Category Archive: General Curmudgeonry

Partial information will be the death of us all

And by “partial information,” I mean the people running around like Chicken Little, but screaming, “Reported cases are up!  Reported cases are up!”

Usually along with something that implies Orange Man Bad, or Republican Governor of My State Bad.

Of course reported cases are up.  Thanks to Orange Man, his sidekick Race Bannon, and their crew of intrepid People Who Get Things Done, COVID-19 testing numbers are way, way up from where they were even a month ago.  So naturally the number of reported cases is up.

What’s interesting is that even with states opening back up, they’re not up all that much.  And hospitalizations are not up.  Which implies that the vast, vast majority of cases are either asymptomatic, or so mild that all they require is bed rest and fluids.  Like a bad cold.  Which is also caused by coronaviruses.

Here’s the Indiana total reported cases table from the last time I enumerated them (April 29), updated with today’s ISDH numbers. I’ve also added the death count for May 28, but unfortunately I didn’t note the total positive cases or total tested for that date.  So the values there are starred, as I don’t trust them; they came off of ISDH’s page today, so ISDH has had plenty of time to diddle the numbers.


Statewide COVID-19 Totals from ISDH
Date Total Positive Cases Total Deaths Total Tested
April 4 3,953 116 19,800
April 29 17,182 984 91,550
May 28 *32,943 1,871 *272,052
June 14 40,430 2,251 355,829

And here’s a cute chart to go along with that.

As you can see, the total deaths aren’t sufficient to raise very far off the baseline at all.  Yes, scale is everything, but I can’t show you the relationship between the number of deaths and the number of tests if I use a smaller scale.  OK, OK, fine.

Deaths are still statistical noise compared to the number of tests.  And to the number of reported cases, too.  And frankly, reported cases are statistical noise compared to the number of tests.  See that jump in tests that isn’t accompanied by a similar jump in reported cases?  That really ought to tell you something.

Apparently it tells ISDH that they need to protect their phoney baloney jobs, because they don’t show you a trend chart like this on their website.

In Indiana, there have been only 11 new deaths in the last month (May 13-June 14).  Total deaths counted by ISDH are still only 2,251.

Which is interesting, because when I last wrote about this on May 28, there had been only 1,871 deaths counted by ISDH.  380 does not equal 11.  Or let’s even be charitable, since it’s only been a half month since the last time I wrote, and say that 380 does not equal 5.5.

ISDH, you’re playing with the numbers again, and you’re not explaining what’s behind them.  And you’re still not showing recoveries.  You added a box that says “probable COVID-19 counts” and it contains a number labeled “Total Probable Deaths”, which is 182.  Which also doesn’t equal 380, but it’s your attempt to associate deaths where there was no test but the physician stated COVID-19 was a “contributing cause of death”.  Of course if there was no test, the patient could have died of the flu.  Or a really bad cold.  Or the dropsy.

Still…We could have had 2,251 deaths at my high school the year I graduated, and the whole senior class could still be alive.  And as I’ve been trying to point out constantly, that number of deaths is spread across the entire 7 million people who reside in the state of Indiana.  It’s about one in 3200.  So on average, it’s still around the equivalent of one student in my entire high school the year I was a senior.  We lost something like seven classmates before we graduated.  One more wouldn’t even tip the scale.

Oh, and hospitalizations.  If cases were really way, way up, you’d expect hospitalizations to be way, way, up, too.

Naw.  ISDH page today shows ICU bed usage at only 58.8% — and 46.1% are in use for non-COVID patients.  12.7% are in use for COVID.  But what about ventilators! you ask.  Yeah, what about ’em?  17% are in use, only 4.1% for COVID and 12.9% for other patients.  A whopping 83.1% aren’t even in use.

It’s time to open things up.  Time to open them all the way up.  And time to stop virtue-signaling with masks and social distancing and all that crap.

Because if you can demonstrate in huge crowds, you can go to church, and the store, and the museums, and everything else.

Governor, Mayor, let our people go.  Or we’re just going to go whether you like it or not.

EDIT TO ADD:  I just realized those testing numbers mean that more than 1/20 of the state’s population has been tested.

And just when you think the NFL can’t top themselves

…they do it anyway.

NFL Pledges to Spend $250 Million on Social Justice Causes

Jeebus cripes.  Brother Kipling, what say you?

And that is called paying the Dane-geld;
But we’ve proved it again and again,
That if once you have paid him the Dane-geld
You never get rid of the Dane.


The answer is to shut up and play

Suddenly, the NFL is in the news again, because one of its superstars couldn’t keep his mouth shut on a question he should never have agreed to answer.  And the NFL is apologizing and kowtowing and being sensitive and shit all over the place.

As usual, Roger Goodell screwed the pooch by leading the chorus of apologia.  He was insufficiently specific and was immediately set upon by certain black players for his vagaries of expression.

I have a different attitude about this.

I see the NFL as an entertainment monopoly.  It hires the best athletes it can find to play what amounts to a boy’s game with a ball (don’t snicker, all pro sports are the same) in huge arenas with tens of thousands of people watching and cheering (and booing) them on.  This is similar, to be honest, to the games played at the Colosseum in Rome, two thousand years ago.  No, really, stick with me, here.

The only real differences between our modern pro sports spectacles and, say, the games played at the Colosseum in Rome two thousand years ago, are:

  • Modern players are paid huge amounts of money to play these boy’s games
  • Modern players don’t play to the death (frankly, I sometimes think this is a mistake)
  • Modern players aren’t actually slaves, which a lot of the ancient gladiators were
  • Animals generally aren’t involved, other than as team mascots

In order to create these spectacles, in both instances, very large, very athletic, and (usually) very smart people were encouraged to sign up to play.  Back in Rome, the encouragement was often, “play or die.”  These days, it’s “sign this contract for a bunchatonamoney and effectively enslave yourself to the NFL [or whatever league covers your pro sport] and your agent.”  And what, you don’t think NFL players are smart?  You have to have smarts to play a game that’s effectively a war game in miniature, folks.  The day of the big, dumb hulk playing pro football went out the door years ago.

The only thing they’re not smart about is knowing when to keep their fat yaps shut.  Like most celebrities who have too much money and too much time on their hands, they think it’s their duty to step up and speak on the social issues and ills of the day.

Sometimes they get it right — Drew Brees was NOT wrong in his initial statement — but then they break under pressure and apologizing for making a statement that was absolutely honest and non-triggering to anyone other than people who hate this country.  And that’s what Brees ended up doing, apologizing for saying something as innocuous and admirable as “I would never agree with anyone disrespecting the flag of the United States of America or our country.”

Again, remember:  Only someone who hates this country and all that it stands for would raise hell over that statement.  Yet Brees got pummeled by not just the usual suspects in the press, but by other athletes and MEMBERS OF HIS OWN TEAM.

And Goodell, who hasn’t made a good decision since he rescinded his own policy of no tolerance for drug fuckups in the NFL, once again blew what could have been a teachable moment and probably wouldn’t have lost him a single fan (indeed, it might have gotten some back who left over the Kaepernick lunacy) by making some vague bullshit statement about the league’s attitude about how the league had failed to listen to players in the past, and that players should have the right to protest peacefully.

Which of course earned him scorn from black players for being mealy-mouthed and not specifically addressing black players’ issues.

With all due respect (and note that means I have little), what the fuck, Felix?  Black players in the NFL never had it so good.  You get paid a huge amount of money to play 16 regular-season games a year in a sport at a level most Americans couldn’t hack for sixty seconds.  You’ve got millions of fans and you’re considered hot stuff in your local NFL market.  Even if you’re a low-level player, someone out there is a big fan and figures you’re going to be great some day.

And the bottom line is, you’re playing a GAME for ENTERTAINMENT PURPOSES.  And you’re doing it because someone noticed you at an earlier level, high school or college, and you thereby gained admittance to a very small and very rich fraternity.  All based on the fact that you have a very athletic body type and the smarts to make the right move at the right time.  Granted, stipulated, not going to argue about that.

What you apparently don’t have is the smarts to know when not to blow your good thing by making statements that piss off half the people in the country.  Or perhaps you do, but sometimes, like the Indian guide who is never lost, but acknowledges “sometimes the path wanders,” your brain goes off somewhere to take a break, your mouth wanders on autopilot, and you say something on camera or into a live mic that reflects what you really believe but know you dare not say publicly lest you be crucified for it.

Drew Brees found this out when he got hoist onto the cross for his patriotic statement.  And then didn’t have the balls to hang there and say, yes, this I believe, this I would die to defend.  What are the Saints going to do?  Fire him?

The same problem infests every aspect of the entertainment world (yes, sports are entertainment, get over it).  I’m not going to waste my time going through all the examples we’ve seen over the years.  Laura Ingraham even wrote a book about it, Shut Up And Sing, when the music industry blew up over the Dixie Chicks stupidity over George W. Bush.

Entertainment celebrities aren’t important enough for any of us to give a shit about their opinions on issues of the day.  They have been hoist onto a pedestal because of some special talent they have that the great unwashed generally don’t (although I’d argue I can sing better than a lot of people who make money at it, but that’s just my opinion and you’re free to ignore it).

The dirty little secret is, just being hoist onto that pedestal doesn’t give them special insight into anything but what they happen to be on that pedestal to do.

Thus, their opinions on the issues of the day should not be given any more weight than those of your barber or bartender.

And they need to be taught this lesson by seeing their popularity and their income dry up when their fans have finally had enough, and say, “I don’t give a shit what you think about George Floyd, shut up and do that thing you do.”

Which is why (to get back to Roger Goodell and his football league) I have not watched an NFL football game for four seasons and don’t plan to be watching any this fall, either.

Exit thought:  Condoleezza Rice would have made a better NFL commissioner, hands down.

Dear Superintendent Woodson,

I hope you, the Washington Township School Board, and the Metropolitan School District of Washington Township choke on your property tax increase.

OpenTable should add reservations for 8PM rioting.

The crazed Left weren’t able to topple Trump with WuFlu, aka the Chinese Plague, so all this news about the lockdowns/stay-at-home orders being ineffective and too late in most cases, and actual medical people saying wearing a mask outside of a medical facility “offers [you] little, if any, protection from infection”, is suddenly coming to light.

See many links at Legal Insurrection, courtesy Instapundit.  And if you don’t like that Sarah Hoyt posted it because “Sarah Hoyt has a political agenda”, then you can kindly fuck off and never darken my door again.

“Never mind. We’ll get the Orange Man another way, my pretties! Everybody downtown for the staged Antifa riots tonight!”

Oops. Might want to reconsider making that 8PM appointment for rioting and dancing.

Last word:

They shoot looters, don’t they?

Apparently not anymore.  Apparently we’re just as welcoming of looters as we are homeless and other vagrants on our streets.  So instead of shooting a few looters pour encourager les autres and beating the hell out of the rest, we got to sit on our asses at home last night in yet another form of lockdown — the curfew.  (And we’ll get to do it again tonight, apparently.)

This needs to stop, and it needs to stop now.  But Indianapolis is becoming another Detroit as we watch — not a surprise given the abandonment of the city to the Democrats.

None of this crap brings George back to life, you know.  And it won’t stop the cops next time they run up against a “George”.

The America my father and his brothers fought to defend is gone.  What is left is merely the twitching carcass.  May it rest in peace.

On Decoration Day

It strikes me that a lot of the veterans who died to re-unite this country, and who died to protect it in our other wars and overseas adventures, would consider this day well-used, and their sacrifices not having been in vain, if a lot of antifaggots in various cities and towns across the fruited plain — including this one — were decorating lampposts this evening.  If only, you know, pour encourager les autres.

But as they say, keep your powder dry, and avoid downtown areas.  This ain’t over.

Phased and confused

Apparently the mayor has deigned to allow the city to go to Stage 3, the next “phase” of the Great Reopening.  Well, a “modified” Stage 3.

I hate to tell the mayor, but as far as people around here are concerned, we reopened a couple of weeks ago.  Not that the restaurants and gyms and other restricted places did (and they should have given the finger to Hizzoner and Da Gov and just done it anyway), but the traffic around here is right back up to pre-COVID levels.  There was a time when I could just whip right on out of our neighborhood, but now we’re back to having to wait for traffic to clear to make the left turn onto 79th Street.  So don’t tell me people are paying much attention to the “stay at home” orders.  Up on the Northside of Indianapolis, there’s no reason why we couldn’t have reopened at the same time Hamilton County did.  I mean, literally, you can drive two miles north of where we live, it’s just as densely-packed, and everything’s open.  But down here?  Squat.  Stupid.  You can’t base this shit on arbitrary political lines drawn on a map.  You have to look at where the positive infection reports are coming from — and the last time I looked, it was mostly Center and Warren Townships, and maybe the southern parts of Washington and Lawrence Townships.  That’s not us.  But we’re shut down because we’re all in the same county.  Say, maybe they should have shut down by congressional districts, because we’re in the 5th on the Northside, and the rest of Marion County is in the 7th.  I mean, the lines are arbitrary, right?

Masks also appear to be getting worn haphazardly.  Idiots are still wearing them in cars, along with gloves.  Half the time the masks are riding below noses.  Most of the masks are cloth, meaning they’re absolutely useless for keeping the virus from getting in or out.  I still won’t wear one, and won’t patronize establishments that require them.

Meanwhile we’re seeing reports that the CDC has dropped its estimate of the COVID-19 death rate down to 0.23%, which means that fewer than four people in a thousand will die from contracting it.  So if my entire high school graduating class of just over 1,000 contracted COVID-19, and the revised CDC estimate held true, fewer than four would die from it, probably fewer than three.  And given that we’ve already lost 10 or 15 (or maybe more, I haven’t checked lately) classmates over the last 42 years, that’s kind of small change.  (Yeah, sure, not for the families of the deceased, but I’m trying to look at the overall picture.)

Oh, and if we just look at Indiana?  The total number of COVID-19-related deaths being reported today (as of 11:59 PM May 26) is 1,871, per the ISDH novel coronavirus site.  If we take a nice round number of 7 million as the population of the state of Indiana, we get a per-capita death rate of .00027 (or 0.027%).  If we look only at number of reported cases (32,437) vs. deaths (which is what the CDC estimate is), we get 5.7% — but that’s only the reported cases.  Because there’s another estimate out that suggests 80% of all COVID-19 infections may be asymptomatic (and therefore, unlikely to be reported).  Just google “80 asymptomatic” and you’ll find plenty of references to the new study that came out…yesterday I think.  So if the number of reported cases in Indiana represents only 20% of the total…that drops the likely fatality rate to 1.15%.

Then the question becomes, how much padding is the ISDH adding to the number?  How many deaths attributed to COVID-19 were inevitable already, but simply hurried along by the virus?  How many people had heart attacks or strokes or committed suicide simply because of the overblown media reports and the enforced idle time due to the shutdown?  Or because they lost their jobs and didn’t see getting them back?  Because the longer this thing stretched out, the more anxious a lot of people became, and there’s already an indication that the suicide rate is up as a result.  How many of these deaths are being counted incorrectly (on purpose or not) as COVID-19 related?

Look…this thing was not the original SARS (which didn’t affect the US to much of any extent — a few deaths were attributed to it, but by and large the thing had burned out before it got here) or MERS (which according to the CDC only ever infected 2 people in the entire country).  SARS-CoV-2 is clearly a much stronger strain of the virus, but it’s being dealt with and likely could have been stopped fairly easily without destroying the economy and throwing 20-30 million people out of work.

And it’s apparently fading fast, just like the other CoV’s did — an article yesterday suggested that vaccine development is hampered by a dearth of virus to test against:

So all you fucking politicians out there saying we can’t possibly open things back up without a working vaccine need to shut the fuck up and get to work opening back up without one.

And if there’s a resurgence?  (Unlikely unless the Chinese inject more into the system.)  Don’t try to shut things down again like you did this time.  Unless you really want to start a boogaloo.  Because we’re not going to stand for it again.

I hate to be a wet blanket

but Memorial Day is next Saturday, regardless of what the Federal Government says.

I. The 30th day of May, 1868, is designated for the purpose of strewing with flowers or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion, and whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village, and hamlet churchyard in the land. In this observance no form or ceremony is prescribed, but posts and comrades will in their own way arrange such fitting services and testimonials of respect as circumstances may permit.

General Order No. 11, John A. Logan, Commander-In-Chief, Grand Army of the Republic, May 5, 1868

I’ll have something appropriate then.

Sixth Anniversary

Way down
I’ve been way down
Underneath this skin
Waiting to hear my name again

I’m sorry
Nothing can hold me
I adore you still
But I hear them calling
And nothing can hold me

Way down
All the way down
I will hear your voice
But I’ll no longer understand

I’m sorry
Nothing can hold me
I adore you still
But I hear them calling

I was looking to the sky
When I knew I’d be swimming home
And I cannot betray my kind
They are here, it’s my time

I’m sorry
Nothing can hold me
I adore you still
But I hear them calling, calling
And nothing can hold me

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