Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
November 23, 2020

Pandemic Freedom

On Thursday the U.S. will celebrate Thanksgiving. That will cause an increase in the number of Covid-19 cases and in the number of deaths.

The states could have intervened but did little to prevent this from happening. The politicians are reluctant to act because the U.S. public at large follows an ideology that is incompatible with a pandemic.

The CDC warns of Thanksgiving celebrations:

As cases continue to increase rapidly across the United States, the safest way to celebrate Thanksgiving is to celebrate at home with the people you live with.

Gatherings with family and friends who do not live with you can increase the chances of getting or spreading COVID-19 or the flu.

In my view that warning is not strong enough.

There should be more draconian measures and restrictions of freedom to prevent higher Covid-19 casualties.

In October Canada already celebrated its version of Thanksgiving. The result was a notable acceleration of the pandemic.

Source: George Rutherford, UCSF - bigger

More can be done and more should be done to prevent this from happening in the United States.

But there are people who argue even against stronger warnings:

This week, a survey reported that 38% of people planned to gather with 10 or more people for Thanksgiving, and just a third said they would wear a mask. Twitter reacted predictably. Public health experts and doctors pointed to rising COVID-19 case numbers in many states and scolded (often in all caps): DO NOT HAVE THANKSGIVING.

Of course, there is no doubt that large gatherings, indoors, and without masks is a recipe for the rapid spread of SARS-CoV-2, but at the same time, I worry that the abstinence-only approach -- the just-don't-have-Thanksgiving approach -- is not the right way for public health experts to respond.
I think public health experts should not just listen, but hear what people are saying. Americans are saying that despite all the damage done by COVID-19, despite the rising cases and at-capacity ICUs around the country, their desire for human connection is so great, that they are willing to take the risk and have Thanksgiving. Americans are, in effect, expressing the longing and desperation of their soul.
Instead of admonishing people to not gather, public health experts should begin from the starting point that people really want this -- correction, people are saying they need this. Given that the desire is so strong, what advice can we give to minimize the risk? How can we reduce -- not eliminate risk.

As Thanksgiving family meetings happen indoor with everyone talking and eating together in one room there is little one can do to reduce the risk and to avoid new infections except to call off the event.

That is why I think that the states should have intervened more by restricting travel and the size of private meetings.

That is not happening because for many people in the U.S. this is not about 'longing' or a 'need' but about a mistaken understanding of freedom:

Here's a question for all red-blooded liberty-loving American patriots: Who has a greater lived experience of freedom at the moment, citizens of Vietnam or the United States? Vietnam, of course, is a one-party Communist state, with fairly strict limitations on freedom of speech, the press, and so on, while the U.S. has (at least for now) a somewhat democratic constitution and (at least formally) some protections for civil liberties.

But in Vietnam, there is no raging coronavirus pandemic. Thanks to swift action from the government, that nation squelched its initial outbreak, and has so far successfully contained all subsequent infection clusters before they got out of hand.

Vietnam is free of Covid-19 and its people are mostly free to do what they want to do. The same goes for China were Covid-19 restrictions are now minimal. People are free to travel within the country and to live a normal life. The few local outbreaks that are still happening are rigorously hunted down. Still, the Associated Press depicts those interventions as an assault on the ever ephemeral 'freedom':

Chinese authorities are testing millions of people, imposing lockdowns and shutting down schools after multiple locally transmitted coronavirus cases were discovered in three cities across the country last week.
In Manzhouli, a city of more than 200,000 people, local health authorities are testing all residents after two cases were reported on Saturday. They also shut down all schools and public venues and banned public gatherings such as banquets.

China has resorted to its heavy, top-down approach each time new cases of local transmission are found — shutting down schools and hospitals, locking down residential communities and entire neighborhoods, and testing millions.

Tianjin authorities shut down a kindergarten and moved all the teachers, family and students to a centralized quarantine space. They also sealed the residential compound where the five cases were found.

China's approach to controlling the pandemic has been criticized for being draconian. It locked down the city of Wuhan, where cases were first reported, for more than two months to contain the virus, with the local government shutting down all traffic and confining residents to their homes. Domestically, however, China has called its strategy “clear to zero” and has boasted of its success.

China used science and strong public health measures to defeat the pandemic. Being draconian in doing that is the only way to really get a pandemic under control. The AP's negative tone about the anti-Covid-19 measures is typical for U.S. media:

Ninety one percent of stories by U.S. major media outlets are negative in tone versus fifty four percent for non-U.S. major sources and sixty five percent for scientific journals. The negativity of the U.S. major media is notable even in areas with positive scientific developments including school re-openings and vaccine trials.
Stories of increasing COVID-19 cases outnumber stories of decreasing cases by a factor of 5.5 even during periods when new cases are declining.

That may have been caused partially by anti-Trump sentiment in the media:

Among U.S. major media outlets, stories discussing President Donald Trump and hydroxychloroquine are more numerous than all stories combined that cover companies and individual researchers working on COVID-19 vaccines.

Trump surely could have done more. Still, he is now getting too little credit for his successful Operation Warp Speed which has created three reasonably good vaccine in record time.

But would the people in the U.S. really have followed Trump's or any others president's advice if he had called for or ordered more restrictions?

I find that unlikely because the preeminent ideology in the U.S. is this false understanding of 'freedom' which is incompatible with a pandemic:

Life for Vietnamese people has returned to normal, with a few sensible precautions. If their success holds for a few more months until a vaccine can be deployed, Vietnam will have dodged the pandemic nearly perfectly.
Meanwhile in the self-appointed "land of the free," on Sunday[, November 15,] the seven-day average of daily COVID-19 deaths was 1,148.
The bleak irony of American life is our boastful and hyperbolic national conception of liberty has left us as one of the most unfree peoples on the globe. There can be no freedom without government, a lesson currently being inscribed in blood, and stacked up in the mobile morgues that are overflowing with corpses in more cities around the country every day.
All the political freedoms I supposedly enjoy as an American citizen are useless in the face of this unending tsunami of death and misery. The plain fact is that the average resident of Vietnam — under a repressive dictatorship, let me emphasize — has more freedoms in the places where, for most people, it really counts: the freedom to leave the house, the freedom to see and touch one's family and friends, the freedom to go to a restaurant or a bar or a movie or a concert, and simply the freedom from constant grasping fear of invisible death.
In reality, as Vietnam demonstrates, the only way to have freedom during a pandemic is with a competent, aggressive state that does intrusive, coercive things on a hair trigger, the very instant they become necessary.

The U.S. and other 'western' societies have failed to understand that. Individual liberties are all fine. But they must stand back when the liberty of the general society is endangered.

Emergency medicine (triage) knows the concept of minimizing 'life years lost' when deciding to either save patient A or B. The patient who has more potential life years left is preferred to survive.

We may need a similar concept for 'freedom' where the aim is to maximize the amount of total freedom not for individuals but for the society as a whole, not within a short moment but over a considerable period of time.

This what China and Vietnam have done. Their draconian local measures have harshly restricted the freedom of relatively few but maximized the freedom their societies could allow themselves. In the end even those whose freedoms were restricted the most, the inhabitants of Wuhan for example, have gained more freedom than a runaway pandemic would have allowed them to have.

Posted by b on November 23, 2020 at 16:57 UTC | Permalink

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Clueless Joe | Nov 23 2020 21:00 utc | 90

Death rates per million population. Brazil about standard.
US 794
Brazil 795
UK 812
Sweden 633
Spain 922
Peru 1'074
Belgium 1'435

Some other S American countries have high total deaths per million. As this is calculated as "theoretical" million populations for Andorra and San Marino, small countries figures must be wildly off.

New deaths
US 715
Brazil 288 per 205 million population
France 500 per 67 million.
UK 206 per 68 million.
Sweden not available
Spain 922
Peru not available
Belgium 1'435

I'm not going to argue with you BUT it depends on the source of info and differences in reporting. There is a big question mark over the sudden change in figures about Brazilian Death/recovery rate in March-April after which the "death/recovery" rate reverses.
I do not have the "excess deaths" figures.
If you want to check out for yourself the figures they are at

Posted by: Stonebird | Nov 23 2020 22:05 utc | 101


OOps my bad Belgium at 96 "new deaths"

Posted by: Stonebird | Nov 23 2020 22:11 utc | 102

Derpy Doo @16:

And I'm willing to have a discussion about this and listen to view points that disagree with me. But only if someone is willing to engage with me in good faith and understand that I'm not selfish, nor a sociopath, nor someone that doesn't care about death and suffering, and........

Actually I agree with all the points you made, except that these points should not be applicable to all nations of this world. Nations such as China, Russia, Iran, Venezuela, al do have to take exceptional precautions because of the nature of the adversary that they are faced with. They are faced with some entities very closely resembling The Devil, who have no notion of commonly understood morality, who had in the past wiped out whole races of natives to occupy their land, who murdered its own citizens by bringing down skyscrapers just to create justifications to invade other nations so as to kill more people, who therefore is not timid about cultivating viruses in labs as weapons against their next target enemy. For China, Russia, al it was the prudent thing to do to take draconian measures to guard against the 'what if'.

But for the western nations, they sure have overdone it. Their enemies are not the kind who would poison their water. They could have treated this COVID thing just like another flu, albeit a little nastier one.

Or, do leaders of these western nations know something we don't know? It was rumored that the PM of a nasty nation in the Middle East knew of a pending pandemic way back in the summer of 2019. Maybe they didn't take measures early enough.

Posted by: Oriental Voice | Nov 23 2020 22:13 utc | 103

Don Bacon @94--

Yes, it's better to know your enemy, and it's also best not to interrupt it when it's busy making a grievous error. Unfortunately in this case, the errors aren't self-contained; thus, others are forced to contain them in some fashion which limits their freedom of action.

uncle tungsten @93--

I wonder how close Proudhon was to Bastiat as they seem to agree occasionally. One of Bastiat's maxims:

"When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men in a society, over the course of time they create for themselves a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that glorifies it."

Although it makes great sense to do so, very little emphasis is placed on learning the first codified systems of Law; for example, the Code of Hammurabi gets only about 1.5 pages in the standard college level Western Civilization textbook and isn't discussed in context with other systems of law that arose in the same region not long after. Indeed, throughout that text, very little examination of Law is undertaken which strikes me as very strange given how much Law governs our lives. The issue of Law is much discussed over the history of philosophy and of religion; and within the physical sciences there's much discussion over the various physical laws. Law was also one of the major topics of conversation at coffee houses when like taverns they were one of society's main gathering points for discussion. IMO, one of the great failures of modern society is the lack of depth both spatially and scholarly of general discourse amongst citizens that was once a matter-of-course prior to the advent of mass media. It was once said that even an illiterate Englishman knew his rights under Common Law, thus there being no need for a written constitution. In that regards, IMO the USA's citizenry during the 1930s was more civic-minded and literate relative to Law than our contemporaries, particularly as exhibited on this thread.

The preface on the stone slab on which Hammurabi's Code is carved says in part:

"[My job as given to me by the Gods is} ... to bring about the rule of righteousness in the land, to destroy the wicked and the evil-doers; so that the strong should not harm the weak..."

One can say with ample justification that Hammurabi's Code is violated daily and globally as is International Law as codified by the UN Charter. One very odd point is the fact that Hammurabi is one of the Law Givers pictured in stone inside the House chamber within the Capital in Washington DC along with 22 others whose laws have likewise been violated by those elected to sit in that same building.

Posted by: karlof1 | Nov 23 2020 22:27 utc | 104

Well said oriental voice @ 110
That sums it up for me.
I think we’re ill starting to see where the true source of confusion is coming from.
Who the true terrorists are.
It has nothing to do with race, skin colour or geographic place of birth.
Time to lay the blame for this virus and resulting chaos squarely where it belongs.
Time to unite as one and resist the devide and rule.

Posted by: Mark2 | Nov 23 2020 22:42 utc | 105

we should recall that b pushed and pushed masks and mask wearing and mask obedience and masked subservience
Also a huge fail- Despite massive fines and very high compliance.
The outcome was predicted by those familiar with the now obfuscated science.
Begs the question of other measures b is advocating?

Posted by: R Rose | Nov 23 2020 22:42 utc | 106

Thirty or forty years ago it was Life before the economy. Now it's the economy before Life! This is not a good change, now and for the future...

Posted by: jrbarch | Nov 23 2020 22:46 utc | 107

Carlton Meyer #100

Note that our military was never "locked down" either.

That is not to say that the USAi military should not be either locked up or locked down.
They are greater killers and invaders than covid.

Bring the USA troops home, save the money and the unwarranted attacks on other peoples, invest in the restoration of USA essential services and infrastructure, live a peaceful life for once.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Nov 23 2020 22:54 utc | 108

@ Posted by: Caliman | Nov 23 2020 21:04 utc | 91

This is outright nazifascist logic. Death doesn't liberate, it's the cessation of existence.

And how the fuck one will wish to die from COVID-19? There's a limit even to human imagination: if one wishes to die, chances are one will wish to do so quickly and painlessly.

Posted by: vk | Nov 23 2020 23:05 utc | 109

karlof1 #111

Thanks for the Hammurabi reference. Yes he was right to encode his people's thoughts. I will read that code.

The Australian Aboriginals had a much more sophisticated system of justice in place that seems to predate Hammurabi by a few millennia or perhaps tens of millennia.. See Dark Emu by Bruce Pascoe in his discussion of the difference in lawmaking between the european invaders sense of law and that of the Australian Indigenous peoples. Where the europeans seemed to have a history of slaughter and malice as their drivers: pouring boiling oil down the throats of captives etc, the Aboriginal law/cultural response avoided violence except as an extreme last resort. There is much to learn and admire in justice systems that endure for tens of millennia and that are meticulously interwoven with social survival and myth and lore.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Nov 23 2020 23:11 utc | 110

@ Posted by: Mao Cheng Ji | Nov 23 2020 20:12 utc | 80

But also almost non-existent in South America, too (where the COVID-19 is ravaging).

Even North America having less incidence, they are pretty close. There's simply no correlation.

It is extremely hard to demonstrate causation between gene and disease or vulnerability to disease. You need decades and decades of studies to even come close of proving or disproving such kind of link (unless it is a simple Mendelian case where you can outright identify the anomaly, such as Down Syndrome, Hemophilia etc.). One paper certainly won't do it.


@ Posted by: Stonebird | Nov 23 2020 19:55 utc | 73

Not only Brazil has comparable rates to the USA, it is also known - to everybody who lives there - that the official numbers are cooked. The true numbers for Brazil are between six to fifteen (!!) times higher, both for deaths and for cases, as estimated by the country's own competent authorities.

The USA is not the country with the most cases and deaths, that's for sure. Third World countries have an "advantage" over First World countries in the sense that their governments can simply let their own people die in their homes or on the streets (therefore, never diagnosed) without anyone caring about them. The ICUs are never in the max capacity that way, giving the illusion there are (much) fewer cases. I'm sure a similar situation is happening in other big Third World nations, specially India.

Posted by: vk | Nov 23 2020 23:16 utc | 111

Ah, yes, lockdowns are just a minor inconvenience.

But it is a wonderful event if you happen to have a monopoly in the consumer markets, as walmart, amazon, target, and other online retailers can tell you.

If you happen to be a mom and pop restaurant, guess you are shit out of luck.

The further consolidiation of power and wealth keeps travelling up.

And just as the never-Trumpers thought they were doing good work for not condoning such an uncouth straight-talker, so too do lockdown advocates think they are doing good, when it seems to me from a variety of different angles that the cure is worse than the disease. And we don't even know if the cure is actually and scientifically that.

Do lockdowns even work?

Ah, the road to evil.

I think vk above makes a good point above about Japanese internment, even though he was trying to be funny about it. We thought we were helping the situation by locking up these Americans, but we ended up committing a crime against our very ideals. So sad, so true, so relevant.

But carry on with your American-bashing.

And for those in the medical field worried, pursue a different career. That will teach us to not strain the system. Do soldiers have a say in the battles they fight? No. Do physicians have a choice as to who they treat? No. So stop complaining and do your job. Otherwise, quit.

We Americans have little to no faith in our government's response and that is why we buck it at every opportunity.

Let us be Lemmings, if we must, to keep our essential character.

Thanks, Caliman, foe the above Walt Whitman quote!

Posted by: NemesisCalling | Nov 23 2020 23:17 utc | 112

@99 bevin

I don't know where you come up with the idea that neoliberals are not firmly in the pro-lockdown camp.

MSM has been pumping fear into our homes for nine months now.

All the corporate behemoths are flying high on record profits.

It is the little guy, the Mom-and-Pop, and the service sector which are suffering greatly, and the last I checked, these people have little access to the gears and levers of neoliberal machinations.

So just to be clear: are you positing that neoliberals would have preferred to keep everything humming along with no government intrusion?

Because I guess in my twisted worldview, I would say it is the direct opposite.

Posted by: NemesisCalling | Nov 23 2020 23:23 utc | 113

Part 2: Canada and Covid-19

The total deaths for Respiratory Disease/Infection in Canada for the year to date is 22,629 (14,498 Respiratory Disease Deaths plus 8,131 Lower Respiratory Infection Deaths; see Page 8 on PANDA link below). (It is most likely/sensible that the 11,455 deaths for Covid-19 [see Part 1] are included in this Respiratory Disease/Infection figures).

We can project this year to date figure to give an indicative death rate for Respiratory Disease/Infection deaths of 25,182 for the whole of 2020. You could argue that it might be higher because there will be much more Respiratory (and/or Covid) deaths in the remainder of the year, or you could argue the figure might be lower on the basis that the death toll of Covid will not be as high as in the early months of the pandemic. However, any fair-minded person would agree that the projected figure of 25,182 Respiratory disease deaths is fair and reasonable (based, as it is, on the available statistics) and will give a good indication of the likely outcome.

Let's compare this projected figure for Respiratory deaths in Canada for 2020 to previous years:

Canada Respiratory Disease/Infection (RD/I) Deaths

Year      Population     RD/I Deaths      Percentage     Deaths per 100k
2020     37,742,154        25,182              0.067%                66.7
2019     37,411,047     Not available
2018     37,074,562        27,285              0.074%                73.6
2017     36,732,095        25,767              0.070%                70.1
2016     36,382,944        23,767              0.065%                65.3
2015     36,026,676        25,211              0.070%                70.0
2014     35,650,854        23,355              0.066%                65.5

As far as the projected figures for Respiratory Disease/Infection (RD/I) Deaths (at 66.7 deaths per 100,000) for Canada in 2020 is concerned the death rate is indicated to be average or even below average (but will almost certainly be within the normal range). It appears that Covid-19 will likely not have a discernible effect on Canada’s death rate for Respiratory Disease/Infection Deaths for 2020.

The remaining question is will Covid-19 have an effect on Canada’s overall death rate for 2020?



Population of Canada (

PANDA's analytics for Canada (navigation: >Select a Country or Region [will take the user to Page 2] > Select Country [Press drop-down, enter Canada in the Search field, then select Canada and you're good to go]).

Deaths by Diseases of the respiratory system (Statistics produced by the Canadian Government –

Posted by: ADKC | Nov 23 2020 23:29 utc | 114

Caliman | Nov 23 2020 20:26 utc | 85

China can lock down 20 million people; the US and UK and France and the rest can never do that.

How comes it that China, a relatively poor country can do it, while the richest countries in the World cannot? There is surely no economic reason, so it must be political/sociological. What is it?

Or is it, perhaps, that the people running countries that can, are all seasoned professionals, while the people actually running the richest countries' are not "in government" and the people "in government" who are allegedly running them, (e.g. Donald and Boris) are incompetent amateurs?

P.s. To b. why do I SO OFTEN get this: "We're sorry, but your session has expired. We cannot complete your request. Please refresh the page and try again."?

Posted by: foolisholdman | Nov 23 2020 23:36 utc | 115

NemesisCalling # 119

you ask "do lockdowns even work?"

They do when enacted in the beginning and strenuously supported with ancillary strategies to support quarantined individuals. Many methodical and thoughtful societies in the world have demonstrated this fact.

In the case of the USA and some other less methodical and thoughtful nations, they failed as their nations lack the essential social cohesiveness necessary for public acceptance. That's it and they are now stuck with a major problem. in excluding themselves from the application of intelligence they have isolated themselves from the broader planetary civilisations and are self quarantined in their lands. They are unwelcome potential carriers of a deadly disease. Perhaps in more ways than one;)

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Nov 23 2020 23:40 utc | 116

Everyone knows, or should know by now, that, in cootiestan, freedom ain’t free.

Ben Franklin said something like: those who give up their liberties for security, deserve neither. This current population gives up their soul for a smartphone, liberty be damned.
Freedom. pshhhh.

I’d like to coin “gather and parish,” as take on “publish or parish” term.

Posted by: Sakineh Bagoom | Nov 23 2020 23:42 utc | 117

uncle tungsten @117--

Thanks for your reply and the reference! As you know, I've long advocated that culture was the adjudicator for societies many thousands of years prior to writing and a settled existence, that culture was unable/incapable of adapting to the very rapid change in societal ways of living, which thus rendered it dysfunctional and has yet to recover and once again become the master controller of societies. The fantastically brutal ways of Europeans horrified aboriginals and other natives everywhere they went resulting in Europeans projecting their behavior onto those they encountered--clearly a behavioral trait that has yet to be evolved away as evidenced by this thread.

Posted by: karlof1 | Nov 23 2020 23:44 utc | 118

vk - Calling someone's idea nasty names reveals the dearth of one's argument; did you not know that? And btw, what the f is a nazifascist? I thought all nazis were fascists? At any rate, I take incompetent attacks and silly name calling as a compliment to an argument made so well that it was unanswerable.

Final word (for me) on this article: it's amusing to see some of the regulars on this comment board and b himself have so much charming faith in government experts of the Deep State, big corporate, and big pharma, as opposed to faith in the basic decency and native intelligence of their fellow citizens.

Folks who (rightly) wouldn't trust a State dept expert to tell them the time of day are not only willing to believe anything and everything spelled out by the CDC, they are willing to force their fellow citizens to OBEY, on pain of arrest and imprisonment, all of course for the greater good of the same citizenry they don't trust. You can't make this stuff up ...

Posted by: Caliman | Nov 23 2020 23:45 utc | 119

Actually, only the dead are completely free.

Must count as one of the daftest remarks in the thread. The Dead are not free to do anything or to enjoy any rights. Not in any meaningful sense. Presumably, were this true, all the "freedom Lovers" should commit suicide! (Don't let me dissuade you!)

Posted by: foolisholdman | Nov 23 2020 23:46 utc | 120

Sorry that was for Caliman | Nov 23 2020 21:04 utc | 91

Posted by: foolisholdman | Nov 23 2020 23:48 utc | 121

#122 - "How comes it that China, a relatively poor country can do it, while the richest countries in the World cannot? There is surely no economic reason, so it must be political/sociological. What is it?"

Ok, really final last word (for me) :)

The reason is exactly the reason I discussed above in comment # 25. China's govt is willing to do it and Chinese citizens are willing to accept being treated that way. Western, and especially US/UK govts are far more reluctant to do it and their populations will not accept it.

We already have people in the streets protesting the wishy-washy lockdowns and masks; imagine if we went through a real Wuhan-style lockdown for a month and a half for New York City. It simply would not happen. There would be a revolution.

Posted by: Caliman | Nov 23 2020 23:55 utc | 122

Sakineh Bagoom @124--

Yes, you're correct. However, the term you want is perish, not parish, for they're quite different!

foolisholdman @122--

If you leave your page open for an hour or more then try to post your comment, you'll get that message. If so, then copy/paste your comment, refresh the page, paste your comment into the box, press the space bar to activate the post/preview buttons, and take your next action.

Another asset the nations able to defeat the virus have is their society's confidence in the political leadership to make proper choices to defend the people which is a hallmark of a successful Collectivist polity/society. Nations whose governments must practice divide and rule to control their citizenry clearly won't have that asset.

Posted by: karlof1 | Nov 23 2020 23:58 utc | 123

@ Carlton Meyer | Nov 23 2020 21:42 utc | 100... unfortunately your data doesn't fly with the data here

124 us military dead so far.. there were another 5 today..

Posted by: james | Nov 24 2020 0:00 utc | 124

@ Carlton Meyer | Nov 23 2020 21:42 utc | 100... your data doesn't fly... 124 us military dead - 5 from today as well.. i linked to world o meters, but it is being held in moderation at present.. check back here when b releases it... cheers james

Posted by: james | Nov 24 2020 0:04 utc | 125

This topic has become a Moron Magnet.
There's a deluge of cretinism from people who were in such a rush to say Something Stupid that they didn't bother reading b's final 2 paragraphs.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Nov 24 2020 0:08 utc | 126

Caliman @129: "...Chinese citizens are willing to accept being treated that way..."

And as a result the vast majority in China can now safely and comfortably go to restaurants and cinemas and large festive gatherings without being a threat to their own or each others' lives.

Your pathetic and infantile inability to delay or postpone your egocentric personal gratification is why you cannot have nice things. The problem isn't the big, bad government, it is you. You're a primitive savage compared with the Chinese; incapable of even comprehending how to function in a society composed of more than just yourself.

I have no expectation that you can understand this, so don't bother with yet more posts that demonstrate that you can't grasp it.

Posted by: William Gruff | Nov 24 2020 0:12 utc | 127

William Gruff -

See, the temptation to belittle and attack is just too strong to resist, isn't it? You're hoping I'll respond in kind, aren't you? Attack you, your intelligence, etc.?

No, that's fine. I trust in the people and not the government. Even people like you. You go ahead and rely on the benevolence of the Communist Party of China and the corporacracy that is headed for us and good luck to you. Hopefully, we'll meet again in the re-education camps of the future and we can compare notes on the few nice things the government will let us have.

I must say, I continue to be amazed that such naturally suspicious and sceptical people as b and the people on this site are, at one and the same time, willing to believe in, trust, and support the enforcement of the most draconian population controls. Shocking really.

Posted by: Caliman | Nov 24 2020 0:22 utc | 128

Posted by: karlof1 | Nov 23 2020 23:58 utc | 131
Thanks karlof1. Yes, of course. Perish. "gather and perish"

Parish, if I remember correctly, were flooded, not too long ago. N.O.

Posted by: Sakineh Bagoom | Nov 24 2020 0:24 utc | 129

For those who need more insights on cultural differences, west vs. east, including how China can do lockdowns, go to some visuals here and see cultural differences, west (blue) vs. east (red), especially "Relative status of the leader"

Posted by: Don Bacon | Nov 24 2020 0:26 utc | 130

@ Caliman | Nov 24 2020 0:22 utc | 136... regarding your last paragraph, i don't think that is correct... as a natural skeptic and cynic i don't believe it is true of myself.. i appreciate your thoughtful tone in your response to wg.. i haven't been following your conversation... i would say the response is different for different people here based on a number of factors.. i live in canada and fortunately as a member of the 'gig' economy have been given financial support in light of the fact my gigs have all dried up.. i would prefer to be working... here in the same community i am living in, the number of cases in the local hospital is picking up.. the hospital is already running at close to full capacity... i try to be respectful of what our gov't is asking, but at the same time i am by no means a person to trust of believe everything i am told and etc.. so i would say from my own pov, your characterizations are overgeneralizations that are not applicable to me.. cheers..

Posted by: james | Nov 24 2020 0:30 utc | 131

foolisholdman @22

As far as I have been able to ascertain, China did not lock down the whole of China; they only locked down certain areas.

The total population of China is estimated at 1.44 billion but, I believe that at most about 70 million Chinese were affected by the lockdown which was largely concentrated in Hebei province.

The idea that the whole of China was locked down appears to be a fiction/propaganda created by the media. China has far less to do with how the West is behaving than many here believe. The West has limited knowledge and understanding of how and why China acted the way they did during their pandemic; everyone makes lazy assumptions.

Many commentators like to imbue China with superpowers but the truth is that, although there are impressive achievements, Chinese health systems are plagued by many of the same problems, limitations and mistakes experienced by the West. China's health systems were pretty poor in the mid-2000s, they've almost certainly improved but not as much as some would like to believe.

China is, unfortunately, adopting more and more Western health norms and practices (e.g. pharmaceuticals and cosmetic surgery) and this will lead to the same problems experienced in the West.

Posted by: ADKC | Nov 24 2020 0:35 utc | 132

William Gruff @135--

Thanks Bill! Looks like the man replacing Pompeo will be just as bad if not worse. "Biden signals US return to full-on globalism and foreign meddling by picking interventionist Anthony Blinken as secretary of state":

"Blinken is still arguing for a resurgence in Washington's military intervention in Syria....

"'Our leverage is vastly even less than it was, but I think we do have points of leverage to try to effectuate some more positive developments,' Blinken said. For instance, US special forces in northeast Syria are located near Syrian oil fields. 'The Syrian government would love to have dominion over those resources. We should not give that up for free.'

"Blinken also sees Biden strengthening NATO, isolating Russia politically and 'confronting Mr. [President Vladimir] Putin for his aggressions.'"

And his position on China is built on similar delusions. IMO, projection must be a mandatory psychological condition to be an executive within the Outlaw US Empire's government regardless the party. Be prepared for more financial fraud if Yellen becomes Treasury Secretary. And unless Biden does the totally unexpected on January 20, 2021, his administration will immediately become illegitimate for its failure to uphold and defend the Constitution, subject to Impeachment and charges of Treason, just as with all previous presidents going back to Truman.

Posted by: karlof1 | Nov 24 2020 0:40 utc | 133

@135 caliman, gruff

Gruff, you are an ally when it comes to us deplorables, but there is something in your thinking that absolutely snaps when it comes to making even the slightest insinuation that eastern cultures at bottom may be different than western ones in how they view benevolence in government.

I have tried to pusseyfoot around this topic so many times but it always ends in y'all writing, "You see, you westerners have such a warped mind that you think you are superior to everyone."

In reality, we were just trying to posit the essential differences that make the world beautiful.

As it stands, I say there are many many posters in here that will never mention anything good about the west or America ever again. They have taken a solemn oath to repeat the same anti-west tropes ad nauseum.

One can think they are doing it because they wish to see China "lead the world." Maybe they actually believe that eastern orientation is better and there is something fundamentally evil within westernism.

Me? I just want America back to its isolationism as well as can be. We have plenty here. But what we need are our elites within arms' and pitchforks' reach. To hell with China and the world.

Let us be the lemmings that God made us...

Posted by: NemesisCalling | Nov 24 2020 0:41 utc | 134

karlov1@91 — I propose the term “troll” be avoided for the same reason “conspiracy theorist” is a loaded and meaningless term, used as a quasi ad hominem to discredit an author rather than to deal with specific issues that are contentious.

Posted by: norecovery | Nov 24 2020 0:43 utc | 135

@ ADKC | Nov 24 2020 0:35 utc | 134... thanks... i agree with much of what you say in your post... thanks for your other posts too, even if i don't agree with the direction you are going with them!

Posted by: james | Nov 24 2020 0:46 utc | 136

@ norecovery | Nov 24 2020 0:43 utc | 137... not a bad idea... however i used it in a general sense @79 and saw your comment after.. i would like to point out every time moa has a covid thread all sorts of newbies, or people who never post come on and it is always in a way that tries to negate moa, b and anyone who has a different viewpoint... that to me is a classic example of what i would refer to as a troll.. i never mentioned any names, but if you read this thread and are a long time moa poster - you will see this immediately... how would you like me to describe this phenom, or would you just prefer i don't say anything?? thanks..

Posted by: james | Nov 24 2020 0:49 utc | 137

At the end of the day, natural selection will also sort out countries and societies. What works is what matters.
China did stop the pandemic. Fucking retarded Western people can't even get slightly inconvenienced when their life is on the block. Guess which society deserves to survive, and guess which one, and whose values and ideology, are on the way out?

As for science, don't be an idiot. Most people in Western governments' health offices fucked it up big time. They are the ones that claimed masks were useless to avoid having to admit they fucked up. They are the ones who mismanaged the preparations for the 2nd wave. Sensible people know they're as useless as their government's masters; they rely on genuine scientists and on doctors on the battlefield. When my coworker's wife has to deal with 3 times as many patients in her ICU as on average, I know this isn't a normal day at the hospital. And usually the real scientists that were rounded up to be included in government's task forces are regularly dismissed by the political leaders as having unrealistic demands - like closing stuff down now before it gets bad enough to truly hurt the economy -, because said demand will anger the full-retard crowd, or will piss off their wealthy CEOs pals.
When this crisis is over, we need to ask real serious questions, like: do we actually need politicians? Did they ever do any good? Why have we such mediocre governments when the efficient and competent people are left out? Who the fuck thought that a political system where every moron had the same weight as any sane person was a good idea - specially when it's actually mitigated by $$, while in fact, the wealthier you are, the most sociopathic and corrupt you turn out to be?

Posted by: Clueless Joe | Nov 24 2020 0:50 utc | 138

@ norecovery

correction my post is now @ 75 - james | Nov 23 2020 20:07 utc | 75

Posted by: james | Nov 24 2020 0:51 utc | 139

Spot on as always b! If the stakes weren't so high I might find these fools decrying your wisdom funny, alas....

Posted by: RMY | Nov 24 2020 0:55 utc | 140

Don Bacon @135--

Thanks for posting that link as it's very educational even though some of the pictures were removed by the blogger. Back in college we had a course I took, Cross-Cultural Communication, which was very beneficial for me as an ESL teacher, although I already knew much about Latin and Asian cultures. Rarely mentioned are the vast differences in World Views between Asia, Europe and Africa that are part of their respective cultures. Part of those differences are surfacing now in the West as part of Woke to the consternation of many.

Posted by: karlof1 | Nov 24 2020 0:58 utc | 141

local Japanese news medias are already reporting the 3rd wave ... spikes everywhere, Tokyo, Osaka, Sapporo ... the "Go To Travel" and "Go To Eat" campaigns are being modified ... Hokkaido local government already said it is putting off the campaign to help in the containment.

the "Go To" campaign was deemed a necessary thing to help the economy, but it the end it just helped spread the virus far and wide.

Posted by: R | Nov 24 2020 1:01 utc | 142

james @138

"...even if i don't agree with the direction you are going with them!"

You are implying that I am mis-using the stats? I am not. If you believe that I am then tell me how so?

You think that I am using poor stats? As far as I am aware I am using the best available. If you have better sources then please let me know?

You don't agree with how I have analysed the stats? Then tell me how you analysed the stats?

I presume that you have looked at the sources that I provided? If so then let me know how you interpret the stats?

Posted by: ADKC | Nov 24 2020 1:13 utc | 143

norecovery @137--

Your proposal has merit, but the two terms aren't the same. A troll exhibits a particular behavior whereas a conspiracy theorist is one due to ideology. Trolls exist to disrupt and cause FUD within a discourse, whereas a conspiracy theorist attempts to provide an alternative explanation for the action being discussed. Of course, there're hybrids that combine the traits of both, like Circe. My policy is to ignore obvious trolls unless they're greatly damaging the discourse as they were today. Often, they don't like that.

Posted by: karlof1 | Nov 24 2020 1:13 utc | 144

Derpy Doo, 77:

"But addressing your statement, are there regions of the US where patients couldn't be hospitalized due to there being no room left in the hospitals?"


Posted by: Jay | Nov 24 2020 1:17 utc | 145

Missing all along in all the discussion/dispute about the pandemic is any serious discussion of Taiwan. This country of 23+million people, one of the world's richest and most capitalist, has what is easily the best HEALTHcare system in the world. In other capitalist countries, what is called healthcare is a medical goods and services industry. (Cuba would have such a system if it weren't for the (illegal) embargo imposed by the United States; Vietnam would have such a system if it hadn't been smashed to smithereens by the United States and still recovering. Both countries nonetheless come remarkably close.)

I've visited Taiwan three times to explore their healthcare system. It is based on PREVENTION. The minister of health told me that, when they set up the system in the early 1990s, they realized that the only way they could ever provide world-class medical care to everybody, for free, was to ensure that as few people as possible ever got sick. So, they care for people's health.

That minister of health was in office when the SARS outbreak occurred, which threatened Taiwan. He concluded that, as well as Taiwan had done, it had not done enough. He proceeded to overhaul the system to make sure that, when the next pandemic hit, they would be ready.

When the WHO announced the first warning of SARS-CoV-2, on the first of January this year, he was vice-president, and the country sprang into action, canceling flights first from Wuhan then from all of mainland China, and then from everywhere else, and immediately developing a testing protocol which was reasonably accurate (which they kept refining). Anybody suspected of being exposed was isolated and put under observation. EVERYBODY had to war masks outside the home, and still must.

They did NOT shut down the economy in any way.

The result today, for their 23+million people: 618 confirmed cases (on the basis of HIGHLY reliable testing) and 7 (yes, SEVEN!) deaths, all firmly attributable to Covid-19 because all subject to autopsies, both to ascertain the cause of death and to study what happened in those bodies when ravaged by Covid-19. With such procedures, the only regret, in a way, is that they did not have more bodies to study so meticulously.

If the United States, for example, had made a similar move, with financial support to those who needed it, the pandemic would have been fast brought under control. With a higher number of deaths, autopsies on EVERY dead body thought to have been killed by Covid-19 would have yielded a wealth of information for further study and maybe even... PREVENTION.

When The Donald's sycophants brought him the news that something potentially horrible was pending (probably as early as some time in November), since he has always surrounded himself with people who will tell him what he wants to hear, they told him that it was just a Chinese flu, confined to China, no big deal etc. His marching orders: "Don't spook the markets!" Even when President Xi told him that it was essentially the plague, although he passed that along to Bob Woodward in early February (I'm sure you've all heard the recordings of the conversation), in public he just blathered that it was a flu, that everybody'd be back in church for Easter...

So, it has become endemic in the population.

Herd immunity is an INFORMAL term coined by epidemiologists to describe the situation when enough of a population has been VACCINATED to ensure that a pandemic is almost impossible. Outside of such a context, it is meaningless, unless one is hell bent on genocide.

The virus came out of a lab. Anybody who has any knowledge of biology/genetics/microbiology etc., with a bit of effort, can decipher the genome and see that. It was intended to be highly transmissible and long lasting. Given free reign in a population, it will take hold and ravage the population.

The claim in this thread by somebody that after-effects (sequelae) are brief is WRONG. The virus infects primarily the hemoglobin cells that transport oxygen to the organs. The long-term and permanent damage is due to oxygen deprivation.

I have a friend who fell ill in May. He is still recovering. About a month ago he told me that he is "coughing up". "Coughing up what?" I asked. "Dead lung tissue," he responded, adding that it looked like crushed glass.

In Geneva, where I live, as well as throughout Switzerland, there are teams of physical therapists working with such people (who had lung and muscle damage -- brain, kidney and heart damage is deemed irreparable; liver damage may be repaired since the liver has regenerative capacity). The physical therapists say that it is LONG, SLOW and often disheartening.

Fauci was supervising the grain-of-function research that produced this monster. For months, he kept say that it's only just begun. He should know.

Any conclusions with regard to mortality etc. must wait until this runs its course, probably in 2023 or 2024. Until it has run its course, any attempt at comparing statistics is futile.

The problem of evaluation for the United States will be as great as in the attempts to study the 1918 flu pandemic, because of the utter lack of central coordination from the CDC regarding uniform testing, uniform definition of cause of death, uniform evaluation protocols for co-morbidities, the almost complete lack of proper autopsies (too expensive) etc.

Any vaccine is highly unlikely to provide immunity for more than a few months. There has NEVER been an effective, long-term vaccine for a single-strand RNA virus, which is why, forty years, billions of dollars of research and dozens of attempts after the appearance on the scene of the HIV, there is still no vaccine.

One last thing: the SARS virus, now designated SARS-CoV-1 was also a germ warfare agent. This was how the WHO was told to treat it, and this is how they treated it, although this was never allowed to be made public. The virus that causes Covid-19 is named SARS-CoV-2 because it is right out of the same mold, but MUCH more virulent.

Posted by: RJPRJ |

Posted by: RJPRJ | Nov 24 2020 1:18 utc | 146

@ RJPRJ 144
.. . Taiwan. This country of 23+million people
Taiwan is not a country it's a renegade province on an island which is simple to secure against outside influence. So it can't be compared with the United States, or used as a model for it.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Nov 24 2020 1:34 utc | 147

@ ADKC | Nov 24 2020 1:13 utc | 145.. i replied to your post @134... it was mostly positive, but i am impressed how you have turned it into an negative and have put me in the firing squad of your questions.. your links don't work looking @116 even if i felt like commenting..i am unable to change the continent to get to canada...perhaps it has to do with microsoft feature of the link says microsoft on the browser - microsoft power bi.. cheers..

Posted by: james | Nov 24 2020 1:34 utc | 148

Just finished Crooke's latest with which I have a number of issues, except with his very unanticipated conclusion that cites this article by Xue Li, a director at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, "China does not have allies, but has friends with partnership diplomacy," which is part of the culture clash mentioned by Don Bacon. What I'm not disputing about Crooke's thinking is this short preamble to Xue's citation:

"[T]he point is that the present resort to Tech war reflects precisely a particular way-of-thinking – an ideology."

Following in the footsteps of Junk Economics, this might be described as Junk Diplomacy since both are based on Magical Thinking.

Posted by: karlof1 | Nov 24 2020 1:35 utc | 149

@ RJPRJ | Nov 24 2020 1:18 utc | 148 who wrote about Taiwan's example....thanks!
I've visited Taiwan three times to explore their healthcare system. It is based on PREVENTION. The minister of health told me that, when they set up the system in the early 1990s, they realized that the only way they could ever provide world-class medical care to everybody, for free, was to ensure that as few people as possible ever got sick. So, they care for people's health.

That minister of health was in office when the SARS outbreak occurred, which threatened Taiwan. He concluded that, as well as Taiwan had done, it had not done enough. He proceeded to overhaul the system to make sure that, when the next pandemic hit, they would be ready.

When the WHO announced the first warning of SARS-CoV-2, on the first of January this year, he was vice-president, and the country sprang into action, canceling flights first from Wuhan then from all of mainland China, and then from everywhere else, and immediately developing a testing protocol which was reasonably accurate (which they kept refining). Anybody suspected of being exposed was isolated and put under observation. EVERYBODY had to war masks outside the home, and still must.

They did NOT shut down the economy in any way.

So Taiwan is the attempted colony of empire like Puerto Rico is and has a mixed economy that is more public focused. I mention Puerto Rico because while empire was trying to show up Cuba, it provided free education all the way through college for Puerto Rico students....but in the US we have college student debt insanity. So, Taiwan has public focused "free" health care within what the West calls a Capitalist structure. And, if their example is anything, they are showing up the private profit based health care of the West for the greedy, elitist and anti-humanistic structure it has become.

Humanity needs to get some adults in the room to bring the public narrative around to the clarity of social contacts that exist in different parts of the world....and help folks understand how brainwashed they are about the private finance core of the current Western social contract.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Nov 24 2020 1:44 utc | 150

@118 tungsten

That lockdowns "work" is a dubious proposition. What is good for the goose is not so much for the gander.

Vietnam is practically a peninsula country with much greater homogeneity. It is far easier for it to lockdown than a sprawling country like American whose ports are too many to number.

Wrt China, they have almost as many cameras as people in their country. Do we Americans want this same level of monitoring and control as the Chinese?

Well, that is indeed the question.

Poets, philosophers, and warriors have lived and died in the defense of the west for millenia. Do you imagine this spirit will rollover when a .01% mortality-rate bug comes around, knocking over those who were already teetering over death's chasm?

You can wish for a "different west" in one hand and shit in the other and tell us which hand fills up first.

Posted by: NemesisCalling | Nov 24 2020 1:44 utc | 151

Posted by: Stonebird | Nov 23 2020 19:55 utc | 70

the death toll in Brazil is one of the lowest in the world.

Posted by: Stonebird | Nov 23 2020 22:05 utc | 103

New deaths...Brazil 288 per 205 million population

It's ludicrous to cite Brazil as any kind of Covid success. It's 2nd in total deaths (after the US). Per capita deaths aren't much better - at ~800 per million it's roughly equivalent to Italy/Argentina/UK/USA/Chile/Mexico and significantly behind only Belgium, Peru and Spain.

The 288 per day stat that you quote is misleading given the day to day fluctuations in counts in Brazil. According to Worldometer the current daily average is hovering around the 500 mark, which is about half of the June-August plateau of ~1000 per day. Not quite as disastrous, but still plenty bad. It's hard to believe you're being serious here...

Posted by: farm ecologist | Nov 24 2020 2:07 utc | 152

james @150

I checked the links; they all work.

The PANDA link did work for you, otherwise you would not have said "...i am unable to change the continent to get to Canada...". If you refer to my original advise you will see that I said "Select Country [Press drop-down, enter Canada in the Search field, then select Canada and you're good to go]". You don't change the continent, you do select the country directly.

Your comment ("...even if i don't agree with the direction you are going with them!") was dismissive; it doesn't matter how you softsoap it.

Your further comment ("...i am impressed how you have turned it into an negative and have put me in the firing squad of your questions") is again dismissive and insulting.

If you disagree with my stats, analysis or interpretation then tell me how so? I am willing to listen!

Posted by: ADKC | Nov 24 2020 2:07 utc | 153

It's the first time "case" has been used for a disease, so they're still working the bugs out. /s
CDC gave it a shot:
Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
2020 Interim Case Definition, Approved April 5, 2020 . .here

Posted by: Don Bacon | Nov 24 2020 2:12 utc | 154

Like a fair few others on here I have been quite surprised by b's steadfast approach to pretty much confirming agreement with the general thrust of the mainstream media, the combination of corporate/state/intelligence propaganda networks extremely connected to the trillionaire claws on the real levers of power in the big pharma/military industrial/ financial sectors.

Of course it's possible that even proven mass deceit merchants, demonstrable mass murderers and those complicit and profiteering through mass carnage and control...are telling the truth. Yet it is also unlikely, on the basis of the past still available for analysis, it is highly unlikely.

I do not need to find b correct on 100% of news items to value his work very highly. And yet I do find it curious that he has taken his chosen stance, which for me personally, does not reflect the reality I find reported from other trustworthy sources both inside the more official system and certainly outside.

And when I get to this statement
'In my view that warning is not strong enough.

There should be more draconic measures and restrictions of freedom to prevent higher Covid-19 casualties.'

I start to ponder whether the site and his account has been co-opted...or whether it may always have been a gathering point for the more sceptical, for state agencies to collect their data and see where else they connect both on and off a screen...still, too late now eh!

Posted by: johan nagel | Nov 24 2020 2:16 utc | 155

AFAIK many people in the heartland of USA (where i live) have no access to affordable healthcare. Our hospitals are currently overflowing with covid patients. The staff are weary and overworked, sometimes staying on duty even when testing positive for covid because of lack of substitution hospital staff.

Those fortunate few usans who have employer health insurance coverage may be covered for most of the expenses incurred by the disease.. Seniors with Medicare may be mostly covered without huge copayments. However, the reality is for most people in usa health care is not affordable, more so in a downturn depression pandemic.

For-profit insurance companies in usa say covid testing is “free” but people are often sent unaffordable bills after being tested. Such an inducement to practice social responsibility! s/. Because so-called health care is for-profit, one’s pound of flesh will be extracted, guaranteed. While the corporate parasites claim to pay for testing, that is all they will pay for. They eagerly await your pound of flesh after you enter the insurance black hole of no return.

The earlier administration (Obomba) instituted plans for pandemic emergency, setting up protocols, setting aside supplies and putting personnel in key observational positions like Wuhan where usg funded gof research on vaccines occurred, among other places. While stopped, ceased, in 2014, GOF research was restarted under drumpf administration in 2016. They also cut the emergency preparation for pandemic budget and deep-sixed the previous administration's preparation plans.

Killing off the old and sick makes capitalist economic sense, no, for the greedy sociopaths who know not what they are? Why spend surplus labor value monies, invested by pensioners during their working lives, on keeping said workers alive when they no longer produce surplus value?

This latest usa development illustrates how the ruling class, regardless of partisan infighting, could care less about ordinary people —- or else we would have a not-for profit health care system serving all without distinction and a pandemic response equal to the challenge.

“Freedom from” and “freedom to” for usa’ns is embedded in the larger economic matrix which mentally and physically imprisons without distinction as profit is the primary force, not regard for human condition now or later. In order to gain authentic freedom we need a system which sanctifies life over profit.

Posted by: suzan | Nov 24 2020 2:18 utc | 156

It's 153 comments as I write this, and I haven't seen it said yet that the success of China's action was not based on some Chinese tolerance for loss of freedom, instead it was based squarely on the trust that the populace held in its government.

I think the issue of freedom is actually a strawman here.

When the people of China saw that its government was using its police power with unwavering determination and precision, and that government members themselves were occupying the front lines at their own peril, the people massively joined in to help, voluntarily.

There was almost zero coercion involved as authorities and volunteers went door to door to test and audit and ascertain what each inhabitant needed - and then to provide what was needed. It was a supreme effort, and the Chinese people's approval of its government increased from its already very high level as a result of it.

It was nothing to do with freedom, or the loss of it. It was simply to do with dealing with the crisis - for which every society grants a police power to its authorities, and which the Chinese government used and still uses as medical incidents flare up.

But no people grants a police power to see it wasted or treated cavalierly.

Those concerned about the "freedom" of the US would do better to ask how much longer the people of the US will tolerate its government's squandering of its last shred of trust and authority, using the power of diktat, only to fail.

Better the people of the US start asking if there's another way to run a country than the current system, which doesn't work.


And those who assume that China is less democratic than the US, or that its people suffer from lesser freedom, have no understanding of how Chinese governance works, and it's not my goal here to shed any light on that - we've discussed it many times and will again many times more.

Suffice it that the greatest metric that matters is how happy the people are with their government and their lives. China wins, by orders of magnitude.

The US by comparison loses, and keeps on losing. And will even eventually lose every last one of those imaginary freedoms that seem to fill this thread with heartburn.

Posted by: Grieved | Nov 24 2020 2:23 utc | 157

Christian J. Chuba @ 97

A vaccine that does not require -80C for storage, with probably adequate production capacity, is already available at a substantially more advanced stage -- for whatever any vaccine is worth re this coronavirus. The Russian one.

We won't get it because we are in war and because it is not expensive enough.

Posted by: Piero Colombo | Nov 24 2020 2:37 utc | 158

@155 adkc... the only thing that shows in the dropdown menu - yes i read your instructions - is africa as continent... it may work for you but not for me! yes a part of my first comment was dismissive too, but it wasn't about the stats, but what it looks like you want to do with the data.. the 2nd comment in my 2nd reply to you wasn't dismissive, but factual as i see it.. if you can get the panda link to work - great.. i can't and i have tried.. as i said - and i tried again - the only continent i can choose from is africa... maybe it has to do with the microsoft prog and a particular app that i don't have on this ubuntu computer... i am not sure why, but i can't get to the page you are giving instructions on how to get to.. cheers..

Posted by: james | Nov 24 2020 2:40 utc | 159

@158 suzan - "In order to gain authentic freedom we need a system which sanctifies life over profit."

Yes, that's it. Everything is backwards in our terms of reference. No wonder it hurts.

Wonderful comment, many thanks.

Posted by: Grieved | Nov 24 2020 2:42 utc | 160

karlof1 | Nov 23 2020 19:11 utc | 48

"If the pandemic wasn't so severe, why was Wall Street showered with over $5Trillion in essentially free money?"

I'll take a stab: Because Wall Street has the average Joe/Jane's interest at heart and in it's beneficence Congress knew authorizing that kind of money to save Wall Street and corporations that had just spent the last 5+ years buying back an average of $800+ billion of their own stock and or paying themselves and shareholders dividends was an exceptionally perceptive understanding of the best use of the money under such fraught circumstances.

Whaddya think?

Posted by: pogohere | Nov 24 2020 2:58 utc | 161

Is it just me or have western governments and their media evolved into something rather nasty? We've had decades of the "divide and conquer" culture war. A remarkable success considering these fights are over issues that directly effect few people - abortion, gay rights etc... Great issues to yank people's emotional chains and divide society.

Now, in 2020, we are confronted with the most divisive issue of all: Covid 19. Everything the government and media push for is a lightning rod for people to not only disagree but to actually hate each other. Covid Cult or Covid Idiots and no middle ground. Perhaps I'm biased because I like to take responsibility for my own life and resent being treated like a 2 year old. Nevertheless I can't help but think that if we simply abolished our governments and media that we'd be much better off.

Posted by: EoinW | Nov 24 2020 3:06 utc | 162

James @ 161:

Had the same problem as you did, kept getting South Africa, finally realised you must click on drop-down link in country field and then scroll down and select Canada.

Failing that altogether, as consolation I suggest you locate online that Bungaard and Torp-Pedersen study done on 6,024 people in Denmark earlier this year, the one rejected by The Lancet and two US journals. The study has recently been published by Annals of Medicine.

Better get in fast in case this comment is wiped off.

Posted by: Jen | Nov 24 2020 3:17 utc | 163

Ben McDonnell @ 1
"When you go into hospital or a care home for the last time, you might not care if no one comes to visit you, but the ones that do, do they also have a mistaken understanding of freedom?"

Dunno about b, but that's exactly what I would say. Would you raise the exact same objection to visiting relatives, even if for the last time, under carpet bombing? Well, at my age and with my additional risk factors, the odds of survival are better under carpet bombing than if I catch the bug.

Posted by: Piero Colombo | Nov 24 2020 3:17 utc | 164

Here's the latest mortality chart from CDC. We need to keep in mind that death reports are another statistical minefield.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Nov 24 2020 3:20 utc | 165

The thing which gets me so puzzled by the covidiots who spout endlessly on about the nonsense revealed by insane doctors of a totally different discipline than epidemiology is the inane foolishness of their position.

If it is all about freedom why do they stop at red lights or stick to speed limits, wear seatbelts etc when driving?

Surely no damn fascist government has the right to stop them just because some silly light turns red, seatbelts are for sissies and speed limits for meek obedience brainwashed weaklings.

There are literally hundreds of laws which restrict the 'freedom' of individuals all agreed to by citizens because there is a recognition that a small curb on individuals protects society as a whole, exactly the same as mask wearing.
Yet not for covid despite the overwhelming evidence of targeted lockdowns accompanied by a well resourced track and trace system being the only effective way of reducing the transmission & incidence of Covid 19.

Some nations already had effective & resourced track & trace but most did not, so the smart countries locked down for an initial period until a robust test, track & trace was constructed then lifted off the lockdown. Those nations have been as effective at minimising the pandemic as the nations who already had track trace & quarantine systems.
In amerika where the elites have a total refusal to spend any money at all on the hoi polloi a much cheaper strategy was used. A pointless unco-ordinated haphazard lockdown, followed by conflicted messaging, little or no investment in a public health run trace & quarantine, accompanied by the same nonsense that has kept the gun nuts advocating for weapons which mostly only kill gun nuts.
Lots of BS conspiracies across social media, covidbots repeating the same nonsense to covidiots over & over has resulted in a huge saving from killing a quarter million of the citizens most likely to 'waste' tax revenue that otherwise gets carved up among the elites, I.E. older citizens. That is without even calculating the gains made by keeping consumerism running thanks to chaotic improperly implemented, managed by lobbyists, half-arsed lockdowns. Also evidenced by the CARES act i.e. $1000 for each mug who can navigate the bureaucracy equals trillions for 'us', the elite.

The elites got the covid conspiracy tosh's momentum up, then no one even has to keep pushing, the covidiots do that themselves.

They come up with the craziest nonsense - my favourite today being "amerika has too many ports to control them all' Hah what BS, Aotearoa has a population of about 5 million humans and at least, lemme count, Whangerei, Waitemata, Onehunga, Tauranga, Taranaki, Wellington, Nelson, Blenheim, Lyttleton, Greymouth, Otago, Timaru, Bluff ports all capable of receiving large international vessels and I know I've missed some, yet all have been covid proofed. Pilots, marine engineers, stevedores, plus anyone else who has contact with international vessels are regularly tested and a couple of outbreaks prevented by that. The same goes for international airports where all ground staff, flight crew, security, customs & immigration are regularly tested.
It is a pain & not cheap but a helluva a lot better than condemning a big chunk of the aged population to a miserable death.

Keep repeating the tosh covidiots, but understand the elites you claim to most loathe are laughing up their sleeves at you for falling for their scam.

Posted by: Debsisdead | Nov 24 2020 3:25 utc | 166

james @161

If you have selected "Africa" as the continent then you need to uncheck "Africa" and the continent selection will then show "All".

I use Manjaro and it works fine using both Firefox and Chromium. There is no reason why it shouldn't work on Ubuntu.

If you have any further problems please contact PANDA directly.

Yes, I understood exactly what you meant, and what you meant is insulting. I have given you two opportunities to explain yourself and you just continue to be insulting and dismissive. However, you seem to be completely unaware of what you are doing. You seem to think it is okay to assert that I am being biased when I have been scrupulously fair in my interpretation, while you present no evidence or explanation to back up your opinion.

If you don't actually have anything to say other than insults then I would rather you didn't communicate with me because it seems like a waste of time.

If you have any substantive observations. worthwhile opinions on the stats or my interpretation thereof, or can point out any mistakes that I might I have made, then I am willing to listen. If not, we should ask this dialogue here.

Posted by: ADKC | Nov 24 2020 3:45 utc | 167

@ debs 169
If it is all about freedom why do they stop at red lights or stick to speed limits, wear seatbelts etc when driving?
The Libertarian I linked to above may be okay on red lights, but not on the other two. His avatar/logo is a clover with a line through it, which derived from a long-ago blogger "clover" who believed in speed limits. Seat-belts ditto. He doesn't register his motorcycles because why should he. We have many people in the US that want no limits on their freedom to do whatever they want. Public lands? They belong to jeep and motorcycle riders who can tear up the landscape wherever they please. . . etc. . . .it's all about freedom, freedom of self.
Not wearing a mask is a part of that freedom to do whatever one wants to do; guns are okay too.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Nov 24 2020 3:49 utc | 168

Posted by: karlof1 | Nov 23 2020 21:07 utc | 88 -- "The most awesome High Tech Nation of all.... taking its ball and going home."

I asked myself why the petulance? and posit that while US / Nato spy planes can fly on Russia's long borders to collect data, yet Russian planes are now less free to fly near the US. Thusly, the Russian warning against data-sharing by Europe's useless idiots with their masters an ocean away.

This latest US inability to honour treaties follows the recent string of actions as if to prepare for war, eg. withdrawing from missile treaties; naming space as a theatre of war; de-listing terrorist organisations, etc.

Will we next read breathless reports from CNN 'embedded journalists' about the marvellous 'democracy missiles' flying down the chimneys of Russian dachas into Russian saunas to kill Russian dictators hiding in their 'villas'?

Posted by: kiwiklown | Nov 24 2020 4:34 utc | 169

Blues @ #3
Agree, seen a few along the same lines.
I now so angry that the narrative continues to be "cases".
Nothing in the narrative about mortality, hospital or ICU utilisation etc etc.just cases, and unfortunately that is also propagated on this blog.

If not already done so I strongly suggest the barflies read EthicalSkeptic.
Start with the webpage
learn the lingo, its complicated

Then move onto his twitter feed

B, you may want to rethink your position after reading through Ethical's work.

hang in there all,

Posted by: LC2020 | Nov 24 2020 5:05 utc | 170

“The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.” - H.L. Mencken

Posted by: Mike Kent | Nov 24 2020 5:08 utc | 171

Posted by: suzan | Nov 24 2020 2:18 utc | 158 -- "In order to gain authentic freedom we need a system which sanctifies life over profit."
Posted by: Grieved | Nov 24 2020 2:23 utc | 159 -- "Suffice it that the greatest metric that matters is how happy the people are with their government and their lives. China wins, by orders of magnitude. The US by comparison loses, and keeps on losing. And will even eventually lose every last one of those imaginary freedoms that seem to fill this thread with heartburn."

Americans falsely believe that they have 'freedom'.

But freedom is the presence of justice, not the absence of cameras.

Just look at the latest US "elections".

Just look at leaders dining, partying, going to hair salons while deplorables are locked down.

Why do their leaders party, and not bother with their people's lives?

By this metric alone, this lack of justice, the US will swirl down that exceptional toilet bowl more and more.

Posted by: kiwiklown | Nov 24 2020 5:09 utc | 172

Oh so according to you it's okay if Trump is a Ziofascist in every other sense that you never attribute to him, but how could he possibly get his KKKult people to follow restrictions, even when they believe every lie that comes out of his mouth?!

Really? That's why he's holding super-spreader events on the tax payer dime over the holidays, cause he wants to do the right thing, but as you say; what good would it do? Grifter to the last drop.

Meanwhile Putin, the eternal optimistis still waiting for Trump's election coup, that just imploded, and yet...

In the previous U.S. presidential vote, Putin was among the first world leaders to congratulate Donald Trump, issuing a statement less than 12 hours after Trump's opponent Hillary Clinton conceded the race early on November 9, 2016.


He just wants to make his disappointment clear.

No need everyone knows who his preference was. Maybe he can coronate Trump Czar and Russia can have a dynasty again, and that way we're sure Trump won't launch a comeback.

Good grief! Trump's like the clinging ex you can't get rid of.

January 21st, when the pompous ass is out the door, can't come soon enough!

Posted by: Circe | Nov 24 2020 5:19 utc | 173

re Don Bacon #170

Don that's likely true for a few liberdingbats, but the vast majority I have met are just like the mass of 'em who post here, who're careful to stop on red and not exceed speed limits along with sticking to the right side of the road (wtf should a 'free amerikan' only drive on the right hand side when he/she feels the urge to drive on the left like an englander or a 'jap'?). A few will claim to oppose some selected rules but consciously or unconsciously they 'restrict their freedom' if that suits them. IOW the claim to being free is about convenience not principle despite the screeds of tosh about 'freedom' they spout.

I used to have an uncle long dead, who was originally a Cuban american who came here in WW2 liked it & stuck around. He made a stack of dough swimming against the tide of agrarian socialism that was the governing philosophy for most of the time he lived in Aotearoa. No one much cared as they saw that he was the ultimate loser missing out on most of the best bits of 50's,60's,70's Aotearoa. Lotsa money not many friends. When he decided to pull the pin at 65 and hand the business over to his son, he bought a Harley Davidson to drive around the country hooning it up. Then he discovered helmets were compulsory so after having bored everyone senseless with his tirades about no freedom etc, another cousin of mine from the other side of the whanau who was a doctor wrote him a medical certificate saying helmets gave him headaches.
Uncle got a dispensation to ride without a helmet something that really upset his kids who somehow despite his seeming total selfishness & greed did love the old prick. I asked my cuzzy, the doctor who drove himself to misery practising in a low income region where there were no other doctors and few had the money to pay him WTF he gave Unc the certificate.

He said "lets face it the rants were getting tiresome, the only people who could be hurt by this is himself and tho I reckon the kids will worry, we're talking about a bloke so selfish, I struggle to care".

Too many haven't thought through the end result of their libertarian tosh that it marks them as a person few 'real' humans care about. If they make money they will attract hangers-on, but that is about it.

Posted by: Debsisdead | Nov 24 2020 5:33 utc | 174

What puzzles me is the fact that the Coronavirus Pandemic almost died down on it's own in Africa. Weather, climate and - for the temperate areas - season seem to be a major factor. That might also be the main explanation of the performance of Australia and New Zealand compared to other Western countries.

Posted by: m | Nov 24 2020 5:39 utc | 175

With 170 comments, this thread and discussion should be ending soon, until the next opportunity for a new round. What strike my mind is that those who defend the narrative which support limiting collective rights and freedom of citizens in favour of promoting general health of the society, avoid to discuss or even recognize the geopolitical effects and outcomes of the Covid 19 pandemic.
Let the discussion here be geopolitical oriented, for medical and statistical aspects, there are other places to gather facts.

Posted by: Framarz | Nov 24 2020 5:40 utc | 176

Debsisdead @168

Actually, your post is full of tosh.

You accuse the Doctors who oppose the lockdown, restrictions and vaccine of being "insane" but you fail to address the financial interests and ties to Big Pharma of those Doctors who are advocating for lockdowns and vaccines. Shouldn't the interests of capital be a primary concern for those on the left?

Despite your assertion, there is no overwhelming evidence that shows that lockdowns prevent the spread of infection; where implemented the evidence shows that lockdown does not appear to impact the existing trend. In the UK excess deaths only occurred after the implementation of the lockdown in March? There is no evidence that Track and Trace does any good either.

Some nations did nothing with regard to Covid-19 and showed no significant effect.

There has been a cull of the elderly but this was done by the very institutions telling us Covid-19 was a pandemic of biblical proportions and advocating for lockdowns. Not surprisingly, there is great suspicion about what the inadequately tested vaccines are really intended to achieve. I raised the cull of elderly on this site (which is regarded as pro-lockdown) on a number of occasions to an almost complete lack of interest.

I may be mistaken but I don't believe that this blog has written about the cull of the elderly? Why not? An emerging issue is the level of Lockdown Induced death which (in the UK) may well turn out to exceed Covid-19 deaths.

I also raised the finance issues on this site very early on; without exception, those who wanted to lockdown and protect themselves from Covid-19 had no interest at all in addressing the financial shakedown.

You know as well as I do that the issue essentially boils down to:

* One side believes that Covid-19 is very deadly and is willing to accept any restriction and any vaccine with minimal consideration.

* The other side believes that the dangers of Covid-19 are greatly exaggerated and is being used to implement restrictions that are intended to be permanent and to administer inadequately tested vaccines on an on-going basis. Culling of people is a very definite concern of this group.

But your post just seeks to polarise and promote conflict and hatred. No doubt you'll be cheering on Antifa when they are attacking the anti-lockdown protests in Berlin, but I am not the only one to wonder who is really the fascist?

Despite all the concerns about Covid-19 there look like to be a significant number of countries that will not have any excess deaths for 2020. Sweden has been mentioned in this regard, but it also looks like Germany may well have no excess deaths. So something very curious appears to have happened/be happening but one thing is for certain you or this blog are not going to shine any light on the matter.

Posted by: ADKC | Nov 24 2020 6:04 utc | 177

@ 165 jen... thanks.. i got it now too... it was counter intuitive...

@ 169 adkc.... here are a few quotes from you @ 98..."Overall, there have been 239,577 deaths in Canada for the year to date; so the concern about Covid-19 needs to be kept in proportion." true... so, how do you propose to keep it in proportion when the hospitals are starting to have more covid cases which require a certain level of responsibility typically much more demanding than not with people who go to hospitals with serious covid symptoms???

another comment from you "The question really is:- has Covid-19 affected Canada's Respiratory Disease/Infection Death Rate and it's Overall Death Rate." that is one question...i don't think it is the most important question here.. but i would ask you why the head doctor in b.c. is asking that we treat this in an unique way separate from your spread sheet @ 116 post? why do you think that she is particularly concerned here?? or do you think she has a particular agenda? or?? i am curious....

i am not sure what stats you want me to challenge you on! the interpretation of stats is where the devil lies.. i would point out that we have a public health system in canada.. people in positions of authority such as bonnie henry here in b.c. are concerned about the hospitals not being able to handle the case load.. this is specifically to do with the number of cases of covid climbing.. are they wrong to be concerned? is that what you think?? do you live in canada? do you have some special insight as an outsider? i am open to that... all the data you provide has to be interpreted in some way.. the one statement you make - 'has to be kept in proportion'... i can go along with that... so, maybe you don't have an agenda here... i read your commentary as implying - you don't say - that people who are concerned about covid are exaggerating the concerns... the comment you make - ''... concern about Covid-19 needs to be kept in proportion." my problem is you are using this based off deaths from respiratory disease.. as a consequence are you implying any other concern such as an overload on the hospital is not something to be concerned about? this is the part i am picking up and why i think your stats are irrelevant and why i have a problem with your posts.... perhaps you can clarify by answering my questions... my turn with the questions, lol...

i am not convinced of b's logic on the rise in canada happening right after thanksgiving and that thanksgiving is the reason for it.. looking at the worldometer site on canada, one can see the number of cases are rising steadily starting in mid sept, and one could say rapidly at this point in late november... will the death rate follow? i don't know what the delay factor is between the two graphs or just how they connect, if they do... in the first part of the year one can see a disproportionate number of 'covid' deaths compared to the small number of covid cases that were being tracked... now it is sort of the opposite..

Posted by: james | Nov 24 2020 6:05 utc | 178

well, at least i didn't accuse you of being full of tosh, lol..

Posted by: james | Nov 24 2020 6:06 utc | 179

@174 kiwiklown - "...freedom is the presence of justice..."

Yes. Somehow we continue to refine this to principles that work. Very many thanks for that formulation, that distilling of the essence.

Yes, indeed. The presence of justice. One could call that freedom. One could even perhaps begin to think that there are better words to call the highest way of living by, than simply a bare "freedom".


Freedom as we hear it championed by some seems almost to be the state of nature. The State of Nature was a benchmark used to establish a baseline for reasoning by the American thinkers of the age that created the Union of the States.

The state of nature is the primeval condition of freedom, where everyone is free to do as one pleases - and then we study consequences from that, in the models created from our reasoning, to determine principles of wisdom to live by.

People such as Madison and Jefferson, Franklin and Paine were well accustomed to think and speak in these terms, and to establish their deductive reasoning upon that bedrock of "the state of nature". For example: "men in the state of nature were free to do such and such but between nations of men these freedoms are constrained by such and such." This is how they thought and discussed.


In the US, modern reasoning fails continuously every time we try to think - perhaps contaminants entered the system of thought - and therefore we seem to revert to the state of nature in our thinking and attempt to deduce through our reasoning the principles of wisdom to live by.

The problem is that we already blazed that trail of reasoning. And look, we came from that state of nature into a civilized agreement as to how we would all behave, having learned from history and experience. And we created a government, which every people must have to protect its natural rights, all in the harmony of a society, and all protected from the outside and from within.

And this has broken. And I offer no solutions. The original principles are still sound. The breach is not the doing of reason but of sabotage. The fix is not in the reasoning but in the saboteurs.


In China, the reasoning has not broken. And I wanted to offer you, kiwiklown, in case you didn't know, the gift of Professor Zhang Weiwei, one of China's most compelling speakers for the western ear, explaining the principles by which China governs herself and her people - and has done so for over two thousand years.

I've previously posted a video of his, brilliantly and eruditely contrasting Chinese representative governance with the US party system, in a short few minutes:
The CPC is not a "party"

And I just discovered a piece in Huff Post (of all places) from 2017 that mirrors some of what he says in the clip, but it's in print:
In China, Unlike Trump’s America, Political Legitimacy Is Built On Competence And Experience

The point is that the Chinese are famously pragmatic. They want social order, and they know it when they see it, and they rebel when it goes missing. The government of China knows this as well as the people know it. They are over 2,000 years old. They are familiar with things. They have gone far beyond raw freedom into the understanding that government is the rock that secures personal freedom in safety, and that the only test of good government is if it works.


And so all of this has to do with the "freedom" that this thread has agonized over, and that the virus threw into sharp relief in the US.

Not only did we gain a chance to learn from China how to combat the threat of the virus, we also have a chance to learn from China how best to live - not by becoming Chinese but by seeing what works best and creating it for ourselves with our own characteristics, without having to go back to the state of nature to deduce our way up from ground zero.

What China is working on, and regards as a continual work in progress, is making systemic what matters to people, in the ultimate terms of living in society - in which individuals can live their personal, intimate lives and feel comfortable within the society of laws and customs in which this happens.

We in the US have only just begun to take these steps. Hopefully, we continue.

Posted by: Grieved | Nov 24 2020 6:30 utc | 180

ADKC @98 and @116, thanks for your posts. That led me to look for excess death numbers for Canada.

StatsCan has estimated excess deaths numbers up to Aug 22.

The first documented COVID-19 death in Canada was in mid-March, so I added up the estimated excess deaths for the 5 months from March 21 to Aug 22, and that comes out to 7,217 estimated excess deaths in those 5 months. If you were to linearly extrapolate those 5 months to 12, that would come out to 17,320 excess deaths - maybe it won't be that bad, but who knows right now.

Say it comes out to "only" 12,000 excess deaths (a round figure close to the "11,455 deaths from Covid-19 in Canada for the year to date" from your source). You suggested to put that into perspective relative to deaths from dementia, cardiovascular disease, and cancers. That's fair enough and good to keep in mind, but also keep in mind that 12,000 excess deaths would be the equivalent of four 9-11 events ... Only instead of dramatically taking place all at once, it's spread out over the course of a year and across the country, (disproportionately affecting the elderly, the more vulnerable, the indigenous, minorities.) Does that make it less important to try to avoid those estimated thousands of excess deaths that will probably amount to at least four, if not six, 9-11 events?

Posted by: Canadian Cents | Nov 24 2020 6:38 utc | 181

Following the Chinese example of how the pandemic can be controlled, the rest of the world and especially the United States should be ashamed of their miserable failure, their ignorance, their selfishness and their disdain for life, which have resulted in hundreds of thousands of deaths and a serious economic crisis. The pandemic is accelerating the decline of "Western" dominated societies.

Posted by: gabriel moyssen | Nov 24 2020 6:50 utc | 182

james @180

I have no idea what the "head doctor of b.c." wants and this is irrelevant. I am dealing with what the PANDA stats show, not anecdotes.

I don't want you to challenge me on any statistic. You suggested that my interpretation of the PANDA stats was biased. I wanted you to justify this. You don't appear to be able to do so. Instead what you are indicating is a degree of confliction caused by the apparent disparity in what the PANDA stats show and the "emotional" type information that you are getting from your Government and health services.

However, you have already made the decision, You say "the stats are irrelevant", in which case you will always go for the emotional stories and fact-free anecdotes. You are not interested in whether the stats are correct or not, you are not interested in what the stats show. You want the evidence free fairy tales! Why on earth did you ever respond to my post then? It can only be that you wanted me to tell you was okay. Well, I can't because it's completely wrong-headed.

The PANDA stats show that Covid-19 is not a big issue for Canada. It seems to me that you are the victim of propaganda from your Government and Health Service.

An anecdote for you:- I have been to Accident and Emergency at Lions Gate Hospital in Vancouver (BC) on several occasions in 2018. It was exceptionally well equipped with plenty of staff. However, there were no patients, there was never anybody in the waiting room. There was an extreme amount of excess capacity.

I have also been to Accident & Emergency on many occasion in London. There are always lots of people waiting to be seen. Once I accompanied someone who had to wait 12 hours to be seen by a Doctor.

The long and the short of it:- I just don't believe what your Government and Health Services are telling you about capacity in hospitals in BC.

Posted by: ADKC | Nov 24 2020 6:55 utc | 183

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ //
by: RJPRJ | Nov 24 2020 1:18 utc | 148

When the WHO announced the first warning of SARS-CoV-2, on the first of January this year, he was vice-president, and the country [Taiwan] sprang into action, canceling flights first from Wuhan then from all of mainland China, and then from everywhere else, and immediately developing a testing protocol which was reasonably accurate (which they kept refining). Anybody suspected of being exposed was isolated and put under observation. EVERYBODY had to war masks outside the home, and still must.

They did NOT shut down the economy in any way.
// ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

It is NOT the masks that protected the Taiwanese. It was the shutting down of the SACRED AIRLINES. And NOTHING else. Even Trump did not (practically speaking) possess the power to shut down the airlines.

It really is that simple.

Posted by: blues | Nov 24 2020 6:56 utc | 184

Off topic but an important point, the sacred cow, the BBC, that great independent channel that is not tagged in youtube like RT and many other Russian channels as “state financed” showing its true face, uglier and nastier than the face of the interviewer journo, who met her match with a surprising Aliev who speaks Russian perfectly and English not too bad.

The interview as presented by the BBC if the search is done in English has this part eliminated, censored in other words. But a search in Russian renders this jewel, a must see, how this arrogant know it all harpy who deep inside thinks she is interviewing some kind of savage is deeply humiliated by a truly surprising Aliev. I will not spoil the clip, whatch it yourselves till the end, truly amazing.

Posted by: Paco | Nov 24 2020 6:56 utc | 185

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ //
by: RJPRJ | Nov 24 2020 1:18 utc | 148

When the WHO announced the first warning of SARS-CoV-2, on the first of January this year, he was vice-president, and the country [Taiwan] sprang into action, canceling flights first from Wuhan then from all of mainland China, and then from everywhere else, and immediately developing a testing protocol which was reasonably accurate (which they kept refining). Anybody suspected of being exposed was isolated and put under observation. EVERYBODY had to war masks outside the home, and still must.

They did NOT shut down the economy in any way.
// ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

It is NOT the masks that protected the Taiwanese. It was the shutting down of the SACRED AIRLINES. And NOTHING else. Even Trump did not (practically speaking) possess the power to shut down the airlines.

It really is that simple.

Posted by: blues | Nov 24 2020 6:58 utc | 186

Will we next read breathless reports from CNN 'embedded journalists' about the marvellous 'democracy missiles' flying down the chimneys of Russian dachas into Russian saunas to kill Russian dictators hiding in their 'villas'?

kiwiklown | Nov 24 2020 4:34 utc | 171:

Replace Russia for Iran then I would agree.

Posted by: Ian2 | Nov 24 2020 7:14 utc | 187

RJPRJ @148, thanks for that interesting post!

"Any vaccine is highly unlikely to provide immunity for more than a few months."

Guess that means more recurring profits for Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca, and company - coming out of the pockets of taxpayers around the world (or at least taxpayers in the Western world - hopefully the Global South turn to Russia and China for less costly vaccines.)

Posted by: Canadian Cents | Nov 24 2020 7:30 utc | 188

Posted by: vk | Nov 23 2020 23:16 utc | 113
"But also almost non-existent in South America, too..."

Is that a fact? Citation needed.

Posted by: Mao Cheng Ji | Nov 24 2020 7:50 utc | 189

NemesisCalling 153 - It cannot be a simple matter of surveillance by camera, because the British are not doing well with Covid but are very much subject to a high degree of CCTV coverage.

Posted by: Waldorf | Nov 24 2020 7:52 utc | 190

The annual War on Christmas has just added the Thanksgiving Front, as leftists have always seen Thanksgiving as celebrating the beginning of the White Colonialist Tradition in North America.

But yeah, the notion of going into someone's home to spread disease is fully in keeping with what the First Thanksgiving was all about.

Posted by: Malchik Ralf | Nov 24 2020 8:29 utc | 191

Very worthwhile talk on early outpatient covid treatment approaches for covid, by Peter McCullough, MD, Baylor College of Medicine.

McCullough is board certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine in internal medicine and cardiovascular disease. He has a Masters in Public Health in Epidemiology. Dr. McCullough is an internationally recognized authority on the evaluation of medical evidence concerning contemporary issues in medicine and has published widely with more than 1000 publications and 500 citations in the National Library of Medicine. He has been a leader in the medical response to the COVID-19 disaster.

Posted by: gm | Nov 24 2020 9:07 utc | 192

meanwhile back in reality
cases spiking all over the u.s. and some idiots are still claiming it is a hoax. yeah, the rich use it to get richer, what else is new. still real, and the fools that claim we just need to ignore it are helping the elites loot us again by ignoring that issue and claim lockdowns don't work because people can't make a living. the real issue is the coupling of lockdowns with the continued dismantling of the social safety net. i miss hack, he would spend a lot of time researching this and had a lot of useful information in his posts, in between excoriating various science denying idiots.

Posted by: pretzelattack | Nov 24 2020 9:26 utc | 193

karlof1 #106

Bastiat and Proudhon close or otherwise.

Close to some extent but finally bickering according to this

They diverge on the subject of interest on money lent.

The debate covers a lot of ground, sometimes ranging rather far afield, but the core points may be summarised as follows:

Bastiat’s position is that lending is a useful service to the borrower; from the standpoint of justice, then, it deserves to be paid, while from the standpoint of utility it had better be paid if we don’t wish to suppress the incentive to keep providing such services. Interest is the payment for the service provided by the lender.

Moreover, in addition to the direct benefit represented by the loan, the borrower receives a further, indirect benefit: the payment of interest contributes to the accumulation of capital; as the total amount of capital increases, its price falls, and so the interest rate likewise falls and the financial position of the borrowers improves, enabling them in the longer term to acquire capital themselves.

Proudhon thinks Bastiat has exaggerated the indirect benefits of interest; look around at the actual plight of debtors, he suggests, and this ever-rising status is difficult to detect. Moreover, according to Proudhon, if the price of goods is Wages plus Interest, but workers receive only Wages, then workers can never buy all the goods they produce – which is not only unfair to the workers, but means the system is inherently unstable, implying eventual starvation for the workers and bankruptcy for the employers.

Nevertheless, Proudhon agrees with Bastiat that the practice of charging interest has historically been, on the whole, beneficial. But this concession comes with two qualifications.

First, Proudhon thinks that from the mere fact that an exchange is mutually beneficial, it does not follow that it is not exploitative of one of the parties. Suppose, for example, that I demand that you pledge your life savings to me before I will agree to rescue you from drowning. You benefit from this exchange, since you’d be worse off without my offer than with it; but the exchange is still morally problematic, insofar as I am taking unfair advantage of your plight. Likewise, even when loans at interest are beneficial to the borrower, the practice of charging interest remains exploitative, on Proudhon’s view, because it allows lenders to derive an indefinitely increasing benefit out of all proportion to any effort they have put into the exchange, thus violating the principle that exchange should involve equal values.

Second, Proudhon thinks that whether an exploitative exchange counts as beneficial depends on what the available alternatives are. Suppose that in the drowning case there were other people present who would have rescued you for nothing, but I drove them off in order to substitute my vastly more expensive rescue services. In such a case my claim to be your benefactor would clearly be fraudulent. Likewise, Proudhon thinks that interest has historically been a necessary evil, since there was no viable alternative to it; but once a superior alternative does become possible, interest goes from being a necessary evil that should be grudgingly tolerated, to being an unnecessary evil that must be abolished.

In Proudhon’s judgment, economic progress has now made feasible certain financial arrangements that formerly were not feasible – specifically, the organisation of the productive classes into a “mutual bank” whose members shall lend to one another without interest. Those who lend through the bank are, to be sure, providing a service that needs to be compensated; but the payment they will receive is not interest, but instead the right to borrow through the bank on the same terms. Once it becomes possible to compensate loans by a means other than interest, a means that puts borrower and lender on an equal footing and avoids fueling the entrenched asymmetries of power that Proudhon associates with interest, loans at interest cease to be a benefit to the borrower.

Bastiat’s response is that, first, it is a mistake to take the prevailing economic plight of debtors as evidence of the natural tendency of interest, since the existing loan market is not free but is distorted by various sorts of governmental interventions. Second, those who borrow at interest must be benefiting from it or they wouldn’t keep doing it, and this is true irrespective of what historical era they’re in, so the suggestion that such transactions could be beneficial in one historical era but not another makes no sense. Finally, Bastiat thinks Proudhon’s mutual bank won’t work. Either the bank will require collateral for its loans, or it will not. If it requires collateral, then the poorest participants – the very people that Proudhon most wants to help – will not be able to borrow at all, since they lack collateral, and if interest is abolished they will not be able to compensate for their lack of adequate collateral by offering to pay higher interest rates. If the bank does not require collateral, then the payment one receives for lending through the bank – namely, the right to borrow through the bank on the same terms in the future – constitutes a guarantee backed by insufficient reserves (since there may not be enough goods on the other side for the lenders to borrow), thus making the mutual bank an inflationary paper-money scheme.

There is a vast detail at the site linked above and likely a weeks reading elsewhere but its a start.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Nov 24 2020 9:30 utc | 194

Waldorf #192

NemesisCalling 153 - It cannot be a simple matter of surveillance by camera, because the British are not doing well with Covid but are very much subject to a high degree of CCTV coverage.

Well that is NOT the case in Salisbury when there is a Novichok poisoning hoax underway. See Blogmire for the collected analysis. Zero cctv recording ever made available. You can't trust the UK for 'open government'. That is the last thing on their mind.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Nov 24 2020 9:40 utc | 195

@Posted by: blues | Nov 24 2020 6:58 utc | 188

Japan (127M pop.) essentially followed same model as Taiwan.

1. Shut down all incoming foreign traffic

2. Universal mask usage; widespread early outpatient antiviral (favapir) tx.

3. Vigorous covid cluster tracking/isolation.. Clinically confirmed covid cases -> hospital (govt paid). Exposed contacts/family members ->covid quarantine hotels/early antiviral outpt tx. (govmt paid).

4. No mandatory shutdown of businesses/schools/domestic (within country) travel/tourism (govmt pays in fact)

Result: Very low covid deaths (~16/1M pop.).

Posted by: gm | Nov 24 2020 9:45 utc | 196

Japan (127M pop.) essentially followed same model as Taiwan.

There are advantages to being an island nation...

Posted by: Malchik Ralf | Nov 24 2020 10:04 utc | 197

@Posted by: Malchik Ralf | Nov 24 2020 10:04 utc | 199

- " There are advantages to being an island nation..."

You mean an island nation like UK? Covid death rate *~750* persons per 1M population?

Posted by: gm | Nov 24 2020 10:11 utc | 198

There are advantages to being a well-governed island nation like New Zealand with currently zero Covid cases...

Posted by: Malchik Ralf | Nov 24 2020 10:28 utc | 199

America’s thanksgiving always reminds of the song Alice’s Restaurant by Arlo Guthrie
Worth playing on YouTube.
It’s a reminder just how disfunctional America and Americans always have been. (Generally speaking of course)
If we encourage the worst of people that is what we get.
Here in U.K. we have nothing to give thanks for ———
One year of boris Johnson.
One year of virus death and distruction.
And yet where is the blame, the outrage,
Consequences and reprocutions.
I miss Richard Steven Hack too.
But Paco is really burning it up. my favourite poster right now.

Posted by: Mark2 | Nov 24 2020 10:42 utc | 200

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