Fuzzy Curmudgeon

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Date registered: Monday, 22 December 2014 18:31

Latest posts

  1. Fuck this guy. — Saturday, 28 March 2020 17:26
  2. The brainwashing was strong in this one. — Thursday, 26 March 2020 21:53
  3. Quit whinging. — Thursday, 26 March 2020 13:41
  4. Firefox note — Sunday, 22 March 2020 20:56
  5. China covers up, US media and the usual suspects provide an assist — Thursday, 19 March 2020 10:21

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Fuck this guy.

I don’t usually go off on the ultra-rich for their playthings or their money, but bottom line:  Stick it up your ass, Mr. Geffen.

The rest of the fucking world is sitting here not knowing from one day to the next if they’re going to end up in the ICU and/or dead, because of having to actually venture out into the world where they could possibly become infected, so they can buy groceries or go to their “essential” job or whatever.  While you sit on your fucking yacht, living off the fat of the land, rubbing it in that you’re someplace safe (I assume that means you’ve had all of your staff tested for the virus).

Justice would be that you contract the virus from some low-level employee like a cabin boy who came aboard at your last port of call.

Fuck you and everyone like you.

The brainwashing was strong in this one.

Chika on an old friend’s timeline posted this, with the cute caption:  “This is funny because it’s true.”

Well, no.  Actually, it’s not true.  And it’s not funny.  For one thing, Ronald has terrible trigger discipline.  What a clown.  So I responded as follows:

The rest of the world, really? Do you have any clue how much “happy gunfire” gets shot off in the Middle East for no particular reason? In the middle of cities? People get killed over there simply from jerks firing into the air and the bullets coming down on people’s heads. Americans are almost entirely repressed in comparison to, say, Saudis, who think almost any occasion is livened by firing machine guns into the air. Talking about clowns. By the way, you can find videos of this on YouTube, if you don’t believe me.

And the Middle East is only part of it. Russia, Central Asia, Africa, South America…lots and lots of guns and lots and lots of crazy people carrying them. But you never hear about that on the news. Strange, that.

By comparison, Americans generally have the sense to get training, and shoot only at ranges or in areas designated for hunting or shooting sports. Certainly there are exceptions (idiots). But they aren’t widespread. Yet the exceptions are the ones who always make the news. I’ve been shooting since I was, hmm, about 13 — over 47 years. I’ve never shot at something I shouldn’t, and I’ve never had an negligent discharge (knock on wood that should continue to be the case). And I know an awful lot of people who can say the same. Those of us who are legal gun owners and carriers aren’t the problem. We’ve already jumped through all the hoops that have been set to determine we are “proper persons” to be allowed to walk around armed. The State of Indiana has my fingerprints and a whole lot of personal information about me — including two background checks to date, the second because I lost my wallet and had to get a new copy of my LTCH — on file. The FBI runs a fresh check (through the NICS system) on me every time I purchase a firearm. Which isn’t often; I have other things to spend money on.

Bottom line, I’m not the problem, and neither are my fellow legal gun owners and carriers. It’s the gang-banger who buys a (probably stolen) gun from his gang buddy and carries it around to intimidate people who is the problem. And for all the cries of “gun show loophole”, a lot of reporters have found out over time that it simply doesn’t exist. I bought one of my pistols at a gun show. And I went through the same NICS check I would have gone through at my local gun shop.

Out of state, I can’t even buy a pistol and carry it out of the store, because I’d have to show my ID, and as soon as they saw it, they’d tell me, sorry bub — we can take your money today, but the firearm will have to be sent to a federal firearms licensee back in your state who can run a NICS check there and legally transfer it to you. Which used to be annoying, because I used to get through Wheeling WV on a regular basis, and stopped at the Cabela’s there quite a lot. No immediate gratification there for Hoosier boy.

So there is a choice — either one can do things the legal way, or one can do things the illegal way. I choose to do things the legal way, and so does every other gun owner I know.

NRA members and other legal gun owners are not the people shooting up Chicago. That would be the illegal owners and carriers. Don’t put that on us, because we’re not having any of it. If you were to allow honest and law-abiding people to own weapons with which to defend themselves, and to legally carry them concealed, most of that problem would go away really fast. Thousands of legal gun owners in other states have proven that repeatedly over the years. Again, those stories don’t tend to make the national news — they don’t fit the narrative.

But I don’t expect you to believe that. You’re too bought into the “guns are evil” mindset — much like my own wife. Well, it’s a free country. For the moment.

Quit whinging.

I am just about up to here with all the whinging and bitching and carrying on from people who:

  • Have “essential” jobs, and
  • as a result, must leave home and go to work — in some cases, at low-paying jobs — while many, many others are forced to sit at home, idle, not making any money at all.

Such people include but are not limited to doctors, nurses, day care workers, and other front-line emergency responders, critical infrastructure personnel, and all the folks who man the stores and gas stations and restaurants and pharmacies and whatnot that are still open even though we are under a stay-at-home order.  Said stay-at-home order has enough holes in it to drive a truck through, but I think in most cases people really are staying home as much as they can at this point.  Except for the folks noted above.

In particular I have seen nurses bitching that they are not being provided with masks and gloves because of shortages, and that they did not sign up for this.  You know…fuck you.  You DID sign up for this.  It’s what you felt a calling to do, and if you honestly thought that calling was only valid if you could work in clean, sterile environments with plenty of protective gear on hand, apparently the thought never went through your head that a single major trauma event (like 9/11, or a big earthquake in California, or floods in the Midwest, or a hurricane on the Gulf, or the Chinese lobbing a nuke at the west coast) could wind up with you working in even worse conditions that what you are facing now.  Are you saying that if you found yourself somewhere, unhurt or with only minor injuries, where there were dozens of people needing first aid, and you had maybe only a small kit of emergency supplies to work with, you wouldn’t try to help people once you ran out of gloves and masks?  If so, what the fuck are you doing in that profession?  Get the fuck out, and stay out, don’t leave people in the lurch when they were depending on you.

Day care workers are almost as bad, and my daughter is one of them.  “I Can’t Stay Home, I’m a Day Care Worker.”  Well…sorry.  Because of the fucked-up way the socialists have rearranged our society since I was a kid and a lot of moms didn’t have to work outside the home, a lot of people don’t have any choice anymore but to stash their kids in day care while they go to THEIR “essential” jobs.  If this upsets you, stop voting for Democrats and RINOs, because they’re the people who’ve made it next to impossible for moms to stay home because of the need for second incomes to pay the fucking huge burden of social justice taxes that have been dumped on our shoulders since the 1960’s.

You know who I haven’t heard bitch yet?  Emergency medical people.  EMTs and paramedics.  This is what they do EVERY FUCKING DAY.  Yeah, sure, they have masks and gloves and do everything they can to prevent getting infected with any number of things you never even see in your nice little hospitals.  These are the people who ALREADY go out, day after day, rescuing human trash out of the regular trash, bringing them back to life with a Narcan injection, or getting splashed with blood while trying to stabilize someone with a gunshot or knife wound long enough to transport them to a trauma center.

OK, my paramedic niece just complained that she can’t get her squad through a drive-up so she can’t get coffee.  My daughter told her to call them ahead and tell them she’s emergency services, they’ll bring it out to her.  Of course if they can’t tell she’s EMS when she pulls up at the place driving a damn squad with lights and siren and EMS markings all over it and still can’t be bothered to lean out the door and ask what they need, they’re just stupid and need to have some sense beaten into them.

I went and got a crown fixed last week.  Stupidly popped the cap off of it chewing a Tootsie Roll.  Yeah, I know, I shouldn’t do that.  Got a little reaming for it from my dentist.  But more importantly, I didn’t get complaints from him or his assistant that they might get infected from a patient.  Of course, they gowned up and gloved up and masked up, wore those big safety goggles you remember from high-school chemistry class, and made me swish my mouth out with something that made me wish for a glass of Laphroaig* to wash the taste out.  And there was blood, because of course he had to get the gum out of the way, and when he was filing things off with his expensive dentist’s Dremel tool, there was water (undoubtedly with a little blood mixed in) splashing around, despite his assistant’s best efforts with the vacuum tube.  It just is what it is.

What my dentist DID complain about was the inability to get masks and gloves at a reasonable price because so many assholes were out there buying them up and hoarding them.  And he complained also about the stay-at-home orders that were losing him money hand-over-fist because he had to cancel everything but emergency appointments.  His hygienist is laid off, nothing for her to do, and she’s a mom with two little kids.  But like I said above, he didn’t bitch about having to be a foot away from my face (same for his assistant) and having to have his fingers in my mouth (gloved or not) to fix that crown.  It was his job.  That’s the way he saw it.  So did his assistant.

I am also up to here with the lying mass media and the Democrats and the NeverTrumpers who are continuing to prevaricate about Orange Man Bad and all the things he’s done wrong (clue: actually he’s made very few errors in execution, but sometimes his mouth runs away from him) to fight this contagion.  Let’s take one thing in isolation, since it seems to be the Big Deal of the Week:  The alleged lie he told about chloroquine being approved by the FDA (it was not approved like a normal drug, it was approved to be used in cases of compassionate use, i.e., last-ditch, nothing-else-is-working cases of the coronavirus).  The fact is, chloroquine is an approved medication IN CERTAIN CASES, like for treatment of malaria, and also in treatment of auto-immune diseases such as lupus.  What the FDA did was to clear it for the alternate use so that doctors wouldn’t be arrested and charged for giving it to patients whom nothing else was helping.  But the media latched onto “Trump lied” when what is more likely is that Trump simply misspoke due to confusion over what the FDA actually had done.  The situation was cleared up later, but apparently nobody cared about that, it was more important that Orange Man Lied Again.

And then the news came that an elderly couple had ingested a fish tank cleaning chemical that contained an ingredient that sounded like it was chloroquine (it was chloroquine phosphate, bad shit that), and the man died and the woman ended up in ICU.  This was clearly Trump’s fault for stating that the FDA had approved chloroquine without reservation.  Whoa, Nelly.  Back up a little bit.  FDA approval of any drug doesn’t mean that drug is going to be available over the counter for self-medication.  Anything these people did was on their own shoulders.  People in advanced cases of coronavirus infection ARE responding well to the chloroquine/azithromycin cocktail that’s been proposed for that purpose, but nobody is even breathing a word about that cocktail being made available to the general public as either an OTC self-treatment or a prophylaxis (which is what things like Tamiflu are for influenza — they can lessen the intensity and duration of the disease if you get them into your system fast enough).  And why is that?  Because fucking chloroquine is a goddamn nasty fucking drug that can fuck you up if you take too much of it, and even if you don’t, it can make you pretty damn sick.**

I’m about ready to start asking these fucks who think Trump is mismanaging this entire situation just exactly what they’d do in his shoes that he hasn’t already done (and the major media refuse to report on).  Because I’m going to tell you right now, the single-payer regime we’d likely be under if Hillary had won in 2016 would not be responding at all well to this crisis.  It would be a fucking total disaster.  And then there’s Nancy Pelosi and her pork-ridden stimulus bill with all the riders in it that have absolutely zip zero nada to do with the current crisis on the table.  It’s all opportunism, it’s all being seen as a way to pull a legislative coup on the American people without them realizing it.  They’ve even admitted it.  Kudos to Mitch McConnell for holding mostly firm and forcing Pelosi to drop her giant left-wing pork chop on the floor.  Apparently the $2 trillion Senate bill has been passed. [EDIT TO CORRECT:  Apparently by the Senate only; Pelosi is graciously (hah) going to “recall the House” tomorrow (Friday) to consider it.  As has been noted elsewhere, they could pass it by unanimous consent and not have to be present to do so.  So she’s still a raging bitch who doesn’t actually care about us.]  To be honest, I doubt it will do much good, and it will all end up being borrowed money our grandchildren and great-grandchildren will have to pay back, but it’s something, I guess.  And the market is up today, so maybe that’s positive.  That really doesn’t sound like Trump mismanaging much of anything to me.

The bottom line is I’m just tired of listening to people bitch, and frankly I’m tired of bitching about the situation myself.  Time for everyone to read a little Marcus Aurelius and learn some Stoicism.

So if I go off on you for being an asshole who’s not helping, well, now you know why. But I probably won’t, because I’m sick of all your shit and will probably just completely ignore/block you going forward.

_____________

* A very peaty, smoky, single-malt Scotch whisky.  Had it once, filed the experience away, and will never drink it again.  I don’t mind a little peat or a little smoke, but this tasted like drinking liquified peat moss that had been burning for a week.  Sorry, just not my thing.

** Chloroquine is probably the drug my late ex-gf was on for lupus years ago that she said made her so sick, she had to quit taking it so she could work.  Thirty-ish years later, I don’t remember if she ever told me the name of the drug, I just know whatever it was, it was bad.  But an application of Occam’s Razor suggests it was, indeed, chloroquine.

Firefox note

In the current version of Firefox, if you should happen to accidentally “remove from address bar” the star icon for creating a new bookmark, for God’s sake, don’t bother with any of the crap answers you find Googling how to get it back.  Just click the “•••” icon in the address bar, then right-click “Bookmark this page”, and click “Add to address bar”.

I swear to fuck, the Firefox designers are trying to give me an aneurysm.

This is in Firefox 74.0 (64-bit), for what it’s worth.

China covers up, US media and the usual suspects provide an assist

The plaintive cries from the left-wing media industrial complex that calling the virus by its common names (e.g., “Wuhan coronavirus” or (as Trump keeps calling it) the “Chinese virus” or (as some keep facetiously calling it) the “kung flu”) is somehow “racist”, entirely misses the point, and may in fact be in part to draw attention away from the fact that some brave souls inside China were trying to raise the alarm long before the problem got out of hand.

It is important not to lose sight of what is actually behind this effort.

The Chinese are seriously bought into a propaganda effort to turn the world’s gaze away from them as the source of the virus. This is obvious bullshit, in carloads.  One doesn’t even have to countenance the conspiracy theories that claim the virus was manufactured in that lab in Wuhan, because there is too much evidence over the years of animal viruses making the leap to humans due to both poor animal husbandry practices (including but not limited to the overuse of antibiotics and antivirals which contribute to the rise of resistant “superbugs”) and the “wet markets” in China. (Nearly any recent flu, e.g., H1N1 “swine flu” in 2009-10, and the original SARS coronavirus in 2003 can be traced back to Chinese origins.)  No matter what official sources decide to call the virus, it originated in China (probably in October or November 2019) and the Chinese have been trying like mad to destroy, cover up, and otherwise obfuscate any evidence that they could have gotten it under control before it went exponential.

The other point is just as valid. It’s clear that in the attempt to accomplish the cover-up, doctors and journalists who spoke up were silenced, some of them dying from the virus and other simply disappearing, either into the Chinese prison system or simply driven into the country and dispatched with a bullet. That we even know about them indicates pretty vast cracks in the Chinese system of control.

We need to hang on tightly to both of these points, and use them to beat the left-wing obfuscators in our midst like rented mules, because they are strongly related and both go to China’s desperate attempt to avoid blame and loss of face over the fact that this situation got out of control. It is ridiculous to think China will ever make any sort of financial restitution, but what will come of this will be a much smaller role (and significantly, attendant loss of face, which is worse for Emperor Xi and the CCP) in the world for China, and probably a faster reversal of much of the “globalization” scheme that, regardless of what people like Trump have been warning about for years, so many still thought was a great idea until about a month ago when the supply chains started being disrupted.

When this is all over, “Made in China” is probably going to become rare in our stores.  And that will be a big damn punishment in and of itself.

The main question now is whether or not we will be able to roll back the fascist restrictions on our lives that are rapidly increasing due to politicians’ desperate need to be seen as “doing something”.  As journalists pithily put it, “That remains to be seen.”

COVID cogitations

What was originally a relatively good idea — shut things down for two weeks and let the virus express itself in those who were already infected so they could be treated — has now snowballed into pronouncements like “until the end of March,” “until mid-April,” “possibly until May,” and in our Indiana governor’s throw-your-hands-in-the-air-and-make-a-wild-guess yesterday, “perhaps 30 to 60 to 90 days.”

Now Trump has come along and said this will probably be with us until a year from now.  What?

Meanwhile, grocery stores and wholesale clubs have been stripped of toilet paper.  Restaurants are closed except for carry-out and delivery.  Fitness clubs are closed.*  The governor of Ohio defied a court order to hold the Ohio primary election today (and he should be shot as a traitor for doing so, but that’s beyond the scope of this post).  The entire city of San Francisco is on lockdown.  (Maybe they should have dealt with their homeless before now.  Apparently the mayor admitted that they could have.)  Trump and Mnuchin are talking about sending everyone checks.  (Using what money?)  The Congress can’t even get a bill passed to pay for emergency measures to fight the virus because Nancy Pelosi, the witch, is playing “we can’t know what’s in it until we pass it” games with the bill, and Cocaine Mitch over in the Senate isn’t playing that game.  (Good for Cocaine Mitch, for what it’s worth.)

And yet…the first experimental vaccine has been produced and is being first-stage tested in Seattle.

The number of known cases in the US is only 5,702 as I write this.  94 deaths if I am counting correctly (I had to add up the state deaths as the Johns Hopkins map page isn’t simply giving a number for the US anymore).

WTF are we freaking out about?

More importantly, WHY are we freaking out about it?

The answer seems pretty simple.  The media have latched onto COVID-19 coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 whatever the hell people are calling it today and are gnawing away on that bone like there is no tomorrow.  Why?  They see yet another chance to rid themselves of the menace named Trump.

Yes, that’s right, folks, the media and the Democrats (but I repeat myself) are so madly bought into removing OrangeManBad at any cost, they’re willing to lie, cheat, steal, and probably even bugger small children and animals (well, they are Democrats) to make that happen.  The problem is, this time they’re trying to take down the US economy along with him.

If Trump says something like, “It’s no worse than a seasonal flu at this point”, they latch onto that and say he’s belittling and pooh-poohing the severity of the situation.  (6000 cases and fewer than a hundred deaths in a country of at least 350 million souls?  Clearly they have forgotten the swine flu Obama ignored in 2009 that killed 10,000 before he woke up and started half-heartedly doing something about it.)

If Trump says something to a group of governors like, “Respirators, ventilators, all of the equipment — try getting it yourselves.  We will be backing you, but try getting it yourselves.  Point of sales, much better, much more direct if you can get it yourself,” someone from the New Yolk Slimes [sic] bastardizes the quote into “Respirators, ventilators, all of the equipment — try getting it yourselves.”  That’s not a projection, that’s a fact — it happened yesterday:

An old friend of mine observed on Facebook, “I called her a Chinese agent.  Said lying like that could only be under orders from Beijing.  No reply yet, the brazen hussy.”

And for that matter, all of a sudden it’s racist to call it the “Wuhan Coronavirus”.  Well, fuck that.  It came from fucking Wuhan.  Whether or not the conspiracy theorists are right (I doubt they are) about its origins as a biological warfare experiment let loose from a lab, it came from that city and, as is traditional, was named for the first location where it surfaced in humans.  Wuhan Coronavirus.  Wuhan Coronavirus.  Wuhan Coronavirus.  Say it three times fast and you still aren’t a racist.  (Indeed, I admire you; that’s tough.)  But the leftist media thinks you are…even though the leftist media itself used the term repeatedly for weeks.  And shut up fast when they were called on it by honest agents.

For several days, there was a rumor that Trump had been exposed to Wuhan Coronavirus by a Brazilian diplomat who tested positive after he went home.  Trump denied he had tested positive (he hadn’t even been tested yet), the press shit themselves (and threw the poo like the monkeys they are), so Trump got tested and guess what?  Negative.  Again the press shut up fast.

Commies like the Mayor of New York, Bill de Blasio, have gone on the record saying that “crucial factories and industries” need to be nationalized.  Here is a guy who has run the City of New York into the fucking ground in less than two terms after it had been picked up, dusted off, and set back on its feet by Rudy Giuliani and then at least not fucked with too badly by his successor, Michael Bloomberg.  Goddamn fucking statist asshole should be ashamed of himself.  Say, where’s that nearly two billion dollars you and your wife stole from the city, Mayor?

More commies like the People’s Republic of China (and former commies like the ones who run Russia) are suddenly claiming that the virus originated in the United States and was planted in Wuhan (Wuhan Coronavirus!  Wuhan Coronavirus!  Wuhan Coronavirus!) by agents of the US to make China look bad.  Hey, did you know that commies lie?  And they kill lots of people, too:

(Obviously this was from early on; Wuhan Coronavirus has killed over 3,100 to date in Hubei province alone, Hubei being where Wuhan is located.  Total deaths worldwide are sitting at just under 7,900.  2,503 of those are in Italy.)

But all this said, I keep coming back to these numbers, quoting myself from above:

The number of known cases in the US is only 5,702 as I write this.  94 deaths if I am counting correctly (I had to add up the state deaths as the Johns Hopkins map page isn’t simply giving a number for the US anymore).

This is frankly a tiny number.  But it’s made huge by visualizations like this one, from the aforesaid Johns Hopkins site:

If you look at that map without knowing what you’re looking at, you will freak your shit.  It looks like the virus is EVERYWHERE in the US.

Nope.  It’s just under 6000 cases, and just under 100 dead.  Zoom in and it looks like this:

It’s still over the top, but it’s meant to tell you that there are more cases in the states, provinces, and countries with the larger circles than in the states, etc., with the smaller circles.  And FWIW this is total reported cases, not total active cases.  Out of 195,892 total reported cases worldwide, 80,840 have recovered.  So again, the map is a little misleading unless you understand what it is you are looking at.  These map clips and the data in this post is all coming from here, by the way.

Note that I am not accusing Johns Hopkins of making things look worse than they are.  This is a standard method of showing statistical data and I’m not sure how they could make it look more “real” and still be able to show it on a map that fits on a 27″ monitor like mine.  The problem is that there are going to be a lot of people out there who don’t understand that and who will, as previously mentioned, freak their shit when they see this map.

“But,” you cry, “almost 6,000 cases and almost a hundred deaths, and you say this is ‘frankly a tiny number’.  How can you say that?”

Easily.  Here are the CDC’s numbers for the leading causes of death in the United States for 2017:

  • Heart disease: 647,457
  • Cancer: 599,108
  • Accidents (unintentional injuries): 169,936
  • Chronic lower respiratory diseases: 160,201
  • Stroke (cerebrovascular diseases): 146,383
  • Alzheimer’s disease: 121,404
  • Diabetes: 83,564
  • Influenza and pneumonia: 55,672
  • Nephritis, nephrotic syndrome, and nephrosis: 50,633
  • Intentional self-harm (suicide): 47,173

So far (and yeah, I’m not saying it can’t or won’t ramp up, but the point is, it hasn’t done so yet), Wuhan Coronavirus isn’t even a blip on the radar.  There are 350 million people in the United States, give or take a few million.  My hand-dandy calculator says 6,000 out of 350 million is 0‭.0017%.  I’m not even going to calculate what 100 out of 350 million is.

I will say that all of the above taken together suggests to me that what panic I have seen — and in fairness i have not seen much actual panic, other than people inexplicably buying shitloads (no pun) of toilet paper and stacks and stacks of bottled water, and cleaning out the meat department at my local Kroger the same day it was restocked — is probably unwarranted at this time.  Look, let’s face it — I’m in the prime demographic for dying from this shit.  I’m over 60, diabetic, and have respiratory issues.  And yet I simply can’t be bothered to sit around all day worrying about whether I might get the damn virus or not.  I told someone yesterday that I’m more concerned about getting shingles before I can get the shingles vaccine than I am about getting the Wuhan Coronavirus.

And yes, I’m using that term on purpose.  Fuck the Chinese.  I hope their entire country falls to this shit, and their tin-pot emperor Xi right along with it.

_______________

* This makes no sense.  Fitness clubs often are some of the cleanest places around, because over the years they’ve educated their members to spray and wipe down their stations with disinfectant after they use them.  Also because they don’t want to be sued up one side and down the other for being the source of some deadly infection, usually staph.  (Ask the guy whose job it was to swab down the wrestling mats when he was the manager of the freshman wrestling team at his junior high school, 40+ years ago.  I still remember that fucking smell.)  The club where my wife works even had staff walking around after guests, spraying and wiping down again, before our worthless mayor decreed yesterday that gyms must be closed.  Hell, she had her lifeguards cleaning the pool handrails with Clorox wipes, never mind that the water people were getting in and out of was fully chlorinated.  And how many people go to the gym when they’re sick, anyway?

By the way

Apropos my previous post, I would really like to see someone re-do the Jonny Quest opening titles with Trump as Dr. Quest and Pence as Race Bannon.  Jonny is, of course, Barron Trump.  I don’t know who would play Hadji or Bandit.  Feel free to play in the comments with your thoughts.  (If someone has already had this brilliant idea and has executed it, let me know.)

Benton Quest, is, of course, the original billionaire Orange Man:

TDS is a horrible disease.

Presented for your consideration, columnist Bret Stephens, who used to be a conservative:  New York Times columnist Bret Stephens declares coronavirus is Trump’s ‘Chernobyl’

Not even close, you NeverTrump moron.

Chernobyl was preventable, not only in hindsight, and could easily have been seen barrelling down the highway toward disaster, but the Soviet system didn’t work that way. Result: Meltdown. (Something that’s never happened in the US, not even at Three Mile Island, where so little radiation was released, it almost couldn’t be measured. And certainly not at Hanford-N, which was the closest thing we had to a Chernobyl-style reactor, and which was engineered properly with plenty of safeguards so it would not have done what Chernobyl did.)

Conversely, nobody saw Covid-19 coming. And if anyone is to blame, it’s the Red Chinese for not reacting appropriately. (I’m not giving any credence to the conspiracy theories, so don’t look for that here — but even if they were true, the Red Chinese still did not react appropriately.)

The fact is, totalitarian regimes do not handle disaster well. On the other hand, I can’t see where Trump has set a foot wrong on this to date. Yeah, he tweets a lot of BS and says a lot of things that might or might not be true, but that’s not indicative of what’s going on behind the scenes. You solve a pandemic by closing borders, stopping flights, advising people to increase social distance, and telling those who are exposed to go home and stay away from other people for a couple of weeks unless they develop symptoms, in which case you call the hospital and tell them you think you have the virus so they can be ready to handle you when you get there (like Community North handled the case that landed on their doorstep last week). These things are all being done, despite the seeming inability of the CDC to get their sh*t together until they were prodded to do so.

Other than throw a ton of (borrowed) money at the problem, I don’t see what Trump’s detractors in Congress have done to slow down what WHO is finally calling a pandemic (as if we didn’t all know that weeks ago). Mostly his Congressional detractors have simply lied through their teeth about Trump’s response to the problem. The media, for their part, have gone into full panic mode and the markets are just following the panic. (The markets will be fine. The media, not so sure of that.)

We’ve finally seen universities telling students to stay home after spring break and not come back to classes; they’ll teach classes online for a few weeks and hopefully prevent the virus from running rampant through their hallowed halls. Strangely enough, some of their students are protesting this, which only points up once again why the voting age should be raised to a minimum of 21 (I would be more comfortable with 40) and why children should, by and large, be seen and not heard. Even IU is going to do this. Talk about cats and dogs living together. IU never closes. Ask my wife.

So in many ways, the crisis is being handled well, and Dr. Benton Quest Trump (and his Race Bannon look-alike sidekick, Pence*) are due a lot of credit for that, even if the nutbags at the New York Times and the Washington Post are near to committing seppuku over the failure, once again, of their anti-Trump narrative.

And the NeverTrumpers are showing their true colors as usual, so angry and spiteful (and out of government) from TDS they need double windscreens on their microphones to keep from spitting all over them. Believe it or not, Bret Stephens used to be a fairly smart guy. Now he’s just another soi-disant “conservative” fool who’d rather burn down the country than save it. To the devil with him, and the rest of all NeverTrumpers.

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* Come on.  Admit it.  If you grew up watching Jonny Quest, you want Race Bannon handling this kind of thing.

What can I say.

When I’m right, I’m right.

I wrote in May, 2017:  It’s not a human right just because you say it is.

Health care is not a human right.

Nope. Not even close.

Freedoms enumerated and enshrined in the Constitution? Human rights. The right to free speech, the right to worship as you please, the right to bear arms in defense of yourself, your family, and the nation, the right to be free of the government quartering its soldiers in your home, yeah, all those things are human rights, built into the bedrock of human experience. That they have been violated more often than upheld is part of what makes them so precious, and worthy of defending. But these freedoms and rights require nothing more than our eternal vigilance to maintain. (Which is cheap at twice the price, considering the totality of human history.)

Health care is not a human right because it depends on so many other people doing things for your benefit. If I were a doctor, I would not agree that you had a human right to demand my services for less than I believe they are worth. (And if I priced my services too high, I’d probably go hungry a lot while my competitors lived off the fat of the land. But that’s my right and privilege to determine for myself.) If I were a nurse, I would not agree that just because your tummy hurts, you have a human right to force me to turn away from the cardiac patient who is coding in the next room and give you an antacid. If I were a dentist, I would not say that you had a human right to barge into my office and demand that I immediately pull the tooth that’s been bothering you because you don’t have enough sense to take care of your own teeth, when I already have a waiting room full of patients who made appointments and also have dental issues.

And so forth.

So today, via a Stephen Green post at Instapundit, RealClearPolitics has an editorial:  Health Care Is a Right Only if Doctors Surrender Theirs

[F]ree health care — under whatever rubric you care to use — means that doctors, nurses and other health professionals are enlisted in a kind of indentured servitude. Because of my “right” to affordable health care, the health workers are forced to provide for my needs without regard for their own security, their own income and their own families’ needs. The end result would be to force the brilliant people who practice medicine into other fields where they would be rewarded for their work, and to create a cadre of low-paid health care workers who just needed a job.

Glad to see others waking up and smelling the coffee on this, even if it’s only been nearly three years since I pointed this out.  On the other hand, I don’t have the same reach as Insty or RCP.  So it goes.

Another day, another Democrat non-sequitur

WaPo:  “Mike Pence was criticized for his handling of Indiana’s HIV outbreak. He will lead the U.S. coronavirus response.”

With all due respect — which is to say, zero — fuck the Washington Post.

First of all, let’s get something straight:  HIV is not coronavirus, or vice versa.  HIV is not an airborne-spread disease, or even a surface-contact-spread disease.  You actually have to work at getting HIV.  Wearing a P95 mask and washing your hands after you go to the lavatory will not protect you from HIV.  But not engaging in stupid behavior will, 9 times out of 10, prevent you from getting HIV.

Once contracted, HIV is generally something you’ll live with the rest of your life and unless you have big bucks to pay for exotic treatments, it will likely end up killing you, whereas coronavirus can be treated comparatively easily and death is very unlikely (the fatality rate (percentage) is in single digits at this point (3.4%; by way of comparison, SARS had a fatality rate of 9.6%); the vast majority of people who contract coronovirus will apparently recover from it. Indeed the recovery curve is trending sharply higher than the new cases curve. See here for example, and ignore the “hockey stick” one-day surge in new cases where China changed their reporting methodology — note that the number of new cases almost immediately leveled off to effectively the same rate as before, and has since almost flatlined).

The only point of congruence between HIV and coronavirus that I can see is that they are both viruses.

The problem is, too many people engage in the stupid behaviors that promote transmission of HIV.  Unprotected sex with multiple partners, and sharing of needles amongst drug addicts, are probably the most common ways to get HIV.

Sure, you can get HIV from a blood transfusion (vanishingly rare these days) or from a partner who is either cheating on you, or knew they had the virus and didn’t tell you.  That’s mostly how otherwise monogamous and non-drug-addicted straights get it, and such has always been the case.  People who are in monogamous lifetime relationships (whether married or not) are unlikely to contract HIV, regardless of what the LGBT community would like you to think.

But the WaPo beats on Pence for voting to cut funding for Planned Parenthood in 2011, when he was in Congress, which allegedly led to the 2013 closing of a PP clinic that was “the only HIV-testing center in Scott County, Ind.” due to spending cuts in public health.  Whether or not the one led directly to the other, and again with zero due respect to the WaPo, this seems to suggest that there was no other clinic or blood-testing center anywhere near Scott County that could do blood work and test for HIV.  This seems specious.  Scott County covers only 200 square miles in southern Indiana. For those playing along at home, 200 square miles is a square about 14 miles on a side — Scott County isn’t square, but bottom line, it’s just not that big of a place.  By comparison, Marion County, Indiana (Indianapolis), is 400 square miles, 20 miles square.  My point here is that the Louisville metro area is right down a major interstate highway (I-65) from Scott County, just 20 miles from the southern border of Scott County to the Ohio River.  And I’m sure there are plenty of places in New Albany, Clarksville, and Jeffersonville to handle HIV testing.  To make an isolated statement that there is no clinic in all of Scott County to do HIV testing completely ignores the fact that Scott County is just not all that isolated.  Hell, Indianapolis is only 60 miles or so north, and that ignores Columbus which is only about 30 miles north.

Pence as governor waited a whole two months from the start of an HIV outbreak in 2015 to declare a public state of emergency.

But what caused the outbreak?  It was “attributed to people injecting Opana, an addictive painkiller, with shared needles.  But Pence didn’t agree with federal health experts that distributing clean needles was a good idea.”

Well, of course not, you blithering fools.  That just encourages the addicts to keep on abusing their drug of choice.  And Pence got that:  “I don’t believe effective anti-drug policy involves handing out drug paraphernalia” is what he told the Indianapolis Star.

The rest of the article is just more stupid shit bashing Pence for his response to the HIV epidemic by advocating that he should have made it easier for addicts to get their fix.  And a non-sequitur tossed in near the end about his comment (taken out of context) when he was a congressman that smoking doesn’t kill.*  But the problem was not so much the HIV epidemic than the addiction problem itself.  The HIV epidemic was a secondary effect to the primary cause of addicts shooting up with shared needles.

ADDICTS.  Addicts by definition are sick people who need treatment.  That’s why we call them addicts, and there is a medical term for their problem:  Addiction.

Isn’t the actual best treatment for drug addiction getting people into treatment programs and off the damn drugs in the first place?  Why in hell would we want to tell an addict, “It’s OK, you can keep shooting up without fear of contracting HIV, here are clean needles for you to keep illegally abusing drugs”?

As far as dealing with a potential coronavirus outbreak in the US (15 cases in the US plus 40-odd cases among Americans on a cruise ship who have now been repatriated to the US and are being counted as US cases) are not a US outbreak), the solution from the point of view of the Federal Government should be pretty simple, and this is the nuts and bolts of Pence’s job:

  • Ensure that there is a large supply, preferably locally-sourced in the US, of P95 masks.  This won’t happen, the swamp won’t allow it, but:  Don’t hoard them at the government level, make sure they’re available to local retailers, Amazon, Wal-Mart, etc.  I notice this morning that P95 masks are all but gone from Amazon.  (Most of them are made in China, so…)
  • Close porous borders (build the fucking wall!) and quarantine anyone entering the country from a problem area.
  • Immediately block inbound non-stop flights from problem areas.  We shouldn’t be accepting any flights from Asia, at this point.
  • Push like hell to find a vaccine.
  • Be prepared to take even more drastic measures if things really get bad.  Read John Ringo’s The Last Centurion as a case study in what not to do at the FedGov level.  (Thank God we didn’t elect Hillary, is all I have to say.)

If an outbreak really does start up and look like it’s going to spread, then people need to avoid social contact and stay home for a couple of weeks.  Schools need to put together plans to teach online, or by television/telephone if families aren’t able to afford internet connections, businesses that can need to let their people telecommute.

I’m lucky — I’m a telecommuter, and the company I work for isn’t likely to shut down, because in a pinch, we can all telecommute.  My wife, on the other hand, isn’t a telecommuter, and her job is such that it can’t be done remotely.  So people in that sort of situation need also to figure out how they are going to live for a couple of weeks if one or both spouses can’t work and aren’t being paid.  That means put money aside if at all possible, and stock up on bottled water and canned goods and dry staples so you have food in the house.  The likelihood is that utilities will keep running, but it probably wouldn’t hurt to ensure that you have a way to generate power and heat, just in case.

Bottom line:  Don’t panic, and don’t bother reading the WaPo or other proggy media for real news about coronavirus.

_______________

* What he actually wrote on his congressional website was this (the part the WaPo took out of context is bolded):

In the coming weeks, Americans are going to be treated with the worst kind of Washington-speak regarding the tobacco legislation currently being considered by the Congress and Attorney Generals from forty different states. We will hear about the scourge of tobacco and the resultant premature deaths. We will hear about how this phalanx of government elates has suddenly grown a conscience after decades of subsidizing the product which, we are now told, “kills millions of Americans each year”.

Time for a quick reality check. Despite the hysteria from the political class and the media, smoking doesn’t kill. In fact, 2 out of every three smokers does not die from a smoking related illness and 9 out of ten smokers do not contract lung cancer. This is not to say that smoking is good for you…. news flash: smoking is not good for you. If you are reading this article through the blue haze of cigarette smoke you should quit. The relevant question is, what is more harmful to the nation, second hand smoke or back handed big government disguised in do-gooder healthcare rhetoric.

The tobacco settlement is not only about big taxes it’s about big government. Under the current Senate version, the deal would require the creation of 17 new government bureaucracies to manage the tax windfall described above. But it is also about big government on a much more profound scale, namely, government big enough to protect us from ourselves. Even a conservative like me would support government big enough to protect us from foreign threats and threats to our domestic tranquility but the tobacco deal goes to the next level. Government big enough to protect us from our own stubborn wills. And a government of such plenary power, once conceived will hardly stop at tobacco. Surely the scourge of fatty foods and their attendant cost to the health care economy bears some consideration. How about the role of caffeine in fomenting greater stress in the lives of working Americans? Don’t get me started about the dangers of sports utility vehicles!

Those of you who find the tobacco deal acceptable should be warned as you sit, reading this magazine, sipping a cup of hot coffee with a hamburger on your mind for lunch. A government big enough to go after smokers is big enough to go after you.

Frankly, I don’t see a hell of a lot wrong with this.  I’d have to assume he got his statistics from the CDC or NIH or similar; I doubt he pulled them out of his ass, because Pence doesn’t work that way (and he had access to government statistics, so why not use them?).  Pence had no particular reason to back Big Tobacco, Indiana is not a tobacco state, but as a conservative from a conservative state, he did have a reason to oppose more federal government interference in our lives.  I don’t read anywhere in the Constitution where the FedGov has a duty or the right to tell me I can’t smoke.  (I don’t smoke, because as I’ve probably written multiple times on this blog, ever since my wife quit cold turkey in 2006, I haven’t been able to so much as walk into a smoky room (or even sit next to someone whose clothing is infused with smoke, which memorably happened once when I was out of town) without contracting bronchitis.  I had to put my pipes away and haven’t touched them for well over a decade.  But that’s between me and my doctor, not me and the FedGov.)

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