The Dark Night of Fascism…

…is said to always be descending on America but landing in Europe … but in the instance of this Wuhan Coronavirus pandemic, a peculiar variant of it looks to be landing in Michigan, New Jersey and Virginia, seeing as those states have been blessed with governors breaking all land speed records in getting in touch with their inner authoritarian. One might be forgiven for suspecting that their motivation is not so much for keeping those vulnerable to the newly-improved Chinese respiratory crud in quarantine, but one might also be forgiven for a healthy sense of suspicion; that governors like … Gretchen “Karen the Governator” Whitmer are actually making a frantic display of authority, in a pathetic attempt to demonstrate that they can, actually, make wise use of such authority. Karen the Governator is additionally challenged by the prospect of being theoretically in the running to be nommed to the VP slot in Joe Biden’s hapless campaign for the office of president of these United and temporarily locked-down States. Sigh – the thing about authority, class, good taste, or being a lady – is that if you must make an overt demonstration of those qualities to the masses – then you don’t possess them at all. While it’s absolutely fine that a real-life Natasha Fatale has lost the Russian accent and taken on the onerous duties of being the elected governor of Michigan, going all overboard like the bossiest boss of the most nightmare HOA imaginable (I’m all about building a second career!) … is not a good look. Demanding that retail outlets which are already open and have customers withing – not sell garden seeds, flooring, and baby car seats on the grounds that such are non-essential is bloody insane. And illogical.

Governor Karen, sweetie – non-essential is in the eye of the beholder. Both the Daughter Unit and I work (OK, my work is part-time and desultory these days) from home, in the manner in which our current health experts advise. This week, the Daughter Unit’s computer keyboard went non-functional, and she desperately needed another one. To our good fortune, the nearest Big Lots (which does stock all kinds of odd stuff, in addition to a substantial grocery department – probably the sole reason that outlet is still open at all, in spite of Governor Abbot and our local mayor being at least somewhat sane about this health emergency!) was open. She popped down there and bought a cheap keyboard, which at least permitted her go on working. From Home. So – essential, or not? Home and garden improvement – essential or not? Here in Texas, fortunately – essential. There is nothing like sitting in your house for days and weeks, for noticing all those things which might improve the home castle, inside and out in the yard. Me, I’m planning to revamp the entire hallway and construct a couple of nice built-in bookcases, and if I were living in Michigan, I’d be stone out of luck – thanks, Governator Karen. Your fanatical dedication to your own career and comfort is noted. Enjoy the crowds of demonstrators outside the state house …

Look; it’s becoming more obvious every day that the bodies whose deaths are judged to be due to the Wuhan coronavirus, AKA the Chinese respiratory crud are not piling up twelve-deep in the morgues, no matter how convoluted the games are being played with the cause-of-death certifications. They’re just not. People with underlying health issues; obesity, cancer-survivor, over the age of 60-plus, health-care workers who have been repeatedly exposed have legitimate reason for concern and to isolate as much as possible. As for the rest of us, the whole Wuhan Coronavirus thing is not a total nothing burger, but so far it appears that it’s far from cutting a swath like the medieval Black Death or the 1918 flu epidemic. How much longer can the varying degrees of lock-down go on, aside from those definite disease hot spots like New York? End of this month, halfway through May? And how much more credibility will our political elites, scientific experts and national media be able to burn until then? Discuss as you wish.

18 thoughts on “The Dark Night of Fascism…”

  1. The thing these little autocrat wannabes fail to recognize is true authority – i.e., authority that attaches to an individual intrinsically as a person, and not extrinsically by virtue of holding an office – stems from leadership, that those being led want you in charge because they consider that they’ll be better off with your leadership than anyone else’s.

  2. PenGun is always hoping for something terrible to happen to that deplorable country south of the Vancouver Island paradise.

    New York is doing what it can to help PenGun by adding 4500 deaths with no testing. Coroners ALWAYS take blood samples at autopsy. Oh well. Couldn’t be bothered.

    Santa Clara county in CA has now learned that asymptomatic WuFlu cases are 85 times as common as those with symptoms.

    Hopefully, the Governor of Arizona will get the state economy going again soon.

    Nancy Antoinette sits in front of her $24,000 refrigerators, eating her $12 per pint ice cream, and hoping all those small business owners that vote R go bankrupt soon.

    She almost slipped when she said she was “stocking up for Easter.” Who could she have been stocking up for? After all, Californians are supposed to stay home.

  3. “PenGun is always hoping for something terrible to happen to that deplorable country south of the Vancouver Island paradise.”

    Don’t have to hope, its in progress. Your medical system is not built for this kind of thing, and is failing to deal with it at all well. As you have decided its no big deal, it will be. Mike, do you have any idea how many people are going to die to Covid 19, in your country? Deaths are up all over, and you are not counting this very well at all. The 34,500 is way low, as you will eventually discover.

  4. Wipe the anticipatory drool off your chin, Penny. Gloating over a prospective death count is as unattractive as it is misplaced. In all but a very few hot-spots for the Winnie-the-Flu the hospital staff are sitting around on their hands, waiting for a flood that has so far, not arrived. In New York, the Navy hospital ship has been quite unswamped.

  5. Bad news for the ORCs of Canada,

    Santa Clara County, CA finally did a large sample antibody testing and found—— guess what ?

    In a study published Friday, the researchers, many of whom hailed from Stanford University, noted that the results suggest that Covid-19 could be far more widespread than the official counts suggest.

    Specifically, they estimate that between 2.5% and 4.2% of people in Santa Clara County may have antibodies. (The range is a result of different models used to extrapolate the test results to a representative population.)

    “These prevalence estimates represent a range between 48,000 and 81,000 people infected in Santa Clara County by early April, 50 (to) 85-fold more than the number of confirmed cases,” the authors wrote.

    Too bad for the ghouls who know nothing about medicine or epidemiology or virology. Those positives were all asymptomatic.

    You better go back to that driving a garbage truck Penny.

  6. Brazos County doesn’t have a huge population even if it is growing fast; only around 150 have tested positive but 15 have died. 45 inhabited or worked at one of the smaller assisted living institutions in town; at least 10 of the deaths were from there. (It could be more, the updates give only the age and sex, stories show up randomly with more information.) Several were in hospice care. Given the decrees to count every death that could possibly (but not with evidence) as Covid, surely Kennedy is right – we should doubt some figures. And this does seem to be turning out to be more a y2 (I can’t remember the acronym?) disaster – though even here that one nursing home would seem to be out of a plague nightmare – though less so than the one in New Jersey. Sorry Pen Gun, your fantasies don’t seem much in touch with reality. And the productivity of the private sector has been a joy to see.

    One of the doctors critical of that decree pointed out that the government gave more money for every Covid patient and even more for every respirator use. Very honest people of integrity will put their thumb on a scale that pays better, all things being equal.

    I’m glad I’m in Texas – Lowe’s and Home Depot are bustling, both professionals and do it yourselfers are using this time profitably and cheerfully. Best Buy & the car parts shop have curb service. The exterminator came today, my car was gone over by Toyota, Sears is (if slowly with wrong parts, etc.) fixing our washer – the people we depend on have come through. However, I do wonder how the barbers, nail shops, restaurants and small retailers are paying their bills.

    Those Gramscian policies that get passed around every few months give Whitmire’s edicts a purpose – let’s forbid anything that gives the pleasure of cultivating life (garden supplies), making a home & nurturing a family (Home Depot stuff) as well as anything encouraging self-reliance (seeds, lumber, and guns). Encourage the death dealing vices of gambling, pot and drink (all of which may seem lively when used socially and prudently but all of which we know are potentially destructive, esp in solitude) and of course abortion but not knee replacements. Choose the ugly over the beautiful, death over life, and the purposeless over the purposeful.

  7. I’m glad I’m in Texas – Lowe’s and Home Depot are bustling,

    Drove by Lowes in Tucson last week. Parking lot full. More cars than usual.

    I went to Costco Thursday. No lines and well stocked., I didn’t look for paper goods but the huge piles of TP and paper towels they had in front two weeks ago are gone. Still spacing out the checkout lines but otherwise pretty normal.

    I expect to see restaurants with outside seating open soon.

    Republican Governors.

  8. Pen’s waving the flag for the Great White North again. Bloomberg, today:

    B.C. has about 14% of Canada’s population but just 5% of its confirmed virus cases.

    Similarly, California has about 12% of the United States’ population but just 4% of its confirmed cases.

    It’s a west coast thing.

  9. What anonymous said.

    Brazos county is home to 60,000 Texas A&M students during school year and a good proportion are Asians as are a good number of the faculty. Potential impact was high, but where is it?

    In my current opinion, the issue should have always been on shielding the vulnerable or should have largely switched to that before this point.

    The current death toll estimates for the USA just lowered again to just over 60,000 with an under and over range of about 50,000 to 140,000. The current reported fatality numbers are highly suspect and certainly on the high side as is usual for infectious diseases- but it this case very likely far more exaggerated due to the directives and other incentives to over report.

    If social distancing and business closures were the primary reason the estimates were so biased upward, then we’d see more evidence of their effectiveness based on when states imposed those rules. Florida compared to California is an interesting comparison. Florida delayed and has the older population, yet it’s reported infection and death rates are significantly better than California’s. Obviously, other, bigger things are going on. Florida has begun easing off on their shut down, including opening their beaches. When will California pull the cops off of theirs? No need to wax your board on the left coast.


  10. First, it’s time to cut some slack for the politicians, even the half Whit. none of them had any experience or knowledge that would let them make their own judgement about this. They all depended on various advisers. “The world will end unless we all jump over this cliff” crowd obviously shouted the loudest and longest.

    From the beginning,the infection rate was the key predictor. Again, the 70+% crowd won. I can hear now in my mind, someone pointing out that 30% would normally be the high end being shouted down with “prove it couldn’t happen”. And of course it could, it just hasn’t.

    As it appears, the upper limit for the Wuflu is around 15% with a seemingly very high proportion showing no noticeable symptoms. The guesses as to how many would need hospitalization and ICU beds were all over the place, but were all premised on a wildly inflated estimate of the number of infections and overestimate of the severity of those infections. Many will rue their choice.

    At the beginning, there were defensible reasons behind some of these estimates. What followed was an apparently deliberate effort to prevent anything that would have allowed any of these estimates to be tested. When we hear of the six days that the Chinese government concealed the pandemic, we need to remember the more like six weeks that the CDC diligently and successfully prevented any testing that would have shown the presence of the infection in the general population. This let everyone and their dog engage in the “you think this is bad, just wait” game and compound poor math with hysteria.

    It turns out that we had natural experiments going on at sea and, again, the experts willfully ignore the evidence in front of their face and just extend their fantasies of doom.

    I can just imagine the uproar if Trump confronted Fauci and Brix with “show me evidence”. The effrontery of a mere politician presuming to question actual “scientists”. So we all jumped over the cliff and are waiting to see what’s at the bottom.

  11. As I recall, none of the model manipulators ever presented any specific projections on what reduction in cases or deaths with the social distancing and business shut downs. So we get initial estimates of 600,000 to over 2 million deaths, but to prediction of what following the various preventative measures will do to these numbers.

    Seems to me that we were presented with the black death-type scenario and calls for severe personal and economic remedies with no basis by these experts of the net benefit of their recommendations.

    It’s fair to assume the worst case scenario in view of the lack of good info about this threat; however, it was also fair to evaluate the expected benefits the protective actions against their projected costs. This was not done. Gov. of NY expressed the ignorant standard that any action that “saves one life” is fully justified.

    As we have learned more about the actual threat from this virus, we should have continued to re-evaluate these actions on a realistic cost-benefit basis and readjusted the measures accordingly.

    Now what seems to be emerging from the Chicken Little nannies are two perspectives: First, the shut down/social distancing is largely the explanation for the delta between forecasts and reality and secondly, these measures should be extended to prevent a second wave. OK, have we learned anything from the first wave? I don’t think the health care experts have because their sole criteria seems to be that any reduction in virus stats that can be in anyway attributed to these preventative measures justifies their continuance. They have no appreciation of the long term costs we are facing. You don’t just put 22 million folks back to work in the short run. Many of their jobs and businesses won’t be there. There has been no realistic assessment of what the recovery will entail (and it isn’t going to be helped by more trillions of government debt and trillions of Fed expansion of the monetary base).

    Decisions are being made based on popular perceptions, not reasonable estimates of relevant costs and benefits. Too many low information folks have simply been scared out of their minds and won’t be rationally functioning for months and months. Thank you popular media. Many decision makers are manipulating their constituencies purely on political or power calculations. They are in danger of over playing their hand.


  12. Texas A&M dorms were closed and classes replaced by distance learning in February.

    Bryant/College Station are having non-class/summer economies during the school year

  13. MCS: “First, it’s time to cut some slack for the politicians, even the half Whit. none of them had any experience or knowledge that would let them make their own judgement about this. They all depended on various advisers.”

    Never, ever cut any slack for politicians! They asked for the job; now they have to measure up.

    It is a fair point that the politicians — just like the “experts” such as Frantic Fauci — had zero experience for this kind of event. What politicians (as leaders) should be good at is identifying people who can do what needs to be done. They need to choose their advisers carefully. Fauci and all the modelers were obviously looking only at how to minimize the number of deaths in their models, and completely ignoring the real world costs. Politicians should have brushed them aside and kept looking for more reasonable advisers.

    But we have to note the very damaging influence of Nancy Pelosi’s Democrats, who were clearly looking for a disaster which could be used to skewer President Trump. And the equally damaging influence of the media, who were doing the Democrats’ bidding instead to trying to get information to the public.

    Water under the bridge. What we need now is to change course — help the At Risk group of old and/or sick to self-isolate, while working-age people who face no significant risk from C-19 get back to work. And then Congress needs to focus on sweeping away the onerous regulations, complex taxes, and ludicrous litigation risks that drove industry out of the US in the first place. We need to start immediately on the multi-year task of rebuilding US industrial capacity.

  14. Another consideration that I think is significant is that small business owners vote Republican.

    Government employees vote Democrat.

    Which group is facing bankruptcy?

  15. “but to prediction of what following the various preventative measures will do to these numbers”- When have they ever? The whole 20th Century has been a succession of one crack brained government solution after another. With never any reassessment, adjustment let alone confession of abject failure.

    The proof of this latest will be this winter. If there’s a powerful second wave, it will be evidence that there was a long term threat. The 80+% that haven’t been infected should provide a more than adequate population for another wave. If it simply dies away it will mean that what we have is all that we were ever going to get.

    There will still be small numbers that will be at the bad end of the odds, that are susceptible but missed being exposed for some reason. They’ll still make it into the statistics and the news.

    The first thing to realize is that trying to plot the numbers day to day is meaningless. Trump especially, should have realized that trying to call the peak was a mugs game. He no sooner did it then suddenly new victims were discovered. Sort of like Democratic ballots.

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