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April 26, 2020

Comments

CharlesWT presumably endorses: But perhaps most importantly, stock buybacks are a brilliant example of the free-market system offering a win-win to both parties.

Both parties? There are only two? Society, or The Government, or the IRS -- however you choose to denominate the 3rd "party" that consists of everybody other than the corporate chieftains and the shareholders -- are irrelevant to the transaction?

Some companies may be mature and not have a plan to expand.

Ever hear of "dividends"? I know higher pay for the line workers is anathema to "both parties", but dividends are a perfectly good way for a cash cow company to deploy its profits without being "forced" to expand.

Of course, dividends are not a "perfectly good way", are they? For dividends are ordinary income to the shareholders, whereas their profits from selling back shares count as "capital gains" -- which means the IRS (a "3rd party") gets less out of the win-win-loss buyback deal.

Buybacks would make much less sense if we abolished the silliness of lower tax rates on cap gains than on honest toil.

CharlesWT is smart enough to know all this. So perhaps he is also smart enough to tell me something: can a corporation buy back ALL its stock? Would it then be autonomous, like an emancipated minor, answerable to no one -- not even to its CEO or other top-level hirelings? And what the hell would that mean?

BTW, Charles, don't tell me it's impossible for a corporation to own all its own stock. Any person can own as much stock as they like; why should corporate "persons" be any different?

--TP

Human existence is linear algebra if you ignore almost everything that’s meaningful. Try to keep up.

BTW, Charles, don't tell me it's impossible for a corporation to own all its own stock.

There's nothing the corporation could offer the holder of the last share of stock that's worth more than the share since the holder already owns the whole corporation including anything it can offer for the share. In some jurisdictions, it's illegal for a corporation to have fewer than one or two shares of stock.

Simple solution: two (or more) corporations buy each other. One can argue whether they paid "fair value" for the final share. But hey . . . willing buyer/willing seller. Obviously the government has no standing to interfere in such a voluntary transaction.

"Cross holding is a situation in which a publicly-traded corporation owns stock in another publicly-traded company. So, technically, listed corporations own securities issued by other listed corporations. Cross holding can lead to double-counting, whereby the equity of each company is counted twice when determining value, which can result in estimating the wrong value of the two companies."
Cross Holding

"Share buyback refers to the repurchase of the company’s own outstanding shares from the open market using the accumulated funds of the company to decrease the outstanding shares in the company’s balance sheet thereby raising the worth of remaining outstanding shares or to block the control of various shareholders on the company.
...
There are a limited number of reasons why companies do share repurchase. They do it for the benefits that they are able to reap out of that activity. And in doing so, they also lure the shareholders into selling the shares to take some advantages like tax benefits.

However, it is in the favor of investors to stay watchful of misguiding buybacks and understand the meaning of it in the context of the situation in which a company announces a buyback."
Share Buyback: Six reasons for, effects, and methods

weird how 'rational self interest' always ends up being used to justify the behavior of people trying to avoid personal responsibility for anything by hiding being legal constructs.

Lots of companies buy back all their stock, its called taking your company private. Their are some rules on how much of a company it can own and still be listed on the public exchanges. Or even how much its principals can own.

One of the long time criticism of FB, Google and some others is their public offering left the founders in complete control.

The public float requirements are 15-25% of shares depending on the exchange.

Yes, Marty is correct. Companies are taken private for any number of reasons. Venture capitalists do this as a business model to then take the company public at some future point.

IPO's routinely leave the 'founders' in pretty much total control of the new publicly traded entity. WalMart floated 300,000 shares in its 1970 IPO, and you can bet your sweet bippy that Sam Walton was granted just about as many shares himself to start with as part of the IPO agreement.

Publicly traded shares don't make much sense if there are only a couple shares outstanding. Of course the company could then announce a share split.

I should think the SEC regulates the amount of float (shares outstanding) needed to stay public. OTC traded firms routinely have very limited float, often enabling insiders to play games with the share price.

Private corporations are also initially capitalized with "shares", but they are closely held and not publicly traded.

This is a good piece—

https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/it-took-covid-to-expose-the-fraud-of-american-exceptionalism/

If you scroll down there is also a comment by “ Brendan” that reminds me a little bit of Russell. Brendan says American exceptionalism is false, but the idea of it— our shiny city on the hill myth— is what has held us together as a nation.

It seems to me we could hold onto the good parts and ditch the arrogance. We don’t have much to be arrogant about these days, so it should be easy.

I'm not sure Brendan's comment in the TAC piece is that close to my point of view on this.

My understanding of American exceptionalism is that, in the late 18th C., the decision to organize a country around republican self-governance based on a written constitution was fairly exceptional. That was a significant achievement.

Our response to the nations that had been our enemies after WWII - the Marshall Plan etc - was also IMO extraordinary.

And there was a lot in our stance toward the world generally in the generation after WWII that was generous and in many ways noble. Not devoid of self-interest, but few things are.

At this point in time, our social and political innovations of the 18th C have been adopted, and adapted, by scores of other nations. We were kind of a model, I don't really think we are at this point. The mid-20th C generation are mostly gone. Our foreign policy exploits in the subsequent couple of generations have been, frankly, less noble.

We're still exceptional, but now mostly that is a matter of being a hegemon more than a model. We can reach pretty much any area of the world with significant if not overwhelming force, and we're really rich and consume a lot of the world's resources.

It's less inspiring.

I don't actually think there has ever been a single, coherent, commonly held understanding of what this country is about or what our values are. We're pretty widely dispersed, so with notable exceptions it generally hasn't prevented us from bumping along, but IMO increasing population and communication are making that harder to sustain.

"Hold on to the good parts" assumes we all agree about what the good parts are. I'm not sure that's true. And I don't see us dropping our tendency toward arrogance anytime soon.

TBH I think it would take some kind of serious setback for that to happen, and I'm not sure if we have the resilience to weather it.

I'm pessimistic these days, so add grains of salt as you wish.

I don't actually think there has ever been a single, coherent, commonly held understanding of what this country is about or what our values are.

no, there really hasn't. and they knew t from the start. again, it's right there in the motto "E Pluribus Unum".

some states having ballot initiatives and some not isn't a difference worth worrying about. if you want a difference worth worrying about, consider that when this country started, many states had official state-funded, and enforced, religions. and these religions were different from their neighbors. that lasted in some states until the 1810s.

[that "establishment' clause only applies to the federal govt, of course. states had their own establishments and the establishment clause was there to prevent the feds from stomping on them.]

and still, even with different religions and forms of government, the states decided to unite anyway.

we can get through this.

Brendan says American exceptionalism is false, but the idea of it— our shiny city on the hill myth— is what has held us together as a nation.

Myths can be strong and enduring. And russell's couple of early examples amplified the one about America, like the verse on the Statue of Liberty. But when greed and self-interest take over, and those myths become mere sentimentality and the fodder for autocrats' propaganda, then in the absence of enormous changes at the last minute, it might be all over bar the shouting. God knows I hope not, because as someone else (here I think) said, they weren't that hopeful that the Chinese Century would be any more palatable to people with "our" sensibilities, (our=democratic, and in most cases liberal).

The way this thread is going, I think I have to say it: "Murica!!!"

we can get through this.

Yes, we will get through it. People do. And we probably won't go to war about it, because there just aren't that many people who are all that motivated to kill anybody else, and most of the issues that are on the table won't really be resolved by killing anybody. Plus, inertia is a very powerful force in human affairs.

All of that is a pretty low bar.

And all of that said, we're in a pretty crap place right now. I'm not talking about the virus, I'm talking about the general state of the nation. Prior to the shut-down, the largest private employers in the nation were running seminars for their employees about how to apply for federal assistance.

How about, you know, pay them more?

A lot of people have been reduced to some version or other of wage slavery. People throw that term around for shock value, I guess, but if you have virtually no agency whatsoever about your working life other than quit and go find some other crap job, if you can find one, then I don't see a whole lot of difference between that and any of a variety of non-chattel serf arrangements.

That isn't freedom. It isn't liberty. Not in any practical, real-world sense.

And an enormous number of related problems flow from things like that.

It's not sustainable for us to continue with the levels of inequity that we live with now. Not without re-thinking what our social contract is, and means. Those inequities manifest themselves economically, across gender lines, across racial lines, across geographic lines.

If the liberties we claim to provide to our people are merely hypothetical, then we aren't who we think we are. And who we actually are is not sustainable. Things will break.

Not widespread civil war, just a profound failure of trust and confidence in the social fabric. That will have real consequences, for real people.

Not civil war, just the thwarting of a lot of lives.

It's not like we don't have the resources to address this. We are simply unable, IMO, to find our own @sses with both hands and a flashlight. We devalue competence, and then are required to live with the consequences of that.

I'm looking forward to Trump's exit in November, and I'm hoping that the (D)'s keep the house and flip the Senate. And I'll be contributing to that effort, in a variety of ways.

But I don't expect a thousand flowers to magically bloom if and when that happens. There is a giant crap-ton of rot that will take a couple of generations to clean up, and we're not really good at maintaining focus for those kinds of time spans.

That's how things look to me.

Things will break.

Not widespread civil war, just a profound failure of trust and confidence in the social fabric.

In many ways, this is the origin of the Trump phenomena. A profound failure (with cause) of trust. Unfortunately, the guy who exploited that failure of trust to win power was even more massively untrustworthy than the folks who created the problem. Not to mention being in bed with them. So the problem has gotten worse.

But sooner or later, probably sooner, an actual reformer will repeat that takeover of a party. And we will see the sort of radical reconstruction of the social and economic environment that we saw with the New Deal, and before that with the Progressives.

It probably won't look much like what today's self-styled "progressives" want. But it won't be much like what we've got currently either. I know what I'd like the result to look like. But I have no good idea what can be sold to the voting public -- who are both profoundly unhappy with the status quo and quite conservative in their outlook on life.

https://talkingpointsmemo.com/edblog/china-says-were-a-joke-and-alas-we-are

That's gonna leave a mark...

That's gonna leave a mark...

Given the current GOP talking point, I'd guess that it enrages Trump, but that as soon as it spreads, the RWM will begin to use it as justification for Trump's claim that China wants him gone and that libtards are spreading Chinese propaganda just like they falsely claimed the Russians had done last time for Trump.

Look, Biden is a Red!

Two minutes of hate later, the polls will not have budged.

The GOP has always been at war with Eastasia.

"Which brings us back to this video which I find both hilarious and mortifying."

And a bit childish for "the official state news service of the People’s Republic of China." More than one government with "the behavior of five year olds"

China has always been at war with the US, all of my life. We just react. The authoritarian, oppressive regime provides them immunity from meaningful internal criticism. Yet, we should somehow worry about their view of us? Couldnt give a shit less.

We dont have a clue how long they knew there was a problem, thus how long before they told the world. We had no idea that this would be more meaningful than SARS or Ebola, the concept that any organization or set of individuals had more than a few week headstart on that understanding is completely revisionist.

The extent to which it was universally underestimated is evident in the numbers. The most impacted states to date are all centers of medical knowledge, the best in the country. They were completely unprepared, the state emergency management teams, and governors, in these centers of medical understanding reacted no quicker than the feds.

Some reacted weeks after the risks were obvious.

These are troubled times, but to worry about what China thinks about us, or in fact anyone outside the country, is to pander to those looking for any way to diminish their enemy, or their rival at a minimum.

We are exceptional at navel gazing, and worrying about what the neighbors think, criticizing our neighbors and general self immolation.

We had no idea that this would be more meaningful than SARS or Ebola, the concept that any organization or set of individuals had more than a few week headstart on that understanding is completely revisionist.

You're hilarious. This is an article about what Trump did starting January 31. (By Chinese New Year - January 25, China was locking down travel, which meant that everyone - not just intelligence agencies, but anyone who knows someone living in China, including me - knew that this was serious.)

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2020/04/20/what-trump-did-about-coronavirus-february/

Please don't be the joke that China is telling.

Taiwan, who is not a member of the WHO, reported to the WHO on December 31st that there was evidence of person to person transmission of the virus. That was at least two weeks before the WHO announced that there was person to person transmission. But, then, the WHO only deals with and pays attention to the Chinese central government, not some minor province of China.

Charles, it's not like we have a relationship with Taiwan or anything!

Y'all are great. We had no choice but to be dumb!

In many ways, this is the origin of the Trump phenomena.

Trump is the embodiment of it.

A profound failure (with cause) of trust.

I agree with this, but I suspect that it would be hard to find a consensus on what the substance of the breach of trust is, or was.

Without a common understanding of causes, you can't find a common understanding of what solutions are.

But sooner or later, probably sooner, an actual reformer will repeat that takeover of a party.

That might happen. Or, it might not.

But I have no good idea what can be sold to the voting public -- who are both profoundly unhappy with the status quo and quite conservative in their outlook on life.

Conservative in what way?

People don't like their personal worlds to be disrupted. That's a conservative outlook. It's unclear to me whether that is a constructive or useful thing, or not.

It was certainly serious in China at that point. Completely unclear to what extent it was a threat here. We reacted by trying to isolate the perceived source, again no one really thought much about it, seemed a logical step.

The step from there to "we should be social distancing" much less shelter in place, would have certainly been perceived as an overreaction. "We should be stockpiling PPE and ventilators" wasnt even an idea.

Not that someone might not have actually said it, it just wasn't an imminent threat and the potential damage was still being determined.

All government is likely to be slow to react, as every one except perhaps South Korea was. It's the reality we live with in a world where those calls are hard to make. I think intelligent, thoughtful leaders should have sheltered us in place on March 9. Only because that's the day I self sheltered in place, told my colleagues they should and notified my clients I would be working remote until further notice. So I was 11 days ahead of Charlie Baker,but it was because I only had to decide for 1 high risk person, me.

Testing, tracing and quarantine was a pipe dream here. There is no infrastructure in place to effectively do that. When the CDC test didnt work that window was missed anyway and we've been struggling to figure that out, progress is being made but it is now just to create a trailing indicator and enable some more accurate mortality figures.

Rambling on, the most effective thing we can do now is what OSHA is working on, workplace safety rules to minimize risk. Enable businesses and local governments to open based on risk mitigation steps.

There's more but I've run out of outrage long ago so I'm probably repeating myself.

Be safe.

workplace safety rules to minimize risk.

Here's the thing.

If OSHA says, everybody stay 6 feet apart and wear a mask, that might minimize risk, but will not eliminate it. Because anyone who goes grocery shopping knows that some people are compliant, and some aren't. And anybody who has worked a crap job, ever, knows that some employers are compliant, and some not so much.

If OSHA says do these things, and risk will be minimized to an acceptable level, then whatever public policy is in place requiring non-essential businesses from opening will be lifted. When those are lifted, people who don't want to return to work because they don't want to run the risk will be considered to have quit voluntarily.

If they are considered to quit voluntarily, they will be ineligible for unemployment benefits. They will lose whatever employer-provided health insurance they have.

Who is that effective for?

'Enable .... to open' sounds great. Requiring people to return to work when we still don't really understand that much about the virus, don't have an effective protocol for treatment, and are still probably year away from a vaccine, is not really the same thing as 'enable'.

Completely unclear to what extent it was a threat here. We reacted by trying to isolate the perceived source, again no one really thought much about it, seemed a logical step.

This is your surmise. But the Trump policy was "screw virus intelligence" before this even happened: https://www.politico.com/news/magazine/2020/04/07/trump-dismantled-the-very-jobs-meant-to-stop-the-covid-19-epidemic-173347

Sure, Marty. "Be safe" yourself. Nice that we have to all cross our fingers, knock on wood and put cross signs over the vampire.

the most effective thing we can do now is what OSHA is working on, workplace safety rules to minimize risk. Enable businesses and local governments to open based on risk mitigation steps.

No, actually, the most effective thing is to stay home, and vote for Democrats.

Not ideal russell, but there is 20 - 30 million people out of a job now, more will follow. When is the damage too much? 50% unemployment? In California they are doing exactly what you are saying for manufacturing and distribution businesses deemed critical. I talked to two today that are going from 1 to 3 shifts to get the workers distanced. And they are hiring to fill the third shift.

Here's the thing, I think people who refuse to go back should get unemployment for 13 weeks or whatever. They certainly are not going back to the job they had. But they will have to find a job eventually and not a year.

From what I am seeing, the protocols for treating the virus are better and improving. The actual number of cases will continue going up for months, as we roll out more testing, but the mortality rate will continue to come down.

Regardless of where we are on the curve when things become more generally open, these workplace steps will be a good idea, if not a continuing requirement. So having people working on them is important.

.

i like that we're blaming China while we have what might be the worst record of dealing with C19 in the entire fucking world. the GOP is a blame-casting, responsibility-denying machine. nothing is their fault. not even Trump. not even Mr "go inject some bleach, maybe?"

China closed down a city of 11M. and then a whole province. they were slow? at least they tried.

Sweden looked at the problem and said "nah. let's do it wrong", and they're paying for it with a projected GDP loss greater than our own. and American "conservatives" are like "YEAH LET'S DO THAT!"

but at least they made a decision.

the US had no real federal response. and the President made the situation worse by treating it as a campaign opportunity and a way to enrich his grifter brethren - with the GOP and their official propaganda network cheering him on, as usual.

NYC did it wrong for too long. the states have been figuring it out on their own, while literally evading the federal government's response, which is led by Trump's son-in-law in order to get medical supplies.

the GOP deserves to lose every seat it has, everywhere, and to disappear into the medical waste bin of history - incinerated like leftover moles and bloody C19-covered bedclothes. what a joke of a party. what a colossal fucking inept nihilistic disaster. the GOP and its propaganda network are everything that's wrong with the US. top to bottom, soup to nuts, slight fever to pink foamy lung discharge.

China? fuck you and your "China" bullshit.

take some goddamned responsibility! you want to run the country? THEN RUN IT! WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR

fuck the GOP. and fuck it's cult members.

Jefferson:

When, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and of nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

Marty:

These are troubled times, but to worry about what China thinks about us, or in fact anyone outside the country, is to pander to those looking for any way to diminish their enemy, or their rival at a minimum.

I'm inclined to young Tom's POV instead of old Marty's, but that's just me.

--TP

Nobody whatsoever disagrees with OSHA or whoever trying to figure out how to make workplaces safe. Because no matter what, some people are still going to have to work, even if only in essential businesses.

Yes, in MA, and NY, and literally everyplace in the country, they are doing exactly what I'm saying for businesses deemed critical. Because the businesses are deemed critical.

20-30 million people unemployed is a hell of a lot of people. 30mm is about 20% of the workforce. Pay them to stay home. It's barely been a month since lockdown of non-essential businesses started. We can find trillions to backstop FED loans to corps, we can find money to pay people stay home for more than a month.

You think folks who refuse to go back should get 13 weeks. I'd make it longer, but whatever. They won't get 13 weeks. They might in NY or MA or CA, they won't in IA or TX or similar.

This isn't the time to be opening non-essential businesses. It's certainly not the time to be making people choose between returning to jobs in non-essential businesses or getting cut off from any public assistance.

I agree with this, but I suspect that it would be hard to find a consensus on what the substance of the breach of trust is, or was.

Without a common understanding of causes, you can't find a common understanding of what solutions are.

Perhaps the place to start would be what the trust was. That is, what did who trust whom to do? Once we've got that, the breach should become clearer.

Conservative in what way?

People don't like their personal worlds to be disrupted. That's a conservative outlook. It's unclear to me whether that is a constructive or useful thing, or not.

How useful it is, and in what circumstances, can be debated. But for our discussion, it's sufficient to recognize that it is. And that it will influence which changes, and how big, they will accept when addressing the situation they are unhappy with.

Tony, I would to if I were going to write a declaration of independence.

But I'm not, nor am I blaming China. We just dont know jack about what really happened there so i dont really want to hear about it.

There is no more effective propaganda machine today than that on the left. Every point in cleeks 10:19 is right out of that machine, and It took one day of GA opening until every argument was about losing unemployment.

No one had even gone back to work yet. No one had been offered a job. Most of these employees weren't furloughed, they were let go. They arent under any obligation to take a job with their old employer. Yet unemployment is the talking point of the week.

Everyone has a bubble they live in these days. I try to make sure I step out of mine. But. Like most people I like arguments that support my thinking.

US graphs in "For hsh" thread have been updated to 4/30. The revised UK numbers will have to wait.

If I had more time, I'd to try to comment on the US curve. But in the face of lack of time and energy for what would probably be a futile effort anyhow, "what cleek said" just about covers it.


We just dont know jack about what really happened there so i dont really want to hear about it.

We know a huge amount. Read the timeline. Obviously you won't because you "don't want to hear about it." Fine. Alternative facts.

I've read the timeline but there is no credible information out of China. There story chabged weekly. So my only point about China is their opinion of us is irrelevant.

There is no more effective propaganda machine today than that on the left.

Thus demonstrating the overwhelming effectiveness of the RWNJ propaganda machine. Seriously, nothing on the left comes close to Fox/Limbaugh. The left started first, but they've been left in the dust.

Yet unemployment is the talking point of the week.

As you note, 20-30mm people are out of work.

Unemployment seems to be on point.

There story chabged weekly.

But our story is what the timeline describes.

This just in from 24 Hours of Lemons:

Saw a guy with a Make Albania Great Again cap
Hey, at least you can get the acronym cheap (albeit used).

When is the damage too much?

There are well known and effective ways to deal with the "damage" of mass unemployment. Refucklicans hide their heads in the sand and pretend nobody knows what they are.

So much for the economics...our question to you is this: When is the damage from the massive pile of dead bodies too much, oh great arbiters of bright moral red lines?

For the GOP, the means justify the ends. Don't let anybody tell you different.

wj,

The change from Barack Obama to He, Trump was a big fucking change that a "conservative" electorate sorta voted for. It could have been out of sheer stupidity, I suppose, but it could also be that the American electorate is not as "conservative" about "changes it will accept" as you think.

Marty,

Once you've made it clear to the world that you don't care what it thinks of you, writing a Declaration of Independence would be pointless wankery. I mean, who would you address it to?

--TP

There is no more effective propaganda machine today than that on the left.

LOL. One can only wish.

Every point in cleeks 10:19 is right out of that machine

Fixed.

Tony it would have to be someone I was declaring independence from? Just spitballing.

Tony, the optics changed drastically. But how much change did we actually experience in things like income distribution or social mobility or the legislation coming thru the Senate?

wj - I think that the change is more than optics, though I agree that all of the things you list were already serious problems.

What Trump did was take a whole lot of people who were the political equivalent of gang-affiliated and jumped them all in. Kavanaugh, Puerto Rico, the China tariffs destroying our ag markets, Russian interference, children in cages, etc.. Every one of those things dragged the right - particularly the evangelical right - further over the line. They were put in a position where they had to choose loyalty or principles and the majority of them pulled the political trigger.

Collective guilt is a powerful thing. It leaves the person with no alternative narrative to return to.

That's how people are radicalized.

And that's where we are.

Collective guilt is a powerful thing. It leaves the person with no alternative narrative to return to.

nous, I would share that depressing view, except for one thing. All those folks have been exhibiting an impressive ability to edit their memories. So I think it entirely possible that they could redact the past few years' embarrassing behavior. Like it never happened; flat deny that they ever did the things that they manifestly have been doing.

They may not be quite as adept at it as Trump. But then, they wouldn't have to contend with all those hours of video evidence. Not to mention that a lot of us would be sufficiently relieved at them coming to their senses that we would refrain from gratuitously throwing their mistakes in their faces. Even when evidence exists.

In short, they could create (out of whole cloth) an alternate narrative to return to. One where other people were guilty of supporting the unjustifiable. But they, personally, were always on the side of the angels. NeverTrumpers every one. Then.

Nobody whatsoever disagrees with OSHA or whoever trying to figure out how to make workplaces safe.

Except for those that consider the very existence of OSHA to be in violation of what(so)ever. E.g. those that make even asking about OSHA compliance a firing offence (certain coal executives come to mind).

Or to be more harsh, there are people that wax nostalgic about the times when workplace accidents could be blamed on the workers allowing to withhold their pay or even fine them for the damage they did to the business.

And a bit childish for "the official state news service of the People’s Republic of China." More than one government with "the behavior of five year olds"

Well, if a 5 year old is right, they are right. And failing to understand how social media works around the world will bite you on the ass.

As Josh Marshall notes:
“We” is really our national government, the Trump administration. But for the moment it’s the only national government we have and it’s calling the shots. As the closing puts it “Gosh!! Just listen to yourself.” Perhaps most tellingly, with perhaps the greatest longterm repercussions, the Trump administration has failed so badly, so accurately modeled the behavior of five year olds that we’ve gone a decent way toward discrediting the model of civic democracy and the rule of law we should be supporting at home and around the world. We’ve done about as good a job as one could imagine telling the story that maybe the authoritarians just handle things better.

What lj said. And what cleek said @ 10.16. And on the question of what the world thinks of you, Trump and his base have obviously thought it important enough to continually assert how much more "the world" respects you since he came to power. Words are inadequate to express how laughable this assertion is, and how serious are the repercussions of it, as opposed to the damage that has been done domestically, we shall have to wait and see. But as far as the Chinese cartoon goes, with the exception of the concentration camps thing as Josh Marshall says, I am more than sorry to say it is an absolutely accurate picture of what has been emanating from the Trump White House, which, for better or worse, represents America.

But what is really terrifying about Marty @08.46 and @09.32 is how effective the rightwing propaganda machine is at convincing so much of the American public that the administration's response has been somewhere between reasonable, good and excellent. A friend said to me yesterday she's sure Jackass will be reelected. I was startled, because I've been indulging in wishful thinking, but actually maybe she's right. russell has been saying so for a long time. No-one ever went broke....etc etc mutatis mutandis.

and It took one day of GA opening until every argument was about losing unemployment

it has been widely known that "unemployment' was precisely what GA's 're-opening' was all about, for weeks.

maybe you just started listening.

me: why are there all these kids out and about in stores, unmasked, running around being kids, touching stuff, screaming, etc?? what parent would bring their kids out into this?

Fox News Headline [Carlson] : There's no evidence kids under 10 can spread the virus!

Fox News [Actual doctor] : No, that's wrong

mystery solved, i guess.

fuck the GOP and it's cult of idiots.

I'll try this once more. Just because someone disagrees with you doesnt mean they have been bamboozled by some propaganda machine.

I know very few conservatives that dont criticize Trump for specific things. Some fanatics, sure.

I think we could have done things differently, but the constant accusation that the GOP murdered a bunch of people is ridiculous and unhelpful.

Also, the constant attacking of Trump for stupid things forces people like me to defend specific things, then we get accused of being Trumpies. Which we arent.

All that said, I understand that people disagree with me. I can repeat the accusation back that it's the left's propaganda machine that drives that, which I did in this thread. Or I can just accept that some people look at the facts, the same facts that I'm looking at, and come to a different conclusion than I do.

I usually opt for the second. Not always, but I try.

cleek: the Swiss government declared children under 10 dont have the receptors to get the virus, thus not being able to pass it on. and reopened schools

I dont know what Carlson said, but he didnt just make that up.

I love "widely known". Geirgua dudnt even shut down until a few weeks ago.

I dont know what Carlson said, but he didnt just make that up.

In Carlson's case, probably best to find out what he said before making that assumption.

They were put in a position where they had to choose loyalty or principles and the majority of them pulled the political trigger.

Collective guilt is a powerful thing. It leaves the person with no alternative narrative to return to.

That's how people are radicalized.

I hear that's how 3rd world warlords confirm loyalty from their child soldiers: force them to kill a parent.

The GOP is doing the same, right now. The difference? AK-47 vs Covid-19. At least ONE of them is quick and relatively merciful.

I know very few conservatives that dont criticize Trump for specific things.

Gallup 4/14-4/28: 93% of Republicans approve of the job he's doing. just as they did 4/1-4/14.

"criticize Trump for specific things" is weak tea - even the most i-love of all newlyweds criticize each other for "specific things".

every day your party is given a new opportunity to rein-in Trump. and every day you decline.

I dont know what Carlson said, but he didnt just make that up.

he">https://twitter.com/Acyn/status/1256024464967389184">he and his headline said children under ten don't spread it (a line he's been pushing for a while). and he immediately brought on this doctor to talk about it. but the doctor he had on for that segment told him flatly that he was wrong. he could have asked the doctor before the segment started, and decided "Hey, maybe I won't broadcast this misleading headline today!" but no.


I love "widely known". Geirgua dudnt even shut down until a few weeks ago.

what's been known is that "conservative" governors have been pushing early re-opening, in part, because they know workers won't return to their jobs if they don't feel safe; and that will give employers the opportunity to fire those workers and get thereby themselves off the hook for unemployment payments.

Marty: the Swiss government declared children under 10 dont have the receptors to get the virus

So it MUST be true, eh?

To be clear, it's true they declared it. It's also true that opinions differ, per the same article. But "facts" we like are always true. Reality is for wimps.

Worth noting is that Dr. Koch (apparently Switzerland's Dr. Fauci) also advises that grandkids should nevertheless not have prolonged contact with grandma. I wonder why.

Maybe it's true that under-10 kids "don't have the receptors" for the virus. But neither do clothes or toys or tiny droplets of moisture in the air. I am not remotely knowledgeable enough to know whether "can't get infected" (even if true) is the same as "can't ferry the virus around", so I won't do a Carlson and embellish a small turd of "truth" into a pile of horseshit.

BTW, Marty: to assert your independence from somebody you only need to write them a letter, not publish a Declaration.

--TP

Marty: the Swiss government declared children under 10 dont have the receptors to get the virus

Somehow I missed this one.

Skyler Herbert.

Carlson is a propagandist. You cite him, and/or defend his statements, at risk of your own credibility.

I didnt cite him I just noted a governmental authority that said the same thing, it was discussed on CNBC this morning and the doctor pretty much disagreed also.

wj - what concerns me is not that the people on the right who Trump has dragged over the barrel will not ever find a way back. It's not that the narrative is permanently broken. Most of them will come back, likely just as you say they will.

It will just take a lot longer than it should and they will follow the leader further than their consciences would otherwise allow until we find out what finally makes that snap.

It's not the aftermath that I worry about, it's the period of acquiescence mixed with denial that precedes the break.

As far as pundits go, the ones who have been consistently saying unscientific - whether simply stupid or outright dangerous - things since this whole mess started are highly concentrated within Fox News and other right-wing media outlets. But that's consistent with the quality of their coverage and commentary before the novel coronavirus was a thing, so not surprising.

But the left is mean to poor El Anaranjado. Both sides.

https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/michigan-gunmen-statehouse-coronavirus-protests-trump-working-people-a9494336.html

If protesters actually wanted to help workers, they would be demonstrating for larger government payments to individuals, more aid for small businesses, and more money for state and local governments. They would demand free healthcare, and a general moratorium on debt collection.

(...)

But the right-wing protestors in Michigan and elsewhere don't want to help people. They want to express anger, resentment and hate. They want to test boundaries and see if they can intimidate Democratic politicians into changing their stances. Those tactics, coupled with armed militias on our streets, look a lot like the beginnings of a fascist state.

But Antifa and OWS!

I know very few conservatives that dont criticize Trump for specific things.

They like the tax cuts. They like the de-regulation. They like business-friendly judges.

In short, they like the money.

And the rest of the world can burn.

But hey, he did the best he could, right? I mean, he was briefed on pandemic preparedness when he took office, but that was Obama's team doing the briefing, so screw that. His own administration prepared a pandemic playbook, but WTF do they know. A bunch of Chinese people got sick, well we're not China, so who cares. Some geezers in WA were dying off, but that's way over in the upper left hand corner, so what, me worry?

We're something like 4% of the world's population. We're something like a third of the COVID-19 cases, and a quarter of deaths.

We have, we are told, the best medical care system on the planet. Somehow that is not getting the job done. We're fncking this up, in a big way.

If you want to go back to work, go back to work. Just figure out a way to do it that doesn't put other people at risk.

Folks that don't want to go back to work due to the risk of exposure to the virus should not have to go back to work. Period. Not until we have an effective treatment protocol and/or a vaccine. Certainly not until effective safety protocols have been defined and demonstrated, on a per-industry basis.

If that means we pay a great big pile of money to get them to stay home, then that's what we should do. If that means everybody's 401k's take a hit for the next five years, then we'll live with it.

We lived with a bigger hit than that so the geniuses on Wall Street could play their "look Ma no risk!" games. Right?

It's great that you think everybody who wants to stay home should get "13 weeks or whatever". Unfortunately, you're not going to be making the policy. People in some states will get something like that, maybe better. People in a lot of other states are not. They're gonna get to pick between going back to work, in places that have crap records for workplace safety, or not eating.

So they'll go back to work, and some of them will get sick and make other people sick, and some of all of those folks will die or suffer permanent physical harm.

We don't understand the virus well enough to keep people safe, or to treat them effectively when they get sick. We don't have sufficient testing to know who has the virus and who doesn't.

This is not the time to "re-open the economy".

"When is the damage too much?" goes in more than one direction.

Marty, I appreciate your 09.33. But it's important to be clear. When you say

Just because someone disagrees with you doesnt mean they have been bamboozled by some propaganda machine.

you are ignoring the fact that it was overwhelmingly the rightwing media in the US giving cover to Trump and his absurd lies with their casual dismissal of the threat for weeks and months, continued long past the point where the rest of the world was taking this very seriously. And they are to some extent still doing so, while he stands up there and tells his lies about the wonderful world-beating availability of testing and PPE and ventilators. Things may be getting better, Marty, but they started from a particularly low bar. And please realise, I am writing this from a country which is also being accused by many of having handled the pandemic very badly, and may well have done so.

I think we could have done things differently, but the constant accusation that the GOP murdered a bunch of people is ridiculous and unhelpful.

You (and we) could certainly have done things differently. Trump could have chosen not to disband the Pandemic Response Unit, or whatever it was called, for a start. For a decent national response, perhaps Germany will emerge as a model to emulate. I personally do not say that the GOP "murdered" a bunch of people. It is unarguable however that people have died who would not have, if competent leaders and administrators had been in charge.

And since we have been meditating on what violence in the US might look like if it comes, and we've been discussing the nature of the US economy and how much risk can be laden onto the small folk in order to maximize profits for the big folk...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_worker_deaths_in_United_States_labor_disputes

To which you can probably add the Bonus Army.

Dakota Pipeline was, I think, a preview.

Well, not a preview. The Native American and African-American communities have been living in that violence all along.

We can reach pretty much any area of the world with significant if not overwhelming force...

I'm one of those who believe this will disappear sooner than expected for non-nuclear force. There are fewer places left (perhaps none?) that will let us stage for a Kuwait or Iraq land operation. I think the operational lifetime for aircraft carriers will be shorter than their design lifetime: both the Russians and the Chinese are putting substantial money into weapons projects that have "carrier killer" written all over them; the Navy is paying Boeing to build a cheap unmanned refueling drone to allow carriers to stand off farther; and the description of the new frigates announced yesterday says "missile platform to try to protect carriers."

The overlap between places where we might want to apply overwhelming force and places where we can apply such force is shrinking. Rapidly.

Matt Taibbi probably needs to have his lefty-card yanked: https://taibbi.substack.com/p/temporary-coronavirus-censorship

For some real Yellow Peril propaganda, check out the movie "Contagion".

You may now return to the bubble.

McKinney, are you under the impression that we lefties, as you often characterise us, are apologists for the PRC?

Taibbi started on a vector orthogonal to the plane of rationality many cycles ago.

McT should have his 'I can identify who is lefty' card yanked. Or at least pointed out that it was issued in a box of crackerjacks. Matt Taibbi is the stylistic heir of Hunter S. Thompson, which puts in him the left the same way that Michael Jordan's foray into baseball makes him someone you want to watch deal with major league pitchers.

Of course, if you'd like to characterize my distaste of Yellow Peril rhetoric as some crypto communist reflex, well you and the horse you rode in on.

Of course, McT probably thinks Taibbi is a member of OWS because he turned his acerbic prose on Wall Street at some point, cause anyone who doesn't believe that capitalism and private enterprise is better than any other thing bar none, they have to be an OWS stooge. It's that kind of category error that makes it really hard to take him (McT that is) seriously. At least he doesn't cite Tucker Carlson. Thank god for small favors.

But here are some links if you'd like to go down that road
https://jezebel.com/writers-matt-taibbi-and-mark-ames-serviced-no-one-but-t-1820007051

https://medium.com/@quinnnorton/why-ive-never-written-for-rolling-stone-e19e8a678cdf

https://www.chicagoreader.com/Bleader/archives/2017/10/27/twenty-years-ago-in-moscow-matt-taibbi-was-a-misogynist-asshole-and-possibly-worse

"It will be months, at least, before we have a full accounting of pandemic casualties. For now, though, you can confidently add to that list a healthy measure of human freedom. Around the world, governments are taking advantage of the public health emergency to tighten the screws on their subjects. That's true of the usual-suspect authoritarian regimes, but citizens of liberal democracies have also seen their liberty curtailed. And not only is it unclear how much they'll get back once the crisis passes, it's not obvious that everybody will even want to reclaim the freedom they've surrendered."
Freedom Is a Pandemic Casualty in Authoritarian Regimes and Liberal Democracies: Around the world, governments are taking advantage of COVID-19 to tighten the screws on their subjects.

For now, though, you can confidently add to that list a healthy measure of human freedom.

And whose fault is this? The more authoritarian goverments around the world or the ones that were supposed to demonstrate how things work if you have an informed populace working together to deal with a common threat. But no, if we just had some leader of whom people wouldn't remember because they don't do anything, everything would hae turned out for the best...

Honestly, I agree with Russell said in regard to Reason readers: why don't they have to wear a badge so we can immediately know that their ideas are crap? I'd actually suggest a clown nose and grease paint.

GftNC, if there is a model beyond South Korea, who for reasons thet have been detailed was uniquely prepared, I havent seen it. Some numbers are better some places, but no one reacted substantially quicker than we did, and by we basically the earliest governors, which is where these battles are fought in the US.

It seems we can safely replace CharlesWT with an RSS feed for Reason.

Also, it seems we can rename Reason "Because,Reasons."

EFF has been doing a better job of reporting on speech and surveillance threats. It's still techno-libertarian, but it usually spares everyone the strained homily that comes with every Reason article.

Hey, if CharlesWT wants the "human freedom" to rub shoulders with proud Libertarians and armed "Patriots", none of them masked or gloved, in some crowded bar, I for one would not repress him. I'd stay the hell away from him, of course, and so would any rational person.

It's getting easy to tell the idiots and the MAGAts apart from sane people, these days. From way more than 6 feet away.

--TP

which is where these battles are fought in the US.

Which is where they have to be fought now that our federal government is incompetent/compromised.

Taibbi absolutely nails it, so he's probably a racist. No one here addresses him or anyone else on substance anymore. It's just a bunch of ridiculous name-calling (or shouting Antifa! or OWS!, as if doing so is somehow an actual, substantive argument), and quite frankly, not particularly effective name-calling. Trump is awful so everything in the country that is shitty is his fault, blah, blah, blah.

Seriously, it is the same shit over and over again and anyone who tries to point this out is just WRONGWRONGWRONGWRONG. Anyone who tries to point out that the virtually unanimous consensus inside the ObWi bubble might, you know, be flawed in some respects is RWNJ, or a MAGAHat, or a GLIBERTARIAN or some other truly infantile formulation.

And, yes, GFTNC, the PRC's obvious BS seems to play much better here than in the racist world of people who don't like communist dictatorships and who think they lie reflexively.

Marty, I read the following article about the German situation at the beginning of April, at which time "the country had more than 100,000 laboratory-confirmed infections as of Monday morning, more than any other country except the United States, Italy and Spain". and I understand their death rate is still remarkably low. Link below, but money quote is probably this:

In mid-January, long before most Germans had given the virus much thought, Charité hospital in Berlin had already developed a test and posted the formula online.

By the time Germany recorded its first case of Covid-19 in February, laboratories across the country had built up a stock of test kits.

“The reason why we in Germany have so few deaths at the moment compared to the number of infected can be largely explained by the fact that we are doing an extremely large number of lab diagnoses,” said Dr. Christian Drosten, chief virologist at Charité, whose team developed the first test.

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/04/world/europe/germany-coronavirus-death-rate.html

McKinney, I hope you won't take this amiss, but you're nuts. First of all, when you say

No one here addresses him or anyone else on substance anymore. It's just a bunch of ridiculous name-calling

you have rather undermined your argument by initially introducing the subject (to a bunch of lefties) by saying he should have or will have his lefty card withdrawn. Very substantive, and constructive, I must say. As far as I know, no one here (and very definitely not me) thinks remotely well of the PRC. You are setting up ridiculous straw men.

In defense of Matt Taibbi—

https://www.pastemagazine.com/politics/matt-taibbi/the-destruction-of-matt-taibbi/

I don’t necessarily believe the accusations made about him, but I might be wrong. People on every part of the political spectrum can be awful people in their personal lives— I have long since given up the idea that there is any close relationship between a person’s political views and how good a person they are ( except in extreme cases, like Nazis, where evil views and being evil seem pretty closely linked). Was he genuinely terrible in Moscow or was that book a satire of ugly Americans in a Russia back then? I don’t know.


As for his political views, I generally agree with Taibbi and am happily to be orthogonal to centrist liberal rationality, though to be clear I favor shutdowns and agree with most people here on that issue. I don’t respect the two idiot doctors in California, but don’t like the idea of Youtube censorship. Yes, I know, youtube isn’t the government so they can block whatever they want. But in practice if you want an audience for dissident viewpoints YouTube is an important venue and if I ran it I would certainly allow idiot doctors to spout their moronic views on all sorts of subjects. I would draw the line somewhere, but not there.


On libertarians, they are good on some issues and terrible on others, imo. It also depends on the libertarian. Some of them are antiwar and some, like Glenn Reynolds, are warmongers. On domestic issues I hate their worship of the supposedly free market but they are good on some civil liberties issue. ( Not sure how they are about the right to vote, though).

Taibbi is definitely on the left, but that tells you nothing, because there are numerous factions on the left and we hate each other.

And, yes, GFTNC, the PRC's obvious BS seems to play much better here than in the racist world of people who don't like communist dictatorships and who think they lie reflexively

For emphasis, what the bloody hell? Someone clever recently told me that when certain rightwingers mischaracterise mainstream ObWi opinion they are actually describing "the hobgoblins in [their] imagination". That's what you're doing here.

Ah, I understand, it's the cartoon that has driven you mad. Yes, it's very unfortunate that the United States of America is led by such a heinously ignorant, malicious, mendacious and incompetent barbarian that even one of the world's worst dictatorships can ridicule it accurately, and therefore escape criticism for doing it.

Taibbi falls flat with me not because I dismiss the concern that the pandemic affords bad actors a chance to grab the moment for their own purposes, but because he broad brushes it all to the point of uselessness.

Like LJ said above, I'm not siding with the Chinese or giving the Chinese too much credit for honesty when I note that the video presents an accurate timeline and that the US responses represented in the video matches the response from the Office of the President pretty well in substance. None of China's own mistakes or biases or self-interest really alter the criticism at the heart of it, and fighting the propaganda war doesn't make our pandemic mitigation efforts one bit more or less effective. Correcting the massive dysfunction at the heart of our federal response, however, would.

I also note that Marty modulates from US response to US States' response in his argument against the timeline, so that he can elide the better of the state responses with the federal response.

Credit will be captured and distributed, blame will be externalized.

I read that, and the testing is great. The logic, and I have only generally followed their current mortality,seems backwards. The had lots of tests, thus lots of cases. The mortality rate was in line with other places in deaths per million population.

But it's clear they were prepared to test. So better than us, and most, in that vector.

Marty, Germany has a population of 83,783,942, and as of today has had 6,640 deaths.

From the Taibbi article: "But the functional impact of removing their videos (in addition to giving them press they wouldn’t otherwise have had) is to stamp out discussion of things that do actually need to be discussed, like when the damage to the economy and the effects of other crisis-related problems – domestic abuse, substance abuse, suicide, stroke, abuse of children, etc. – become as significant a threat to the public as the pandemic. We do actually have to talk about this. We can’t not talk about it out of fear of being censored, or because we’re confusing real harm with political harm."

The Washington Post has featured the following:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/video/national/domestic-violence-survivors-on-the-dangers-of-life-in-quarantine/2020/04/22/8447a987-4f98-47f0-a347-04e2c254707e_video.html (Domestic violence survivors)

https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/wellness/drinking-problem-home-coronavirus-lockdown/2020/04/27/69c45984-865e-11ea-a3eb-e9fc93160703_story.html (alcohol as a pandemic coping mechanism)

https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2020/04/28/nyc-doctor-lorna-breen-coronavirus/ (suicide)

https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/worries-grow-over-dip-in-er-visits-by-stroke-victims-others/2020/04/20/f9f1b554-830e-11ea-81a3-9690c9881111_story.html (strokes)

https://www.washingtonpost.com/education/2020/04/30/child-abuse-reports-coronavirus/ (child abuse)

Are these subjects being censored?


Taibbi is definitely on the left

Bad Donald. Category Error! You will no longer be taken seriously by the serious people here.

For emphasis, what the bloody hell?

Want an example? Here you go:

And a bit childish for "the official state news service of the People’s Republic of China." More than one government with "the behavior of five year olds"

Well, if a 5 year old is right, they are right. And failing to understand how social media works around the world will bite you on the ass.

Or TP's chastising Marty for not, you know, digging the PRC garbage. So, maybe not just my imagination.

Someone clever recently told me that when certain rightwingers mischaracterise mainstream ObWi opinion they are actually describing "the hobgoblins in [their] imagination". That's what you're doing here.

I'm familiar with the concept. It's a two-way street.

Nous writes, "They were put in a position where they had to choose loyalty or principles and the majority of them pulled the political trigger."

As I watch the left scramble to distinguish Tara Reade's allegations against Biden and its self-righteousness otherwise, I'm reminded once again just how convincingly the left prizes principle over politics. Biden was a genius to announce that he would only have a female VP candidate. It's the perfect vaccine.

Oh, and it's also an example of how the left projects every much as the right does.

Taibbi absolutely nails it, so he's probably a racist. No one here addresses him or anyone else on substance anymore.

I got a couple of paragraphs in.

Two docs from CA made a video. They pointed out that COVID-19 mortality rate is less than flu, so what's up with all the lockdown?

Of course, mortality rate of less than influenza in a population with no prior exposure and no herd immunity means... several million people die, absent some mitigating efforts being taken.

The video was taken down by the social media channels after basically every professional medical association with an interest in public health and epidemiology called BS on it.

I presume their (social media channel's) motivation was some combination of bottom line analysis and basic human decency. Providing a channel for bad medical advice during an epidemic most likely poses a variety of risks for the channel provider. I suppose it could have been something more sinister, but in general folks like that are in it to make a living, so I'm not sure a deeper analysis is needed.

Ockham is my guide.

Tabibi says "CENSORSHIP".

So I didn't read any further, because it seemed like he was selling his own pile of BS.

Maybe he had things to say further on in the piece that were more compelling, from point of view of substance. Sadly, time is always short, so you only get so many bites at the apple (i.e., one) before it's not worth any more of my attention.

Are these subjects being censored?

Sapient, you do realize, don't you, that the WaPo is not being banned from YouTube? YouTube is banning ordinary citizens with whom it disagrees, not institutional media outlets, who by definition, can only self-censor.


Is some censorship ok as long as others are not censored?

Did you not get the impression, McKinney, that Taibbi thinks "we" aren't talking about the issues listed? I listed them because these issues are being discussed.

Youtube is a private company. If it doesn't want to be liable for assisting snake oil salesmen who want to lead people to their deaths, maybe that's a good thing. Maybe you should get in touch with their legal counsel and find out why they removed these charlatans.

Taibbi has developed a strong anti-anti-Trump streak lately, somewhat like Glenn Greenwald (who is a FoxNews favorite for that reason). "Dems are mad at Trump? they must be wrong!" isn't very interesting after the fourth or fifth time.

Is some censorship ok as long as others are not censored?

YouTube has no porn. censorship?

Tara Reade's allegations

We're gonna hear a lot about this.

Reade should have, and has had, and continues to have, the opportunity to bring her case.

The situation in question happened 30 years ago. There is a lot about the situation that is less than clear. Unless some significant additional information is discovered, it's unlikely that it will ever be clear that a sexual assault took place, or, equally, that it did not.

So, what do we do in cases like that?

Sometimes the person accused stands down, simply to take themselves out of the public equation and avoid compromising the integrity of whatever position they hold.

Sometimes the person accused does not.

Everybody's gonna have to make up their own minds on this one, because as far as I can tell, the evidence is not conclusive.

If you think that the sudden appearance of Tara Reade on the scene is unrelated to Biden's running for office, I'll invite you to pull the other one.

The mortality rate was in line with other places in deaths per million population

Is this supposed to be about Germany?

If so, nope.

Just now, from Worldometer, including only countries with > 10000 cases, sorted by most to least. (Sorry, no time to do something that would make it format nicely.)

Deaths/1M pop
World 30.5
Belgium 665
Spain 531
Italy 467
UK 405
France 377
Netherlands 286
Sweden 263
Ireland 256
Switzerland 203
USA 196
Portugal 99
Canada 90
Germany 80
Iran 73
Austria 65
Ecuador 60
Turkey 39
Romania 39
Peru 34
Brazil 28
Israel 26
Poland 17
Mexico 14
Chile 12
UAE 11
Belarus 10
Russia 8
Ukraine 6
Saudi Arabia 5
S. Korea 5
Qatar 4
China 3
Singapore 3
Japan 3
Indonesia 3
Pakistan 2
India 0.8

Germany's deaths per MM pop is nowhere close to that of comparable or neighborhing countries. We're not done, of course; maybe they'll catch up, though I doubt it, since they've tallied deaths all along much more slowly than nearby countries, even allowing for the fact that their curve started to rise later than e.g. Italy or Spain's.

You can have your own opinions, however idiotic. If you have any alleged facts, a cite would be useful.

Well, if a 5 year old is right, they are right. And failing to understand how social media works around the world will bite you on the ass.

Or TP's chastising Marty for not, you know, digging the PRC garbage. So, maybe not just my imagination.

You can not, you know, dig the PRC garbage, but still, the cartoon is pretty much accurate. A drag, I know.

As for the Biden accusation, personally I'm horror-struck. How is it possible, and what has happened in the body politic, that the only two likely candidates for POTUS in November are a man who has been accused by a woman of sexual assault, and a man who has been accused by twelve (or is it nineteen) women of, variously, sexual assault and rape? Where is the self-righteousness? How is this projecting? And what about the people who defended Kavanaugh so self-righteously? How do you characterise them?

Is some censorship ok

It's bloody well OK for a privately owned social media channel to decline to host videos presenting information as medical fact that responsible and reputable parties have called out as BS. Particularly if the responsible and reputable parties show their work, as I believe they did in this case. And in particular, during a time of epidemic.

Not only is it OK, I would encourage social media channels to vet things like this. Because people who look at things like this from the point of view of whether "their side" endorses it or not are going to do stupid and dangerous things as a result of crap like this.

Seriously, what the hell.

but no one reacted substantially quicker than we did

The clear implication of this fact free assertion is that we're all in the same boat when it comes to COVID response.

BULLSHIT.

McKinney: Taibbi absolutely nails it ...

Having finally read the piece McKinney cited, looking for the "substance" that Taibbi "absolutely nails", I get the impression it's this:

Experts can be wrong. Experts can be liars. Taibbi is an expert on that.

Mass media of the non-RWNJ variety are often dupes of the clubby, cloistered experts, not merely repeating the experts' group-think but endorsing it to the point of browbeating honest contrarians. "Social media" companies have become Maoist censors, though on private-enterprise principles. Academics and pundits pointing out that (d)emocracy might have limits of usefulness under certain conditions can be more dangerous than honest businessmen pointing out that "lockdowns" do too. Matt is a long-time expert on all that as well.

ALL of the above might be true, and still:
1) The Covid-19 virus is dangerous enough that sane people want to avoid it;
2) Individual people can find it impossible to avoid the virus, acting on their own;
3) There are experts and there are "experts", and most people can't easily tell them apart on TV for purposes of identifying good advice;
4) Experts have peer review, "experts" have group-think, and those are not the same;
5) Water runs downhill, the Earth orbits the Sun, viruses are contagious and cancer isn't, quantum mechanics actually works even if nobody really understands it, and even contrarians can be wrong, or liars, just like experts.

Oh, and: lefty socialist finger-wagging is just as appalling as authoritarian kleptocracy of the Chinese or Russian or American variety because Matt Taibbi says so, and he's an expert on what Matt Taibbi doesn't like. I'm perfectly willing to grant that.

--TP

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