more likely, years of depression followed by the rise those willing to not only make any promise but eager to enforce their vision at the point of a gun. In Europe especially, things could get very bloody very fast and we are not that far away, just better armed.

    The numbers on this epidemic have become so muddled with manipulation that we will never know if the lockdown actually helped “bend the curve” or if it simply coincided with what was going to happen anyway. Since it seems too be working, the temptation of politicians everywhere will be to repeat it anytime they can find an excuse.

    Maybe, the enormous cost will remove the phrase “if it saves one life” from the political lexicon. I don’t think I’d actually like to risk any money on a wager.

  23. The numbers on this epidemic have become so muddled with manipulation that we will never know if the lockdown actually helped “bend the curve” or if it simply coincided with what was going to happen anyway.<

    Good thread at Ricochet on this very topic.

    Does “social distancing help?”

  24. Brian is correct — lockdowns do have effect(s).

    Some of the lockdown effects may be positive, such as protecting the old & sick from exposure to a virus which could end their lives prematurely.

    Some of the lockdown effects are clearly negative — schooling interrupted, supply chains disrupted, milk getting poured down the drain, people thrown out of work, small businesses going bankrupt, property owners facing foreclosure since their renters can’t afford to pay the rent, marital disputes, suicides.

    The question about lockdowns is whether the benefits always outweigh the costs. The broader question is what is the most effective way to minimize the total damage from this particular virus.

  25. First let me note that I agree with pretty much everything Mike K. says here, and suspect that where I am not sure if whether I disagree with him it is my lack of information that is to blame.

    We MUST disengage our supply of medical and pharmaceutical goods from China as a national priority. This is not going to be easy, and the incentives to do so are going to be expensive. But it must be done. It will, of course, be opposed by the American Left who seek our destruction.

    Speaking for myself, this is only a single step of several that must be taken. We need to remove our dependence on China for anything we can produce ourselves or have it produced in a country that is not an open enemy like China is. I, for one, would be willing to impose tariffs on Chinese goods to make it cheaper to produce them elsewhere.

    China is not an ally. It is an adversary and treats us as such openly.

    Just as we impose restrictions on the entry of foreign nationals from countries which have attacked us, similar restrictions need to be placed on the entry of Chinese nationals.

    To quote Lord Palmerston: “Nations have no permanent friends or allies, they only have permanent interests.” We need to serve our interests.

    Now, let me toss something else out there for discussion. Throughout this COVID-19 crisis the Democrat Party has been consistent in one thing. They have opposed every effort to mitigate the infection, they have tried to prevent aid reaching small businesses and working people affected, and they have tried to loot the treasury for their interests and friends. One of their interests is the destruction of the Constitution.

    [That sound you hear in the background are Leftist Bann Sidh screaming in shock.]

    Now, there are those who say that “not ALL Democrats” are like that. To which I counter, for the last several decades can you cite any Democrat group who has opposed the anti-American stands of the Democrats, in any instance in public or in private with any effect? In fact they always knuckle down to the far Left in every instance. A difference that makes no difference is no difference.

    Based on that, as we come out of the economic lockdown people are going to start buying again. Why should we buy from those who worked to make things worse. Purely locally. Voter registration is a matter of public record. In Colorado and I assume in most places, there is a copy of the voter registration book on open display in every County Clerk’s Office. There is nothing to prevent anyone from looking up anyone they are about to do business with, or have done business with, and see if they are a registered Democrat. If they are, you are perfectly within your rights to choose someone else to do business with. It may or may not end up costing a little more. But then again, as noted above, not aiding a foreign enemy like China with trade may cost more and still be well worth it . . . or not. But you should be knowledgeable as to where your money is going and what it is doing.

    I readily admit that this topic is introduced in part as a matter of fecal agitation and to see the reactions.

    Subotai Bahadur

  26. Any analysis resting on “reported cases” is rendered meaningless by the fact that the CDC diligently and successfully prevented any testing that would have shown the prevalence of the infection is the general population and that has not changed in most places. Only a small proportion of even symptomatic individuals were tested. Now we are compounding the uncertainty by classifying mortality on vague impressions rather than testing and I haven’t heard that samples are being preserved to allow eventual correction.

    Two of my co-workers went into self isolation in mid March, returning last week. Since they were never tested, they either wasted two weeks of worry or have returned just in time to infect the rest of us. We’ll know in a while. I’m sure that this is playing out many places and there are bound to end up being some very bad outcomes.

    We have had and will have a lot of disruption and cost for minimal actual gain in safety. I doubt the we could have survived any more effective restrictions. The light would be off, the water would be off, the stores empty and shut. As it is, how long will the less civil elements of places like Chicago, Baltimore, etc. go along.

    Now Google and Apple are working so that the government can track us with our phones. Fauci’s idea to issue health certificates to all of us is getting a little push back:
    They think that we have given them a stick to beat us into submission to whatever grandiose plan they have for correcting what ails society. I’m sure we’ll see a call for another lockdown the next time hospitals start to be pressed by a bad flu year.

    We simply don’t know how many people have been exposed and were either resistant or have pushed through it without noticing. My guess, and it is as good as anybody’s right now, is that the number is a lot closer to 100 million than whatever number have tested positive.

  27. We have gone from its just a flu, to something else in pretty quick order. We will see how bad it gets but I suspect my estimate of 100,000 American dead, is low.

    On another note, Russia is preparing to test a vaccine.

  28. Subotai: “I, for one, would be willing to impose tariffs on Chinese goods to make it cheaper to produce them elsewhere.”

    Not just China. Germany has not been much of a friend. Let’s not even talk about France.

    Ah but!, say the globalists, tariffs are effectively a tax on Americans. If taxes on Americans are bad, can we please talk about income tax? At least with tariffs, someone in the US may end up getting a job — which is worth a lot to our society.

    Because we see things like medicines and computer chips coming from China — things where labor costs are a small piece of the pie — we know that a major reason factories have gone overseas is actually the huge regulatory & litigation burdens which our Political Class has imposed on US manufacturing. That suggests a good basis for tariffs — any imported item either (1) has to be manufactured meeting exactly the same environmental, labor, inspection standards as the same item would if manufactured in the US, or (2) has to bear a tariff equal to the costs avoided by not meeting those US legal & regulatory standards.

    What Democrat could oppose legislation which would either create union jobs in the US or clean up the environment & end abuse of labor overseas?

  29. by classifying mortality on vague impressions

    That’s always been the case. The number of flu deaths thrown out there… 30,000, 60,000, 89,000… are not actually caused by just the flu. The flu is assumed to complicate other conditions to the point of death. They are “influenza-associated deaths” estimated by the CDC, where the deaths were caused by pneumonia, “other respiratory and circulatory causes (R&C), or other non-respiratory, non-circulatory causes of death” or “congestive heart failure, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease”

    If you don’t trust the ChiCom virus death count then you are probably not going to trust their other counts either. Which is fine with me. The CDC has been disaster throughout this crisis. Why should we ever trust them about anything ever again? Add them to the list of bureaucracies that have to be disbanded.

  30. Yep. Smoke & Mirrors. I personally enjoyed the show of the two Silverbacks (egotistical alpha males) Trump and Fauci figuring out how to do something useful. You know, “‘Murican President and ‘Murican Physician/Scientist trying to save ‘Murican lives”. Trump is a noisy wheeler-dealer. Fauci is a similar beast from the political, agency world. China information was declared “secret” or “classified” or “sensitive”, but it was clearly bad and touble was heading our way. The dragon with the smiling panda face mask was lying. As usual. They probably screwed up with their virus problem and/or research and will never admit it. That doesn’t matter how that viral threat developed.

    The President doesn’t have a lot of direct controls on what goes on within the U.S. President Trump used a few legislative tools but mostly used the “Bully Pulpit” to get cooperation while the Governors and Mayors got to do the heavy lifting. Reluctantly. Too much would crash the economy. Too little would stack bodies along the Interstates. If they had more information, they could have done “better”. But, to paraphrase, you fight the war with the information you have, not with the information you wish you had.

    Italy crashed and burned. Hong Kong fought the virus and lost control of its political future. The UK found that their NHS had absolutely no reserve or surge capacity. The EU proved itself to be worthless in a pinch.

    In the US, politicians were corrupt or incompetent, as always. Especially in the Democratic strongholds. The CDC/FDA proved to be useless paper shufflers. There will be scars, as always.

    Pretty good show, actually. I bet it will make for a good movie, someday. What would you like on your popcorn?

  31. A few observations on points made obvious to the American voters during the “pandemic”:
    (1) The US media, in general, are blatantly wed to the Democratic Party. Anything that can be construed as helpful to the Democratic Party will be exaggerrated as being for the “good of the republic” while anything that can exaggerated as bad for Trump or the Republican Party will be grounds for more investigations;
    (2) The MSM’s intent is that the cost of “flattening the curve” will only be considered in “lives lost to Covid-19” and any attempt to classify the cost of lost economic activity will only be considered as “profit greed”. No consideration for money required to put food on the table, pay mortgages, provide for your children’s education is to be allowed to influence the lock-down “if we can save just one life”;
    (3) The MSM is blatantly refusing, with the help of the CDC’s medical community, to report on the “recovery” rate of those infected with Covid-19. This one pertinent statistic would do much to quell the panic, especially with the efficacy of the Hydroxychloroquine/azithromycin/zinc treatments;
    (4) Government employees are immune from “no work/no pay” restrictions imposed on the vast majority of American taxpayers. As an added bonus, there is no penalty for Government employees (Fed, State, and Local) over-reactions to a perceived “pandemic”;
    (5) The “pandemic” has verified all of Trump’s major initiatives, from immigration control, cutting Fed red tape, pushing for voter id, draining the swamp, to re-patriating American manufacturing, especially medical supplies.

    I suspect these five points, which are driven home daily to the American voter will not be forgotten in the November elections, and will drive the Republicans to landslide victories in the Fed House and Senate, re-elect Trump, and hopefully provide Trump a mandate to down-size the Fed Government, which if it was cut to about 1/2 the current size, would immensely assist in paying down the huge deficits incurred fighting the “pandemic”.

    If Trump is the “man” I believe him to be, the political ads leading into the November elections will further emphasize these five points, devastate the Dem’s politically, and God willing, provide a much better path forward in his second term.

  32. Best comment of the day…

    “And one of the ways that the virus is such a stroke of good fortune for the Left is that anti-virus measures intuitively appeal to the Traditional Conservative revulsion against all things icky. Even when those measures are poisoned progressive Kool Aid.”

  33. any imported item either (1) has to be manufactured meeting exactly the same environmental, labor, inspection standards as the same item would if manufactured in the US,

    The FDA, among others, has shown 100% incompetence in inspecting Chinese pharmaceutical plants. The “inspectors” don’t read or speak Mandarin, they are shown records they cannot read and Potemkin plants that are fake with faked records.

    I assume that similar attempts to inspect manufacturing is incompetent. Regulatory capture isn’t the half of it.

  34. Grurray: “The number of flu deaths thrown out there… 30,000, 60,000, 89,000… are not actually caused by just the flu.”

    That is true. Almost all of us die because our hearts stop beating — and reasonable people can have different assessments about what caused the heart to stop beating in each individual case.

    This is why there is only one serious number to consider when trying to understand the current “pandemic” — What is the total number of people who die each day? Bureaucrats can play politics with assigning causes of death, but the fact of death is fairly incontrovertible.

    Data from previous years shows that during each winter flu season, the number of people dying each day increases. In the 1918 Spanish flu, there was no question that the total number of people dying each day jumped dramatically, just as in the 1665 London Plague. However, our expensive bureaucracies are not making much of an effort to produce timely total daily death figures. In those places where the authorities are at least making a minimal effort, like England, total daily deaths are within normal ranges — even though deaths ascribed to C-19 are increasing “exponentially”.

    When C-19 deaths rise dramatically and yet total deaths (including C-19) remain much the same, we are looking at bureaucratic reclassification, not a genuine pandemic.

  35. No antipyretics! Fever is good and all the Ibuprofen, and acetaminophen derivatives are bad. Suppressing fever kills about 5% more in influenza infections. Saunas are a really good idea. ;)

  36. Along about this time next month, brace yourself for a lot of horror stories about tax revenue falling short. The great majority of local governments up to the state level are dependent on sales tax revenue which depends on …? They will suddenly discover that all of those non-essential businesses generate, at least to them, very essential tax revenue. At the same time, they have been paying for all of these “essential” government workers to sit on their hands. Not to worry, a trillion here, a trillion there, at this point, what does it matter? Expect the exact same verse and chorus as next property tax and then income tax fall short. Of course when income tax falls short, it will do so at the Federal level as well. At that time, whoever gets elected will suddenly be confronted with the distinction of adding a whole zero to the national debt that puts him in very exalted company indeed.

    Great times ahead.

  37. Assistant Village Idiot:
    >Sarah Hoyt sold out long ago to the idea that this is no big deal, and everything she is writing now is bent to support that, whether it makes any sense or not. She’s not 100% wrong, but she is also just a one-trick pony at this point. I skip all her entries at Instapundit now.

    She may sound like a one-trick pony, but it’s because no one, including the blogfather, is performing that trick.

    “Not 100% wrong”? Well, what percentage is it? 10, 20, 50?

    And what percentage wrong is the rest of the media?

    Given the amount of shear unadulterated horseshit coming from the hair-on-fire media, she has to be a johnny-one-note to even attempt to counter the almost giddy response that every badge-heavy asshat in a position of power has inflicted on this nation.

    Let’s get back to the point: the media and the partisan politicians of the left have inflated the danger to inflate the response, and, unless you want to skip directly to the “.30 caliber veto” of those whose are using destruction of the entire concept of “civil liberty” as a response, we must deflate the “danger” to allow this country to remain a bastion of individual liberty.

    The real # of deaths caused by this disease, determined a year from now using “excess deaths” and not the deliberately inflated “covid-19 deaths” numbers we’re seeing now, is going to be well under 300k. Bad, but not shut-down the country bad.

    The Democrats initiated this destruction of the economy deliberately because without a recession, they had no chance of defeating Trump. Look at which governors clamped down first and hardest. Did they think it would be this bad? Of course not, but we don’t let the drunk driver who kills someone off because he didn’t think he’d hit anyone. They’ve painted themselves into a corner and they keep doubling down.

    They pushed Trump and the rest of the country into this economic stampede over a cliff with inflated numbers. I have the TV on in the background and I just heard this “we’ve passed 500000 cases in the US and over 20000 deaths.” This is a perfect example of panic-mongering. That death toll (inflated, literally, by definition-read the CDC bulletin on coding) is mostly old farts (like myself, incidentally). Only around 3000 are younger than 65… in 3 months. We’re getting no context. That same 3 months last year produced 9100 traffic fatalities. almost all younger than 65. 700,000 have died of other things.

    They predicted 2.2M to defeat Trump.

    It’s bullshit. It’s destroying the country and our liberty and it requires more than a “dear me” pushback. Sarah is performing yeoman’s work.

  38. I think our “betters” are starting to realize that the game has gone on long enough. They’ll pat themselves on the back for “saving” us and gradually try to reverse the damage they’ve done.

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