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Damage Due to COVID-19 Restrictions Will Cause a Huge Backlash- 2

December 26, 2020 10 comments

In previous part of this series, I wrote about how the hugely botched response to COVID-19 pandemic by Western governments and public health “experts” is almost certain to cause an unimaginably large backlash in 2021. What makes this incredibly incompetent response even more remarkable is that things have gotten worse with every passing month. Don’t believe me? Well.. have a look at the late Autumn spike in “diagnosed” cases which occurred all over the western world irrespective of whether the leader of that country was Trump or somebody else. At the time of writing this post, the per capita incidence in almost every West-european country (at peak) is either close to, or more than, USA. In fact, the rates in many supposedly “responsible” countries such as Germany have now surpassed USA.

But why does this matter and what is it’s connection to the topic of this post? As some of you might remember, a lot of the public health measures floated by “experts” and enthusiastically promoted by politicians, main stream media and social media monopolies were supposed to prevent this exact outcome. Except that they did nothing of that sort! Feel free to compare the per capita incidence of PCR-positive cases in states that have implemented tons of society- and business- killing restrictions to neighboring states which didn’t implement them. It is as if all this bullshit about everybody wearing masks in public places, not re-opening schools and universities, closing restaurants and other small businesses or all that social-distancing lies had zero effect on the autumn rise in number of positive tests. In other words, all of that personal sacrifice (performed by those ‘little’ people) was in vain.

Do you really think that most people haven’t noticed that all of their largely uncompensated personal sacrifice had zero effect on the autumn wave of this disease? Maybe.. some losers with sinecured or otherwise stable jobs don’t mind the disruption to their lives, but a much larger percentage and number of people are now both very angry and in dire poverty due to those disruptions. Needless to say, they will find scapegoats among politicians, public health “experts”, MSM cocksuckers and SJWs in social media companies. But their hunt won’t stop with these obvious targets. It is no secret that many other sections of Western society have beclowned themselves during the botched response to this pandemic. Let us start by talking about how schools and universities have handled themselves.

1] As some of you might now, the death rate for COVID-19 infection in those younger than 25 is less than 1, in 10,000 and if you eliminate deaths in those who were already quite ill, it is likely less than 1 in 100,000. In spite of these figures being very consistent across many states and countries for past few months, a large percentage of schools in USA are still closed for in-person learning. While we can go into the reasons behind the decision of many teaching unions to beclown themselves, which include offering token #resistance to Trump, it goes without saying that even a scenario where every person below 25 in USA gets COVID-19, the excess mortality would be in the few hundreds or low thousands. Moreover most of this mortality could be avoided by keeping those susceptible to severe outcomes (cancer survivors, severely ill kids) at home for a few months. But what about the teachers, you might say.

Well..for starters, most teachers in USA and many other Western countries are women and under 50 and also have a really low death rate from to this disease. To put it bluntly, it was perfectly possible to reopen schools and run them like normal by having the chronically ill children and teachers over 50 stay at home. Even a 100% infection rate among teachers and students would result in no more than a couple thousand extra deaths in USA. You might not like what I am saying, but it is hard to argue with my reasoning. However this is only a small part of why backlash against teachers and their unions will be especially severe in USA. The first major reason comes down to the fact that public schooling in West is glorified babysitting which allows both parents to work 9-to-5 jobs. Keeping schools closed hurts the working class far more than numerically much smaller upper-middle class.

To make matters worse, a large percentage of the working class sees teachers as pampered, overpaid, incompetent and elitist assholes who owe their cushy jobs to unions- something that is not possible for most people in USA. Let me remind you that most working class people had to keep working during the pandemic at same time when all these teachers were sitting on their collective behinds at home while still receiving full pay. I predict that the backlash will take form of voters supporting right-wing politicians who want to cut school funding- either directly or indirectly. And given the significant shortfall in tax revenues for local and state governments in aftermath of this crisis, this outcome is almost inevitable. And to be honest, most teachers deserve it for how they have handled themselves during this crisis.

2] If you thought that teachers and schools had shot themselves badly in the foot by refusing to reopen during COVID-19 pandemic or did so with bizarre pre-conditions, think again.. because universities have outdone them by a mile. But before we go there, let us talk about the single biggest difference between schools and universities in USA. See.. while the vast majority of schools are pre-paid for by taxes and therefore free to attend, obtaining a university degree requires the median student to spend many tens of thousands of dollars in fees- and we haven’t even started talking about living costs in certain coastal cities. Did I mention that you cannot discharge student loans during a bankruptcy? To make a long story short, attending university in USA is a very expensive proposition with very onerous loan repayment conditions. So why do students keep attending them?

While part of the reason comes down to societal and employer pressure to obtain a university degree of some sort, a far bigger reason (for many) is that university is a place to network for future job and career opportunities. Of course, you can’t do that unless you physically attend university. To make matters worse, the online learning experience is inferior for those old CD-ROM courses offered by distance learning for-profit universities offered in the late 1990s. Did I mention that vast majority of universities have not reduced their fees since going online? To make another long story short, universities have decided to throw their student body (aka customers in USA) under the proverbial bus without considering long term consequences of such actions. Given the conditions and factors mentioned earlier in this paragraph, the medium- to long- term effect on their reputation and ability to attract paying customers (I mean.. students) is unlikely to be positive.

To make matters worse, if that is possible, universities in USA have largely gone through the large increase in student population between late-1990s and early- to mid-2010s caused by a wave of baby-boomer children. There just aren’t that many future local students for them in next decade, which is why so many of them are recruiting international students at record numbers since the early 2010s. These high-paying students (usually from China) have become an important source of income for many universities in past few years. It does not take a genius to figure out that shutting down physical university for a year is going to hurt ability of most universities to recruit rich overseas students. It does not help that many universities in this country are overloaded with useless administrative parasites and therefore barely getting by in spite of collecting record amounts of tuition from students.

Given the upcoming revenue shortfalls, I expect many of them to start cutting corners by laying of teaching staff rather than firing administrative types, thus entering a death spiral where loss of income leads to loss of reputation which leads to further loss of income. What makes this whole farce darkly comic is that the risk of death from COVID-19 among student aged people is also very low- less than 1 in 5,000 and most deaths occur in those with serious chronic conditions. I should also mention that majority of teaching duties in universities are already performed by junior teaching staff, contract and sessional instructors who are very likely to be under 50 and in good health. I mean.. we could just have had professors above 70 and those with serious chronic diseases stay at home for a few months.

In the next part of this series, I hope to go into the effects of these shutdowns and restictions on small and medium business who employ far more people than their revenues might suggest.

What do you think? Comments?

Damage Due to COVID-19 Restrictions Will Cause a Huge Backlash- 1

December 19, 2020 20 comments

For the past few weeks, I have been considering writing a post (or two) listing my predictions for 2021. Since I have some spare time right now, let me start by making an obvious series of predictions about the upcoming year. And yes.. I have tackled this topic in a previous series and other older posts. I have also written about the ineffectiveness of conventional face masks and likely issues with widespread use of any potential vaccine. Thus far, every aspect of the response in western countries to COVID-19 from damaging widespread lockdowns that have no worthwhile effects on caseloads, ineffectual facemasks policies, hamhanded and delusional vaccination policies are creating a lot of fuel for huge public backlashes in 2021.

1] The most important determinant of long-term public support for all governmental policies concerning any war, restrictions or other deprivations comes down to the simple question- how much does it inconvenience or hurt the median person? Let me remind you that american public support for Vietnam war was very high in the beginning, but declined sharply once conscription became widespread and increasing number of recruits came back in body bags or as cripples. Similarly, the Iraq War was popular towards in the beginning when many stupid muricans believed they could win it at very little personal cost. Once it became obvious that the war was creating an endless stream of brain-damaged and crippled veterans, it became far less popular. The inability to move freely in Iraq years after that failed occupation, due to multiple ongoing insurgencies, did not help its popularity either.

So how does this knowledge help us predict the now inevitable backlash against botched response to COVID-19 by western countries, especially USA. For starters, we now have tons of data from both adjacent countries and states that brain-dead measures such as lockdowns, public making, closing restaurants and other small business etc have almost no effect on the rise and fall of case numbers. While some of you might not have heard about this because of spending too much time watching CNN and MSNBC- it is now increasingly common knowledge that many measures such as public masking pushed by public health “scientists” and faceless bureaucrats are nothing more than public theater while others such as closing restaurants, small businesses and physical retail are actively harmful. In the first 2-3 months people went along with the bullshit because they were afraid of the unknown, but now too many know somebody who tested positive for COVID-19 and had an uneventful spontaneous recovery.

My point is that the number of people who know somebody who contracted COVID-19 and recovered without complications is many fold more than those who know somebody who died. And for good reason! Mortality due to that infection in the under-50 population is somewhere between 1 in 5,000- 10,000. In fact, it crosses the 1 in 1,000 figure only for people above 60 and healthy non-institutionalized old people between 70-80 have a mortality rate of about 2-3%. But why does this matter? Well.. to put it bluntly, western societies don’t care much about lives of very old and institutionalized. While they may pretend to care about such people to show others around them that they are “good people”, they cannot keep up the charade for long if it is causing them to lose lots of money. By continuously lying to people that COVID-19 is far more dangerous than it is, the public health establishment in West is is serious risk of losing any residual public credibility which it might still have.

Which brings us to the second set of reasons why things are going to go ballistic in many countries aka this shitshow has been going on for almost 9 months now.

2] As you know, most human beings are conformist cowards who will go along any stupid belief system for a short time. The real problems start once the ridiculous crap continues past a few months. At that point, people will start reevaluating their previous beliefs- especially if they think that those beliefs are causing them financial or other loss. This is why most people either don’t join cults or slowly drop out of them as things get more extreme. While west European countries have a significantly better social safety net than USA, even they cannot keep the economy going for more than a few months. Things are even worse in countries with more fragile service-based economies + low job and career security + almost non-existent social safety net such as USA. Note that the shutdowns and restrictions are causing far more unemployment and financial damage to people under 40 and 50 than those over 65-70.

The problem with public health “scientists” and politicians trying to push their ineffectual ideas about indefinite lockdowns is that in addition to exaggerating the threat of COVID-19 they have not adequately compensated the people whose businesses and livelihoods have been affected. Even European countries which have far more generous wage replacement schemes than USA have not been able to make up the income loss to affected workers, not to mention uncertainty about future of affected business. The simple fact is that there many times more people who are being deliberately pushed into poverty by lying and incompetent governments in Western countries than there are people above 80. Things are even bleaker in USA where wage support is basically nonexistent for most laid-off and furloughed workers. Did I mention that most affected small businesses in USA are fucked.

To make matters worse, in almost every single Western country including USA the center-left part and its vocal minority PMC-class supporters are in favor of indefinite lockdowns without any hope or compensation. These sinecured assholes have lost all touch with the daily reality of a much larger group in their country. I predict, with complete certainty, that this will lead to the sort of backlash which will make Brexit vote and Trump’s election in 2016 look quaint. For example- the results of 2022 election in USA, barring some miracle or extreme incompetence by Republicans, will make the previous defeats suffered by Democratic party look comically small by comparison. I also predict similar electoral carnage for many other ruling parties in Western Europe in next two years- along with significant improvements in public support for right-wing parties. History might not repeat, but it often rhymes.

3] Many of you might have also heard that many social media companies and internet monopolies in the “free” West are trying to censor “unofficial” information about COVID-19, vaccine side-effects etc. I predict that such behavior by these corporations will have two main effects. Firstly, it will greatly increase public support behind those attempting to break up and regulate those corporations. But more importantly, it will amplify the very messages and distrust in “credentialed” authority which they are trying to suppress. If you don’t believe ask anybody for pre-1989 Eastern European countries if they believed official news about their own country. And yes.. it also feeds back into the anti-establishment dynamic which I talked about in the previous paragraph. The next two years will be most interesting.

The already moribund public health establishment in Western countries will be among the biggest loser in aftermath of this backlash. For starters, they have they lost any residual public goodwill during the past 9 months due to their inability to control COVID-19. But far worse was their poorly thought decisions (not based in scientific facts) which have caused massive damage to lives of thousands of times more people than those who died from COVID-19. Their pathetic attempts to pretend that COVID-19 vaccinations are safer than natural infection in younger age-groups is almost guaranteed to start some backlash in the next few weeks. Then again, public health in the past 40 years has been largely an exercise in bullshit mathematical models and SJW beliefs with no basis in reality. Will write about the effect of backlash on public perception of schools, universities, PMCs and politicians in upcoming part.

What do you think? Comments?

COVID-19 Pandemic has Exposed Intellectual Bankruptcy of Liberals

November 21, 2020 18 comments

In the previous post, I wrote about how the COVID-19 pandemic exposed many of the chronic problems and systemic dysfunctions in West for all to see. While writing that post, I started thinking about another one on how this pandemic also exposed the mind-boggling levels of intellectual bankruptcy among liberals. And yes, I wrote two very similarly titled posts a few months ago (link 1, link 2). As far as my ideological roots are concerned, those who have read enough of my older posts know that I despise ideologies of all flavors- from CONServatism to LIEbralism. Sure.. some are a bit worse than others, but not by much. While many of early posts were about the intellectual bankruptcy of CONservatism, it has became increasingly obvious to me that LIEbralism has gone from being a little better than CONservatism to significantly worse- especially in the past five years.

1] The first serious instance of how the pandemic exposed LIEbral idiocy came pretty early. You might have heard something about how tests for antibodies against COVID-19 show far more widespread infection than PCR- and LAMP- based tests. It was also well known, rather early on, that infection in younger age groups was largely asymptomatic. This would suggest that the Infection Fatality Rate (IFR) for this virus was much lower than the high Case Fatality Rate (CFR) as measured before extensive testing was deployed. But LIEbrals would have nothing of that. These dumbfucks tried to discredit and suppress any evidence that it was far less dangerous than the equally intellectually bankrupt MSM was trying to push.

What makes this, however, especially interesting is the arguments used by LIEbrals in their attempts to discredit the results of antibody testing. One of their main arguments was that these antibody tests had very high false positive rates. Well.. any person who understands the science behind these tests and laboratory techniques will tell you that even the most poorly designed modern antibody tests have false positive rates below 2%. In fact, a false negative result is far more likely than a false positive for these tests. And yet there was no shortage of self-proclaimed experts on Twatter, FakeBook and MSM who claimed that these tests were “wrong”. It is as if LIEbrals had close to zero understanding of STEM subjects, which is not surprising as most of these losers credentialed in “liberal arts” at university.

And it gets worse. Once it became obvious that their lies about antibody test results were making them look like idiots, they started claimed that antibody titres were the only predictors of immunity to viral infections. But as anybody with a proper undergraduate-level education in Microbiology can tell you, immunity to viral infections has much more to do with memory B-lymphocyte, helper T-lymphocyte and Dendritic cells activated in response to infection than the persistence of antibody levels. That is why immunity to many viral infections can often last a lifetime. Now, it harder and significantly more expensive to measure these post-infection responses than a simple antibody test- but they are far more important for lasting immunity to a specific virus than antibody levels.

2] Let us move on to non-specialized face masks, a topic which I have touched on in another previous post (link 3). In case you haven’t heard, a recent large RCT Danish study of mask efficacy which many journals were initially unwilling to publish clearly shows that surgical-grade face masks have virtually no effect on rates of COVID-19 infection. And this is not surprising, since similar studies done on the efficacy of surgical masks at prevent Influenza infection (caused by a virus of roughly similar dimensions) in the past had yielded similar results. In other words, unless you are wearing N95 or better face masks, such measures are not effective at preventing infections. But liberal idiots continue defending this dubious talisman, once again demonstrating their ignorance of experimental science.

To make matters more interesting, these LIEbral idiots still haven’t explained why dense and crowded cities in Asia and some parts of Africa have only a tiny fraction of the COVID-19 deaths which many of these same racist idiots were happily anticipating. Isn’t it interesting that almost none of these LIEbral idiots are even considering the possibility that.. maybe.. people in some countries have partial cross-immunity to COVID-19 due to previous infection by other coronaviruses. Or why states with mask mandates don’t have lower rates of infection that neighboring ones with far fewer restrictions. Then again, liberals would rather stick their head up their behind than care about anything which contradicts their belief system.. you know.. like real life. Having said that, it is fun to watch them make up explanations which are rationally inconsistent with their previous ones, while pretending that they aren’t doing so.

These same idiots keep pushing worthless measures that sound effective such as “circuit breaker lockdowns” with no evidence that they do anything other than temporarily suppress case numbers a little. Why do you think that something which didn’t work in Italy, Spain, France and UK in the spring is going to work again? Because you want it to work? Seriously? Also why haven’t all those Asian countries which have very low case numbers and kept it in control done so without lockdowns? Also how long are you going to keep up this shit? How do you plan to compensate all those business owners who will be bankrupted by this ineffectual bullshit? What about all the people who have lost their jobs- in many cases, permanently? I would rather have excess mortality among the 80+ crowd in nursing homes than destroy the lives of many tens of millions more in the prime of their lives.

3] Let us now talk about all those measures to control COVID-19. Given that most outbreaks occur in places that are indoors, crowded and poorly ventilated- why are we pretending that normal outdoor and indoor activities are risky? Given that this virus is airborne, what is the whole point of “social distancing”? Given what we know about Vitamin D levels and severity of disease, wouldn’t giving Vitamin D supplements to dark-skinned and older people be a far better use of resources. And why not give the older and otherwise vulnerable people free N95 facemasks rather than pretending that ersatz cloth facemasks are equally effective? And we have not even touched on the issue of how mortality strongly correlates with advanced age and presence of multiple chronic disease conditions. But try telling any of this to a STEM-illiterate LIEbral retweeting make-believe bullshit on Twatter and FakeBook.

Since we are past a thousand words, I will wrap up this post here. Based on your feedback, I might write another post. Here is a parting question.. Do the governors and administrations in democrat-ruled cities and states have a realistic plan to cover their massive upcoming revenue and tax losses? Do they think Biden will be able to bail them out?

What do you think? Comments?

Response to COVID-19 Has Exposed Chronic Dysfunction in the West

November 14, 2020 23 comments

While I would love to finish a bunch of my drafts about topics ranging from how the computer revolution of past 20 years has been a failure to why the 1990s was the last good decade for people living in west, we seem to keep coming back to topics such as COVID-19 and Trump. So consider this post as another one in an already long list about the incredibly dysfunctional response by western countries to the COVID-19 pandemic. But how is this one different from the ones I posted over past few months? Well.. because it seems that systemic dysfunction exhibited by western countries has not improved, and in some cases, gotten worse.

1] Have you noticed that even after 8 months, western countries have still not shown the willingness or wherewithal to treat COVID-19 infections in high-risk patients with anti-viral and anti-inflammatory drugs? Let me explain a bit about what I am talking about. See.. based on results of many small and large clinical trials around the world, we know that treatment of COVID-19 patients at higher risk of hospitalization with certain drugs does reduces the risk of hospitalization, ICU usage and death. Furthermore, many of them such as Indomethacin, Doxycycline, Ambroxol or Bromhexine, low-dose Colchicine, Ivermectin are both readily available and fairly safe, especially for short-term use.

Yet no government in the West has even bothered to honestly find out if all the positive results seen in other parts of the world are reproducible. It is noteworthy than many of these reports come from more than one country and were often published at round the same time. There is definitely something going on with these compounds. Of course, these drugs would be most effective in high-risk patients who receive them within the first 3-4 days of symptomatic illness. But almost no large clinical trial in the West is even trying to assess their efficacy in reducing hospitalizations, ICU usage and death. It is as if the establishment in West has no interest in strategies which don’t involve them riding on their favorite hobby-horses.

2] Related to this shortcoming, is the inability or unwillingness to deploy orally available direct anti-viral drugs to treat COVID-19 in high-risk patients as early as possible. As mentioned in at least one previous post, a Remdesivir analog known as GS-441524 has the same degree of efficacy against Coronaviruses as it well-known chemical cousin in addition to being orally available and noticeably less toxic. So why isn’t nobody in West trying to find out if giving this drug (already tested in animals) early in course of disease reduces the risk of hospitalization etc in older patients? What about EIDD-2801, another even more potent and orally available anti-viral compound which has passed toxicity and efficacy tests in animals?

Do you see a trend? It is as if there is no systemic and coordinated effort in the West to treat COVID-19 before people end up in the hospital. The same is true for all those monoclonal antibody cocktails which would be far more useful if they were given to high-risk patients before they get sick enough to be hospitalized. I mean.. look at Trump.. he got the antibody cocktail and anti-viral drug at right time and hence recovered much faster than otherwise. Isn’t it interesting to note that the most aggressive use of medicines to stop high-risk patients from getting worse is occurring in countries such as India, Russia, Malaysia etc rather than the supposedly “advanced” West? What is going on?

3] And it gets worse. Have you noticed that western governments are still pretending that COVID-19 can be controlled or eliminated by a hastily thrown together bunch of measures such as “hard lockdowns”, ineffectual talismans such cloth masks, social distancing and then pretending that the continued rise in cases in spite of implementing these measures is due to poor “compliance” rather than they being close to useless. Have you also noticed that most western governments are pretending that COVID-19 infections in children and adolescents have a higher mortality than the common cold. Also, if you are interested in preventing high-risk teachers from getting infected, why not keep teachers over 50 or 60 at home and let the others go about their normal routine.

They are still pretending that the mortality rates for under-50s is more than 1 in a few thousand. Even the rates for under-60 crowd remain at somewhere between 1 in 500 to 1 in a thousand. Shouldn’t we be therefore devoting resources (such as N95 masks etc) to those at high risk of adverse outcomes such as those above 70 or 80 and in assisted living situations rather than fight the losing battle to stop COVID-19 infections in low-risk people. Hasn’t it become obvious by now, after 8 months, that eliminating COVID-19 from the population by such measures is a fool’s errand. Who are trying to impress with this seemingly unending list of failures?

4] But the crowning glory of their ineffectualness has been their profound inability to come up with a realistic plan to emerge from this self-inflicted crisis. Do you see any government in the West putting forth a realistic plan for dealing from the situation. And no.. ideas centered around daily ‘cheap’ tests for everybody and vaccinating everybody are not realistic as anybody who knows even a bit about error rates in testing and logistics of producing and distributing vaccines knows. Too make matters.. more interesting.. most vaccines being developed in the West are of types which have not been previously used in humans. Yes.. RNA-based vaccines such as those being developed by Pfizer and Moderna have not been previously used in human beings. Nor have those which use adenoviral vectors such as the ones from Astra-Zeneca, CanSino or the Sputnik V Russian vaccine. To put it another way, we are in totally uncharted waters with these vaccines.

I cannot help pointing out that inactivated virus vaccines against COVID-19 are perfectly feasible. Indeed, such vaccines have been used against Poliomyelitis, Hepatitis A, Rabies, Influenza vaccines etc for many decades. Yet for some odd reasons, there are only a few groups developing inactivated virus vaccines for COVID-19. What makes this even more odd is that such vaccines have been successfully tested and used for multiple types of Coronaviruses affecting animals. So why aren’t we using tried and tested methods for vaccine development, which are almost certain to work, in favor of sexy but unproven methods of achieving the same results. And yes.. I am aware that inactivated virus vaccines require boosters, but so do the others being currently tested for COVID-19. Also, what about vaccines based around protein subunits, such as the ‘spike’ protein, another well-known way of developing them.

Since we are already past a thousand words, I am not going to go into the hilarious stupidity and callousness displayed by western governments when it comes to issues such as helping save small businesses, jobs in the most affected sectors, running schools and universities into the ground and much more. Might write a followup part based on responses.

What do you think? Comments?

Quick Thoughts on Short-Term Effects of Trump Catching COVID-19

October 3, 2020 19 comments

As readers know, 2020 has been a most unusual year full of all sorts of surprises. Who could have foreseen the decision by establishment Democrats to close ranks behind a frail old man with senile dementia to run against the orange idiot? Of course, not all events are unexpected even if many of their consequences might be hard to foresee. Trump catching COVID-19 is an excellent example of something which was totally predictable but whose consequences are much harder to predict. I had expected him to catch it months ago, especially given his unwillingness to hide in the basement like Dementia Joe. So it was not surprising when Trump announced yesterday that he had tested positive for COVID-19. With that on mind, let us talk about potential consequences.

1] As many of you have heard, Trump has received an infusion (8g) of two monoclonal antibiotics (REGN-COV2) manufactured by Regeneron. While this drug is currently in clinical trials, there is enough evidence that it causes a significant reduction of virus levels in body fluids. Since Trump received this drug before progressing onto the later and more serious inflammatory symptoms, it will very likely benefit him. He is also receiving a 5 day course of Remdesivir (200mg on day 1 and 100 mg on day2-5). Once again, since he received it before progressing onto inflammatory symptoms, it will benefit him far more than those who receive it after being quite ill for a number of days. While this might not cheer up MikeCA, Trump is very likely to survive this illness and be back in the White House sometime next week- ready to berate Dementia Joe again.

2] While Joe Biden had a negative COVID-19 test yesterday, this is likely to change over next few days since there is usually a 3-6 day period between infection and producing enough viruses to be detected by PCR-based tests. Since it is almost certain that Trump was in asymptomatic, but potentially infectious, stage when he shared the stage with Biden at the first debate. It does not help that more than a few of Trump’s entourage at that debate were also infectious. Did I also mention that normal cloth masks cannot stop COVID-19. Unlike Trump whose is in otherwise OK health for a 74-year old man, Biden is a very frail 78-year old in early stages of senile dementia. To make a long story short, if Biden gets COVID-19 his prognosis will be far worse than Trump. Biden might end up where many liberals and progressives are praying for Trump to end up.

3] While many talking-heads on corporate news outlet and twitter pundits are trying to demean Trump by spreading rumors and demanding an ever increasing amount of personal information about his medical status, this strategy is likely to backfire since he is now increasingly an object of sympathy as he now has something in common with an increasing number of people in this country. Many still remember how all these MSM cocksuckers kept on hyping “scandal” after “scandal” for the past four years. It is like the boy who cried wolf.. after enough false calls, the person making them loses credibility. Long story short, it is not going to hurt his poll numbers and will likely increase them as well as embolden his more determined (and armed) supporters. And as mentioned above, Biden isn’t out of the COVID-19 woods yet.

4] The case for Trump being an incompetent moron who does not deserve re-election could have been far stronger IF Democrats had presented a significantly better economic vision of future, demonstrated ability to fulfill at least some of their previous promises and selected a presidential candidate who did not have senile dementia. Instead these paid losers have decided to focus on bullshit which only appeals to white upper-middle class types such as “respectability”, bullshit about the “green new deal”, gobblygook on “extending” Obamacare, talk about banning semi-automatic guns and other “woke” cultural bullshit that nobody who does not live in certain coastal zipcodes cares about. People such as MikeCA are partisan democrats because it is about social class rather than actual belief in anything he pretends to care about.

5] Let me now repeat something which needs to repeated as long as people such as MikeCA pretend to be appalled by Trump. The orange buffoon, you see, is the result of everything which has been going wrong in this country for past four decades.. and let us not pretend that this decision was not bipartisan. Trump, or someone similar to him, was as inevitable in our era as Hitler in post-1930 Germany or Mussolini in post-WW1 Italy. People in this country have stopped believing that politicians are anything but greedy, cynical, corrupt assholes who are increasingly disconnected from the people who vote them into power. Trying to portray Trump as “uniquely bad” because he does brazenly what other politicians do more surreptitiously is not a recipe for defeating Trump. Then again.. perhaps, Democrats don’t want to defeat Trump, since they are fake opposition paid by same people as Republicans.

In summary, based on everything we know to date, Trump is very unlikely to die or even suffer prolonged hospitalization due to COVID-19. The same cannot be said about Biden, especially in next few days. The attempts by MSM outlets and Twitter pundits to defame and enjoy Trump getting sick with COVID-19 is likely to backfire on them and Democrats.

What do you think? Comments?

COVID-19 Face Masks are Modern Day Talismans of Liberal Scientism

September 28, 2020 17 comments

As regular readers know, I have written many posts about the hilariously ineffectual and visibly incompetent response of western governments to the COVID-19 pandemic. Continuing in that general direction, let us talk about another stupid intervention cooked up by all the credentialed dummies advising morons occupying elected office in these allegedly developed countries. Yes.. I am talking about the enthusiasm displayed by many countries in recent months to make people wear face masks that are incapable of stopping viral transmission. But as you will soon see, my issues with making people wearing ordinary face masks are about much more than them being generally ineffective at preventing infection by airborne viruses.

So let us start by talking about the efficacy of various types of face masks at preventing viral infections. Long story short.. only masks rated N95 or higher have been shown to reduce the transmission of viruses. And there is a very good reason for why that is the case. It comes down to the maximum size of particles which can pass through them. N95 or better masks can reliably filter out particles that are in size range of common larger viruses. Your normal surgical mask or cloth face mask cannot stop particles in the size range of most bacteria and viruses. At best, they are effective at reducing formation of aerosols created by wearer when speaking or breathing.

Remember that surgeons wear surgical masks to reduce the chance of bacteria from their nose and mouth from ending up on open wounds or during procedures. All of this is another way of saying that normal cloth face masks and surgical masks are basically useless at filtering out particles in size range of respiratory viruses. Sure they might reduce the size of inoculum by trapping larger droplets and aerosols, but let us not pretend that they do much for viruses such as influenza, rhinoviruses or COVID-19. Now some of you might say.. “isn’t a bit of protection better than no protection?”. Well.. sure, but only as long as you are being honest about their limited effectiveness. Pretending they are far more effective than they are is malpractice.

So why are LIEbrals, especially those found on social media site such as Twitter, Reddit etc so enthusiastic about forcing people to wear ineffectual face masks? To understand this, you have first accept that LIEbrals are as stupid as their CONservative equivalents. They just happen to believe in different religions. See.. while CONservatives believe in traditional religion with all its trappings, LIEbrals believe in the church of Scientism. So instead of blindly believing in the word of priests in white garb, LIEbrals choose to blindly believe the words of “credentialed” dummies who represent the church of Scientism. It is about blind faith, not rational and critical belief.

The LIEbral obsession with making people wear ineffective facemasks is better understood when you understand what they represent to believers in the church of Scientism. To make another long story short, ineffective facemasks promoted by the priests of Scientism are best seen as Talismans. In case you don’t want to click on the link, a talisman is an object that someone believes holds magical properties that provide particular power, energy, and specific benefits to the possessor. Note that Talismans or ‘good luck charms’ have a long history of use in pre-modern medicine and the cynical might say, even modern medicine. Some of you might say.. “but what is the harm of letting people believe in such bullshit if it makes them feel better?” Don’t many people keep their own lucky shirts, coats, dresses, shoes, baseball caps etc?

Well.. here is why. If you promote something as a highly effective for prevention of COVID-19 infection, people might actually believe you in the beginning. But what happens after it becomes increasingly obvious that normal face masks are almost ineffective at preventing COVID-19 or Influenza? While devout believers in church of Scientism might continue to believe in ordinary face masks irrespective of evidence, others won’t be so ideologically invested. Another long story short.. the loss of credibility caused by failure of such face masks will blow back on those most involved in promoting them and destroy whatever residual credibility they might still command.

If you thought people weren’t believing in the pronouncements of attention-hungry losers such as Fauci etc and institutions such as CDC and FDA now, imagine how bad things could get once it becomes once it is obvious that these face masks don’t work. To reiterate, while N95 and better face masks work quite well, the cloth and surgical ones promoted by western governments barely work.. if at all. Pretending that they do won’t change reality.

What do you think? Comments?

On the Many Potential Real-Life Problems with Any COVID-19 Vaccine

July 23, 2020 26 comments

Most of you might have recently heard something about progress in the development of one (or more) of the many vaccines being developed for COVID-19. While I don’t want into a lot of detail about the types of vaccines being developed, two are getting most of the attention. One is the ‘RNA-based’ one such as those from (Moderna, Pfizer etc. The other type is adenovirus-based ones such as that Oxford-AZ and CanSino vaccine. Even with the initial results of these, and many more, vaccines- I predict that even the most successful vaccine will have to overcome tons of real-life problems. And I am not the only one to hold that opinion. Here is why..

1] RNA-based vaccines of the type developed by Moderna and Pfizer/BioNTech are problematic for more than one reason. Firstly, no RNA-based vaccine has yet been approved for human or animal use. Sure.. this is partly due to the reason that the technology, injecting encapsulated mRNA to make you own cells produce the antigen you want to stimulate an immune response against is fairly new technology. But there is a second reason- specifically, mRNA based vaccines are notorious for causing grade 3 and higher reactions in a small percentage of individuals. Though Moderna is trying its best to obscure the data, more than a few people in their relatively small phase I trial developed reactions serious enough to require prompt medical attention.

Why does this matter? Well.. let us consider how things will play out if they have a 5% incidence of such reactions during a mass vaccination drive against COVID-19. Imagine you vaccinate a million people and 5% of them develop such reactions. Even if they are can be easily treated in the hospital or a clinic, you have 50,000 fairly ill people who wouldn’t be there if they had not taken this vaccine. Also, if there are 50,000 people ill enough to require medical attention, you can bet a few of them will end up becoming much more ill or even dying. Let me remind you that the mortality due to COID-19 in people under 50 is less than 1 in 1,000. What are the chances that the vaccine kills and hospitalizes as many people as the infection in younger age groups?

This is not to say that vaccines with such high rates of side-effects are useless. The vaccine for smallpox and older versions of the rabies vaccine also had rather high rates of side effects. But there is the thing.. smallpox, when it existed, was a very contagious illness with 30% mortality rate. Rabies has a mortality of almost 100% once the infection has reached the central nervous system. Most people will be fine with a vaccine for smallpox or rabies that kills one in a few thousand people, because of the high fatality rates of those infections. The same cannot be said about COVID-19. To make matters more interesting, we don’t know if mRNA based vaccines are more likely to induce auto-immune diseases than other, more conventional, vaccines.

2] The other main type of COVID-19 vaccines use fairly harmless adenoviral vectors that express some proteins from the virus in question. In contrast to mRNA based vaccines, we have a decent amount of experience with such vaccines in both animals and humans trials. Also vaccines that use a similar strategy- where one fairly harmless virus expresses proteins of a far more harmful virus to induce immunity to later have been used to develop a few vaccines used in animals and at least one for humans (Ebola vaccine). We can, therefore, be a bit more certain that the safety of vaccines in this category is not as unknown as those mRNA-based vaccines. Also, the rate of complications for such viral-vector based vaccines is noticeably lower than mRNA vaccines.

The initial data from the Oxford-AZ vaccine trials also suggest that they do a much better job at stimulating immunity to the virus among CD4 and CD8 T-lymphocytes. It is known that immunity to Coronaviruses in animals is more cell-based than antibody based. In other words, the Oxford-AZ vaccine is likely to produce better immunity under real-life conditions with noticeably fewer side-effects than mRNA based vaccines. The CanSino vaccine, which uses a human adenoviral vector, seems to be a bit less effective than the Oxford-AZ vaccine which uses a chimpanzee adenoviral vector- perhaps, because of pre-existing immunity to human adenoviruses. Between mRNA and adenoviral-vector based vaccines, I would put my money on the later.

3] The next issue concerning COVID-19 vaccination comes down to the logistics of producing, distributing and actually giving the vaccine. Having the best vaccine means shit all if you cannot produce it on a large scale without breakdowns in quality control. Once again, the adenoviral-vector based vaccines are a bit better than mRNA-based ones in that regard, especially with existing infrastructure. Distributing the vaccine, even if effective will however pose quite a few problems. For starters, who do you vaccinate first- the groups most likely to die from infection or those most likely to transmit it? How do you vaccinate hundreds of millions in a very short time without a huge number of people ending up in hospitals due to side-effects, even if temporary.

And what are you going to do about all the people who would rather wait and see what happens to initial bunch of vaccine recipients? What if there is a large wave of hospitalizations from first widespread use of whichever COVID-19 vaccine ends up being approved. Remember even a 2% incidence of severe reactions is a large number once you are talking about millions of recipients. How will you convince people to keep getting vaccinated if initial use of COVID-19 vaccine causes tens of thousands of hospitalizations? This is especially likely for mRNA-based vaccine such as those being developed by Moderna and Pfizer/BioNTech. Then there are issues of efficacy. What if the approved vaccines prove to be only 80-90% effective. While this is a perfectly acceptable for many existing vaccines- dumbfuck “ivy-league experts” have promised the sky to masses.

I can think of many other issues, but we are already past a thousand words. Might write more in a future post on this topic, depending on responses to this one.

What do you think? Comments?

Case Fatality Rates for COVID-19 are Now Decreasing Across the World

July 3, 2020 10 comments

Since I am feeling a bit lazy today, here is a quick post that is nonetheless quite interesting and topical. Many of you have might have heard about the recent resurgence of COVID-19 cases in USA- especially on the lying corporate media. Well.. I noticed a trend too, and not just in USA. Have a look at the first figure and see if you can spot an interesting change in the trends for positive cases vs ICU admissions vs deaths due to COVID-19 in Sweden during past month. In case you can’t see the obvious, let me spell it out..

While Sweden has experienced a large increase in number of people testing positive for COVID-19, this increase has not translated into an increase in people admitted to ICU with COVID-19 or people dying from it. In fact the number of people dying from COVID-19 has gone down a lot in the past month despite a large increase in number of diagnosed cases, to say nothing about undiagnosed cases. This is even more obvious when you compare those trends and figures to what was happening 2-3 months ago.

Clearly, something big has changed. Perhaps we are testing for it more widely, the median age of cases is lower, maybe our symptomatic treatment regimes have gotten better or the virus have mutated into a less lethal version. It could also be a combination. But whichever way you look at it, the Case Fatality Rate (CFR) for COVID-19 has dropped considerably over past month in that country. And yes.. I did factor in the 1-2 week lag between diagnosis and adverse outcomes.

Moving on to this country, we see a similar trend. While there has been a huge spike in number of people diagnosed with COVID-19 over past few weeks, number of people admitted to hospital (most are not in ICUs) has increased very modestly while number of deaths keep on declining. Once again, a number of things might have changed- lower median age of cases, better medical management, newer virus strains being less lethal etc. But once again, it is hard to ignore that the Case Fatality Rate (CFR) has COVID-19 has gone down considerably in past few months.

Of course, it always possible that the real Infection Fatality Rate (IFR) for COVID-19 was always much lower than what discredited institutions such as CDC and FDA were pretending.

BTW, Case Fatality Rate (CFR) = percentage of people who die due to diagnosed cases of an infection while Infection Fatality Rate (IFR) = percentage who die in all people with that infection- both clinical and subclinical. IFR rates are often calculated after CFR rates as they are based on retrospective analysis of samples and data.

What do you think? Comments?

Potential Consequences of 200-300k COVID-19 Deaths by Election Day

June 12, 2020 16 comments

In the midst of nationwide protests against police brutality, most mainstream media outlets seem to have conveniently forgotten that the COVID-19 pandemic is still killing (mostly old people) in this country at a pretty constant rate. While we are no longer at the peak of about 3k deaths per day, the plateau of about 1k per day does not seem to be decreasing further. Sure.. most people in NYC have probably been exposed to the virus and recovered from it, but most people in flyover country, the deep south and west coast are just now starting to be exposed to it on a large scale. And this brings up an interesting question.. what if COVID-19 ends up killing 200k-300k more people between now and November 3, 2020 aka election day?

To be clear, I am not restricting my analysis to the political implications of such a scenario- which will be considerable. It goes without saying that 200-300k more deaths (even if most are elderly) will throw a massive wrench in the process of reopening the economy in addition to destroying millions more jobs and small businesses than the original shutdown. While I am sure that the stock market will continue booming in response to trillions more dollars for large corporations in the event of such a scenario, it is clear that everybody else will be poor, angry and desperate- especially since political leaders of both parties have shown themselves to be grossly inadequate for the job. Let us now talk about a few obvious effects of such a scenario playing out..

1] A couple hundred thousand more deaths due to COVID-19 will deplete the older (and largely conservative) voter-base of both parties in more than one way. Firstly, there is direct attrition due to the disease in the form of voters who are dead or unwell from post-infection complications (much more likely in 65+ age group). But the indirect effect of such a large number of deaths among the elderly might keep many more in that age range from coming out to vote in person. While this isn’t that big an issue in states with a robust system for voting by mail, it could be spoil a lot of electoral calculations in states where such systems aren’t already in place.

2] Since neither of the two parties have demonstrated the ability, competence or willingness to help the average person most affected by the shutdown.. who is under 45 and increasingly non-white, it would be presumptuous to count on their votes. While it is unlikely that republican will vote for democratic candidates or vice-versa, it is possible that an unusually large number of voters below 50 will just stay home and note vote by election day. This scenario is especially likely if the economy does not pick up by election day, an almost certain outcome if there an additional 200-300k deaths by election day. So we now have a situation where electoral turnout among under-45 and over-65 is likely to be significantly lower than the previous election.

3] But wait.. there is more. As mentioned in previous paragraph, an extra 200-300k deaths by 3rd of November would pretty much negate all the efforts to reopen economy- even if it was not shut down once again. Think about it.. how many people would go to restaurants and bars again even if they were open. What about movie theaters, concerts, sporting events or even malls and offices. What about the effects of such a prolonged and rolling disruption on millions of small businesses, most of whom operate on fairly small profit margins and do not have access to trillions in bailout money unlike large corporations. To make matters worse, both political parties have exhibited a strong unwillingness to bailout both the average person and small business.

4] Which leads us the likelihood of widespread civil unrest, of a scale that will make ongoing BLM protests seem almost quaint by comparison. It is no secret that a pretty significant percentage of those under 40 have jobs or gigs which either disqualify them from unemployment insurance or restrict their access to such benefits. To make matters worse, many financial institutions and rent-seeking outfits have decided that they will not defer or forgive recurring payments from such people- in spite of already having received trillions to cover their potential losses in the event this occurs. So what do you think these people are going to do when they are being evicted from their residences, chased by loan repayment sharks and unable to maintain necessities such as cars.

Did I mention that most of these people are in good physical shape, more educated than their parents and have nothing to lose. Oh.. and one more things, a high percentage of them are white or something other than black- which means the rioting, unrest and other fun will not be restricted to downtown and ‘urban’ areas of large cities. To make matters even worse.. there is very likely to be another wave of mass layoffs over next few months even if the excess 200-300k deaths due to COVID-19 don’t materialize as many business that seem to have survived the initial shutdown have to either shutdown permanently or lay off a good percentage of their current employees. In my opinion, widespread civil unrest, over next few months, by the under-45 due to the economic consequences of this shutdown is now almost inevitable.

5] A further fly in the ointment has to do with the many ongoing standoffs by dying american empire against a host of countries from Iran, Syria and Venezuela to DPRK, Russia and China. Given that Tangerine man’s closest advisors are neocons and the idiot-in-chief seems to think that this voter-base respect “shows of strength”, it is likely that he will decide to intensify these standoffs or even start a war with Iran or DPRK. It does not take a genius to figure out that such military conflicts are unwinnable for USA and will only worsen the domestic situation, especially if the bozo does this after widespread unrest has already started in this country.

To summarize, an extra 200-300k deaths due to COVID-19 by November 3, 2020 are more likely than not, and will worsen a host of large problems and negative trends that we are are already seeing in this country. 2020 promises to even more ‘exciting’ that we anticipated..

What do you think? Comments?

Some Predictions about Downstream Effects of COVID-19 Shutdown: 1

May 20, 2020 12 comments

Since I have been recently writing a lot of posts about the COVID-19 shutdown (link 1, link 2, link 3, link 4, link 5, link 6), I thought it might be a good idea to write down some more and specific predictions about the downstream effects of COVID-19 shutdown. So here are some of them, in no particular order of importance or significance. Just so you know, most are pretty depressing.

1] As I have mentioned many times in the past, jobs in the service sector dominate the economic landscape of post-industrial western countries. Just think about how many people you know who work in a place which makes a real physical product or processes some raw material vs all those who work at some shop, mall, hotel, restaurant or something similar. But this goes even further, as the largest employers in most towns and cities in this country are either hospitals, universities or school districts. While these more “credentialed” jobs might seem to be something other than service sector jobs- they are just that and you will see why that matters later in this post.

While jobs in the service sector might seem too heterogeneous to be hit by the shutdown and its aftermath, they share some common features that make them especially vulnerable to economic disruption. Firstly, majority of business in the service sector operate on much low margin of profit compared to some other sectors. For example, there is no service sector equivalent of Apple or Microsoft with a few hundred billion dollars stashed into overseas accounts and obscure financial instruments. In other words, consumer sector businesses and employers lack the very deep pockets of corporations in other sectors.

Secondly, as a partial consequence of the first, they are heavily dependent on highly predictable levels of businesses activity and are usually (especially in west) financially over-optimized to the point that they cease to be profitable or even viable when capacity utilization levels are not close to maximum. This is a fancy way of saying that restaurants, bars, hotels, airlines, most shops in malls etc become money pits if they are not operating at close to their maximum capacity for a good part of the year. FYI- this is less of an issue in some Asian countries where the proprietors often own the premises and are not so heavily financially leveraged.

But why does this matter? Well.. because even if they can survive a couple of months of being closed down due to helicopter money from the government, they are just not viable if forced to operate at 25% or 50% capacity for even couple of months. Sure.. restaurants which do mostly takeout (pizza joints, chinese) might survive, but the vast majority will simply close it down because there is no way a sane person would operate, for more than a couple of months, under poorly thought and uncertain regulations made up by bozos without any skin in the game.

And it gets worse.. the service sector is far less monopolized than other sectors of the economy, and the majority of business in it are either small or medium sized. Given that government largess seems to preferentially benefit the large and politically connected in every sector, it is likely.. almost certain.. that many small to medium sized businesses will go bankrupt or close forever. What makes this outcome especially problematic is that those business account for the majority of jobs in that sector. In other words, we will a large rise in long-term unemployment in the very societies which have decided (about four decades ago) to abandon their economies to the “free market” aka financialism and monopolization by choice.

To add insult to injury, the vast majority of people in this sector are under 60 years of age and therefore the least likely to die (less than 1 in 1,000 chance) from COVID-19. And here is what will happen next.. tens of millions will be unable to pay their rents, mortgages, student loans, car loans etc for a prolonged time. Of course, trying to throw so many people on the street and out of their cars will have some very nasty political repercussions- more so because the majority are young. Some of you might say.. but what about unemployment insurance? Well.. that amount paid by most western countries (but especially USA) is not adequate for covering majority of their bills- more so if you live in a medium to large city.

And it gets worse…

2] The whole “social-distancing” and “quarantine” bullshit along with dubious measures such as requiring everybody to wear mask in public perpetuates the atmosphere of a perpetual crisis. I liken these measures to the security theater we saw in USA after 9/11- but with the potential to cause infinitely more economic problems. Think about it.. would you eat out at restaurants with same frequency as before if you server was wearing a face mask and every alternate table was closed off with big stupid stickers? Would you go to a pub as often? What about a movie theater? What about shops in malls pestering you to disinfect your hands every time you walked into them? Would you buy as many clothes as before if you couldn’t try them out in fitting rooms?

What about airlines? would you take a flight as often if you had to deal with all that bullshit? What about vacations? Would you stay at hotels as often even if you still had a job? And all of this security theater for what end? To maybe slow spread of a highly infectious disease with an gross population IFR of less than 0.5% and mostly problematic in people over 70 and 80? A disease that does not cause symptoms bad enough to seek any medical attention in over 90% of those infected. A disease that is functionally asymptomatic in most people it infects? A disease that the vast majority recover from without any therapeutic intervention or long-term sequelae.

The vast majority of disease control measures deployed to stop this pandemic are closer to ritualistic virtue display than good science. Consider for example, face masks. Do they benefit people under 70 to the same extent as those over 70? And given the highly infectious nature of this disease along with very low mortality in most age cohorts, isn’t it a good idea to let non-vulnerable people get the illness and recover from it. thus conferring them immunity than wait for an effective and safe vaccine- which will likely take at least a few months. Now let me ask you another question- do you think I am the only one thinking along these lines?

It is becoming increasingly harder to maintain lock-down in many parts of the world and while those regions might suffer more death at first- it will become increasingly obvious that letting people under a certain age get infected while protecting the more vulnerable minority is the least bad option. Notice I said ‘least bad option’ because there is no realistic good option in the near future. You are really choosing between options that front-load death or those which spread far wider economic misery over a much longer time-scale. Personally, I choose the first and you can be sure that the majority will eventually choose it because the second one sucks far more.

Noe let me ask you a related question- what happens to the credibility of the people and institutions who pushed the second option. As many of you know, it is my opinion that Trump’s rise of power had a lot to the non-recovery of most people from the GFC of 2008 and continued neoliberal policies under Obummer. Imagine what such a crisis and much bigger repudiation of “credentialed” people and institutions would do for the political scene in this country. You might remember that in a previous post I made the case that rise of fascist and strong-men type leaders in continental Europe during 1920s and 1930s had everything to do with high rates of unemployment among men combined with a repudiation of the elites who led them into WW1.

You think Trump is bad? Just imagine the type of right-wing ‘populists’ that will arise in response to these stupid and ruinous lock-down policies. In future posts of this series, I intend to write about the impact of these stupid policies on schools, universities, future of “left”, effects on certain parts of manufacturing sector, municipal bonds, velocity of money, effect on rates of drug use and much more. But before I finish this post, let me say something else. If you think that a crisis of this extraordinary magnitude will make corporate-owned western governments question their faith in neoliberalism- think again.

And another thing.. this crisis will destroy whatever residual faith people in many countries still have in the WHO- but that is the topic of another post.

What do you think? Comments?

COVID-19 Pandemic has Bared Intellectual Bankruptcy of LIEbrals: 2

May 16, 2020 10 comments

In the previous part, I wrote about how the especially disastrous response to COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the intellectual bankruptcy of LIEbrals. To summarize the gist of that post, the most ardent supporters of LIEbralism in west come in two main flavors- the very rich (billionaires and multi-millionaires) and their professional managerial class (PMC) lackeys. Sure.. more than a few partisan followers of these two groups do also self-identify as LIEbrals- but are largely irrelevant since they have little real power. I also promised to talk about how LIEbral mental shortcomings can explain their disastrous response to this pandemic. These include, in no particular order, the LIEbral obsession with ineffective lock-downs which have far more to maintaining the appearance of action than making a real difference. As you will, later on in this series, the shortcomings are a result of the peculiar mental gymnastics necessary to maintain belief in LIEbralism.

But before we go that far, let us talk about the most obvious but deliberately ignored question- namely, is the response to this pandemic justified by its mortality rate? If you have watched any of the fake corporate “news” outlets, you might have seen what can be best described as a ‘death clock’ which shows how many people have allegedly died of the pandemic to date. Oddly enough, those bullshit counters do not show you the age distribution of those who have been diagnosed with that infection vs those who with very adverse outcomes such as ending up in the ICU and death. But why does that matter and what does it have to with LIEbral intellectual bankruptcy? As it turns out.. a whole fucking lot! See.. much of the statistics these LIEbrals are peddling on corporate media have no basis in reality. To understand what I am talking about, let us quickly go over a few basic concepts in statistics as it applies to epidemiology.

Infectious diseases come in two flavors- one in which almost every successful infection results in a clinically evident illness and another in which most infections result in an asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic disease. Examples in the first category include diseases such as smallpox, chickenpox, measles, herpes, influenza, ebola etc. Examples in second category include diseases such as polio (especially in children under 8), meningococcal meningitis (surprisingly!) and infectious mononucleosis (another surprise) etc. Infections which cause an asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic disease do so in people who were not previously immune. A superficially similar but mechanistically different phenomena known as mild self-limiting infections occurs if you are immune to a closely related strain of the offending virus and is the basis of vaccines for rotavirus infections and genital warts. With that out of the way, let us talk about COVID-19..

Everything we know thus far about COVID-19 suggests that it clearly falls in the second category. And here is where it is important to understand which type of epidemiological data allows you to make what sort of conclusions. See.. calculating the Infection Fatality Rate (IFR) for any disease with a high percentage of asymptomatic cases requires different criteria from one in which almost every successful infection causes an symptomatic illness. In the later, we can assume that total number of cases = total number of people with specific set of symptoms. For the former, we cannot make that assumption and this has huge consequences for calculating the IFR. In the case of COVID-19, the number of positive PCR-tests from areas with high rates of positive test suggest that not enough testing has been done. So places with 30-50% positive tests such as NYC, Detroit, Northern Italy at beginning of epidemic etc are totally useless for calculating IFR.

To make a long story short, even the most basic calculation of a disease with a known high rate of asymptomatic illness requires test positive rates of below 10%, preferably less than 5%. Luckily there are certain areas of the world where the positive test rates have seldom exceeded 10% and are usually around 5%. These include the western provinces of Canada, Germany and South Korea. We also know that these jurisdictions have done a decent amount of testing since the majority of positive cases are between 20-60 years of age. Based on data from these three well-tested populations we can make a determination of the upper limit of IFR by age group. It is as follows: 0-10 = 0.0%, 10-20 = 0%, 20-30 = 0.1%, 30-40 = 0.1%, 40-50 =0.1%, 50-60 = 0.2%, 60-70 = 0.3-0.5%, 70-80 = 3-5%, 80+ = 5-20% (more in institutionalized people).

In other words, death rate for anybody between 0-50 years of age with COVID-19 is less than 0.1% or 1 in 1000. For those between 50-60, it is less than 0.2% or 1 in 500, and upto 1 in 200 for people between 70-80 who are not institutionalized. And remember.. these are the maximum rates. What we know from serological tests done around the world suggest that there are 10-50x undiagnosed and spontaneously cured infections for everyone caught in the act by PCR-based tests. Even if we take a conservative 5X multiplier, the IFR of COVID-19 now becomes less than 0.02% (1 in 5,000) for those between 0-50, 0.04% or (1 in 2,500) for those between 50-60, and a maximum of 0.1% (i in 1,000) for those between 70-80 who are not institutionalized.

In other words, we can readily identify those at greatest risk from bad outcomes based on age, general health status and certain pre-existing conditions (poorly controlled type II diabetes, serious obesity, COPD, recent treatment for cancer etc). Some of you might say.. but what about our hospitals getting overwhelmed? Well.. as it turns out the risk of hospitalization for each age group, based on PCR-test only, is as follows: 0-50 = less than 2%, 50-60 = 3-5%, 60-70 = ~ 5-10%, 70-80 = ~ 20%. If we use the serological test 5x multiplier, only those above 60 have a hospitalization rate than exceeds 1%. But what about rates of ICU use? Well.. once again using the PCR-only data, only 0.2-0.5% (1 in 500 to 1 in 200) of patients below 50 end up in the ICU- and most of them have serious pre-existing illnesses. For those between 50-70, it is about 1-2% (1 in 100 to 1 in 50)- again mostly with serious pre-existing conditions.

It is only once you get in the 70-80 group, that ICU use starts reaching 10%. And remember.. this is based on PCR-positive cases. You can divide those numbers by 5 to get an estimate based on serological tests. To put in another way, for anybody below 50, COVID-19 poses a lower risk than yearly Influenza A epidemics. For those between 50-70, the risk is about what you might expect in a bad influenza season. It is only once you reach the 80+ age cohort, especially those in very poor general health that the mortality due to COVID-19 starts looking gnarly. But, you see, there is a much easier way to protect that group and others with high-risk co-morbidities. We could provide them good protection by staffing nursing homes adequately, testing the staff who work there frequently, maybe give free face masks and hand sanitizers to everybody over 65. Perhaps we could give free restaurant and grocery delivery to those over 65.

My point is that there are many ways to protect the most vulnerable in our society without shutting down the economy, causing 30-40% unemployment rates and all its attendant socio-economic and political sequelae. But the problem, you see, is that LIEbrals are incapable of objective analysis and rational response, because they do not fit the fashionable “consensus”. It does not take a genius to figure out within next few weeks to months, it will be obvious to most people that COVID-19 is no more lethal than Influenza for those below 65. It is at that time, and with unemployment north of 30%, many will start asking whether all these interminable lock-downs, massive job losses, career-ruining turns and social distancing bullshit was worth it. I don’t think LIEberals have thought that far, because they are intellectually bankrupt. But the 30-40% of those without jobs or a future won’t stop asking them and it won’t be a pretty sight.

In the next part, I will go into why the LIEbral opposition to use of Hydroxychloroquine to treat COVID-19 was such an incredibly bad and stupid idea. Will go into why the promotion by Remdesivir by that stupid conman.. I mean Fauci.. is going to haunt them. Hope to also discuss antibody tests- specifically their specificity and sensitivity for detection antibodies to COVID-19.

What do you think? Comments?

COVID-19 Pandemic has Bared Intellectual Bankruptcy of LIEbrals: 1

May 14, 2020 6 comments

Most of you will have read my previous posts in which I predict that the disastrous response to COVID-19 pandemic will ultimately destroy residual credibility of mainstream corporate media in this country, increase political divisions, have a large effect on the 2020 elections and very likely hurt the democratic party’s prospects in that election and the one in 2022. While writing those posts, and reading them later, I noticed an interesting thread which ran through all those posts and even a prior series I had written. To make a long story short, the horrifyingly inept response of western countries (and to fair, even many east-Asian ones such as China) represent a failure of the ideology of LIEbralism and its institutions. But before we go further, let us talk about what LIEbralism is and is not. This will allow us to get a better grasp of the ideology rather than talk about it by invoking totally wrong stereotypes as done by most idiots in this country.

Firstly, LIEbralism is NOT Socialism, Communism or any combination of them. In fact, LIEbralism does not require democracy, as 18th and 19th century England was a LIEbral society without having anything close to universal suffrage. Similarly openly slave-owning societies such as pre-1865 USA were LIEbral societies. Pre-1945 France, Netherlands, Portugal with their colonies in Asia and Africa were also LIEbral societies. So how do we define LIEbralism? How can LIEbralism exist without democracy and alongside slavery and racism? LIEbralism is best understood as the successor ideology to CONservatism which in turn succeeded Feudalism. The biggest difference between CONservatism and LIEbralism has to do with the rationale given by those in power to justify their position. Under CONservatism, elites justify their existence by invoking tradition and history. Under LIEbralism, elites justify their position and ill gotten gains by claiming that they are somehow “better” and “more deserving”.

To bolster those claims, they support lots of token causes which sound nice such as individual rights, rule of law, meritocracy, religious tolerance and equality. Of course, none of this means that they actually give a shit about making the world a better place- though they frequently claim this to be their goal. A better understanding of LIEbralism can be gained by examining what it actually supports in the economic realm. LIEbrals are strong believers in limited government, “free trade” and “free markets”. This is why, for example, it is was possible for wretched parasitic and highly unequal societies such as as 18th and 19th century UK to correctly call themselves LIEbral. Similarly, the founders of USA could write a nice sounding constitution and still be perfectly OK with slavery. Countries such as Belgium could claim to be civilized and LIEbral societies while simultaneously exploiting and killing millions of people in west Africa. LIEbralism is best understood as a worse form of CONservatism, but with secular humanistic facade and tons of double-think to justify its existence.

With that out of the way, let us focus on why the response to current COVID-19 pandemic will be incredibly damaging for LIEbralism in the west- including its most current incarnation aka neo-LIEbralism. So who are most prominent supporters of LIEbralism in the west? Well.. the most prominent and ardent supporters of that ideology fall into two groups- the very rich and those in sinecured professions and jobs. Let me expand on that a bit. When I am talking about the very rich, I am talking about those who will be bailed out of any financial loss by the government. So, that includes billionaires, multi-millionaires in certain sectors, top management of most large corporations.. basically anyone who personally call up elected politicians to bail them out- directly or indirectly. Somebody like Bill Gates, your average CEO of a multinational, large shareholders in Disney etc. Notably, it does not include the vast majority of people who operate small- and medium- sized business and we shall see why that matters later on.

The other group which supports LIEbralism most vocally is the PMC (professional managerial class). This group is defined by being credentialed at “prestigious” educational institutions, inhabiting the ‘right’ social circles and being employed in secure professions or positions with a highly subjective and elitist entry barrier. Fauci is a good example of such a creature, since he has been effectively a senior bureaucrat (and not a scientist) for the past four decades. Other examples of such critters include the vast majority of upper-level management-types in corporations, universities, hospitals etc throughout this country. While they lack the same type of access to government largess at billionaires and other really rich people, they make up for that by being far more numerous than the very rich. Members of this group are defined by a carefully cultivated image of competence alongside a simultaneous and shocking lack of even minimal competence in their supposed areas of expertise.

So why do I think that the ongoing botched response to COVID-19 pandemic will expose the intellectual bankruptcy of LIEbrals to an hitherto unthinkable extent? To understand that, we have to first understand why CONservatism lost the battle to LIEbralism, Communism and Fascism a century ago. You might remember that me saying that the people making decisions about public health measures during this pandemic remind me of the horribly incompetent generals who led armies during WW1. As it turns out, the vast majority of incompetent generals, political leaders and all the others who led the world into that disastrous war were outspoken supporters of CONservatism. This was especially the case in countries which suffered tons of casualties during WW1 (France, German Empire, Austria-Hungary, Russian Empire, Ottoman Empire, Italy). Consequently, CONservatism lost the battle for public relations in those countries and the old regimes were replaced by ones who subscribed to other ideologies.

Since we are at almost a thousand words, I will continue this discussion in the next part of this series- which I hope to post within next couple of days. In it, I will show you how LIEbral mental pathologies and shortcomings can explain their disastrous response to this pandemic. You will, for example, see how the desire of LIEbrals to continue lock-downs has a lot to do with them trying to avoid looking incompetent rather than any real objective measure of efficacy. You wills also see how the mental pathologies and double-think inherent in LIEbralism can explain why its most vocal exponents avoid talking about the need to temporarily cancel rent collections of all types. I will also show you how their unwillingness to honestly and objectively assess risks has a lot to do with their real-life incompetence. And we also talk about the various strains of secular apocalypticism which pervades the mind of LIEbrals under late-capitalism in the declining west.

What do you think? Comments?

Economic Fallout of COVID-19 Shutdown will Dominate 2020 Elections

May 3, 2020 17 comments

As many of you know, I have consistently held the opinion that social and economic fallout from overreaction to this pandemic is going to be far worse and consequential than the final death toll. In case you need a refresher, here are a few links (link 1, link 2, link 3). While yet another post about this general topic might seem tediously repetitive, it is my opinion that even supposedly non-corporate media-types are too fixated on the deaths of 81-year-olds in nursing homes to notice the absolutely unprecedented socio-economic damage and long-term consequences of this shutdown on many western countries. And yes.. the negative effects of this shutdown will be far bigger in western countries and wannabes such as India than their East-Asian counterparts.

1] Many serological surveys in areas with high rates of deaths due to COVID-19 have consistently shown that the number of people who were infected by this virus (and developed antibodies to it) but did not develop symptoms sufficient to seek medical attention is about 10-50 times higher than number who tested positive for the virus with PCR-based tests. Note that PCR-based tests can only detect active infection (in all patients) or post-infectious viral shedding (in a small minority). In other words, asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic infections account for the vast majority of cases. To make a long story short, serological surveys from even the worst hit areas with an older population suggest an Infection Fatality Rate (IFR) of less than 0.5%.

Even in areas of northern Italy that are full of old retirees and nursing homes, the chance of an infection leading to death is less than 1 in 200. Now I am sure that some of you are going to tell me that the present generation of serological tests have high error rates etc. And this is in spite of most of you never having performed a serological test let alone have an understanding of the factors which lead to false positive and false negative results in those tests. Once again, to make a long story short, the tests used in most of these surveys were independently validated by the researchers who used them and almost every single one had false positive rates below 1%. To put it another way, while some of the tests could be better, the vast majority were good enough to detect rates of seropositivity over 2%.

In many heavily affected areas, these surveys show rates of seropositivity in the 10-15%, 20-30% and even 50% range. Moreover, the geographical distribution of seropositivity rates in each survey tracks the death rate in those areas. But what does a discussion of seropostivity trends and extrapolated IFR contribute to a post on how the socio-economic fallout of this pandemic will dominate 2020 elections. Well.. let me spell it out for you. An infection, however contagious, with an IFR of less than 0.5% and most likely closer to 0.2% is not much worse than a bad strain of Influenza. Since the end of WW2, we had at least 4-5 Influenza pandemics with similar or slightly higher IFR rates. While some of these pandemics necessitated shutting down schools etc for a few weeks etc, none resulted in a generalized economic shutdown of the kind we are seeing today.

2] Given that the 2020 elections are in early November, which is about six months from today, you can be certain that general experience and many more serological surveys with even better tests will reveal an IFR of around 0.2% (1 death per 500 infections). Since this is no worse for most of the population (below 80 years) than an especially bad Influenza season, people who have been ruined and impoverished through the loss of their jobs and businesses will start asking some very inconvenient questions about the “official response” to this pandemic. Was a general shutdown really necessary? Given the mild presentation and low infectivity of this disease in children and young adults, was the closure of schools and universities really necessary?

Weren’t highly targeted actions meant to protect the most vulnerable (65+ and chronically ill) the better option- especially since we knew, even early on, that the disease caused the vast majority of fatalities in those groups? Given that this virus can easily spread in aerosols beyond 2 meters, how was this whole “social distancing” bullshit any different from post 9/11 security theater in airports. How was the decision to close “non-essential” retail and restaurants a good idea, when studies show that most transmissions occur in private residences, nursing homes, hospitals, cruise ships, aircraft carriers and other unusually crowded and enclosed areas. And the questions will keep get more problematic..

Why did so many elected officials not have a well-thought out (if somewhat unemotional) plan to reopen the economy? Even today, politicians from states such as NY and CA to TX and GA do not have a coherent and well-thought of plan for definitively reopening the economy- the key word being ‘definitively’. Do these elected dumbfucks think that pausing the economy for 12-18 months is possible? This question becomes especially important when it becomes obvious that the IFR is about 0.2% and there is a very clear way to identify those with the worst outcomes? Do these dummies have a plan to successfully develop, mass produce and mass vaccinate hundreds of millions? Given how badly they have bumbled thus far, why would you believe them? Why would you trust people whose poor decision-making skills have already ruined your life?

3] Talking about those who have suffered due to incompetent leaders making poor decisions.. how can all these unemployed people afford to keep on paying rents, mortgages, car payments, health insurance payments, university fees etc. While it might be tempting to point out that the Trump administration has been especially incompetent and stingy at delivering cash payments to average people- even countries which have done a much better job have not been able to make average people whole again. Small business in this country face a similar problem, because most of the trillions in government aid has gone to large companies and multinationals. Long story short, even if the economy all over this country was opened tomorrow, there would tens of millions who would be unemployed and many millions whose small businesses had failed for no fault of theirs. Do we have the political will to implement a decent social safety net?

Democrats, such as that corrupt dago from NY and that neoliberal from CA, are now positioning themselves as the new ‘resistance’ against Trump. They keep on mumbling random bullshit, which they don’t understand, such as “science based plans” for reopening economy etc. Are you fucking serious? Have these democrat dumbfucks even performed a back-of-envelope reckoning of the number (and percentage) of newly unemployed people and failed business in their state? Are they stupid enough to imagine that people won’t blame them for destroying their livelihoods? Then again the democratic party was stupid enough to nominate HRC in 2016 and that dementia patient.. Joe Biden.. in 2020. So, I guess it is possible. Also note how establishment democrats such as that hag with bad plastic surgery.. Nancy Pelosi.. and her compatriots have pretty much disappeared from the public arena. It doesn’t help that these losers haven’t come up with anything beyond a few “means tested” and very inadequate programs to help those affected by biggest financial crisis since the great depression.

Yes.. you read that right. The COVID-19 pandemic, specifically its aftermath, is the biggest financial crisis since the great depression of the early 1930s. The GFC of 2008 now looks almost quaint compared to how bad things have gotten so far, and we are nowhere near the end of this one. And you something else.. when such a large scale disaster or crisis strikes any country, affected people always look for scapegoats. The last time we had an election with over 20% unemployment in this country was in 1932, about 88 years ago- and we know how that went. Heck, even a now minor one like the one in 2008 made many people vote for a black guy who sounded good on TV than anyone remotely connected to that mess. Some partisan democrats (MikeCA) might think that this crisis will translate into a victory for his cult. I wouldn’t be so sure.. because in this crisis, democrats have visibly fucked up at least as much (if not more) than their republican counterparts- and it shows.

Establishment types in the democratic party seem to believe (almost as a matter of faith) that Trump’s fuckups will somehow magically hand them the presidency in 2020. However, as I mentioned in the previous paragraphs, there is more than enough blame to go around, and this will be very apparent by early November. At that time, many tens of millions of impoverished and angry people will want to find and lynch a scapegoat.. any scapegoat. Chances are that Trump’s rhetoric of “opening the economy for business” might sound far better to them than “lets keep it all closed (or close to that) until some undefined date in the future”. This outcome is especially likely once it becomes obvious that the IFR is somewhere between 0.2-0.5% and even lower (0.1%) in working-age population. In any case, the economic fallout of the response to this pandemic is going to totally overshadow the number of deaths from it by November 2020.

What do you think? Comments?

Aftermath of COVID-19 Shutdown will Deepen Political Divisions in USA

May 1, 2020 12 comments

Here is another prediction I am willing to make.. ready? I predict that the COVID-19 shutdown, specifically its aftermath, will greatly deepen existing political divisions in this country. To better understand what I am talking about, and get an appreciation of how far things have deteriorated, let me take you back to November 1984. In the presidential election of that year, Ronald Reagan won the electoral college in 49/50 states and got almost 60% of the popular vote. Interestingly, despite such a landslide victory for the republican candidate in presidential elections, democrats held their majority in the house and even gained a few states in the senate. If I told anyone who is not old enough to have remembered this particular election, perhaps someone born after the late 1970s, they would find this particular result to be highly implausible. But why was this the case in 1984 and more importantly.. what changed between 1984 and 2020 (or even 2000).

To understand what changed between 1984 and 2000, we have talk about the peculiar political environment prevalent in this country between 1945 and the late 1980s. To make a long story short, during those four decades there wasn’t much difference in the public and private positions of members from both parties. You could find tons of CONservative racist democrat legislators (even after 1968) as easily as you could find socially LIEbral republicans who were not especially racist. Even when attitudes changed (such as embrace of neoliberalism after late 1970s) there wasn’t much light between the positions of democrats and republicans. This is why republican presidents such as Eisenhower, Nixon and Reagan got along well with democratic legislators and JFK and LBJ got along pretty OK with republicans. When some living fossils such as Pelosi and McConnell bemoan the lack of “bipartisanship”, they are referring to this era.

Of course, the flip side of this bonhomie was that both political parties developed a knack for repeatedly screwing over the majority of their constituents, to benefit their donors, under the guise of bipartisanship. To make matters more interesting, the realignment of late-1960s also resulted in both parties gradually cultivating different voter bases. There is a reason why the republican party is today associated with the white working class in non-coastal states, while democrats are the party of affluent white coastal professional types + inner city minorities. 1984 was pretty much the last major national-level election where the majority of voters still saw themselves as part of a larger group. We can argue about which party abandoned which group or vice-versa but it is clear that by the late 1980s, the emerging divisions between political parties (and their bases) were ideological rather than socio-economic. But what does any of this have to do with future political divisions and how is any of this related to aftermath of this pandemic?

Sometime ago, I tweeted about something which can be summarized as follows: Trump’s electoral success was largely due to his realization that american politics was about providing empty reality-show theater, rather than competent governing. In other words, he figured out that most people had lost all hope in the system actually working for them and were only in for the stupid drama and dumb pet peeves indulged in by both parties since early 1980s. Since that time, politicians from both parties have been busy pushing for ever increasing levels of job outsourcing, de-industrialization while simultaneously defunding social safety nets, destroying job security, increasing costs of higher education, making housing less affordable and much more. Electoral turnout in this country is so low because people correctly assume that elections have no effect on public policies. The only way either party can get anyone to vote for them, nowadays, involves empty posturing on meaningless or minor cultural issues such as gun control, abortion or vague and equally meaningless ideological position such as ‘diversity’, ‘patriotism’ or support/disbelief in one set of charlatans.. I mean.. “experts” vs another.

Basically, this country and most other western countries are run by two (or three) “teams” of D-grade actors on the payroll of same corporate masters. This might sound cynical but just have a look at how poorly the political systems of most western countries have dealt with major systemic crisis for the past 2-3 decades. Now.. it is much easier to go slowly go downhill if you you start at a higher point than others. But ultimately the course of events throws up challenges which expose the decrepitude and incompetence of the underlying system. In the past two decades, we had at least three major events (9/11 and its aftermath, GFC 2008 and its aftermath and COVID-19 and its aftermath) that have exposed the allegedly competent western systems for their reality. But what does any of this have to with ever deepening political divisions in this country?

Well.. it comes down to how politics in this country has evolved. Long story short, it has become a meaningless team sport played by an increasingly geriatric and dumb group of elected leaders posturing against each other to win applause from their own crowd of partisan morons (such as Mike CA) rather than come up with even a half-decent solution to a problem- especially if such a solution angered their corporate masters. In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, but more so in its aftermath, this has taken the following forms..

1] Neither political party in this country has a clear exit plan from the lockdown and its massive associated job loss, some of which will be long-term. On one side, the ‘scientism’ worshiping democratic morons are working themselves up into a frenzy every time somebody suggests that the broader economy has to reopened soon or the disease is nowhere as lethal as they want to believe. On the other side, republican idiots believe that simply opening the economy after such an unprecedented shutdown will miraculously restore the economy to its previous (and let us be honest.. pretty shitty) state- because of “free market” and “american capitalism” pixie dust. But more importantly, neither party has demonstrated any clue as to how to reopen the economy and keep it open while simultaneously fixing the very real human misery (a good part of it medium term or longer) caused by this shutdown.

And here is why this will matter. In Chapter 17 of the ‘Prince’ by Niccolò Machiavelli, he wrote “Men sooner forget the death of their father than the loss of their patrimony”. Let me explain that in terms of the COVID-19 crisis.. in the end, most people care far more about the effect of this pandemic and ensuing shutdown on their own financial status than the possible demise of their 81-year old parents or grandparents who have been warehoused in some nursing home. As many of you might have figured out by now, the aftermath of this crisis will cause a large sustained increase in unemployment in sectors of economy that have a lot young people- such as tourism, hospitality, retail and many part-time/ seasonal gigs (concerts, festivals etc). This will occur even if the lock down is lifted today. To make matters worse, there will be an unprecedented number of small-business bankruptcies which, once again will, occur even if the lockdown is lifted today. The point I am trying to make is you will sustained unemployment rates of over 30% in people under 40 and millions of small business owners whose whole sense of self-worth and livelihood will be destroyed for no fault of theirs. As you will soon see, this has an interesting historical precedent- specifically continental Europe in the decade after end of WW1.

Have you ever wondered why so many fascists came to power in continental Europe between 1920 and 1932? Well.. in each case (and this include countries in Eastern Europe) there was a massive increase in unemployment among young men, old and sometimes new political systems that were unable to adapt to new reality, tons of small-business owners who has experienced business failure due to finance-based consolidation and.. oh.. a party that appealed to these disaffected groups- often led by some charismatic individual. Italy had Mussolini, Poland had Pilsudski, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania had their own dictators, Hungary had Gyula Gombos, Austria had Engelbert Dollfuss, USSR had Stalin, Spain had Franco and Germany had Hitler. While each took a slightly different manner to power, the overall circumstances and forces which let to those outcomes were remarkably similar.

2] And this brings us to why the existing political system or establishment in those nations was unable to stop the rise of all these strongmen to power. The simple answer is.. the pre-existing political class of those countries was largely insulated and disconnected from the dire struggles of their fellow citizens during that era. They simply could not care, did not want to care and thought they could get away with it while still retaining their old positions in those societies. Today we are seeing something similar, among members of both political parties- but especially democrats. You might have many instances of members of the sinecured LIEbral classes lecturing to and scolding white working class and small-business types who are desperately looking for any sign of the economy reopening and things getting back to normal. These LIEbral shitheads, holed up in their nice suburban houses and condos while being paid via various secure streams of money for their useless jobs have the temerity to confidently tell everyone else that the economy is not going to reopen for 12-18 months while vehemently denying every bit of information that points to a different outcome truly deserve the Guillotine.

But the underlying problem is worse.. if that is possible. These LIEBrals (mostly of the democratic party persuasion) spend time fantasizing about the imminent death of working class people just because they want to get a regular paycheck. Did I mention that USA has a deliberately shitty social safety net and that the number of people without their regular income is closer to 50-60 million, instead of the 30-something million official number) right now. But wait, it gets better. These dumfucks, who decry the desire of working class and petit bourgeois for a return to ‘normal’ have no plan of helping them through measures such as cancelling rent, mortgages, auto and health insurance payments.. let alone give them some sort of universal basic income until the economy returns to some level of normalcy. AS I mentioned in one of my previous post, it would not be surprising if these LIEbral attitudes led to an electoral defeat for the democratic party in 2020 inspite of running against orange man and a bunch of assholes.

I will wrap up this post by giving you one more example of how clueless and disconnected these LIEbals are from reality. You might have heard about how some meat-packing plants have been temporarily closed because of local outbreaks of COVID-19. While I do not support the way these plants are run, especially the working conditions within them, I understand why keeping them open and running at this time is necessary to prevent food shortages, more panic buying and social disorder. But what do LIEbrals think? Well.. these retards are busy lecturing to poor people about their “excessive” meat consumption. I even saw a few urging people to adopt a vegan diet! Yes.. even in the midst of such a massive crisis, rich LIEbrals are busy performing virtue displays. If you still believe that political divisions in this country wont intensify in aftermath of COVID-19 crisis, I have a bridge in London to sell you.

What do you think? Comments?

A Very Intriguing Theory about Possible Artificial Origins of COVID-19

April 26, 2020 28 comments

A couple of days ago, I came across a rather long medium post about how COVID-19 aka SARS-2 might have been created in a laboratory rather than through natural selection. While I considered posting a link to it yesterday, it was prudent to do some due diligence first. See.. part of my job and training involves using software tools similar to the ones used in that post, so I decided to first independently verify a few of the main sequence alignments, structural models of proteins and publications etc before promoting it. Well.. while I have not re-verified every single point of data in this post, whatever I have done to date suggests that its main conclusions are correct.

Here is the post: SARS-CoV-2 Genealogy Through the Lens of Gain-of-Function Research

Since this post is very long and technical, let me summarize it- very briefly. The author starts by pointing out the unusual coincidence of an absolutely minimal furin cleavage site evolving at the junction of S1 and S2 subunits of the Spike protein in SARS-2. This is suspicious since gain of function by natural mutations usually tend to first create less than optimal sequences for new functions before being optimized via evolutionary selection. But this virus is too new for such an optimization to have occurred naturally- at least, that is not the most likely explanation.

He then points out that the two viruses which SARS-2 is most similar to ones discovered a few years ago (2014 and 2017/2019) in two different parts of the China. The Bat virus (RaTG13 with 96% similarity) came from a faecal swab from bat droppings from some cave in a part of China that is over 1,000 km from Wuhan, while the Pangolin virus (MP789 – 70% something similarity) came from autopsy of a bunch of smuggled sick pangolins from Malaysia in 2017. He then compares their sequences and while the Bat virus (RaTG13) is very similar to SARS-2, the Pangolin Virus has considerable dissimilarity with SARS-2 in first quarter of sequence for Spike Protein. Homologous recombination in a host infected with two viruses of same “species” without a segmented genome requires them to be very similar to each other.

More curiously, the new furin cleavage site in SARS-2 is a “gain of function” mutation, which means that it allows the virus to be more pathogenic (more infectious or capable of infecting a wider range of hosts/ cell types). It should be noted that more than a couple western research groups tried to insert similar enzymatic cleavage sites into other Coronaviruses such as SARS, MERS etc in the past. So it is not unreasonable to assume that the Chinese group in that Wuhan lab might have also tried it. In fact, we know that multiple research groups in Beijing tried that same gain of function mutation in a chicken Coronavirus. Oh ya.. and they also showed that putting that site into the S protein of another bat Coronavirus allowed it to infect human cells.

He then goes on talk about the whole field of Coronavirus research including many publications by a prominent researcher named Ralph Baric, who pioneered many of these techniques used for creating “gain of function” mutations in Coronaviruses. And yes.. he collaborated with the head of that Wuhan Coronavirus lab over the years, so it is makes perfect sense that you would see some his techniques are used in the later’s lab. Long story short, they looked at many “gain of function” mutations which made the resultant viruses deadlier. Also, Baric’s work seems to be have been “inspirational” to the lab in Wuhan since they kept trying out his ideas on Bat Coronaviruses.

The author then goes on to point out that accidental “leaks” of viruses from secure labs are far more common than most people realize, and are almost always due to poorly or hastily trained staff. So the idea that a poorly trained or careless researcher getting infected, but not developing serious illness and going on to spread it outside the lab is far more plausible than many would like to believe. He also points out the restriction enzyme map of nucleotide sequence, necessary for many types of genetic engineering, is rather similar for SARS-2, Bat and Pangolin coronvirus. And there are some other unusual similarities between the nucleotide codons used for certain amino acids- The explanation for which is a bit technical and complicated.

To summarize, the likelihood that this virus was created (along with others) to study effect of various “gain of function” mutations in Coronaviruses but then accidentally released into community through the actions of a poorly trained junior researcher is much more likely than it evolving naturally from a bat Coronavirus found in some remote part of the Yunnan province in China somehow magically recombining with a Pangolin Coronavirus from Malaysia and gaining just the right fragment of the Spike protein from it.

What do you think? Comments?