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  • in reply to: Crickets #88018
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    The title of the ScienceDirect article is quite reasonable. The bar graph of case fatality rates is about where I expect the numbers to be with 2.5% for those over 85. The bar graph for vaccine deaths might be reasonable with a death rate of 0.002% for those over 65. Now how do I make sense of a 5 to 1 death rate for the vaccinations versus Covid deaths. This doesn’t seem to compute. I suspect an accidental misstatement, a typographical error, a problem with language translation, or something like that.

    in reply to: Debt Rattle September 23 2021 #87862
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    Here’s another data set that I rejected. On 26 July, a chart was presented with a set of Covid survival rates for various ages. I don’t know where these rates came from or what data was used, but they looked a bit suspect to me. I used population figures adapted from the 2000 census to calculate the expected deaths assuming 100% of population was infected.

    Ages Rates % Population Deaths
    0-14 99.9998 71,400,249 143
    15-44 99.9931 147,205,608 10,157
    45-64 99.9294 73,413,874 51,830
    65-85 99.6297 36,441,317 134,942
    >85 98.2499 5,023,911 87,923
    333,484,959 284,995

    The other day, Denninger was using 20% of the population as currently the total percent previously infected. Then the total deaths would currently be 56,999. I consider this way too low, and therefore the survival rates are way too high. We know the Covid statistics are unreliable but probably not so bad as to count 57 thousand dead as 700 thousand. Naturally, all individuals need to determine for themselves what the risks are and what their tolerance for risk is.

    I’m currently leaning in the direction of the Mayo Clinic data, and I will need some considerable convincing to deviate from their case fatality rates by a large amount: New York 2.34%. California 1.50. Florida 1.42. Texas 1.59. Ohio 1.65. Wisconsin 1.14. Colorado 1.17.

    Some have argued for good reason that the number infected and the dead are over-counted. Others have argued for an under-count. Both are most likely going on for specific reasons. My guess is that over all both infections and deaths are being under-counted with the infections under-counted more than the deaths. Because the deaths are more reliably counted than the infections, I suspect that these Mayo Clinic rates are too high, but I would much rather overestimate the risk than underestimate it. Those who consistently underestimate risk are prone to win Darwin Awards.

    in reply to: Debt Rattle September 23 2021 #87861
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    Polder Dweller wrote, “I have to say that I don’t personally know anyone (yet) who has actually had a severe reaction to the jabs.” That’s the way I felt, and I wanted to decide what I was willing to believe. My conversations with relatives and friends was my attempt to decide. So, I came to the conclusion that I am willing to believe that perhaps 30,000 people in the US have died from the vaccinations, but I am not willing to believe the 200,000 figure.

    I trust Dr Peter McCullough more than anyone else I can think of regarding the novel Corona virus epidemic. When he says 41,000 people have died from the vaccines in the US, UK, and EU, I accept that as a reasonable number, although I suspect that is a minimum.

    I don’t consider Steve Kirsch to be a knowledgeable authority figure, and I reject his data. That could change in the future with more data and additional people coming forward with cogent arguments.

    Using McCullough’s figure, someone in the US would have to know about 10,000 people to have a good chance of finding one killed by the vaccine, and perhaps know 200 people quite well to run into one with serious injury from the vaccine.

    in reply to: Debt Rattle September 22 2021 #87773
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    I view most of the Internet as similar to a hog farm lagoon. The propaganda specialists of all types seem to dominate by a wide margin.

    About 6 weeks ago, I decided I needed to try to get a handle on the reality of Covid infections and vaccination. I started calling relatives and friends in my rather small network. I asked if they knew or knew of anyone who died of Covid or had a very bad experience with it. I also asked if they knew of anyone who died or had a very bad reaction to the vaccine. I came up with 26 or 27 deaths from Covid. Those who had larger networks claimed they knew of quite a few who had very bad symptoms with Covid, but no one had any numbers.

    Not one person knew of anyone who died from the vaccine or had any seriously bad reaction to it. The vaccinated people I know personally range in age from late teens and into the 90s and are typically middle class.

    I had a long conversation with one of my relatives, and after she told me that she knew of no one who had a bad reaction to the vaccine, it finally came out that she had a bad pain in her lower leg about a week after her second injection. The doctor told her that she probably had a clot that resulted from a micro fracture in her ankle. Attempts to image the clot and fracture were unsuccessful. The doctor admitted that this condition might be due to the vaccine, but that was highly unlikely because adverse reactions are “very rare.”

    Doctors are good enough at covering up adverse reactions with a good story, that information about adverse reactions in my extended network is unlikely to reach me. Still, I think that information about a clear case of death would reach me.

    My wild guesstimate is that my extended network included perhaps 3000 people. With 20% of them having been infected, my case fatality rate looks way too high. I don’t want to attempt any explanation. If half of them were actually vaccination deaths, which I doubt, the fatality rate is still too high. My opinion is that Covid deaths are considerably higher than vaccination deaths.

    My conversations were very casual and the results have to be considered anecdotal. There are a fair number of participants in this web site. Perhaps a few of them would be willing to try the same type of inquiry, and maybe they would be able to develop a more formal and accurate approach. If so, I would be very interested in the results.

    in reply to: Debt Rattle September 20 2021 #87604
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    Elementary Statistical Analysis. If one desires to compare the Covid vaccinated to those who are unvaccinated, create two nearly equal populations by randomization of the participants. Inject one half with the vaccine and the other with a placebo. Count the subsequent infections in the two populations.

    That’s what Pfizer did. 43,548 test subjects were randomized and divided in two. After about 3 and ½ months, eight of the vaccinated developed Covid and 168 of the unvaccinated developed Covid. That convinced me that the vaccine was somewhat effective in the short run. Safety requires more time and analysis.

    Then the variants started appearing, and some seemed to be able to not only bypass the vaccine but to even cause death. Now, if the medical establishment wants to continue using the vaccine, another controlled study is needed for the dominant new variant to prove efficacy. Obvious.

    Pfizer won’t do this. They know the current vaccine would not look good. If forced, Pfizer would create a new vaccine for the variant. At “warp speed,” that would require 6 months to test in a new pristine set of volunteers. Another variant might appear and take over before the new vaccine could be finished with testing. We would see the general public become frustrated and disillusioned with the vaccine program. Better to just pretend the vaccine works.

    From the Lancet article (TAE 15 Sep.):
    Randomised trials are relatively easy to interpret reliably, but there are substantial challenges in estimating vaccine efficacy from observational studies undertaken in the context of rapid vaccine roll-out. Estimates may be confounded both by patient characteristics at the start of vaccine roll-out and by time-varying factors that are missed by electronic health records.”

    “Substantial challenges” is a gross understatement. If someone claims that the vaccine is effective against other variants, show me the randomized control trial. Electronic health record data is useless.

    Denninger (TAE 12 Sep.) claims that the vaccinated are more likely to become infected than the unvaccinated in a Public Health England paper. This is a misuse of general health data base statistics, …in my opinion this is not a “controlled” study. The paper even states, “The vaccination status of cases, inpatients, and deaths is not the most appropriate method to assess vaccine effectiveness and there is a high risk of misinterpretation.” Later on in the same paper, a table seems to imply that unvaccinated are 3 or 4 times as likely to die. This is also a faulty assumption for the same reason. The differences between the vaccinated and the unvaccinated could be due to socioeconomic status, nutrition, life style, occupation, use of tobacco, alcohol, drugs, and a hundred other complications.

    Hirschhorn (TAE 13 Sep.) looks to me like another flawed attempt to compare the vaccinated to the unvaccinated from a general data base. (I can’t get full access to the article now, but I recall that an opposite conclusion would be found from the younger patients.)

    The recent CDC paper claiming that unvaccinated are eleven times as likely to die as the vaccinated appears to me to make the same blunder by using an electronic health data base. I consider the paper to be a deliberate fraud. No wonder responsible federal employees are resigning.

    The so-called “test-negative case-controls” observational studies that are used as a substitute for randomized controlled studies may be valid approximations if the people doing the study are highly experienced experts with real integrity. The studies are fast and cheap but prone to error. They need to be reviewed by other experts to validate the study and to make sure that the vaccines truly do provide some benefit above being unvaccinated. This is a situation where errors are easily made, but a valid study is very difficult. “Inappropriate control selection can lead to selection bias and, consequently, invalid conclusions:
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6888869/

    What would happen if one of these studies showed that the vaccine was ineffective against the delta variant? Wouldn’t that be politically incorrect? Politicians, agency bureaucrats, and corporate executives might be embarrassed. The vaccination program would need to be shut down. Start over from scratch. This looks like a case where there would be tremendous pressure brought to bear on those conducting the “test-negative” study to arrive at the politically correct result. So, it’s hard for me to trust this type of data.

    in reply to: Debt Rattle September 13 2021 #87058
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    There is a good little satire video on YouTube that can be found by searching “Ivermectin Lincoln Project” if you’re in the mood. It has a lot of horse****, but I found it funny. Not significant enough to post here.

    in reply to: Debt Rattle September 11 2021 #86898
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    The CDC report on vaccinated versus unvaccinated is not written for the layman, and I’m not sure I can interpret it correctly. I haven’t studied it carefully either. In my interpretation, the raw data seems to show that the case fatality rate for the unvaccinated is 1.077%, while the case fatality rate for the vaccinated is 1.330%. In other words, it appears to show that the vaccinations are the more dangerous. But these raw numbers are a misrepresentation of reality.

    https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/70/wr/mm7037e1.htm

    Then, they calculate an age-adjusted case fatality rate to come up with the factor of 11 between the two situations and favoring vaccination. This is a very complex calculation. I don’t trust anything the CDC says because they have repeatedly shown a lack of integrity. However, I think it definitely is appropriate to calculate an age-adjusted rate because older people are more likely to be vaccinated, die, etc.

    Epidemiology is a very demanding profession. Extracting useful conclusions from very complex data is quite difficult and sometimes impossible. For example, the CDC should also do some adjustment for level of wealth. Many of the unvaccinated are among the less wealthy because they quite rightly do not trust the government. The less wealthy are also less likely to use nutritional supplements like vitamins D3, C, and zinc. And again, they are more likely to seek medical help only after they are extremely sick.

    So, I reject the raw data for understanding vaccination risk, and I also reject the CDC calculation. I consider the risk data to be impossible for me to interpret. I do trust the fatality rate being in the realm of 1% though, because this is consistent with the bulk of the available statistics.

    in reply to: Debt Rattle September 10 2021 #86811
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    Particularly frightening if true: J Mercola, J Mikovits, S Seneff.

    The Long-Term Dangers of Experimental mRNA Shots

    in reply to: Debt Rattle September 10 2021 #86805
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    Some time ago, my wife and I decided to try a dose of the horse wormer, ivermectin. We’ve been giving this to horses for years, and it is only right that we should see what it’s like. I took a dose suitable for a 300 pound animal, which is bit above the recommended protocol for Covid 19. We found it odd that a bit of the paste on the tip of the tongue feels warm. Other than that, we had no effect.

    Some weeks later, we tried it again with the same results. If someone takes ivermectin for a Covid infection, it will either help recovery, or act as a harmless placebo. I suppose there are people with unusual medical conditions that might have a problem with ivermectin, but it is known to be among the safest of all pharmaceuticals.

    I consider it a deliberate and blatant lie when someone claims that horse wormer is in a concentrated form suited only for farm animals. The carrier paste dilutes the ivermectin making it easier on the horse’s esophagus and stomach. If the carrier paste is not specifically designed to sooth the stomach, it is at least designed to not be irritating. Stomach irritation, nausea, colic, and ulcers are much more dangerous for a horse than for a human. No responsible supplier of horse products would deliberately make something irritating for the horse’s stomach. [Horses have the same problem with NSAIDs that we do.] Many, if not most, horse medications come out of the same bottle in the same pharmacy as we get human medications.

    Some of the women in my family have problems taking ordinary vitamins due to stomach upset. In my opinion, horse wormer is a superior formulation as opposed to using the tablets one might get from a pharmacy because it is easier on the stomach. Perhaps other pharmaceuticals and nutritional supplements should also be available in a carrier paste formulation.

    I see the price of ivermectin horse wormer going up and down along with the US infection rate. Therefore, horse wormer is obviously the path of least complication for most people. Note that there are other horse wormers for other purposes: strongid, moxidectin, praziquantel, and fenbendazole. If anyone is going to use horse wormer, they should make sure to get the tubes with only ivermectin as the active ingredient and calculate the proper dose. I doubt that the other wormers will harm a human, but no one is claiming that they help with a Covid infection.

    in reply to: Debt Rattle September 1 2021 #86005
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    Texas data:

    “DSHS doesn’t track the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations among vaccinated people statewide because hospitals are not required to report that information to the state.”

    If any part of the data is manipulated, I reject it all.

    in reply to: Debt Rattle July 25 2021 #80876
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    On the crazy Joseph Mercola. Opinion of the New York Times:

    Mercola claim: “Then over its next 3400 words, it declared coronavirus vaccines were “a medical fraud” and said the injections did not prevent infections, provide immunity or stop transmission of the disease.”

    https://www.smh.com.au/world/north-america/little-known-osteopath-in-the-spotlight-as-an-anti-vaxx-superspreader-20210725-p58crr.html

    in reply to: Debt Rattle June 28 2021 #78455
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    in reply to: Debt Rattle June 26 2021 #78313
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    Medicating horses can raise the difficulty of getting them to ingest the medication. For a small amount of relatively tasteless medication, it might be added to the horse’s grain or pelleted food. With ivermectin, the horse would need to accept a large number of unpleasant pills. Good luck with that.
    The ivermectin horse gel is an attempt to get around that problem. The gel is supposed to stick to the inside of the horse’s oral cavity and mask somewhat the taste. The horse will end up swallowing the medication while trying to work that gel out of its mouth.
    Apple flavored or not, they don’t like the ivermectin gel. It’s best for the horse to start with an empty mouth. If they have been eating hay, they may have wads of hay sitting in their mouth. The ivermectin gel can end up mostly stuck on the hay wads, and the horse will spit them out.
    The manufacturers of these products don’t put information on the make up of the gel with their packages, and it may vary from one manufacturer to another. I suspect the gel is relatively inert.
    A farmer on YouTube has done a taste test and describes it as like eating petroleum jelly. The packages warn that humans should not eat this horse gel. The package may state that if a person should “accidentally” ingest the gel, that vomiting should be induced. I suppose that would not be necessary if one should “deliberately” ingest the gel.
    Ivermectin is also used in cattle and sheep. Some dog breeds cannot tolerate ivermectin. The safe dose for cats is very small.
    The tubes of horse ivermectin have traditionally cost about $3 or on sale for about $2. Since the information about the use of ivermectin for Covid -19 came out, the price of these tubes has gone up. There must be significant numbers of people around the world buying these tubes for personal use. Early last year, some enterprising profiteer bought up a supply of these tubes and was trying to sell them on E-bay for $30. Hoarding seems to have become a way of life.

    in reply to: Debt Rattle April 28 2021 #74037
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    Hunter Biden should get Matt Gaetz to help teach the class.

    The “Hunter Biden” and “Matt Gaetz” stories are non-stories that are used for purely political purposes and for distractions from the real stories. The “Russian collusion” and “stolen election” stories are also non-stories. Demonstrate verifiable facts, or get lost.

    That billionaires pay very little taxes would be a real story. Topcat’s post the other day, that most people in high places fall into the sociopath/psychopath range, would be a real story. Those are the kind of stories that we are discouraged from discussing.

    *Also “overcrowding is almost generic,” overcrowding is something I think about most often.

    in reply to: Teenage Mutant Ninja Virus #72812
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    If a person chooses to be injected with a Covid-19 “vaccine”, one should have the right to choose which to use. If a person should choose to be injected with one produced in Russia or India, that should be a personal choice. If the government claims that one of these is not safe, the burden of proof should be on the government to prove that assertion beyond a reasonable doubt. [And the same applies to treatment protocols.]

    in reply to: Debt Rattle March 21 2021 #71544
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    “Hugh Rodham replaced Al Capone.” Interesting if true. Provide a reliable source.

    in reply to: Putin is 1000x Biden #71471
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    @ madamski

    You’ll have to remind me of Carter doing anything of significance to rein in the military.

    I suspect that Trump is the most ignorant person to ever inhabit the presidency.

    Also, I consider his extreme narcissism to be a serious mental illness that manifests itself a lot like psychosis. I’ll leave the diagnosis to the professionals:

    https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/the-shared-psychosis-of-donald-trump-and-his-loyalists/

    However, on occasion Trump could set aside the nonsense and display a good bit of common sense. At times, I wondered if Hillary could show any common sense.

    I feel that the only things Trump really cared about was being THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA to feed his narcissism and grabbing any money that was available.

    in reply to: Putin is 1000x Biden #71464
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    Trump foolishly thought he was going to be in charge of something. The National Security State invented the idea of election collusion with Russia to manipulate Trump, and it worked perfectly. Trump was totally distracted and constantly whining about the witch hunt. Soon they had Trump claiming that he was harder on Russia than anyone else. In the end, Trump couldn’t even order 2500 troops out of the forever war in Afghanistan.

    Every president from LBJ to the present has been owned by the National Security State. They do what they are told to do. JFK seemed to be willing to go against the war establishment, and we see where that got him.

    The United States is a runaway train constrained by the dictates of the National Security State to maximize the consumption of tax dollars. If the president behaves himself, he gets to ride in the caboose for awhile.

    Joe Biden has been in Washington for a long time. He knows he is not in charge of much of anything. He and his staff are going to do as they are told because they have no alternative. Policy runs much more smoothly when politicians know their place.

    in reply to: Debt Rattle March 12 2021 #71025
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    Home insurance costs are how I experience inflation. Recently, I read that home insurance costs were rising at about 4 to 5 percent annually. The insurance prices follow home prices. So I suppose that home insurance cost inflation is going to at least double soon. I expect homelessness to increase dramatically as well. The Federal Government and the Federal Reserve appear determined to exterminate a great many citizens.

    That chart of organism abundance versus mass is quite useful. If we take the black best-fit line as optimal, the “human average” abundance is about 100 times the optimum abundance. That is about right provided that the environmental footprint of individual humans isn’t excessive. Perhaps the government is using this chart for economic policy determination.

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    This is quite similar to what Judy Mikovits was saying nearly a year ago or more. She is a very well educated and experienced biochemist, but I’m at the point where I don’t trust much of anything from anyone. As a non-expert, I have to just take any new information with the proverbial grain of salt and wait and see.

    in reply to: Debt Rattle March 7 2021 #70737
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    I don’t see rising interest rates. What I see is a very common reversion to the mean. Interest rates are super low. The current 1.5% for the ten year hasn’t been seen for decades. Besides, I don’t expect rates to remain this high for long. Now if the ten year yield went to 4% and appeared to be headed higher, then we could start talking about rising rates. Wolf Richter is right to refer to Wall Street crybabies.

    Cancel culture: Public discussion usually focuses on the trivial to distract from the serious:

    500,000 dead, 2.3 million incarcerated, 750,000 homeless, more than 10 million without work, record income inequality, rising sea levels, millions without power or water for more than a week and it’s….“cancel culture” that’s destroying America. If that’s what Bill Maher considers American normal, perhaps it deserves to be destroyed.” Jeffrey St. Clair, Counterpunch.

    in reply to: Heal the Planet for Profit – Redux #69727
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    Bill Gates is not an expert in science or technology. He is missing an education. A common logical fallacy is to assume an expert in one field knows something about another field.

    Bill Gates should use his expertise to write a book on the creation, maintenance, and defense of a large monopoly with a strong hierarchical structure to become fabulously wealthy through anti-competitive practices. That is the only thing that Bill Gates is an expert in that I’m aware of.

    Politicians are experts in getting elected and little else. Bureaucrats know how to please their masters but shouldn’t be assumed to have any real expertise. (See Fauci.)

    in reply to: Debt Rattle January 11 2021 #68139
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    Liberal authoritarianism. Authoritarian liberalism. Happy sadness. Joyful despair. Profligate austerity. The examples are endless.

    I can imagine George Carlin doing a long routine on the re-definers of words.

    in reply to: COVID Equals Groundhog Day #66113
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    @ upstateNYer

    Thanks for your comments.
    I have a number of auto immune conditions among my relatives, and the names of these conditions always seem to be new to me. (primary biliary cholangitis?) Are these due to viruses, retroviruses, diet, genetics, something else? A family member developed something like CFS leaving her gasping for breath for a couple of decades before her death. This was caused by a doubling of her hypertension medication, and her pulmonary doctor told us from the start that this was irreversible. So I’m quite familiar that life is full of risks.

    When I outline how I calculate risks, I’m not saying anyone should follow my reasoning. Everyone needs to do their own calculation based on their knowledge and personal situation. Chris Martenson said a couple months ago that he thought we were near heard immunity. I believe that Raul stated that he thought the number of infected persons might be eight times the number on Worldometer. I think it’s more like three times the Worldometer number. None of us knows for sure. The data is incomplete, uncertain, and sometimes deliberately fraudulent.

    Taleb says that we are dealing with fat-tailed distributions leaving us with uncertainty and unknowable risks. I have responsibilities to family, friends, and animals. I have responsibilities to their lives, health, and finances. Those responsibilities help determine how I respond to risk. The responsibilities for you, Raul, or Dr D might be vastly different. So act accordingly.

    I read about people interned in Japanese concentration camps during World War Two. Those people who took many careless risks didn’t survive. Those who took no risks at all didn’t survive. The people who took very calculated risks were those who survived. That’s exactly the way life is Darwinian.

    “Flatten the Curve” was intended to be a short term attempt to avoid overtaxing the healthcare system while we determined how to deal with the virus. China, South Korea, Vietnam, Thailand, New Zealand, and Australia decided to crush the curve out of existence. And they can do it in about 30 days. Sweden decided to let the virus run wild. The US strategy is to “muddle through.” We have no choice. Our nations governors and mayors have demonstrated conclusively that they have no leadership ability whatsoever. The state health departments are clueless. The Federal Government is AWOL.

    Some new efforts will obviously be forthcoming in the US. I find it hard to be optimistic about that.

    in reply to: COVID Equals Groundhog Day #66110
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    I’ve lost one middle-aged person in my extended family to Covid but no elderly persons as far as I know.

    One of my immediate family members developed Covid the first week in March, had mild symptoms, and seemed to recover quickly. However, he had a lack of energy and now has trouble climbing the stairs. He has excellent health insurance and went through hospital tests for his heart and lungs that turned out normal. That makes one think of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, but I doubt he will be diagnosed with myalgic encephalomyelitis. He is middle-aged and has been a jogger with occasional marathons. After 9 months, can he expect a recovery? I suspect many similar people will eventually be diagnosed with “Post Covid Syndrome.”

    A number of medical doctors and researchers are studying these disabilities, but there are no reliable data yet for the infection/disability rate. We probably won’t have that data for at least a couple of years. An infection/disability rate ten times the infection fatality rate would not be surprising. Some of those disabilities would be minor, and others would result in a lower life expectancy.

    A significant percentage of the US population thinks that a Covid infection is not a serious concern. My question would be whether they think they are healthier than Chinese doctor Li Wenliang who died from Covid. I suspect that he received a large inoculum from one of his patients, and his immune system was unable to respond in time. That initial inoculum may be more important than age and most co-morbidities. There are children who have died of Covid. I read of a 113 year old woman in Spain who recovered from Covid, although she did receive hydroxychloroquine and zinc.

    I find it hard to trust the varying health data because politics has interfered to such a large extent. So I calculate my own data. I take the Worldometer dead and increase it by 25% to give me currently about 330,000 dead in the US. Using a infection/fatality rate of 0.01%, the total number of people infected by Covid in the US would be about 33 million or 10% of the US population. So, we are far from herd immunity.

    If there are no interventions, by the time we get to herd immunity, we might have about 2.5 million dead and, who knows, perhaps 25 million disabled persons. That would be worse than all our wars combined. But of course we definitely will have interventions. Reality has a way of imposing itself on politicians and others no matter how foolish.

    in reply to: Debt Rattle November 3 2020 #65144
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    Somewhere I saw that someone had a bumper sticker with “Any Functioning Human Being 2020.” Like me, that bumper sticker owner is going to be very disappointed this week regardless of how the vote turns out.

    I think that the choice in 2016 was worse. But we haven’t had any good choices in a long while.

    in reply to: Debt Rattle November 2 2020 #65116
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    Just one more election failure in the Age of the Con Artist.

    Most Americans, as well as people in other nations, recognize that Trump and Biden are both corrupt, incompetent, geriatric buffoons, and they differ in style more than substance. Both take pride in being war criminals, so be prepared for more stupid wars. They have been very good at getting their faces on TV through the years but habitually tell lies while having little intelligent to say. Their mouths are like random comment generators that routinely produce crazed nonsense.

    Mike Pence appears to favor a theocracy, a dangerous and un-American idea. Pence hasn’t had as many scandals as the other three, but like them, Pence primarily attends the Church of Big Money. Kamala Harris was chosen because she was the most corrupt of the women running. Harris should be disqualified by her involvement in the National Mortgage Settlement alone, not to mention other things.

    The most corrupt members of Congress are the leaders: Mitch McConnell, Nancy Pelosi, and Charles Schumer. This is no secret. For at least 2 decades, Americans have been responding to polls by claiming that government is completely corrupt. The Congress also has a substantial population of goofballs like Tom Cotton, Ted Cruz, and Adam Schiff.

    The Democratic and Republican parties have abandoned the American family and serve only Wall Street, the big banks and other big corporations, the military industrial complex, and the world’s billionaires. Government is engaged in a massive looting operation designed for upward wealth redistribution. Everyone knows this, but little effort is ever made to stop it.

    We have many things in the US and the world operating well beyond their “sell-by” date. Some of these are newspapers, network and cable TV, colleges and universities in their present form, monopolies and oligopolies, population growth anywhere, K Street, the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the US Dollar as an international reserve currency, and the Federal Reserve. Likewise, the US political parties result from flaws in our procedures to choose political leadership and should never have come into existence in the first place. Our political parties, all of them, are starting to smell like a dead goat carcass after rotting for a number of days in the midsummer sun.

    Some Progressives form what little is left of the intellectual part of the old Democratic Party. They hate Obama, detest Hillary, and are appalled that someone like Biden could be nominated for president. Chris Hedges could be considered a sedate and knowledgeable representative of this group, and he says that nothing can improve until Democrats stop voting for Democratic politicians. Jimmy Dore is an often-watched spokesman for this faction. He rants that even Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, and other top Democratic pols are worthless sellouts:

    Republicans have a similar problem. The old Republican Party has been completely replaced by an organization alien to all the old Republican values. Many people are asking how an unrepentant, hardcore, serial rapist is considered to be an acceptable representative of Republican values. Stuart Stevens has written a recent book, “It Was All a Lie,” showing that Republican campaign rhetoric is a complete fraud designed, as always, to manipulate weak-minded voters. Some Republicans have formed a new organization called The Lincoln Project that they hope can prevent Trump’s reelection. The White House has been in chaos for four years. A senior Republican official: “At the best of times, Trumpworld operates with all the strategic direction of a chicken with its head cut off .” Anthony Scaramucci talks about how so many high level people who have worked for Trump are convinced that Trump lacks the executive and management skills needed to properly function in the role of president:

    In 1952, the voters had to choose between Dwight Eisenhower and Adlai Stevenson. These two had different strengths and weaknesses, but both were capable of leading the country. The voters had a win-win situation back then. Now we have a preordained lose-lose situation.

    Consider previous presidents Teddy Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, Woodrow Wilson, Herbert Hoover, Franklin Roosevelt, Harry Truman, Dwight Eisenhower, and John Kennedy. Historians have discussed in detail the faults of these men. Of course these presidents made mistakes and sometimes blunders as presidents, but the bottom line is that these were truly substantial individuals who could reasonably be considered for the presidency. Not one of them was focused on pillaging the national assets to give to rich friends.

    The last four decades have given us Reagan, Bush I, Clinton, Bush II, Obama, and Trump. These con-artists lack the intellect, knowledge, experience, and character to be president. We often see writers trying to rehabilitate the reputation of one of these presidents by “defining deviancy” way, way down. The nation must have some kind of serious mental illness to continue to puke up candidates like these. I think I’ve seen well over a thousand graphs showing different aspects of the country going into continuing decline since 1980. Americans younger than 50 must think, from their own experience, that presidents are supposed to be con-artists, and the disintegration of society must be perfectly normal.

    The Gilded Age defined an earlier era of US history. Future historians will come up with a label for the corrupt era in which we now find ourselves. Like maybe “Decades of Debacle,” or “Age of the Con-artists,” or “Era of Endless Darkness.” Propose your own label.

    Friends and family that I talk to are deeply pessimistic and even depressed about the future of the country. They know that corrupt politicians have put the nation into a deep hole that will take years of effort to escape. Trump and Biden are the dregs from the bottom of the barrel. There are numerous essays available on the many flaws of these two men. What’s more important is that there is little good that can be said about their suitability for the White House. Where are the abundance of essays telling us how great and wonderful they are? The best thing about Trump is that he is close to a do-nothing president, so he has yet to achieve the level of evil of presidents Cheney and Obama. The best thing about Biden is that he would be the first president in a long while who actually knows how the government works; the worst thing is that he is comfortable with and accepting of how the government currently works.

    There are many political party cult members who worship empty-suited politicians like Hillary and Trump. They have turned off their analytical human minds and substituted-in programmed hive minds. Look for the noisy fools with all the colorful election paraphernalia, banners, and flags. Those poor lost souls will probably never be able to make that long voyage back to the real world. Fortunately, they make up a small part of the electorate, and they don’t influence the outcome of elections because they always vote the same way.

    The Trump presidency has been a failure, as has every presidency for the last 55 years, and second terms are usually worse than the first. If Biden wins, his first half dozen nominations for cabinet secretaries will almost certainly demonstrate that his presidency will be a failure as well.

    The majority of the electorate is in a quandary about the disgusting nature of this election. Once again, I see people trying to make sense out of choosing the lesser of two evil futures. But choosing the lesser of two evils means embracing evil. This choice also means accepting that 99% of American families will likely be even worse off in four years than their current precarious state, and the nation and its future will continue the slide toward ruin.

    The current method of selecting political leadership has failed rather spectacularly time after time and needs a complete redesign.

    in reply to: Debt Rattle November 1 2020 #65075
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    @ zerosum

    I mostly express my frustration:

    Frustration that everything is corrupt.
    Frustration that so much corruption is legal.
    Frustration that no commentators or web sites are reliable.
    Frustration that we swim in a sea of lies, distortions, and fraud.
    Frustration that the great majority are on the take and they are destroying the future.

    in reply to: Debt Rattle November 1 2020 #65064
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    Individuals like Hunter Biden, with high placed relatives or friends, are often referred to a “princelings.” (Peter Schweitzer, “Secret Empires”) Corporations, countries, or wealthy persons may give these princelings money as a means of influencing those high placed friends. This is legal.

    What is illegal is for those prominent individuals, like Joe Biden, to be influenced by the money to provide US government favors to the payer. That sounds simple enough, but it turns out to be very difficult to prove such influence, and the burden of proof must clear a very high bar.

    An objective voter might very reasonably guess that Joe Biden has been aiding Hunter to sell influence in a way that is illegal. Proof of that has been very hard to obtain. The Republican Senate has been looking at this for a while without finding proof of illegal activity:

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/sethcohen/2020/09/26/the-truth-about-hunter-biden—and-why-republicans-are-so-disappointed/#637918155b79

    Perhaps new evidence will eventually provide that proof. What we are waiting for is a document signed by Joe saying that for X dollars, he will provide, quid pro quo, some valuable US government service. Even that may not be enough to pass muster in the courts. Selling access or influence is a big part of what goes on in Washington.

    The Kushner Companies are equivalent to another princeling. If Qatar wants to loan the Kushner companies $1 billion as a way of influencing Donald Trump, that is legal so long as Trump is not influenced to give something to Qatar. An objective voter might reasonably guess that Trump has been manipulating US foreign policy to encourage Qatar to provide that loan to the Kushner Companies. That is difficult to prove.

    Donald Trump, Jr is another princeling. If he is managing the Trump organization without direction from Donald Sr, then he can receive all kinds of payments (emoluments?) from companies or countries without running afoul of the law. An objective voter might reasonably guess that Donald Sr is both directing the organization and being influenced by the sources of revenue coming into the companies. Proving that is another matter.

    Zephyr Teachout, in her book “Corruption in America,” discusses how bribery has been a continuing stumbling block since the earliest days of nation. Bribery is now institutionalized. Bribes, once laundered through K Street, are legal. In fact, much of the corruption in Washington, if not most, is entirely legal.

    Trump seems to have set a record in expanding “the swamp” by appointing industry lobbyists, corporate executives, Wall Street operators, and rich friends to important government positions. I consider that massively corrupt. But Trump, as president, is allowed to appoint anyone the Senate doesn’t block.

    Biden is proud of changes he brought to the bankruptcy law that now allows credit card companies to engage in predatory lending to people with low credit scores, and which turns many of those people into debt slaves. I consider that to be seriously corrupt and an injury to the nation. But this was legally passed into law by the Congress.

    Sarah Chayes, in her book “On Corruption in America and What Is at Stake,” starts out with a story of a Virginia Governor convicted of receiving bribes from a businessman to use state agencies for the benefit of the businessman. This case went to the US Supreme Court which unanimously overturned the conviction in McDonnell vs United States. The US Supreme Court has rendered itself nearly blind to the corruption of elected officials. Chief Justice John Roberts prefers to avoid the word “corrupt” and uses the word “distasteful” instead. The Supreme Court believes that elected officials must be given the widest possible latitude in providing constituent services and negotiating with businesses and nations.

    Some experts claim that the only way one of these politicians can now be convicted of corruption is if they are very very incompetent at corruption. If you remember the Abscam investigation, that may be the only way to get at the corruption in Washington, but Congress told the FBI not to ever do that again. I would find it humorous if Joe Biden, after decades of practicing corruption according to the rules, were to not know how to do it properly enough to avoid illegality.

    I’m not a lawyer or an expert in these matters. But Glenn Greenwald is a lawyer and has years of experience as a journalist. He should be able to clearly lay out the law as well as how Joe Biden has violated the law and the expected consequences so that the rest of us can understand. Instead, he wrote a lazy article filled with the same innuendos we have already seen, and then he asks Biden to respond.

    As I recall, Lyndon Johnson once told his campaign manager that he wanted to spread a story that his opponent has sex with sheep. His campaign manager said that he doubted the story was true. Johnson replied, “Aw hell, I know that. I just want him to deny it.”

    That’s the level to which Greenwald has sunk. If Joe Biden has committed illegal and prosecutable acts, the evidence is out there. It’s Greenwald’s job to go find the evidence and deliver it. Other big news organizations have looked for it and so far have come up empty. That’s why they say that there is no story there. Joe Biden responds to inquiries by saying, “Buzz off,” which is what he should say in polite company. The problem with celebrity journalists like Greenwald is that they so often learn to love their celebrity so much that they lose the capacity for introspection.

    If Trump is reelected, a big part of his ability to play catch-up will likely be due to his claim that Joe Biden is the head of a crime family. This has to be taken seriously because Trump, as a sitting president, has access to information from the Secret Service, State Department, CIA, Justice Department, FBI, and other federal agencies while the Congress and the people are in the dark. The crime family statement could be interpreted as an official judgment of the US Government. Trump would have an obligation to the nation to convict and imprison Joe Biden for his illegal acts as the head of a crime family. If Trump were unable to get Biden hauled off to prison, Trump would be sitting in the Oval Office as a result of electoral fraud.

    in reply to: Debt Rattle October 14 2020 #64386
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    I’m not inclined to be one of those passive obedient serfs that feels compelled to vote for either Trump or Biden. Those two cons are engaged in the degradation of the nation and its future.

    So I intend to write-in Lincoln Chafee for president and Tulsi Gabbard for vice president.

    Chafee was the captain of the wrestling team at Brown University. Even though he had a somewhat privileged upbringing, he decided to become a farrier, went off to learn the trade in Montana, and worked at shoeing horses for seven years. The blacksmith work and dealing with uncooperative horses can be hard physical labor. There is also danger in working under a horse, particularly young race horses. He knows what it’s like to struggle with the risks running an independent small business.

    I think of him as something of a man’s man. By contrast, prissy Trump is devoid of any characteristics of manhood.

    Chafee served in politics as a mayor, a US senator, and governor of Rhode Island. Voting for any presidential candidate with no experience in the national legislature is usually a bad idea, but Chafee has the legislative experience and executive experience as well. He’s soft spoken and not a great speaker. Chafee is somewhat awkward when required to do self promotion, which is so unlike Trump who does very little else than shameless self promotion. Chafee is not a standard political ideologue, which accounts for him running for office as a Republican, a Democrat, an Independent, and a Libertarian. His rejection by the corrupt political bureaucracies makes him appealing to me. He thinks for himself.

    Chafee questioned the evidence for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and was the only Republican in the Senate to vote against the invasion of Iraq because he was the only Republican senator with any common sense. We have a long list of Democrats who voted in favor of the invasion of Iraq, showing that they were totally lacking in common sense and should never be given any position of responsibility. Prominent on that list are the names of Hillary Clinton, John Kerry, and Joe Biden.

    Tulsi Gabbard is probably the most hated of candidates as viewed by the Democratic Party bureaucracy. She has been effectively kicked out of the party, just like Dennis Kucinich. Her most emphasized position is one of non-intervention. This is anathema to the Democratic and Republican Parties which are populated with chicken-hawks thoroughly infected with neoconservative lust for war.

    Gabbard is heavily criticized for talking to Bashar al-Assad. The US has talked to worse characters than that, and to the advantage of the US. Assad complains rightly about the Sykes Picot agreement leaving him with a nation that is close to ungovernable and requiring the heavy hand of government to maintain order. The British and French created many irresponsible and disastrous situations at the end of WWI to gain their own short term “spheres of influence.”

    The world needs much more talking and far less war. Gabbard shows real backbone on this and other issues, and that’s inspiring to see. If Gabbard could get a few years of solid experience in the executive branch and gain a deeper understanding of the issues, she might make an exceptional president one day.

    Russia undoubtedly has many internal problems. Never the less, Vladimir Putin and Sergey Lavrov are the only two world leaders I see trying to act like real statesmen on the world stage. Why can’t the US produce statesmen any more? Hillary and Pompeo?…frauds.

    I knew twenty years ago that I would never vote for Hillary, Trump, or Biden for president because they are not even the crudest approximation of presidential material. They are viewed around the world as a sign of the collapse of governance indicating that the US is a failed state on a downward trajectory. Electing Biden or Trump is a form of national suicide.

    Now, I’m aware that “honest politician” is an oxymoron. But Chafee and Gabbard are the finest examples of common sense, honesty, integrity, maturity, and decency as can be expected to come out of Washington at the present. Those are certainly rare traits in the political leadership today. Chafee and Gabbard are not great experts in military affairs, economics, technology, health care, and so forth, and I don’t know what kind of policies they might pursue. To my continuing frustration, there hasn’t been a competent honest president in the White House in my adult lifetime. So I’m looking around for the candidates with the best character I can find. Right now, that’s Lincoln Chafee and Tulsi Gabbard.

    (I see a number of claims that there will be great civil unrest if either Trump or Biden wins. So to avoid a civil war, don’t vote for Trump or Biden.)

    in reply to: Debt Rattle October 9 2020 #64260
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    According to Chief Justice John Roberts, the original intent of the writers of the Constitution was to have multi-national mega corporations treated like persons with all the rights of citizenship but none of the responsibilities. They should be endowed with the right to spend unlimited sums propagandizing the voters to vote for corrupt politicians who will do the will of the corporations.

    I see Citizen’s United as the purest possible example of political legislating from the Supreme Court Bench by a neo-feudal Supreme court packed with corrupt justices. James Madison is spinning in his grave.

    in reply to: Only Trump Can Keep America Together #64241
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    Bill Weld has a nominal height of 6′ 4,” probably from his youth. I’ve seen Weld say that he has stood next to Trump and that Trump is nowhere near 6′ 3.” Trump might possibly have been a little over 6′ 2″ when he was twenty and he rounded up, but he may have lied about that as well. With age, he has probably lost the normal 2,” so I would guess that Trump is likely a little over 6′ at most. Of course, you may be referring to circumference.

    in reply to: Debt Rattle October 7 2020 #64180
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    Apparently, the medical profession can cure a Covid-19 infection in an old person with multiple comorbidities in just a few days if they really want to. The quarter million Americans dead from Covid-19 must be due to medical malpractice.

    in reply to: Debt Rattle October 2 2020 #64013
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    Trump will get hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin, which most of us can’t get. He probably had a low initial inoculum which gives his immune system time to respond. But ivermectin has the reputation for resetting the infection level anyway. A story reported awhile back stated that a 113 year old woman in Spain recovered from Covid-19 after using hydroxychloroquine therapy.

    Trump’s doctors will probably load him up with vitamin D3 and perhaps other nutritional supplements. Trump will likely experience only mild symptoms.

    If Trump has any problem with the Covid infection, it will be due to additional co-morbidities that we don’t know about. The most likely is pre-diabetes with some serious heart disease or tendency for stroke.

    in reply to: Debt Rattle August 22 2020 #62449
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    Trump-neutered?: Herd immunity might turn out to result in herd infertility.

    Chinese doctors are recommending fertility tests for young men who have had Covid-19. This makes sense. The testes have large numbers of ACE2 receptors, and the testes are referred to as “immune privileged.” This means that the testes have a reduced immune activity for the purpose of protecting sperm from damage by the immune system. Some specialists have referred to the testes as the ideal virus receptacle. By contrast, the intestines have many more ACE2 receptors, but they have a very strong immune function.

    Scans of asymptomatic or mild Covid-19 patients, after recovery, have shown lung or heart abnormalities. The data so far is insufficient to show the effects on the testes, but the testes could show very serious damage even if the damage to heart, lungs, liver, and kidneys is mild. The original SARS-1 virus was found to damage the testes. A number of viruses, like the mumps and zika viruses, are known to take up residence in the testes and cause atrophy. I’ve already seen one report of shrinkage in the testes caused by Covid-19.

    Symptoms could be a loss of production of testosterone and sperm as well as breast enlargement and erectile dysfunction. Adolescent boys may fail to develop normal male sex characteristics.

    If young men want to go to Covid parties and hang out in loud over-crowded bars, they may later find out they have been Trump-neutered. That could be considered normal Darwinian selection to remove stupidity genes from the gene pool. But the serious consequence is that they are also likely to spread the virus in the general population.

    The female reproductive system has very few ACE2 receptors, and is therefore considered immune to Covid-19. Unfortunately, the virus has several other doors to enter human cells. So it is too early to conclude for certain that the female reproductive system is safe. Even if it were, the virus might compromise the blood flow to the uterus and ovaries.

    We live in a state of serious ignorance about the damage done by the novel Corona virus. Perhaps a couple of decades will be required to understand all the implications of this virus. Many serious viruses, like smallpox, yellow fever, and plague, are known primarily by the case fatality rate. Others, like polio, are known primarily for their disability consequences. We don’t currently know how the novel Corona virus will be seen in the years to come.

    in reply to: Debt Rattle July 19 2020 #61293
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    My grandfather was a silver miner. He was very comfortable swinging various sizes of sledgehammers at drills for hours, but he probably did most drilling with a jack leg. This can create quite lot of dust.

    The silver mines closed down when he was about 30. His 15 years or so as a miner was enough that he occasionally coughed up a bit of silica for the rest of his life. He would have benefited greatly from good dust masks.

    Some coal miners were suing 3M a few years ago for making defective dust masks.

    There is a documentary called The Devil’s Miner about a 14 year old boy in Bolivia. The video gives a vivid image of a dust cloud enveloping the boy with no dust mask while using a powered drill. Hopefully things are better in Bolivia now, but I doubt it.

    in reply to: Debt Rattle July 18 2020 #61266
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    The book Noncompliant by Carmen Segarra gives a tiny peak into the corruption of the Federal Reserve. This institution is corrupt in a similar way as most government agencies: corporate capture and staffing by corrupt persons. The members of the FOMC are typically multi-millionaires who gained their wealth by participating in the looting of the economy while in private corporations.

    The book Fed Up by Danielle DiMartino Booth is too much autobiography and self promotion, but it gives some insight into lack of knowledge and incompetence of FOMC members.

    The book End the Fed by Ron Paul takes a von Mises point of view that a gold standard solves all problems. It doesn’t. It just switches to a different set of problems.

    The Federal Reserve puts out a book, The Federal Reserve System Purposes & Functions. They state:
    “The Federal Reserve Conducts the nation’s monetary policy to promote maximum employment, stable prices, and moderate long-term interest rates in the U.S. Economy; Promotes the stability of the financial system and seeks to minimize and contain systemic risks through active monitoring and engagement in the U.S. and abroad; Promotes the safety and soundness of individual financial institutions and monitors their impact on the financial system as a whole…” This is pure lies and propaganda.

    Every time there is a bump in the road for the economy, the FOMC prints billions of dollars and gives those dollars to billionaires. This is quite popular with the billionaires. Over the last few months, the FOMC has made a gift of billions of dollars to the useless Elon Musk free of charge.

    Ending the Fed is wholly inadequate. Ideally, many current and former members of the FOMC would go to prison. A totally transparent and tightly-regulated US National Bank is needed. Every State should have at least one State Bank, and the State Banks should act as a counter balance to the US National Bank.

    Branch banking was a terrible idea, as any benefits could better be had by a different system. The big banks should be broken into little pieces to be sold to the highest bidder. Many of the executives of those big banks belong in prison with the FOMC members. Banking should be turned into a commodity.

    in reply to: Debt Rattle July 2 2020 #60723
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    51,097 new cases.

    Joke going around here: “What borders on stupid?”

    Answer: “Canada and Mexico.”

    in reply to: Debt Rattle April 27 2020 #57999
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    I suspect that the Swedish ambassador has confused true nCoV immunity with a limited immunity left over from the common cold.

    in reply to: Virustime #55855
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    I saw a disturbing report a few days ago, on the Peak Prosperity update, I believe. The claim was that doctors found significant scarring in the lungs of some individual’s by CAT scan prior to these people showing any symptoms of Covid-19.

    Now as stated above, if there is no data, the story is not there. But if you will permit some unfounded speculation, perhaps those individuals who carry the virus while remaining asymptomatic are still suffering from scarring of their lungs. Perhaps children and young adults are particularly likely to be asymptomatic carriers but are not immune to serious lung damage.

    Is anyone keeping track of those patients listed as “recovered” to see how they are progressing? We can’t just assume they will be back to normal soon.

    Over time, some recovered patients might be similar to those individuals who were affected by asbestos with reduced lung capacity and greatly increased risk of lung cancer. How unfortunate it might be if we have young people carrying oxygen bottles for the rest of their lives and being constantly screened for cancer. This might bring back memories of the Polio epidemic of the last mid-century.

    I find the extraordinary incompetence of government officials at all levels just astounding.

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