March 30, 2020

COVID-19 different graphs show different things

In Canada, the government has been providing daily updates and two graphs show different parts of the COVID-19 story.  The first graph shows the total infections curve.  

This shows that the infections curve may be peaking.   This is the curve that they talk about flattening.  To be clear this number will only go up unless one of three situations arise:
  1. Infected people go into remission (i.e. are 'cured')
  2. Infected people die
  3. No new infections occur

This is different from the curve below, which shows even more positive results for the number of newly reported cases by day:

The daily new infections appear to have already peaked in Canada. This shows that newly reported infections have dropped off considerably.  That means either social distancing is working, Canadians are not testing enough, or are reporting less due to social distancing.  The latter two scenarios seem less likely, although there may be a combination of effects in play.

In any case, my main point is that the same data can be interpreted in different ways.  That's important to keep in mind.

March 27, 2020

Duplicity for me but not for thee

Joe Biden's on-going #MeToo issues get the duplicitous yawn from the mainstream media:

Friday Musical Interlude - Sirius

Alan Parsons Project's epic sounding instrumental Sirius.

March 26, 2020

This is not a conspiracy theory, it's proof

You get 1 shot, we get 50.
A lot of people both left and right have been claiming that the coronavirus is a trial run for martial law.  That's crazy, it's an existential threat and proper precautions need to be taken.  What the coronavirus actually is, is proof that decentralization works better than centralization.  It's proof of the argument against totalitarianism.  And the proof has nothing to do directly with China.

With Democrats arguing that president Trump needs to take radical action, evidence suggests otherwise.  Take centralization to the point of absurdity - one world government.  If there was a centrally planned response, in that scenario the world would have to pray that the response was the correct one.  Otherwise the fatalities and other impacts could be catastrophic to an epic degree.  Imagine that the world was run by Italy instead of South Korea.  The infection rate and fatalities would be far worse.

Years ago I was arguing what I called the 50 Experiments Theorem.  50 states trying 50 different approaches to combat the virus is better than the federal government mandating one approach for all - one approach that could very well be quite a bad approach. The idea is that the more things that are tried the more chances you have one of your experiments being successful, and everyone else having the opportunity to copy the successful approach and learn from the failed approaches too.   More broadly there are over 170 countries, so that offers a lot more experiments.  Those who are in favor of globalism and opposed to decentralization argue for political homogeneity (whether purposefully or accidentally).  They argue for one experiment in times of crisis.  That is an extremely high risk approach.  

Five years from now, scientist and planners will have learned what countries reacted smartly and which ones did not.  Those learnings can be applied more universally to the inevitable next outbreak.  That's a good thing, isn't it?

Decentralization means more chances to solve problems because it means more people trying more things and offers a higher chance of a successful result.  By extension, that is proof that capitalism will always work better than socialism to solve society's problems.  It always allows for more people trying more things because they have the freedom to try.  

March 21, 2020

Some good news on the coronavirus curve flattening and a possible solution

First it looks like Washington state is seeing the infection curve possibly peaking:

I firmly believe there's perhaps as few of 30 days left of intensity in the disease impacts before things head back to normal. Secondly it looks like there's some reason to be optimistic about treating the disease.

Saturday Learning Series - Ayn Rand on socialism's motivation

Ayn Rand knew socialism and had real reason to reject it.  She explains why people support socialism and reject capitalism through lies.  This is even more pertinent today than when she explained this.

March 20, 2020

Longer term implications of the Wuhan coronavirus

I don't believe this will have any long-lasting implications mentioned in the video below in and of itself but it could impact immigration in the United States for some time to come IF it impacts attitudes.  And it might.

However, the virus does point out that president Trump was right about immigration and right about China in more ways than one.

It's a Chinese virus media people. Why don't you get it?

I have nothing to add to this.  Journalists are so lost in their Trump hatred they cannot face facts.

March 18, 2020

Stimulus fiscal profligate spending instead of planning.

Seems about accurate
What a difference 2 weeks makes.On March 2nd the Dow Jones (DJIA) was at 26,703.  Right now it's at 19,856 as I write.  On March 1st Bernie Sanders was a 53.2% favorite in the RCP Betting Odds tracking to win the Democratic nomination for president while Joe Biden was at 33% and Bloomberg was at 15%.  Now Biden is over 90%, Hillary Clinton is in 2nd place at 6%, and Sanders is barely above Bloomberg's 0% at 3.7%.  Only 2 weeks ago the United States wasn't on lock down and it was not panicked, not closed for business and the government had a lot less debt than it will have after today's more than $1 trillion stimulus bill passes.  

I get the situation, Republicans don't want to be seen as doing nothing and unresponsive.  So too it is true for president Trump.  Democrats have seized the opportunity to stuff irrelevant things into the bill.  And it's going to pass.

Money for nothing and your handouts for free.  As a fiscal conservative, I hated the bailout in 2008/2009 and I'm not a fan of this one either. I get that there is a need to do something because a national lock down will have negative financial impacts.  It already has.  But have we learned nothing from 2008?  We did not have a plan for this?  No contingencies?  I am not bashing president Trump here, he's had plenty of B.S. on his plate to deal with thanks to the Democrats over the past 3+ years.

No, I'm talking about the bureaucracy that employs hundreds of thousands of people and yet had no plan, by department for various types of national emergencies.  Ridiculous does not cover it.  Throwing money at the problem is a mere political expediency, not a solution.  Where is the NTSB plan? Homeland Security plan? DoD plan? Department of Commerce plan?  You get the idea.  These departments have not shown anything productive to address the situation.  Even the CDC seems to have been mostly reactionary.  

Twice in just over a decade the United States has been caught flat footed and unprepared.  It does not auger well for war planning or a terror attack. Prevention is only half the battle, preparedness and contingency planning are important too. Let's hope there is some learning this time and the next disaster is handled far better than this one and the last one.  

Social Distancing is really, really stupid

Let me be clear,  I think like Survivorman Les Stroud, that following guidelines on behavioral changes are a good idea. Cover your moth with the crook of your elbow when you cough.  Wash your hands.  Do not congregate and avoid interacting.  All good ideas.  But social distancing is a stupid term.  It sounds like it was fabricated by the same people who fabricated the term social justice.

Anything with the word social in front of it is virtue signalling.  Justice is justice, social as an adjective is meaningless.  Distancing is distancing, social as an adjective adds no value to the term. Social responsibility is just responsibility.  Notice there's no term "social common sense"? That's because the people coming up with these terms are SJW types and they are co-opting the language to both feel important and innovative and to hijack the national conversation to serve their own ends.

What's ironic is that the term was probably invented by a millennial type who is part of a generation that through the likes of Facebook and Twitter have been inadvertently socially distancing themselves for a decade already.

I for one refuse to use the term. 

Canada's Coronavirus infection curve has peaked

Similar to U.S. data from yesterday, Canada's infection curve is already looking past-peak.  This is important because Canada and the U.S. are following similar containment strategies and the U.S. was quicker to act, so I would expect to see a similar path in the U.S. in the coming days - provided people follow instructions in the U.S. as they are so wont to do in Canada.

The data below are from the Government of Canada website.

March 17, 2020

Covid-19 (Wuhan virus) infection curve in America

I downloaded the data from Visual Capitalist and mapped out the infection curve for daily number of infections since the 100th case was reported.  It looks like we've already reached the peak of the curve.  If that's the case the panic has been massively overblown.

March 16, 2020

The perversion of exporting liberty

Yesterday I shared, without comment, a Bill Whittle video about the jobs boom going on in Dallas.  But it got me thinking.  If you go back to the Cold War, there was on both sides of the political aisle (for the most part) a fundamental belief that America's core values, America's system, and America's approach to things was the best approach ever conceived by man to providing liberty and prosperity for people.  And it was (and still is).  But accompanying that belief was also an approach to sharing that method with the rest of the world.  The idea was that others would see or be shown the American way and try to emulate it for themselves.  There was an idea that we did not need to force freedom on other countries just offer them a taste of it and they would want it because underlying human nature was the desire for independence, liberty and prosperity.

I recall as a youth people arguing that we The West should be flooding the Soviet Union with Pepsi, or Coca Cola and other products that they could not possibly produce within their communist system and they would yearn for it rather than lining up for hours to buy a pair of shoes that were not the right size because it was all they could get.

When the United States won the Cold War with the Soviet Union, it came about because of combination of factors.  Of course president Reagan's effort to spend them into submission militarily was the single biggest factor but it did not occur in isolation.  The U.S.S.R. in trying to match that spending was using so much of it's GDP on military spending that things only got worse for its citizens.  But the combination of Perestroika and Glasnost that allowed citizens to see a little more what was going on in the West, what was available, proved to the people that they were being oppressed.  They wanted the freedoms and abundances that capitalism and liberty offered.  

The exporting of ideals and liberty that Americans had, and truthfully could be had elsewhere if the people were willing, helped win the Cold War.

But somewhere along the way a perversion of that idea occurred, and it has been twisted into a horrible reality. Take a look at today's Left in America who argue that everyone wanting freedom should be granted unfettered access to America and granted all of her protections reserved for the weakest and most vulnerable among her citizens.  The notion that we should empower those from other countries to copy the American experiment for themselves into the notion that they can't do it and we should absorb them all into America.

How sinister.  Firstly it is a politi-centric or maybe ethnocentric notion that only Americans can do what Americans have done.  That is to suggest that no other nation has people who can be industrious, inventive, creative, productive or even open to freedom.  That is patently absurd.  Maybe not every nation can do it to the same extent as America because there are other factors like population, demographics and natural resources that have an impact.  But improvement is possible everywhere and using a proven method - the American experiment way - is the surest approach known to achieve that.

Secondly, the notion of exporting the American method of prosperity disappearing in favor of importing all of the downtrodden is a sure fire way to snuff out the flame that is the American way.  Insolvency is the opposite of prosperity and supporting unfettered immigration is a sure fire way to ensure insolvency.  So those behind that approach are either gullible, or socialists wanting to end the American experiment almost as if it were some sort of revenge last strike of the Soviet Union.

The contrast of the two approaches is stark.  While exporting liberty and capitalism has no guarantee of success, at least not quickly, the inverse, importing the impoverished does come with a guarantee - of complete and total failure for America, and therefore those it's proponents are claiming to want to help.

Why the perversion happened is no longer of consequence except in that it needs to be reversed and in order to reverse it completely, we need to understand why and how the perversion of the idea of exporting the American approach to liberty and prosperity occurred.  This coming weekend my Saturday Learning Series will feature some thoughts on the motivations of the socialist mindset by Ayn Rand with respect to the socialist thinkers (as opposed to those fooled by the socialist lies).  It's not the whole answer, but it is a truly good jumping off point to try to understand how to combat the lies that Americans have been taught about their system, and themselves.

March 14, 2020

Saturday Learning Series - Time

From a philosophical perspective, with respect to the physics.

Making roller coasters out of speed bumps

 On a week when the Dow Jones had it's biggest single day crash percentage-wise, since Black Monday in 1987, and followed by the biggest single day gain in history panic seemed to permeate the collective conscious of North Americans.  At my local Walmart and other stores I visited for my weekly grocery shopping I witnessed it personally.  No bottled water was left on the shelves. Toilet paper was gone.  Who knew toilet paper was critical for the apocalypse?  Canned goods were in short supply.  The meat department was running on empty, except for the ham.  The stores were crowded.  Parking lots were crazy.  This all on the same day that president Trump declared a national state of emergency and the stock market was in the midst of its rebound day.

People panic.  There is a herd mentality to it.  This is definitely something of which people can take advantage if they are less than scrupulous.  My wife saw on Amazon someone selling 6 rolls of toilet paper for $36.  What's interesting is that if you separate yourself from it you are not immune to it.  We happen to be low on toilet paper right now, so we end up swept up in the panic (to an extent) and thereby adding to the chaos (to an extent).

The danger from the coronavirus while real, is clearly over-projected as a crisis.  It is not - it is a problem.   Problems can be managed, crisis need to be avoided or escaped.  People are making roller coasters out of speed bumps. This will pass.  Your 401K, like mine, has probably suffered a material setback, but it is of a transient nature.  The value will return.  You have probably lost 3 to 12 months of growth from this, just like most everyone else. 

Be this guy.
This is no time to panic.  In fact there is never a time to panic. Panic rarely helps, in fact probably never.  If you have extra cash, now would be the time to invest it.  I was saying that to my friends after the 2000 point DJIA loss, before the bounce back yesterday.  Calm and rational assessment leads to smarter decisions.

As of yesterday I believe there were 40 coronavirus deaths in total.  In the U.S. about 10 people a day die from drowning.  Since January 1st that would be 740 deaths.  But I bet I can still go buy a life jacket.  Why?  Because there is no panic over it, it is not a splashy headline.  More importantly I suppose is that my chances of drowning in a boating accident are about zero right now.  That's probably true for you too.  Look beyond the headlines.  Think.  Be rational.  Freaking out is beyond foolish, it's dangerous. 

This will pass.  It will not lead to a recession if people do not panic, and even if it does lead to a downturn it won't last more than one quarter.  President Trump will not suffer electorally from this, and if he is shrewd, he will even benefit from it. I suspect he will.  He is thinking and being rational.  That will never be acknowledged by the mainstream media but if you think about it, their reaction not only doesn't affect him negatively, it's actually a benefit.

March 11, 2020

Biden won Michigan?


The focus of the video above is on Second Amendment rights, but Biden talking to an auto worker that way is the 'shocking' thing to me. I put shocking in quotes because he has been absolutely atrocious on the campaign trail this election cycle. It's not the first time he's done or said something foolish. This is the first cycle he's won any primary though. It's almost as if Democrat voters, so anxious to beat president Trump, are settling for someone they know can't win just because everyone else was worse.

March 10, 2020

It's every day now

Every day that Biden messes up sure, but also every day that Digital Media serves the Democrats.

Via Mark Dice:

March 9, 2020

Biden Blooper Reel

This gaffe-tastic man is trying to be president.

Today Twitter claimed a video that clearly shows Biden stumbling over his re-election quote twice, before recovering as deceptive.  But if you watch the video below, he clearly does stumble and err, before recovering.  Watch at 10 minutes for yourself.

If that doesn't scare you out of reconsidering a vote for Biden, watch the rest of the speech. The policies themselves are asinine.

March 7, 2020

Saturday Learning Series - Geography (Montenegro)

To be perfectly honest before this video I knew pretty much nothing about Montenegro, other than it's location and it's existence.

And some info about the flag:

March 6, 2020

Proof media liberals are uneducated

Basic math people, come on!  I now get why media liberals support impossible Medicare for all proposals - basic math escapes them.

This is as dangerous as it is sad and pathetic.

Friday Musical Interlude - Creep cover

Postmodern Jukebox featuring Haley Reinhart on vocals covering Radiohead's song Creep.

Elizabeth Warren needs time to think?

Either she doesn't or can't think ahead or else she is being political, in which case her response about needing time to think is a lie:

March 5, 2020

What good is free speech if no one can hear you?

The question, while rhetorical, is directed at the likes of Twitter, Facebook and of course YouTube:

When Chuck Schumer threatens harm to SCOTUS Justices

Chuck Schumer, ever the slimeball, threatened two Supreme Court Justices and then had a staffer try to claim he was threatening Senate Republicans at the election.  Yeah, nobody buys it, not even Schumer himself who later today tried to walk it back.

Republican Kevin McCarthy reacted:

Schumer attempting to either incite violence or rile up the Democrat base by pretending to incite violence, is vile. It's not the first time he's taken the senate onto the low road.  No matter what senate Republicans try to do, it won't be the last.  Only voters can take care of that.

Warren out, finally.

I guess it's time for that Tulsi Gabbard surge...

This may have come too late for Sanders but he could still benefit from her withdrawal.  It sure looks like the Democrat party has lined up things for Joe Biden to ensure a nomination for him.

March 4, 2020

Market rebounding. It's not because of Joe Biden

The reason the DJIA is rebounding again (up 500 as I write) this morning in the face of coronavirus fears, is not because anyone is enthused about Biden winning, it's about Sanders losing.

The markets are scared of Sanders, and rightfully so.  He's not a Democratic Socialist.  He's a Socialist and pretty much a communist if you look closely enough.  He's a destroyer of capitalism.  No one is thrilled about Joe Biden winning and looking like the nominee this morning, except perhaps president Trump.

Bloomberg drops out

So Bloomberg has dropped out and endorsed Biden.  Clearly he was the Democrat Establishment Plan B, and appears to be no longer necessary.   More strikingly, he appears to know it.  It's odd given his speech last night seemingly geared to carrying on.  So he was never a wildcard, he was always a Plan B.  It proves that the Democrat Establishment wants to court socialist voters but doesn't want them to share in the power.

They view socialists, youth, Hispanics, labor, African Americans, women all as useful idiots that they can trick into supporting them so they can continue to consolidate their power.  They have no interest in maintaining America.  They are entirely, ENTIRELY, about self-interest.  American workers, their supporters, indeed all Americans be damned.  Cheap labor in China or Vietnam or through illegal immigrants all serve their desire for profit.  It is a distorted version of capitalism that ultimately will kill itself as they buy their way to power with free handouts and eventually socialism wins not just in America, but everywhere.  They feed the beast to serve their own interests and they end up being eaten by the beast they have nurtured.

But I digress.

It seems like, as I mentioned earlier, that Bloomberg dropping out serves Biden quite well.  Don't expect Warren to drop out if it is indeed an Establishment play to go all in on Biden.  They want Sanders out, she siphons voters from him.  Although if it becomes too transparent and they risk alienating the Sanders voters she may be prodded to leave as well.  She's an Establishment type masquerading as a progressive.  At least it seems so.  It's either that or she truly believes the ridiculous platform positions she's taken.  She may actually believe she's American Indian - so there's that.

In any case, Sanders route to the nomination just got more difficult, but no matter what, Democrats are still the underdog to win back the White House.

So it's Biden now. Now what?

This guy? Really?
Joe Biden apparently is the guy.  I had expected after Super Tuesday that the race would tighten and Biden would be close to Sanders.  After California finishes counting that should be the case - except it is Biden who will have a small lead on Sanders rather than the other way around.

But Joe Biden people?  Democrats, this guy is your champion???  Alright.  I think he is truly beatable. Yes, more electable than Sanders but I don't think he's electable.

The real concern here is that after two weeks of Democrat establishment freaking out over Sanders potentially winning this thing and warning voters not to nominate a socialist because of the down-ballot impacts, it looks like Democrat voters continue to be the sheep we conservatives believe Democrats are.  Bernie Sanders is a potential train-wreck for the country but at least Democrat voters were not beholden to the Establishment status quo.  It looks like they did not learn anything from Republican voters about trying to reshape the structure of their party.  They seem to be content to remain the party of managed American decline.

So now what?

Bloomberg may now finally see the writing on the wall and bow out.  If he does, the nomination probably becomes a lock for Biden.  If he continues on then it seems a brokered convention still remains possible, in which case Bloomberg might manage to have enough delegates to demand a VP slot.  Although Biden would be smarter to save that position for Sanders or Warren in order to heal the divides within the party. That said, Sanders supporters might not vote for the candidate that Sanders ends up supporting just because Sanders says so.  They didn't buy into his backing of Clinton in 2016.  Even Sanders on the ticket may not be enough to swing their votes.  Then again, I would not expect Biden to pick Sanders for his VP.  Clearly the Democrat Establishment freaking out over Sanders would not support the choice of Sanders being a step away from running the country.

Elizabeth Warren has proven she's just an also ran, but I would not preclude her from staying in the race just to attempt to be in a position to get the VP slot.  That serves the Democrat Establishment and it servers her.  It would certainly slow Sanders support but not by much to be honest.

There's something else to consider.  Sanders is not out of it.  Despite the Biden upset win in Texas, he won in a group of states that were mostly his to lose.  And there are a lot of states coming up where Sanders clearly has an advantage.  Sanders will need a string of wins in the next set of races in order to not fade away.  Should he do so we may be back to a brokered convention situation.  Should he fail to win convincingly, he's going to have to drop out.  March 10th, just a week away are primaries in Idaho, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, and Washington as well as a caucus in North Dakota.  

Sanders should do well in 3 of the 5 primaries, while Biden looks well positioned in the southern states of Mississippi and Missouri.  The North Dakota caucus could go either way but Sanders needs a big win on the 10th or he will have truly lost all momentum to Biden.

March 3, 2020

Really Democrat establishment? This guy?

It looks like going into Super Tuesday the Democratic Establishment has decided to circle the wagons around Joe Biden in order to put a stop to Bernie Sanders (and possibly also Bloomberg).

But why Biden?  His campaign is already going down in flames thanks to... Joe Biden:

Viability is a real thing but it seems like the Democrats are fresh out. It's hard to know whether Sanders, Biden or Bloomberg would be the easiest candidate for president Trump to defeat but right now it's looking like any one of them will lose to the president. That leaves Elizabeth Warren. Although it looks like voters have already left her so that's a no-go too.

Chris Matthew's succumbs to cancel culture.

There's a lot going on today, not the least of which is primaries Super Tuesday.  But it's hard to not comment on Chris Matthew's departure from MSNBC amid #MeToo charges of sexism, his comparison of Bernie Sanders to Nazi Germany and other recent gaffes.

"Should conservatives cheer or be worried about the cancel culture", Bill whittle et al, ask.? I say we cheer. The Left is eating itself - either because they think they've cowed conservatives into submission or because they are losing and have lost any tenuous connection they had to sensibility. It doesn't matter. Cancel culture has started to cancel itself out and if that means the Left eating it's own, that's helpful. Cancel culture will only make itself weaker as time passes, Chris Matthew's is evidence.

March 2, 2020

Rally Round the Biden

Everyone who dropped out of the Democratic primaries is getting ready to endorse the Joe Biden candidacy.

Coincidence?  Of course not.

Will it help Biden overcome Sanders?  Yes but not enough for sleepy Joe to win.

Biggest DOW gain ever

Last week my retirement fund lost 10% of it's value, and I'm sure I'm not alone in that.  I'm not panicked because either the coronavirus wipes out half of humanity and investments are almost pointless, or else the panic selling will rebound, like it has started to do today.

This is not a full rebound yet but I wish I'd had extra money to buy over the last week because I think the DOW will hit 30,000 before the election.

Annnnnnd.....Klobuchar Out!

President Trump was right - pre-Super-Tuesday both Buttigieg and now Klobuchar drop out (in addition to Tom (who now?) Steyer) drop out to clear a path for either Bloomberg or Biden to go mono-a-mono with Sanders and take him out.
Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar is suspending her presidential campaign after failing to break into the top tier of Democratic candidates.

She plans to drop out of the race and endorse former Vice President Joe Biden in Dallas on Monday night, according to her campaign.

It's just hours before polls open in her home state of Minnesota on Super Tuesday.
Don't be surprised if Warren is encouraged to stay in. That hurts Sanders too.
This is all happening pre-Super-Tuesday.  That matters because the votes do not get split as much.  Clearly Establishment  Democrats are enthusiastic given Biden's win in South Carolina.  This could really backfire on them.

Butt(igieg) Out!

Despite a quick start, you kinda knew this was coming:

What is more surprising is how the major networks devoted so much time to it. Looking at their YouTube videos (Washington Post, NBC, ABC, etc.) they are all 20 minutes long. I don't think Mayor Pete deserved that amount of coverage, especially after tailing off and then bowing out.

March 1, 2020

The Biden "bounce"

The only way Joe Biden gets any momentum from his primary win in South Carolina is if he manages a strong enough showing on Super Tuesday and a few other candidates drop out after the electoral delegate deluge.  That won't be Bloomberg, but if Buttigeig and Klobuchar drop out there's a good possibility Biden picks up the lion's share of their delegates.

That's a big if:  Bloomberg could do well and gain the momentum instead.  He's trying to buy the nomination and it will be interesting to see if he can. 

And there's another big if: should Warren drop from the race, her support would most like coalesce around Sanders.  So Biden's momentum in the longer term requires Warren to remain in the race as long as possible.

There are a lot of IFs with respect to Joe Biden winning the nomination and even if he manages to pull it off, he is so flawed and now so politically wounded that he's basically an unwinnable candidate for president.

Sunday verse

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