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Member since: Sat Feb 22, 2020, 12:55 PM
Number of posts: 4,926

Journal Archives

Price gouging on Amazon

I think Amazon cleaned up the most egregious violations, but this still seems to be rampant.

16 oz of mayonnaise for $23 (should be $4)


97 oz of evaporated milk for $16 (should be around $11)


13 oz of Hamburger Helper for $9 (should be $2)


These are not anecdotal, they are every pantry staple I search for.

So if you are one of the lucky ones, you can pay 2-3X the going rate for your nonperishable wares and cut out a few more trips to the grocery store. The rest of us get to mask up and head out.

I wonder how many low-income seniors took on some debt for the same privilege thinking this was "going to be over soon"? That's the danger in this overly optimistic messaging from the WH. Putin isn't doing that. Merkel isn't doing that.

Better Task Force Briefing questions for Jim Acostas

Jim Acostas has been asking "gotcha" questions of Trump that we already know the answer to again and again. This serves a purpose to a point, but has become repetitive and pointless.

Given that there are daily press briefings, there is no reason more technical questions can't be posed to Fauci and Birx. I'm entirely confident the MSM can dumb it down for mass consumption.

Here are a few of the questions I would ask. Maybe Acostas should take some notes.

1) By recent estimates, the R-naught value in places like New York and Germany is around 0.9 with a full lockdown in place. Anything above 1.0 will mean either a slow or fast disaster involving an ever-increasing number of cases. What is the expected new range for the R-naught value as lockdown restrictions are eased and testing procedures are increased across the country, and is the simulation data available?

2) When is the effect of temperature and humidity on the transmission of CV-19 virus expected to be known with certainty? The CDC has performed lab experiments on flu virus transmissibility, yet nothing definitive has been learned of this virus month after month.

3) The WHO is playing an active role in coordinating the worldwide development effort into a flu vaccine. How significantly will the recent withdrawal of US support hamper this effort, and how specifically will any setbacks be reversed?

Now if Acostas wants to talk about bleach on Monday, the OANN could shock the world and ask these questions instead. Feel free OANN, you have my permission.

Chris Cuomo "quarantine shamed" by conservative media

Cuomo verbally accosted the "Fat-Tire Guy" near his property who is now making the rounds on the conservative media circuit.


Cuomo did still have CV-19 symptoms at this time, and you can say what you will about whether he should have been more aggressively quarantining himself or not. No laws were broken, so any perceived impropriety is something he'll have to reconcile with himself. It's not like he was on the subway.

I don't think the encounter amounts to much in the way of being newsworthy. FXN's Tucker Carlson picked up the story regardless, puffing up the "altercation" as a guise to smear the CNN celebrity. He prefaced the piece by saying he was concerned with Cuomo's health, making all subsequent statements A-OK. Tucker and Company have taken quite a beating in recent weeks, and this seems to be nothing more than a transparent low-blow retaliation.

So is this where we are now? Quarantine shaming?

National Six Month Emergency Fund

Financial gurus recommend individuals have six months worth of expenses saved away for an emergency, or more. Shouldn't countries have this as well? The USA, the richest country in history, should be able to support businesses which are shut down for six months easily. We're barely one month into this and there's protests and talk of a Depression.

Even if we make it two months and reopen, we're going to have Pandemic 2.0 in the winter which is going to last longer. Flu season is October to April or so.

Suze Orman will DENY more PPP programs this winter due to lack of savings.

I cracked COVFEFE!

So the DU figured out that COV was probably code for Coronavirus. That's just the code header. What about the FEFE?

FEFE is hexadecimal for 65278.

Add the number of the beast 666 to get 65944.

Modulo that by 45 (45th president) and you get 19.

It was COVID-19 all along!

(65278 + 666) % 45 = 19

February 12, 2020

I predict this date will have been the high water mark of the Trump economy.

DJIA: 29,551

I believe in America. I invest in America. That said, the Dow won't reach this limit again during Trump's single-term presidency.

The US economy is set to retract by 6% this year, and that is probably optimistic. We are besieged by unrealistic optimism right now. Dreams of a v-shaped recovery will soon be dashed.

Given how tightly Trump has tied his presidency to the success of the economy, this date will be recorded as the high water mark of that flash flood as well.

Whaaaaa? A Federal CV-19 testing and contact tracing system??

Why in the world wouldn't a patchwork of state systems suffice?


CV-19 peaks don't work the way many people think they do

What's being portrayed by the WH and even the MSM is that the peak varies from state to state, and all we have to do is hunker down like it's Passover and weather it in isolation. After that, Americans get their much-deserved attaboys from Mike Pence and then we get this bitch back open for business again.

In reality, it works like this:

Bucket A) R-naught < 1 : This is apparently where the US is right now. There is a latency between infection and symptoms where the virus is eventually detected. So what we are doing is waiting out this false peak which is the delayed result of a previously higher R-naught value exponential climb. This should take a few weeks, which matches reality. After that, an exponential reduction in active cases will occur, but never effectively reaches zero.

Bucket B) R-naught > 1 : Peaks work very differently here. These are real peaks that are limited by herd immunity. Here you are resuming the logarithmic rise that was seen pre-lockdown. The peak is determined by the R-naught value and varies somewhat, but in all cases results in 100's of millions of infections in the US.

So if you are in Bucket A, remaining there doesn't really "accomplish" much of anything strictly in terms of total infections if you eventually move to Bucket B. You are just delaying the inescapable mathematical certainty that follows.

Bucket C) R-naught near 0 : This is the vaccine scenario.

South Korea was able to remain in Bucket A after easing their lockdown due largely to widespread voluntary use of tracking apps. It is entirely unclear if this remarkable success can be reproduced in a Western country.

I don't recall seeing South Koreans protesting any restrictions...

Are we being slow-rolled towards herd immunity?

Let's assume Trump's Three Phase Plan moves forward in all 50 states and there is significant testing and contact tracing. I think a R-Naught value of 1.5 is possible and may even be optimistically low. This would have us at 200 million cases in 200 days according to the SIR model.

Assuming another optimistic mortality rate of 1%, this gets us right back to the 2 million deaths. The number of hospitalizations might be 40 million. That's a big big number but over 200 days and across 50 states might be weatherable. The amount of suffering would be uncalculatable.

So I think what they are not saying is that Plan A is to gamble on there being therapeutics and pharmaceuticals and vaccines by then to chip away at these numbers. Keeping the shutdown in place is of course gambling with the economy as well.

Plan B is for herd immunity to eventually kick in if Plan A fails. The public isn't going to go for this, so Trump needs to come out and make anti-herd statements, which he has done. So we'd have to be slow-rolled towards it. In fairness, all parties want Plan A to work. So these two gambles can be spun as being equivalent. Are they?

From a purely military perspective, both Plan A and Plan B are better long term than China's Plan C, which is to maintain a high degree of population susceptibility through draconian controls. Just think of how disadvantaged they will be trading with bordering countries having herd immunity if the vaccine is delayed or a total bust.

Great Rotation of Wealth : Democrats to Republicans

I'm a news junkie and flip between the FXN, the MSM, and various political forums. One trend that I see is that the conservatives are trying to figure out how to invest in this climate with an inherent optimism around the American economy. Here in the DU on the other hand, we seem to be far more concerned with panic porn and making out wills and getting our final affairs in order.

Now I do not presently share their optimism in the short to medium term. I think there is a lot of hand-waving going on between Fauci, Birx, and Trump around how the reopening of the economy is going to work. I see countries like Spain taking baby steps and appearing to have the expected new outbreaks. I look at the social experiment in Sweden, and it doesn't look as rosy as a week or two ago. I've run SIR simulations myself and see little to be encouraged about.

All that said, the Republicans seem to be in a better position to benefit from any significant advances in the war against COVID-19. The market move on Friday due to the rumors around Remdesivir show a glimmer of what's possible. And one possibility is a huge transfer of wealth from liberals who sold off equities to conservatives who snapped them up at fire sale prices. Betting against that is to bet against American ingenuity, not to mention the brilliant minds working on the problem abroad. Money is power. Money wins elections.

Of course another significant market crash could flip the script the other way. So how do we choose the winning side of the coin?
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