Open Thread

My odd work scheduled has me off today and tomorrow; we’ll see if I really have to go in on Thursday. Probably will: even a massive shutdown will still leave a few vital things we must support. But, it’ll be as it is.

I think Democrats and the MSM are getting rather tin eared here: this is a time of national crisis, not a time of Orange Man Bad. We’re busy wondering about our jobs and getting supplies and if we’ll get sick and we want to know if we’ll have our jobs and our supplies and if we’ll get sick…that is pretty much all anyone wants to hear about right now…not DNC hit jobs. We’ll see how it plays out, but I suspect this will be a backfire of epic proportions on the Democrats.

We’re pretty well stocked here, as it turns out: did hit the grocery store yesterday and while they were mostly out of meat, I did hit upon the turkey breast…so, we’ll soon have Thanksgiving in March. We had already secured our corned beef for today, of course! What was dumb was they put out a pallet of water and some people grabbed multiple cases. Come on, people: just take one. Leave something for the next guy. When they happened to put out potatoes as I was passing by, I just grabbed a couple pounds and left the rest.

Hope you guys are all doing well!

25 thoughts on “Open Thread

  1. Retired Spook March 17, 2020 / 4:53 pm

    I just got back from Sam’s Club. The parking lot was about half empty, and my first thought was that the shelves must be bare. A lot of them were, but only maybe 20%. They normally stock enough Kleenex and toilet paper to supply a small army — out of both. I expected the snack food aisle to be empty — it was full. The cereal aisle was mostly empty. Out of just about everything chicken – boneless breasts, thighs, wings, etc. I still managed to spend nearly $400. Didn’t have to wait to check out, and I parked closer to the door that I ever have in the 30+ years we’ve been members. Check out clerk said “you shoulda been here last week” — or NOT. Got gas at their station on the way out — $1.68 a gallon. Been a while since it was that low.

    We’re in a rural county where there have been no cases of COVID-19 reported. Even if it gets as bad as some are predicting, we’ve got enough food to last for several months. My only real concern is that, should we be be faced with a national quarantine, there may be some who decide that it would be a good idea to just go take what they need from their neighbors.

    • M. Noonan March 17, 2020 / 5:44 pm

      We’ve got a month or more of food – and we had chicken at the local grocery today! There are still plenty of empty shelves but less so than before…week or so, I bet, it’ll be back to fully stocked.

  2. jdge1 March 17, 2020 / 9:12 pm

    Just returned to the east coast from an extended visit in the Phoenix area. The flight out of Phoenix was about half full but there were only a few people wearing masks. Coming out west there were noticeably more. My daughter stopped at Costco’s the day before while I shopped at Frye’s grocery store that was in the same plaza. The line was outside Costco, down the length of the building and fishtailed into the back parking lot. They were only allowing about 50 people at a time into the store, I imagine mostly to provide better control on limiting certain items. There was no line at Frye’s. Both stores were reasonably stocked with certain items lacking.

    Also made a side trip to Sedona Sunday, partly based on Spook’s comments. Interesting town. The natural beauty certainly caught your attention. There didn’t seems to be anything out of the ordinary with shops and tourists.

    Considering that many places are closing or restricting large gatherings, some by mandates, the impact on small businesses will be harshly felt. Though the larger businesses will also take a hit, they will be better able to weather the fallout.

    • M. Noonan March 17, 2020 / 10:34 pm

      Nevada shuts down as of noon tomorrow.

  3. Cluster March 19, 2020 / 9:12 am

    I am still waiting for the numbers to spike. I know that sounds morbid but I still don’t buy into the panic. Here’s the latest:

    Here in the US … 204 new cases, 9,500 total cases, 155 deaths, I hope the extreme measures already in place keep the numbers low but do these numbers warrant shutting down the country?? I don’t know.

    Could anything else be going on?? It seems odd that our media reports on this “pandemic” 24/7 to the exclusion of every other story in the world? Why is the general public being so alarmed and distracted? Nothing here makes sense.

    • Retired Spook March 19, 2020 / 9:26 am

      I’ve been thinking the same thing. The only variable that we really don’t have a good handle on is just how many Americans are infected because we haven’t done extensive testing like S. Korea has. That’s about to change. I think we’ll have a much better idea in the next 2 – 3 weeks just how bad it’s actually going to get. The biggest problem as I see it is that this is not a one-off, and we could be facing something like this every year or two.

      • Cluster March 19, 2020 / 9:42 am

        To justify what’s going on in this country, I am expecting to see these numbers quadruple each day but it’s just not happening. Now there could be tens of thousands of infected Americans with no signs and that could change the equation like you said, but that remains to be seen. The numbers in China have been dropping and the numbers in Italy have been leveling off and with just 131,000 active cases worldwide on a planet that has 7 billion people I am just not buying into the “panic”.

        I could be wrong as I often am. Just ask my wife lol.

      • Pke42 March 19, 2020 / 4:55 pm

        If there are that many new cases without a commensurate and equivalent rise in deaths, it isn’t necessarily bad.

      • Amazona March 20, 2020 / 12:54 pm

        If in fact the rise, or at least most of it, is due to diagnosis of people who haven’t appeared to be sick, then it is a good thing. That is, if having the virus and then recovering or moving past it conveys immunity or at least resistance to re-infection. I haven’t heard any comment on that, but usually if you have a disease and get over it you have resistance to it and even immunity to it. If that is true with this one, then it seems that the more people who have that immunity the better.

        I was talking with a CDC doctor about Hantavirus a few months ago and he told me they had a case reported but didn’t know if it was an accurate report because they didn’t know what test(s) the doctor administered. From the Mayo Clinic Laboratories:

        Samples that are Hantavirus IgG positive but IgM negative will not be subjected to further type-specific testing, since the lack of IgM rules out acute infection. That is, the G antigen shows exposure, which may or may not have had symptoms, while the M antigen indicates that the virus is acute. He didn’t know if the alleged patient had been tested for both antigens—I got the impression that they are tested separately, as he said he didn’t know if the patient had been tested for the M antigen.

        I have been wondering if this holds true for all viruses. CDC docs don’t like to make sweeping comments, so I was careful in my questioning. I asked if, as I have had measles, I would have a G antigen for measles, and he said yes. I asked if, as I had been vaccinated for polio and smallpox, I would have those G antigens and he said yes, I should. So, I went on, if I were to have a G antigen for Hantavirus, would I be at least somewhat resistant if not immune to it in the future, and he said yes.

        If this holds true for Corona Virus, then it seems that a population with a high number of people with its G antigen would be a population resistant to infection from it. Just guessing, however….

  4. Cluster March 19, 2020 / 9:48 am

    Just look at the level of fear peddling going on in the media:

    JOE SCARBOROUGH: When our health care professionals don’t have the supplies they need to keep them safe. Then they go down. And the possibility, the very real possibility, I’m certainly not saying this to disturb anybody, but this is the reality we seem to be facing. When health care professionals don’t have the safety supplies they need, then our health care professionals go down, and then suddenly, an overtaxed emergency room, and an overtaxed hospital, an overtaxed health care system collapses.

    I will remind everyone that in 2009, just here in the US over 300,000 people were hospitalized due to the swine flu and yet our “health care industry” took care of every single one of them with no problem whatsoever. The Covid19 numbers don’t even come remotely close to that yet and I am not convinced they will. Something else is going on.


    • Amazona March 19, 2020 / 10:45 am

      Scarborough reminds me of something I think I made up but might have heard and appropriated: “If you don’t take your head out of your a** the view never changes”.

      His cranio-rectal inversion is so firmly established that he is simply incapable of ever seeing anything but s**t, The thing is, this satisfies him, comforts him, rewards him, to the point that he finds it wonderful. I just can’t imaging living with a worldview as sour, ugly and perverted as his.

      Though it does explain his passion for Mika.

    • Amazona March 19, 2020 / 12:24 pm

      I don’t know what is going on, either. So all I can do is speculate, and what I am speculating now is what I would do if the position of Donald Trump and his administration.

      That is, to realize this (whether a purposeful spread of a semi-deadly virus to test us and see how we would react, as well as to test its ability to spread and the speed with which it spreads, or just a normal outbreak of a normal virus) is a perfect opportunity to prepare Americans for a much greater and more dangerous event that could happen at any time. That is, a biological or EMP attack that would kill millions and cripple the nation.

      I have never heard anyone deny the belief that if the 9/11 killers had been able to couple their efforts with some sort of agent, whether nuclear or biological, that would have spread from their crash sites to continue killing they would have used it. And we know that Islamic extremists have worked on developing such weapons.

      I know,the history books are now pretty thoroughly rewritten to now claim that no, there never were WMD in Iraq when we invaded. The thing is. some of remember the facts—-the lines of semis rolling away from the known WMD factories every night and going into Syria, the testimony that one of the passenger planes we allowed to fly out of Iraq had been fitted to carry row upon row of tanks of various agents, the remaining traces of biological agents found by our military when we went in, and so on. I don’t know who made the decision to cover all this up after the fact, but the “Iraq was a mistake, there were never any WMD there” has been parroted even by people I think of as being on the Right, and it is now accepted as reality. But we know they were working on developing these kinds of materials, with the intent of killing millions.

      There used to be stories about the 12thers, the fanatics who believed that their role in Islam was to bring about the return of the 12th Imam, which could only happen “when blood runs in the streets” and the world is brought to chaos and misery. There used to be stories about the danger this philosophy posed, as according to it even the deaths of millions upon millions of fellow Muslims would be beneficial because those deaths would contribute to the world-wide deaths of hundreds of millions necessary to create the circumstances necessary for the domination of the entire world by Islam, which would happen upon the return of the 12th Imam.


      So I speculate that the Powers That Be know something we don’t know about the possibility of something far more devastating than this virus and are using it to both test us in our ability to handle it and how we respond and to test the capabilities of the government in a similar crisis.

      Think about it—how many people do you think are going to decide to be more prepared, from now on, for something like this? How many tens or hundreds of thousands of people are going to realize they need a small cash reserve, bigger savings, more food stashed, their vehicle fuel tanks kept full, backup medicines, etc? Don’t you think that one result of this is going to be a population in which many more people are not only more physically prepared but mentally prepared to handle something like this?

      Another good result is what we are seeing now, in the shifting of opinion regarding the Agenda Media and the Dems in Congress. Their old tricks are just ticking people off. Notice the silence of Nan and her gang, after she got so slapped down for her sniping about Trump and the administration. Schifty and the Waddler seem to be silenced for now. The antics of the Left are not only becoming more clear—such as their domination of Congress for their coup efforts when Congress should have been dealing with the threat coming out of China—and their sheer nastiness and spite and malice are not playing well to a nation in crisis. I hope this is used against them in the election, giving us a bigger than ever majority in both houses as it is the Republicans (except for Mitt) setting the standard for rational and productive response to this. We’ve gone from the Right trying to work on the problem while the Left sniped at them to the Right making progress with the problem while the Left huddles in their hidey-holes because there is nothing they can say. Neither response looks good for the Dems in Congress and I hope it is all used to defeat them.

      AOC has slowed down her sniping, Omar is reduced to recycling the “children separated from their parents” meme from back when, while marrying a man who left his wife and child for her, and poor demented Jew-hater Tlaib is retweeting what appeals to her—in this case the “F*** the Day of Prayer” tweet from Davey Hogg, who is missing the spotlight. All are sliding deeper and deeper into irrelevance, if not just plunging into the abyss of being so hateful and nasty no one cares about them any more.

      I am seeing the Agenda Media splintering, as some realize they have to admit that Trump is doing a good job leaving the rest on the other side of a widening chasm with fewer and fewer fellow travelers. Hopefully we can pry that gap open a little more, or a lot more, by the time this is resolved, after which we can comment (as CNN lurches back to its poisonous spewing of Fake News) that at least for a little while they sometimes accidentally practiced real journalism.

      AND….it has gotten the attention of the masses who had been so dismissive of Trump’s concerns about China. Suddenly more and more of us are realizing that (1) China is not our friend; (2) China is the source of a lot of very bad stuff, ranging from toxic dog food and children’s toys painted with lead-based paint to deadly diseases spawned in filthy conditions; and (3) that we need to distance ourselves from China, particularly when it comes to manufacturing necessary things like pharmaceuticals. China is helping Trump with this by kicking out journalists (and finally the American media are giving this the spin and attention it deserves) and threatening to cut off our supply of medicines and trying to replace the dollar as the international reserve currency.

      None of the benefits I am seeing would have been likely or even possible in the United States of late 2019, with the populace fat and happy and slurping down the Dem slop doled out by the Leftist propaganda machine. This is one time I have to agree that a crisis is a terrible thing to waste, and I am tickled that Trump is not one to let it go without turning it into a plus in any way possible.

      • Amazona March 19, 2020 / 12:30 pm

        I forgot to mention Putin’s cooperation in finally killing off the beloved Lefty meme of “Trump/Putin” by orchestrating an effort to destroy American oil and gas production in its game of chicken with Saudi Arabia. He’s not exactly acting like he is working with Trump, is he?

      • Retired Spook March 19, 2020 / 3:16 pm

        Oil is back up $5 a barrel today after hitting a low of just over $20. I heard someone say that was the lowest price for crude since 2002. With treasuries paying nearly zero I had thought a lot of cash would flee to precious metals, but they’ve all taken a big hit as well. I suspect a lot of big investors are just sitting on a huge pile of cash waiting to see how this all shakes out. Shrewd short sellers have had a field day in the last month.

        I met with a couple neighbors who are on the same page as I am WRT being prepared. None of us are “preppers” in the true sense of the word, but we’re ten times more prepared than most of the people around us. More than anything our strategy session involved what if scenarios and how we would react to each. Two of us live back off the county road a ways with only one way in and out. The third guy lives right on the county road a 100 yards off old highway 30. He and his wife actually keep a large box of non-perishable food products in their garage in the event that someone is in need and has the ability to pay. They even kept the receipt in the box so it would be obvious that they weren’t trying to gouge someone in need. All three of us have mixed feelings about helping others who haven’t bothered to be prepared for even a minor emergency. I guess it would depend on how we were approached. The Christian in me says to help others less fortunate than I am. The pragmatist in me says it depends…….

      • Cluster March 19, 2020 / 4:30 pm

        So I speculate that the Powers That Be know something we don’t know about the possibility of something far more devastating than this virus and are using it to both test us in our ability to handle it and how we respond and to test the capabilities of the government in a similar crisis.

        Interesting but I am not convinced that the Powers That Be are that smart or selfless. That plan would actually require some level of empathy with the unwashed masses and again, I am not convinced the elite have that in them. I do think it’s a distraction though. Just consider the following numbers, and then think back to the level of hysteria surrounding the swine flu in 2009:

        ….. after the peak of illness during the second wave had come and gone in the United States. From April 12, 2009 to April 10, 2010, CDC estimated there were 60.8 million cases (range: 43.3-89.3 million), 274,304 hospitalizations (range: 195,086-402,719), and 12,469 deaths (range: 8868-18,306) in the United States due to the (H1N1)pdm09 virus.

        Additionally, CDC estimated that 151,700-575,400 people worldwide died from (H1N1)pdm09 virus infection during the first year the virus circulated.

        That was just 10 years ago. Up to a half a million people died in the first year of the flu yet life went on and Obama was still hailed as The Chosen One. Currently there are 10,000 worldwide deaths from Covid19 and you’d think that the end of times are here.

      • Amazona March 20, 2020 / 10:49 am

        Well, Cluster, even as a Trump fan you seem to be thinking that the people he has working on this are just more of the same old same old. My perspective is that there is a new sheriff in town, that he has finally put together a crew he can work with, and that they represent a new attitude and commitment to the people.

        All we have to do to start this line of thinking is look at the difference in the way Trump and his administration are handling this and compare it to the old Elite crew, D and R, who were in charge the last time we had a serious health issue.

      • Cluster March 20, 2020 / 11:20 am

        I agree there are new and more competent sheriff’s in town but honestly, how many times have the “experts” been wrong over the last 30 years? Too many times to count.

      • Amazona March 20, 2020 / 12:34 pm

        We seem to have different definitions of The Powers That Be. I am talking about the Trump Administration and those getting information directly from them. You seem to be talking about local sheriff’s (sic) and old-time party operatives.

        My sense is that The Powers That Be (by MY definition) are working off a different playbook than the one we know about, and that this is because (1) they have information we don’t have, and (2) they are playing a long game and trying to prepare the nation to be able to deal with an even bigger challenge if it were to come.

        That is, that they are not just looking at this as a pesky disease that has to be controlled but putting it in a larger context that includes national security and preparation for future problems. Read my link in my latest post about China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) to get an idea of the ways China is working on many levels to weaken foreign nations and increase its own power. From the article:

        Although BRI has been profitable for China, it’s been far less beneficial for the participating countries. Raleigh writes that at least eight of their “partner” nations “are so indebted to the Chinese that they had to hand over their strategic assets to China to offset their debt.

        Now, at this point in time, China is trying to leverage what they see as the weakness in the U.S. due to its own exportation of a deadly virus and the spread of that virus due in large part to China’s manipulation of information, into replacing the dollar with the yen as the international reserve currency.

        This is in play simultaneously with the Agenda Media’s efforts to use the virus to weaken the nation and the prospects of another Trump term as president, some of which have been focused on undermining the economy, as well as increased awareness of the vulnerability of this county to future attacks similar to what we are dealing with now.

        So yes, I do think that “the new sheriff in town” (only one, not several) and his carefully selected posse have a pretty good grasp on the multiple issues, nuances and dangers we are facing, and that they as a team are being pretty effective at either ignoring or just walking over the “sheriff’s” you fret about. The people you are fretting about are, I believe, becoming more and more irrelevant and easily ignored and/or dismissed. And I definitely do not think of them as part of The Powers That Be. They may be part of The Powers That Were, or more likely The Wish They Were Powers, but they aren’t making decisions now.

        Now we have the Trump Team on one side and the Agenda Media/Hysterical Left on the other, and only one side has any authority while the other is fading away as their shrill squeals convince fewer and fewer people. And this is confirmed by the Presidents’ unwavering determination to make us less and less dependent on China, even over the wails and gnashing of teeth of the Old Guard, and public awareness (moving rapidly toward agreement) of the need to do this. I am seeing a clearer vision of the big picture, and a stronger commitment to actually addressing problems instead of ignoring them, than I have in my lifetime.

  5. jdge1 March 19, 2020 / 2:05 pm

    I’ve read that the current anti-malaria med cholorquine has been highly effective in treating SARS as far back as 2005. COVID-19 is labeled by some as SARS-2. Big pharma are trying to down play this in large part because there’s no patent on these drugs and are trying to develop the newest vaccination and meds that they can patent.

    • Amazona March 21, 2020 / 2:02 pm

      The Left are certainly incensed about Trump’s encouragement of trying this drug, and others, to see what works and what doesn’t.

      Of course, if he weren’t advocating this they would be howling for his head because he was ignoring SCIENCE and LETTING PEOPLE DIE !!!! by saying we should wait for more evidence that they work.

      . . . hydroxychloroquine is efficient in clearing viral nasopharyngeal carriage of SARS-CoV-2 in COVID-19 patients in only three to six days, in most patients. A significant difference was observed between hydroxychloroquine-treated patients and controls starting even on day 3 post-inclusion. These results are of great importance because a recent paper has shown that the mean duration of viral shedding in patients suffering from COVID- 19 in China was 20 days (even 37 days for the longest duration)

      . . . Our preliminary results also suggest a synergistic effect of the combination of hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin. Azithromycin has been shown to be active in vitro against Zika and Ebola viruses and to prevent severe respiratory tract infections when administrated to patients suffering viral infection. This finding should be further explored to know whether a combination is more effective especially in severe cases.

      . . . Such results are promising and open the possibility of an international strategy to decision- makers to fight this emerging viral infection in real-time even if other strategies and research including vaccine development could be also effective, but only in the future. We therefore recommend that COVID-19 patients be treated with hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin to cure their infection and to limit the transmission of the virus to other people in order to curb the spread of COVID-19 in the world. Further works are also warranted to determine if these compounds could be useful as chemoprophylaxis to prevent the transmission of the virus, especially for healthcare workers.

      Just imagine the meltdowns on the Left if this drug combo proves to be effective and stops the pandemic in its tracks, saving countless lives, after Trump promoted giving it a try. The FDA are saying they want clinical trials, and that is fine, as long as they run simultaneously with using these drugs, as there doesn’t seem to be much of a downside if they are tried and don’t work. The new Right To Try law ought to let people choose whether or not they want to try an untested drug—and remember, these drugs have been thoroughly tested over the years for several diseases, and “untested” refers to limited testing for COVID19.

  6. Cluster March 19, 2020 / 4:14 pm

    Has everyone noticed that after years of complaining of Trump wanting to be a dictator, the media is now complaining that he is not dictatorial enough? Are we in the Twilight Zone?

  7. Amazona March 20, 2020 / 11:11 am

    I don’t know if crooks are seeing this whole corona virus hysteria as an opportunity or if it is just coincidence, but my Junk Mail folder has gotten a minimum of one and often several phishing efforts every day. According to these scammers, I have passed up at least a billion dollars just since the beginning of the year.

    What struck me as funny, and prompted me to write about it, is the one I got today——$2,600,000 in damages for being the victim of a scam.

    Now THAT is a creative criminal!

  8. Amazona March 20, 2020 / 12:04 pm

    Before the torches are lit and the pitchforks sharpened to go after Senators who allegedly sold stock after being briefed on the Corona Virus, don’t you think someone should find out how their portfolios are managed?

    For example. Republican Kelly Loeffler has been attacked for doing this. Her responses:


    This is a ridiculous and baseless attack. I do not make investment decisions for my portfolio. Investment decisions are made by multiple third-party advisors without my or my husband’s knowledge or involvement.



    As confirmed in the periodic transaction report to Senate Ethics, I was informed of these purchases and sales on February 16, 2020 — three weeks after they were made.

    When public figures put their portfolios into blind trusts, they not only do not control investment decisions they are not always informed of them. People distance themselves from financial decisions specifically to avoid accusations of making them based on confidential information or on connections with people who can provide insider information.

    These smear campaigns, including bandwagon-jumper Erick Erickson who continually amazes me with his general ignorance, seem to appeal to people whose horizons are so limited they have no idea how the world works outside their little bubbles. An example is the hissy fit over the appointment of Pence to oversee the pandemic response teams—the sheeple seemed think the appointee was supposed to be in a lab peering into a microscope, not coordinating and administering multiple agencies and committees. It’s the same thing with blind trusts and similar arrangements—people with no investment experience seem to think that investors huddle over the market news every day and make decisions themselves on what to buy, what to sell, and timing of investment decisions. While some do, many more do not.

    I’m starting to think of these movements to smear innocent people as The Tyranny Of The Stupid.

    • Retired Spook March 20, 2020 / 1:01 pm

      Kind of reminds me of the old saying, “when you lay down with dogs you get up with fleas.”

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