Weekly Roundup: Strategic Control Over Medical Products Edition

It is sobering to realize that the coronavirus will likely kill my mother, who has very little lung function left after years of sarcoidosis. It may well kill my grandmother, who would otherwise probably clear the 100-year mark with ease. But the worst part of this is having a conversation with my father in which he rather wistfully says, “At least there was a moment or two of national unity after 9/11,” and realizing just how right he is about that. There won’t be any national unity during the “Wuhan flu” (discussing the origins of which is now considered to be racist) or in the long tail of its aftereffects.

This virus seems tailor made to divide us along every possible fault line. The left wing literally wants to use it as a bioweapon against their political opponents. Young people call it the “boomer remover” and cheer on the idea that it might affect the election in their favor by killing older voters en masse. Secure in the knowledge that they were unlikely to themselves die from the virus they would pass on to others, a group of young women I know decided to take a week-long trip to Amsterdam for a non-stop indulgence in drugs and, ahem, party behavior: presumably whatever strain they bring back could be called COVID-69. Students are being forcibly ejected from their dorms by police, and some of them are copying the riot techniques they’ve learned from watching Antifa on YouTube.

Meanwhile, many of my more, ah, militant friends are going full Cormac McCarthy. I’m hearing stories of people loading a few dozen AR-15 magazines, doing home bullet casting “just in case”, and making plans for an armed response against the first group of “looters” to appear in their (literal) sights. I’ve watched the value of that palladium coin I was looking to sell here a few weeks ago jump to north of three grand then sink to south of two — in a twelve-hour period. A friend made a million dollars in a single day shorting resource stocks, starting with a new Accord’s worth of seed cash.

We’ve come to believe that nothing truly bad can happen on a large scale in what I think of as the Long Now Of Late Stage Capitalism — but it could. What form the chaos will take (Dow 5,000? New York and San Francisco burning to the ground? Citizen militias being raised in every suburb to throw lead against anyone trying to find food outside the city?) is beyond the scope of my crystal ball. There is, however, one very important, even critical, benefit to society which will come as a result of this catastrophe. Unfortunately, that benefit is going to cost us more than a few innocent lives in the process of being realized.

While you weren’t looking, our painfully gentle, meek-looking, politically-correct, athleisure-clad American Illuminati moved the entire American pharmaceutical industry to China — lock, stock, and the proverbial barrel of penicillin. They did this because Thomas Friedman’s book told them that the world was flat and that “China, in many ways, is closer to us than Mexico.” It never in a million years occurred to them that they were putting significant power into the hands of people who consider American “thought leaders” mere dung flies to be swatted away or cultivated in manure, depending on the mood of the moment. Our Eloi are charmingly naive that way; they’re like the eight-year-old child who thinks he’s found a new way to cheat at Monopoly, not realizing that the adults around the table can predict his every move before it happens. Raised to operate in quarterly timeframes, they can’t imagine the thought processes of men (and it’s men, not womyn or furries or whatever) who might knowingly lose money on factories and industrial production for decades in a row in order to have the whip hand when it matters most.

Through their state media, China reminded the United States that they could easily choose to exercise, and I quote, “strategic control over medical products.” Such an exercise of control would turn this country into a bloody hellscape. It’s not just the coronavirus victims: it’s every diabetic, every person with a thyroid disorder, everyone who needs blood thinner or any other constant supply of live-saving medicine. You’d be surprised just how many people around you need a daily or weekly dose of something in order to function. At the very least, it would be a death sentence for anyone who is fighting cancer, heart disease, or a dozen other maladies.

Oh, by the way: don’t get pneumonia.

This would be something very close to a checkmate move for China. Our only possible response would be to vaporize a couple of cities — a choice that no potential American President of late 2020 likely has the courage or bloody-mindedness to make.

Oh, and it’s not just medicine. I used to work for Cardinal Health, one of America’s two largest suppliers of various medical products. (McKesson is the other one.) The vast majority of their stuff was sourced through trade relationships with the lowest bidder. Imagine having a very minor car crash and then having everyone in both cars die because they can’t even get bandages or basic antibiotics. It could happen in six months.

Many years ago, a very wealthy relative of mine assured me that we had nothing to fear from China. “We’re like a homeowner with a $300,000 mortgage on a $200,000 home — and China is the bank,” he laughed. “They need us more than we need them.” Except they probably don’t. They’re prepared for eventualities which we cannot begin to imagine. Certainly the Party would let a half billion people starve, if necessary, to ensure that China replaced America as the world’s unipole superpower.

President Trump is already sounding the alarm on this monopoly, but it’s not something we can rectify overnight. We’d need the equivalent of the Manhattan Project and the Tennessee Valley Authority, all at once. And you could expect any attempt at building a national medical capability to be fought tooth and nail all the way to the last inch by the various corporate interests who would prefer an accommodation with China at any cost. They will tell us we can’t build a national capability of any sort, and that the stock market could suffer. Well, the stock market is suffering now, isn’t it?

If nothing else, this virus has shown us just how fragile, cynical, and worthless the globalist future would be. We need to reject that future at any cost. Including that of our lives. Does that sound melodramatic? If it does, then chances are you’re not expecting to lose family members to the fruits of our current perfectly flat, totally optimized, completely virus-susceptible world.

* * *

For Hagerty, I wrote about the new emissions scheme/scam and dreams of summer driving to come.

For Watch Journal, I interviewed Mr. G-SHOCK himself for a piece on Casio’s new luxury mojo.

100 Replies to “Weekly Roundup: Strategic Control Over Medical Products Edition”

  1. AvatarJohn C.

    Gosh Jack, how can you go from writing all of my older relatives are going to die from the virus just when law and order breaks down to tell us your old car spring driving plans. Were the two articles written the same day? I hope there was not some bad personal news between. Assuming not, you have a great ability to compartmentalize.

    Reply
    • Jack BaruthJack Baruth Post author

      Personally, I’m not looking forward to the death of my relatives.

      Professionally, we have 3 million readers who could use something positive about which to think.

      Reply
      • AvatarTony LaHood

        Observation: People are obsessed with masks, hand washing, and toilet paper yet have absolutely no qualms about handling paper money.

        Reply
          • AvatarTony LaHood

            I didn’t claim it is. Germs are everywhere. Even filling up at a self serve pump puts you at the mercy of the last person who held that handle. Paper money would seem to retain germs longer than plastic; what’s more, it passes from person to person countless times, thus increasing the risk of transferring germs.

      • AvatarRich Jacob

        Jack,

        I have enjoyed your writing without fail since the first article of yours I stumbled across on TTAC, but I rarely comment; I’m going to now because I think I have some thoughts that are germane to this discussion.

        I am a practicing physician (surgeon) in a state with a few cases of COVID 19 (and a death or two). Not to bury the lede, this, to my trained eye, appears to be a panic based on ethereal predictions based on…very little. As I’m sure you recognize, the common (common certainly not being synonymous with harmless) flu has been a much more violent and indiscriminate killer in the US for many years (the CDC estimates that between October 2019 and March 2020, there were 22-55K deaths attributed to influenza, and, as of Friday, 41 deaths in the US from COVID 19).

        Every year, my somewhat odd dad and his counterculture neighbors collect all of their post-Christmas evergreens and pile them up into a big pyre. In mid January, once they are all nice and dry, they set them alight. One of the participants some years ago discovered that by aerating this conflagration with a powerful backpack leaf blower, they could turn something merely irresponsibly dangerous and painfully hot into something that could be seen from the moon. It’s a nice metaphor for what the media has done with this particular virus. They have almost singlehandedly crushed the stock market (go ahead, pause for a minute and examine your 401Ks), wreaking havoc (again) on the retirement savings of those frugal enough to bother (no judgement here against the grasshoppers–having a bunch of cars and bikes in the garage to play with may totally turn out better than saving a bunch of money so we can drift about on hoverrounds in our dotage), but, perhaps more concerning is what this has done to medicine. I was called yesterday by my chief medical officer (on a Sunday, no less, since she had been at the hospital stamping out fires all weekend) to let me know that all elective surgery cases, all colonoscopies and EGDs, all interventional radiology procedures, and any other endeavors that will require personal protective equipment (PPE) and respiratory or ventilator support, no matter how transient, have been cancelled for the foreseeable future, in order to better steward these resources. for the record, there have been zero cases in this county. The dire predictions, I suspect, are nothing more than more efforts to capitalize on potential misery.

        I arrived to work this morning and found 24 emails from the hospital communication system regarding COVID 19 since Friday afternoon. There were 10 more that referenced it in the body somewhere, another few obliquely related to it’s effects (child care, etc.). For reference, I usually get 2 or 3 emails over the weekend, usually auto-generated IT stuff about various aspects of our EMR that are getting fixed or something.

        “Well”, total strangers and people I barely know ask me, “what about the WHO declaring it a pandemic? That sounds pretty bad!”

        Here is the WHO definition of a pandemic: the worldwide spread of a new disease. So, COVID 19 manages to get over that (pretty low) bar. Wikipedia (the favorite source of accomplished doctors everywhere) suggests it is simply a disease spread over a large area (the globe, in this case). I submit that this is a case against labels (how woke of me!).

        Jack, your concerns for your mother are realistic, assuming she is exposed–much like influenza, it is going to take the older and sicker, especially those with significant respiratory histories or compromised immune systems. As this Christmas tree fire engulfs the house next door and spreads into the adjacent forest, we are likely to see substantial diminishment in accessibility to and quality of medical care, the beginnings of the vicious cycle. One way to stop this is to use our collective big doctor brains, but alas, there are physicians in my hospital right now walking around in paper surgical masks with their noses hanging out the top. These will provide little protection (none if not worn properly), displayed by the people who are supposed to be the experts! Not exactly filling me with confidence in my peers…. Another is to control media, not by suspending the first amendment, but by finding someone besides Sanjay Gupta (who likely doesn’t know shit from apple butter, since he’s spent the last decade or two being a pundit instead of practicing medicine) to talk in a learned fashion about this. Or we could just throw some more trees on the fire.

        What are the answers? Wash your hands. Don’t touch your face a lot. There is likely some tiny but measurable benefit from avoiding large gatherings and concentrated humanity (you know, airplanes). It’s a virus, so stop asking your doctor for antibiotics. If you get it, drink fluids, control the fever with ibuprofen, and seek medical care, especially if your underlying health is questionable. There is no vaccine (yet), but (reassuringly) there are innumerable people so far who have been exposed and recovered from a relatively minor illness. Above all, don’t panic. This is not the zombie apocalypse so many shut-ins and basement dwellers have been rubbing their hands in Mr. Burns-like anticipation of (and, here’s a tip for those; if society did collapse, we would eat you first). It’s a bad cold.

        Here are some take away points. The market (stock, et al) seems to have become divorced from the actual market (the economy, supply vs demand) and become some sort of capricious reflection of…what exactly? The media’s compulsive need for more attention? The economy is actually doing pretty well, unemployment is down, and here like a low-hanging fruit is a golden opportunity for a bunch of truly awful people to quietly move some of the commerce they sold out to our declared enemy for a quick buck a few years ago at the expense of their neighbors, back to the US (nice take on the pharma problems in your article, Jack). If there is any nation in the world better equipped to weather a global pandemic, I’m unaware of it (cue comments from pro-socialized medicine bots). This is a chance for our economy to actually thrive.

        Finally, Douglas Adams (R.I.P.) once wrote a great book about a fictional guide called the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, which had emblazoned on it, in nice friendly letters:

        “Don’t Panic”

        Reply
        • AvatarRich Jacob

          Jack–just reread that after posting–apologies if I seemed cavalier in the treatment of your mother–all of this is assuming exposure, so another take home point here is to avoid it if you are high-risk. I did not intend to sound (or be) so insensitive.

          Reply
          • Jack BaruthJack Baruth Post author

            I thought what you wrote was very appropriate. No offense taken. And I appreciate your educated perspective on this.

        • AvatarOne Leg at a Time

          Thank you so much for the well-reasoned response.

          My family and I are separated by thousands of miles, so we tend to correspond via group texts. Recently, I have bet my brothers a shiny new quarter that the deaths in the US will fall below 10% of the H1N1 pandemic of 2008-2009 (using the ever factual Wikipedia number of 12,000 for total deaths.)

          I share Jack’s feeling that this will be a valuable wake-up call for the US on the impact of Globalization, but I am cautiously hopeful that the price will be significantly less than predicted.

          Reply
        • AvatarCJinSD

          Rich Jacob, this is such a thoughtful and insightful explanation of the COVID 19 pandemic that I would like to share it with a number of my friends if you don’t mind.

          Reply
          • AvatarRich J

            Interesting link–my general advice to my patients is to avoid getting your medical information from the internet, TV attorneys, etc (any more than you should get legal advice from, say, me), but as the web becomes ever more pervasive, it’s hard to avoid. Disclaimer–I’m a surgeon, tracking this situation with a surgeon’s critical eye, so I’m not a pulmonologist or an infectious disease doctor. Second disclaimer–you don’t really know if I’m a surgeon; taking medical advice from your friendly faceless internet stranger is fraught with peril. So, for what it’s worth: If in doubt, use acetaminophen, which, even according to the internet, appears safe (early French case reports expressed concern that NSAIDS, including ibuprofen, may have a slight depressive effect on the immune system, although there are a lot of qualifiers in that sentence, and none of this seems to be born out in longer term literature). I can find no substantial literature to support avoiding ibuprofen, but since cost and efficacy between the two for fever reduction and general over the counter pain relief are pretty equivalent, just stick with acetaminophen for now until someone can clear this up. Both of them have (low) risks associated with prolonged use or overdose, and, while different, demonstrate parity for the most part. I’ll keep digging in the meantime.

            Hope that helps.

        • AvatarMax Alt

          Thoughtful, articulate discussion is very nice to see. Here is my concise message to wake people from the media-induced hypnosis of the moment and consider the long-term effects of the (over)reaction occurring as we speak: https://youtu.be/18UF8W-nriw

          Reply
      • Avatarsilentsod

        I have several people close to me who are either immunosuppressed or have comorbidities and I’m not enthralled with the thoughts of them passing. Understanding they’re higher risk is not the same as experiencing their loss.

        Reply
    • AvatarCJinSD

      “Gosh Jack, how can you go from writing all of my older relatives are going to die from the virus just when law and order breaks down to tell us your old car spring driving plans. Were the two articles written the same day? I hope there was not some bad personal news between. Assuming not, you have a great ability to compartmentalize.”

      Compartmentalization sound like a Marxist’s way of vilifying having sufficient character to do one’s job and provide for one’s family in times of strife. Just think how easy it would be to bring about that revolution if everyone folded up like a bitch? It must be a tough time for you, when the Chinese are showing their fangs and you can’t try to project your guilt over driving a Geely onto Ohio Honda buyers.

      Reply
      • AvatarJohn C.

        I was of course in tears like Jack was when he described the person had the perfect amount of money to buy one of those Japanese Accords made specially for us so we wouldn’t have to lower ourselves to deal with our own, just to show what a not capitalist pig he was by shorting American big business.

        I wasn’t vilifying Jack, by the way and the way he would show his character was not writing a road trip puff piece but by keeping a stiff upper lip around his son so he doesn’t have to share adult worries.

        Reply
  2. AvatarThomas Hank

    As someone with older parents myself, I sympathize. I hope you’re able aid them in getting the precautions they need just the same. I’m hoping the advent of summer will do well to ward it off; so far it’s impossible to say. However here in Ohio, that tends to take its sweet ass time. Wishing you the best of luck and that we can all get back to normal trivialities and a healthy economy soon.

    Reply
        • AvatarCJinSD

          The National Socialists were really socialists. Everyone gets their turn in the barrel. It’s not about race or religion, although socialists know that Christians are their greatest enemies. It’s about who you have to vilify to dehumanize enough people to get control and pursue your avaricious evil.

          Reply
    • AvatarCJinSD

      Socialists like to dismiss their eight-figure-death-toll-failures with labels of communism or fascism. I say make them wear the expression of evil that they are. The greater good is a marketing campaign for killing people you don’t care for. People that care what other people are doing without directly harming others are the only bad people. Rinse. Repeat. If you’ve ever been upset about someone buying something with their own money other than another person, recognizing your personal failing would be the only way you can be guaranteed not to make the world a lesser place. Psychiatry is a failed religion. Wanting to control other people is evil.

      Reply
      • AvatarNewbie Jeff

        “Socialists like to dismiss their eight-figure-death-toll-failures with labels of communism or fascism. I say make them wear the expression of evil that they are. The greater good is a marketing campaign for killing people you don’t care for. People that care what other people are doing without directly harming others are the only bad people. Rinse. Repeat. If you’ve ever been upset about someone buying something with their own money other than another person, recognizing your personal failing would be the only way you can be guaranteed not to make the world a lesser place. Psychiatry is a failed religion. Wanting to control other people is evil.”

        I just want to say, your contributions are excellent and really on-point. I don’t usually see a lot of engagement from others, but I appreciate it.

        Keep at it, CJ

        Reply
        • AvatarCJinSD

          Thanks for the kind words. I have been banned pretty much everywhere else for my failure to self-censor truth, so rolling pearls before swine is as good as it gets.

          Reply
  3. AvatarAcme Rocket

    My line of work is pharmaceutical manufacturing. Specifically, I’m a chemist doing active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) synthesis. Most or our chemical supply chain originates in China in one form or another. If it’s not a raw material building block for a drug, then it’s a solvent or a reactive chemical that’s essential to the synthesis.

    Why is this so? Because it’s cheaper. Does the PRC have an OSHA, EPA, ICH, FDA, a CFR to follow? Maybe, but certainly not to the degree we do. How do companies dispose of their chemical waste in mainland China or protect their staff from chronic chemical exposure? Oh by the way, we outsource plenty of API manufacturing to India as well. It’s just as cheap and they’re not much better when it comes to worker or environmental safety.

    Do we have the physical ability to source our API manufacturing base stateside? Absolutely. We have the workforce, the natural resources, and to a degree the existing infrastructure. The question becomes are we willing to pay a premium for generic and brand drugs that are resistant to overseas disruptions?

    Reply
      • AvatarRyan

        Glad it went to a good home. It being in Atlanta is exactly why I didn’t bid on it. Work has been too crazy for me between projects and continuity nonsense to take 3-4 days off.

        If you end up needing parts, let me know. I’ve started clearing out my storage unit and I have a 99 SOHC ATX Sedan that I’ll be scrapping come summer. I planned to keep at least the control arms and rear knuckles. Otherwise, you’re welcome to help yourself to whatever.

        Reply
  4. AvatarLynnG

    Jack as some one who has never been to England (just like Three Dog Night) I was wondering if you could pontificate on what happen to their car culture. For a county that gave the world the Jaguar Type E, the Spitefire, the MG, and the TR. Ok I know that they were made with 18th Century wiring harnesses, but they were great cars if you keep them running. Just wondering if people just gave up driving for fun…. Thanks,

    Reply
    • AvatarRonnie Schreiber

      Hoyt Axton wrote that song. Speaking of car culture, Axton played Shirley Muldowney’s father in Heart Like A Wheel. Axton’s character was a hot rod loving musician and there’s a scene at a honky tonk with James Burton in Axton’s band.

      Reply
  5. AvatarJohn Van Stry

    I live out in the sticks. Went shopping today at the local IGA and there wasn’t a roll of toilet paper on the shelves. All the bottled water was also gone. I asked the cashier if the locals had done that, and she said ‘nope they all drove up here from the nearby city.’
    That’s like 50 miles.
    That tells me that every Walmart and Costco and regular grocery store back there is out.
    Personally I don’t see what the rush is on water and TP. Water comes out the tap and it’s pretty much gravity powered around here (water towers everywhere) and the Wuhan Flu doesn’t give you diarrhea.

    As for China, yeah, we need to shut down all trade with them. Why so many fools thought that they could trust a communist dictatorship is beyond me, and free trade is anything but. Then again, so many of our politicians have been bought off to create laws that punish American manufacturing.

    Reply
    • AvatarKevin Jaeger

      It appears no western country actually has the ability to respond rationally to this particular crisis.

      Places like Taiwan, Russia, South Korea Hond Kong and even Chinese regions outside Wuhan all brought their viral outbreaks under control with rational methods involving travel restrictions, border screening, mass diagnostic testing and selective quarantines. None of this involved a year’s stash of toilet paper and bottled water.

      In contrast, no western country has responded even remotely in line with the scale or urgency of the problem, and the actions that have been taken are mostly useless if not actively counterproductive,

      May God help us all.

      Yes, I expect to lose relatives and elderly friends as well.

      Reply
      • Avatarsaboten.fighter

        Over here in Japan, before Aus and the US had their runs on TP and hand sanitizer, we had ours. It started because of a rumor on Twitter that China produced 90% of our TP and other paper products and we were soon to run out. Its absolute madness because almost every house has a bidet (with a nice heated seat). Should take several months to run through a pack of toilet paper, and yet everyone was buying enough to last a decade, just hoarding shit.
        I was up north for the Tohoku quake and subsequent Fukushima nuclear disaster and many bad typhoons down south now. Those are cases where having some extra water and toilet paper would be a good thing, as our supply lines to stores were disrupted for months in the case of the former and a couple weeks for the latter. It just seems like your average moron anywhere in the world has no idea how to react in an emergency situation or how to even prepare for it. Even in a natural disaster prone area. So, its not just the west.

        Reply
        • AvatarKevin Jaeger

          That’s interesting to hear about Japan. That’s a pretty weird thing for Japanese to do panic buying over but funny to hear.

          But I notice Japan and most other east Asian countries have functioning public health systems. They’ve controlled their viral outbreaks with sensible border screening, testing and quarantines. No western country has accomplished this basic function of government.

          Reply
          • Avatarsaboten.fighter

            I wouldn’t be so quick to judge Japan’s efforts as effective. The government’s response to the Princess Cruise outbreak was an abject failure. They let Japanese citizens leave the ship untested soon as it made berth. Several later tested positive for coronavirus. Keeping everyone on the ship, which wasn’t designed to hold people in quarantine, was an extremely stupid choice. Over 650 people eventually became infected, from what started as just a couple of people. Health officials were allowing people to move freely between sick and not sick zones, and reuse of materials, especially masks, was rampant, sometimes even for several days.
            Japan’s number of cases is quite low, but they are also basically not testing unless you almost definitely are sick and showing symptoms. Typical Japanese attitude about problems, ignore it until it goes away.
            The Abe gov (Liberal Democratic Party, the conservatives) is extremely afraid of cancelling the Olympics, and will do anything they can to avoid that situation. They blew billions of dollars (mostly contracts to buddies of his and other gov officials) preparing, and local small businesses have done the same. The majority of Japanese people want to have it cancelled. If it is though, the LDP is done for, and Abe will finally be gone.

  6. AvatarNewbie Jeff

    “Meanwhile, many of my more, ah, militant friends are going full Cormac McCarthy…”

    I’m somewhere in between this and the helpless millennial/zoomer who will “demand” their government deliver their salvation. Basically, I’m prepared. Probably better than 98-99% of humanity, not as well as those who “prep” as a hobby or obsession. I didn’t want to do it… but I did realize that our society simply couldn’t withstand its own people squandering it. Begrudgingly, I stocked up over years… bought a little here and there… I brainstormed with my best friend, tried to anticipate some likely scenarios. At the time, such talk would probably seem alarmist or even loony. While I continue to hope for the best, prepping doesn’t seem quite so loony now.

    For what it’s worth, we determined that the first stage of a significantly catastrophic societal crisis would be a mass panic that resulted in people clearing out the grocery stores…

    Reply
    • AvatarJohn C.

      This can be a real sickness though. My mother in law recently died and in the house was just stacks and stacks of bottled water and canned food. She had always been paranoid about that stuff as it fit her brand of Christianity and that 50 year old book The Late Great Planet Earth” really effected her. That book had the idea that the end would come 40 years after the founding of modern Israel or 1988. When that didn’t happen, you might have hoped she would have gotten better but it only got much worse after she was alone in her house after her divorce. Whether her current boogieman was 9/11 or Obama or black helicopters it didn’t matter. What a sad way to waste your last many years.

      Reply
      • AvatarJeffrey Horton

        “This can be a real sickness though”

        Definitely agree. Again, when my buddy and I were brainstorming the various possibilities and plans, we quickly realized that “prepping” could get out of control… i.e., expensive and time consuming.

        We both agreed that it would be counterproductive to let prep get in the way of living your life… so for years, that’s exactly what I’ve done. I’ve blown stupid money on cars, taken trips and vacations, and really just appreciated all that modern living has to offer and simply enjoyed it.

        Reply
        • Avatar-Nate

          Good boy .

          After surviving my childhood I decided to do just this and have had way more fun than almost everyone I know .

          I can’t take a 4,000 square foot house to heaven plus who the hell is going to clean it ? .

          You alls can laugh at me when I get the beervirus and croak in two weeks but at least I’ve lived a full life .

          -Nate

          Reply
          • AvatarNewbie Jeff

            “I can’t take a 4,000 square foot house to heaven plus who the hell is going to clean it”

            Haha… true. Personally, I’ve found 1500-1800 sq ft of living space to be ideal. I just need another 3500ft for the garage.

          • Avatar-Nate

            As I age out my 1158 S.F. house seems too big…..

            I wish I could get rid of much of the crap I’ve collected over the decades .

            I have a 1923 ‘T’ Model garage I’ve never even had a Motocyle in .

            The back yard is tiny too, good thing I’m from Down East where they know how to cram the vehicles into little space =8-^ .

            -Nate

  7. AvatarCliffG

    At some past points of history, when the commoners discovered their political elites had sold out to their enemy for gold trinkets, they all were hanging from the nearest trees in short order. At this time the political elites and their business co-conspirators are avoiding the gallows, but if there is a major crisis in drug supplies the hunt will be on. I notice that our fearless leaders have shut down an assortment of things, but mass transit still is busing right along. If you can name a better conduit for the transmission of a highly contagious disease than a crowded city bus I am all ears. I think recognizing that mass transit is a problem is a step too far, striking right at the heart of the left wing vision. Like open borders, “free” trade, etc., left wing tropes are just a series of dominoes waiting to be knocked over. Stood at a counter of a sporting goods store and watched 7 guns sell in a half hour. In the middle of the day in the middle of the week. Hmm.

    Reply
    • Avatareverybodyhatesscott

      Can’t say I’d be disappointed to see CEO’s and venture capitalist who sent all our manufacturing to China strung up in trees. Let’s start with Romney.

      Reply
      • AvatarCJinSD

        Pelosi has been caught trying to fund infanticide with the Chinese Corona virus bill. We deserve whatever we get for not disemboweling her kind.

        Reply
        • AvatarKevin Jaeger

          I certainly do not wish anyone ill health but I would notice that the U.S. has a remarkably old political elite. The number of senior members of the House, Senate, as well as Supreme and Appellate courts over 70 is absolutely staggering, not to mention presidential candidates and cabinet members.

          Since these people all have such extensive social interactions they are particularly exposed to this virus. I expect significant numbers won’t survive the year.

          Reply
  8. Avatar-Nate

    Timly topic Jack .

    As far as driving, in two weeks I’ll take my annual Death Valley trip and this year I’ll take along one of my Foster boys so he can see what folks glued to the TV / video games are missing .

    Then in April is the annual No Frills Iron Bottom Motoring Tour…. all vintage cars .

    This morning the boy and I went to the store early and there were people streaming out shopping carts over loaded with bottled water, like the tap water isn’t safe or they couldn’t just boil it for three minutes to be sure…

    The L.A.U.S.D. closed up shop at the end of the school day to – day .

    I’m old so I hope I don’t croak but I’m far more concerned for my son and grand kids .

    This is madness .

    -Nate

    Reply
    • Avatarsaboten.fighter

      People are panicky and stupid. No idea how to prepare for any issue other than the base “buy water and toilet paper”, and all it takes is one moron to start hoarding to cause others follow suit because they lack the brain power to think critically even when not an emergency. With almost 8 Billion on the planet at this point, the number of sub 80 IQ people is a lot higher than it would be in a just and modern world.

      Reply
  9. Avatardejal

    I just noticed the writing on the signs in the photo. I thought it was just the US that was the country of fat asses.

    Reply
  10. Avatararbuckle

    “Our only possible response would be to vaporize a couple of cities — a choice that no potential American President of late 2020 likely has the courage or bloody-mindedness to make.”

    I actually think that if China or Iran or whoever ever really decided to play hardball with the US in a way that resulted in a 5-figure civilian body count that the calls to glass them would be coming from even Beto O’Rourke and Ron Paul fans.

    Reply
    • AvatarJMcG

      Pretty much the story of why Japan attacked Pearl Harbor, the Philippines, etc. of course they ended up getting nuked. Let’s not forget that China has thermonuclear devices of its own. We have no one to blame but ourselves.

      Reply
  11. Avatarstingray65

    Why did so much manufacturing get shifted to China or other low cost countries? Was it simply greedy executives trying to save a few pennies in production cost so they make their quarterly bonus (as well as generate capital appreciation and pay dividends to the pension funds, retirees, and others who own stock in the company)? Yes this no doubt played a part, but why does setting up production halfway around the world save a few pennies versus making stuff right here at home? Could it be the crazy environmental regulations that make energy more expensive, add expensive compliance costs, and allow the EPA Gestapo to come in and shut your production line/mine/pipeline down at any time because some bait fish or owl is threatened by your production process? Could it be the highest corporate tax rates in the world (until the recent Trump tax cut) that take away much of the profit from making things in the USA? Could it be ever increasing minimum wage laws and mandated healthcare and pension obligations, together with “diversity and inclusion” requirements and a lousy school system that make hiring American workers of dubious productivity too expensive to make a profit? Could it be government protected unions that block every productivity enhancing innovation, and make it impossible to fire unproductive or destructive employees? Could it be zoning laws, environmental impact study requirements, and planning permit requirements that make it extra costly and time consuming to build a new factory or expand existing facilities?

    During the 1920s to 1940s it took 4 years to build the Golden Gate bridge, just over 1 year to build the Empire State Building, 5 years to build Hoover dam, and less than 2 years to build the Willow Run B-24 factory. In comparison, all the added costs of required union labor, environmental and occupational safety standards, planning and permitting costs, and wasteful litigation by opponents has meant it took 8 years to build One World Trade Center, and the Keystone XL pipeline is still not built after 12 years of effort. Is it any wonder that China, Mexico, Poland, Vietnam, etc. look like ever more attractive places to expand business and earn greater profits? Just imagine how much more attractive it will be to do business in the US if the Democrats get put back in charge and enact the Green New Deal, terminate the Trump corporate tax cuts, and force higher minimum wage laws and union protections.

    Reply
    • Avatarstingray65

      The USA used to be a nation of inventors and people who made things. The USA is still a leader in terms of invention, but now most of the making things activity is thwarted by government and NGO people whose job it is to stop them from doing so.

      Reply
    • AvatarJohn C.

      Just imagine how it could be if young men could graduate high school, find a decent paying steady full time job with benefits that would allow him in a year or two to save down payments and qualify to buy a house and a new car. that they would understand should be American. With that a possibility, they then marry their girlfriends who have been preparing themselves to be good homemakers and raise large families. All before both sexes became diseased and bitter and fat and most importantly horribly lonely. Sounds all pretty normal in 1960 USA with minimum wages and unions but gradually became less easy to achieve as your model of bowing down to Wall Street was made front and center. Remember investing just used to be old people putting their nest egg in nice yielding government backed CDs at the local mutually owned savings and loan that funded the mortgages of the local young men. Nobody needed wall street, it was a backwater and smart people dreamed of doing something real instead of a quick hit there.

      Reply
      • Avatarstingray65

        Who is bowing down to Wall Street? How is rolling back unproductive regulations and wasteful government agencies hurting young men who graduate from high school or their would-be homemaker wives? Your nostalgic memories of 1960 America were pre-Great Society, pre-diversity and inclusion mandates, pre-EPA, pre-Department of Energy and Education, and pre-OSHA. Some might argue some of these programs have done some good (air and water are certainly cleaner, and legal racial and gender discrimination have been largely eliminated except for white male heterosexuals and white Asians), but they also added costs to building new factories and housing and hiring new employees, and led to increased taxation on productive activity to fund losers and the bureaucrats who serve them. Throw in open borders and feminism and you have a perfect storm for killing wages of the working class and making traditional family formation less necessary for a woman’s survival.

        1960’s corporate America didn’t hire those high school graduates out of the goodness of their hearts, but because they could make excellent profits by doing so. Unfortunately increasing government bloat and interference since that time has made such “hire American”, “build in America” much less profitable than it was then, with predictable results.

        Reply
        • AvatarJohn C.

          Yes if we could only put up with a little more pollution and a little more unregulated gig employment a middle class life will come back. If only we had another 50 million immigrants over the next ten years and could benefit from their creativity, as Charley Kirk and Mick Mulveney said, everything can get back to like it was. No conservative believes that anymore, Only swamp types say it while they try to get money from Koch, Adelson or Friesse. As if they are any different than Soros. Paul Ryan would have lost to Hillary by 10 points and to Bernie by 15. The Dem party was too corrupt to let an outsider populist in, so one will have to be on the right. He wont be spouting Conservative Inc. BS. There isn’t time for that as the population replacement is almost complete and Detroit, Baltimore, and the streets of San Francisco show what that will look like. And your answer is what cut FICA withholding and the now totally token cap gains rate that happened while we weren’t bowing down to wall street. Please….

          Reply
      • AvatarOne Leg at a Time

        Young men and women can indeed just “graduate high school, find a decent paying steady full time job with benefits that would allow him in a year or two to save down payments and qualify to buy a house and a new car.”

        I work in Manufacturing, and even in my small plant we have several high-school graduates who are doing just that, well before their 25th birthday. That’s not even looking at people in the skilled trades or the “certificate driven” medical jobs – any of whom can be in the workforce by their 21st birthday with minimal debt.

        The ability to do so, is probably driven by location and what courses are taught at the local community colleges, but the possibility is definitely there.

        Reply
        • AvatarJohn C.

          Understanding that manufacturing jobs have not gone up in the last 50 years as the population of the USA doubled, what are you paying those fresh out of high school guys? I understand it is not your decision and I won’t criticize.

          Reply
          • AvatarOne Leg at a Time

            Criticize away, I can take it!

            The number of jobs may not have gone up, but a generation of movies depicting factory work as demeaning drudgery have taken their toll. Definitely not people’s first choice, but once people are here, they realize that the work isn’t as awful as depicted.

            Market driven – we pay 2.5 and 3.5 times local minimum wage for entry level, and skilled (interview) positions respectively. It takes six months to a year before someone is a fully trained operator, so we are fighting just to keep people showing up.

            Maintenance and electricians are paid more than that; but we don’t do that training in house. Starting (non-union) mechanic pay is higher than an entry-level engineer or supervisor at most of the plants around here.

            We are on the high end of the bell curve, locally, but I am pretty happy with the team we have. Retention is decent, considering that shift work isn’t for everyone.

          • AvatarJohn C.

            Instead, I will complement away. 2.5 times minimum wage ($7.75) full time works out to forty thousand three hundred a year. Assuming parents let the young man stay home so most of his take home is saved for 18 months, he can have that 20% down on a 200k house which outside of a dozen big cities can buy a 3br/2bath not ghetto home with no escrow. A new compact, say a Sonic, with American assembly(the last one?), can follow the house as a wedding present. You guys are going to sneer, but this is the kind of thing that lets simple people rise. Already in their low twenties the couple by making a few correct choices have their life full of promise. And smarter kids. and security. Yes he will need a raise by the second child and wife will want a nicer car while he takes the Sonic to work as the family gets bigger, but it would be paid off by then.

            To have that promise snuffed out by some factory in Mexico paying their workers $4,030 a year and our young American not marrying but working harder part time killing his crappy old car with hellish commutes to multiple gigs while also killing his parent’s well deserved fun as empty nesters by his everlasting presence and his young energetic and potent marital love life is exchanged for infrequent hookups with ever nastier skanks with sewers between their legs. It is all just too much to give up so Bezos and his investors and a few Mexican have more.

            I think more than a few of Americas double digit IQ boys would be smart enough to sign up for the shift work. 75 years ago, it was enough to get share cropper’s boys running to factory towns, and judging by their movie stars of the time like Stepan Fetchit, or Sleep and Eat, they were not that smart.

          • AvatarOne Leg at a Time

            Thanks for the compliment – it is good to do right by your people.

            I will quote my brother (he is a contractor who is paying his teams through the virus panic, whether they have work or not): “Paying my guys has nothing to do with ‘nice’. It singly has to do with skilled labor supply, and productive working relationship.”

            I completely agree about outsourcing. I hate to see how easy it is to move durable goods manufacturing out of the US. On the other hand, I am in CPG, so it just makes good sense to keep it local. And now we can see the impact of outsourcing pharm – maybe not the best option.

            Only quibble – around here, you can get a 3/2.5 in a good neighborhood for about $120K, which would cut that down payment by about 40%.

          • AvatarJohn C.

            The outsourcing thing is really made too easy. I write about postage stamps at a website in what you can imagine is a pretty dusty corner of the internet. I get inquires all the the time from Bangladesh/India to write my 600ish word articles for me for $18 a pop. God knows what they would write as surely they are not stamp collectors.

    • AvatarJMcG

      Tariffs are the answer. I love having clean air and water here. I want good, well paying jobs here for those of us who weren’t dealt three of a kind in the IQ department. Tariff income could certainly offset taxes to a degree and help make up for the increase in prices.

      Reply
  12. AvatarTyler

    A recent WSJ article on Apple laid it out. The factories that FoxConn et al use employ a quarter million people housed more or less on site. And I assure you the shift sups are not combating mental health related FMLA call offs. Voices within Apple called for supply chain diversification but to date efforts to teach the microscrewing assembly techniques to Indian, Vietnamese, and even some American workers in time to process map the new iPhone were at least reportedly unsuccessful. I’d guess only India and maybe Indonesia have the kind of vast impoverished population base to manufacture at Chinese scale. Neither would ever manage the feat of depositing a few million ethnic minorities in a purpose built megacity to be placed at Tim Cook’s beck and call. Samsung went the other route, assembling its devices outside of China with glue instead of screws, and the tastemakers and resale market have priced the Galaxy brand accordingly.

    Reply
  13. AvatarJames

    The actions we are taking are not to prevent the elderly from becoming infected–that first-order effect could far more easily be accomplished by isolating the elderly, while waiting for the youth to develop herd immunity.
    The problem with isolation is that the elderly rely on the youth for constant care–if isolation saved the elderly from infection, it would kill them with neglect. The actions we are taking are to ensure that the caretakers of the elderly do not become infected. That is a harder problem–in both senses of the word, as those who care for their aging parents now realize.

    Reply
    • Avatarstingray65

      Interesting the Joe Biden’s medical policy adviser is Ezekiel Emanuel who was an architect of Obamacare and Rahm Emanuel’s brother. Ezekiel has famously claimed that he hoped to be dead by age 75 because he believes anyone beyond that age is a net drain on society due to mental and physical deterioration. Both Joe and Bernie would seem to support his viewpoint as both are over 75 and mentally gone, but Joe’s use of an adviser who thinks he should be dead is perhaps the best indicator of his diminished mental abilities. I have to wonder if Ezekiel’s likely bad case of Trump Derangement Syndrome is the only thing keeping him from exposing his client to the Coronavirus.

      Reply
  14. AvatarMrGreenMan

    I remember spending Christmas eve at a metro-Detroit diner. My parents were sick, so I didn’t take them to services. I was out there – out where the radio stations from Detroit were telling locals in Ferndale to head to scavenge groceries, since the inner-burb suburb shelves emptied days ago.

    This was a Greek place – a classic dive – breakfast all day, cranky old ethnic waitress, paintings of olympic flames and Athena on the walls. On my side of the restaurant, there was me, and there was a table of eight white-haired, melanin-free, suit-beclad men. They were clearly having a reunion.

    Before long, the air was pierced with the remark: “I hate Trump, because he’s got it wrong. Americans don’t deserve this country. Go to Mexico, China, India – those people deserve this country.” There was zero chance I was going to get back into whatever Cerno had written lately.

    One of them, bob, went into pure ecstasy: “You’ve got that right. [I don’t remember if he was really Bob.] I remember when I had to move that plant. You’d meet these people down in Mexico – for my money, they’re the smartest people in the world. Mechanically gifted! Why, there was a fellow that worked down where we put the plant in – he was a genius! He could fix anything on his own tractor.”

    Another chimed in – let’s say ‘Charles’: “Yeah, ain’t nobody in America that can do that. You have a problem, you send it off to be fixed. When’s the last time you’ve seen someone around here fix something when it breaks? Throw-away culture!”

    [I remember the beauty of that bucolic farm country of my youth. I remember knuckles busted on a Case International Harvester.]

    Back to Bob, “Some say Chinese are smart. Some say Japanese are smart. That guy – Pedro? I forget – he was a genius. They’re all like that. And so polite! They really appreciated a job! They understood what a great thing I was doing by bringing them those jobs.”

    Frank: “Where were you looking otherwise?”

    Bob, “You remember that spot in the Carolinas? I went there. Loved the place, hated the people. For them – no gratitude. No appreciation. It was just another job to them. Now, in Mexico, where I told them to move that plant, they knew how to show gratitude.”

    Before it was over, they talked about seeing family, how family’s the most important thing in the world, how much they all liked Mitt Romney, how much trouble they were having unloading their Michigan vacation home cottages, how the youths were just lazy Millenials who weren’t making enough to buy the toys they wanted to sell, and how they just wish the grandkids were more interested in getting out there and hustling for a job.

    They made so much money selling the children’s heritage.

    Reply
    • AvatarJohn C.

      Gosh, these folks sound like real pikers. Probably took a year or two to make a million. No like that guy shorting big American business, he can do that in a few days and doesn’t have to bother employing anyone. I mean having to retire in the Caolinas, have they never heard of the south of France.

      Reply
  15. AvatarBeccaria

    National unity is overrated. National unity after 9/11 produced tons of bad policy decisions, because everyone stopped asking questions. The failure of the Iraq War and the financial apocalypse are the defining political realities of the generation that came of age in mid-00’s, and the centrist commentariat still wonders why that group says things like “boomer remover” with glee.

    The only way these manifold ills are going to change for the better is by expanding the political system to include people who are not part of the athleisure technical class, not FIRE paper-pushers, not part of the retiree-industrial complex, not “think-tank” employees with a sinecure somewhere in the NGO complex, and not part of the titled and credentialed medical/cultural/political modern-day gentry. Suburbia is not where that change will be found; it’ll be a reunion between small-town and urban America. Both of those places have way more in common with one another than with gated-community cosmopolitans.

    I’m not sure what outsider will finally put us over the top, but who knows; they might even be a furry.

    Reply
  16. AvatarRonnie Schreiber

    Young people call it the “boomer remover” and cheer on the idea that it might affect the election in their favor by killing older voters en masse.

    That’s because those young people can’t do basic arithmatic, let alone math. It’s not the baby boomers that will be hit hard, it’s their very elderly parents in their 80s and 90s. A large fraction of the ~50 U.S. deaths so far have taken place in a single nursing home in Washington state. The oldest boomers are in their 70s now, the youngest ones are in their late 50s. Unless they have other risk factors, most boomers who get the Wufan coronavirus will get through it just fine.

    Reply
    • Avatarstingray65

      We better hope the boomers survive a while longer if we want to continue eating. 1/3 of US farmers are over age 65, and the average age is about 58 – in other words mostly boomers. About 60% of US truckers are also boomers.
      Given millennials general distaste for physical labor, I suspect boomers are also over-represented in a lot of essential but unglamorous industries that would quickly see us hungry, thirsty, cold, and afraid if boomers suddenly disappeared.

      Reply
      • Avatarhank chinaski

        The average age of doctors and nurses is also quite high. Since they are being exposed to large concentrations of the virus, more than a few in the 30-40 yo age range have become seriously ill.

        Reply
  17. AvatarShrug

    I know the authors and commentariat of this website tend to swing pretty hard right, but it is pretty telling that Jack alluded to the New Deal when discussing how to confront some large issues facing this country. The New Deal was seen by right-wingers (who at the time were partially made up of Actual Nazis) as outlandish and a type of government that didn’t necessarily stick to the Capitalism Uber Alles mentality that got the country in the particular mess that it was in when FDR was elected. FDR, probably the most progressive president in the country’s history when graded on a historical curve, was of course proven mostly right and was able to not only slowly recover the economy, but also lead effectively through WWII.

    He was not perfect (the internment camps are one of modern history’s largest, forgotten, unpunished crimes and those responsible deserved trials at The Hague) but the man did save this country from fascism and led it to be the most powerful country in human history.

    You know who has similar ideas and is attacked by similar people for similar reasons? One Bernard Sanders. Given the crisis of this global pandemic currently facing the world, you know who has the most compelling plans? Ones that would actually help the majority of Americans? Bernie. There is one candidate, just one, worth considering and it is Bernie.

    The United States is an absolute land mine when it comes to pandemics because of how shitty our healthcare system is, and how poorly we treat those in the lower classes. It is imperative that we have someone in charge who recognizes that, and the only person with any ability to fix it from the top that does is currently an aged, socialist, Jewish man from Vermont.

    Reply
    • AvatarRonnie Schreiber

      The New Deal didn’t work out as well as you’d like to believe. Socialism killed scores of millions of people. Please sell those wolf tickets somewhere else.

      https://mises.org/library/amity-shlaes-forgotten-man

      Also, please provide some evidence that the American right in the 1930s included “Actual Nazis”. The Nazis were socialists. Fascism didn’t become a bad word for the American left until Operation Barbarosa.

      I probably have a bit more experience with aged, Jewish socialists than you do. In earlier eras Bernie Sanders would have served on the Yevsekstia, helping the NKVD persecute other Jews, or on a Judenrat, collaborating with the Nazis to save his own skin.

      Reply
      • AvatarShrug

        Wait really? As a guy who comes across as deeply knowledgeable, especially on these specific topics, you don’t know about the American fascist movement pre-WWII? Whether “fascist” was a slur or not at the time, it still existed, and I would go out on a limb and consider Nazi sympathizers to be bad.

        https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_American_Bund

        They held a rally at Madison Square Garden and everything.

        Critiques of the New Deal aside (I’m not going to defend every aspect of it nor FDR, for the man is objectively guilty of war crimes among other things. That said, man aspects of The New Deal, especially the ones that have stuck around, are objectively good), what about Bernie Sanders gives you the impression that he would turn over people to ostensibly be killed by an authoritarian government?

        Reply
        • AvatarRonnie Schreiber

          Again, in what way were American fascists in the 1930s associated with the American right? It’s true that some Republicans were isolationists before WWII, but the Bund had no influence on the Republican party or the broader American right.

          Why do I think the way I do about Bernie Sanders? He pals around with Jew haters and thinks half of Israeli Jews are racists. When friends of mine were smuggling Jewish prayerbooks into the USSR, Bernie was honeymooning there. He says that he’s “proud” of his “Jewish heritage” but he wouldn’t know an authentic Jewish concept if it bit him on the tuchas.

          Like I said, his type is unfortunately well known to Jewish history.

          Reply
        • Avatarstingray65

          Your wikipedia link does not mention the word “Republican” even once, but does note that the Bund was “Far Right”. Most definitions of Far Right link the viewpoint with small government, low taxes, low regulations, economic and political freedom including pro-Capitalist and pro-Democracy movements, generally pro-traditional Western based religion, and patriotism.

          In contrast, the Nazis were proponents large government (including funding the People’s Car VW and the Silver Arrow Grand Prix racers, building the autobahn, nationalizing health care and education, support for abortion and environmental regulations), high taxes, high regulation (including regulating profits and salaries), and were anti-Capitalist, anti-Democratic, anti-religious (the state was the religion), but patriotic (although Hitler was Austrian). The only real difference between Nazis and Communists is that the Nazis used regulation and taxation to control private industry and property, while Communists controlled industry and property by nationalizing it. While the Communist movement is often described as Internationalist rather than Nationalist, they like the Nazis often utilized nationalist themes of patriotism (“mother Russia”) and glorified their own histories and culture while demeaning or vilifying outsiders (see China’s current attempt to make the Wuhan virus an American plot). So if patriotism is what makes the Nazis “Far Right” then so was/is Stalin’s USSR, Mao’s/Jinping’s China, Catro’s Cuba, and Kim’s North Korea.

          Reply
          • AvatarJohn C.

            Think the Russia patriot Communist stuff only came in after Stalin and his purges. Remember when Hungary briefly had a communist government in 1919, and they declared themselves a Soviet Socialist Republic.

          • Avatarstingray65

            The word to emphasize is “briefly”. No Communist government has been able to sustain citizen enthusiasm for the socialist cause with talk of international solidarity – they always end up resorting to nationalist/patriotic and/or racist themes just like the Nazis because it is much more effective until the system collapses entirely.

    • AvatarNewbie Jeff

      Shrug says:

      “FDR, probably the most progressive president in the country’s history when graded on a historical curve, was of course proven mostly right”

      Right about what? Social Security?

      “He was not perfect… but the man did save this country from fascism”

      No, Eisenhower, Patton, Nimitz, Arnold, and Doolittle did. And an entire generation of young people who answered the call to fight fascism… you know, the generation that you probably call racist/bigot/misogynist/Nazi/whatever now that you’re safely delivered from the threat of fascism.

      ” The United States is an absolute land mine when it comes to pandemics because of how shitty our healthcare system is…”

      Unreal that you actually think this. The US is a “landmine” (do you mean breeding ground?) for pandemics because progressive ideology has made border control policy toxic, for reasons only the American left can figure out… except now we suddenly find ourselves in a situation where controlling the borders (and to be specific, “borders” in this context also means controlling intl flight arrivals) is critical to saving American lives. Additionally, we’ll have less control over the spread of diseases once they’re here, largely thanks to progressive American cities whose policies enable mass homelessness. It has absolutely nothing to do with our “shitty” health care system… in fact, I just read on NPR that the US maintains an $8billion emergency medical supply stockpile, including masks and ventilators, and supplies are already going to the progressive wasteland of Seattle, seeing as they are currently the hardest hit by coronavirus. Name one socialist country that maintains such a resource solely as a reserve. There’s your “shitty” health care system.

      ” There is one candidate, just one, worth considering and it is Bernie.”

      Haha. Good grief, what a shill. What, are you a campaign volunteer or something? Ooh, let me guess: the media is so unfair to Bernie! It’s almost like they have an agenda, right? Like they’ve picked a preferred candidate and now they’re manipulating content to boost that candidate and undermine his opponents? Tell all of us “right-wingers” about that…

      Reply
      • Avatarstingray65

        Other than being a Ponzi scheme that is about to collapse, what’s wrong with Social Security?

        I think Shrug referring to that “shitty” healthcare system that attracts all those Canadians who get tired of waiting in line at home, and all the world’s celebrities and royalty who want to actually be cured of their serious illness – funny how Mick Jagger didn’t utilize the UK NHS that his taxes had paid for when his ticker started to act up. I also don’t recall that Bernie made his way to Cuba for treatment of his recent heart attack.

        Reply
        • AvatarNewbie Jeff

          My girlfriend is a British citizen born in Poland. She occassionally has some nice points about NHS. However, it’s worth noting that she usually plans health/dental care around trips back to Poland. Specifically, private healthcare providers in Poland.

          Let me emphasize: my girlfriend bypasses two public healthcare systems (NHS and Poland’s public healthcare) for Poland’s private options.

          Reply
  18. Avatarhank chinaski

    Brain dump:
    The hot spot in Italy was a textile factory town full of 10K imported Chinese to put ‘Made in Italy’ tags on products made there. Direct flights back and forth to Wuhan.

    NPR has turned ‘orange man bad’ up to ‘twelve’. If #joementia wasn’t bad enough, they must be aware how crises tend to help incumbents. There’s a timeline floating around combining the goings on in Wuhan with the impeachment circus through January and February.

    Aside from culling lives, this crisis will cull industries. If half of what we do can be put on hold for months, and what we do need is done elsewhere, we have a problem. Zero resiliency. Speaking of, banks are leveraged in derivatives in the trillions of dollars, possibly in multiples of the host GNP for DB. NIRP when? Jubilee debt reset when?

    For the militants, local governments readying the whip hand: https://www.thetruthaboutguns.com/what-constitution-champaign-il-passes-sweeping-emergency-powers-ordinance-including-banning-gun-ammo-sales/

    https://gisanddata.maps.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html#/bda7594740fd40299423467b48e9ecf6
    Mother Russia is doing very well.

    Reply
  19. AvatarPaul M.

    The only way to fix America is change in representation on corporate boards. Right now the boards and CEOs feel their fiduciary responsibilities are to only stockholders and wall street. It is why people like Paul Singer and Elliott group (the worst of wall street types) can destroy America and enrich himself and a few others. Add Carl lchan and his team to these people. or that dude who took over Sears.

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

    Trump is trying to fix the symptom. Root cause is wall street and corporate boards/CEOs who only see their boss as wall street. How to fix:

    Equal representation for employees, stockholders, and communities where coroporations operate. Unless all three agree, outsourcing should to India, China, Mexico should not happen. and if does, help out neighbors first (Mexico and Canada).

    Reply
    • AvatarJohn C.

      I have yet to see a Board that was a help to a company. Between the vultures you describe to the diversely curated bunch of swamp crawling politicians who are rubber stamps as that was who pays them. In an earlier stage of my career, I worked with small town community banks. Their boards were also not doing their job as they were all ancient buddies of the CEO specifically picked for their ability to wield the rubber stamp. At least the group photo of them tended to look more distinguished.

      I may not be the one to say this, but perhaps our Japanese friends were better off with their boards of suppliers, distributors, and yes a few creditors. They haven’t been immune themselves to the hollowing out, but it has been slower. China for example manufactures pretty close copies of old Corollas, Toyota hasn’t yet just slapped their emblem on one and called it a day.

      Reply
  20. AvatarJMcG

    Hey, I see you are in Cycle World this month! I thought you were finished there. Kevin Cameron and Jack Baruth in one place. Worth every penny!

    Reply
  21. AvatarRonnie Schreiber

    I was at Target today and two things stood out:

    Don’t most women keep a couple of month’s worth of feminine hygiene products in stock at home? Also, why are some brands of tampons out of stock and others well supplied?

    The parking lot was littered with disposable gloves and hand wipes. Folks, it’s called “public health” for a reason. Turn the glove inside out and dispose of it at home.

    Reply
  22. Avatarltrftc

    Super helpful, really appreciate the considered reply.
    I agree with on the perils of getting your information from the internet (as I’m doing in this case! 🙂 ), hence why I try to verify and cross check information (like I’m doing in this case).

    So if we get a fever over the coming months, Panadol or Tylenol only right?

    Reply
  23. Pingback: Weekly Roundup: Strategic Control Over Medical Products Edition – Riverside Green – Additional survival tricks

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