Does the Bear Market start tomorrow?

Tomorrow, the vaccine mandate for truckers in the US begins. The Canadian border is already affected by the Canada mandate and there is already some pain. Truckers work alone although a small number share driving with wives or other partners. Their exposure to the general public is minimal in their work life. The same mandate by the US will block most Mexican drivers from bringing fresh fruits and vegetables into the US. All three groups of drivers have a low compliance with vaccination. The result will likely contribute to the supply chain crisis, which has only worsened the past few months.

Now, The stock market is showing weakness.

Energy policy has driven up oil, fuel, packaging and gas prices. Transportation costs have skyrocketed. Emission regulations have driven up port costs and delayed transportation; fracturing the supply chain. Vaccine mandates have hit the manufacturing and processing sectors. Legislative policy and COVID spending have artificially inflated the economy. Monetary policy has devalued the dollar and driven even higher inflation.

The mandate will affect 50% of US truckers. Mexican truckers are unknown but Canadian truckers are already demonstrating in Ottawa.

Into this hurricane of stagflation, the fed is going to raise interest rates. The stock market could lose half its inflated value. The NASDAQ is already responding to the storm clouds. Employment is going to start getting really sketchy. Congress will eventually announce their remedy, which will be more spending – and the dollar gets worse.

A market expert is predicting a bear market.

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Scott Atlas’ book, “A Plague Upon Our House.”

I read this book this week and found a good book review in “City Journal,” titled “Three Blind Mice.” Atlas began as an academic neuroradiologist and then transitioned to a 15 year career as a health policy researcher. I did something similar when I was forced to retire at age 55 with an old back injury. I spent a year at Dartmouth learning methodology and biostatistics. I don’t know enough about Atlas’ story to know if he did something similar. Quite a few academic physicians have done similar transitions, especially as they get older.

In Atlas’ case, once he was recognized by the Media, he was immediately denigrated as “a radiologist.” He was also labelled as “not an epidemiologist.” It did not matter that none of the other three MDs on the Task Force was an epidemiologist, either. Atlas was in contact with many epidemiologists who were feeding him data and statistics.

He found the “Three Blind Mice” of Birx, Fauci and Redfield were uninterested in data or the scientific publications he kept bringing to the meetings. Eventually, he gave up going to the meetings. He found Trump receptive and he agreed with Atlas’ program of protecting the high risk population, especially nursing home residents, plus others with pre-existing conditions, one of which has turned out to be obesity. He blames Trump and his team for being afraid to sack Birx who was the one telling all the Governors to lock down their states. As he says in conclusion, “It didn’t matter. They still lost the election.” They feared a firestorm in the press if she was demoted.

Atlas was in despair as they continued to emphasize testing the asymptomatic and neglect the nursing homes where almost 50% of the deaths occurred. The psychological and economic damage from the lockdowns may last for years. Masks are useless and he quotes many studies to prove it. The one study quoted by Birx all along was based on two beauty parlor employees. That was it.

In the end, he quit after the election although Trump wanted him to stay. He continued to communicate by email. He describes the insane abuse he took from the Media and may spend a little too much time on it in the book. Some professors at Stanford (not the epidemiologists) sent out an email letter attacking him for working with Trump.

He has one section about Florida Governor DeSantis who, he writes, was already familiar with the literature and who implemented most of Atlas’ policies on his own. I remember the Media attacking DeSantis when he set up treatment facilities at a large retirement community, accusing him of treating supporters first. He was following the science they ignored in their identity politics frenzy. Florida could have been as big a disaster as New York with their huge senior population. The fact that DeSantis followed the science and not the Media prevented that outcome.

Other books are beginning to come out now but this one seems authentic by an insider. Here is the book at Amazon. I read the Kindle version. The hardcover came out a few days later.

The segregation of Citizen COVID

France brings out a SARS-CoV variant of leprostigma by fiat. Now where did I put my clapper and bell?

You know that funny feeling when the head of State addresses the nation and declares that you and some of your fellow citizens shall be treated as outcasts and arbitrarily deprived of your rights?

Or perhaps you don’t.

I know I didn’t until Emmanuel “Jupiter” Macron, President of Le Pays des Droits de l’Homme the “nation of human rights”, as some French like to call this country, appeared in the idiot box and announced, right on the eve of Bastille Day, that:

Our choice is simple: to put the restrictions on the unvaccinated rather than on all.

Restrictions being Macron’s byword for segregation, to be implemented on people who have not been covaxxed into submission—whatever the reason we have, of which there are many, ranging from the borderline insane conspiracy theories to informed common sense and caution.

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Reopening — III (Theory ∧ Practice)

“We should act incrementally as prudent risk minimizers and pursue any effective no-regrets options. We do not have to wait for the formulation and acceptance of grand strategies, for the emergence of global consensual understanding, or for the universal adoption of more rational approaches.”

— Vaclav Smil (Global Catastrophes and Trends: the Next Fifty Years)

This post is an attempt at synthesis; those just grazing in (Midwesterners don’t surf) are directed to Reopening — I (Practice) and Reopening — II (Theory) for accounts of my earlier action and contemplation, respectively. For my third installment, I can do no better than lead off with a quadrant diagram of my own devising:

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Rush Limbaugh Went There.

He was being funny, late on last Thursday’s show, and he came up with this.  “My favorite conspiracy theory is that this virus is the work of a bunch of lunatic billionaires who really believe that we are destroying the planet and they have discovered that we can’t get to Mars in time and we can’t colonize the moon so they have come up with a way to get rid of billions of people to make the world have a longer survivability potential.”  I’ve been referring, recently, to Tom Clancy novels, but I had no plans to go anywhere near Rainbow Six.

As the novel involves precisely that kind of lunatic billionaire, as well as some clandestine work to shut down the plan and disappear the plotters, because of the risk of “a global panic when people realize what a biotech company can do if it wants,” though, well, perhaps there’s another story in it.

Regular readers of Tom Clancy know that the likelihood of a secret being blown is proportional to the square of the number of people in on it.  The novel left a number of possible dots to connect to put together yet another story, one with the potential to topple governments.  If I had any sort of novel-writing skills, I might essay such a thing, although it might be more productive to offer some of the dots, as if a mental exercise in quarantine, should anyone wish to essay such an effort.

There are almost enough dots to make a post as long as a Tom Clancy novel.  They’re below the jump.

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