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Why the Swedes are doing better than we are?

Because of a fully indoctrinated mindset, many knuckleheads will respond to this article by saying, “You just want people to DIE!” Ironically, it is probably these very same people who need to take what I say for action.

Question 1: How is Sweden doing these days vis-a-vis the ChiComm virus?

Answer: Quite well, actually. They have elected not to do a shutdown and have a mortality rate very similar to the United States. Ours is just under 3/10000th of the population or .0003. Theirs is just over .0003. Their dense population centers in the warmer southern cities oddly, have fewer cases than the cities to the north. We seem to be all over the map on that score.

In the case of both countries the vast majority of deaths due to the virus are the very old. The next endangered cohort would be the obese, diabetic and people with various lung ailments. The fraction of the population dying outside these parameters is negligible.

(Oh, here we go. People are already screaming… “There’s no such thing as a negligible death! MJ is a pig!” Of course, we know the term negligible is not a reflection of the value of human life. It is a numerical term, and it is in this case, inarguable. But in order to continue to justify hiding in their homes, and maintaining drama, many will still react as I characterize above.)

So where will Sweden and the US diverge in terms of mortality and COVID?

That’s easy, this upcoming flu season. Sweden is going to have a 7-month buffer between the outbreak of COVID and the beginning of flu season. During this time they allowed their citizenry to develop herd immunity to COVID. In the meantime, we have hidden in our homes and avoided the least contact with each other. Come flu season, a tremendous number of Swedes will have already been exposed to and beaten Covid. So when and if they get the flu, most will just get the flu.

We on the other hand will reap the whirlwind for having hidden for months. When people get the flu here many will have to go to the emergency room. And where is the greatest chance of getting COVID? That’s right…medical institutions. So, flu victims, already in a weakened state will be contracting the Red Death in much higher numbers than we see right now. If our experience so far has put you in a panic, you are not psychologically prepared to deal with such an exponential double whammy.

We have destroyed 25% of the restaurant industry. The rest of the small business damage is presently incalculable. So what will be our reaction in the late fall when many times more people are dying than have during this entire episode so far? Will we shut down again?

The fact is we accomplish nothing with shutdowns.   Assuming we will not have a vaccine by November, we have only endangered more people, more of OURSELVES, by a long shutdown to begin with.

Caveats:

It can be argued that since more than half of all new cases are people who have been shut-ins, we might assume that we are going to do almost as well as Sweden during flu season. If that turns out to be true, it will be an even greater indictment against ever having shut down the economy to begin with. But it is more likely we have weakened our immune systems across the board.

Along the same lines, most people who claim to be participating in the stay-at-home orders are really not doing so. We have been staying home and avoiding contact with anyone EXCEPT for when we NEED to get gas to get to Home Depot, Walmart, convenience stores etc. The incubation period for this Wuhan Crud is two weeks. So the second you touch that gas pump or walk into Walmart, your two-week counter goes back to zero. So in reality, none of us is really doing the stay-at-home thing. We are just pretending. In this regard we may be more like Sweden than we think.

This, again, shows just how stupid this stay-at-home thing has been. We have destroyed our economy for NOTHING.

We now have about a three and a half month window to get back to a normal life and hope that most of us WILL contract COVID now. (Note to dummies: This doesn’t include old people) Of those who contract it, only some will get sick. Of those who get sick, yes, a tiny fraction will die. But if we don’t take the risk NOW many, MANY more WILL die later. The longer these non-scientific, phased re-openings drag on the worse it will be for all of us in the fall.

Yes, I said non-scientific. ALL of the guidelines being touted by politicians are arbitrary, the results of spitball sessions by unqualified people. They have no basis in science at all. There is no way of knowing whether they are worth the paper they are printed on. The risk calculation is yours and yours alone. The politicians CANNOT help you.

So if you own a business, open it. If you have a job be ready to go back. NOW.

OR…

…you can continue to listen to the politicians, many of whom have a stake in keeping you at home and the economy weak, and you will actually INCREASE your own chances of dying from COVID. Again…the flu and COVID together? You don’t want to go there.

 

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Critical Thought at a Critical Time

I am going to beg you to think critically for just a few minutes here. Of course, that is the goal every time a political writer toils, but on this subject critical thought has been missing across the board for two months.

One of the most socially crippling aspects of the COVID-19 fiasco has been that the talking heads on TV and elsewhere have long since run out of things to talk about. So they started making things up to say and then sought out commentators to advance the fantasies.

I’ll give you a couple examples. We all knew we had a pandemic on our hands as of late February. The newsies knew it too. But an official pandemic has set parameters to meet before being declared. The most important of which is how many countries are impacted. Once that threshold is met pointy-headed committees like the World Health Organization (WHO) declare the “pandemic”.

On that day all the news cycles were reporting the declaration as if it were more alarming than what we were already dealing with. And they succeeded in convincing YOU that this was important. That was just the newsies keeping the chatter alive and trying to keep your eyes locked on their outlet. If you are living through an epidemic it means NOTHING to you if officials call it an epidemic or a pandemic. To you it is the same thing.

Also, an illness is not made more dangerous by calling it a pandemic. It’s still the same germ. If a malady that made everyone’s eyes watery for two days swept the nation, you’d have an epidemic. If it crossed enough borders, you’d have a pandemic. The latter designation does not make watery eyes more scary or important.

But the newsies gasped and convinced most of you that My god, it’s worse than we thought! It’s a PANDEMIC!!!

 Will we ever be the same?!?!

 For the last week we have listened to the talking heads breathlessly trying to define a new normal. I have watched as they repeatedly asked guests whether we will emerge from this event unable to relate to each other as we have in the past.

Tell me, Mister Pretend Expert, will we ever be able to gather in restaurants or at sporting events again? Will we ever hug grandma without KILLING her? Blah, blah, blah.

 Sadly, while human nature will win out as it ALWAYS does, I suspect the jackasses in the media may well have created a vast new cadre of “germaphobes” that never would have existed without their Chicken Little commentary. In today’s me-me-me society we will face a few years of some people thinking they have a moral right to scold or even attack people who will be trying to go about their normal business.

You’ll also see people trying to sue any venue they can blame in the event they contract Corona. Jackpot justice just opened a whole, new market sector.


Happy Break!

If you are a woodworker you will not want the quarantine end.  Just kidding…sort of.

Click here to bring real joy to your wood shop.

Happy Break Over!


Ruining your health AND your 401K

The Mao Microbe experience has shown, even more than the housing crash, how easy it is to convince people to do or accept stupid things without so much as a whimper.

As I said previously, far more than the realities of the pandemic, market makers are reacting to how WE are REACTING, and a great deal to the STUPID things being said by the talking heads. If we had kept our wits about us from the outset, if the media had not filled every news cycle with ONLY news about the virus, the markets would have surely gone down, but likely not nearly as much. But markets are now driven by computers programmed to cull headlines, key phrases and even images to trigger trades. Every time the market bakes in a new reality and appears to stabilize or even go up a bit, some empty-headed hand-wringer finds a new way of restating how the world is about to end. Computers and the more weak-kneed investors then react to the new pithy phrases being generated and prices drop again.

Believe me or don’t. It’s your 401K.

Cleaning ourselves into a future sickbed

Not 30 minutes has gone by in the last month where you haven’t been admonished to use hand sanitizer. This situation is not what hand sanitizer was designed for. The stuff MAY kill the Red Death that you MIGHT have gotten from the grocery store cart. But it WILL kill healthy microbes that you need to sustain good health. We may find that some of those very microbes would have helped protect us from things like…the Red Death.

Don’t take my word for it. Look it up. Hand sanitizer was designed to clean your hands OCCASSIONALLY when soap and water are not available. By using the stuff several times a day you are likely damaging your overall immune system. More on that in a bit.

The answer to protecting yourself at the stores [including the liquor store…isn’t that a riot?] is latex or nitrile gloves. Hell, house cleaning gloves would do fine too. When you get home chuck them or clean them with a diluted bleach rinse and use them again.

But quit trying to sterilize your fingers every half hour!

More on immunity

I will make this one guarantee. You will be exposed to COVID-19, period. Sooner or later, whether you actually get sick or not, you WILL contract the virus. There is no way around it. No matter how cautious you are, you will be directly exposed.

Think about that in this context. Part of maintaining our immunities is constant exposure to microbes, both familiar and unfamiliar. The familiar would be what we experience every day with coworkers, social groups and family. Take away that exposure, even for a short time and we start to lose some of our tribal immunities.

Just how much diminished this will be is incalculable. But shutting ourselves away FOR MONTHS we will absolutely test whatever that value may be. My money is on far more bad than good.

As for the unfamiliar… by building and maintaining our ammo belt of immunities, we keep ourselves healthier overall and are thereby better equipped to face unfamiliar microbes. This improves our chances of not being sickened by the unfamiliar or not being as seriously sickened. It doesn’t work with all germs, but we all know that trying to live a sterile life WILL make you sick. Playing in the dirt is generally healthier.

Further, going to work, maybe going bowling or playing basketball, going for a swim at the YMCA may be the only activity some of us get. Many of us live on the ragged edge of fitness. I know I do. It is a lead-pipe-cinch that we can’t go on sitting at home. When the ruling class mandates, or when reasonable people just tire of the drama, we will return to society.

The longer it takes, the more weakened we will all be in facing this “Xi TB” along with the Flu, colds, sinus problems, stomach viruses, etc., once we emerge from our hibernation. 90% of you were better off facing the virus a month ago than you are right now.

There will be a treatment protocol for the Red Death quite soon. A vaccine will follow in record time. But we can’t wait that long before accepting the risk and getting back to real life. I say that as a member of the at risk population.

Call your boss. Say you are ready to get back in the fight. If you are a boss trust your employees to look after their own interests as you will yours.

Predictions:

  1. Politicians will continue to carpet bomb us with shit money, giving you the illusion that you are “getting” something. What you are getting is a further devaluation of your economy. By helping you get to the other end of this thing with no gaps [done because they know few of you saved a dime for a rainy day] they have simply piled on more debt and worthless cash, all of which will have to be flushed out of the system. And how will they do that later? Why, more give-aways and more government programs, of course.  Our response to the housing crash was the worst precedent we ever set for dealing with nation-wide challenges. It would not have happened if the voting public had the first notion as to how stupid the mass bailouts were.  And here we are again.
  1. In a year or two, hospitals will have truckloads of ventilators in storage. Smart bean counters will tell administrators they need to sell them off to other hospitals and other countries at pennies on the dollar because storing them is wasteful. Mark my words. This WILL happen. You will watch it happen or not even notice. Then the first hospital caught flat-footed in a large scale emergency will be crying to mommy government to bail them out again.  Socialized medicine crackpots will say, “See?  This is why we need mommy government to pay for EVERYTHING.”
  2. Venues that try to open with what TV idiots are calling the new normal; social distaining, hyper cleaning and the like, will go under. The ones who just open their doors and say come on in will be just fine.

And so will we…for the most part.


This is my only book so far.  I have others in the pipe but will not pursue them without an agent. Know anybody?  This one is more of a political stream of consciousness with hard-nosed recommendations and a bit of history and humor.

Get your copy here.


 

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Trump’s Potential Fatal Errors: Not for Him, But the Country. Pt. 1

Is he stupid or pretending to be?

To this day, I have been needled by a suspicion that Donald Trump is actually a shill for the sleazy, Clinton wing of the Democratic party. I’ve said many times, including when he was just hitting the political scene, and in my book. I had a hard time coming to grips with his immaturity, impetuousness and utterly disorganized style.

How, as I have often asked, here and elsewhere, can his clearly erratic behavior be actual stupidity and not just political shtick? Is he really trying? Or is he putting a four-year monkey wrench in the GOP, damaging their brand for the next decade?

Don’t get me wrong. When he seems to have at least gotten a basic concept right, I have been happy to say so. But he still gets so much wrong. And so many people seem to have it in their heads that Trump is a genius and worse, they think he is a conservative.

He is neither.

I’ll give you an example The President gets endless praise for his tax cut. But, with just a little ass kissing by congressional leadership, he owned a pathetically watered down version of a cut, without the valuable reform he had promised. If you were paying attention and not just celebrating this fig leaf legislation, you came away thinking what a sucker this guy is. With the slightest stroking of his ego, Trump will sign off on anything.

Continuing the same example, with little preparation and in complete ignorance of history, Trump spiked the entire economic uptick the tax cuts did provide with the monumentally stupid tariff announcements and implementations.

I will go into greater detail about this in my next book.

The costs of the Trump ego

Tariffs are wrong on too many levels to fully catalog here.  But a few aspects do leap out in this case.

1) First, as is ALWAYS true, tariffs help the bottom lines of the protected companies ONLY and, without exception, hurt the wider economy. The very people who are singing the praises of the administration’s get-tough trade policies are the ones being hurt by it, along with the entire world’s economy.  

President Donald J. Trump

2) If you follow the news cycles from Trump’s election, through the tax cuts and through the tariff announcements, you can plainly see that our economy was expanding beautifully. This was the direct result of someone – anyone – other than BHO going to the White House and that someone was talking about free market concepts.

As a result (and because we are still the world’s largest consumer economy) the world’s economies were expanding apace.  Even the PIGS (Portugal, Italy, Greece and Spain) were suddenly healthy again. 

But along with the rest of the world, our markets were thrown into turmoil and volatility because of this very stupid tariff idea.  The PIGS are now talking about defaulting again.

As ridiculous as the idea of tariffs already is, the way Trump rolled them out (i.e., with no forethought) we have this untenable situation as a result!

3) On top of the damage EVERYONE but the cronies who own the political whores feel, tariffs don’t work. They never have and they never will[1].  This how it will all play out:  We will place tariffs on whatever. Other countries will respond in kind (or maybe not because they already skim money from us on a huge scale.)  There will be “negotiations”.  In the end, when we’ve all had a bellyful of this stupid idea, all parties will declare victory and we will go back to where we all were before, relative to the economies of each country involved.

source: The Spectator

4) As was the case in the Travel Ban and the Zero Tolerance border policies[2], rolled out by executive order early in the Trump Administration, tariff actions were announced and launched impetuously and without any adult supervision. 

The result? Peter Morici, a respected economist, points out correctly that we now have barriers to raw materials for, say, bicycle parts and metal tubes, but no barriers against foreign bicycles.  As a result, American bike makers have to pay more for their raw materials, giving foreign makers a market advantage.  MEANWHILE, YOU NOW PAY MORE FOR A BIKE BECAUSE NO MANUFACTURER, FOREIGN OR DOMESTIC, IS IN THE BUSINESS AS AN ACT OF CHARITY!

5) In order to do what only Congress is permitted to do (introduce tariffs) by executive order, DJT declared our trade deficit vs the rest of the world is a national security issue.  Am I the only person who see how perfectly insane this position is? 

For more about the roots of this tariff debacle, and my earlier warning, read this.

Give me fair trade or I’ll kill you

Was the rest of the world going to attack the United States because we made it too easy for them to sell their goods here?  Were we on the verge of nuking Canada because of their unfair treatment of American dairy farmers? I’m going to go way out on a limb here and say neither was about to happen?

I would submit, and history does insist, that the placing of tariffs, especially by a stronger nation, are more likely to be the catalyst of unrest and even war.

Look at Germany immediately before and then after the clearly discredited Smoot/Hawley tariffs were rolled out.  Germany was struggling mightily to recover from World War II.  As they were beginning to turn the corner, people like Hitler were looked upon as weird opportunists, trying to advantage of Germany’s weakened, but improving, state of affairs.  Our market collapse in 1929 sent shock waves through the world economy. But the suffering was well distributed. Countries like Germany were continuing to work their way into world markets albeit at a slower pace.

Smoot and Hawley, two old men pictured from 1930s.
The authors of Smoot Hawley (that would be Smoot and Hawley themselves) the Dumb and Dumber of 1930.

Then along comes the Smoot/Hawley debacle.  Immediately, what was left of Germany’s chances of recovery were put off by at least a decade.  Already weak, the German economy had the chair kicked out from underneath it.  Suddenly, the blame-the-rest-of-the-world activists, including Hitler and the Communists, were seen as visionary. When you are dangling over the edge of the cliff, you’ll grasp at anything.

Germany, circa 1930 – 31 would be similar to our PIGS now. Their politics and economics are in ever increasing disarray. The tariffs aren’t helping them or the US in any way.

The cliché is: “When goods stop crossing borders armies soon will”.  It’s a cliché because it is true. So the talk of needing tariffs for national security reasons was undiluted bullshit from day one.

But, boys and girls, if I may be permitted the microaggression of noting the difference, we are now facing a far greater threat from Trump than any harm this tariff lunacy might do to us.

In an upcoming post I will outline the greater threat and the stupidity (not just Trump’s stupidity, this is widespread ignorance) behind it. In a separate post I will define the clear solution to our trade deficit.  I will give you a hint about the latter: We are SUPPOSED to have trade deficits with just about every other country because we are stronger and richer than they are.


[1] Read Economics in One Lesson by Henry Hazlitt.  It is a college education in one easy-to-read book. You can read it free here.

[2] The author supports both concepts, generally

 

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