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Member since: Sat Feb 22, 2020, 12:55 PM
Number of posts: 4,896

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MAGA Troll

This definition probably belongs in the Urban Dictionary, but I'll propose it here.

MAGA Troll

A MAGA Troll is someone who engages in any or all of the following:

1) Pitting two different factions against one another: The MAGA Troll hopes to maximize a manufactured conflict in order to create opportunities to elevate their status. While the MAGA Troll overtly aligns themselves with one side, they are in fact covertly exploiting both sides as pawns.

2) Disrupting productive conversation with unproductive conversation: The MAGA Troll will disrupt intelligent conversations with whataboutisms, pettifogging, distraction, and flooding the zone with shit ala Steve Bannon. Unlike other types of trolling which are more obvious, this is often done under the guise of pseudo-intellectualism.

3) Reverse Psychological Projection: MAGA Trolls often employ the Pee-wee Herman retort of "I know you are but what am I???". Skilled MAGA Trolls will instead proactively accuse their opponents of having their own weaknesses in an effort to deweaponize them. This led to the apt use of the term "psychological projection" to describe this behavior. In an absurd attempt to de-weaponize THAT term, MAGA Trolls now simply accuse the other side of psychologically projecting first (see pseudo-intellectualism above).

Holiday COVID-19 surge?

So I've been hearing a lot about the holiday COVID-19 surge which is to blame for the recent (third?) wave in cases and deaths in the US and the rest of the world. There's only one problem with that hypothesis. The data doesn't seem to back it up. If you look at the chart of active cases on JHU, we entered exponential growth in early September, much earlier than the holiday season. This growth continued all the way through early January. If anything, the rate of exponential growth (R-naught value) dropped off slightly in mid-November.

While there certainly WAS a holiday COVID-19 surge, this seems to be a poor singular explanation for the most recent wave.

The MSM doesn't seem to address this oscillation of waves that we see. Occasionally you'll hear that "people are acting more responsibly now" or something like that. That is statically difficult to accept at this macro level.

The simulations that I've looked at don't seem to show or explain these waves either. So what exactly is going on? It is unlikely that the vaccine could have caused this dramatic cresting that we see already.

President Biden's Proposed Changes to 401(k) Plans

I have a few comments and concerns about this.


Did Biden campaign on this idea? This came as a surprise. I believe it will be more or less a wash for me personally.

So if you are in the 32% tax bracket or above ($164,901 in income for an individual), it can increase your taxes. I'm a bit concerned that the Republicans could construe this as a broken campaign promise ( "Nobody making under 400,000 bucks would have their taxes raised, period, bingo." ) I guess this then becomes a debate over semantics. Really it is restricting a tax haven a bit. Is restricting a tax haven considered raising taxes? Hmm.

Marlon Craft - State Of The Union

Amazon has cancelled Prime Pantry

I've been using this service off and on for years and am sorry to see it go.


It was something of a safe zone from price gouging on Amazon during the pandemic. Non-perishable food items that qualified for Pantry were fairly priced, while the same items outside of Pantry were 2X, 3X, or 4X the street price. Amazon generally does a good job keeping downward pressure on prices, but their non-perishable food items have been all over the place.

Making matters worse, searching for food items outside of Pantry is problematic. In the Pantry service, a search for a specific item would yield a single result. Outside of Pantry, you get pages and pages of results for the same item...just a big mess.

This was a useful tool in minimizing trips to the supermarket. I could make a single large trip to the supermarket for two weeks worth of supplies, and stretch a third week with pantry items from Amazon.

I've turned my back on Amazon and have placed an order with Walmart's NextDay Delivery service. This appears to be a comparable service, so we'll see how it goes.

S&P 500 Index gained 18% in 2020

That a remarkable statistic considering CV-19 cases have been in full exponential growth in the US since September.

Raiders of the Lost Election

I've coined a new phrase for these knuckleheads storming the U.S. Capitol.

Introducing the "Cruzadiddle"

This is the political equivalent of the "paradiddle" tap dance move.

You may think that Trump supporters have a clear dichotomy between two paths, to either A) Defend Trump, or B) Renounce Trump.

However, innovator and leader Ted Cruz has trailblazed a third path which is neither of those. This path can only be Cruzadiddled down, demanding a certain fleetness of foot.

Advanced Cruzadiddlers will sometimes add flourishes to this move, such as the "Graham Pullback" or the "Giuliani Shuffle". It really is a wonder to behold.

Contracting a reported case of CV-19 is similar to aging this many years

I'm somewhat fascinated with actuarial life tables and have done a rough calculation here.

In 2018 there were 867.8 deaths per 100,000 population in the US. The average death probability is thus .87%. A 56-year-old male has a death probability closest to this based on the Social Security 2015 Period Life Table:


So this group can be thought of as the median. Half of the deaths will be younger people, and the other half will be older. So they will have similar mortality characteristics as the country as a whole.

The case fatality rate for CV-19 in the US is 1.7%.


If you add the 1.7% to the median group death probability, the result is 2.57%. This is close to the death probability for a 71-year-old male.

Contracting a reported case of CV-19 is similar to aging 15 years in terms of mortality. I wonder...is it also similar in terms of long-haul symptoms? Perhaps those recovered don't get all of those years back.

The War on the Deep State

Trump is waging a war on the election process which has involved an all-out propagandistic media blitz, vague and not-so-vague allegations of fraud, and sixty lawsuits (and counting). He has attempted to impress the Republican governors, the Attorney General, and even the SCOTUS into service in this war. This is the War on the Deep State.

It is important to frame this struggle in this way. It takes all of the allegations of a Deep State made by the right wing and connects them to the outcome. There can only be three as I see it:

1) The massive election fraud is uncovered (the largest crime in US history) and the Deep State is revealed and defeated
2) The election is not overturned, however the high degree of scrutiny employed finally reveals the Deep State
3) No trace of a Deep State is found (the "nothing burger" outcome). This equates to evidence of absence. Spoiler alert: this is where we are headed.

Trump has had to enter falsifiable territory out of sheer desperation. His Republican lapdogs have had to follow along behind him.

The "War on the Deep State" talking point blows up the "Deep State" talking point. "Release the Kraken" does not.

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