A rant on the “second wave” and calls for more lock-downs.

My “somebody on the internet is wrong” personality flaw has been triggered. Or maybe it would be better to say that people are missing the obvious point. At any rate, this is going to be a little bit of departure from normal links to news.
To set the stage, let us consider the following opinions from the great and good.

1. There are “bad people” who believe that we should strive for herd immunity and who argue that we can achieve herd immunity from smaller number of infections then “good people” this is possible.

2. The current rising number of infections in places that have already been hard hit (like Spain) show that the “bad people” are wrong (was there ever any doubt?).

3. “Bad people” are trying to switch the subject to talking about how low the case fatality rate is. But this lower date rate is only because the demographics of those getting infected are currently different and have nothing to do with the seriousness of COVID.

Granted, the above is a little over simplified, but I think (despite the snark) it is a pretty fair representation of the views of a lot of people. If you want to see someone who is struggling to be fair minded address this issue, you can read this Marginal Revolution post so you can see the argument being made sans the snark.

Now I am not going to defend the work of the “bad” herd immunity people. I suspect that they are making a critical error in modeling a “herd” as being a given group of people located a geographical point and we know this model is flawed. For example, studies of anti-body samples seem to show quite clearly that there was a big COVID class divided in New York City. It seems that COVID was much more prevalent in the poor and working class in New York then it was in the middle and upper classes. In fact, the difference is so stark that they might as well been two different cities. So the lower economic classes of New York might very well have “herd immunity” were as the upper economic classes are ripe for a “second wave” as it were. And regardless of what mathematical models show, it is hard to see how lower classes having herd immunity (assuming they do) will protect the upper classes who do things like go to weddings in Brazil and vacation in Mexico. I suspect the same logic plays out in places like Spain/Madrid or other areas that were hard hit but still experiencing a “second wave”.

But this brings to me much lower death rate that is being experienced as part of this “second wave”. The great and good will tell you this is because of the younger age demographic of those getting infected and they have statistics to back that up. I also suspect that a much higher percentage of those now being infected are better off and whiter then the first wave. I have not seen statistics to that effect but given the lack of stories about “minorities hardest hit” and “meatpackers are all going to die” I would guess that a lot more of the infections are in the upper class then previously. This would also tie into the lower death rate because as a general rule the wealthier you are the better your health and the better health care you receive. The bottom line is that a younger and wealthier set of victims goes a long way to explaining the lower case fatality rate for COVID currently being observed.

So far, I don’t have a problem with the story that the great and good are spinning (except that I think that testing and other methodological problems plays a bigger role then they are acknowledging). My problem is that obvious implications about the “success” of lockdowns are being ignored and the clamor is for “more lockdown.” This to me is missing the obvious point that the case fatality rate is so low now because vulnerable and the poor were not protected during the lock down. The people getting infected now are the people who were protected during the lockdown.

The wealthy and middle class who were able to work from home and keep their kids home with them were protected by the lockdown. The poor who could not afford to stay home and had to keep going to work (often in nursing homes, hospitals, meat packing plants, and so on and so forth) and had to have their kids in daycare (often their elderly parents since all other options were closed) were heavily hit on the first wave and not suffering as bad with the “second wave”.

What bugs me is that now that upper classes see the infections are hitting them, they want another lock down because it successfully protects them. They don’t care all that much about the economic fallout because so far that has disproportionately hurt the lower classes that have never been protected by any lock down.

The bottom line: The current rise in infections is occurring in people previously protected by lockdowns. The fact that the case fatality rate is currently so low shows that the lockdowns never did a very good job a protecting the vulnerable. Current calls to re-instate the lockdowns should be looked at as privileged people trying to protect themselves from something that the poorer classes have already suffered.

Maybe there is another way of interpreting the data, but if there is, I have not seen the argument being made. Mostly, the great and good seem to prefer to ignore the implications of the fact that infections are only now impacting them and comparatively ignoring the poor and vulnerable who were so hard hit last time.

Justin Offers A Link

In a comment on this post, Justin offered the below video as a comment on this link.

I will make the following observations……

1. It is stories like the above that lead to socialism, communism, and other associated ideas having continued support in spite of their bad track record.

2. It is common for people who are good at something to think that they can therefore lead or manage a project that encompasses things that they are good at. But often, leadership skills don’t come with other strong skills. In particular, my own experience would lead me to believe that strongly artistic people are rarely good managers. A lot of Mr. Kern’s bad decisions as laid out in the above video strike me as a classic example of an artistic person let off the leash with no oversight. Computer gaming history is filled with similar stories of developers who were an integral part of strong teams but absolutely failed on their own in such spectacular fashion as to make you wonder if they were ever truly good at anything. In my judgement, the common thread in those tails of self-destruction is giving an artistic person a pot full of money with no controls.

3. It is common for people to exaggerate the evil nature of poor leaders and forgive the evil deeds of good leaders. That is to say the failure of leadership skill is often attributed to moral failings while successful leaders are forgiven moral lapses because they get things done. We all have moral failings and I am sure that Mr. Kern has more then his fair share. But I think a lot of what is laid out above is rooted above all else in lack of managerial talent and not some particularly black heart compared to other people in the same industry.

4. It is common for people to point out someone’s hypocrisy or other moral failings as if they demonstrate that that person does not have good points or sincerely held beliefs. A classic case of this is the attempts to delegitimize everything Winston Churchill did because he was a supporter of imperialism. In this case, nothing in the above video really has anything to do with Mark Kern’s points about China or the current management of Blizzard except to warn against turning Mr. Kern into some kind of hero.That is always a good warning to have, but no one should go in the opposite direction and think it demonstrates more then it does.

5. A broader hypocrisy of the west in general is the focus of things seen on TV instead of any kind of tangible yardsticks. For example, what has been done over the years in Tibet have been and continue to be far worse then anything currently going on in Hong Kong. And yet, Tibet has not developed into nearly as big of an issue as Hong Kong is becoming.

6. That said, I think it is truly alarming how determined China is to use its economic clout to regulate what is being said in other countries. It is one thing to control your own country’s internet. It is another thing to try to control what everyone else is saying all over the world. And that does seem to be what China is seeking to do. Imagine the outrage if the American government worked as hard as China has been working to get sport’s people fired for being critical of US policy.

Did an Inuit (Eskimo) woman kill a polar bear with a 22?

I recently told some people that smallest cartridge documented to have been used to killed a polar bear was a 22 but now I can’t find any proof of that fact. I had a clear memory of reading an article in a print magazine that documented such a thing, but I will be danged if I can find it now. Apparently I am not the only person with this memory as I did find this quote from a forum….

I read an article where an Inuit woman killed one of the largest polar bears ever killed with a .22 rifle. Hid behind a door in the kitchen, when the bear poked its head in the kitchen, she put the muzzle of the rifle in it’s ear and shot; dropped like a rock. They reported it was very difficult getting the bear out of the house.

This report was greeted with considerable skepticism on the forum and I don’t blame them for the skepticism in the absence of proof. All I can say is that I remember reading a similar article a long time ago. But I will be danged if I can find that article now so either I am totally mis-remembering or the all encompassing internet failed to preserve any kind of documentation. Best I can come up with something semi-official looking is the off hand comment in this article that references what my dubious memory recalls saying….

Marauding bears have been killed by .22 rimfire pocket pistols; not very often, but it has been done by an Eskimo woman I happen to know about.

But the article offers no documentation to support that claim so it might be a commonly repeated tall tale. All I can offer in defense of my memory and the undocumented hearsay found on the internet is that it is well documented that a 22 in the hands of native American woman can kill a very large bear. But the bear is question was a very large grizzly and the woman in question was Cree and not Inuit. Her name was Bella Twin and she got into the record books for that particular bit of daring.

The Education of the Normans

This video is not in the Educate Deb series and can only be appreciated by people who have some knowledge of English history. If you know what happened during the battle of Battle of Agincourt, if you know your Shakespeare well enough to know who Henry V was, and if you know what Henry V connection to the Normans was, and you have 12 minutes to spare, then you may be interested in watching this short video on how the Normans got educated.

Granted, this is just one interpretation of the battle but it is a plausible one. It strikes me as an obscure battle that had a larger affect on history then many would think (although undoubtedly this was not the only time that the Normans had to learn this lesson).

Talking About Biden

On purely technical grounds, I am cool with the fact that the House of Representatives wants to work on impeaching the President of the United States. The founders of this nation made it so that it only took a bare majority of the House to impeach but also made it so that it took to two thirds of the Senate to convict. Obviously they wanted to make it easy to bring charges but hard to make them stick. The Constitution also made it so that the House is the sole legal entity who has the power to impeach. Courts have suggested (correctly in my opinion) that this means that the house is the sole arbitrator of what is or is not an impeachable offense. On the whole, I think the House will cause less harm trying to impeach the President then other things they are likely to be doing if they don’t occupy themselves chasing after the bad orange man. And regardless of whether it is a good idea or not, it is inarguably constitutional which is more then you can say for a lot of their other activities.

What does get my blood up is being told over and over again by the mainstream media that we should not talk about Biden and that it is the actions of Trump that are the only legitimate subjects of conversation. As a form of therapy, I am going to talk about Biden……

Biden has boasted in the past that he got the Ukraine Prosecutor looking into his son’s company fired. From the Article….

It’s definitely horrible for Biden. The former vice president brought this issue on himself, recounting in 2018 how he told Poroshenko years earlier to fire Shokin or forfeit a promised $1 billion U.S. loan.

“I looked at them and said: ‘I’m leaving in six hours,’ ” Biden said at an event hosted by the Council on Foreign Relations. ” ‘If the prosecutor is not fired, you’re not getting the money.’ ”

Biden’s son followed his Father to Ukraine to make money off his father’s name. From the article……

Granted, Shokin was a shady character. Yet at some point he had been investigating Burisma, the largest gas company in Ukraine, which also happened to be paying Hunter Biden a $50,000 monthly salary as a board member.

By coincidence, Hunter had landed this cushy gig in a foreign country only a few months after the Obama ­administration began dispatching his father, Joe, to the very same foreign country on a regular basis.

There was, of course, absolutely nothing in Hunter’s résumé to indicate that he would be a valuable addition to foreign energy interest. He didn’t speak the language, and he had no particular expertise in the energy industry.

There are a lot of lies going around about this entire situation. Most of them revolve around the idea that the prosecutor that Biden got fired had no interest in his son so the two things could not possibly be related. This is not true. From the article…..

At the time, Shokin’s office was investigating Burisma. Shokin told me he was making plans to question Hunter Biden about $3 million in fees that Biden and his partner, Archer, collected from Burisma through their American firm. Documents seized by the FBI in an unrelated case confirm the payments, which in many months totaled more than $166,000.

Some media outlets have reported that, at the time Joe Biden forced the firing in March 2016, there were no open investigations. Those reports are wrong. A British-based investigation of Burisma’s owner was closed down in early 2015 on a technicality when a deadline for documents was not met. But the Ukraine Prosecutor General’s office still had two open inquiries in March 2016, according to the official case file provided me. One of those cases involved taxes; the other, allegations of corruption. Burisma announced the cases against it were not closed and settled until January 2017.

After I first reported it in a column, the New York Times and ABC News published similar stories confirming my reporting.

Sad links for Today

Doctors Warn of Painful Parasite Hiding in Your Sushi . You don’t eat raw meat for a reason.

Africa’s new slave trade: how migrants flee poverty to get sucked into a world of violent crime. I am no fan of how the west intervened in Libya, but I think people who blame this kind of thing on the fall of Gaddafi are missing the point. A lot of this was always going on but it was harder to see with Gaddafi in power.

How Noncompete Clauses Keep Workers Locked In

Links for today.

How to Accidentally Stop a Global Cyber Attacks. Don’t mind the security scan, they have to be paranoid.

Not to be sniffed at: human sense of smell rivals that of dogs, says study . Not sure about the headline, but yeah, the sense of smell is underused more then it is deficient. Native peoples have been long none to be able to track by smell and other things that human’s “can’t” do.

A watch fights tremors and woman finds ability to write