The Unz Review: An Alternative Media Selection
A Collection of Interesting, Important, and Controversial Perspectives Largely Excluded from the American Mainstream Media
 TeasersiSteve Blog
Masks Are Good
🔊 Listen RSS
Email This Page to Someone

 Remember My Information



=>

Bookmark Toggle AllToCAdd to LibraryRemove from Library • BShow CommentNext New CommentNext New ReplyRead More
ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
AgreeDisagreeThanksLOLTroll
These buttons register your public Agreement, Disagreement, Thanks, LOL, or Troll with the selected comment. They are ONLY available to recent, frequent commenters who have saved their Name+Email using the 'Remember My Information' checkbox, and may also ONLY be used three times during any eight hour period.
Ignore Commenter Follow Commenter
Search Text Case Sensitive  Exact Words  Include Comments
List of Bookmarks

You can tell the crisis is serious because the NYT has published an op-ed by a woman that is useful, needs to be said, and isn’t about her hair, thus undermining the Opinion Page’s 8-year-long campaign to make women look like self-absorbed ditzes by publishing mostly the ditziest women.

Why Telling People They Don’t Need Masks Backfired

To help manage the shortage, the authorities sent a message that made them untrustworthy.

By Zeynep Tufekci
Dr. Tufekci is a professor of information science who specializes in the social effects of technology.

March 17, 2020

… Fifth, places like Hong Kong and Taiwan that jumped to action early with social distancing and universal mask wearing have the pandemic under much greater control, despite having significant travel from mainland China. Hong Kong health officials credit universal mask wearing as part of the solution and recommend universal mask wearing. In fact, Taiwan responded to the coronavirus by immediately ramping up mask production.

Taiwan will be manufacturing ten million masks per day by the end of this week.

 
Hide 202 CommentsLeave a Comment
Commenters to Ignore...to FollowEndorsed Only
Trim Comments?
  1. Yeah, I’m not wearing a mask.

    • Agree: Je Suis Omar Mateen
  2. MASKS CANNOT PROTECT YOU FROM AN AXE
    33-year-old German man last Sunday had half of his face cut off by a fighting-aged Iraqi migrant after the migrant attacked him with an ax on the streets of Munich.
    WHO SAYS THE RAPEFUGEES DO NOT ACCEPT OUR WAYS? THIS IS METAL. THIS IS THE MOST METAL THING SINCE MURDERING HUGE NUMBERS OF CIVILIANS AND DESECRATING CHURCHES.
    THE ONLY METALLIC ELEMENT MISSING IS — music, actually, because music is haram. Ironic, really.
    I’LL BE THERE WHERE FIRE MAKES YOU DANCE

    [MORE]

    The attack occurred on Sunday afternoon at around 5 pm when the man and his wife were driving on Gernotstrasse toward Mittlerer Ring when they were suddenly stopped at Burgunderstrasse by a pedestrian who jumped in front of the car and began hitting the hood with his hands, daily German newspaper Abendzeitung reports.

    After the man got out of his Honda Civic, a physical confrontation ensued. At that moment, the Iraqi migrant pedestrian pulled out a “kind of hatchet” and bludgeoned the left side of the 33-year-old man’s head, police say.

    Following the attack, the victim from Munich suffered serious injuries which left his face bleeding profusely. The ax-like object that the Iraqi migrant used was reported to have cut nearly half of the Munich man’s face off. Luckily, the ax’s blade missed the victim’s carotid and subclavian arteries.

    The driver’s wife was forced to watch the horrific scene unfold helplessly from the passenger seat of the vehicle. Luckily, the migrant attacker did not shift his attention and aggression toward the woman as she remained in the car. As a result, she was left uninjured.

    https://www.abendzeitung-muenchen.de/inhalt.streit-in-schwabing-eskaliert-muenchen-fussgaenger-schlaegt-mit-axt-auf-autofahrer-ein-festnahme.c7b86c6f-a9f1-4566-9787-d48427bccd49.html

  3. T

    aiwan will be manufacturing ten million masks per day by the end of this week.

    At that rate, you could have a one-day supply for everyone in the United States — in one month.

    Do we even make masks in our own country anymore?

    This is another item like ventilators, which are also probably manufactured somewhere in East Asia instead of here.

    Globalism and bad leadership have screwed us.

    • Agree: MBlanc46
    • Replies: @Luke Lea
    Why, heck, even bandannas would be a step in the right direction. No need to wait.
    , @Anon
    My box of N95 masks that I bought on Amazon says it was distributed by 3M in Minnesota, USA, "made with globally sourced material, made in USA".

    You know they are lying about masks not being useful because they said to save it for healthcare workers. If they are not useful, why do healthcare workers need them?

    , @AnotherDad

    Globalism and bad leadership have screwed us.
     
    This.

    As i've pointed out "nation of immigrants"--immigration forever--mathematically means population replacement and the nation becoming ever more crowded and shitty ... until finally no one in the entire world is left who wants to come.

    But we have elites who are innumerate, and the few numerate ones who understand this ... like it. They hate us. So taking the nation from the flyover country goyim and trashing it is a feature.


    But it turns out the globalists are not just evil, they are incompetent. The globalists can't even competently execute nation destroying globalism. They can even do management 101 and prepare for the *known* issues with their own ideology. Despite the repeated shots over the bow--every season of flu, SARS, H1N1, Ebola--they still aren't prepared for a pandemic which will give globalist ideology a black eye.

    These are our "leaders" or "elites". The people endlessly lecturing us on our sins. Seriously.
    , @Lars Porsena
    I think the masks are pretty irrelevant.

    N95 masks do not filter out the virus, it doesn't filter that small. That being said, you don't need to filter the virus because the virus doesn't float around in the air by itself, it's being carried in a fleck of spittle or something like that.

    You don't need an N95 mask to filter out a fleck of spit. A bandanna or a scarf will do. Most of these surgical masks (like they kind they are wearing in asian countries) are effectively just that, sneeze guards you so don't sneeze on someone's pancreas while you operating or get their blood squirted into your mouth. That's good enough.

    I imagine the effect of the masks is probably more to do with sick people wearing the masks so they don't spray aerosolized spit everywhere and less to do with the masks being worn by healthy people protecting them. If you can't find a mask (and you think you need one) just wear a bandanna.

    I don't know how many of you have worn N95 (or better) masks for hours at a time but they suck. It's as bad as wearing a scarf, unless it's freezing outside you will be sweating. And breathing heavier because they suck to breath through.
  4. Couldn’t she at least mention the difficulty nappy haired people have getting face masks to seal properly because the strings are uneven around the back of the head?

    • Replies: @Kolya Krassotkin
    Face masks be rayciss, yo.
  5. Vacuum cleaner bags made with non wovens and rated as HEPA filters are equivalent materials to those in FPP2 (N95F in US) masks. Obviously, a home made version will not have a latex seal.

    • Thanks: AnotherDad
    • Replies: @AnotherDad
    Thanks Philip. I've got a supply of hospital/clinic paper masks. Been using them on airplanes for a couple years now. (Why not?)

    And i've got a really good 3M respirator (silicon, with the organic filter) i use for staining the deck, painting or cementing PVC pipe joints. I'll use it taking care of a family member if they get sick, but it's too clunky to wear to the store unless this thing really gets rolling. (BTW this 3M silicon respirators--incredible product. I'd been using the crappy N95 thingys--and losing IQ points. When i first used the 3M respirator for deck staining i thought damn this is amazing. Comfortable and i'm filling the air with all these nasty volatiles and can not smell anything.)

    So AnotherMom is sewing some fabric masks. This HEPA vacuum bag material sounds like a decent choice for the filter material.
  6. People in Asia have been explaining this for months- while Western journalists wrote articles claiming that they wore them because they’re superstitious

    The sad reality is that very, very few people actually read the NYTimes. Most Americans get news from cable news. All Republicans watch Fox “News”.

    This catastrophe is Drumpfs legacy. How can you guys expect to be taken seriously when you supported a man who unleashed a pandemic through negligence and devastated the economy?

    • Replies: @TwoJakes
    This is actually as close as I’ve ever come to agreeing with a TD post
  7. Seems to be a grand cull of pensioners that is underway by the so-called ‘boomer doomer’ coronavirus … tho actually it is most hitting the Biden-Sanders ‘silent generation’

    “Eight to nine percent of people in the most vulnerable age group, 80 and older, could die if infected.”

    https://www.zerohedge.com/health/terrifying-new-research-warns-22-million-could-die-us-without-drastic-action

    “Culling the elderly?

    When late 1800s Germany introduced modern worker pensions, the average lifespan was only a couple of years beyond retirement age – a worker retiring at age 65 was beating the odds if he lived past age 67.

    Running Covid-19 pandemic statistics and data … we have plausible scenarios where, life expectancy can again reduce to the 66-67 age range, thus ‘saving’ retirement and social benefit funds

    Elites in China and the USA share common interests in reducing the strain on national budgets from pensioners, now living much longer after exiting the labour force

    https://www.henrymakow.com/2020/03/Is-the-Coronavirus-a-Chinese-Chabad.html

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    But elites are older today than ever before: e.g., Trump, Biden, Sanders, Bloomberg, Warren are all at least 70. University presidents are really old. There are more really old movie directors that before.

    The CEO of Disney just retired and nobody saw it coming because he was only 69. What kind tippy-top elite retires at 69 these days?

    Who isn't older on average? The Supreme Court is a little younger than it was in 2016, but two Democrats are over 80.

    , @Steve Sailer
    But elites are older today than ever before: e.g., Trump, Biden, Sanders, Bloomberg, Warren are all at least 70. University presidents are really old. There are more really old movie directors that before.

    The CEO of Disney just retired and nobody saw it coming because he was only 69. What kind tippy-top elite retires at 69 these days?

    Who isn't older on average? The Supreme Court is a little younger than it was in 2016, but two Democrats are over 80.

    , @Neoconned
    The thought crossed my mind that some psychotic Deep State faction sent the virus out as a bioweapon to cause an economic depression so Trump would lose.

    Trump has done the unthinkable....he held a summit w N Korea and for the most part ended the Afghan and Syrian incursions....or at least our part in them....

    Lots of defense contract types are now out BILLIONS in contracts.....there are mentally insane ppl willing tocommit terrorist attrocities to put Biden(more sohis Deep State handlers) into office so the contract war money starts flowing again now that Trump cut off the spigot....
    , @AnotherDad

    When late 1800s Germany introduced modern worker pensions, the average lifespan was only a couple of years beyond retirement age – a worker retiring at age 65 was beating the odds if he lived past age 67.
     
    Beaten the odds ... that he had as a newborn. Not beaten the odds he had retiring at 65.


    Running Covid-19 pandemic statistics and data … we have plausible scenarios where, life expectancy can again reduce to the 66-67 age range, thus ‘saving’ retirement and social benefit funds.
     
    Uh ... no.
  8. Taiwan will be manufacturing ten million masks per day by the end of this week.

    I’m sure they’l be shipping them to the US by the container load beginning next week.
    “We think, they sweat”!
    Win-win!
    Globalization works!

  9. Anon[171] • Disclaimer says:

    One of the first papers out of Italy on Covid-19 is here:

    https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/2763401?guestAccessKey=9479fd07-f8cc-421a-9f83-eadbb4da00c1&utm_source=fbpage&utm_medium=social_jama&utm_term=3206374535&utm_campaign=article_alert&linkId=84499712&fbclid=IwAR28roZxT8pc31L04dsVMM8sCPT8LNbgABArROCCDc0e48tZWwFS-rAV2aQ

    Out of the 22K infected cases they have, 2K are health care workers. 60% of infected patients are male. However, almost 60% of cases they measured are mild, have few symptoms, or no symptoms. However, since Italy isn’t testing anyone who didn’t feel sick enough to go to the hospital, they’re likely missing a lot of mild cases or cases with no symptoms.

    Only about 5.2% of those who have died are under the age of 69, and 3.5% of people who died were in their 60s, meaning if you’re under 50, your chance of dying from Covid-19 is very tiny. They have no deaths at all of anyone under age 29.

    94% of their fatalities are older than 70. The largest number of death in terms of numbers is from people in their 80s, and in terms of percentage, it’s people in their 90s.

    • Replies: @BenKenobi

    60% of infected patients are male
     
    The glass morgue strikes again. Where is the call for more equity?
    , @Steve Sailer
    Is there a chance that Northern Italy is an outlier because they are doing something wrong? Maybe there is something about how they organize the process of getting medical care that is getting lots of people infected?
    , @PiltdownMan

    Only about 5.2% of those who have died are under the age of 69, and 3.5% of people who died were in their 60s, meaning if you’re under 50, your chance of dying from Covid-19 is very tiny. They have no deaths at all of anyone under age 29.

    94% of their fatalities are older than 70. The largest number of death in terms of numbers is from people in their 80s, and in terms of percentage, it’s people in their 90s.
     

    That's consistent with the number published by a Chinese study (n=40,000+). Only eight dead below the age of 30.

    https://i.imgur.com/qb7zg9K.jpg

  10. They were literally saying “masks don’t work and also you shouldn’t hoard masks because healthcare workers NEED them.”

    Similar to how walls don’t work, but all anti-wall left wing celebrities have massive walls around their homes.

    • Replies: @JosephB
    "They" may not have been completely wrong. My wife works in a hospital and has noticed a sharp decrease in mask inventory over the past few days. There are discussions about getting more and about how to decrease the usage rate. So there could be an actual shortage going on as well.

    Then again, the local Walmart had plenty of (non N95) masks available. Shrug.
  11. I think part of the issue is that the government didn’t want there to be another thing (in addition to e.g. testing kits) that they couldn’t provide enough of to meet citizen’s demand. So suddenly masks became “unnecessary.”

  12. Zeynep Tufekci is a Turkish writer, academic, and techno-sociologist known primarily for her research on the social implications of emerging technologies

    Zeynep Tüfekçi = Fez? Necktie? Yup.

    I have no idea what a “techno-sociologist” is, but etymologically it’s a ham-on-rye, Greek/Latin sandwich.

    • Replies: @El Dato

    I have no idea what a “techno-sociologist”
     
    It's about whether NIMBYS will swarm the new nuclear reactor being built now more than disgruntled citizens suffering brownouts will swarm the theme park that was eventually put in its place later.
    , @Father O'Hara
    Techno-sociologist is a way to hire a woman and say its a tech job.
    , @Ano
    Is the helmet protecting her from the social implications of emerging technologies?
    , @George
    Panel: Michael Hayden (CIA chief), Joseph Stiglitz(Nobel Prize), Zeynep Tufekci (Mediterranean Chick)

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FOrN6WJ9b94
    , @NOTA
    She's a sociologist who started out as a programmer--which means she's technically literate. She's
    also very smart, and spends her time thinking about the intersection between technology and social forces--everything I've seen by her is worth reading.
  13. Despite her exotic (Turkish) name and her wishy-washy degree in sociology, Dr. Tufekci sounds like a surprisingly sane person. Not once in this op-ed did she complain about anyone touching her hair or claim special privileges or allege that she had been oppressed on account of being a woman or a Muslim or an immigrant or non-white (even though she is white). Nowadays, that counts as an accomplishment.

    As for the premise of her article, I agree with her. The authorities have obviously been lying to us for weeks now about the effectiveness of masks, which are magically effective if worn by medical personnel but of no value, no value I tell you, to anyone else. I understand that they have been lying for a good cause (and in lieu of actually doing anything like ramping up mask production or enforcing the laws against price gouging while going to the premises of the gougers and seizing their stocks of masks) but lying for a good cause is still lying and lying is bad. I personally am shocked, shocked that government authorities would ever lie to us – when has our government EVER done that?

    What they should have done is what they ultimately did to the guy who had 20,000 bottles of hand sanitizer that he had bought by cleaning out his local stores and that he was trying to sell on Amazon for $20 a pop. The guy was dumb enough to allow his story to be told in the NY Times, whereupon he drew the attention of various states’ attorney generals and they agreed that if he donated all of the bottles they wouldn’t send him to jail.

    But so far they have done this to exactly 1 guy when there are armies of quick buck artists who did this. Ebay and Amazon may have put a lot of retailers out of business but they also put INTO business an army of guys who go around grabbing up the latest sneakers or video games or whatever and reselling them for a big markup. These guys make their living by keeping their ears open for the NEXT BIG THING so when people started talking about coronavirus in January they immediately sprang into action and cleaned out every CVS and Walgreens in the land. It should have been made clear early on that you could buy masks for your own personal use but that any attempt to resell them for more than their retail price would be punished. No one told them this so to them masks were no different than Beanie Babies.

    • Replies: @Corvinus
    "The authorities have obviously been lying to us for weeks now about the effectiveness of masks..."

    Which authorities are you referring to? State health officials? The CDC? The crack(pot) team of Pence and Kushner who are front and center in leading the federal government's efforts to combat the Coronavirus?
    , @The Wild Geese Howard
    Jesus dude, you could have saved yourself a lot of time by just posting this:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xhYJS80MgYA
    , @Buzz Mohawk
    Well said, man, well said. If I had an AGREE button, I would use it.
    , @MKP

    "The authorities have obviously been lying to us for weeks now about the effectiveness of masks, which are magically effective if worn by medical personnel but of no value, no value I tell you, to anyone else."

     

    The whole thing never stood up to even the most casual scrutiny. The newspapers and cable news shows kept saying "masks don't help protect you. In fact, they might make it worse! And, anyway, if everyone goes out and buys masks, there won't be enough for doctors and nurses!"

    Wait a minute ... what? If the masks don't help (in fact, might make it worse), then why the hell would doctors and nurses be wearing them? Why would it be a bad thing that doctors and nurses couldn't get them?

    It's like the editors at the nation's major newspapers and TV shows harkened back to their high school journalism teacher saying "remember, reinforce your point with two different rationales." But then didn't realize that the second reason they gave as to why everyone shouldn't run out and buy masks completely contradicted the first.
    , @Mr. Anon
    I'm not clear on what charge those guys were threatened with. Price gouging, I think. If you charge a high price for some thing that people think they need, you are a price gouger. If you charge a high price for money that people need, you are a pay-day loan entrepreneur. How was it price gouging if they bought up the stuff before any public health emergency was even declared in this country?

    Don't get me wrong. I think price-gouging is shitty. And I have no liking for speculators and hustlers generally. However I also don't like the government simply declaring things to be crimes by fiat because they all of a sudden feel the hankering. We have processes for making laws. We have bodies charged with making them. The law is not made by Tennessee AGs, New York governors, or the mayor of Champaign-Urbana.
  14. Turks are the Mexicans of Eurasia. Lot of Indo-European blood, lot of Central Asian blood. The language thing is reversed however.

  15. Preach sister!

    That piece is great!
    Those obvious contradictions and counterfactual statements have been driving me nuts!

  16. @Reg Cæsar
    Zeynep Tufekci is a Turkish writer, academic, and techno-sociologist known primarily for her research on the social implications of emerging technologies


    Zeynep Tüfekçi = Fez? Necktie? Yup.


    https://clalliance.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/Zeynep-Tufekci.jpg


    I have no idea what a "techno-sociologist" is, but etymologically it's a ham-on-rye, Greek/Latin sandwich.

    I have no idea what a “techno-sociologist”

    It’s about whether NIMBYS will swarm the new nuclear reactor being built now more than disgruntled citizens suffering brownouts will swarm the theme park that was eventually put in its place later.

  17. Very good article. It’s always a relief these days when you read an article written by a woman that is rational and level-headed instead of self-involved. By the way, I think most people saw how ridiculous the “masks don’t work at all but please please keep them for the medical professionals” message was, adding it to the panic. It made people realize the health professionals were really, really worried about this, despite the reassuring messages.

  18. Anon[364] • Disclaimer says:

    I’m starting to understand how the seeds of denialism are planted. Someone tells a little lie, in service of a greater good. That lie is exposed. It opens the door of doubt that people of a contrarian bent walk through.

    Climate scientists could have said: “look at Venus, it is 96% Carbon Dioxide and its surface is hot enough to vaporise metal, despite being “earth’s twin”. We don’t know how much carbon dioxide is enough to start tipping us in the direction of Venus, and we don’t want to find out.” Heck, the temperature data would have borne them out.

    Instead, they latched onto a narrative of urgency that cherry picked extreme weather events in order to fool those who they thought were less informed/smart as them, and it opened the door to contrarians (and no doubt fossil fuel propagandists, and Al Gore jumping onto the issue didn’t help either).

    I have to admit, I scoffed at the “it’s just a bad flu” narrative, but this lie about masks has cracked open the door of doubt. I will resist the urge to walk through, because the stakes are too high; and too immediate.

    Smart people need to stop assuming that people who aren’t in their field can’t see through their BS.

    • Agree: ChrisZ
    • Replies: @(((Owen)))
    Didn't matter with global warming. The greedy insiders who protect their profits at the expense of the public good in the fossil fuel industry are already masters of creating mass hysteria.

    Look at how they scam us into foreign wars for their profits. Or how they have forced parking and building mandates that have turned our once beautiful and graceful cities into motorcar sewers.

    No matter how reasonable the advocates of a livable planet and slowing the mass destruction of habitat and clean air and water through climate change were, those people were going to demonize them. They're experts at scamming the public and they have all the money.
  19. Excuse me Mr Sailer,

    If all the masks are sold out and I live in Virginia, will I be safe from the virus if I wear Gov Northam’s KKK hood instead?

    I am a progressive Democrat so surely it’s a perfectly acceptable substitute.

  20. I was shocked when I saw this: They admitted a totally obvious point:When you tell people obvious lies (Dont buy masks because they don’t work, and doctors need them) they trust you less.

  21. This article was very good.

    Sixth, masks are an important signal that it’s not business as usual as well as an act of solidarity. Pandemics require us to change our behavior — our socialization, hygiene, work and more — collectively, and knowing our fellow citizens are on board is important for all efforts.

    This is totally true. I traveled abroad during spring break, and went to the airport wearing a mask. When I went up to the passport checker, she didn’t want to touch my passport. She told me to swipe the passport myself. Lol! I think my wearing the mask associated myself to the virus.

    Hong Kong health officials credit universal mask wearing as part of the solution and recommend universal mask wearing. In fact, Taiwan responded to the coronavirus by immediately ramping up mask production.

    Here is a question: does the US have the capability of mass producing face masks? They certainly can’t import them anymore. If i recall correctly, I think the US has only one face mask company, but the owner is reluctant to expand production. Is the US government allowed to seize the factory from him and expand production?

    I think a good option would be for the US to threaten Taiwan with cancelling their military arms sales if they dont share some of the goodies.

    • Replies: @danand

    “If i recall correctly, I think the US has only one face mask company, but the owner is reluctant to expand production. Is the US government allowed to seize the factory from him and expand production?”
     
    Yahya, I can’t really blame the business for not wanting to produce the masks. A very likely scenario for them would be they'd gear up, produce gobs of masks, and then go bankrupt; as the demand/need for those masks would evaporate before they could sell them.

    If masks from this manufacturer are critical, and they may well be, the business needs a firm, ironclad guarantee that after they produce, they will sell. If we need masks, it’s pretty straightforward; a “Gates” or government needs to become the proverbial “buyer of last resort” for this mask manufacturer.

    BTW, for better or worse, I have heard manufacturers in China will be flooding the world with masks prior to roughly mid-April. So if you’re a mask “middle man” you may want to try and unload your stock of masks now, though to be honest, I personally am not wishing you too much luck.

    , @anon
    Perhaps that US face mask manufacturer scaled up for SARS and got stuck with a lot of inventory. The sensible thing to do would be what steve suggested, a multi-year government contract that would put a floor under his risk.

    By the way, has anyone given any thought to what this all would be like with Hillary! in the White House? She might even have to negotiate a ceasefire with the Russians, horrors!
    , @George
    I think the US has only one face mask company,

    Augusta Factory Ramps Up to Relieve Global Mask Shortage as China Fights Coronavirus
    https://www.globalatlanta.com/augusta-factory-ramps-up-to-relieve-global-mask-shortage-as-china-fights-coronavirus/

    All they can do is add a night shift.
    , @Anon

    If i recall correctly, I think the US has only one face mask company, but the owner is reluctant to expand production. Is the US government allowed to seize the factory from him and expand production?
     
    Why would the government need to seize it? He just doesn't want to take out a loan to expand because he got burned before.

    The government is giving out helicopter money anyway. Just ask the guy what he needs and buy the equipment for him. Its probably under a few million dollars.
  22. Are any of you guys stockpiling Gold bullion?

    • Replies: @Buzz Mohawk
    I've owned physical gold for years. Kilo bars...

    BTW I posted a comment here very early, and it disappeared. I don't know what happened, but it was to the effect that the Taiwan "ten million masks per day" would yield a days supply for every person in the United States -- after one month of production.

    I then asked how many masks -- and oxygen ventilators -- are manufactured in our own country. I think I know the answer. My conclusion, in the disappearing comment, is that we have been screwed by globalism and bad leadership.

    , @snorlax
    I'm stockpiling ExxonMobil stock. Div/yield currently 9.45% and they have never reduced their dividend.
    , @The Wild Geese Howard
    I just converted $500 of Wall St electrons into bullion, I know it's not nearly enough.

    I have a couple $k of bullion lying around.

    I really wish I had a Remington 870 with a 250 rd case of 00 buckshot and a 250 rd case of rifled slugs next to me right now.

    Other than that I'm trading options on price momentum, and that's been really great, especially buying puts on volatile equities like TSLA when they rip on the daily Corona briefing.

    That's why I will be pissed if they shut the markets to retail and turn them into a private club for the Fed, central banks, MMs, and large tutes like Vanguard and Charles Schwab.

    I will be pissed because they will claim the closure is, "for the good of retail traders."

    Whenever the government and banks state something like that, it always means they are trying to fuck the little guy in the ass.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f36w3GPoGz0

    , @J.Ross
    I can't right now but for some reason metal prices are behaving like oil and bitcoin prices, so now would be a good time to consider it.
    , @anon
    Are any of you guys stockpiling Gold bullion?

    Beef bullion and chocolate gold coins are tastier. But not mixed together.
    , @Neoconned
    "Junk gold" is the besttype to hold so long as the karot amt is up....
  23. @Reg Cæsar
    Zeynep Tufekci is a Turkish writer, academic, and techno-sociologist known primarily for her research on the social implications of emerging technologies


    Zeynep Tüfekçi = Fez? Necktie? Yup.


    https://clalliance.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/Zeynep-Tufekci.jpg


    I have no idea what a "techno-sociologist" is, but etymologically it's a ham-on-rye, Greek/Latin sandwich.

    Techno-sociologist is a way to hire a woman and say its a tech job.

    • Agree: Forbes
  24. Dear Dr Sailer,

    I’ve noticed while Mrs Trudeau tested positive for the virus, Justin hasn’t.

    Should the CDC look into the possible anti-viral properties of black face paint?

  25. Masks are GREAT,not good. Wrong word employed, sir. Pray tell, why isn’t President Trump wearing one to show how it’s done?

    “You can tell the crisis is serious because the NYT has published an op-ed by a woman that is useful, needs to be said, and isn’t about her hair…”

    Actually, they’ve been quite serious from the jump about Coronavirus. Unlike Trump, who originally stated it was no big deal, and now is trying to reap praise for his efforts. Then he has the audacity to lash out at those governors who are taking charge, all the while saying they are responsible for procuring ventilators.

    Meanwhile, only 37 percent of those polled have either “a good amount” or “a great deal” of trust in the the information they hear from the president about the coronavirus.

    https://www.politico.com/news/2020/03/17/poll-americans-lack-trust-in-trump-on-coronavirus-information-133576

    Why are you seemingly protecting him, Mr. Sailer?

    • Replies: @Jack D
    Some data points:

    1. S. Korea has cut their epidemic without shutting down their entire economy. The key is freely available, drive thru testing. You feel like you are coming down with a little something, you immediately go to the convenient drive thru testing line. Either you are reassured that you don't have it and can go about your business or else you learn that you are and self-quarantine (and get medical help if necessary).

    2. There was ONE (count'em one) new Covid case in all of China today, not counting 20 Chinese people returning from the West because they felt safer in China (who were caught and quarantined).

    This thing can be beat, but not by running around like your hair is on fire, which seems to be the American response.
    , @Je Suis Omar Mateen
    'Meanwhile, only 37 percent of those polled have either “a good amount” or “a great deal” of trust in the the information they hear from the president about the coronavirus.'

    Did you just unironically cite a Politico poll?
    , @Colin Wright
    '... Actually, they’ve been quite serious from the jump about Coronavirus...'

    A little too serious, actually. This is a flu epidemic, not a reason to shut down everything and shit can the world's economy.
    , @hhsiii
    Thanks, Coronavinus.
  26. Let’s get to the real issue.

    Belief in masks is necessary to re-inflate our economy. People need to believe that if they wear the Magic(TM) face mask, they can go to work, go to shop, go to school etc. just like usual. We will return to pretty much normal. This is how places like Hong Kong survived SARS and MERS.

    We need universal belief in the Magic(TM) face mask within about two weeks. The alternative to belief in the Magic(TM) face mask is belief in a Government which can solve all problems, but only if it is allowed power over every aspect of the economy and your life.

    Bring on the Magic(TM) face masks!

  27. @JohnnyWalker123
    Are any of you guys stockpiling Gold bullion?

    I’ve owned physical gold for years. Kilo bars…

    BTW I posted a comment here very early, and it disappeared. I don’t know what happened, but it was to the effect that the Taiwan “ten million masks per day” would yield a days supply for every person in the United States — after one month of production.

    I then asked how many masks — and oxygen ventilators — are manufactured in our own country. I think I know the answer. My conclusion, in the disappearing comment, is that we have been screwed by globalism and bad leadership.

    • Replies: @Jack D
    1. As an investment, gold has been dropping in price since there is less demand for metals in a recession/depression.

    2. As a last ditch store of value when everything has gone to hell, wouldn't you be better off with coins? A kilo of gold is currently worth approximately $50,000. This is a useful unit for buying real estate or maybe a luxury vehicle, but a bit much for buying any reasonable quantity of food or other essentials.

    , @ThreeCranes
    Since we aren't making any, what do you think those Taiwanese will charge us?

    Krugman's Folly has been exposed for having left us exposed to those nations whose superior productive capacity puts them in the catbird seat.

    We have become Greece, trading our low value-added agricultural products for foreign high-value added manufactured goods.
    , @Kylie
    I just read your comment on March 17 at 9:35 p.m. CST.
  28. @Jack D
    Despite her exotic (Turkish) name and her wishy-washy degree in sociology, Dr. Tufekci sounds like a surprisingly sane person. Not once in this op-ed did she complain about anyone touching her hair or claim special privileges or allege that she had been oppressed on account of being a woman or a Muslim or an immigrant or non-white (even though she is white). Nowadays, that counts as an accomplishment.

    As for the premise of her article, I agree with her. The authorities have obviously been lying to us for weeks now about the effectiveness of masks, which are magically effective if worn by medical personnel but of no value, no value I tell you, to anyone else. I understand that they have been lying for a good cause (and in lieu of actually doing anything like ramping up mask production or enforcing the laws against price gouging while going to the premises of the gougers and seizing their stocks of masks) but lying for a good cause is still lying and lying is bad. I personally am shocked, shocked that government authorities would ever lie to us - when has our government EVER done that?

    What they should have done is what they ultimately did to the guy who had 20,000 bottles of hand sanitizer that he had bought by cleaning out his local stores and that he was trying to sell on Amazon for $20 a pop. The guy was dumb enough to allow his story to be told in the NY Times, whereupon he drew the attention of various states' attorney generals and they agreed that if he donated all of the bottles they wouldn't send him to jail.

    But so far they have done this to exactly 1 guy when there are armies of quick buck artists who did this. Ebay and Amazon may have put a lot of retailers out of business but they also put INTO business an army of guys who go around grabbing up the latest sneakers or video games or whatever and reselling them for a big markup. These guys make their living by keeping their ears open for the NEXT BIG THING so when people started talking about coronavirus in January they immediately sprang into action and cleaned out every CVS and Walgreens in the land. It should have been made clear early on that you could buy masks for your own personal use but that any attempt to resell them for more than their retail price would be punished. No one told them this so to them masks were no different than Beanie Babies.

    “The authorities have obviously been lying to us for weeks now about the effectiveness of masks…”

    Which authorities are you referring to? State health officials? The CDC? The crack(pot) team of Pence and Kushner who are front and center in leading the federal government’s efforts to combat the Coronavirus?

    • Replies: @duh
    Surgeon General

    BTW we have too many criminals for me to be comfortable seeing masks everywhere

  29. Is there a law of sociology that no organization is more ethical than its least ethical decision maker?

    It seems that in WASP-run America, the government would not have lied about masks. It would have told everyone to go buy some masks for personal and family use, but not to hoard or retailers to gouge on prices, because manufacturers would be hard at work making plenty more. Almost everyone would have done just that.

    The government can’t do that anymore, because, being unethical people themselves, can’t imagine anyone responding prosocially to a crisis. They also can’t do it because American manufacturing was murdered by MBAs. Even if the government wanted to boost manufacturing, US corporations are at the mercy of their Asian suppliers. In January, Taiwan banned exporting face masks. Is that still in effect? If it isn’t, are you still sure that they won’t reinstitute that? We can’t produce much on our own anymore.

    Finally, I agree with Jack that the FBI, or whatever agency is in charge of that kind of thing, should be working from home, googling about for hand sanitizer and toilet paper, and ordering some from another state, of course, to have proof the seller is gouging. Then prosecuting. Not for fines that will be cheap compared to the profits, but for actual prison time. If fifty people get a decade each in federal prison? There will be a lot fewer people who try it next crisis. At the very least, they will be leery of selling online, which must be where most of the money comes from.Flee markets will probably be the big in person sellers. They won’t do that, because they don’t actually think that price gouging is wrong. Also, they are just too lazy.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    Woodrow Wilson's government never lied to anybody about anything? Besides the President being non compos mentis for most of each day?
    , @Anonymous
    We could bring manufacturing back to the US with a combination of tariff and nontariff barriers, and making it plain unprofitable for US companies to offshore manufacturing by judicious tax laws that would put the wood to companies in the right ways.

    Libtys will be extremely upset.

    Cucks will view it as their paid responsibility to oppose, which actually it is.

    Liberals will pay it lip service but they really don't want to go back to a Democrat Party run by wind-breaking windbreaker wearing union fat prole ethnic Whites. Only those with a volkisch view of things from the white perspective would want it. It would also help those blacks actually willing to work and the mestizos and orientals who have mostly assimilated into Core America, but they will never support it firsthand in meaningful numbers.
    , @Ben tillman
    There is some merit to your comment, but you must have missed the discussion in a recent thread about Woodrow Wilson’s efforts to spread the Spanish Influenza in 1918. And all of FDR’s huge lies.
  30. @Reg Cæsar
    Zeynep Tufekci is a Turkish writer, academic, and techno-sociologist known primarily for her research on the social implications of emerging technologies


    Zeynep Tüfekçi = Fez? Necktie? Yup.


    https://clalliance.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/Zeynep-Tufekci.jpg


    I have no idea what a "techno-sociologist" is, but etymologically it's a ham-on-rye, Greek/Latin sandwich.

    Is the helmet protecting her from the social implications of emerging technologies?

  31. @Corvinus
    Masks are GREAT,not good. Wrong word employed, sir. Pray tell, why isn't President Trump wearing one to show how it's done?

    "You can tell the crisis is serious because the NYT has published an op-ed by a woman that is useful, needs to be said, and isn’t about her hair..."

    Actually, they've been quite serious from the jump about Coronavirus. Unlike Trump, who originally stated it was no big deal, and now is trying to reap praise for his efforts. Then he has the audacity to lash out at those governors who are taking charge, all the while saying they are responsible for procuring ventilators.

    Meanwhile, only 37 percent of those polled have either “a good amount” or “a great deal” of trust in the the information they hear from the president about the coronavirus.

    https://www.politico.com/news/2020/03/17/poll-americans-lack-trust-in-trump-on-coronavirus-information-133576

    Why are you seemingly protecting him, Mr. Sailer?

    Some data points:

    1. S. Korea has cut their epidemic without shutting down their entire economy. The key is freely available, drive thru testing. You feel like you are coming down with a little something, you immediately go to the convenient drive thru testing line. Either you are reassured that you don’t have it and can go about your business or else you learn that you are and self-quarantine (and get medical help if necessary).

    2. There was ONE (count’em one) new Covid case in all of China today, not counting 20 Chinese people returning from the West because they felt safer in China (who were caught and quarantined).

    This thing can be beat, but not by running around like your hair is on fire, which seems to be the American response.

    • Agree: MikeatMikedotMike
    • Replies: @Coemgen
    If mainland China had only one new COVID-19 case today, then that is likely a consequence of their brutal martial law for the past month or so.

    It's not due to "testing." It's due to using police and military to enforce quarantines.

    I guess you would refer to quarantine enforcement as "running around like your hair is on fire."
    , @epebble

    The key is freely available, drive thru testing
     
    Our Fubar with testing, leading to tens of thousands of asymptomatic carriers walking around spreading disease, will probably prove to be as catastrophic as the Chinese eating bat soup.
    , @Corvinus
    "1. S. Korea has cut their epidemic without shutting down their entire economy".

    You are comparing apples to oranges.

    "The key is freely available, drive thru testing."

    Absolutely. Except America does not have that capability as of yet. Why?

    "2. There was ONE (count’em one) new Covid case in all of China today, not counting 20 Chinese people returning from the West because they felt safer in China (who were caught and quarantined)."

    Assuming that their data is accurate, right? Because a number of posters here believe that nation (along with Jews) enjoy fudging numbers, at best, and outright lying, at worst.

    "This thing can be beat, but not by running around like your hair is on fire, which seems to be the American response".

    I would say an overreaction is necessary. Should we not close schools and businesses? And wouldn't you think investors ought to know better rather than panic and try to sell their stocks all at once?
  32. @Corvinus
    "The authorities have obviously been lying to us for weeks now about the effectiveness of masks..."

    Which authorities are you referring to? State health officials? The CDC? The crack(pot) team of Pence and Kushner who are front and center in leading the federal government's efforts to combat the Coronavirus?

    Surgeon General

    BTW we have too many criminals for me to be comfortable seeing masks everywhere

    • Replies: @Corvinus
    "Surgeon General"

    So the blame lies with him? In what ways? And, you do know he was appointed by Trump, so by extension, you are blaming him, too.
  33. @JohnnyWalker123
    Are any of you guys stockpiling Gold bullion?

    I’m stockpiling ExxonMobil stock. Div/yield currently 9.45% and they have never reduced their dividend.

    • Replies: @res
    Probably a decent bet, but you might want to read this:
    https://seekingalpha.com/article/4332494-exxon-mobil-why-worried-dividend-cut
    , @The Wild Geese Howard
    This is a pretty good idea.

    Assuming that this is not the end of the world, Exxon should pick up at some point later in the year.

    Personally, I prefer working with some of the available oil ETFs. I have $3k in lotto calls on the GUSH ETF positioned for Jun20/Sep20/Jan21. Great if they hit, no big deal if they don't.
  34. @Corvinus
    Masks are GREAT,not good. Wrong word employed, sir. Pray tell, why isn't President Trump wearing one to show how it's done?

    "You can tell the crisis is serious because the NYT has published an op-ed by a woman that is useful, needs to be said, and isn’t about her hair..."

    Actually, they've been quite serious from the jump about Coronavirus. Unlike Trump, who originally stated it was no big deal, and now is trying to reap praise for his efforts. Then he has the audacity to lash out at those governors who are taking charge, all the while saying they are responsible for procuring ventilators.

    Meanwhile, only 37 percent of those polled have either “a good amount” or “a great deal” of trust in the the information they hear from the president about the coronavirus.

    https://www.politico.com/news/2020/03/17/poll-americans-lack-trust-in-trump-on-coronavirus-information-133576

    Why are you seemingly protecting him, Mr. Sailer?

    ‘Meanwhile, only 37 percent of those polled have either “a good amount” or “a great deal” of trust in the the information they hear from the president about the coronavirus.’

    Did you just unironically cite a Politico poll?

  35. @Buzz Mohawk
    I've owned physical gold for years. Kilo bars...

    BTW I posted a comment here very early, and it disappeared. I don't know what happened, but it was to the effect that the Taiwan "ten million masks per day" would yield a days supply for every person in the United States -- after one month of production.

    I then asked how many masks -- and oxygen ventilators -- are manufactured in our own country. I think I know the answer. My conclusion, in the disappearing comment, is that we have been screwed by globalism and bad leadership.

    1. As an investment, gold has been dropping in price since there is less demand for metals in a recession/depression.

    2. As a last ditch store of value when everything has gone to hell, wouldn’t you be better off with coins? A kilo of gold is currently worth approximately $50,000. This is a useful unit for buying real estate or maybe a luxury vehicle, but a bit much for buying any reasonable quantity of food or other essentials.

    • Replies: @snorlax
    In an actual shit hits the fan scenario gold would be virtually worthless. Its primary use is for making ladies' jewelry.

    Good SHTF stores of value would be non-perishable consumables, such as toilet paper, hand sanitizer and face masks. Wisdom of crowds strikes again! (Not that I'm suggesting TP/Purell/masks as an investment vehicle now - the opportunity to buy low and sell high has passed).
    , @Buzz Mohawk

    A kilo of gold is currently worth approximately $50,000. This is a useful unit for buying real estate or maybe a luxury vehicle, but a bit much for buying any reasonable quantity of food or other essentials.
     
    I sold some, around $55,000 each, when we bought our current fixer-upper at about half ITS current value.

    Gold (and property) is a guaranteed store of value, no matter what happens. I don't need it to buy groceries. You stick to your scenario, and I'll stick to mine, Jack.

    , @keuril

    1. As an investment, gold has been dropping in price since there is less demand for metals in a recession/depression.
     
    That’s not what has happened. Unlike other metals, the industrial applications for gold represent a trivial amount of its total demand, which is mainly investment demand. Gold has been treated for thousands of years as money—you are probably aware that it is literally the word for money in many languages. For most of human history, people would have found it preposterous to be paid in pieces of paper instead of gold or silver. Later, advanced economies moved to pieces of paper “backed” by gold, and that gold standard gradually devolved over the 20th century to the point where all major economies are now run on fiat currencies backed by nothing but a printing press.

    Nevertheless, the advanced (and not so advanced) economies of the world today continue to hold thousands of tons of gold. Some, like Russia, have made it policy to replace their US dollar holdings with gold. From a non-sovereign, personal or institutional investor perspective, in the fiat-money era there was historically an opportunity cost to holding gold instead of sovereign bonds, because gold yields nothing. But last I checked, the amount of sovereign bonds trading at *negative* yields in Europe and Japan footed to more than $15 trillion. This amount has probably increased with the incredible rally in sovereign bonds this year, with even US yields approaching negative territory. This means the traditional advantage of sovereigns over gold (namely, a positive yield) is no longer meaningful—literally trillions of dollars in bonds yield less than gold.

    Now, it is true that gold has performed poorly compared to the USD (though not compared to stock markets) the past couple weeks, but this probably reflects short term issues such as too many leveraged speculators long gold via futures (you can view these trends by checking charts of the Commitment of Traders reports for gold). But that is a short term issue as the over leveraged are dealt with brutally by Mr. Market. Longer term, it remains the case that most institutional investors and retail investors have not held gold in size since the late 70s and early 80s.

    These things change at the margins, and now that the Fed has already spent its conventional monetary bullets when a recession hasn’t even officially started, what unconventional monetary and fiscal measures might it and other central banks and governments take over the months ahead, when huge swaths of the population find themselves without income? I would say maybe go clown long helicopter futures if there were such a thing, because money is going to be dropping from the sky all over the place. Where will all the money come from? Why, it will simply be printed into existence, in the US and elsewhere. At some point, people might want to own something resembling “money” that cannot be produced from thin air.
  36. @snorlax
    I'm stockpiling ExxonMobil stock. Div/yield currently 9.45% and they have never reduced their dividend.

    Probably a decent bet, but you might want to read this:
    https://seekingalpha.com/article/4332494-exxon-mobil-why-worried-dividend-cut

  37. @Jack D
    1. As an investment, gold has been dropping in price since there is less demand for metals in a recession/depression.

    2. As a last ditch store of value when everything has gone to hell, wouldn't you be better off with coins? A kilo of gold is currently worth approximately $50,000. This is a useful unit for buying real estate or maybe a luxury vehicle, but a bit much for buying any reasonable quantity of food or other essentials.

    In an actual shit hits the fan scenario gold would be virtually worthless. Its primary use is for making ladies’ jewelry.

    Good SHTF stores of value would be non-perishable consumables, such as toilet paper, hand sanitizer and face masks. Wisdom of crowds strikes again! (Not that I’m suggesting TP/Purell/masks as an investment vehicle now – the opportunity to buy low and sell high has passed).

    • Replies: @hhsiii
    Or that thing Costner had in water world that turned his piss potable.
    , @JosephB
    Cheapish alcohol would be another good store of value (folks will want their buzz). If things get very bad, water purifiers become plausible.
  38. @Jack D
    1. As an investment, gold has been dropping in price since there is less demand for metals in a recession/depression.

    2. As a last ditch store of value when everything has gone to hell, wouldn't you be better off with coins? A kilo of gold is currently worth approximately $50,000. This is a useful unit for buying real estate or maybe a luxury vehicle, but a bit much for buying any reasonable quantity of food or other essentials.

    A kilo of gold is currently worth approximately $50,000. This is a useful unit for buying real estate or maybe a luxury vehicle, but a bit much for buying any reasonable quantity of food or other essentials.

    I sold some, around $55,000 each, when we bought our current fixer-upper at about half ITS current value.

    Gold (and property) is a guaranteed store of value, no matter what happens. I don’t need it to buy groceries. You stick to your scenario, and I’ll stick to mine, Jack.

    • Replies: @Corvinus
    "Gold (and property) is a guaranteed store of value, no matter what happens."

    You do realize WE, as humans, put a value on it. What occurs when we decide not to? Would not that take away the precious power of bankers?
  39. @Jack D
    Some data points:

    1. S. Korea has cut their epidemic without shutting down their entire economy. The key is freely available, drive thru testing. You feel like you are coming down with a little something, you immediately go to the convenient drive thru testing line. Either you are reassured that you don't have it and can go about your business or else you learn that you are and self-quarantine (and get medical help if necessary).

    2. There was ONE (count'em one) new Covid case in all of China today, not counting 20 Chinese people returning from the West because they felt safer in China (who were caught and quarantined).

    This thing can be beat, but not by running around like your hair is on fire, which seems to be the American response.

    If mainland China had only one new COVID-19 case today, then that is likely a consequence of their brutal martial law for the past month or so.

    It’s not due to “testing.” It’s due to using police and military to enforce quarantines.

    I guess you would refer to quarantine enforcement as “running around like your hair is on fire.”

  40. Yup. Knew the “masks don’t work” was propaganda when everyone began repeating “Masks don’t work” like parrots, but nobody could give a reason or source. I already bought a package of 4 washable, made-in-America masks that I can put over a Lowe’s dust mask if necessary. Can also be decorated with a cat nose and whiskers. Yes, yes, I know dust masks “don’t work on viruses” but I figure they can’t hurt, and would at least keep droplets off me until I could wash my face and keep me from touching my nose.

  41. @Buzz Mohawk
    I've owned physical gold for years. Kilo bars...

    BTW I posted a comment here very early, and it disappeared. I don't know what happened, but it was to the effect that the Taiwan "ten million masks per day" would yield a days supply for every person in the United States -- after one month of production.

    I then asked how many masks -- and oxygen ventilators -- are manufactured in our own country. I think I know the answer. My conclusion, in the disappearing comment, is that we have been screwed by globalism and bad leadership.

    Since we aren’t making any, what do you think those Taiwanese will charge us?

    Krugman’s Folly has been exposed for having left us exposed to those nations whose superior productive capacity puts them in the catbird seat.

    We have become Greece, trading our low value-added agricultural products for foreign high-value added manufactured goods.

    • Replies: @Buzz Mohawk
    That is exactly right. If this crisis does not prompt loud, real criticism and examination of our global production system, then we are indeed doomed and deserve to die as a species. Most of us here have already known about this weakness for years, and now everyone should be able to see it. Will they?
  42. @Corvinus
    Masks are GREAT,not good. Wrong word employed, sir. Pray tell, why isn't President Trump wearing one to show how it's done?

    "You can tell the crisis is serious because the NYT has published an op-ed by a woman that is useful, needs to be said, and isn’t about her hair..."

    Actually, they've been quite serious from the jump about Coronavirus. Unlike Trump, who originally stated it was no big deal, and now is trying to reap praise for his efforts. Then he has the audacity to lash out at those governors who are taking charge, all the while saying they are responsible for procuring ventilators.

    Meanwhile, only 37 percent of those polled have either “a good amount” or “a great deal” of trust in the the information they hear from the president about the coronavirus.

    https://www.politico.com/news/2020/03/17/poll-americans-lack-trust-in-trump-on-coronavirus-information-133576

    Why are you seemingly protecting him, Mr. Sailer?

    ‘… Actually, they’ve been quite serious from the jump about Coronavirus…’

    A little too serious, actually. This is a flu epidemic, not a reason to shut down everything and shit can the world’s economy.

  43. Valves from a 3D printer are good. Hey, what do you know, it’s one of those cases where the government could step in to guarantee a smooth departure from normal proceduees while guaranteeing the interests of all parties and — naw, let’s hand it to litigators.
    https://www.theverge.com/2020/3/17/21184308/coronavirus-italy-medical-company-threatens-sue-3d-print-valves-treatments
    A medical device manufacturer has threatened to sue a group of volunteers in Italy that 3D printed a valve used for life-saving coronavirus treatments. The valve typically costs about $11,000 from the medical device manufacturer, but the volunteers were able to print replicas for about $1 (via Techdirt).

    A hospital in Italy was in need of the valves after running out while treating patients for COVID-19. The hospital’s usual supplier said they could not make the valves in time to treat the patients, according to Metro. That launched a search for a way to 3D print a replica part, and Cristian Fracassi and Alessandro Ramaioli, who work at Italian startup Isinnova, offered their company’s printer for the job, reports Business Insider.

    However, when the pair asked the manufacturer of the valves for blueprints they could use to print replicas, the company declined and threatened to sue for patent infringement, according to Business Insider Italia. Fracassi and Ramaioli moved ahead anyway by measuring the valves and 3D printing three different versions of them.

  44. @Reg Cæsar
    Zeynep Tufekci is a Turkish writer, academic, and techno-sociologist known primarily for her research on the social implications of emerging technologies


    Zeynep Tüfekçi = Fez? Necktie? Yup.


    https://clalliance.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/Zeynep-Tufekci.jpg


    I have no idea what a "techno-sociologist" is, but etymologically it's a ham-on-rye, Greek/Latin sandwich.

    Panel: Michael Hayden (CIA chief), Joseph Stiglitz(Nobel Prize), Zeynep Tufekci (Mediterranean Chick)

    • Replies: @Mr. Anon
    Wherein a former director of both the NSA and the CIA tells us about Truth and Trust.
    , @Lugash
    She's a spook. Probably recruited to provide insight into Turkey, then moved into her nebulous position to fog up Silicon Valley's complicity in transnational surveillance.

    I wasn't able to find it, but after Trump's win she had a Twitter conversation with a subcontinental(Jeet Heer?) trying to figure out why white working class are anti-immigrant and globalization. I dunno, maybe because we have two foreign imports occupying middlebrow writing positions and not coming up with anything particularly interesting?

    She's not a rabid leftists, but she's not on our side.
  45. @Jack D
    Despite her exotic (Turkish) name and her wishy-washy degree in sociology, Dr. Tufekci sounds like a surprisingly sane person. Not once in this op-ed did she complain about anyone touching her hair or claim special privileges or allege that she had been oppressed on account of being a woman or a Muslim or an immigrant or non-white (even though she is white). Nowadays, that counts as an accomplishment.

    As for the premise of her article, I agree with her. The authorities have obviously been lying to us for weeks now about the effectiveness of masks, which are magically effective if worn by medical personnel but of no value, no value I tell you, to anyone else. I understand that they have been lying for a good cause (and in lieu of actually doing anything like ramping up mask production or enforcing the laws against price gouging while going to the premises of the gougers and seizing their stocks of masks) but lying for a good cause is still lying and lying is bad. I personally am shocked, shocked that government authorities would ever lie to us - when has our government EVER done that?

    What they should have done is what they ultimately did to the guy who had 20,000 bottles of hand sanitizer that he had bought by cleaning out his local stores and that he was trying to sell on Amazon for $20 a pop. The guy was dumb enough to allow his story to be told in the NY Times, whereupon he drew the attention of various states' attorney generals and they agreed that if he donated all of the bottles they wouldn't send him to jail.

    But so far they have done this to exactly 1 guy when there are armies of quick buck artists who did this. Ebay and Amazon may have put a lot of retailers out of business but they also put INTO business an army of guys who go around grabbing up the latest sneakers or video games or whatever and reselling them for a big markup. These guys make their living by keeping their ears open for the NEXT BIG THING so when people started talking about coronavirus in January they immediately sprang into action and cleaned out every CVS and Walgreens in the land. It should have been made clear early on that you could buy masks for your own personal use but that any attempt to resell them for more than their retail price would be punished. No one told them this so to them masks were no different than Beanie Babies.

    Jesus dude, you could have saved yourself a lot of time by just posting this:

    • Agree: JosephB
    • Replies: @obwandiyag
    Reagan was a demented liar. Probly you too.
  46. @Corvinus
    Masks are GREAT,not good. Wrong word employed, sir. Pray tell, why isn't President Trump wearing one to show how it's done?

    "You can tell the crisis is serious because the NYT has published an op-ed by a woman that is useful, needs to be said, and isn’t about her hair..."

    Actually, they've been quite serious from the jump about Coronavirus. Unlike Trump, who originally stated it was no big deal, and now is trying to reap praise for his efforts. Then he has the audacity to lash out at those governors who are taking charge, all the while saying they are responsible for procuring ventilators.

    Meanwhile, only 37 percent of those polled have either “a good amount” or “a great deal” of trust in the the information they hear from the president about the coronavirus.

    https://www.politico.com/news/2020/03/17/poll-americans-lack-trust-in-trump-on-coronavirus-information-133576

    Why are you seemingly protecting him, Mr. Sailer?

    Thanks, Coronavinus.

  47. @snorlax
    In an actual shit hits the fan scenario gold would be virtually worthless. Its primary use is for making ladies' jewelry.

    Good SHTF stores of value would be non-perishable consumables, such as toilet paper, hand sanitizer and face masks. Wisdom of crowds strikes again! (Not that I'm suggesting TP/Purell/masks as an investment vehicle now - the opportunity to buy low and sell high has passed).

    Or that thing Costner had in water world that turned his piss potable.

  48. To help manage the shortage, the authorities sent a message that made them untrustworthy.

    It was a remarkable bit of doublethink for the Surgeon General to declare: “Stop buying masks, they’re of no use. And besides, our medical personnel need them.”

    In 1939 the entire population of Britain was issued with (low quality, no respirator) gas masks against the fear of German chemical warfare*. 44 million were manufactured and distributed in a matter of weeks. But nowadays the most advanced industrial capitalism in history can’t organise lengths of string glued to pieces of fabric? It’s baffling.

    *Had Jerry actually used his stockpiles of tabun and sarin, even the military grade gas masks issued to air raids wardens would have been useless. It’s a singular hypocrisy that raining down high explosives, napalm and incendiary bombs on people is “warfare” but using gas is a “war crime”.

  49. @JohnnyWalker123
    Are any of you guys stockpiling Gold bullion?

    I just converted $500 of Wall St electrons into bullion, I know it’s not nearly enough.

    I have a couple $k of bullion lying around.

    I really wish I had a Remington 870 with a 250 rd case of 00 buckshot and a 250 rd case of rifled slugs next to me right now.

    Other than that I’m trading options on price momentum, and that’s been really great, especially buying puts on volatile equities like TSLA when they rip on the daily Corona briefing.

    That’s why I will be pissed if they shut the markets to retail and turn them into a private club for the Fed, central banks, MMs, and large tutes like Vanguard and Charles Schwab.

    I will be pissed because they will claim the closure is, “for the good of retail traders.”

    Whenever the government and banks state something like that, it always means they are trying to fuck the little guy in the ass.

    • Replies: @Known Fact
    John Vernon shows up everywhere -- such a versatile villain
  50. @Jack D
    Some data points:

    1. S. Korea has cut their epidemic without shutting down their entire economy. The key is freely available, drive thru testing. You feel like you are coming down with a little something, you immediately go to the convenient drive thru testing line. Either you are reassured that you don't have it and can go about your business or else you learn that you are and self-quarantine (and get medical help if necessary).

    2. There was ONE (count'em one) new Covid case in all of China today, not counting 20 Chinese people returning from the West because they felt safer in China (who were caught and quarantined).

    This thing can be beat, but not by running around like your hair is on fire, which seems to be the American response.

    The key is freely available, drive thru testing

    Our Fubar with testing, leading to tens of thousands of asymptomatic carriers walking around spreading disease, will probably prove to be as catastrophic as the Chinese eating bat soup.

  51. • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
    My grandma sells cheap homemade facemasks.
    She punctures the things with a pin,
    'Cause grandpa gets rich from the flu shots.
    My god, how the money rolls in!



    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=U1BJ8gz7xZE
  52. @snorlax
    I'm stockpiling ExxonMobil stock. Div/yield currently 9.45% and they have never reduced their dividend.

    This is a pretty good idea.

    Assuming that this is not the end of the world, Exxon should pick up at some point later in the year.

    Personally, I prefer working with some of the available oil ETFs. I have $3k in lotto calls on the GUSH ETF positioned for Jun20/Sep20/Jan21. Great if they hit, no big deal if they don’t.

  53. @Jack D
    Some data points:

    1. S. Korea has cut their epidemic without shutting down their entire economy. The key is freely available, drive thru testing. You feel like you are coming down with a little something, you immediately go to the convenient drive thru testing line. Either you are reassured that you don't have it and can go about your business or else you learn that you are and self-quarantine (and get medical help if necessary).

    2. There was ONE (count'em one) new Covid case in all of China today, not counting 20 Chinese people returning from the West because they felt safer in China (who were caught and quarantined).

    This thing can be beat, but not by running around like your hair is on fire, which seems to be the American response.

    “1. S. Korea has cut their epidemic without shutting down their entire economy”.

    You are comparing apples to oranges.

    “The key is freely available, drive thru testing.”

    Absolutely. Except America does not have that capability as of yet. Why?

    “2. There was ONE (count’em one) new Covid case in all of China today, not counting 20 Chinese people returning from the West because they felt safer in China (who were caught and quarantined).”

    Assuming that their data is accurate, right? Because a number of posters here believe that nation (along with Jews) enjoy fudging numbers, at best, and outright lying, at worst.

    “This thing can be beat, but not by running around like your hair is on fire, which seems to be the American response”.

    I would say an overreaction is necessary. Should we not close schools and businesses? And wouldn’t you think investors ought to know better rather than panic and try to sell their stocks all at once?

  54. @Buzz Mohawk

    A kilo of gold is currently worth approximately $50,000. This is a useful unit for buying real estate or maybe a luxury vehicle, but a bit much for buying any reasonable quantity of food or other essentials.
     
    I sold some, around $55,000 each, when we bought our current fixer-upper at about half ITS current value.

    Gold (and property) is a guaranteed store of value, no matter what happens. I don't need it to buy groceries. You stick to your scenario, and I'll stick to mine, Jack.

    “Gold (and property) is a guaranteed store of value, no matter what happens.”

    You do realize WE, as humans, put a value on it. What occurs when we decide not to? Would not that take away the precious power of bankers?

    • Replies: @Anonymous

    “Gold (and property) is a guaranteed store of value, no matter what happens.”

    You do realize WE, as humans, put a value on it. What occurs when we decide not to? Would not that take away the precious power of bankers?
     
    I thought crows were smarter than that.


    Unless someone invents or discovers a way to transmute other elements into gold (Au) in a process many orders of magnitude less expensive and energy-utilizing than a particle accelerator, or invents a process to cost effectively extract the gold from seawater (which could cause other unknown, possibly horrific, consequences), or mines gold off-planet and brings it here in a very great quantity, gold is very safe as a storehouse of some value. It will never be worth nothing. It will always be worth some integer multiple of silver, which also will always be worth something.

    Gold is valuable for several reasons, but as a medium of exchange, it has value because it is relatively scarce, because it is easily testable, because it can be melted down and recast obliviating any forensic traceability (ensuring privacy), and because politicians, dictators, and militaries can't print or fabricate it.

    What the exact value of gold is is going to vary, but it will never be worth nothing. It never has been in human history.
    , @Joe Schmoe

    “Gold (and property) is a guaranteed store of value, no matter what happens.”

    You do realize WE, as humans, put a value on it. What occurs when we decide not to? Would not that take away the precious power of bankers?

     

    Okay, but food and water, etc., have inherent value, yet those are pretty cheap at least in the USA and other nice countries.
  55. The NYT’s editorial page may have temporarily forgone hair-related navelgazing, but its book page more than makes up for it. In today’s issue, Lori L. Tharps, co-author of Hair Story: Untangling the Roots of Black Hair in America, reviews Djaimilia Pereira de Almeida’s 150-page keratin-centric Bildungsroman That Hair. It is, predictably and deliciously, beyond parody:

    [A]s anyone blessed to be black knows, one’s identity is inextricably wound up in one’s hair. Fact or fiction, that is ultimately what this book is all about. . . .

    Using her ever-changing hairstyles as a narrative device, Mila picks through her memories to try to detangle how she, a mixed-race, Afro-Portuguese woman, can exist in a world she never seems to fit into: too African to be Portuguese, too Portuguese to be African. And though much of Pereira de Almeida’s prose reads like lyrical stream of consciousness, her use of Mila’s hair as a metaphor, the perfect stand-in for all her questions of identity, is universal. From getting her first chemical relaxer at 6 (the “abrasive” treatment “consisted of ‘opening up the hair,’ leaving it more supple”), to embracing her long, braided extensions as a teenager, Mila searches for a hairstyle that will provide her with a sense of belonging.”

    https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/17/books/review/that-hair-djaimilia-pereira-de-almeida.html

    • LOL: Eagle Eye
  56. Anonymous[667] • Disclaimer says:

    Backlash against the shutdown of businesses is already building out there.

    Politicians are treating us like children as they pass huge pork bailouts and execute a mass shutdown of American businesses.

    We get zero discussion of:

    Widespread near total immunity for those under 50.

    Different lethality of diferent virus strains.

    No evidence of child asymptomatic spread and nonexistent increased school teacher mortality.

    Cold anger today.

    Tomorrow and next week and next month what then…

  57. @Rob
    Is there a law of sociology that no organization is more ethical than its least ethical decision maker?

    It seems that in WASP-run America, the government would not have lied about masks. It would have told everyone to go buy some masks for personal and family use, but not to hoard or retailers to gouge on prices, because manufacturers would be hard at work making plenty more. Almost everyone would have done just that.

    The government can’t do that anymore, because, being unethical people themselves, can’t imagine anyone responding prosocially to a crisis. They also can’t do it because American manufacturing was murdered by MBAs. Even if the government wanted to boost manufacturing, US corporations are at the mercy of their Asian suppliers. In January, Taiwan banned exporting face masks. Is that still in effect? If it isn’t, are you still sure that they won’t reinstitute that? We can’t produce much on our own anymore.

    Finally, I agree with Jack that the FBI, or whatever agency is in charge of that kind of thing, should be working from home, googling about for hand sanitizer and toilet paper, and ordering some from another state, of course, to have proof the seller is gouging. Then prosecuting. Not for fines that will be cheap compared to the profits, but for actual prison time. If fifty people get a decade each in federal prison? There will be a lot fewer people who try it next crisis. At the very least, they will be leery of selling online, which must be where most of the money comes from.Flee markets will probably be the big in person sellers. They won’t do that, because they don’t actually think that price gouging is wrong. Also, they are just too lazy.

    Woodrow Wilson’s government never lied to anybody about anything? Besides the President being non compos mentis for most of each day?

    • Replies: @Rob
    Ok, Wilson is a good example of a dishonest WASP running things. But if he’s the same President Wilson whose falsehoods about how the Great War peace with Germany would go that lead directly to World War II, then he’s a good example of dishonesty leading to disaster.
  58. My son works for an industrial laundry which services hospitals. The workers that handle the incoming material have to wear masks. As of Sunday, the plant had three more days worth of masks. I talked to him today, and he said the sister plants that service restaurants and bars have shut down and sent his plant all their masks. Yes, masks are good.

  59. Got word this evening that a colleague has tested positive for the dread malady. Most of us saw this coming and have been teleworking.

    Ventured out yesterday to a local pharmacy and almost ran to the checkout so as to limit potential exposure, but an infamous homeless f*cker staggered in and needed a pack of Menthols. Dude mumbled a bunch of crap and tried to play some incoherent three chord shit on his out-of-tune acoustic guitar. This was awkward.

    First civic impulse was to force a smile, but I instead skedaddled.

  60. @duh
    Surgeon General

    BTW we have too many criminals for me to be comfortable seeing masks everywhere

    “Surgeon General”

    So the blame lies with him? In what ways? And, you do know he was appointed by Trump, so by extension, you are blaming him, too.

    • Replies: @European-American
    The Surgeon General tweeted that masks don’t protect you:

    “They are NOT effective in preventing general public from catching #Coronavirus”

    https://twitter.com/Surgeon_General/status/1233725785283932160

    The WHO and the CDC and numerous other doctors and experts and journalists have issued similar pronouncements.

    I have been arguing with people about this for a while, and find it both enraging and fascinating.

    It’s enraging because it’s literally fake news of the worst sort: it misleads people on an issue of personal safety.

    But it’s also fascinating, because it’s a very pure strain of fake news.

    For reasons of expedience or laziness or ignorance or arrogance, the very top experts and authorities tell us, over and over, something that is manifestly, obviously, commonsensically false and self-contradictory.

    As the TV series “House, M.D.” neatly summarized it: “Everybody lies.”
  61. @Jack D
    1. As an investment, gold has been dropping in price since there is less demand for metals in a recession/depression.

    2. As a last ditch store of value when everything has gone to hell, wouldn't you be better off with coins? A kilo of gold is currently worth approximately $50,000. This is a useful unit for buying real estate or maybe a luxury vehicle, but a bit much for buying any reasonable quantity of food or other essentials.

    1. As an investment, gold has been dropping in price since there is less demand for metals in a recession/depression.

    That’s not what has happened. Unlike other metals, the industrial applications for gold represent a trivial amount of its total demand, which is mainly investment demand. Gold has been treated for thousands of years as money—you are probably aware that it is literally the word for money in many languages. For most of human history, people would have found it preposterous to be paid in pieces of paper instead of gold or silver. Later, advanced economies moved to pieces of paper “backed” by gold, and that gold standard gradually devolved over the 20th century to the point where all major economies are now run on fiat currencies backed by nothing but a printing press.

    Nevertheless, the advanced (and not so advanced) economies of the world today continue to hold thousands of tons of gold. Some, like Russia, have made it policy to replace their US dollar holdings with gold. From a non-sovereign, personal or institutional investor perspective, in the fiat-money era there was historically an opportunity cost to holding gold instead of sovereign bonds, because gold yields nothing. But last I checked, the amount of sovereign bonds trading at *negative* yields in Europe and Japan footed to more than $15 trillion. This amount has probably increased with the incredible rally in sovereign bonds this year, with even US yields approaching negative territory. This means the traditional advantage of sovereigns over gold (namely, a positive yield) is no longer meaningful—literally trillions of dollars in bonds yield less than gold.

    Now, it is true that gold has performed poorly compared to the USD (though not compared to stock markets) the past couple weeks, but this probably reflects short term issues such as too many leveraged speculators long gold via futures (you can view these trends by checking charts of the Commitment of Traders reports for gold). But that is a short term issue as the over leveraged are dealt with brutally by Mr. Market. Longer term, it remains the case that most institutional investors and retail investors have not held gold in size since the late 70s and early 80s.

    These things change at the margins, and now that the Fed has already spent its conventional monetary bullets when a recession hasn’t even officially started, what unconventional monetary and fiscal measures might it and other central banks and governments take over the months ahead, when huge swaths of the population find themselves without income? I would say maybe go clown long helicopter futures if there were such a thing, because money is going to be dropping from the sky all over the place. Where will all the money come from? Why, it will simply be printed into existence, in the US and elsewhere. At some point, people might want to own something resembling “money” that cannot be produced from thin air.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    Industrial demand for gold varies with price, somewhat-everyone agrees gold plated connector pins in gold plated sockets are the gold standard, literally, of quality electronic connections in a removable connector, but tin or other materials are much more frequently used because of cost. Old mainframe computers and telecom equipment had huge amounts of gold in them because it was $32 an ounce and the computers cost millions-more importantly, the machines were leased and not sold, with maintenance, and downtime meant lots of revenue loss. One reason so few of these machines, or even their salvaged parts remain in existence.

    Aerospace and nuclear applications for gold, apart from electrical conductivity, also exist. All the old spacecraft had visible gold foil as a heat reflector in places, and the McLaren F1 car also has a gold foil heat shield on its carbon fiber deck. (About $2500 worth at present prices.)

    Gold is also popular for dental work and for jewelry apart from its considerable metallic value. The Indian subcontinent sucks up a certain amount of gold each year as Indians with money buy gold in the form of chains, etc. When the Indian government tried to throttle the import of gold through normal channels, the smuggling of gold became quite lucrative. Many Indian airline stewardesses became wealthy smuggling gold cast into small balls by putting them up their vaginas. Apparently cultural prohibitions made it impolitic for the Indian customs to search them thoroughly for that, and I have heard that that was the primary passage for gold into India for many years. I have no idea if it still goes on.
  62. Funny… just weeks ago you were talkin about pygbino’s.

    Now this monomania about plagues, wars, witches etc.

  63. Anonymous[427] • Disclaimer says:
    @Rob
    Is there a law of sociology that no organization is more ethical than its least ethical decision maker?

    It seems that in WASP-run America, the government would not have lied about masks. It would have told everyone to go buy some masks for personal and family use, but not to hoard or retailers to gouge on prices, because manufacturers would be hard at work making plenty more. Almost everyone would have done just that.

    The government can’t do that anymore, because, being unethical people themselves, can’t imagine anyone responding prosocially to a crisis. They also can’t do it because American manufacturing was murdered by MBAs. Even if the government wanted to boost manufacturing, US corporations are at the mercy of their Asian suppliers. In January, Taiwan banned exporting face masks. Is that still in effect? If it isn’t, are you still sure that they won’t reinstitute that? We can’t produce much on our own anymore.

    Finally, I agree with Jack that the FBI, or whatever agency is in charge of that kind of thing, should be working from home, googling about for hand sanitizer and toilet paper, and ordering some from another state, of course, to have proof the seller is gouging. Then prosecuting. Not for fines that will be cheap compared to the profits, but for actual prison time. If fifty people get a decade each in federal prison? There will be a lot fewer people who try it next crisis. At the very least, they will be leery of selling online, which must be where most of the money comes from.Flee markets will probably be the big in person sellers. They won’t do that, because they don’t actually think that price gouging is wrong. Also, they are just too lazy.

    We could bring manufacturing back to the US with a combination of tariff and nontariff barriers, and making it plain unprofitable for US companies to offshore manufacturing by judicious tax laws that would put the wood to companies in the right ways.

    Libtys will be extremely upset.

    Cucks will view it as their paid responsibility to oppose, which actually it is.

    Liberals will pay it lip service but they really don’t want to go back to a Democrat Party run by wind-breaking windbreaker wearing union fat prole ethnic Whites. Only those with a volkisch view of things from the white perspective would want it. It would also help those blacks actually willing to work and the mestizos and orientals who have mostly assimilated into Core America, but they will never support it firsthand in meaningful numbers.

  64. @Jack D
    Despite her exotic (Turkish) name and her wishy-washy degree in sociology, Dr. Tufekci sounds like a surprisingly sane person. Not once in this op-ed did she complain about anyone touching her hair or claim special privileges or allege that she had been oppressed on account of being a woman or a Muslim or an immigrant or non-white (even though she is white). Nowadays, that counts as an accomplishment.

    As for the premise of her article, I agree with her. The authorities have obviously been lying to us for weeks now about the effectiveness of masks, which are magically effective if worn by medical personnel but of no value, no value I tell you, to anyone else. I understand that they have been lying for a good cause (and in lieu of actually doing anything like ramping up mask production or enforcing the laws against price gouging while going to the premises of the gougers and seizing their stocks of masks) but lying for a good cause is still lying and lying is bad. I personally am shocked, shocked that government authorities would ever lie to us - when has our government EVER done that?

    What they should have done is what they ultimately did to the guy who had 20,000 bottles of hand sanitizer that he had bought by cleaning out his local stores and that he was trying to sell on Amazon for $20 a pop. The guy was dumb enough to allow his story to be told in the NY Times, whereupon he drew the attention of various states' attorney generals and they agreed that if he donated all of the bottles they wouldn't send him to jail.

    But so far they have done this to exactly 1 guy when there are armies of quick buck artists who did this. Ebay and Amazon may have put a lot of retailers out of business but they also put INTO business an army of guys who go around grabbing up the latest sneakers or video games or whatever and reselling them for a big markup. These guys make their living by keeping their ears open for the NEXT BIG THING so when people started talking about coronavirus in January they immediately sprang into action and cleaned out every CVS and Walgreens in the land. It should have been made clear early on that you could buy masks for your own personal use but that any attempt to resell them for more than their retail price would be punished. No one told them this so to them masks were no different than Beanie Babies.

    Well said, man, well said. If I had an AGREE button, I would use it.

  65. Anonymous[427] • Disclaimer says:
    @Corvinus
    "Gold (and property) is a guaranteed store of value, no matter what happens."

    You do realize WE, as humans, put a value on it. What occurs when we decide not to? Would not that take away the precious power of bankers?

    “Gold (and property) is a guaranteed store of value, no matter what happens.”

    You do realize WE, as humans, put a value on it. What occurs when we decide not to? Would not that take away the precious power of bankers?

    I thought crows were smarter than that.

    Unless someone invents or discovers a way to transmute other elements into gold (Au) in a process many orders of magnitude less expensive and energy-utilizing than a particle accelerator, or invents a process to cost effectively extract the gold from seawater (which could cause other unknown, possibly horrific, consequences), or mines gold off-planet and brings it here in a very great quantity, gold is very safe as a storehouse of some value. It will never be worth nothing. It will always be worth some integer multiple of silver, which also will always be worth something.

    Gold is valuable for several reasons, but as a medium of exchange, it has value because it is relatively scarce, because it is easily testable, because it can be melted down and recast obliviating any forensic traceability (ensuring privacy), and because politicians, dictators, and militaries can’t print or fabricate it.

    What the exact value of gold is is going to vary, but it will never be worth nothing. It never has been in human history.

    • Agree: Buzz Mohawk
    • Replies: @Richard S
    But the point is that it doesn’t have any intrinsic value; unless you include the vital business of making those Pioneer-style plaques on space probes..

    In a real civilisational collapse situation (you know, that thing that’s happened to every human society and culture since the dawn of agriculture) only food, water, fuel, shelter and weaponry have any use value. For the vast majority of humanity’s time on the earth, gold remained unnoticed in the ground. It’s a cultural, ideological decision to assign worth to it.

    And if some non-ferrous metal really is valuable in a “boogaloo” situation, then the boys with the rifles / sharper sticks will simply “appropriate” it..
    , @Corvinus
    I understand the value of gold and its history, but the fact remains we as people put a value on that commodity. It can be worth nothing if and when people would outright declare it as being other than valuable. Would not that take away the precious power of bankers?
  66. @JohnnyWalker123
    Are any of you guys stockpiling Gold bullion?

    I can’t right now but for some reason metal prices are behaving like oil and bitcoin prices, so now would be a good time to consider it.

  67. Mr. Sailer and other have written about masks in the last few days, and I said this, but it bears repeating.

    During the SARS epidemic, I paid attention and noticed that it is almost impossible for me to not touch my face (nose, lips, eyes, cheeks) during the course of an hour. It must be some innate primate behavior—a semi-voluntary thing.

    The Japanese custom of wearing paper face masks in the winter is a very civilized one, and I’m sure it improves the odds.

    All of the literature I’ve seen online on face masks, and allied topics such as the persistence of viruses on various types of surfaces, seems to focus on absolute transmissiblity,

    The research looks at uestions such as “is the mask completely impervious to droplets?”, or, “how long does it take for viruses completely die off on a metal surface?”

    None of the research on face masks looks at how they might reduce the odds of contact with a virus or a droplet. The research is not statistical in nature, and gives little insight into their use in an epidemic, where preventive measures are of a statistical nature, attempts at improving odds.

    • Replies: @The Last Real Calvinist
    Just this, Piltdown Man -- you've nailed the essence of it. Masks are mostly social markers that modify behavior, not medical devices.

    I've been wearing surgical masks when out in public in Hong Kong since the end of January. I have essentially zero faith that my mask is 'filtering' out viruses floating about in the air. Way too much air goes around them, no matter how hard you try to fit it to your face.

    But my mask does stop me from sticking my fingers in my facial orifices, which sounds like something any civilized person should be avoiding anyway, but which in practice is very very very hard to stop doing voluntarily, just as you've said.

    And, even better, everybody else's masks help hold in the worst of their expectorations when they cough or sneeze.

    And perhaps best of all, our masks remind all of us every day to do little things that gradually reduce the chances of viral transmission, from avoiding touching public surfaces, to handwashing, to staying home if we've got any kind of URI. This stuff adds up.

    The key is that everybody, or at least nearly everybody, has to look at this whole scenario from the same point of view, and act on it in consort -- i.e. wear masks whenever out in public. That works in Hong Kong, but will it work in the USA?

    There are some big problems facing the USA if 'mask up' becomes the go-to coronavirus measure.

    First, there really, really have to be enough masks to go around. If the government starts convincing people that wearing a mask is essential, then there had better be masks available to buy, or even for free. Even in HK there were some ugly scenes as people queued and feuded over mask supplies. Masks are still pretty hard to find here.

    Second, I doubt masks do much good unless a high percentage of the population wears them. In HK almost everybody falls in line. In the USA, how many people will resist? The solution to this might be a public service campaign featuring a lot of celebrities and sports stars wearing masks; otherwise, I can't see large sectors of the USA population agreeing to it.

    Finally, all the antiviral-spreading measures associated with mask-wearing will likely have to be continued for a while when lots of people are starting to feel the danger has passed. Hong Kong smashed the curve way back in late January/early February. For several weeks thereafter, most days had one or two new cases, and sometimes none. It looked pretty much over -- but now many HK students are returning from the USA and UK, and quite a few are infected. They have to be identified and quarantined, so that no second wave can take hold.

    So, in the current context, the general public in Hong Kong has to maintain the kind of vigilant attitude that grants public sanction to intrusive government actions. To some degree, this vigilance is fueled by people thinking (and, maybe more important, feeling) that they are still at risk in their day-to-day lives, and are therefore playing their part in the fight against coronavirus by doing things like wearing masks.

    , @The Wild Geese Howard

    During the SARS epidemic, I paid attention and noticed that it is almost impossible for me to not touch my face (nose, lips, eyes, cheeks) during the course of an hour.
     
    I always seem to develop some type of facial itch that I simply can't wait out and wind up scratching or rubbing that part of my face.
  68. Forget the masks and tests — I’m drawing great inner strength from the many e-mailed corporate form letters assuring me that [insert name of company] is “closely monitoring the situation” and my safety is their number one concern

    • LOL: PiltdownMan
    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    Men's Wearhouse is closely monitoring the situation and, by the way, their online store is still open and will sell me three suits for the price of two.
    , @Bleuteaux
    We're getting at least one a day internally in Corporate America. The usual narrative about how they have and will continue to do so much to address a very serious problem, but lacking any specifics on what they've done or will do. They might as well just send emails that say, "T's and P's, <3, the Managerial Class."
    , @Mr. Anon

    Forget the masks and tests — I’m drawing great inner strength from the many e-mailed corporate form letters assuring me that [insert name of company] is “closely monitoring the situation” and my safety is their number one concern.
     
    Trugreen has assured me that they are monitoring the situation and that my safety is their number one concern. Rest assured - the nation's lawn-first-responders are on top of things.

    I feel better already.
  69. How long would it take a couple of thousand manufacturing company R&D units and mechanical engineering academic departments around the country to each jury rig a couple of these face-mask making machines?

    Or for our paper companies in the Northwest to supply the right grade of paper?

  70. Hrm… my early comment maybe had too many exclamation points for Steve’s liking/approval, but i really liked the opinion piece.

    I’ve felt almost gaslighted by the contradictions in the mask related statements by all the experts i keep hearing so this piece was quite soothing.

    I forwarded it to several people.

  71. @Known Fact
    Forget the masks and tests -- I'm drawing great inner strength from the many e-mailed corporate form letters assuring me that [insert name of company] is "closely monitoring the situation" and my safety is their number one concern

    Men’s Wearhouse is closely monitoring the situation and, by the way, their online store is still open and will sell me three suits for the price of two.

    • Replies: @Known Fact
    Men's Wearhouse had better panic -- if everyone's "sheltering" at home, no one's gonna need a suit anymore
  72. @Jack D
    Despite her exotic (Turkish) name and her wishy-washy degree in sociology, Dr. Tufekci sounds like a surprisingly sane person. Not once in this op-ed did she complain about anyone touching her hair or claim special privileges or allege that she had been oppressed on account of being a woman or a Muslim or an immigrant or non-white (even though she is white). Nowadays, that counts as an accomplishment.

    As for the premise of her article, I agree with her. The authorities have obviously been lying to us for weeks now about the effectiveness of masks, which are magically effective if worn by medical personnel but of no value, no value I tell you, to anyone else. I understand that they have been lying for a good cause (and in lieu of actually doing anything like ramping up mask production or enforcing the laws against price gouging while going to the premises of the gougers and seizing their stocks of masks) but lying for a good cause is still lying and lying is bad. I personally am shocked, shocked that government authorities would ever lie to us - when has our government EVER done that?

    What they should have done is what they ultimately did to the guy who had 20,000 bottles of hand sanitizer that he had bought by cleaning out his local stores and that he was trying to sell on Amazon for $20 a pop. The guy was dumb enough to allow his story to be told in the NY Times, whereupon he drew the attention of various states' attorney generals and they agreed that if he donated all of the bottles they wouldn't send him to jail.

    But so far they have done this to exactly 1 guy when there are armies of quick buck artists who did this. Ebay and Amazon may have put a lot of retailers out of business but they also put INTO business an army of guys who go around grabbing up the latest sneakers or video games or whatever and reselling them for a big markup. These guys make their living by keeping their ears open for the NEXT BIG THING so when people started talking about coronavirus in January they immediately sprang into action and cleaned out every CVS and Walgreens in the land. It should have been made clear early on that you could buy masks for your own personal use but that any attempt to resell them for more than their retail price would be punished. No one told them this so to them masks were no different than Beanie Babies.

    “The authorities have obviously been lying to us for weeks now about the effectiveness of masks, which are magically effective if worn by medical personnel but of no value, no value I tell you, to anyone else.”

    The whole thing never stood up to even the most casual scrutiny. The newspapers and cable news shows kept saying “masks don’t help protect you. In fact, they might make it worse! And, anyway, if everyone goes out and buys masks, there won’t be enough for doctors and nurses!”

    Wait a minute … what? If the masks don’t help (in fact, might make it worse), then why the hell would doctors and nurses be wearing them? Why would it be a bad thing that doctors and nurses couldn’t get them?

    It’s like the editors at the nation’s major newspapers and TV shows harkened back to their high school journalism teacher saying “remember, reinforce your point with two different rationales.” But then didn’t realize that the second reason they gave as to why everyone shouldn’t run out and buy masks completely contradicted the first.

    • Replies: @Joseph Doaks
    "why the hell would doctors and nurses be wearing them?"

    So they don't accidentally sneeze into your abdominal cavity during surgery.
    , @The Wild Geese Howard

    Wait a minute … what? If the masks don’t help (in fact, might make it worse), then why the hell would doctors and nurses be wearing them?
     
    It's one of the clearest expressions to date how dumb our (((betters))) in the media are.

    It is also a blatant example how dumb our (((betters))) think we are.
  73. @Known Fact
    Forget the masks and tests -- I'm drawing great inner strength from the many e-mailed corporate form letters assuring me that [insert name of company] is "closely monitoring the situation" and my safety is their number one concern

    We’re getting at least one a day internally in Corporate America. The usual narrative about how they have and will continue to do so much to address a very serious problem, but lacking any specifics on what they’ve done or will do. They might as well just send emails that say, “T’s and P’s, <3, the Managerial Class."

  74. @Anon
    One of the first papers out of Italy on Covid-19 is here:

    https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/2763401?guestAccessKey=9479fd07-f8cc-421a-9f83-eadbb4da00c1&utm_source=fbpage&utm_medium=social_jama&utm_term=3206374535&utm_campaign=article_alert&linkId=84499712&fbclid=IwAR28roZxT8pc31L04dsVMM8sCPT8LNbgABArROCCDc0e48tZWwFS-rAV2aQ

    Out of the 22K infected cases they have, 2K are health care workers. 60% of infected patients are male. However, almost 60% of cases they measured are mild, have few symptoms, or no symptoms. However, since Italy isn't testing anyone who didn't feel sick enough to go to the hospital, they're likely missing a lot of mild cases or cases with no symptoms.

    Only about 5.2% of those who have died are under the age of 69, and 3.5% of people who died were in their 60s, meaning if you're under 50, your chance of dying from Covid-19 is very tiny. They have no deaths at all of anyone under age 29.

    94% of their fatalities are older than 70. The largest number of death in terms of numbers is from people in their 80s, and in terms of percentage, it's people in their 90s.

    60% of infected patients are male

    The glass morgue strikes again. Where is the call for more equity?

    • Replies: @AnotherDad


    60% of infected patients are male
     
    The glass morgue strikes again. Where is the call for more equity?
     
    Thanks Ben. It took me about a full five seconds to get it. "Glass morgue?" (I don't know about the other old guys here--and i'm certainly not Joe Biden--but i've noticed some serious slowing in processing speed, since i was say 50. And it's scary how much faster my boy is than me now. Ah ... youth.)

    I was a bit on the fence, but i may trying using it. I think the "huh?" factor and people having their gears grind for a moment can actually help make the point. Thanks.
    , @Mr McKenna
    Can you imagine the hue and cry in the MSM if it went the other way?

    Corona would suddenly be the least of our concerns.
  75. @Jack D
    Despite her exotic (Turkish) name and her wishy-washy degree in sociology, Dr. Tufekci sounds like a surprisingly sane person. Not once in this op-ed did she complain about anyone touching her hair or claim special privileges or allege that she had been oppressed on account of being a woman or a Muslim or an immigrant or non-white (even though she is white). Nowadays, that counts as an accomplishment.

    As for the premise of her article, I agree with her. The authorities have obviously been lying to us for weeks now about the effectiveness of masks, which are magically effective if worn by medical personnel but of no value, no value I tell you, to anyone else. I understand that they have been lying for a good cause (and in lieu of actually doing anything like ramping up mask production or enforcing the laws against price gouging while going to the premises of the gougers and seizing their stocks of masks) but lying for a good cause is still lying and lying is bad. I personally am shocked, shocked that government authorities would ever lie to us - when has our government EVER done that?

    What they should have done is what they ultimately did to the guy who had 20,000 bottles of hand sanitizer that he had bought by cleaning out his local stores and that he was trying to sell on Amazon for $20 a pop. The guy was dumb enough to allow his story to be told in the NY Times, whereupon he drew the attention of various states' attorney generals and they agreed that if he donated all of the bottles they wouldn't send him to jail.

    But so far they have done this to exactly 1 guy when there are armies of quick buck artists who did this. Ebay and Amazon may have put a lot of retailers out of business but they also put INTO business an army of guys who go around grabbing up the latest sneakers or video games or whatever and reselling them for a big markup. These guys make their living by keeping their ears open for the NEXT BIG THING so when people started talking about coronavirus in January they immediately sprang into action and cleaned out every CVS and Walgreens in the land. It should have been made clear early on that you could buy masks for your own personal use but that any attempt to resell them for more than their retail price would be punished. No one told them this so to them masks were no different than Beanie Babies.

    I’m not clear on what charge those guys were threatened with. Price gouging, I think. If you charge a high price for some thing that people think they need, you are a price gouger. If you charge a high price for money that people need, you are a pay-day loan entrepreneur. How was it price gouging if they bought up the stuff before any public health emergency was even declared in this country?

    Don’t get me wrong. I think price-gouging is shitty. And I have no liking for speculators and hustlers generally. However I also don’t like the government simply declaring things to be crimes by fiat because they all of a sudden feel the hankering. We have processes for making laws. We have bodies charged with making them. The law is not made by Tennessee AGs, New York governors, or the mayor of Champaign-Urbana.

    • Replies: @Jack D
    It is not by fiat. It is by statutes that are already on the books and have been for years. The laws differ by state (and some states don't have any) but the most typical ones say that selling commodities, household essentials, fuel, etc. after a declared state of emergency for more than 10% over the prevailing price of these items immediately preceding the declaration is a crime. Your cost for the item or when you bought it is not relevant - the crime is jacking up the price during an emergency - profiting off of tragedy. This goes against libertarian principles but our legal system is not libertarian.
  76. @Brabantian
    Seems to be a grand cull of pensioners that is underway by the so-called 'boomer doomer' coronavirus ... tho actually it is most hitting the Biden-Sanders 'silent generation'

    "Eight to nine percent of people in the most vulnerable age group, 80 and older, could die if infected."

    https://www.zerohedge.com/health/terrifying-new-research-warns-22-million-could-die-us-without-drastic-action

    "Culling the elderly?

    When late 1800s Germany introduced modern worker pensions, the average lifespan was only a couple of years beyond retirement age - a worker retiring at age 65 was beating the odds if he lived past age 67.

    Running Covid-19 pandemic statistics and data ... we have plausible scenarios where, life expectancy can again reduce to the 66-67 age range, thus 'saving' retirement and social benefit funds

    Elites in China and the USA share common interests in reducing the strain on national budgets from pensioners, now living much longer after exiting the labour force

    https://www.henrymakow.com/2020/03/Is-the-Coronavirus-a-Chinese-Chabad.html

    But elites are older today than ever before: e.g., Trump, Biden, Sanders, Bloomberg, Warren are all at least 70. University presidents are really old. There are more really old movie directors that before.

    The CEO of Disney just retired and nobody saw it coming because he was only 69. What kind tippy-top elite retires at 69 these days?

    Who isn’t older on average? The Supreme Court is a little younger than it was in 2016, but two Democrats are over 80.

    • Replies: @Buzz Mohawk
    Why live past 18? You can play blissfully unaware of any future needs. Why live at all? I love it when places like this blog inevitably bring readers/commenters up against existential questions. "Existential" is the right IQ test, SAT word, right?

    Did this all begin when you MBAs started calling us all "consumers"?

    If it doesn't come from the heart, like defending people of any age because they are your fellow consciences, in this otherwise empty universe of plasma and electricity, then you are not human, not conscious yourself.

    It is up to us to decide, and we decide to protect life, PERIOD. I called my 99-year-old neighbor to make sure she has what she needs; her family and I will make sure she does in the days ahead -- even though I can't think of a single economic reason to do so.

    There is no explanation for this, nor does there need to be. It is the same reason I send money to Steve.

    , @Hhsiii
    Basketball coaches are older than ever. Wooden retired at 65. Ray Meyers and Rupp were 71. Boeheim and Coach K are 73 and don’t seem like they wanna go soon. Roy Williams is 70. Bob Huggins 68.
    , @Luke Lea
    A feature, not a bug! Make room for the next generation.
  77. @bigdicknick
    They were literally saying "masks don't work and also you shouldn't hoard masks because healthcare workers NEED them."

    Similar to how walls don't work, but all anti-wall left wing celebrities have massive walls around their homes.

    “They” may not have been completely wrong. My wife works in a hospital and has noticed a sharp decrease in mask inventory over the past few days. There are discussions about getting more and about how to decrease the usage rate. So there could be an actual shortage going on as well.

    Then again, the local Walmart had plenty of (non N95) masks available. Shrug.

  78. @Brabantian
    Seems to be a grand cull of pensioners that is underway by the so-called 'boomer doomer' coronavirus ... tho actually it is most hitting the Biden-Sanders 'silent generation'

    "Eight to nine percent of people in the most vulnerable age group, 80 and older, could die if infected."

    https://www.zerohedge.com/health/terrifying-new-research-warns-22-million-could-die-us-without-drastic-action

    "Culling the elderly?

    When late 1800s Germany introduced modern worker pensions, the average lifespan was only a couple of years beyond retirement age - a worker retiring at age 65 was beating the odds if he lived past age 67.

    Running Covid-19 pandemic statistics and data ... we have plausible scenarios where, life expectancy can again reduce to the 66-67 age range, thus 'saving' retirement and social benefit funds

    Elites in China and the USA share common interests in reducing the strain on national budgets from pensioners, now living much longer after exiting the labour force

    https://www.henrymakow.com/2020/03/Is-the-Coronavirus-a-Chinese-Chabad.html

    But elites are older today than ever before: e.g., Trump, Biden, Sanders, Bloomberg, Warren are all at least 70. University presidents are really old. There are more really old movie directors that before.

    The CEO of Disney just retired and nobody saw it coming because he was only 69. What kind tippy-top elite retires at 69 these days?

    Who isn’t older on average? The Supreme Court is a little younger than it was in 2016, but two Democrats are over 80.

    • Replies: @Polynikes
    Which explains the overreaction more than anything. College presidents specifically since they had no reason to send kids home, often away from top notch medical care, when they're likely asymptomatic carriers who won't be affected. They just dispersed the virus all over the country, but they did get those kids away from themselves and other older professors and administrators.
  79. @Rob
    Is there a law of sociology that no organization is more ethical than its least ethical decision maker?

    It seems that in WASP-run America, the government would not have lied about masks. It would have told everyone to go buy some masks for personal and family use, but not to hoard or retailers to gouge on prices, because manufacturers would be hard at work making plenty more. Almost everyone would have done just that.

    The government can’t do that anymore, because, being unethical people themselves, can’t imagine anyone responding prosocially to a crisis. They also can’t do it because American manufacturing was murdered by MBAs. Even if the government wanted to boost manufacturing, US corporations are at the mercy of their Asian suppliers. In January, Taiwan banned exporting face masks. Is that still in effect? If it isn’t, are you still sure that they won’t reinstitute that? We can’t produce much on our own anymore.

    Finally, I agree with Jack that the FBI, or whatever agency is in charge of that kind of thing, should be working from home, googling about for hand sanitizer and toilet paper, and ordering some from another state, of course, to have proof the seller is gouging. Then prosecuting. Not for fines that will be cheap compared to the profits, but for actual prison time. If fifty people get a decade each in federal prison? There will be a lot fewer people who try it next crisis. At the very least, they will be leery of selling online, which must be where most of the money comes from.Flee markets will probably be the big in person sellers. They won’t do that, because they don’t actually think that price gouging is wrong. Also, they are just too lazy.

    There is some merit to your comment, but you must have missed the discussion in a recent thread about Woodrow Wilson’s efforts to spread the Spanish Influenza in 1918. And all of FDR’s huge lies.

  80. The same public health establishment and media that told us that masks were ineffective at slowing the spread of the disease is recommending all the extraordinary steps that are being taken now.

  81. @Anon
    One of the first papers out of Italy on Covid-19 is here:

    https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/2763401?guestAccessKey=9479fd07-f8cc-421a-9f83-eadbb4da00c1&utm_source=fbpage&utm_medium=social_jama&utm_term=3206374535&utm_campaign=article_alert&linkId=84499712&fbclid=IwAR28roZxT8pc31L04dsVMM8sCPT8LNbgABArROCCDc0e48tZWwFS-rAV2aQ

    Out of the 22K infected cases they have, 2K are health care workers. 60% of infected patients are male. However, almost 60% of cases they measured are mild, have few symptoms, or no symptoms. However, since Italy isn't testing anyone who didn't feel sick enough to go to the hospital, they're likely missing a lot of mild cases or cases with no symptoms.

    Only about 5.2% of those who have died are under the age of 69, and 3.5% of people who died were in their 60s, meaning if you're under 50, your chance of dying from Covid-19 is very tiny. They have no deaths at all of anyone under age 29.

    94% of their fatalities are older than 70. The largest number of death in terms of numbers is from people in their 80s, and in terms of percentage, it's people in their 90s.

    Is there a chance that Northern Italy is an outlier because they are doing something wrong? Maybe there is something about how they organize the process of getting medical care that is getting lots of people infected?

    • Replies: @epebble
    We will know in a few days by looking at Spain. So far, I don't think there are dramatic differences in trend lines.
    , @PiltdownMan
    There’s an academic research paper getting forwarded in chat forums that tentatively suggest that certain classes of diabetes and hypertension medication, along with ibuprofen, have made Covid-19 more deadly in Italy. If true, I’m still not clear if these drugs are more commonly prescribed in the Italian medical system than in other places. They are, of course, more likely to be prescribed to the elderly.
    , @utu
    In Toronto 2003 70% SARS infections occurred in hospitals.
    , @utu
    77 Percent of SARS Victims in Toronto Acquired Disease in a Hospital Environment, According to Report Cited at Recent APIC Conference
    https://www.infectioncontroltoday.com/epidemiology-surveillance/77-percent-sars-victims-toronto-acquired-disease-hospital-environment

    The same study also indicated that 51 percentof all SARS patients were healthcare workers.
    , @Adam Smith

    Is there a chance that Northern Italy is an outlier because they are doing something wrong?
     
    https://www.dw.com/en/chinese-migration-brings-social-change-to-italys-alps/a-42456247
  82. Anonymous[667] • Disclaimer says:

    University presidents are really old.

    Yeah. And so are a lot of the professors on average pretty old. And also so are many school teachers quite old.

    Q: SO WHERE ARE ALL THE VIRUS CASUALTIES IN THE TEACHING PROFESSION? (As a result of the armies of super spreader asymptomatic students)

    A: You know the answer, doomerz.

  83. @Steve Sailer
    But elites are older today than ever before: e.g., Trump, Biden, Sanders, Bloomberg, Warren are all at least 70. University presidents are really old. There are more really old movie directors that before.

    The CEO of Disney just retired and nobody saw it coming because he was only 69. What kind tippy-top elite retires at 69 these days?

    Who isn't older on average? The Supreme Court is a little younger than it was in 2016, but two Democrats are over 80.

    Why live past 18? You can play blissfully unaware of any future needs. Why live at all? I love it when places like this blog inevitably bring readers/commenters up against existential questions. “Existential” is the right IQ test, SAT word, right?

    Did this all begin when you MBAs started calling us all “consumers”?

    If it doesn’t come from the heart, like defending people of any age because they are your fellow consciences, in this otherwise empty universe of plasma and electricity, then you are not human, not conscious yourself.

    It is up to us to decide, and we decide to protect life, PERIOD. I called my 99-year-old neighbor to make sure she has what she needs; her family and I will make sure she does in the days ahead — even though I can’t think of a single economic reason to do so.

    There is no explanation for this, nor does there need to be. It is the same reason I send money to Steve.

    • Replies: @anon
    I love it when places like this blog inevitably bring readers/commenters up against existential questions.

    OK! Here ya go.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sxDyXK93o6g
  84. @George
    Panel: Michael Hayden (CIA chief), Joseph Stiglitz(Nobel Prize), Zeynep Tufekci (Mediterranean Chick)

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FOrN6WJ9b94

    Wherein a former director of both the NSA and the CIA tells us about Truth and Trust.

  85. @JohnnyWalker123
    Are any of you guys stockpiling Gold bullion?

    Are any of you guys stockpiling Gold bullion?

    Beef bullion and chocolate gold coins are tastier. But not mixed together.

  86. @Brabantian
    Seems to be a grand cull of pensioners that is underway by the so-called 'boomer doomer' coronavirus ... tho actually it is most hitting the Biden-Sanders 'silent generation'

    "Eight to nine percent of people in the most vulnerable age group, 80 and older, could die if infected."

    https://www.zerohedge.com/health/terrifying-new-research-warns-22-million-could-die-us-without-drastic-action

    "Culling the elderly?

    When late 1800s Germany introduced modern worker pensions, the average lifespan was only a couple of years beyond retirement age - a worker retiring at age 65 was beating the odds if he lived past age 67.

    Running Covid-19 pandemic statistics and data ... we have plausible scenarios where, life expectancy can again reduce to the 66-67 age range, thus 'saving' retirement and social benefit funds

    Elites in China and the USA share common interests in reducing the strain on national budgets from pensioners, now living much longer after exiting the labour force

    https://www.henrymakow.com/2020/03/Is-the-Coronavirus-a-Chinese-Chabad.html

    The thought crossed my mind that some psychotic Deep State faction sent the virus out as a bioweapon to cause an economic depression so Trump would lose.

    Trump has done the unthinkable….he held a summit w N Korea and for the most part ended the Afghan and Syrian incursions….or at least our part in them….

    Lots of defense contract types are now out BILLIONS in contracts…..there are mentally insane ppl willing tocommit terrorist attrocities to put Biden(more sohis Deep State handlers) into office so the contract war money starts flowing again now that Trump cut off the spigot….

    • Agree: Ben tillman
    • Replies: @Alice
    yes, the PRC, of which the deep state and the Dems are wholly owned subsidiaries on the take.
  87. @Steve Sailer
    But elites are older today than ever before: e.g., Trump, Biden, Sanders, Bloomberg, Warren are all at least 70. University presidents are really old. There are more really old movie directors that before.

    The CEO of Disney just retired and nobody saw it coming because he was only 69. What kind tippy-top elite retires at 69 these days?

    Who isn't older on average? The Supreme Court is a little younger than it was in 2016, but two Democrats are over 80.

    Basketball coaches are older than ever. Wooden retired at 65. Ray Meyers and Rupp were 71. Boeheim and Coach K are 73 and don’t seem like they wanna go soon. Roy Williams is 70. Bob Huggins 68.

    • Replies: @ScarletNumber
    Boeheim was three years ahead of Coach K at their respective colleges, but because of how their birthdays fall Boeheim is 75.

    Rick Pitino just got hired at Iona even though he is 67. Former Iona coach Jim Valvano would be 74 and still coaching if not for the cancer that killed him at 47.
  88. @JohnnyWalker123
    Are any of you guys stockpiling Gold bullion?

    “Junk gold” is the besttype to hold so long as the karot amt is up….

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    If you can melt it down yourself, have it accurately assayed, and have enough of it you can sell to a buyer of scrap gold for a better percentage than those "we buy gold" ripoff joints. Investment buyers and even jewelers generally only buy certified ingot gold from a reputable vendor like Engelhard.

    I learned that lesson with silver. I had a pile of silver recovered from photo fixer and could not move it except at a ripoff discount even though I had smelted it into a series of bars and had it professionally assayed. I think they assumed that I was trying to rip them off because that's what they would have tried to do in the reverse circumstance. I eventually sold it to a refiner at a semi-reasonable discount when the market got tight, but it took a long time.
  89. Masks are the new tin foil hats. Run to Walmart, there might be a few rolls of Alcoa wrap left!

    • Replies: @calculator
    Masks are the new fashion. Celebrities and the rich "testing" for the virus and "self quarantining" is the new fashion. So far the Kardashians or Justin Bieber have not indicated they have a cough or such. We anxiously await their diagnosis. No word from any of the Rappers but then again they smoke, toke and loke all day. Perhaps they know something we dont.

    I saw a Jackass in the Supermarket yesterday wearing a neckscarf as a mask ala Western Outlaw style with baseball cap pulled over his eyes and sunglasses. Some lady was also pushing a dog in a carriage and the animal was wearing a mask. It is getting more stupid by the day. One day masks are useless and another day we get a 2000 word article that they are useful.

    This whole thing is blown out of control. I see cities are banning 50 people or more congregating in one place. Yet in my supermarket there are hundreds there at the same time and some have got into fights where the spittle flies in each other's faces.

    A shepherd can keep 100 or so sheep under control with his stick. The media, bloggers and opinion experts keep billions under control with their crap.

    Opinions are like shit, everyone expounds a load. What a spineless, frightened herd we are.

    300 years ago our ancestors who braved, cold , heat, starvation, outlaws, wild indians, disease, poverty and every kind of hardship to develop this continent would never have believed we could become such bitches!

  90. @Buzz Mohawk
    Why live past 18? You can play blissfully unaware of any future needs. Why live at all? I love it when places like this blog inevitably bring readers/commenters up against existential questions. "Existential" is the right IQ test, SAT word, right?

    Did this all begin when you MBAs started calling us all "consumers"?

    If it doesn't come from the heart, like defending people of any age because they are your fellow consciences, in this otherwise empty universe of plasma and electricity, then you are not human, not conscious yourself.

    It is up to us to decide, and we decide to protect life, PERIOD. I called my 99-year-old neighbor to make sure she has what she needs; her family and I will make sure she does in the days ahead -- even though I can't think of a single economic reason to do so.

    There is no explanation for this, nor does there need to be. It is the same reason I send money to Steve.

    I love it when places like this blog inevitably bring readers/commenters up against existential questions.

    OK! Here ya go.

    • Replies: @Buzz Mohawk
    LOL. Call me whatever you want, but as a multi-state, bi-coastal transplant, I have always loved that track. I think it is great.
  91. @Brabantian
    Seems to be a grand cull of pensioners that is underway by the so-called 'boomer doomer' coronavirus ... tho actually it is most hitting the Biden-Sanders 'silent generation'

    "Eight to nine percent of people in the most vulnerable age group, 80 and older, could die if infected."

    https://www.zerohedge.com/health/terrifying-new-research-warns-22-million-could-die-us-without-drastic-action

    "Culling the elderly?

    When late 1800s Germany introduced modern worker pensions, the average lifespan was only a couple of years beyond retirement age - a worker retiring at age 65 was beating the odds if he lived past age 67.

    Running Covid-19 pandemic statistics and data ... we have plausible scenarios where, life expectancy can again reduce to the 66-67 age range, thus 'saving' retirement and social benefit funds

    Elites in China and the USA share common interests in reducing the strain on national budgets from pensioners, now living much longer after exiting the labour force

    https://www.henrymakow.com/2020/03/Is-the-Coronavirus-a-Chinese-Chabad.html

    When late 1800s Germany introduced modern worker pensions, the average lifespan was only a couple of years beyond retirement age – a worker retiring at age 65 was beating the odds if he lived past age 67.

    Beaten the odds … that he had as a newborn. Not beaten the odds he had retiring at 65.

    Running Covid-19 pandemic statistics and data … we have plausible scenarios where, life expectancy can again reduce to the 66-67 age range, thus ‘saving’ retirement and social benefit funds.

    Uh … no.

    • Replies: @Houston 1992
    There are approx sixty million collecting Social Security. I assume that the number grows every year by at least three million...I imagine that many will start collecting at 62 rather than wait so the number may swell.

    No current projection of CV deaths meaningfully reduces that sixty million number that is growing steadily with retiring Boomers.
  92. @snorlax
    In an actual shit hits the fan scenario gold would be virtually worthless. Its primary use is for making ladies' jewelry.

    Good SHTF stores of value would be non-perishable consumables, such as toilet paper, hand sanitizer and face masks. Wisdom of crowds strikes again! (Not that I'm suggesting TP/Purell/masks as an investment vehicle now - the opportunity to buy low and sell high has passed).

    Cheapish alcohol would be another good store of value (folks will want their buzz). If things get very bad, water purifiers become plausible.

  93. @ThreeCranes
    Since we aren't making any, what do you think those Taiwanese will charge us?

    Krugman's Folly has been exposed for having left us exposed to those nations whose superior productive capacity puts them in the catbird seat.

    We have become Greece, trading our low value-added agricultural products for foreign high-value added manufactured goods.

    That is exactly right. If this crisis does not prompt loud, real criticism and examination of our global production system, then we are indeed doomed and deserve to die as a species. Most of us here have already known about this weakness for years, and now everyone should be able to see it. Will they?

    • Agree: Houston 1992
    • Replies: @Houston 1992
    Perhaps only 18 months of social distancing, total disruption of ones life, death of elderly family and friends , stock market collapse and end of dollar as reserve currency, will cause some repentance on globalization.
    Whatever we supposedly saved by outsourcing will surely have been lost within a few months. But the elites gained regardless of society and unless they 1) have a change of heart 2) have change imposed upon them , it will be back to Dec 2019 ASAP
    Have we stopped importing H1 visa workers ? I assume not, but I thought I would ask. Refugees are still arriving ...:
  94. Why, heck, even bandannas would be a step in the right direction.

  95. @anon
    I love it when places like this blog inevitably bring readers/commenters up against existential questions.

    OK! Here ya go.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sxDyXK93o6g

    LOL. Call me whatever you want, but as a multi-state, bi-coastal transplant, I have always loved that track. I think it is great.

    • Replies: @Mr. Anon

    LOL. Call me whatever you want, but as a multi-state, bi-coastal transplant, I have always loved that track. I think it is great.
     
    I like it too.

    So does my chair.

  96. @Steve Sailer
    Is there a chance that Northern Italy is an outlier because they are doing something wrong? Maybe there is something about how they organize the process of getting medical care that is getting lots of people infected?

    We will know in a few days by looking at Spain. So far, I don’t think there are dramatic differences in trend lines.

  97. @Buzz Mohawk
    T

    aiwan will be manufacturing ten million masks per day by the end of this week.
     
    At that rate, you could have a one-day supply for everyone in the United States -- in one month.

    Do we even make masks in our own country anymore?

    This is another item like ventilators, which are also probably manufactured somewhere in East Asia instead of here.

    Globalism and bad leadership have screwed us.

    Why, heck, even bandannas would be a step in the right direction. No need to wait.

  98. Dr. Tufekci is a professor of information science who specializes in the social effects of technology.

    The NYT will only let Ph.D.’s use their honorific if they can clearly state that they aren’t medical doctors.

  99. @Mr. Anon
    I'm not clear on what charge those guys were threatened with. Price gouging, I think. If you charge a high price for some thing that people think they need, you are a price gouger. If you charge a high price for money that people need, you are a pay-day loan entrepreneur. How was it price gouging if they bought up the stuff before any public health emergency was even declared in this country?

    Don't get me wrong. I think price-gouging is shitty. And I have no liking for speculators and hustlers generally. However I also don't like the government simply declaring things to be crimes by fiat because they all of a sudden feel the hankering. We have processes for making laws. We have bodies charged with making them. The law is not made by Tennessee AGs, New York governors, or the mayor of Champaign-Urbana.

    It is not by fiat. It is by statutes that are already on the books and have been for years. The laws differ by state (and some states don’t have any) but the most typical ones say that selling commodities, household essentials, fuel, etc. after a declared state of emergency for more than 10% over the prevailing price of these items immediately preceding the declaration is a crime. Your cost for the item or when you bought it is not relevant – the crime is jacking up the price during an emergency – profiting off of tragedy. This goes against libertarian principles but our legal system is not libertarian.

    • Agree: PiltdownMan
    • Replies: @ScarletNumber
    What I find funny about this asshole is that he went to The New York Times to complain about Amazon, thinking he was the good guy in the story.

    He also parroted the libertarian bromide that he was fixing the inefficiencies in the distribution system. Except that this was a bald faced lie. He went around buying up all of the merchandise just so he could profiteer from it. It wasn't as if he bought up in Place A, where there was excess, then drove to Place B, where there was a shortage. He CAUSED the shortage.

    Once upon a time it was illegal to do this for tickets for live sporting events, but the laws were so brazenly broken that they were eventually repealed. The colloquialism of "scalping" was used for this activity, and it was 100 percent correct.
    , @Chief Seattle
    The motivation behind the laws is not to prevent profit, it's to prevent hoarding by people waiting for higher prices. Normally high prices are their own worst enemy as producers flood into a market and demand dries up. But there's no time (or perhaps no ability) for the market to adjust in an emergency. So the normal mechanism that turns greed into public benefit backfires, and hoarding for profit must be discouraged by law for the greatest good.
    , @Anonymous
    This topic always assumes malevolent intent on the part of the seller, but what if it's the buyers who are offering to pay inflated sums? Do you prosecute the man who offers to pay $10 for a $5 item?
  100. @Steve Sailer
    Is there a chance that Northern Italy is an outlier because they are doing something wrong? Maybe there is something about how they organize the process of getting medical care that is getting lots of people infected?

    There’s an academic research paper getting forwarded in chat forums that tentatively suggest that certain classes of diabetes and hypertension medication, along with ibuprofen, have made Covid-19 more deadly in Italy. If true, I’m still not clear if these drugs are more commonly prescribed in the Italian medical system than in other places. They are, of course, more likely to be prescribed to the elderly.

    • Replies: @Anon
    Yeah, I've read aspirin, ibuprofen, and other anti-inflammatory drugs are killers if you have Covid-19. This is one time you don't want to suppress inflammation, because an inflammation reaction means the immune system is doing what it's supposed to, namely fight the disease. You're supposed to take Tylenol instead. (Acetaminophen).
  101. @Steve Sailer
    But elites are older today than ever before: e.g., Trump, Biden, Sanders, Bloomberg, Warren are all at least 70. University presidents are really old. There are more really old movie directors that before.

    The CEO of Disney just retired and nobody saw it coming because he was only 69. What kind tippy-top elite retires at 69 these days?

    Who isn't older on average? The Supreme Court is a little younger than it was in 2016, but two Democrats are over 80.

    A feature, not a bug! Make room for the next generation.

  102. @BenKenobi

    60% of infected patients are male
     
    The glass morgue strikes again. Where is the call for more equity?

    60% of infected patients are male

    The glass morgue strikes again. Where is the call for more equity?

    Thanks Ben. It took me about a full five seconds to get it. “Glass morgue?” (I don’t know about the other old guys here–and i’m certainly not Joe Biden–but i’ve noticed some serious slowing in processing speed, since i was say 50. And it’s scary how much faster my boy is than me now. Ah … youth.)

    I was a bit on the fence, but i may trying using it. I think the “huh?” factor and people having their gears grind for a moment can actually help make the point. Thanks.

  103. @Buzz Mohawk
    I've owned physical gold for years. Kilo bars...

    BTW I posted a comment here very early, and it disappeared. I don't know what happened, but it was to the effect that the Taiwan "ten million masks per day" would yield a days supply for every person in the United States -- after one month of production.

    I then asked how many masks -- and oxygen ventilators -- are manufactured in our own country. I think I know the answer. My conclusion, in the disappearing comment, is that we have been screwed by globalism and bad leadership.

    I just read your comment on March 17 at 9:35 p.m. CST.

    • Replies: @Buzz Mohawk
    Yes, thank you. I noticed it around the same time, and I don't know what happened. Good to see you. Be well.
  104. Philadelphia joins NYC in eliminating bail for most crime, announces a “no arrest” policy for auto theft, shoplifting, burglary.

    https://www.inquirer.com/health/coronavirus/philadelphia-police-coronavirus-covid-pandemic-arrests-jail-overcrowding-larry-krasner-20200317.html

  105. @AnotherDad

    When late 1800s Germany introduced modern worker pensions, the average lifespan was only a couple of years beyond retirement age – a worker retiring at age 65 was beating the odds if he lived past age 67.
     
    Beaten the odds ... that he had as a newborn. Not beaten the odds he had retiring at 65.


    Running Covid-19 pandemic statistics and data … we have plausible scenarios where, life expectancy can again reduce to the 66-67 age range, thus ‘saving’ retirement and social benefit funds.
     
    Uh ... no.

    There are approx sixty million collecting Social Security. I assume that the number grows every year by at least three million…I imagine that many will start collecting at 62 rather than wait so the number may swell.

    No current projection of CV deaths meaningfully reduces that sixty million number that is growing steadily with retiring Boomers.

  106. @George
    Panel: Michael Hayden (CIA chief), Joseph Stiglitz(Nobel Prize), Zeynep Tufekci (Mediterranean Chick)

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FOrN6WJ9b94

    She’s a spook. Probably recruited to provide insight into Turkey, then moved into her nebulous position to fog up Silicon Valley’s complicity in transnational surveillance.

    I wasn’t able to find it, but after Trump’s win she had a Twitter conversation with a subcontinental(Jeet Heer?) trying to figure out why white working class are anti-immigrant and globalization. I dunno, maybe because we have two foreign imports occupying middlebrow writing positions and not coming up with anything particularly interesting?

    She’s not a rabid leftists, but she’s not on our side.

  107. Anonymous[427] • Disclaimer says:
    @keuril

    1. As an investment, gold has been dropping in price since there is less demand for metals in a recession/depression.
     
    That’s not what has happened. Unlike other metals, the industrial applications for gold represent a trivial amount of its total demand, which is mainly investment demand. Gold has been treated for thousands of years as money—you are probably aware that it is literally the word for money in many languages. For most of human history, people would have found it preposterous to be paid in pieces of paper instead of gold or silver. Later, advanced economies moved to pieces of paper “backed” by gold, and that gold standard gradually devolved over the 20th century to the point where all major economies are now run on fiat currencies backed by nothing but a printing press.

    Nevertheless, the advanced (and not so advanced) economies of the world today continue to hold thousands of tons of gold. Some, like Russia, have made it policy to replace their US dollar holdings with gold. From a non-sovereign, personal or institutional investor perspective, in the fiat-money era there was historically an opportunity cost to holding gold instead of sovereign bonds, because gold yields nothing. But last I checked, the amount of sovereign bonds trading at *negative* yields in Europe and Japan footed to more than $15 trillion. This amount has probably increased with the incredible rally in sovereign bonds this year, with even US yields approaching negative territory. This means the traditional advantage of sovereigns over gold (namely, a positive yield) is no longer meaningful—literally trillions of dollars in bonds yield less than gold.

    Now, it is true that gold has performed poorly compared to the USD (though not compared to stock markets) the past couple weeks, but this probably reflects short term issues such as too many leveraged speculators long gold via futures (you can view these trends by checking charts of the Commitment of Traders reports for gold). But that is a short term issue as the over leveraged are dealt with brutally by Mr. Market. Longer term, it remains the case that most institutional investors and retail investors have not held gold in size since the late 70s and early 80s.

    These things change at the margins, and now that the Fed has already spent its conventional monetary bullets when a recession hasn’t even officially started, what unconventional monetary and fiscal measures might it and other central banks and governments take over the months ahead, when huge swaths of the population find themselves without income? I would say maybe go clown long helicopter futures if there were such a thing, because money is going to be dropping from the sky all over the place. Where will all the money come from? Why, it will simply be printed into existence, in the US and elsewhere. At some point, people might want to own something resembling “money” that cannot be produced from thin air.

    Industrial demand for gold varies with price, somewhat-everyone agrees gold plated connector pins in gold plated sockets are the gold standard, literally, of quality electronic connections in a removable connector, but tin or other materials are much more frequently used because of cost. Old mainframe computers and telecom equipment had huge amounts of gold in them because it was $32 an ounce and the computers cost millions-more importantly, the machines were leased and not sold, with maintenance, and downtime meant lots of revenue loss. One reason so few of these machines, or even their salvaged parts remain in existence.

    Aerospace and nuclear applications for gold, apart from electrical conductivity, also exist. All the old spacecraft had visible gold foil as a heat reflector in places, and the McLaren F1 car also has a gold foil heat shield on its carbon fiber deck. (About $2500 worth at present prices.)

    Gold is also popular for dental work and for jewelry apart from its considerable metallic value. The Indian subcontinent sucks up a certain amount of gold each year as Indians with money buy gold in the form of chains, etc. When the Indian government tried to throttle the import of gold through normal channels, the smuggling of gold became quite lucrative. Many Indian airline stewardesses became wealthy smuggling gold cast into small balls by putting them up their vaginas. Apparently cultural prohibitions made it impolitic for the Indian customs to search them thoroughly for that, and I have heard that that was the primary passage for gold into India for many years. I have no idea if it still goes on.

  108. @Yahya K.
    This article was very good.

    Sixth, masks are an important signal that it’s not business as usual as well as an act of solidarity. Pandemics require us to change our behavior — our socialization, hygiene, work and more — collectively, and knowing our fellow citizens are on board is important for all efforts.

     

    This is totally true. I traveled abroad during spring break, and went to the airport wearing a mask. When I went up to the passport checker, she didn't want to touch my passport. She told me to swipe the passport myself. Lol! I think my wearing the mask associated myself to the virus.

    Hong Kong health officials credit universal mask wearing as part of the solution and recommend universal mask wearing. In fact, Taiwan responded to the coronavirus by immediately ramping up mask production.
     
    Here is a question: does the US have the capability of mass producing face masks? They certainly can't import them anymore. If i recall correctly, I think the US has only one face mask company, but the owner is reluctant to expand production. Is the US government allowed to seize the factory from him and expand production?

    I think a good option would be for the US to threaten Taiwan with cancelling their military arms sales if they dont share some of the goodies.

    “If i recall correctly, I think the US has only one face mask company, but the owner is reluctant to expand production. Is the US government allowed to seize the factory from him and expand production?”

    Yahya, I can’t really blame the business for not wanting to produce the masks. A very likely scenario for them would be they’d gear up, produce gobs of masks, and then go bankrupt; as the demand/need for those masks would evaporate before they could sell them.

    If masks from this manufacturer are critical, and they may well be, the business needs a firm, ironclad guarantee that after they produce, they will sell. If we need masks, it’s pretty straightforward; a “Gates” or government needs to become the proverbial “buyer of last resort” for this mask manufacturer.

    BTW, for better or worse, I have heard manufacturers in China will be flooding the world with masks prior to roughly mid-April. So if you’re a mask “middle man” you may want to try and unload your stock of masks now, though to be honest, I personally am not wishing you too much luck.

    • Replies: @The Last Real Calvinist

    BTW, for better or worse, I have heard manufacturers in China will be flooding the world with masks prior to roughly mid-April.

     

    That's interesting. I would not be surprised if it's true. I think most people in East Asia are going to be stockpiling a lot of masks after this coronavirus crisis.
    , @Yahya K.
    danand,

    Thank you very much for your response.

    I can now see why he wouldn't want to do it. Very selfish though.

    I think the government should just seize the factory from him, really. Its a National Emergency.

    I found this example of Truman seizing steel mills back in 1952. He lost though:

    The 1952 steel strike was a strike by the United Steelworkers of America against U.S. Steel and nine other steelmakers. The strike was scheduled to begin on April 9, 1952, but US President Harry Truman nationalized the American steel industry hours before the workers walked out. The steel companies sued to regain control of their facilities. On June 2, 1952, in a landmark decision, the US Supreme Court ruled in Youngstown Sheet & Tube Co. v. Sawyer, 343 U.S. 579 (1952), that the President lacked the authority to seize the steel mills.

     

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1952_steel_strike
  109. @Buzz Mohawk
    That is exactly right. If this crisis does not prompt loud, real criticism and examination of our global production system, then we are indeed doomed and deserve to die as a species. Most of us here have already known about this weakness for years, and now everyone should be able to see it. Will they?

    Perhaps only 18 months of social distancing, total disruption of ones life, death of elderly family and friends , stock market collapse and end of dollar as reserve currency, will cause some repentance on globalization.
    Whatever we supposedly saved by outsourcing will surely have been lost within a few months. But the elites gained regardless of society and unless they 1) have a change of heart 2) have change imposed upon them , it will be back to Dec 2019 ASAP
    Have we stopped importing H1 visa workers ? I assume not, but I thought I would ask. Refugees are still arriving …:

  110. @Steve Sailer
    But elites are older today than ever before: e.g., Trump, Biden, Sanders, Bloomberg, Warren are all at least 70. University presidents are really old. There are more really old movie directors that before.

    The CEO of Disney just retired and nobody saw it coming because he was only 69. What kind tippy-top elite retires at 69 these days?

    Who isn't older on average? The Supreme Court is a little younger than it was in 2016, but two Democrats are over 80.

    Which explains the overreaction more than anything. College presidents specifically since they had no reason to send kids home, often away from top notch medical care, when they’re likely asymptomatic carriers who won’t be affected. They just dispersed the virus all over the country, but they did get those kids away from themselves and other older professors and administrators.

    • Agree: Charon
    • Replies: @vhrm
    My Alma mater ,a supposed science and technology place, also just kicked all the undergrads off campus... and I'm annoyed and embarrassed about it.

    Make attendence optional, ok!
    Let the profs teach by video and skip office hours, fine.

    Kick people out of their homes and scatter then to the wind while saying the word community in every other sentence... pretty crappy thing to do.
  111. @Corvinus
    "Gold (and property) is a guaranteed store of value, no matter what happens."

    You do realize WE, as humans, put a value on it. What occurs when we decide not to? Would not that take away the precious power of bankers?

    “Gold (and property) is a guaranteed store of value, no matter what happens.”

    You do realize WE, as humans, put a value on it. What occurs when we decide not to? Would not that take away the precious power of bankers?

    Okay, but food and water, etc., have inherent value, yet those are pretty cheap at least in the USA and other nice countries.

  112. Anonymous[427] • Disclaimer says:
    @Neoconned
    "Junk gold" is the besttype to hold so long as the karot amt is up....

    If you can melt it down yourself, have it accurately assayed, and have enough of it you can sell to a buyer of scrap gold for a better percentage than those “we buy gold” ripoff joints. Investment buyers and even jewelers generally only buy certified ingot gold from a reputable vendor like Engelhard.

    I learned that lesson with silver. I had a pile of silver recovered from photo fixer and could not move it except at a ripoff discount even though I had smelted it into a series of bars and had it professionally assayed. I think they assumed that I was trying to rip them off because that’s what they would have tried to do in the reverse circumstance. I eventually sold it to a refiner at a semi-reasonable discount when the market got tight, but it took a long time.

    • Replies: @Neoconned
    On the rare occasion i sell i do pawn shops....they pay me a small amt under market price.

    Can you recommend any better sellers? Or hell, anybody who will pay cash for it?
  113. @Hhsiii
    Basketball coaches are older than ever. Wooden retired at 65. Ray Meyers and Rupp were 71. Boeheim and Coach K are 73 and don’t seem like they wanna go soon. Roy Williams is 70. Bob Huggins 68.

    Boeheim was three years ahead of Coach K at their respective colleges, but because of how their birthdays fall Boeheim is 75.

    Rick Pitino just got hired at Iona even though he is 67. Former Iona coach Jim Valvano would be 74 and still coaching if not for the cancer that killed him at 47.

  114. @Steve Sailer
    Is there a chance that Northern Italy is an outlier because they are doing something wrong? Maybe there is something about how they organize the process of getting medical care that is getting lots of people infected?

    In Toronto 2003 70% SARS infections occurred in hospitals.

  115. @Jack D
    It is not by fiat. It is by statutes that are already on the books and have been for years. The laws differ by state (and some states don't have any) but the most typical ones say that selling commodities, household essentials, fuel, etc. after a declared state of emergency for more than 10% over the prevailing price of these items immediately preceding the declaration is a crime. Your cost for the item or when you bought it is not relevant - the crime is jacking up the price during an emergency - profiting off of tragedy. This goes against libertarian principles but our legal system is not libertarian.

    What I find funny about this asshole is that he went to The New York Times to complain about Amazon, thinking he was the good guy in the story.

    He also parroted the libertarian bromide that he was fixing the inefficiencies in the distribution system. Except that this was a bald faced lie. He went around buying up all of the merchandise just so he could profiteer from it. It wasn’t as if he bought up in Place A, where there was excess, then drove to Place B, where there was a shortage. He CAUSED the shortage.

    Once upon a time it was illegal to do this for tickets for live sporting events, but the laws were so brazenly broken that they were eventually repealed. The colloquialism of “scalping” was used for this activity, and it was 100 percent correct.

    • Replies: @Hemid

    It wasn’t as if he bought up in Place A, where there was excess, then drove to Place B, where there was a shortage. He CAUSED the shortage.
     
    The bad kind of autistics, the ones who liked school, will be here shortly to inform you that all the residents of Place A, by 1) failing to jack up the price so much that he couldn't buy the stuff from them, and then 2) failing to buy the stuff back from him at whatever price he set, demonstrated that they had excess supply—an infinite excess, in fact, that's perfectly remedied by the total lack he provided.

    It's like the string equations where everything goes to hell and becomes infinity/infinity, so we pretend infinities cancel, because if they don't then a few thousand books of physics are stupid bullshit.
  116. @Known Fact
    Forget the masks and tests -- I'm drawing great inner strength from the many e-mailed corporate form letters assuring me that [insert name of company] is "closely monitoring the situation" and my safety is their number one concern

    Forget the masks and tests — I’m drawing great inner strength from the many e-mailed corporate form letters assuring me that [insert name of company] is “closely monitoring the situation” and my safety is their number one concern.

    Trugreen has assured me that they are monitoring the situation and that my safety is their number one concern. Rest assured – the nation’s lawn-first-responders are on top of things.

    I feel better already.

  117. @Buzz Mohawk
    LOL. Call me whatever you want, but as a multi-state, bi-coastal transplant, I have always loved that track. I think it is great.

    LOL. Call me whatever you want, but as a multi-state, bi-coastal transplant, I have always loved that track. I think it is great.

    I like it too.

    So does my chair.

  118. @Philip Owen
    Vacuum cleaner bags made with non wovens and rated as HEPA filters are equivalent materials to those in FPP2 (N95F in US) masks. Obviously, a home made version will not have a latex seal.

    Thanks Philip. I’ve got a supply of hospital/clinic paper masks. Been using them on airplanes for a couple years now. (Why not?)

    And i’ve got a really good 3M respirator (silicon, with the organic filter) i use for staining the deck, painting or cementing PVC pipe joints. I’ll use it taking care of a family member if they get sick, but it’s too clunky to wear to the store unless this thing really gets rolling. (BTW this 3M silicon respirators–incredible product. I’d been using the crappy N95 thingys–and losing IQ points. When i first used the 3M respirator for deck staining i thought damn this is amazing. Comfortable and i’m filling the air with all these nasty volatiles and can not smell anything.)

    So AnotherMom is sewing some fabric masks. This HEPA vacuum bag material sounds like a decent choice for the filter material.

    • Replies: @Joe Schmoe
    I lean toward thinking that even a bandana is an improvement, especially if everyone wears one. I mean, people don't exhale with tremendous force, so whatever you breathe out will cover far less distance if you wear a mask or bandana. We aren't going to get transmission to zero, but we could get it down to a much lower rate with gloves and bandanas.
  119. @Steve Sailer
    Is there a chance that Northern Italy is an outlier because they are doing something wrong? Maybe there is something about how they organize the process of getting medical care that is getting lots of people infected?

    77 Percent of SARS Victims in Toronto Acquired Disease in a Hospital Environment, According to Report Cited at Recent APIC Conference
    https://www.infectioncontroltoday.com/epidemiology-surveillance/77-percent-sars-victims-toronto-acquired-disease-hospital-environment

    The same study also indicated that 51 percentof all SARS patients were healthcare workers.

  120. @Neoconned
    The thought crossed my mind that some psychotic Deep State faction sent the virus out as a bioweapon to cause an economic depression so Trump would lose.

    Trump has done the unthinkable....he held a summit w N Korea and for the most part ended the Afghan and Syrian incursions....or at least our part in them....

    Lots of defense contract types are now out BILLIONS in contracts.....there are mentally insane ppl willing tocommit terrorist attrocities to put Biden(more sohis Deep State handlers) into office so the contract war money starts flowing again now that Trump cut off the spigot....

    yes, the PRC, of which the deep state and the Dems are wholly owned subsidiaries on the take.

    • Troll: Futurethirdworlder
  121. @Kylie
    I just read your comment on March 17 at 9:35 p.m. CST.

    Yes, thank you. I noticed it around the same time, and I don’t know what happened. Good to see you. Be well.

  122. Anonymous[140] • Disclaimer says:

  123. Anon[141] • Disclaimer says:

    Another sensible woman wrote a short journal article about the topic of women’s hair in a health care environment last summer. Should nurses let their fabulous tresses live free, or tie it up under their caps? And the article gingerly approaches the topic, without mentioning it, of black women’s “hair.”

    Does long hair belong in a clinical setting?

    Nursing2019: August 2019 – Volume 49 – Issue 8 – p 53-55
    https://journals.lww.com/nursing/Fulltext/2019/08000/Does_long_hair_belong_in_a_clinical_setting_.14.aspx

    Abstract:
    Nurses wearing hair up and out of the face may be seen as outdated, but proponents say keeping hair up is an evidence-based practice that contributes to infection prevention and optimal patient outcomes. This article raises questions concerning hair restraint and infection control and explores the evidence.

    There turns out to be a little bit of research on the subject.

    She covers:

    — Pathogens on the hair

    — Nurses touching their own hair (“nurses [should] remember to perform hand hygiene after touching their hair.”)

    — Hair falling out onto patients’s beds (yuck)

    — “Hair product hazards”

    In regard to black hair, it’s only rarely washed if it’s been put into cornrows or braids. And the author cites studies that determined that shampoo and dyes are full of pathogens. I’m sure conk gel or whatever black women use on their hair is just as disgusting. But in more and more jurisdictions it is now illegal to tell black women that their hairstyle is unacceptable:

    https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2019/10/14/black-hair-laws-passed-stop-natural-hair-discrimination-across-us/3850402002/

  124. ot Philadelphia’s police chief moving on from manicure problems:

    Thunderdome 2020 Begins – Philadelphia Police Will Not Arrest for Burglary or Theft Due to Coronavirus…

    https://theconservativetreehouse.com/2020/03/17/thunderdome-2020-begins-philadelphia-police-will-not-arrest-for-burglary-or-theft-due-to-coronavirus/#more-186711

  125. @ScarletNumber
    What I find funny about this asshole is that he went to The New York Times to complain about Amazon, thinking he was the good guy in the story.

    He also parroted the libertarian bromide that he was fixing the inefficiencies in the distribution system. Except that this was a bald faced lie. He went around buying up all of the merchandise just so he could profiteer from it. It wasn't as if he bought up in Place A, where there was excess, then drove to Place B, where there was a shortage. He CAUSED the shortage.

    Once upon a time it was illegal to do this for tickets for live sporting events, but the laws were so brazenly broken that they were eventually repealed. The colloquialism of "scalping" was used for this activity, and it was 100 percent correct.

    It wasn’t as if he bought up in Place A, where there was excess, then drove to Place B, where there was a shortage. He CAUSED the shortage.

    The bad kind of autistics, the ones who liked school, will be here shortly to inform you that all the residents of Place A, by 1) failing to jack up the price so much that he couldn’t buy the stuff from them, and then 2) failing to buy the stuff back from him at whatever price he set, demonstrated that they had excess supply—an infinite excess, in fact, that’s perfectly remedied by the total lack he provided.

    It’s like the string equations where everything goes to hell and becomes infinity/infinity, so we pretend infinities cancel, because if they don’t then a few thousand books of physics are stupid bullshit.

    • Replies: @ScarletNumber
    The more I hang out here, the more I think this is an autistic support group.
    , @vhrm
    i strongly disagree with his approach, but he didn't REALLY cause the shortage. His stuff is chump change compared to the demand.

    Earlier rationing by the major retailers (or surge pricing) is the only thing that would have helped, imo.

    In my area there was a period of two to three weeks where the stores would sell out of a three day supply of sanitizer or alcohol in an hour or two and yet they didn't even attempt throttling.

    They finally added signs about limits about three days ago, for some things (but I'm not clear if they've had any for sale since they put the signs up)
  126. @Tiny Duck
    People in Asia have been explaining this for months- while Western journalists wrote articles claiming that they wore them because they're superstitious

    The sad reality is that very, very few people actually read the NYTimes. Most Americans get news from cable news. All Republicans watch Fox "News".

    This catastrophe is Drumpfs legacy. How can you guys expect to be taken seriously when you supported a man who unleashed a pandemic through negligence and devastated the economy?

    This is actually as close as I’ve ever come to agreeing with a TD post

    • Replies: @Change that Matters
    No creative spelling or syntax. Is it really TD?
    , @Lars Porsena
    To be consistent you'd also have to blame the pandemic on every single other world leader since none of their countries have escaped it. Only the prime minister of Utopia and maybe Kim Jong Un have done any better.

    Juche is the way.
  127. the NYT has published an op-ed by a woman that is useful, needs to be said…

    In other strange doings this Patrickstide, this year’s Lady-in-Waiting at Woodbridge Township, NJ’s is one Erin Sinatra. She’s not the first Sinatra, either– her sister Julia had the same honor a couple of years ago.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dKYhLExWhOE#t=21m35s

    Go Irish!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dKYhLExWhOE#t=17m28s

    • Replies: @ScarletNumber
    What's your point? That someone named Sinatra (probably Italian) won an award at a St. Patrick's Day parade?
  128. @Jack D
    It is not by fiat. It is by statutes that are already on the books and have been for years. The laws differ by state (and some states don't have any) but the most typical ones say that selling commodities, household essentials, fuel, etc. after a declared state of emergency for more than 10% over the prevailing price of these items immediately preceding the declaration is a crime. Your cost for the item or when you bought it is not relevant - the crime is jacking up the price during an emergency - profiting off of tragedy. This goes against libertarian principles but our legal system is not libertarian.

    The motivation behind the laws is not to prevent profit, it’s to prevent hoarding by people waiting for higher prices. Normally high prices are their own worst enemy as producers flood into a market and demand dries up. But there’s no time (or perhaps no ability) for the market to adjust in an emergency. So the normal mechanism that turns greed into public benefit backfires, and hoarding for profit must be discouraged by law for the greatest good.

    • Thanks: Mr McKenna
    • Replies: @Jack D
    The laws (as far as I know - there are 50 states and each one has different laws on this subject - some have none) are not against hoarding, they are against price gouging. They are aimed at sellers, not buyers. You can buy or sell any quantity of the goods covered by the statutes as long as you don't sell it for more than x% above the previous price (or sometimes it's a verbal threshold - an "unconscionable" amount).

    The typical scenario is that there is a hurricane and guys start selling bottle water for $10/bottle. Hoarding is a side effect because the water bottle guys get their supply by grabbing up all the stocks of retail stores. The focus of the laws is that you are taking advantage of desperate people and this is wrong. But the side effect is that it discourages hoarding by this type of reseller - if there is no profit to be made, he has no incentive to sweep the stores clean.

    When this all started, I assumed that hoarding was being driven by people buying up sanitizer, masks, etc. for themselves. But the typical home prepper will buy maybe a few or a dozen of the item. This guy (and who knows how many more were like him - as I said before, even before this all started there was a whole army of people who make their living by buying scarce items at retail and reselling them on ebay) alone had 20,000 bottles of sanitizer - one guy like him outweighed 1,000 people hoarding for personal use.
  129. @AnotherDad
    Thanks Philip. I've got a supply of hospital/clinic paper masks. Been using them on airplanes for a couple years now. (Why not?)

    And i've got a really good 3M respirator (silicon, with the organic filter) i use for staining the deck, painting or cementing PVC pipe joints. I'll use it taking care of a family member if they get sick, but it's too clunky to wear to the store unless this thing really gets rolling. (BTW this 3M silicon respirators--incredible product. I'd been using the crappy N95 thingys--and losing IQ points. When i first used the 3M respirator for deck staining i thought damn this is amazing. Comfortable and i'm filling the air with all these nasty volatiles and can not smell anything.)

    So AnotherMom is sewing some fabric masks. This HEPA vacuum bag material sounds like a decent choice for the filter material.

    I lean toward thinking that even a bandana is an improvement, especially if everyone wears one. I mean, people don’t exhale with tremendous force, so whatever you breathe out will cover far less distance if you wear a mask or bandana. We aren’t going to get transmission to zero, but we could get it down to a much lower rate with gloves and bandanas.

    • Replies: @Buzz Mohawk
    Yes. I call it "quick, down and dirty." (And for you Aspergers sufferers like at least one commenter who responded to me, I don't mean physically dirty.) Usually such solutions are better than nothing. This is just such a case. If you don't have a mask and you want one, then wear a bandanna. Best of all, of course, don't go anywhere near people if you can help it.

    Let's give a round of virtual applause, BTW, for Steve Sailer, who is one of the very best sources for Americans during this time, matched in brave directness perhaps only by Tucker Carlson and his bold television work.

  130. @The Wild Geese Howard
    Jesus dude, you could have saved yourself a lot of time by just posting this:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xhYJS80MgYA

    Reagan was a demented liar. Probly you too.

  131. My next-door neighbors dropped by just to check on us yesterday.

    Nice of them to do that. Would that everybody was like that.

    • Agree: Buzz Mohawk
  132. @Joe Schmoe
    I lean toward thinking that even a bandana is an improvement, especially if everyone wears one. I mean, people don't exhale with tremendous force, so whatever you breathe out will cover far less distance if you wear a mask or bandana. We aren't going to get transmission to zero, but we could get it down to a much lower rate with gloves and bandanas.

    Yes. I call it “quick, down and dirty.” (And for you Aspergers sufferers like at least one commenter who responded to me, I don’t mean physically dirty.) Usually such solutions are better than nothing. This is just such a case. If you don’t have a mask and you want one, then wear a bandanna. Best of all, of course, don’t go anywhere near people if you can help it.

    Let’s give a round of virtual applause, BTW, for Steve Sailer, who is one of the very best sources for Americans during this time, matched in brave directness perhaps only by Tucker Carlson and his bold television work.

    • Agree: ic1000
  133. @Hemid

    It wasn’t as if he bought up in Place A, where there was excess, then drove to Place B, where there was a shortage. He CAUSED the shortage.
     
    The bad kind of autistics, the ones who liked school, will be here shortly to inform you that all the residents of Place A, by 1) failing to jack up the price so much that he couldn't buy the stuff from them, and then 2) failing to buy the stuff back from him at whatever price he set, demonstrated that they had excess supply—an infinite excess, in fact, that's perfectly remedied by the total lack he provided.

    It's like the string equations where everything goes to hell and becomes infinity/infinity, so we pretend infinities cancel, because if they don't then a few thousand books of physics are stupid bullshit.

    The more I hang out here, the more I think this is an autistic support group.

    • LOL: Laurence Whelk
  134. @Reg Cæsar

    the NYT has published an op-ed by a woman that is useful, needs to be said...

     

    In other strange doings this Patrickstide, this year's Lady-in-Waiting at Woodbridge Township, NJ's is one Erin Sinatra. She's not the first Sinatra, either-- her sister Julia had the same honor a couple of years ago.


    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dKYhLExWhOE#t=21m35s

    Go Irish!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dKYhLExWhOE#t=17m28s

    What’s your point? That someone named Sinatra (probably Italian) won an award at a St. Patrick’s Day parade?

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar

    What’s your point?
     
    Just a wink and a nod to Dan Hayes.
  135. Anon[187] • Disclaimer says:

    I lean toward thinking that even a bandana is an improvement

    I would agree, at least with two or three layers of cloth.

    Our range hood has a sort of filter called a slot filter. It consists of sheet metal laminated with an oleophilic layer and rather largish (maybe 4mm wide) slots where the metal has been cut and bent in at about a 45 degree angle. It didn’t look like it would filter anything, but in fact it works great.

    The air comes in and hits the angled metal and goes down and around it. But the grease particles have greater mass and just collide with the metal and stick to it. I’d think that aerosolized water particles bearing virus would also have higher mass and collide with bandana fibers, while the air would route around them. It all depends on whether the water particles stick to the fibers when they collide.

    My qualms would be: (1) The bandana would be toxic waste that you wouldn’t want to touch pretty soon, and (2) how do you sanitize the bandana … is tossing in the laundry enough? If washing your hands with soap, a fat-bond-busting surfactant, is enough for hand cleaning, then laundry detergent, a stronger surfactant, should do it, I’d think.

  136. @PiltdownMan
    Mr. Sailer and other have written about masks in the last few days, and I said this, but it bears repeating.

    During the SARS epidemic, I paid attention and noticed that it is almost impossible for me to not touch my face (nose, lips, eyes, cheeks) during the course of an hour. It must be some innate primate behavior—a semi-voluntary thing.

    The Japanese custom of wearing paper face masks in the winter is a very civilized one, and I'm sure it improves the odds.

    All of the literature I've seen online on face masks, and allied topics such as the persistence of viruses on various types of surfaces, seems to focus on absolute transmissiblity,

    The research looks at uestions such as "is the mask completely impervious to droplets?", or, "how long does it take for viruses completely die off on a metal surface?"

    None of the research on face masks looks at how they might reduce the odds of contact with a virus or a droplet. The research is not statistical in nature, and gives little insight into their use in an epidemic, where preventive measures are of a statistical nature, attempts at improving odds.

    Just this, Piltdown Man — you’ve nailed the essence of it. Masks are mostly social markers that modify behavior, not medical devices.

    I’ve been wearing surgical masks when out in public in Hong Kong since the end of January. I have essentially zero faith that my mask is ‘filtering’ out viruses floating about in the air. Way too much air goes around them, no matter how hard you try to fit it to your face.

    But my mask does stop me from sticking my fingers in my facial orifices, which sounds like something any civilized person should be avoiding anyway, but which in practice is very very very hard to stop doing voluntarily, just as you’ve said.

    And, even better, everybody else’s masks help hold in the worst of their expectorations when they cough or sneeze.

    And perhaps best of all, our masks remind all of us every day to do little things that gradually reduce the chances of viral transmission, from avoiding touching public surfaces, to handwashing, to staying home if we’ve got any kind of URI. This stuff adds up.

    The key is that everybody, or at least nearly everybody, has to look at this whole scenario from the same point of view, and act on it in consort — i.e. wear masks whenever out in public. That works in Hong Kong, but will it work in the USA?

    There are some big problems facing the USA if ‘mask up’ becomes the go-to coronavirus measure.

    First, there really, really have to be enough masks to go around. If the government starts convincing people that wearing a mask is essential, then there had better be masks available to buy, or even for free. Even in HK there were some ugly scenes as people queued and feuded over mask supplies. Masks are still pretty hard to find here.

    Second, I doubt masks do much good unless a high percentage of the population wears them. In HK almost everybody falls in line. In the USA, how many people will resist? The solution to this might be a public service campaign featuring a lot of celebrities and sports stars wearing masks; otherwise, I can’t see large sectors of the USA population agreeing to it.

    Finally, all the antiviral-spreading measures associated with mask-wearing will likely have to be continued for a while when lots of people are starting to feel the danger has passed. Hong Kong smashed the curve way back in late January/early February. For several weeks thereafter, most days had one or two new cases, and sometimes none. It looked pretty much over — but now many HK students are returning from the USA and UK, and quite a few are infected. They have to be identified and quarantined, so that no second wave can take hold.

    So, in the current context, the general public in Hong Kong has to maintain the kind of vigilant attitude that grants public sanction to intrusive government actions. To some degree, this vigilance is fueled by people thinking (and, maybe more important, feeling) that they are still at risk in their day-to-day lives, and are therefore playing their part in the fight against coronavirus by doing things like wearing masks.

    • Replies: @CrunchyButRealistCon
    Yeah, Masks are useful for many reasons. While they're are insufficient at blocking all virus access to your throat, they remind you to be on guard, not touch your face, and send a signal to others to stay back. It says, "I'm not in the mood for being social. Get the hell back!"

    One downside of masks is the same as with bike helmets. They might make you feel a bit too invincible, and lead you into dicey situations

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jZb6WN9a018
    , @Chrisnonymous
    As I mentioned on another post, my experience of working in an ICU, where people sometimes have to wear masks for long periods, and of living around people who wear masks habitually is that long-term mask-wearing may actually lead to more face-touching. I'm not sure you have to stick your fingers in your nose to transmit the virus that way. Touching your forehead or face around your eyes might do it, too--get the virus close to your mucous membranes. Are people wearing safety glasses/goggles in Hong Kong?

    There is a lot of research on face masks with different outcomes, but here is one study that showed little difference between surgical and N95 masks, which would suggest there is some behavioral modification effect:
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31479137

    In general, it's not clear what effect masks have. Here is a research review of hand hygiene that found hand hygiene was not effective without mask-wearing and one research review of mask-wearing that found it was not effective without hand-washing.
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4891197/
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5779801/
    As the second article suggests:

    evidence suggests that mask use is best undertaken as part of a package of personal protection especially hand hygiene.
     
    And, as I mentioned in that other post as well:

    The effectiveness of masks and respirators is likely linked to early, consistent and correct usage.
     
  137. Anon[272] • Disclaimer says:

    OT

    There’s a genre of YouTuber consisting of couples living on sailboats and catamarans documenting their lives sailing around the world and living in marinas and moorings in exotic locations. Their videos this week have been turning to reports on how the Wuhan flu is affecting them.

    For instance, this couple set off from an island off the coast of Africa a few weeks ago and arrived in the Caribbean. The guy is American, the woman French with no visa for the U.S. They managed to make it to Saint Martin, a French overseas semi-autonomous division.

    It makes for an interesting variation of sheltering in place. They go on a supermarket run and find plenty of toilet paper.

  138. @Buzz Mohawk
    T

    aiwan will be manufacturing ten million masks per day by the end of this week.
     
    At that rate, you could have a one-day supply for everyone in the United States -- in one month.

    Do we even make masks in our own country anymore?

    This is another item like ventilators, which are also probably manufactured somewhere in East Asia instead of here.

    Globalism and bad leadership have screwed us.

    My box of N95 masks that I bought on Amazon says it was distributed by 3M in Minnesota, USA, “made with globally sourced material, made in USA”.

    You know they are lying about masks not being useful because they said to save it for healthcare workers. If they are not useful, why do healthcare workers need them?

    • Replies: @Buzz Mohawk
    You are right, and that's not the half of it. Yesterday I caught Secretary Azar whoever on the president's podium very quickly mentioning that they had contacted international producers of needed equipment. It was his way of very quickly getting past the fact that these things are not made here anymore.

    How sad is that? How strategically stupid is that? This is what our leaders, in business and government, private and public, have done to us, to this great country.

    Our most needed equipment in an emergency -- which was entirely predictable -- is not made by us! To ramp up production, we (or Azar, or sombody -- God knows who!) have to deal with international manufacturing, trade, and shipping! Imagine, those of you who can, if Liberty Ships required this, or if the Apollo Program needed international trade coordination.

    This is F-ing ridiculous, but we here have known this for a very long time now.

  139. @danand

    “If i recall correctly, I think the US has only one face mask company, but the owner is reluctant to expand production. Is the US government allowed to seize the factory from him and expand production?”
     
    Yahya, I can’t really blame the business for not wanting to produce the masks. A very likely scenario for them would be they'd gear up, produce gobs of masks, and then go bankrupt; as the demand/need for those masks would evaporate before they could sell them.

    If masks from this manufacturer are critical, and they may well be, the business needs a firm, ironclad guarantee that after they produce, they will sell. If we need masks, it’s pretty straightforward; a “Gates” or government needs to become the proverbial “buyer of last resort” for this mask manufacturer.

    BTW, for better or worse, I have heard manufacturers in China will be flooding the world with masks prior to roughly mid-April. So if you’re a mask “middle man” you may want to try and unload your stock of masks now, though to be honest, I personally am not wishing you too much luck.

    BTW, for better or worse, I have heard manufacturers in China will be flooding the world with masks prior to roughly mid-April.

    That’s interesting. I would not be surprised if it’s true. I think most people in East Asia are going to be stockpiling a lot of masks after this coronavirus crisis.

  140. @Joe Stalin
    https://i.etsystatic.com/20827068/r/il/95996f/2196471453/il_794xN.2196471453_qh87.jpg
    https://i.etsystatic.com/20827068/r/il/a38489/2196473869/il_794xN.2196473869_kr1p.jpg
    https://www.etsy.com/nl/listing/769539401/chernobyl-garden-gnome-10?ref=sold_out-5&cns=1

    My grandma sells cheap homemade facemasks.
    She punctures the things with a pin,
    ‘Cause grandpa gets rich from the flu shots.
    My god, how the money rolls in!

    • Replies: @Hhsiii
    Oscar was still broadcasting on WNYC until 2015. I preferred the Vicar of Vintage Vinyl, Danny Stiles. He came on before, died a few years before Brand, but they kept playing him on repeat. Car Talk guys, one brother died, they stopped playing repeats. Garrison Keillor, memory holed. A few other NPR personalities me tooed. Jonathan Schwartz.

    Usually I turned to the FAN or traffic reports not too long after Oscar came on or else zzzzzz.
  141. @ScarletNumber
    What's your point? That someone named Sinatra (probably Italian) won an award at a St. Patrick's Day parade?

    What’s your point?

    Just a wink and a nod to Dan Hayes.

  142. @Anon
    My box of N95 masks that I bought on Amazon says it was distributed by 3M in Minnesota, USA, "made with globally sourced material, made in USA".

    You know they are lying about masks not being useful because they said to save it for healthcare workers. If they are not useful, why do healthcare workers need them?

    You are right, and that’s not the half of it. Yesterday I caught Secretary Azar whoever on the president’s podium very quickly mentioning that they had contacted international producers of needed equipment. It was his way of very quickly getting past the fact that these things are not made here anymore.

    How sad is that? How strategically stupid is that? This is what our leaders, in business and government, private and public, have done to us, to this great country.

    Our most needed equipment in an emergency — which was entirely predictable — is not made by us! To ramp up production, we (or Azar, or sombody — God knows who!) have to deal with international manufacturing, trade, and shipping! Imagine, those of you who can, if Liberty Ships required this, or if the Apollo Program needed international trade coordination.

    This is F-ing ridiculous, but we here have known this for a very long time now.

  143. Anon[171] • Disclaimer says:

    New study from Wuhan. Of 138 patients studied in one hospital, the mortality was 4.3%, or 6 people. About 90% were given an antiviral, oseltamivir, and nearly all were given an antibacterial medication as well. 4.3% mortality from a population sick enough to go to the hospital isn’t bad. Of the 138 patients, 64 (46.4%) had 1 or more coexisting medical conditions. Hypertension (43 [31.2%]), diabetes (14 [10.1%]), cardiovascular disease (20 [14.5%]), and malignancy (10 [7.2%]) were the most common coexisting conditions.

    https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/2761044?guestAccessKey=9395ac1a-7feb-46b5-9e56-aa028185356c&utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=social_jama&utm_term=3206760246&utm_campaign=article_alert&linkId=84512858

  144. @Hemid

    It wasn’t as if he bought up in Place A, where there was excess, then drove to Place B, where there was a shortage. He CAUSED the shortage.
     
    The bad kind of autistics, the ones who liked school, will be here shortly to inform you that all the residents of Place A, by 1) failing to jack up the price so much that he couldn't buy the stuff from them, and then 2) failing to buy the stuff back from him at whatever price he set, demonstrated that they had excess supply—an infinite excess, in fact, that's perfectly remedied by the total lack he provided.

    It's like the string equations where everything goes to hell and becomes infinity/infinity, so we pretend infinities cancel, because if they don't then a few thousand books of physics are stupid bullshit.

    i strongly disagree with his approach, but he didn’t REALLY cause the shortage. His stuff is chump change compared to the demand.

    Earlier rationing by the major retailers (or surge pricing) is the only thing that would have helped, imo.

    In my area there was a period of two to three weeks where the stores would sell out of a three day supply of sanitizer or alcohol in an hour or two and yet they didn’t even attempt throttling.

    They finally added signs about limits about three days ago, for some things (but I’m not clear if they’ve had any for sale since they put the signs up)

  145. Anon[171] • Disclaimer says:
    @PiltdownMan
    There’s an academic research paper getting forwarded in chat forums that tentatively suggest that certain classes of diabetes and hypertension medication, along with ibuprofen, have made Covid-19 more deadly in Italy. If true, I’m still not clear if these drugs are more commonly prescribed in the Italian medical system than in other places. They are, of course, more likely to be prescribed to the elderly.

    Yeah, I’ve read aspirin, ibuprofen, and other anti-inflammatory drugs are killers if you have Covid-19. This is one time you don’t want to suppress inflammation, because an inflammation reaction means the immune system is doing what it’s supposed to, namely fight the disease. You’re supposed to take Tylenol instead. (Acetaminophen).

  146. @The Last Real Calvinist
    Just this, Piltdown Man -- you've nailed the essence of it. Masks are mostly social markers that modify behavior, not medical devices.

    I've been wearing surgical masks when out in public in Hong Kong since the end of January. I have essentially zero faith that my mask is 'filtering' out viruses floating about in the air. Way too much air goes around them, no matter how hard you try to fit it to your face.

    But my mask does stop me from sticking my fingers in my facial orifices, which sounds like something any civilized person should be avoiding anyway, but which in practice is very very very hard to stop doing voluntarily, just as you've said.

    And, even better, everybody else's masks help hold in the worst of their expectorations when they cough or sneeze.

    And perhaps best of all, our masks remind all of us every day to do little things that gradually reduce the chances of viral transmission, from avoiding touching public surfaces, to handwashing, to staying home if we've got any kind of URI. This stuff adds up.

    The key is that everybody, or at least nearly everybody, has to look at this whole scenario from the same point of view, and act on it in consort -- i.e. wear masks whenever out in public. That works in Hong Kong, but will it work in the USA?

    There are some big problems facing the USA if 'mask up' becomes the go-to coronavirus measure.

    First, there really, really have to be enough masks to go around. If the government starts convincing people that wearing a mask is essential, then there had better be masks available to buy, or even for free. Even in HK there were some ugly scenes as people queued and feuded over mask supplies. Masks are still pretty hard to find here.

    Second, I doubt masks do much good unless a high percentage of the population wears them. In HK almost everybody falls in line. In the USA, how many people will resist? The solution to this might be a public service campaign featuring a lot of celebrities and sports stars wearing masks; otherwise, I can't see large sectors of the USA population agreeing to it.

    Finally, all the antiviral-spreading measures associated with mask-wearing will likely have to be continued for a while when lots of people are starting to feel the danger has passed. Hong Kong smashed the curve way back in late January/early February. For several weeks thereafter, most days had one or two new cases, and sometimes none. It looked pretty much over -- but now many HK students are returning from the USA and UK, and quite a few are infected. They have to be identified and quarantined, so that no second wave can take hold.

    So, in the current context, the general public in Hong Kong has to maintain the kind of vigilant attitude that grants public sanction to intrusive government actions. To some degree, this vigilance is fueled by people thinking (and, maybe more important, feeling) that they are still at risk in their day-to-day lives, and are therefore playing their part in the fight against coronavirus by doing things like wearing masks.

    Yeah, Masks are useful for many reasons. While they’re are insufficient at blocking all virus access to your throat, they remind you to be on guard, not touch your face, and send a signal to others to stay back. It says, “I’m not in the mood for being social. Get the hell back!”

    One downside of masks is the same as with bike helmets. They might make you feel a bit too invincible, and lead you into dicey situations

    • Thanks: ChrisZ
  147. @danand

    “If i recall correctly, I think the US has only one face mask company, but the owner is reluctant to expand production. Is the US government allowed to seize the factory from him and expand production?”
     
    Yahya, I can’t really blame the business for not wanting to produce the masks. A very likely scenario for them would be they'd gear up, produce gobs of masks, and then go bankrupt; as the demand/need for those masks would evaporate before they could sell them.

    If masks from this manufacturer are critical, and they may well be, the business needs a firm, ironclad guarantee that after they produce, they will sell. If we need masks, it’s pretty straightforward; a “Gates” or government needs to become the proverbial “buyer of last resort” for this mask manufacturer.

    BTW, for better or worse, I have heard manufacturers in China will be flooding the world with masks prior to roughly mid-April. So if you’re a mask “middle man” you may want to try and unload your stock of masks now, though to be honest, I personally am not wishing you too much luck.

    danand,

    Thank you very much for your response.

    I can now see why he wouldn’t want to do it. Very selfish though.

    I think the government should just seize the factory from him, really. Its a National Emergency.

    I found this example of Truman seizing steel mills back in 1952. He lost though:

    The 1952 steel strike was a strike by the United Steelworkers of America against U.S. Steel and nine other steelmakers. The strike was scheduled to begin on April 9, 1952, but US President Harry Truman nationalized the American steel industry hours before the workers walked out. The steel companies sued to regain control of their facilities. On June 2, 1952, in a landmark decision, the US Supreme Court ruled in Youngstown Sheet & Tube Co. v. Sawyer, 343 U.S. 579 (1952), that the President lacked the authority to seize the steel mills.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1952_steel_strike

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    Why not give the poor bastard a 3 year contract to supply the government with masks? He's the only guy who stayed in production in America.
  148. anon[400] • Disclaimer says:

    We have more or less officially gone from containment to mitigation.

    Containment involves quarantine and contact tracing and extensive testing. When cases are low (under 1,000) and most of those are isolated, then masks are irrelevant. When Trump was acting like it was contained, not recommending masks wasn’t the lie, the lie was that the containment strategy could work without testing.

    Mitigation follows what they called clusters and then community transmission. Until the infection has grown to say 1 in 1,000 in your location, a mask isn’t going to do much.

    Maybe we should be pro mask, just because. However I would like a little guidance.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    1 in 1000 would be 330,000 cases. Anybody know what we are at now?
  149. @anon
    We have more or less officially gone from containment to mitigation.

    Containment involves quarantine and contact tracing and extensive testing. When cases are low (under 1,000) and most of those are isolated, then masks are irrelevant. When Trump was acting like it was contained, not recommending masks wasn't the lie, the lie was that the containment strategy could work without testing.

    Mitigation follows what they called clusters and then community transmission. Until the infection has grown to say 1 in 1,000 in your location, a mask isn't going to do much.

    Maybe we should be pro mask, just because. However I would like a little guidance.

    1 in 1000 would be 330,000 cases. Anybody know what we are at now?

    • Replies: @Buzz Mohawk
    Readers who might not know should understand what Steve himself may be reticent to say for himself: He is a survivor of non-Hodgkin lymphoma. That puts him in a high risk category, beyond his age in the low 60s. This is serious business for him, and we should respect that. God bless him, and may he remain safely in the closet.
    , @anon
    Number of cases? Nationally, I would guess the official US death toll x 1,000 which is 100,000. Based on CFR of .01 doubling 2 x or 3 x in two weeks. Plus a little extra. The estimate based on CFR would be of the cases 2 weeks ago.

    So we could be getting close to 330,000 given our testing lag. But cities with obvious community transmission are higher and other areas are lower.

    Another indication is whether you know of someone with one degree of separation that has it. If you haven't, then less than 1 in 1,000.
  150. @Yahya K.
    danand,

    Thank you very much for your response.

    I can now see why he wouldn't want to do it. Very selfish though.

    I think the government should just seize the factory from him, really. Its a National Emergency.

    I found this example of Truman seizing steel mills back in 1952. He lost though:

    The 1952 steel strike was a strike by the United Steelworkers of America against U.S. Steel and nine other steelmakers. The strike was scheduled to begin on April 9, 1952, but US President Harry Truman nationalized the American steel industry hours before the workers walked out. The steel companies sued to regain control of their facilities. On June 2, 1952, in a landmark decision, the US Supreme Court ruled in Youngstown Sheet & Tube Co. v. Sawyer, 343 U.S. 579 (1952), that the President lacked the authority to seize the steel mills.

     

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1952_steel_strike

    Why not give the poor bastard a 3 year contract to supply the government with masks? He’s the only guy who stayed in production in America.

    • Replies: @Yahya K.
    I mean, whats the point of staying in the US if he wont help in the time of need?

    But your right, compensating him would be equitable.

    Not sure why the government isn't stepping in on this.

    Have a good one.

    , @Buzz Mohawk
    AGREE

    Surprising that anybody stayed in production.
  151. Anonymous[150] • Disclaimer says:
    @Jack D
    It is not by fiat. It is by statutes that are already on the books and have been for years. The laws differ by state (and some states don't have any) but the most typical ones say that selling commodities, household essentials, fuel, etc. after a declared state of emergency for more than 10% over the prevailing price of these items immediately preceding the declaration is a crime. Your cost for the item or when you bought it is not relevant - the crime is jacking up the price during an emergency - profiting off of tragedy. This goes against libertarian principles but our legal system is not libertarian.

    This topic always assumes malevolent intent on the part of the seller, but what if it’s the buyers who are offering to pay inflated sums? Do you prosecute the man who offers to pay $10 for a $5 item?

  152. @Polynikes
    Which explains the overreaction more than anything. College presidents specifically since they had no reason to send kids home, often away from top notch medical care, when they're likely asymptomatic carriers who won't be affected. They just dispersed the virus all over the country, but they did get those kids away from themselves and other older professors and administrators.

    My Alma mater ,a supposed science and technology place, also just kicked all the undergrads off campus… and I’m annoyed and embarrassed about it.

    Make attendence optional, ok!
    Let the profs teach by video and skip office hours, fine.

    Kick people out of their homes and scatter then to the wind while saying the word community in every other sentence… pretty crappy thing to do.

  153. @Steve Sailer
    Why not give the poor bastard a 3 year contract to supply the government with masks? He's the only guy who stayed in production in America.

    I mean, whats the point of staying in the US if he wont help in the time of need?

    But your right, compensating him would be equitable.

    Not sure why the government isn’t stepping in on this.

    Have a good one.

  154. @Steve Sailer
    Why not give the poor bastard a 3 year contract to supply the government with masks? He's the only guy who stayed in production in America.

    AGREE

    Surprising that anybody stayed in production.

  155. Anon[171] • Disclaimer says:

    A study here says people with blood type A get Covid-19 more often than those with blood type O. Three hospitals were surveyed, and all show the same pattern. If the average odds of getting Covid-19 are 1, people with blood type A are getting it at a rate of 1.2, and those with blood type O were getting it at a rate of 0.67. Those who died were more likely to be A than O. If risk of death equals 1, those with blood type A were more likely to die at a rate of 1.48. Those with O had a death rate probability of 0.66.

    1.48 vs. 0.66, in statistics, is a substantially higher rate for A than O. It’s about 50% higher than normal vs. 33% less likely than normal.

    What’s more, it has been noticed in the past that people with blood type O were less likely to get SARS.

    https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.03.11.20031096v1

    Here’s the Daily Mail version of the study for those who want an easier read:

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-8122493/People-Type-blood-likely-catch-coronavirus.html

    A is very common in Asians, O in Europeans. O is the ancestral human blood type. I would guess that O gives you more disease resistance, or else it never would have been Darwinianly fit enough to be the common human ancestral blood type in the first place.

  156. anon[391] • Disclaimer says:
    @Yahya K.
    This article was very good.

    Sixth, masks are an important signal that it’s not business as usual as well as an act of solidarity. Pandemics require us to change our behavior — our socialization, hygiene, work and more — collectively, and knowing our fellow citizens are on board is important for all efforts.

     

    This is totally true. I traveled abroad during spring break, and went to the airport wearing a mask. When I went up to the passport checker, she didn't want to touch my passport. She told me to swipe the passport myself. Lol! I think my wearing the mask associated myself to the virus.

    Hong Kong health officials credit universal mask wearing as part of the solution and recommend universal mask wearing. In fact, Taiwan responded to the coronavirus by immediately ramping up mask production.
     
    Here is a question: does the US have the capability of mass producing face masks? They certainly can't import them anymore. If i recall correctly, I think the US has only one face mask company, but the owner is reluctant to expand production. Is the US government allowed to seize the factory from him and expand production?

    I think a good option would be for the US to threaten Taiwan with cancelling their military arms sales if they dont share some of the goodies.

    Perhaps that US face mask manufacturer scaled up for SARS and got stuck with a lot of inventory. The sensible thing to do would be what steve suggested, a multi-year government contract that would put a floor under his risk.

    By the way, has anyone given any thought to what this all would be like with Hillary! in the White House? She might even have to negotiate a ceasefire with the Russians, horrors!

    • Replies: @Harry Baldwin
    ...what this all would be like with Hillary! in the White House?

    Or Obama? He refused to halt incoming flights from the epicenter of the Ebola epidemic in 2012. A number of other countries did, but he risked American lives in favor of his globalist "We're all in this together" view. He got lucky, but if Americans had died as a result he would have been to blame.

    At a time like this leaders who favor open borders are catastrophic. Virtue-Signaler-in-Chief Justin Trudeau halted all flights from China only a few days ago. Here's an excerpt from an article from a Canadian news service on 2/14/20, reflecting the progressive view at that moment:

    Travel bans and quarantines are an age-old answer to stop the spread of the disease, but it’s exactly what the World Health Organization (WHO) has advised against since the outbreak began. The agency’s general-director, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, called the bans unnecessary and said they fan fear and stigma “with little public health benefit.”
     
  157. @Steve Sailer
    1 in 1000 would be 330,000 cases. Anybody know what we are at now?

    Readers who might not know should understand what Steve himself may be reticent to say for himself: He is a survivor of non-Hodgkin lymphoma. That puts him in a high risk category, beyond his age in the low 60s. This is serious business for him, and we should respect that. God bless him, and may he remain safely in the closet.

    • Agree: danand
    • Replies: @Richard S

    remain safely in the closet.
     
    Lol, an infelicitous choice of words for a red blooded American male like the Sailer man
  158. @Yahya K.
    This article was very good.

    Sixth, masks are an important signal that it’s not business as usual as well as an act of solidarity. Pandemics require us to change our behavior — our socialization, hygiene, work and more — collectively, and knowing our fellow citizens are on board is important for all efforts.

     

    This is totally true. I traveled abroad during spring break, and went to the airport wearing a mask. When I went up to the passport checker, she didn't want to touch my passport. She told me to swipe the passport myself. Lol! I think my wearing the mask associated myself to the virus.

    Hong Kong health officials credit universal mask wearing as part of the solution and recommend universal mask wearing. In fact, Taiwan responded to the coronavirus by immediately ramping up mask production.
     
    Here is a question: does the US have the capability of mass producing face masks? They certainly can't import them anymore. If i recall correctly, I think the US has only one face mask company, but the owner is reluctant to expand production. Is the US government allowed to seize the factory from him and expand production?

    I think a good option would be for the US to threaten Taiwan with cancelling their military arms sales if they dont share some of the goodies.

    I think the US has only one face mask company,

    Augusta Factory Ramps Up to Relieve Global Mask Shortage as China Fights Coronavirus
    https://www.globalatlanta.com/augusta-factory-ramps-up-to-relieve-global-mask-shortage-as-china-fights-coronavirus/

    All they can do is add a night shift.

  159. https://www.scmp.com/news/china/society/article/3075567/people-blood-type-may-be-more-vulnerable-coronavirus-china-study

    “People with blood type A may be more vulnerable to infection by the new coronavirus, while those with type O seem more resistant, according to a preliminary study of patients in China who contracted the disease known as Covid-19.”

    “In contrast, “blood group O had a significantly lower risk for the infectious disease compared with non-O blood groups”, according to a paper they published on Medrxiv.org on March 11.

    Of 206 patients who had died from Covid-19 in Wuhan, 85 had type A blood, which was 63 per cent more than the 52 with type O. The pattern existed across different age and gender groups.”

  160. @BenKenobi

    60% of infected patients are male
     
    The glass morgue strikes again. Where is the call for more equity?

    Can you imagine the hue and cry in the MSM if it went the other way?

    Corona would suddenly be the least of our concerns.

  161. I think gloves are as important as face masks unless you’re simply walking down the street. Of course I keep forgetting mine when I go to the store.

    • Replies: @Cortes
    You are correct. Even in less fraught times my inner Howard Hughes has me wearing gloves as frequently as possible when outside the home. (In a previous life I had the dubious experience of having to review casework completed by a guy whose nickname was “shitey hands” and developed a comprehensive “Andromeda Strain” decontamination strategy as a result).

    In absence of gloves, I use food storage baggies (still widely available). There are many, many filthy people out there handling objects that you may subsequently have to touch. Take precautions.

    And wash your hands frequently.

  162. @miss marple
    I think gloves are as important as face masks unless you're simply walking down the street. Of course I keep forgetting mine when I go to the store.

    You are correct. Even in less fraught times my inner Howard Hughes has me wearing gloves as frequently as possible when outside the home. (In a previous life I had the dubious experience of having to review casework completed by a guy whose nickname was “shitey hands” and developed a comprehensive “Andromeda Strain” decontamination strategy as a result).

    In absence of gloves, I use food storage baggies (still widely available). There are many, many filthy people out there handling objects that you may subsequently have to touch. Take precautions.

    And wash your hands frequently.

  163. @Reg Cæsar
    My grandma sells cheap homemade facemasks.
    She punctures the things with a pin,
    'Cause grandpa gets rich from the flu shots.
    My god, how the money rolls in!



    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=U1BJ8gz7xZE

    Oscar was still broadcasting on WNYC until 2015. I preferred the Vicar of Vintage Vinyl, Danny Stiles. He came on before, died a few years before Brand, but they kept playing him on repeat. Car Talk guys, one brother died, they stopped playing repeats. Garrison Keillor, memory holed. A few other NPR personalities me tooed. Jonathan Schwartz.

    Usually I turned to the FAN or traffic reports not too long after Oscar came on or else zzzzzz.

  164. @anon
    Perhaps that US face mask manufacturer scaled up for SARS and got stuck with a lot of inventory. The sensible thing to do would be what steve suggested, a multi-year government contract that would put a floor under his risk.

    By the way, has anyone given any thought to what this all would be like with Hillary! in the White House? She might even have to negotiate a ceasefire with the Russians, horrors!

    …what this all would be like with Hillary! in the White House?

    Or Obama? He refused to halt incoming flights from the epicenter of the Ebola epidemic in 2012. A number of other countries did, but he risked American lives in favor of his globalist “We’re all in this together” view. He got lucky, but if Americans had died as a result he would have been to blame.

    At a time like this leaders who favor open borders are catastrophic. Virtue-Signaler-in-Chief Justin Trudeau halted all flights from China only a few days ago. Here’s an excerpt from an article from a Canadian news service on 2/14/20, reflecting the progressive view at that moment:

    Travel bans and quarantines are an age-old answer to stop the spread of the disease, but it’s exactly what the World Health Organization (WHO) has advised against since the outbreak began. The agency’s general-director, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, called the bans unnecessary and said they fan fear and stigma “with little public health benefit.”

  165. @Anon
    One of the first papers out of Italy on Covid-19 is here:

    https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/2763401?guestAccessKey=9479fd07-f8cc-421a-9f83-eadbb4da00c1&utm_source=fbpage&utm_medium=social_jama&utm_term=3206374535&utm_campaign=article_alert&linkId=84499712&fbclid=IwAR28roZxT8pc31L04dsVMM8sCPT8LNbgABArROCCDc0e48tZWwFS-rAV2aQ

    Out of the 22K infected cases they have, 2K are health care workers. 60% of infected patients are male. However, almost 60% of cases they measured are mild, have few symptoms, or no symptoms. However, since Italy isn't testing anyone who didn't feel sick enough to go to the hospital, they're likely missing a lot of mild cases or cases with no symptoms.

    Only about 5.2% of those who have died are under the age of 69, and 3.5% of people who died were in their 60s, meaning if you're under 50, your chance of dying from Covid-19 is very tiny. They have no deaths at all of anyone under age 29.

    94% of their fatalities are older than 70. The largest number of death in terms of numbers is from people in their 80s, and in terms of percentage, it's people in their 90s.

    Only about 5.2% of those who have died are under the age of 69, and 3.5% of people who died were in their 60s, meaning if you’re under 50, your chance of dying from Covid-19 is very tiny. They have no deaths at all of anyone under age 29.

    94% of their fatalities are older than 70. The largest number of death in terms of numbers is from people in their 80s, and in terms of percentage, it’s people in their 90s.

    That’s consistent with the number published by a Chinese study (n=40,000+). Only eight dead below the age of 30.

  166. @Anonymous

    “Gold (and property) is a guaranteed store of value, no matter what happens.”

    You do realize WE, as humans, put a value on it. What occurs when we decide not to? Would not that take away the precious power of bankers?
     
    I thought crows were smarter than that.


    Unless someone invents or discovers a way to transmute other elements into gold (Au) in a process many orders of magnitude less expensive and energy-utilizing than a particle accelerator, or invents a process to cost effectively extract the gold from seawater (which could cause other unknown, possibly horrific, consequences), or mines gold off-planet and brings it here in a very great quantity, gold is very safe as a storehouse of some value. It will never be worth nothing. It will always be worth some integer multiple of silver, which also will always be worth something.

    Gold is valuable for several reasons, but as a medium of exchange, it has value because it is relatively scarce, because it is easily testable, because it can be melted down and recast obliviating any forensic traceability (ensuring privacy), and because politicians, dictators, and militaries can't print or fabricate it.

    What the exact value of gold is is going to vary, but it will never be worth nothing. It never has been in human history.

    But the point is that it doesn’t have any intrinsic value; unless you include the vital business of making those Pioneer-style plaques on space probes..

    In a real civilisational collapse situation (you know, that thing that’s happened to every human society and culture since the dawn of agriculture) only food, water, fuel, shelter and weaponry have any use value. For the vast majority of humanity’s time on the earth, gold remained unnoticed in the ground. It’s a cultural, ideological decision to assign worth to it.

    And if some non-ferrous metal really is valuable in a “boogaloo” situation, then the boys with the rifles / sharper sticks will simply “appropriate” it..

    • Replies: @Jack D
    I guess it depends what you mean by civilizational collapse. Probably the last time in the West that money (which throughout most of history mean metal coins) completely stopped circulating was when the Roman Empire fell.

    A medium of exchange/store of value (whether it is gold or wampum or cigarettes) is, useful even if all you really want is food, water, fuel, shelter and weaponry. Without money, all you can do is barter. Maybe you have a freshly killed deer and I have some ammo. We could trade for it. But maybe someone traded me some ammo for a deer yesterday and I am all set with venison for the time being, so we have no deal to make. But if you gave me some gold, I could trade that gold with Mr. Smith down the street who has some firewood (but is also stocked up on meat). Or I could hang on to it and buy some meat next month.

    If money did not exist, you would have to invent it. As someone points out in another comment, gold and silver make good money because they will always be rare and can't be easily counterfeited or printed into inflation like paper money.
  167. @Buzz Mohawk
    Readers who might not know should understand what Steve himself may be reticent to say for himself: He is a survivor of non-Hodgkin lymphoma. That puts him in a high risk category, beyond his age in the low 60s. This is serious business for him, and we should respect that. God bless him, and may he remain safely in the closet.

    remain safely in the closet.

    Lol, an infelicitous choice of words for a red blooded American male like the Sailer man

  168. @TwoJakes
    This is actually as close as I’ve ever come to agreeing with a TD post

    No creative spelling or syntax. Is it really TD?

  169. @Anonymous
    If you can melt it down yourself, have it accurately assayed, and have enough of it you can sell to a buyer of scrap gold for a better percentage than those "we buy gold" ripoff joints. Investment buyers and even jewelers generally only buy certified ingot gold from a reputable vendor like Engelhard.

    I learned that lesson with silver. I had a pile of silver recovered from photo fixer and could not move it except at a ripoff discount even though I had smelted it into a series of bars and had it professionally assayed. I think they assumed that I was trying to rip them off because that's what they would have tried to do in the reverse circumstance. I eventually sold it to a refiner at a semi-reasonable discount when the market got tight, but it took a long time.

    On the rare occasion i sell i do pawn shops….they pay me a small amt under market price.

    Can you recommend any better sellers? Or hell, anybody who will pay cash for it?

  170. anon[283] • Disclaimer says:
    @Steve Sailer
    1 in 1000 would be 330,000 cases. Anybody know what we are at now?

    Number of cases? Nationally, I would guess the official US death toll x 1,000 which is 100,000. Based on CFR of .01 doubling 2 x or 3 x in two weeks. Plus a little extra. The estimate based on CFR would be of the cases 2 weeks ago.

    So we could be getting close to 330,000 given our testing lag. But cities with obvious community transmission are higher and other areas are lower.

    Another indication is whether you know of someone with one degree of separation that has it. If you haven’t, then less than 1 in 1,000.

  171. @Dan Smith
    Masks are the new tin foil hats. Run to Walmart, there might be a few rolls of Alcoa wrap left!

    Masks are the new fashion. Celebrities and the rich “testing” for the virus and “self quarantining” is the new fashion. So far the Kardashians or Justin Bieber have not indicated they have a cough or such. We anxiously await their diagnosis. No word from any of the Rappers but then again they smoke, toke and loke all day. Perhaps they know something we dont.

    I saw a Jackass in the Supermarket yesterday wearing a neckscarf as a mask ala Western Outlaw style with baseball cap pulled over his eyes and sunglasses. Some lady was also pushing a dog in a carriage and the animal was wearing a mask. It is getting more stupid by the day. One day masks are useless and another day we get a 2000 word article that they are useful.

    This whole thing is blown out of control. I see cities are banning 50 people or more congregating in one place. Yet in my supermarket there are hundreds there at the same time and some have got into fights where the spittle flies in each other’s faces.

    A shepherd can keep 100 or so sheep under control with his stick. The media, bloggers and opinion experts keep billions under control with their crap.

    Opinions are like shit, everyone expounds a load. What a spineless, frightened herd we are.

    300 years ago our ancestors who braved, cold , heat, starvation, outlaws, wild indians, disease, poverty and every kind of hardship to develop this continent would never have believed we could become such bitches!

  172. @Anonymous

    “Gold (and property) is a guaranteed store of value, no matter what happens.”

    You do realize WE, as humans, put a value on it. What occurs when we decide not to? Would not that take away the precious power of bankers?
     
    I thought crows were smarter than that.


    Unless someone invents or discovers a way to transmute other elements into gold (Au) in a process many orders of magnitude less expensive and energy-utilizing than a particle accelerator, or invents a process to cost effectively extract the gold from seawater (which could cause other unknown, possibly horrific, consequences), or mines gold off-planet and brings it here in a very great quantity, gold is very safe as a storehouse of some value. It will never be worth nothing. It will always be worth some integer multiple of silver, which also will always be worth something.

    Gold is valuable for several reasons, but as a medium of exchange, it has value because it is relatively scarce, because it is easily testable, because it can be melted down and recast obliviating any forensic traceability (ensuring privacy), and because politicians, dictators, and militaries can't print or fabricate it.

    What the exact value of gold is is going to vary, but it will never be worth nothing. It never has been in human history.

    I understand the value of gold and its history, but the fact remains we as people put a value on that commodity. It can be worth nothing if and when people would outright declare it as being other than valuable. Would not that take away the precious power of bankers?

  173. @Buzz Mohawk
    T

    aiwan will be manufacturing ten million masks per day by the end of this week.
     
    At that rate, you could have a one-day supply for everyone in the United States -- in one month.

    Do we even make masks in our own country anymore?

    This is another item like ventilators, which are also probably manufactured somewhere in East Asia instead of here.

    Globalism and bad leadership have screwed us.

    Globalism and bad leadership have screwed us.

    This.

    As i’ve pointed out “nation of immigrants”–immigration forever–mathematically means population replacement and the nation becoming ever more crowded and shitty … until finally no one in the entire world is left who wants to come.

    But we have elites who are innumerate, and the few numerate ones who understand this … like it. They hate us. So taking the nation from the flyover country goyim and trashing it is a feature.

    But it turns out the globalists are not just evil, they are incompetent. The globalists can’t even competently execute nation destroying globalism. They can even do management 101 and prepare for the *known* issues with their own ideology. Despite the repeated shots over the bow–every season of flu, SARS, H1N1, Ebola–they still aren’t prepared for a pandemic which will give globalist ideology a black eye.

    These are our “leaders” or “elites”. The people endlessly lecturing us on our sins. Seriously.

    • Replies: @Adam Smith

    These are our “leaders” or “elites”.
     
    No they are not. While they do indeed occupy positions of power, they are not "leaders".

    I wish people would stop using words like "leaders", "elites", "officials" and "authorities" to describe these criminals. These people are far more dangerous than any other criminal gang in America, and should be treated as such.

    They are evil, and want us violently dead. Incompetence, in this case, is a good thing.
  174. @The Wild Geese Howard
    I just converted $500 of Wall St electrons into bullion, I know it's not nearly enough.

    I have a couple $k of bullion lying around.

    I really wish I had a Remington 870 with a 250 rd case of 00 buckshot and a 250 rd case of rifled slugs next to me right now.

    Other than that I'm trading options on price momentum, and that's been really great, especially buying puts on volatile equities like TSLA when they rip on the daily Corona briefing.

    That's why I will be pissed if they shut the markets to retail and turn them into a private club for the Fed, central banks, MMs, and large tutes like Vanguard and Charles Schwab.

    I will be pissed because they will claim the closure is, "for the good of retail traders."

    Whenever the government and banks state something like that, it always means they are trying to fuck the little guy in the ass.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f36w3GPoGz0

    John Vernon shows up everywhere — such a versatile villain

    • Replies: @The Wild Geese Howard
    John Vernon is a great actor no doubt.

    I see his character in Josey Wales as a pragmatist caught on the wrong side by the events depicted at the beginning of the film.

    His reaction to the massacre makes it clear he did not have pre-knowledge. It also makes sense because the character is not the kind of man who is going to bring in friends he rode with for years to receive a bag of silver and watch his friends get shot down like dogs.

    He tries to express some level of remorse to the Wales character at the end of the film.

  175. @Steve Sailer
    Men's Wearhouse is closely monitoring the situation and, by the way, their online store is still open and will sell me three suits for the price of two.

    Men’s Wearhouse had better panic — if everyone’s “sheltering” at home, no one’s gonna need a suit anymore

  176. @Chief Seattle
    The motivation behind the laws is not to prevent profit, it's to prevent hoarding by people waiting for higher prices. Normally high prices are their own worst enemy as producers flood into a market and demand dries up. But there's no time (or perhaps no ability) for the market to adjust in an emergency. So the normal mechanism that turns greed into public benefit backfires, and hoarding for profit must be discouraged by law for the greatest good.

    The laws (as far as I know – there are 50 states and each one has different laws on this subject – some have none) are not against hoarding, they are against price gouging. They are aimed at sellers, not buyers. You can buy or sell any quantity of the goods covered by the statutes as long as you don’t sell it for more than x% above the previous price (or sometimes it’s a verbal threshold – an “unconscionable” amount).

    The typical scenario is that there is a hurricane and guys start selling bottle water for $10/bottle. Hoarding is a side effect because the water bottle guys get their supply by grabbing up all the stocks of retail stores. The focus of the laws is that you are taking advantage of desperate people and this is wrong. But the side effect is that it discourages hoarding by this type of reseller – if there is no profit to be made, he has no incentive to sweep the stores clean.

    When this all started, I assumed that hoarding was being driven by people buying up sanitizer, masks, etc. for themselves. But the typical home prepper will buy maybe a few or a dozen of the item. This guy (and who knows how many more were like him – as I said before, even before this all started there was a whole army of people who make their living by buying scarce items at retail and reselling them on ebay) alone had 20,000 bottles of sanitizer – one guy like him outweighed 1,000 people hoarding for personal use.

  177. @AnotherDad

    Globalism and bad leadership have screwed us.
     
    This.

    As i've pointed out "nation of immigrants"--immigration forever--mathematically means population replacement and the nation becoming ever more crowded and shitty ... until finally no one in the entire world is left who wants to come.

    But we have elites who are innumerate, and the few numerate ones who understand this ... like it. They hate us. So taking the nation from the flyover country goyim and trashing it is a feature.


    But it turns out the globalists are not just evil, they are incompetent. The globalists can't even competently execute nation destroying globalism. They can even do management 101 and prepare for the *known* issues with their own ideology. Despite the repeated shots over the bow--every season of flu, SARS, H1N1, Ebola--they still aren't prepared for a pandemic which will give globalist ideology a black eye.

    These are our "leaders" or "elites". The people endlessly lecturing us on our sins. Seriously.

    These are our “leaders” or “elites”.

    No they are not. While they do indeed occupy positions of power, they are not “leaders”.

    I wish people would stop using words like “leaders”, “elites”, “officials” and “authorities” to describe these criminals. These people are far more dangerous than any other criminal gang in America, and should be treated as such.

    They are evil, and want us violently dead. Incompetence, in this case, is a good thing.

  178. @Steve Sailer
    Is there a chance that Northern Italy is an outlier because they are doing something wrong? Maybe there is something about how they organize the process of getting medical care that is getting lots of people infected?

    Is there a chance that Northern Italy is an outlier because they are doing something wrong?

    https://www.dw.com/en/chinese-migration-brings-social-change-to-italys-alps/a-42456247

  179. @The Alarmist
    Couldn't she at least mention the difficulty nappy haired people have getting face masks to seal properly because the strings are uneven around the back of the head?

    Face masks be rayciss, yo.

  180. @Buzz Mohawk
    T

    aiwan will be manufacturing ten million masks per day by the end of this week.
     
    At that rate, you could have a one-day supply for everyone in the United States -- in one month.

    Do we even make masks in our own country anymore?

    This is another item like ventilators, which are also probably manufactured somewhere in East Asia instead of here.

    Globalism and bad leadership have screwed us.

    I think the masks are pretty irrelevant.

    N95 masks do not filter out the virus, it doesn’t filter that small. That being said, you don’t need to filter the virus because the virus doesn’t float around in the air by itself, it’s being carried in a fleck of spittle or something like that.

    You don’t need an N95 mask to filter out a fleck of spit. A bandanna or a scarf will do. Most of these surgical masks (like they kind they are wearing in asian countries) are effectively just that, sneeze guards you so don’t sneeze on someone’s pancreas while you operating or get their blood squirted into your mouth. That’s good enough.

    I imagine the effect of the masks is probably more to do with sick people wearing the masks so they don’t spray aerosolized spit everywhere and less to do with the masks being worn by healthy people protecting them. If you can’t find a mask (and you think you need one) just wear a bandanna.

    I don’t know how many of you have worn N95 (or better) masks for hours at a time but they suck. It’s as bad as wearing a scarf, unless it’s freezing outside you will be sweating. And breathing heavier because they suck to breath through.

  181. @TwoJakes
    This is actually as close as I’ve ever come to agreeing with a TD post

    To be consistent you’d also have to blame the pandemic on every single other world leader since none of their countries have escaped it. Only the prime minister of Utopia and maybe Kim Jong Un have done any better.

    Juche is the way.

  182. @Richard S
    But the point is that it doesn’t have any intrinsic value; unless you include the vital business of making those Pioneer-style plaques on space probes..

    In a real civilisational collapse situation (you know, that thing that’s happened to every human society and culture since the dawn of agriculture) only food, water, fuel, shelter and weaponry have any use value. For the vast majority of humanity’s time on the earth, gold remained unnoticed in the ground. It’s a cultural, ideological decision to assign worth to it.

    And if some non-ferrous metal really is valuable in a “boogaloo” situation, then the boys with the rifles / sharper sticks will simply “appropriate” it..

    I guess it depends what you mean by civilizational collapse. Probably the last time in the West that money (which throughout most of history mean metal coins) completely stopped circulating was when the Roman Empire fell.

    A medium of exchange/store of value (whether it is gold or wampum or cigarettes) is, useful even if all you really want is food, water, fuel, shelter and weaponry. Without money, all you can do is barter. Maybe you have a freshly killed deer and I have some ammo. We could trade for it. But maybe someone traded me some ammo for a deer yesterday and I am all set with venison for the time being, so we have no deal to make. But if you gave me some gold, I could trade that gold with Mr. Smith down the street who has some firewood (but is also stocked up on meat). Or I could hang on to it and buy some meat next month.

    If money did not exist, you would have to invent it. As someone points out in another comment, gold and silver make good money because they will always be rare and can’t be easily counterfeited or printed into inflation like paper money.

    • Replies: @snorlax
    Ammo is infinitely more likely to be the "coins" of a civilizational collapse than gold or silver. The only reason it wasn't the medium of exchange in Roman Empire times is it hadn't been invented yet.
    , @Daniel Chieh
    Even after they stopped being minted, Roman coins continued to be circulated. When barter was used, items were valued in Roman coinage even when no coins existed(or other imaginary currency was used.)

    Debt, often social, was the solution when currency ceased to exist.
    , @Richard S
    You don’t need to go back to Rome; the most sophisticated industrial society in 20th century Europe was Germany. Twice in 22 years the whole money system completely collapsed, people did barter cigarettes and sexual favours in exchange for the most basic survival needs. Gold stopped being a store of value because you can’t eat metal and the spiv with the loaf of bread or kilo of sausage determines the exchange value of your family heirlooms.

    Why would I allow myself to be cheated when I’ve got the means (theoretically) to seize the goods I need? You’re being a bit too sanguine about the sheer fragility of our civilisation, in my opinion.
  183. @Jack D
    I guess it depends what you mean by civilizational collapse. Probably the last time in the West that money (which throughout most of history mean metal coins) completely stopped circulating was when the Roman Empire fell.

    A medium of exchange/store of value (whether it is gold or wampum or cigarettes) is, useful even if all you really want is food, water, fuel, shelter and weaponry. Without money, all you can do is barter. Maybe you have a freshly killed deer and I have some ammo. We could trade for it. But maybe someone traded me some ammo for a deer yesterday and I am all set with venison for the time being, so we have no deal to make. But if you gave me some gold, I could trade that gold with Mr. Smith down the street who has some firewood (but is also stocked up on meat). Or I could hang on to it and buy some meat next month.

    If money did not exist, you would have to invent it. As someone points out in another comment, gold and silver make good money because they will always be rare and can't be easily counterfeited or printed into inflation like paper money.

    Ammo is infinitely more likely to be the “coins” of a civilizational collapse than gold or silver. The only reason it wasn’t the medium of exchange in Roman Empire times is it hadn’t been invented yet.

  184. @MKP

    "The authorities have obviously been lying to us for weeks now about the effectiveness of masks, which are magically effective if worn by medical personnel but of no value, no value I tell you, to anyone else."

     

    The whole thing never stood up to even the most casual scrutiny. The newspapers and cable news shows kept saying "masks don't help protect you. In fact, they might make it worse! And, anyway, if everyone goes out and buys masks, there won't be enough for doctors and nurses!"

    Wait a minute ... what? If the masks don't help (in fact, might make it worse), then why the hell would doctors and nurses be wearing them? Why would it be a bad thing that doctors and nurses couldn't get them?

    It's like the editors at the nation's major newspapers and TV shows harkened back to their high school journalism teacher saying "remember, reinforce your point with two different rationales." But then didn't realize that the second reason they gave as to why everyone shouldn't run out and buy masks completely contradicted the first.

    “why the hell would doctors and nurses be wearing them?”

    So they don’t accidentally sneeze into your abdominal cavity during surgery.

    • Replies: @Don't Look at Me
    True. But it is also important that those who will be seeing patients avoid getting sick. So they can continue to see patients.
  185. @Steve Sailer
    Woodrow Wilson's government never lied to anybody about anything? Besides the President being non compos mentis for most of each day?

    Ok, Wilson is a good example of a dishonest WASP running things. But if he’s the same President Wilson whose falsehoods about how the Great War peace with Germany would go that lead directly to World War II, then he’s a good example of dishonesty leading to disaster.

    • Replies: @anon
    Steve is referring to this WoodrowWilson. Re-elected President in 1916 on the platform "He kept us out of war!", Wilson then turned to dragging the US into European war beginning in 1917.

    https://infogalactic.com/info/Woodrow_Wilson


    Ed Bernays worked for the government in 1916 shaping public opinion from neutrality to war. His methods continue to be used right up to the current minute.

    https://infogalactic.com/info/Edward_Bernays
  186. @Jack D
    I guess it depends what you mean by civilizational collapse. Probably the last time in the West that money (which throughout most of history mean metal coins) completely stopped circulating was when the Roman Empire fell.

    A medium of exchange/store of value (whether it is gold or wampum or cigarettes) is, useful even if all you really want is food, water, fuel, shelter and weaponry. Without money, all you can do is barter. Maybe you have a freshly killed deer and I have some ammo. We could trade for it. But maybe someone traded me some ammo for a deer yesterday and I am all set with venison for the time being, so we have no deal to make. But if you gave me some gold, I could trade that gold with Mr. Smith down the street who has some firewood (but is also stocked up on meat). Or I could hang on to it and buy some meat next month.

    If money did not exist, you would have to invent it. As someone points out in another comment, gold and silver make good money because they will always be rare and can't be easily counterfeited or printed into inflation like paper money.

    Even after they stopped being minted, Roman coins continued to be circulated. When barter was used, items were valued in Roman coinage even when no coins existed(or other imaginary currency was used.)

    Debt, often social, was the solution when currency ceased to exist.

  187. @Jack D
    I guess it depends what you mean by civilizational collapse. Probably the last time in the West that money (which throughout most of history mean metal coins) completely stopped circulating was when the Roman Empire fell.

    A medium of exchange/store of value (whether it is gold or wampum or cigarettes) is, useful even if all you really want is food, water, fuel, shelter and weaponry. Without money, all you can do is barter. Maybe you have a freshly killed deer and I have some ammo. We could trade for it. But maybe someone traded me some ammo for a deer yesterday and I am all set with venison for the time being, so we have no deal to make. But if you gave me some gold, I could trade that gold with Mr. Smith down the street who has some firewood (but is also stocked up on meat). Or I could hang on to it and buy some meat next month.

    If money did not exist, you would have to invent it. As someone points out in another comment, gold and silver make good money because they will always be rare and can't be easily counterfeited or printed into inflation like paper money.

    You don’t need to go back to Rome; the most sophisticated industrial society in 20th century Europe was Germany. Twice in 22 years the whole money system completely collapsed, people did barter cigarettes and sexual favours in exchange for the most basic survival needs. Gold stopped being a store of value because you can’t eat metal and the spiv with the loaf of bread or kilo of sausage determines the exchange value of your family heirlooms.

    Why would I allow myself to be cheated when I’ve got the means (theoretically) to seize the goods I need? You’re being a bit too sanguine about the sheer fragility of our civilisation, in my opinion.

  188. anon[198] • Disclaimer says:
    @Rob
    Ok, Wilson is a good example of a dishonest WASP running things. But if he’s the same President Wilson whose falsehoods about how the Great War peace with Germany would go that lead directly to World War II, then he’s a good example of dishonesty leading to disaster.

    Steve is referring to this WoodrowWilson. Re-elected President in 1916 on the platform “He kept us out of war!”, Wilson then turned to dragging the US into European war beginning in 1917.

    https://infogalactic.com/info/Woodrow_Wilson

    Ed Bernays worked for the government in 1916 shaping public opinion from neutrality to war. His methods continue to be used right up to the current minute.

    https://infogalactic.com/info/Edward_Bernays

  189. What if we wore a bandanna, old west outlaw style, instead? Seems like that would be some improvement. Plus, you can wash it and reuse it.

    Any medical muldoons care to weigh in on this?

  190. @Joseph Doaks
    "why the hell would doctors and nurses be wearing them?"

    So they don't accidentally sneeze into your abdominal cavity during surgery.

    True. But it is also important that those who will be seeing patients avoid getting sick. So they can continue to see patients.

  191. @Known Fact
    John Vernon shows up everywhere -- such a versatile villain

    John Vernon is a great actor no doubt.

    I see his character in Josey Wales as a pragmatist caught on the wrong side by the events depicted at the beginning of the film.

    His reaction to the massacre makes it clear he did not have pre-knowledge. It also makes sense because the character is not the kind of man who is going to bring in friends he rode with for years to receive a bag of silver and watch his friends get shot down like dogs.

    He tries to express some level of remorse to the Wales character at the end of the film.

  192. @Corvinus
    "Surgeon General"

    So the blame lies with him? In what ways? And, you do know he was appointed by Trump, so by extension, you are blaming him, too.

    The Surgeon General tweeted that masks don’t protect you:

    “They are NOT effective in preventing general public from catching #Coronavirus”

    The WHO and the CDC and numerous other doctors and experts and journalists have issued similar pronouncements.

    I have been arguing with people about this for a while, and find it both enraging and fascinating.

    It’s enraging because it’s literally fake news of the worst sort: it misleads people on an issue of personal safety.

    But it’s also fascinating, because it’s a very pure strain of fake news.

    For reasons of expedience or laziness or ignorance or arrogance, the very top experts and authorities tell us, over and over, something that is manifestly, obviously, commonsensically false and self-contradictory.

    As the TV series “House, M.D.” neatly summarized it: “Everybody lies.”

    • Replies: @Corvinus
    "It’s enraging because it’s literally fake news of the worst sort: it misleads people on an issue of personal safety."

    So then why would Mr. Sailer make this pronouncement in the first place by linking to another source?

    Should he issue a retraction in light of the Surgeon General's advice?

    Would Mr. Sailer even entertain such a notion? After all, he is an expert pattern recognizer...

    , @anon
    @European American

    the very top experts and authorities tell us, over and over, something that is manifestly, obviously, commonsensically false and self-contradictory.
     
    Here is what I think them meant.

    When this started, the CDC was actively attempting to use a Containment Strategy The assumption when only using a containment strategy is that the source of all cases are travelers and people who have been in contact with travelers. And there were no clusters and was no community transmission. Under those conditions, the public would have a 1 in 1,000,000 chance of another person in the community. There were less than 50 test confirmed cases. Those were supposed to be handled by contact tracing and isolation. Meanwhile, medical personnel were dealing with the 50 infected people, their contacts, etc. Plus, the small number of additional infected people would show up in ER's, making those workers more likely to be exposed.

    After that failed, and it was finally admitted that Containment had not worked and we needed to move to Mitigation, then some community transmission was going on and we needed social distancing, etc. Then people would have a plausible chance of interacting with infected individuals. Because you assume it is in the community. So masks for the public are useful.

    The thing I felt was dishonest was the assumption there wasn't some community transmission going on when they both were unable and refused to test anyone in the community except travelers and their contacts. As if failure to test was proof of no material number of cases.

    And the third assumption is that you either use a Containment Strategy with rigorous contact tracing or Mitigation, but when you use one you drop the other.

    California is already openly giving up on containment and most other places have never tried it.

    China went from a fairly widespread community transmission to containment. Steve is arguing for a hybrid strategy. If they are shutting the country down, they better have something better than the 1919 non pharmaceutical interventions. You can't do effective containment without testing.

    Trump was hung out to dry by his experts who bungled the testing and procurement. When he was led to believe the initial containment strategy was working.
  193. @PiltdownMan
    Mr. Sailer and other have written about masks in the last few days, and I said this, but it bears repeating.

    During the SARS epidemic, I paid attention and noticed that it is almost impossible for me to not touch my face (nose, lips, eyes, cheeks) during the course of an hour. It must be some innate primate behavior—a semi-voluntary thing.

    The Japanese custom of wearing paper face masks in the winter is a very civilized one, and I'm sure it improves the odds.

    All of the literature I've seen online on face masks, and allied topics such as the persistence of viruses on various types of surfaces, seems to focus on absolute transmissiblity,

    The research looks at uestions such as "is the mask completely impervious to droplets?", or, "how long does it take for viruses completely die off on a metal surface?"

    None of the research on face masks looks at how they might reduce the odds of contact with a virus or a droplet. The research is not statistical in nature, and gives little insight into their use in an epidemic, where preventive measures are of a statistical nature, attempts at improving odds.

    During the SARS epidemic, I paid attention and noticed that it is almost impossible for me to not touch my face (nose, lips, eyes, cheeks) during the course of an hour.

    I always seem to develop some type of facial itch that I simply can’t wait out and wind up scratching or rubbing that part of my face.

  194. @MKP

    "The authorities have obviously been lying to us for weeks now about the effectiveness of masks, which are magically effective if worn by medical personnel but of no value, no value I tell you, to anyone else."

     

    The whole thing never stood up to even the most casual scrutiny. The newspapers and cable news shows kept saying "masks don't help protect you. In fact, they might make it worse! And, anyway, if everyone goes out and buys masks, there won't be enough for doctors and nurses!"

    Wait a minute ... what? If the masks don't help (in fact, might make it worse), then why the hell would doctors and nurses be wearing them? Why would it be a bad thing that doctors and nurses couldn't get them?

    It's like the editors at the nation's major newspapers and TV shows harkened back to their high school journalism teacher saying "remember, reinforce your point with two different rationales." But then didn't realize that the second reason they gave as to why everyone shouldn't run out and buy masks completely contradicted the first.

    Wait a minute … what? If the masks don’t help (in fact, might make it worse), then why the hell would doctors and nurses be wearing them?

    It’s one of the clearest expressions to date how dumb our (((betters))) in the media are.

    It is also a blatant example how dumb our (((betters))) think we are.

    • Agree: Ron Unz
  195. @Reg Cæsar
    Zeynep Tufekci is a Turkish writer, academic, and techno-sociologist known primarily for her research on the social implications of emerging technologies


    Zeynep Tüfekçi = Fez? Necktie? Yup.


    https://clalliance.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/Zeynep-Tufekci.jpg


    I have no idea what a "techno-sociologist" is, but etymologically it's a ham-on-rye, Greek/Latin sandwich.

    She’s a sociologist who started out as a programmer–which means she’s technically literate. She’s
    also very smart, and spends her time thinking about the intersection between technology and social forces–everything I’ve seen by her is worth reading.

  196. @Anon
    I’m starting to understand how the seeds of denialism are planted. Someone tells a little lie, in service of a greater good. That lie is exposed. It opens the door of doubt that people of a contrarian bent walk through.

    Climate scientists could have said: “look at Venus, it is 96% Carbon Dioxide and its surface is hot enough to vaporise metal, despite being “earth’s twin”. We don’t know how much carbon dioxide is enough to start tipping us in the direction of Venus, and we don’t want to find out.” Heck, the temperature data would have borne them out.

    Instead, they latched onto a narrative of urgency that cherry picked extreme weather events in order to fool those who they thought were less informed/smart as them, and it opened the door to contrarians (and no doubt fossil fuel propagandists, and Al Gore jumping onto the issue didn’t help either).

    I have to admit, I scoffed at the “it’s just a bad flu” narrative, but this lie about masks has cracked open the door of doubt. I will resist the urge to walk through, because the stakes are too high; and too immediate.

    Smart people need to stop assuming that people who aren’t in their field can’t see through their BS.

    Didn’t matter with global warming. The greedy insiders who protect their profits at the expense of the public good in the fossil fuel industry are already masters of creating mass hysteria.

    Look at how they scam us into foreign wars for their profits. Or how they have forced parking and building mandates that have turned our once beautiful and graceful cities into motorcar sewers.

    No matter how reasonable the advocates of a livable planet and slowing the mass destruction of habitat and clean air and water through climate change were, those people were going to demonize them. They’re experts at scamming the public and they have all the money.

  197. Anon[287] • Disclaimer says:
    @Yahya K.
    This article was very good.

    Sixth, masks are an important signal that it’s not business as usual as well as an act of solidarity. Pandemics require us to change our behavior — our socialization, hygiene, work and more — collectively, and knowing our fellow citizens are on board is important for all efforts.

     

    This is totally true. I traveled abroad during spring break, and went to the airport wearing a mask. When I went up to the passport checker, she didn't want to touch my passport. She told me to swipe the passport myself. Lol! I think my wearing the mask associated myself to the virus.

    Hong Kong health officials credit universal mask wearing as part of the solution and recommend universal mask wearing. In fact, Taiwan responded to the coronavirus by immediately ramping up mask production.
     
    Here is a question: does the US have the capability of mass producing face masks? They certainly can't import them anymore. If i recall correctly, I think the US has only one face mask company, but the owner is reluctant to expand production. Is the US government allowed to seize the factory from him and expand production?

    I think a good option would be for the US to threaten Taiwan with cancelling their military arms sales if they dont share some of the goodies.

    If i recall correctly, I think the US has only one face mask company, but the owner is reluctant to expand production. Is the US government allowed to seize the factory from him and expand production?

    Why would the government need to seize it? He just doesn’t want to take out a loan to expand because he got burned before.

    The government is giving out helicopter money anyway. Just ask the guy what he needs and buy the equipment for him. Its probably under a few million dollars.

  198. @European-American
    The Surgeon General tweeted that masks don’t protect you:

    “They are NOT effective in preventing general public from catching #Coronavirus”

    https://twitter.com/Surgeon_General/status/1233725785283932160

    The WHO and the CDC and numerous other doctors and experts and journalists have issued similar pronouncements.

    I have been arguing with people about this for a while, and find it both enraging and fascinating.

    It’s enraging because it’s literally fake news of the worst sort: it misleads people on an issue of personal safety.

    But it’s also fascinating, because it’s a very pure strain of fake news.

    For reasons of expedience or laziness or ignorance or arrogance, the very top experts and authorities tell us, over and over, something that is manifestly, obviously, commonsensically false and self-contradictory.

    As the TV series “House, M.D.” neatly summarized it: “Everybody lies.”

    “It’s enraging because it’s literally fake news of the worst sort: it misleads people on an issue of personal safety.”

    So then why would Mr. Sailer make this pronouncement in the first place by linking to another source?

    Should he issue a retraction in light of the Surgeon General’s advice?

    Would Mr. Sailer even entertain such a notion? After all, he is an expert pattern recognizer…

  199. anon[283] • Disclaimer says:
    @European-American
    The Surgeon General tweeted that masks don’t protect you:

    “They are NOT effective in preventing general public from catching #Coronavirus”

    https://twitter.com/Surgeon_General/status/1233725785283932160

    The WHO and the CDC and numerous other doctors and experts and journalists have issued similar pronouncements.

    I have been arguing with people about this for a while, and find it both enraging and fascinating.

    It’s enraging because it’s literally fake news of the worst sort: it misleads people on an issue of personal safety.

    But it’s also fascinating, because it’s a very pure strain of fake news.

    For reasons of expedience or laziness or ignorance or arrogance, the very top experts and authorities tell us, over and over, something that is manifestly, obviously, commonsensically false and self-contradictory.

    As the TV series “House, M.D.” neatly summarized it: “Everybody lies.”

    @European American

    the very top experts and authorities tell us, over and over, something that is manifestly, obviously, commonsensically false and self-contradictory.

    Here is what I think them meant.

    When this started, the CDC was actively attempting to use a Containment Strategy The assumption when only using a containment strategy is that the source of all cases are travelers and people who have been in contact with travelers. And there were no clusters and was no community transmission. Under those conditions, the public would have a 1 in 1,000,000 chance of another person in the community. There were less than 50 test confirmed cases. Those were supposed to be handled by contact tracing and isolation. Meanwhile, medical personnel were dealing with the 50 infected people, their contacts, etc. Plus, the small number of additional infected people would show up in ER’s, making those workers more likely to be exposed.

    After that failed, and it was finally admitted that Containment had not worked and we needed to move to Mitigation, then some community transmission was going on and we needed social distancing, etc. Then people would have a plausible chance of interacting with infected individuals. Because you assume it is in the community. So masks for the public are useful.

    The thing I felt was dishonest was the assumption there wasn’t some community transmission going on when they both were unable and refused to test anyone in the community except travelers and their contacts. As if failure to test was proof of no material number of cases.

    And the third assumption is that you either use a Containment Strategy with rigorous contact tracing or Mitigation, but when you use one you drop the other.

    California is already openly giving up on containment and most other places have never tried it.

    China went from a fairly widespread community transmission to containment. Steve is arguing for a hybrid strategy. If they are shutting the country down, they better have something better than the 1919 non pharmaceutical interventions. You can’t do effective containment without testing.

    Trump was hung out to dry by his experts who bungled the testing and procurement. When he was led to believe the initial containment strategy was working.

    • Replies: @Chrisnonymous
    In order for testing to be effective in a containment strategy, you first have to identify all the sick person's contacts. If you can do that, you can isolate them without testing them. If you can't do that, testing isn't going to help.

    Testing is nice for research, but especially in a situation where tests are not especially accurate, they aren't necessary for containing an outbreak.

    Imagine we didn't have any test for 2019-nCoV, would we just be throwing up our hands and saying, "gosh, we can't do anything now"? No, we would isolate, ask people to self-isolate, and emphasize social isolation and social distancing.

    The boner people have for testing is coming down from bureaucrats and doctors who want to be able to seem they're in control by quoting numbers at people. But testing isn't necessary for either prevention or treatment of COVID-19.
  200. @The Last Real Calvinist
    Just this, Piltdown Man -- you've nailed the essence of it. Masks are mostly social markers that modify behavior, not medical devices.

    I've been wearing surgical masks when out in public in Hong Kong since the end of January. I have essentially zero faith that my mask is 'filtering' out viruses floating about in the air. Way too much air goes around them, no matter how hard you try to fit it to your face.

    But my mask does stop me from sticking my fingers in my facial orifices, which sounds like something any civilized person should be avoiding anyway, but which in practice is very very very hard to stop doing voluntarily, just as you've said.

    And, even better, everybody else's masks help hold in the worst of their expectorations when they cough or sneeze.

    And perhaps best of all, our masks remind all of us every day to do little things that gradually reduce the chances of viral transmission, from avoiding touching public surfaces, to handwashing, to staying home if we've got any kind of URI. This stuff adds up.

    The key is that everybody, or at least nearly everybody, has to look at this whole scenario from the same point of view, and act on it in consort -- i.e. wear masks whenever out in public. That works in Hong Kong, but will it work in the USA?

    There are some big problems facing the USA if 'mask up' becomes the go-to coronavirus measure.

    First, there really, really have to be enough masks to go around. If the government starts convincing people that wearing a mask is essential, then there had better be masks available to buy, or even for free. Even in HK there were some ugly scenes as people queued and feuded over mask supplies. Masks are still pretty hard to find here.

    Second, I doubt masks do much good unless a high percentage of the population wears them. In HK almost everybody falls in line. In the USA, how many people will resist? The solution to this might be a public service campaign featuring a lot of celebrities and sports stars wearing masks; otherwise, I can't see large sectors of the USA population agreeing to it.

    Finally, all the antiviral-spreading measures associated with mask-wearing will likely have to be continued for a while when lots of people are starting to feel the danger has passed. Hong Kong smashed the curve way back in late January/early February. For several weeks thereafter, most days had one or two new cases, and sometimes none. It looked pretty much over -- but now many HK students are returning from the USA and UK, and quite a few are infected. They have to be identified and quarantined, so that no second wave can take hold.

    So, in the current context, the general public in Hong Kong has to maintain the kind of vigilant attitude that grants public sanction to intrusive government actions. To some degree, this vigilance is fueled by people thinking (and, maybe more important, feeling) that they are still at risk in their day-to-day lives, and are therefore playing their part in the fight against coronavirus by doing things like wearing masks.

    As I mentioned on another post, my experience of working in an ICU, where people sometimes have to wear masks for long periods, and of living around people who wear masks habitually is that long-term mask-wearing may actually lead to more face-touching. I’m not sure you have to stick your fingers in your nose to transmit the virus that way. Touching your forehead or face around your eyes might do it, too–get the virus close to your mucous membranes. Are people wearing safety glasses/goggles in Hong Kong?

    There is a lot of research on face masks with different outcomes, but here is one study that showed little difference between surgical and N95 masks, which would suggest there is some behavioral modification effect:
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31479137

    In general, it’s not clear what effect masks have. Here is a research review of hand hygiene that found hand hygiene was not effective without mask-wearing and one research review of mask-wearing that found it was not effective without hand-washing.
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4891197/
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5779801/
    As the second article suggests:

    evidence suggests that mask use is best undertaken as part of a package of personal protection especially hand hygiene.

    And, as I mentioned in that other post as well:

    The effectiveness of masks and respirators is likely linked to early, consistent and correct usage.

  201. @anon
    @European American

    the very top experts and authorities tell us, over and over, something that is manifestly, obviously, commonsensically false and self-contradictory.
     
    Here is what I think them meant.

    When this started, the CDC was actively attempting to use a Containment Strategy The assumption when only using a containment strategy is that the source of all cases are travelers and people who have been in contact with travelers. And there were no clusters and was no community transmission. Under those conditions, the public would have a 1 in 1,000,000 chance of another person in the community. There were less than 50 test confirmed cases. Those were supposed to be handled by contact tracing and isolation. Meanwhile, medical personnel were dealing with the 50 infected people, their contacts, etc. Plus, the small number of additional infected people would show up in ER's, making those workers more likely to be exposed.

    After that failed, and it was finally admitted that Containment had not worked and we needed to move to Mitigation, then some community transmission was going on and we needed social distancing, etc. Then people would have a plausible chance of interacting with infected individuals. Because you assume it is in the community. So masks for the public are useful.

    The thing I felt was dishonest was the assumption there wasn't some community transmission going on when they both were unable and refused to test anyone in the community except travelers and their contacts. As if failure to test was proof of no material number of cases.

    And the third assumption is that you either use a Containment Strategy with rigorous contact tracing or Mitigation, but when you use one you drop the other.

    California is already openly giving up on containment and most other places have never tried it.

    China went from a fairly widespread community transmission to containment. Steve is arguing for a hybrid strategy. If they are shutting the country down, they better have something better than the 1919 non pharmaceutical interventions. You can't do effective containment without testing.

    Trump was hung out to dry by his experts who bungled the testing and procurement. When he was led to believe the initial containment strategy was working.

    In order for testing to be effective in a containment strategy, you first have to identify all the sick person’s contacts. If you can do that, you can isolate them without testing them. If you can’t do that, testing isn’t going to help.

    Testing is nice for research, but especially in a situation where tests are not especially accurate, they aren’t necessary for containing an outbreak.

    Imagine we didn’t have any test for 2019-nCoV, would we just be throwing up our hands and saying, “gosh, we can’t do anything now”? No, we would isolate, ask people to self-isolate, and emphasize social isolation and social distancing.

    The boner people have for testing is coming down from bureaucrats and doctors who want to be able to seem they’re in control by quoting numbers at people. But testing isn’t necessary for either prevention or treatment of COVID-19.

Comments are closed.

Subscribe to All Steve Sailer Comments via RSS
PastClassics
The unspoken statistical reality of urban crime over the last quarter century.
Which superpower is more threatened by its “extractive elites”?
How a Young Syndicate Lawyer from Chicago Earned a Fortune Looting the Property of the Japanese-Americans, then Lived...
Becker update V1.3.2