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Messages - Wayward Son

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General Comments / Re: Who’s got it?
« on: March 30, 2020, 02:07:50 AM »
Heard on the radio this morning of a death in San Diego.  A 25-year-old man.  No prior conditions.

This isn't just an old person's disease, or one that only kills those already sick.

General Comments / Re: coronavirus
« on: March 27, 2020, 04:14:18 PM »
In 1937, during the Great Depression, at least 40,000 Americans took their own lives that year and again in 1938. That two-year span, suicide rates spiked to its highest recorded level ever: more than 150 per 1 million annually. You want to do it again?

There's a brutal calculus at work here. We may keep it under 10,000 COIVD related deaths this year only to see more than that ultimately succumb to the despair of a shattered economy and take their own lives. Not to mention all the livelihoods that are being lost now whose impact won't be fully measured for years.

That is a concern, but consider this: left unchecked, do suicide rates rise exponentially? ;)

The potential deaths from Covid-19 are greater than despair-related suicides.

And how many suicides would be expected from having a large number of loved-ones die?

Definitely not these days.

I think the larger question is the long term damage we're willing to absorb to mitigate the estimated/modeled deaths (e.g. 50% unemployment, financial collapse, etc.).

There is also the physical damage to consider.  Some of those who survive the disease will no longer be 100%.  Scarring of lung tissue will occur in some people.

Not to mention time off to take care of sick children, parents, friends and relatives.

Do those who advocate just letting people catch it consider those implications, too?

Someone needs to remind Prager of what old George Patton said: "No dumb bastard ever won a war by going out and dying for his country. He won it by making some other dumb bastard die for his country.”

Expecting people to die for our economy makes just as much sense.

General Comments / Re: coronavirus
« on: March 25, 2020, 11:14:02 AM »
Patrick did not say all seniors were willing to die. Patrick said he would be willing to take that risk. He said to be smart about it (do I need to unpack that for you, can you guys be that deep in the TDS fever?) and let the 70+ team make the call about their own health (their body, their choice, right?).

Except it isn't only him that he is risking.

Having the disease means he can spread it to others.  So unless he isolates himself from his friends and family, he will most likely give it to one of them.  And if he does isolate himself...well, that kinda defeats the purpose, doesn't it? ;)

Remember, from the latest I've heard, you can be contagious without symptoms.  So if he isolate himself when he feels sick, it is too late.

Second, spreading the disease means more people will die.  Because social distancing is not preventing everyone from getting it.  It is preventing our medical infrastructure from being overwhelmed.  Right now, hospitals and first responders do not have enough protective equipment to insulate them from the virus.  Nurses are using used surgical masks because they don't have replacements.  There are a limited number of respirators for those who are acutely ill.  Hospital beds are limited.  And if nurses and doctors get the disease because of lack of protective gears, they will be even more limited.  All which adds up to higher casualty rates than need be.  And not just retirees.  They just have the highest rate of death.  Every age group has people dying it in.

What happens to the economy when workers die, or have permanent lung scarring from the disease, because they couldn't get proper treatment because of triage?  What happens to their lives, because Patrick decided he was willing to risk his life and infect them?

Patrick is an idiot.  He doesn't understand the implications of what he is advocating, and he is putting everyone at risk because of it. 

General Comments / Re: Who’s got it?
« on: March 23, 2020, 08:54:42 PM »
One case confirmed at my work, with another rumored.

They closed the building and are disinfecting it.  No one allowed in for a day or two.  Everyone working from home.

General Comments / Re: Trump Response to Covid-19
« on: March 13, 2020, 04:50:31 PM »
So for me, every single promise he made was true. Maybe your provider sucks, ever think of that? Maybe not relying on a single anecdote to make a global pronouncement would be a good idea.

Except it isn't anecdotal.  Review my link to  No insurance company said they were doing anything special about Covid-19, except not charging for the test.

And so what if it is anecdotal?  Trump said that "the leaders of health insurance industry who have agreed to waive all copayments for coronavirus treatments, extend insurance coverage to these treatments, and to prevent surprise medical billing."  Even one exception proves the lie.

Sounds like you have an exceptional insurer.  Do you ever pay co-pays at all?

You will be OK. Might want to stop watching CNN and MSNBC for a while.

Sorry.  Don't like the taste of koolaide. ;)  :D

It will come back. It's like you have no historical awareness beyond the last few weeks.

Oh, I know it will come back, although depending on how bad it is, I might retire first.  :'(

But for people who aren't options traders--like the vast majority of us--this is not a good thing.  It would behoove Trump to remember that when he talks about stuff.

Have you actually read what you quoted? I think they're messing with you and you didn't get the joke.

The stock market shooting up and down like this is an options trader's wet dream.

I'm glad you and Trump and having such a good time.  Good luck in riding the waves and making lots and lots of money as $11 trillion disappears from the market!

The rest of us have 401Ks.  :'(

That is the goal here.

No, it's what we've been warning you guys about for years now.  He isn't in control.  He's just lucky.  And one day, his luck will run out.

That day may have come. :(

General Comments / Re: Trump Response to Covid-19
« on: March 13, 2020, 11:54:08 AM »
Well, looks like it’s out of control now. It’ll take drastic action to protect us.

First, copy Italy and lock it all down. Trump has to do it. Anything less simply won’t work. Total lockdown nationwide. Has to happen.

Second, we gotta postpone the election. It’s too dangerous to campaign, it’s too dangerous to have crowds go to the polls. The only fair thing, the right thing, is to push the election until it’s safe to hold it. Maybe next year, restart the primaries. Trump must postpone the election to save America.

Some of you may object but you have to consider the POTENTIAL. Once you account for the POTENTIAL, I’m sure all of you will agree that this must happen.

You can almost hear Bill Maher saying it:

"I nailed it.  I told you Trump wouldn't leave the Presidency." ;)

General Comments / Re: Trump Response to Covid-19
« on: March 13, 2020, 11:52:04 AM »
...Wayward cites to a detailed response to a single line in a speech (which may or may not be actually correct), even though a speech is of necessity short and wouldn't cover all of those points...

I'm sorry, Seriati, but what part of Trump's line was a completely and entirely untrue did you miss?

Earlier this week, I met with the leaders of health insurance industry who have agreed to waive all copayments for coronavirus treatments, extend insurance coverage to these treatments, and to prevent surprise medical billing.

There is simply not a single point in that sentence that is true, except maybe him meeting with leaders of the health insurance industry.

According to my insurer, we still have copayments for treatment.

According to my insurer, there is no "extension" of coverage to anything Covid-19 related.  If it was covered before, it is still covered.  If it wasn't, you're SOL.

According to my insurer, they still only cover costs among preferred providers (which is mainly in-house).  If there are any unusual charges, like by some outside doctor or outside lab, you will still get charged extra, even if it wasn't your decision to use them.

Every single promise he made was false.  How much more detail do you need?

And these are the things most people were concerned about.  While knowing how much money he intends to loan small businesses to keep them afloat is good in the long term (in knowing they will still have jobs once this crisis is over), that's not their immediate concern.  Whether they will go bankrupt in the meantime is more pressing.

Trump told them not to worry.  They're covered.

It ain't true.

So why should they, or us, trust anything this man says when he can't get a few simple facts correct about a subject that most people consider really important?

He can't even get his own travel ban right.  ::)

Just FYI:

(T)he stock market had yet another lousy day, with the Dow Jones dropping 1,868 points. That would be the fourth time since Feb. 27 that the Index has exceeded pre-2020 record for a one-day loss (−1,175.21 points on Feb. 5, 2018). At the close of business Thursday, the Dow was at 21,200.62. On the day that Donald Trump took office, it was at 19,732.40. So, most of the growth that he crowed about on Twitter has evaporated. In fact, if we account for inflation, it has entirely evaporated. The $11.5 trillion that market gained after Jan. 20, 2017, is now all gone.

So if the stock market doesn't make a fast recovery (which is still a possibility), Trump's proudly-touted economic success "is now all gone."

General Comments / Re: Trump Response to Covid-19
« on: March 12, 2020, 02:31:32 PM »
Earlier this week, I met with the leaders of health insurance industry who have agreed to waive all copayments for coronavirus treatments, extend insurance coverage to these treatments, and to prevent surprise medical billing.

That's from Trump's speech last night.  It needs some amendment, though.

No, they did not say they will cover co-pays for treatment. And Trump’s statement about surprise medical billing is questionable.

As Vice President Mike Pence stated more accurately, the insurers agreed to cover coronavirus testing with no cost sharing — so no co-pays or deductibles. That assurance applies to tests that can confirm or rule out the virus, and doesn’t extend to treatment or to other tests that the patient’s doctor may order. Consumers should check with their insurance company because policies may vary on this. They should not count on the president’s word.

What’s more, in the process of diagnosing COVID-19, other tests may be ordered. Insurers have not pledged to waive cost-sharing for those. Co-pays and deductibles may apply for imaging tests such as X-rays or CT scans of the chest, for example, and hospital stays are also subject to cost-sharing.

Federal programs including Medicare, Medicaid, children’s health insurance and “Obamacare” all cover the coronavirus tests. Of particular importance, clinical diagnostic tests are covered under Medicare with no cost-sharing, a longstanding policy. However, cost-sharing may apply for other tests, such as imaging.

When people get sick from the coronavirus, there currently is no antiviral treatment that can cure the disease. Instead, the current treatment is geared to relieving patients’ symptoms and helping them to recover. For those who are very sick, that can involve using machinery to help them breathe. Insurers cover such treatment based on the terms of the individual’s health plan, including any applicable deductibles and co-pays.

As for “surprise billing,” that’s not something insurers can waive because they’re not the ones who do it. Doctors and hospitals generally spring those surprises.

Overall, says Karen Pollitz of the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation: “We don’t have a rule yet that says all insurers must do ‘x,’ so flip your insurance card over and call the 800 number.”

So insurers have agreed to make the test free.  The rest is pure fantasy.

Nice to know the President's on top of this.  ::)

General Comments / Re: We gotta talk about Uncle Joe
« on: March 12, 2020, 01:32:53 PM »
Except for one thing: it's not a natural system, and the candidates do not emerge at random from the gene pool or whatever. They are often or even usually groomed for the role and propped up by powerful parties. Sometimes the parties might be ok with one a short list of possibilities, and sometimes they are deadset on one person, as was the case with Hillary in 2016. Because the system does not randomly generate candidates, therefore your schema fails; they are produced with certain criteria in mind to the extent that they're groomed and supported, which may include electibility, but will also include bolstering and perpetuating the current power structures. It's an exercise in improvement - for them. Unless you're on a board of directors or have lots of stock in their companies, the so-called improvement isn't for you.

Why don't you state outright that there are some mysterious people that selects, grooms and supports the candidates?  Because you might have to name names of who these people are? ;)

There were--what?--20 candidates for the Democratic nomination this round.  Were they all groomed by these people?  If not, then why didn't voters get input on who was the best candidate?

Besides, you are assuming that voters have no influence on who these mysterious people pick.  You forget that, other than perpetuation the current power structure, they have other criteria.

1.  Getting their person elected.  If their selected candidates always lose, it don't do them a bit a good.  They need their person in power to wield that power in their favor.  For that, they need the help of voters.

2.  Keeping the party popular.  Do you believe these people select the Green Party candidates?  The Peace and Freedom Party candidates?  It would be a waste of time and resources to do so, since such candidates never come close to winning.  Similarly, if they select candidates that alienate members of the Democratic or Republican parties, then those parties will become the next Green or Peace and Freedom party, and their back to square one.  So it behooves them to keep their selections popular, at least within the party.

There are doubtlessly other criteria, all based on the fact that we, the people, get to vote for who we want.  Ultimately any candidate they select has to get the OK from the voters.  Which means that we, the voters, do have a say.  We have influence whether these people like it or not.

That's not to say that I, as an individual voter, have a huge say in the initial selection of candidates.  I'm only one voice.  There are millions of other voices, with different values, priorities and criteria.  And those with money have a greater voice than those without (since, as the Supreme Court said, money is speech  ::) ).  So my voice is almost infinitesimal in the overall scheme of things.

But that does not make it insignificant.  As long as I vote, and as long as I vote for the candidate that is the best (or even just better) among those who are running, I do have an influence.  Me, and everyone who thinks like me.  Such a group has influence.

Just look at how much Bernie has changed the Democratic party.  Look at the party platform from 2016.  You can pick out the lines that Bernie's running for the Presidency added to the platform--lines that those "perpetuating the current power structures" doubtlessly didn't like, and didn't appear in the Republican party platform.  Bernie has pushed the Democratic party to the left.  So even though Bernie did not win in 2016, and probably won't in 2020, he definitely influenced Hillary and the Democratic candidate this year.  And if the Bernie voters keep up the pressure, they will keep those lines in the 2024 platform, the 2028 platform and the 2032 platform, if not adding even more lines.

But for the ones that didn't vote for Hillary, what influence did they have for the past four years?  If they don't vote for the Democratic candidate this year, what influence will they have, even if that candidate wins?  The Democrats will realize that, since they won't get those Bernie voters even if they add those lines to the platform, they really don't need them.  It won't help them get into power.  So they don't count.

Why do you think Bernie's ideas and values don't appear in the Republican platform? ;)

So, yeah, votes do count.  And so, voting for the lesser evil pushes it toward lesser evil, even if it is only a small push.  But it is a push nevertheless.  And over time, with a lot of small pushes from a lot of people, it will influence the parties, who they nominate, and what they stand for.  But only if the party sees that it will.  Not voting for the party means it doesn't matter whether they listen to you or not.  They don't get any closer to what they want (to win power).  So they might as well just ignore you anyway.

Voting for the lesser evil moves a party in the direction you want.  Maybe only infinitesimally, but movement nevertheless.

General Comments / Re: We gotta talk about Uncle Joe
« on: March 12, 2020, 12:26:18 PM »
WS, this argument cannot possibly hold water since the quality of American presidents has clearly been on the decline since...I dunno, Kennedy. We could argue about whether Reagan or Clinton rose above that, but there have been some serious duds since then. I don't know how you could back up this idea that insisting on voting for only establishment candidates somehow makes the country better. If you want your voice to be heard, make it heard. If you'll eat whatever you're fed then don't complain about the results.

That is probably because there is no universally agreed value for each candidate.  One man's +4 is another man's -7.

It also requires a certain amount of feedback to create actual progress with the candidates.  If your vote has no effect on the system, then the candidates you get will be random.

But, of course, your vote does have an effect, albeit a tiny one.

Nevertheless, for any one person's individual determination of the worth of Presidential candidates, it is mathematically true that voting for the lesser of two evils helps improve the candidates over the long run, and helps prevent worse candidates over the short run.

Also, you're working from a very small data set if you're only counting Presidents since Clinton. ;)

General Comments / Re: We gotta talk about Uncle Joe
« on: March 12, 2020, 10:45:18 AM »
Sorry, Drake.  Mathematics says you're wrong.  If you choose the lesser of two evils, you eventually get better Presidents, assuming the candidates are not equal.

If you choose randomly, you will not change the average.

And if you choose the greater, you will get worse Presidents.

Do the math.

Not choosing is similar to a random choice.  So you gotta ask yourself a question: do you want better Presidents (even if it is a slow rise), the same kind of Presidents, or worse Presidents?

And as I say to those who won't vote for Biden if Bernie loses:  which President do you prefer to work with the next four years?  Once that is sympathetic to your goals, or one who is dismissive or actively trying to crush your goals? ;)

General Comments / Re: Trump Response to Covid-19
« on: March 11, 2020, 06:35:18 PM »
No, orange man stupid.  :D

You going to the next rally?  ;)

General Comments / Re: We gotta talk about Uncle Joe
« on: March 11, 2020, 03:37:15 PM »
You hold yourself superior to others who have seen and heard the same things but come away with a different judgement.

No, I don't hold myself superior.  But I won't be told something that I've seen with my own eyes isn't true just on someone else's word.  That's called gaslighting, and you're no Charles Boyer. :)

You say you've seen something different that I haven't because I watch different media?  Fine.  Show me what you've seen.  Then I can judge for myself.  That's all I ask.

But don't say I'm holding myself superior because you've come away with a different judgement.  :P

Funny, no one here claimed gravitas for Trump - but he certainly does show more leadership capacity than any other dozen people you might put forward.

My apologies.  When you said:

What is revelatory, is how such things vanish just as instantly, when the researchers realize they don't have the desired effect. (i.e. - like when "gravitas" appeared everywhere, but disappeared the next day when the public realized the opponent had more gravitas than the Dems' golden child.)

I assumed you were referring to Donald Trump as "the opponent."  My mistake.

No. Not going to fall into that trap. You know darn well that he has given great speeches and been roundly praised for them. If you want an example - go look at this year's State of the Union Address which Pelosi tore up on camera. Great speech.

All that shows is that he's still competent enough to read what's on a piece of paper. :)  That's why I specified extemporaneous speeches and interviews.  Unscripted speeches reveal his cognitive abilities better than words that someone else doubtlessly has reviewed and polished.  That's why I linked interviews.

Which is ultimately what this thread is about, isn't it?  Not policies, not politics, not what they believe, but the cognitive ability of our Presidential contenders.  Crunch is trying to scare us into believing that Biden has lost much of his.  I'm pointing out that, by the same standard, Trump may have lost much of his.  Look at his old interviews.  Look at his latest interviews.  Is he as sharp as he used to be?  If we're worried about Biden's mental capacity, shouldn't we be just as concerned about Trump's?  Or are there different scales for Democrats and Republicans?

When November comes, we will be voting for either one (assuming Biden gets the nomination) or the other.  So it behooves us, if we are concerned about the mental acuity of our candidates, to examine and compare them to each other.  Because barring any acts of God, it'll be one or the other.

General Comments / Trump Response to Covid-19
« on: March 11, 2020, 02:17:49 PM »
I think this deserves it's own thread, apart from what we know about the virus and the proper responses to it.  One on how well Trump and his Administration are reacting to it.

So far, so bad.

I was reading his article on Trump ignoring his own CDC's advice on how to not spread the virus.

At the Pentagon, top military brass have been begun “social distancing” to avoid spreading disease. At the Capitol, legislators have been encouraged to forgo hand shakes and flash the “Star Trek” Vulcan greeting instead.

But at the White House, President Donald Trump is flouting his own government’s advice on how to stay safe. He continues to shake hands with supporters and visitors, hold large events and minimize the threat posed by a coronavirus outbreak that has infected more than 115,000 people and killed over 4,000 worldwide...

“I think it’s beholden upon our leaders to follow the public health recommendations that the CDC, the government, public health are recommending and to emulate those practices,” said Dr. Jason Farley, a nurse epidemiologist and professor at the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing. He said that it sends “mixed messaging to the public” when recommendations aren’t heeded.

When it comes to Trump, he added, “There’s nothing special about being the president of the United States that protects you from a virus like this unless you’re following the practices recommended for every 70-year-old.”

Trump has repeatedly played down the risk, both to the public and himself, even as he claims that his administration is “taking this unbelievably seriously.”

“It will go away. Just stay calm,” Trump told reporters Tuesday. “Everybody has to be vigilant and has to be careful. But be calm. It’s really working out. And a lot of good things are going to happen.”

When it comes to Trump’s continued glad-handing, Vice President Mike Pence said Tuesday that’s unlikely to change despite going against the administration’s “broad recommendation” for other Americans.

“In our line of work, you shake hands when someone wants to shake your hand,” he said. “And I expect the president will continue to do that. I’ll continue to do it...”

Trump, at 73, is considered at higher risk, although his press secretary said Monday he “remains in excellent health...”

Overall, the CDC has suggested that workplaces encourage employees to stop shaking hands, use videoconferences for meetings when possible and hold meetings in well-ventilated spaces if meetings are necessary.

That hasn’t happened at the White House, where Trump, a self-professed “germophobe,” sat shoulder-to-shoulder Tuesday with aides and health insurance executives, traveled to Capitol Hill for a Senate lunch and awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom at a well-attended ceremony, where he also shook hands with those in the front row.

On Monday, Trump was spotted shaking hands with supporters on a tarmac in Florida. And on Thursday, he’s set to travel to the West Coast, where he’ll attend fundraisers and the annual gathering of the Republican Jewish Coalition in Las Vegas.

All that, despite the fact that Trump has already had personal contact with several individuals known to have been exposed to the virus. They include Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz, who traveled aboard Air Force One with the president on Monday and found out midflight that he was among a handful of GOP lawmakers who were exposed to a person who tested positive for the virus after last month’s Conservative Political Action Conference...

Lawrence Gostin, a public heath expert and professor at Georgetown University, said he believed it would be appropriate to implement enhanced screening at the White House to keep the president and Cabinet safe.

“This is no different than being protected by a bullet from the Secret Service,” he said. “Not only should they be following general health advice we give to the public, they should be following much more rigorously ... because we can’t be in a political crisis at the same time we’re in a public health crisis...”

On Capitol Hill, Democratic lawmakers were barred from helping themselves to a breakfast buffet or touching serving utensils, and told to avoid kissing, hugging and shaking hands.

But not Trump — a pattern that Robert Blendon, a professor of health policy at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, said appeared motivated by Trump’s desire to protect the economy in an election year.

“Right or wrong, the president’s decided he wants to minimize the economic impact of this pandemic. ... He’s trying to do everything he can to protect the economy by saying, ‘It will be over,’ ‘It’s not that bad,’ ‘Feel free to go places,’” Blendon said. While much uncertainly remains, “if it turns out to be more serious, the president’s contributing to people not protecting themselves.”

“The president should be keeping us safe. He shouldn’t be amplifying the risk,” added Gostin of Georgetown University.

“The message should be: Let’s have social distancing, let’s avoid the usual cultural symbols of shaking hands, let’s separate from one another and avoid either contracting or transmitting a very dangerous infection,” Gostin said. “And it’s baffling to me that the president, who should be the model of good behavior, is modeling exactly the opposite.”

In so many ways, it would be much easier for Trump to follow the CDC guidelines than the rest of us.  You gotta wonder why he is ignoring them. :(

General Comments / Re: We gotta talk about Uncle Joe
« on: March 11, 2020, 01:25:59 PM »
You gave vague, hand-waving examples of Trump's presentation skills and "gravitas."  Nothing specific.  No particular speech that would demonstrate those skills.

I've seen his presentation skills, unedited.  I've watched a couple of live news conferences, for as long as I could stand it.  I went to one of his rallies during the presidential race back in 2015.  He's a lousy speaker.  He rambles.  He goes off on weird tangents half-way through sentences.  He often doesn't complete his thoughts.  He is crude, mocking, a bully.

None of this indicates "gravitas."  None of this shows any great presentation skills.

Now compare that to some of his interviews from back in the 80's or 90's.  Here, Donald Trump explaining to Larry King why he didn't want to be President from 1987.  Or this unaired Rona Barret interview from 1980.  Or any of these interviews from the 1980s.  Show me a current extemporaneous speech or interview that is as coherent, focused and mature as any of these.  Provide a link so I can see it myself.

If he is such a great presenter and has such "gravitas," it should only take you a couple of minutes to find one that demonstrates your contention.  It's not like you'd have to sift through ten, twelve or twenty speeches and interviews to find one, since you are already familiar with his speeches and he is such a good presenter. :)

That is why I suggested to silence the TV and read out loud his words.  I did that when he spoke to the press after the Charlottesville rally and it's aftermath.  It was painful in my own voice.  To paraphrase Harrison Ford, you can hear his speech, but you sure can't read it!  ::)

So until you can provide a specific example of how Trump is still pretty much on top of his game as far as public speaking goes, don't feed me any line about his great presentation and  his "gravitas."  I haven't seen it.  And if you can't show me an example, I see no reason to believe it is true.

And if you can't, then we can move on to discussing how badly he has degenerated since his heyday. ;)

General Comments / Re: coronavirus
« on: March 11, 2020, 10:49:48 AM »
My wife and I are in the high-risk groups, but it's up to us to take precautions for ourselves.  Since almost everyone (99.8%) under 50 who get the disease will recover within 1-2 weeks (at most) I'm of the opinion that extraordinary measures should be reserved for people who aren't able to take those precautions.  Keep the schools open, let fans attend concerts and games, have fun at parties, just don't lick the punch bowl or sneeze on the salad bar.

The problem with this is that those in the high-risk groups interact with those under 50.  Are you going to quarantine yourselves from your children and grandchildren?  Or (if you don't have them), require those who do to do so?  How about those at grocery stores, pharmacies, and workplaces?  If everywhere is a hot-bed of Covid-19, those over 50 will have to isolate themselves for their own safety.

The other problem is with medical capacity.  Allowing the virus to spread uncontrollably can overwhelm the emergency ICUs for those who require help to recover.  P.Z. Myers has a nice graphic which illustrates this.  Allowing an uncontrolled spread of the virus guarantees a higher death rate simply because we don't have unlimited medical equipment and medicines for the worst cases.  Herd immunity is also important in controlling this disease.

And exactly how are you going to prevent those 5 - 9 year-olds from sneezing on the salad bar, much less the old codger who thinks it's all a bunch of hooey? ;)

Until we get an effective vaccine, we should use every tool available.

General Comments / Re: We gotta talk about Uncle Joe
« on: March 10, 2020, 06:41:42 PM »
With Trump, if you see him on an anti-Trump network, you will only see something pejorative, If they can't skew the real clip, they just won't show anything, and then paraphrase something else completely diametrically opposed to what he meant or said.

Fine.  Show me something from a non-anti-Trump network.  Show me some extemporaneous speech where he is coherent and shows "gravitas." Show me an example where he "turn(s) a phrase that makes the expensive rhetoric the Democrats create through focus groups and think tanks look pale."

Show me.

Because I'm from Missouri.  I'd like to see it for myself.

General Comments / Re: Economics and Covid-19
« on: March 10, 2020, 06:07:29 PM »
The last I heard, the White House told the CDC not to release their recommendation that the elderly and physically fragile avoid flying on commercial flights.

Sounds more like they were trying to protect the airlines at the possible cost of a few of the passengers.  ::)

General Comments / Re: We gotta talk about Uncle Joe
« on: March 10, 2020, 05:02:54 PM »

General Comments / Re: We gotta talk about Uncle Joe
« on: March 10, 2020, 04:59:33 PM »
As for Trump declining in his presentation skills, one must be on another planet to think that. He can turn a phrase that makes the expensive rhetoric the Democrats create through focus groups and think tanks look pale.

Could you link an interview that demonstrates that?  Because all the ones that I've heard, he sounds disjointed, unfocused, and not on top of things.

And the main reason his words vanish instantly is because they are replaced by another set of words that must be analyzed and explained.

And please, especially, provide some examples of Trump's "gravitas." :)

General Comments / Re: We gotta talk about Uncle Joe
« on: March 10, 2020, 04:14:15 PM »
But over the past few months, he genuinely looks to be in real cognitive decline. The kind of stuff where if it was your parent or grandparent, you might not demand they see someone right away, but it's obvious to everyone in the room that something is not entirely right anymore.

Well, I haven't seen it yet.  Of course, I've been listening to Trump for the last three years. :)

Seriously, have you listened to Donald when he's talking off the cuff, like at that news conference for the Corona virus?  As an experiment, try turning off the sound on your TV and reading his words out loud.  It's painful.

Then compare it to his interviews from the 1980s or 1990s.  He has definitely declined significantly over that period.  He's not entirely right anymore, either. :(

General Comments / Re: We gotta talk about Uncle Joe
« on: March 10, 2020, 12:22:41 PM »
Really?  Do ALL the people who know and work with Trump say he is a good man?  Aren't there a few who disagree? ;)

General Comments / Re: Trump's fake census
« on: March 09, 2020, 06:48:19 PM »

I don't doubt you know what the Democrats are saying, although I suspect that it is filtered through Fox, Brietbart, etc., which edit the messages to only the stuff they want you to hear.  But I still don't believe you know what they are thinking.

I believe your interpretation of their thoughts and motivations are highly colored by your personal biases.  That you ascribe motivations to them that they typically do not have.

And as far as logical fallacies--I find that you engage in them as much, if not more, than most members of this board.  Ad hominems, false dilemmas, straw man arguments, and slippery slope arguments come immediately to mind.  I used to point some of these out, until I realized that you did not appear to care.

I would also not say that "very nearly every post" of mine has logical fallacies and appeals to emotion.  I recall several times when you accused me of logical fallacies and I disputed them (quite well, if I say to myself :) ).  While I do try to appeal to people's sense of fairness and justice, I believe those are the logical outcomes of my reasoned statements.  I wouldn't call them overly emotional, except for the emotion of "righteous wrath."

So once again I would ask you to open your mind and consider that you don't know as much as you believe.  The motivations you ascribe to Liberals and Democrats are far, far from their true motivations.  See if you can see it from their point of view.  And I would ask that you look twice at my posts and see if there aren't fairly logical arguments to them.  I bet you would find much to think about if you did so.

And even if you don't find the logic compelling, please do not resort to dismissal and name-calling (e.g. TDS).  It's not going to help me be less illogical and emotional.  It will only piss me off and make me dismiss you.

General Comments / Re: We gotta talk about Uncle Joe
« on: March 09, 2020, 01:38:25 PM »
Good to know I'm not a leftwit after all. I like to think of myself as a good wit.

I personally like to consider myself to be simply a wit. :)

Unfortunately, people tell me I'm only half-right about that. ;)

General Comments / Re: Peace deal with Taliban
« on: March 06, 2020, 06:39:47 PM »
Better for me to hate you for rebutting an argument than for dismissing it, don't ya think?  If only for everyone else reading these threads. :)

General Comments / Re: Trump's fake census
« on: March 06, 2020, 02:51:27 PM »
And this is why you don't understand Democrats, and your characterizations of them are typically utter nonsense.

You're closed-minded and lack curiosity.

If you'd consider it for one second, you'd realize that Democrats see themselves as heroes, just as Republicans, Communists, and everyone else in this world does.  So any explanation of their own motivation would be high-minded, such as being fair and just to all.  And there are many sources you could look at to justify that belief.

Now, you may disagree with that belief, just as you may disagree with the way I characterized how Republicans are trying to make their majority permanent.  (They would say they are preventing voter fraud and such.)  But you should not dismiss it out-of-hand.  Even worse, you should not dismiss me out-of-hand and everything I say just because I tell you what Democrats are really thinking.

You would learn a lot more if you considered the others' point of view, why they believe what they believe, and the justifications they use for believing that.  After all, that is the purpose of this board, isn't it?  If we were here just to throw brick-bats at each other and ignore/dismiss what each other say, it would get pretty boring pretty fast, wouldn't it?  We'd become another Reddit or any of the many, many other boards out there that are full of nonsense, just saying "hurrah for our side!"

So while you may vigorously disagree with what I say, I'd suggest you still read it.  If only for your own edification.

General Comments / Re: Peace deal with Taliban
« on: March 06, 2020, 01:33:31 PM »
You do realize, Crunch, that saying "Orange Man Bad" is just another way to dismiss someone else's argument without actually addressing the argument.  Just like accusing them of TDS.

What? No props for the recursive algorithm? Come on, it was pretty good.

As Bones would say, "Damnit, Jim, I'm a doctor, not a programmer!"  Or something like that. :)

The thing is, most of you are not making any argument at all.

It would be better to point out and/or explain how it isn't an argument, than to simply dismiss it with a snide comment.  Because a lot of times, you miss the actual argument that was there, and just come off sounding like a jerk who doesn't have a good rebuttal.

General Comments / Re: Trump's fake census
« on: March 06, 2020, 11:59:53 AM »
Both parties have always wanted to build a permanent majority. If you remember all the way back in history to 2008, Democrats thought they’d done it.

The big difference is that Democrats thought they had done it by permanently winning over a majority of the country with fairness to all.  Republicans are trying to do it by disenfranchising the majority of the country (or at least enough so that the majority cannot win).

Until relatively recently gerrymandering was favoring Democrats as well - it’s really only in the last two redrawings of districts that Republicans took this particular power scam over.

Considering that redrawing of districts happens only once every 10 years, and we're about to have another such redrawing, "relatively recently" means about 29 years.  Which means Republicans have "taken over" this scam longer than the age of about 40 percent of the U.S. population.  I think it's time for them to own it. ;)

General Comments / Re: Trump's fake census
« on: March 05, 2020, 05:46:50 PM »
Now, now, Drake, I don't believe Crunch is saying that anyone here has "TDS" anymore, out of courtesy for myself and others on the board who find it offensive.

And most people will quickly realize that it's a campaign poll just from the questions.

What is worrisome is that some will consider it to be the "official" census.  Some of them will probably not fill out the real census form (especially the first round which they are asked to do on the internet) and require people to come to their door.  Some of them may not even provide information then, having "already done it" on this site.

Which, in the end, will bite Republicans in their hindquarters, since those people will be uncounted, and their districts may not get their full funding and representation. :)

I don't think the people who put this together thought it through very well...

General Comments / Re: Peace deal with Taliban
« on: March 04, 2020, 05:50:48 PM »
You do realize, Crunch, that saying "Orange Man Bad" is just another way to dismiss someone else's argument without actually addressing the argument.  Just like accusing them of TDS.

General Comments / Re: We gotta talk about Uncle Joe
« on: March 04, 2020, 04:20:02 PM »
Trump is going to eat him whole. Trump will put Hunter’s baby momma and illegitimate child in the front row of the debate and tee it up. Then he’ll go down the Biden crime family deals, cut over to Uncle Joe constantly sniffing and fondling 11 year old girls, groping grown women, and finish with Joe not even knowing what city he’s in or the office he’s running for or even the day of the week.

It’s going to be brutal. Trump bringing up Clinton’s history of raping women will seem quaint.

So the family that currently makes millions in overseas deals is going to criticize Biden for his son taking thousands from Ukraine?  So the p***y-grabber and porn-star buggerer is going to call Biden a groper?  So the man who only speaks at a fourth-grade level is going to show how much smarter he is than Biden? :)

Perhaps the Fox viewers will fall for it, but not everyone watches only Fox News.

Remember, Crunch, that Trump only won by 200,000 more votes in four states.  It won't take much to tip that scale.  And accusing your opponent of stuff you're even more guilty of may not work out as well as you think.  ;D

General Comments / Re: We gotta talk about Uncle Joe
« on: March 04, 2020, 04:05:04 PM »
This is a great post.

There are no deal makers in the party! I means sure, there’s some deals made by a few people that run things and then there’s the people that so conveniently cut deals to exit right before Super Tuesday but that’s it! Other than that, totally open and honest!   ;D

I suppose you only vote for a party that is "totally open and honest?"  One where the President or the Senate Majority Leader never lies to the American people?  Where the party always makes sure their members have a choice in the primary elections and never cancels them because Trump is going to win anyway, so why bother? ;)

Deals are made.  Amy, Pete, Tom and now Mike probably wouldn't have won anyway, not because a few people stopped them but because they weren't popular enough among all Democratic voters.  Campaigns are expensive, so throwing good money after bad isn't a good idea.  This way they can salvage something out of their run.

Amy, Pete, Tom and Mike losing wasn't because of some puppet masters.  They were losing anyway because of the Democratic voters.  Any deals just hastened their almost-inevitable departure.

General Comments / Re: We gotta talk about Uncle Joe
« on: March 04, 2020, 12:13:26 PM »
Now looking like homeless drifters, the Left elitists don't want to become them. They seem to be deathly afraid of what Bernie Sanders would do to their party.

It’s amazing to see the Democrats literally have an elite group that decides who you get to vote for; anybody can run for the nomination  but it’s an illusion of choice. The nominee is decided in back room deals before the primaries even start.

You guys seem to be under the impression that there is a group that controls the Democratic Party and "pulls the strings."

Care to tell me who they might be?

Sure, there are those who run the party.  But their influence is limited, and they don't seem to be very smart with the little they have.  I mean, if they're so afraid of Bernie, why did they allow him, an Independent, run as a Democrat in the first place back in 2016?  Why let him run again?

And while I agree that there was probably some deals reached with Pete and Amy to get them to leave before Super Tuesday, I'm sure it is far less nefarious than you make it sound.  Probably some offer of a cabinet position or such if Biden wins.  Who's to complain that they accepted the offer?  They almost certainly were not going to win the nomination.  It makes the field smaller so that a clear winner can be chosen.  And if you consider the offers to be even somewhat nefarious, why would you want them contending to run the country in the first place? What does it say about their character that they accepted such an offer?  After all, they might win! ;)

Although I am not comfortable with the choices we have left, I was never entirely comfortable with any of the choices.  But now the Democrats can see for themselves how much support comes from the left wing of the party and the moderate wing, which will help them balance the ticket for the all-important November election.

One must remember that the 3rd largest gain for the Dow, percentage-wise, occurred on October 30, 1929--two days after "Black Monday"--where the Dow gained 12.84 percent of its value.  Of course, that didn't last too long. :)

Exactly how the stock market will react to COVID-19 is still up in the air.  As Electoral-Vote put it this morning:

Following a disastrous week last week, the Dow Jones had a nice little rebound on Monday, posting a 1,294-point gain, the largest in history by points. That doesn't erase all of the 3,583 points it lost in the seven previous days, but it does erase a big chunk of it.

So, what comes next for this roller coaster of a stock market? Well, the experts agree that there is definitely a possibility that the Dow Jones might just go up or down, or it may stay steady, but it is absolutely certain that either something good or something bad is about to happen unless, of course, nothing much happens at all. You can take that to the bank.

What is certainly true, though, is that any person who thinks the stock market is "starting to look very good to me" is living in his own little la-la land. :)

General Comments / Re: We gotta talk about Uncle Joe
« on: February 28, 2020, 04:44:58 PM »
TDS makes you bitter.

I told you before, Crunch, I don't like to be called insane. Stop it.
I told you before, I'm not calling you insane. Nobody is. It's just something you're making up.

Really?  I explained this to you before.  Which didn't you say?

But dude, the symptoms of TDS is getting tiresome.
TDS makes you bitter.

Or, in the Live It Off the Wall thread:

Trump Derangement Syndrome is a form of insanity.

By elementary logic, that means that you consider anyone with TDS to have a form of insanity, i.e. the person is insane.

So the only question is, are you as dumb as a rock and can't follow simple logic that any fourth-grader could (if A=B and B=C, then A=C, the commutative property) or are you a bold-faced liar who thinks he can just deny what he has said and thinks we're all too stupid to realize it?

So which is it?  Are you stupid?  Or just dishonest?

Whichever, just stop it.  Now.

General Comments / Re: Unlock 'Em Up! Unlock 'Em Up!
« on: February 27, 2020, 06:43:51 PM »
I think you missed part of "the deep state" issue is that they will go after those they deem a threat to their interests, and will generally ignore those they consider to be friendly towards them.

Pair that with how Hillary was handled by Obama's DoJ/FBI, and you end with valid questions about if the lack of corruption charges/convictions under Obama has more to do with lack of interest by the decision makers in pursuing the matter. (And offering immunity deals for doing basically nothing; if they've been given immunity, you can't press charges against them, or convict them)

The problem is that there is no way to prove the negative.

What evidence is there that the cases against the Obama Administration were actually weak enough not to pursue vs. that they just didn't want to pursue them?  Unless you have faith in the DoJ/FBI, there is no way to prove it one way or another.

And that is the worst part of the "deep state" conspiracy theory--it makes those who believe it doubt our institutions.  Once we lose faith in the DoJ and the FBI, then everything becomes a witch-hunt and political, and there no longer is any justice in our country.  Then you can kiss your democracy goodbye. :(

Which is another reason I hate Trump, since he is trying hard to make us lose faith in those institutions, and (it looks like) corrupt them himself.  >:(

How did Bernie not get the nomination in 2016?

Because Hillary had enough delegates to win by the convention.  As I recall, she didn't need the superdelegates.

And what does the "deep state" have to do with internal Democratic Party politics?  The Democratic Party is not a state, IFAIK. :)

General Comments / Re: Unlock 'Em Up! Unlock 'Em Up!
« on: February 27, 2020, 04:44:28 PM »
I do recognize that I have bias, and I do try to moderate my positions based on the knowledge that I am probably missing something because of them.  But that knowledge can only go so far.

When I said at the beginning that Trump has "shown how corrupt Washington is by showing how corrupt they could be," it wasn't based on this one particular instant of pardoning corrupt politicians like Blagojevich.  It also included pardoning Joe Apario even before he was convicted; having lawyers declare that the President cannot be indicted or even investigated for a crime while in office; siding with Russia against our own intelligence agencies; having his representatives pressure Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden and his son; and, of course, having multiple people associated with his campaign and Administration indicted, and some convicted, of wrong doing.  Among others.

And when pointing out these problems, I and others are accused of "TDS," it is obvious that I am on to something. :)

And, of course, while the Left may be subject to bias, the Right is subject to it, too.  How much of the denials of Trump's behavior is from lies, half-truths, spin and the like?  How much of the denials are because the Republicans simply don't want to believe that their candidate is as horrible a President as the facts indicate?  I mean, when you have someone who left the Administration write a tell-all book that says the Administration acting in an incompetent and arbitrary manner, that's one thing.  When it happens again and again and again, that's another.  Especially when Trump only hires "the best people."  ;D

This is why Republicans have created the myth of the "deep state."  So that they can say that every single on of these honorable people are lying, being part of a huge conspiracy to undermine the President.  After all, what else could it be since everything the President does is so obviously perfect?  (Just ask him. ;) )

How do you keep from letting your biases cloud your views and judgement?  Listen to a lot of people.  Check you beliefs with those who will consider your views and point out weaknesses and errors.  Find out other points of view.  Keep an open mind.  Hope and pray. :)

But when others simply start bullying you, trying to say you must be deranged to believe what you are seeing, then you're not getting feedback, but gas lighted.  And what is the only reasonable response to someone who tries to gas light you?

General Comments / Re: We gotta talk about Uncle Joe
« on: February 27, 2020, 12:59:57 PM »
TDS makes you bitter.

I told you before, Crunch, I don't like to be called insane. Stop it.

You know what Biden does with 4th graders, right? Very handsy, loves to sniff’em. Also not a good look.

And how does the way Biden interacts with fourth-graders have do with the fact that Trump speaks at a fourth-grade level when extemporaneously speaking?  If you are so concerned with the possibility of deterioration of Biden's mental capacities, shouldn't you also be concerned with the current Commander-in-Chief's mental capacities?  Isn't it more of a concern that the person currently with his finger on the button talks like a fourth-grader, sometimes speaks incoherently, slurs words, and often makes illogical jumps in his speeches?

If this is an important issue, shouldn't we consider all candidates, not just a few of the Democratic ones?  Or is mental deterioration only something that happens to Democrats? ;)

General Comments / Re: We gotta talk about Uncle Joe
« on: February 26, 2020, 06:39:46 PM »
Are you sure?  ;)

At least Biden doesn't talk to you like you're a fourth-grader. :)

Now the only question is whether he thinks you're only as smart as a fourth-grader or if he is only as smart as a fourth-grader? ;)

General Comments / Re: We gotta talk about Uncle Joe
« on: February 26, 2020, 05:32:05 PM »
While Uncle Joe doesn't seem as sharp as he used to be, he still strikes me as head-and-shoulders above the current occupant of the White House.

The Coronavirus is very much under control in the USA. We are in contact with everyone and all relevant countries. CDC & World Health have been working hard and very smart. Stock Market starting to look very good to me!

Tweet from the President on Monday, Feb. 24--the day the stock market dropped 1031 points, one of the largest drop in points on a single-day, and after dropping 225 points on Friday and 128 points on Thursday.

General Comments / Re: Unlock 'Em Up! Unlock 'Em Up!
« on: February 21, 2020, 05:40:05 PM »
The thing is that Trump has already established a pattern of trying to use his executive powers to benefit himself and his cronies.  Calling Roger Stone's suggested punishment too severe; instructing his subordinates not to testify when subpoenaed; having lawyers argue that he cannot be indicted or investigated for crimes while he is in office; etc.  Pardoning people who happen to have committed crimes he may be charged with one day seems to fit the pattern.  Also, they could be a prelude to him pardoning his own people for similar crimes, e.g. the aforementioned Roger Stone.

So while it is because of who Trump is, it is because he is the type of guy who seems to use his powers to benefit himself.

And while it is extremely difficult, if not impossible, to objectively show that he is far-and-beyond worse than any other recent President in his behavior, there is one thing that I believe is indisputable:  If Obama had done half of what Trump has done in apparent scandals, Republicans would be calling for his head on a platter and calling him the most corrupt President in history.

So I don't feel guilty if I may be a bit more circumspect about Trump's behavior than most other Presidents', since Trump has established a pattern.  And even if I'm wrong, I'm just keeping up the Republican tradition.  ;D

General Comments / Re: Unlock 'Em Up! Unlock 'Em Up!
« on: February 21, 2020, 04:49:06 PM »
The thread is partly because the pardons seems suspicious on the face of them (Why so many white-collar crime pardons?), and partly ironic--a person who many hoped would "drain the swamp" and arrest those political criminals of the other party ends up pardoning those convicted of the types of crimes they were hoping to be pursued, including those from the other party.  ;D

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