Saturday, May 29, 2021

Doing It Right, Part 2

There is a lake in the infield at Indianapolis, but unfortunately for the announcers, it is not on the track, so Scott Dixon will not be able to demonstrate his ability to drive his car to victory across a body of water. 

I'm sure they have no doubt that he can do that, but it's too bad that he won't be able to demonstrate it for them. The other drivers are just there to provide contrast.


Thursday, May 27, 2021

Doing It Right

This coming weekend, at the Coca-Cola 600, each race car will carry on its windshield the name of a person who lost their life in service to this nation.


It’s not the first time NASCAR has done this, and it’s something that the organization has absolutely gotten right. The driver of the car almost always mentions the person being honored on his car in interviews,  he has spent time with that person’s family, and frequently the family is at the race.


The announcers often speak about the honorees during the race as they feature a car. “The 29 car carries the name of…”


Thank you, NASCAR, for your respectful celebration of Memorial Day.


Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Modern Economics

From an article by Michael Hudson explaining why President Biden is refusing to cancel student debt ,

“The fact is, if the government were to write down all the student debt, it wouldn’t cost the government a penny right now. And that wouldn’t cost the banks a penny because the debt is owed to the government and the government would simply be canceling a future source of revenue.”


I think Mr. Hudson’s definition of “debt” needs to be refined, because it is not currently in contact with reality. “Future revenue” would be something along the lines of “no money has changed hands yet, but some day in the future you will buy something from me.”


Debt would be more like, “you have my money and I want it back.” So when you cancel that debt I don’t get my money back and therefor I do actually lose my money. If the government gets into the habit of randomly cancelling debts, it’s going to become really difficult to find anyone who will lend you money.


The key, of course, is that Mr. Hudson says that the government “it won't cost the government a penny right now,” which is a tacit admission that it will cost the government money in the future, namely when the student loans are supposed to be paid. But he doesn’t worry about tomorrow. “Carpe diem.” Seize today


Tuesday, May 18, 2021

Good Advice

The Haas team in Formula 1 has two rookie drivers, Mick Schumacher and Nikita Mazepin, who will be racing at Monaco for the first time this coming weekend. Monaco is a legendary street course with no runoff areas, walls on both sides everywhere. Tricky place to race, to say the least.


Team principal Guenther Steiner had some advice for his two rookies, telling them to, "Stay out of the walls and off the barriers."

 

Well, duh. Does he think they were planning to hit the walls and barriers on purpose?


Sunday, May 16, 2021

Logic Should Apply

Dr. Fauci and the Director of the CDC, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, both gave the same explanation for the change in policy regarding face masks, namely that it was not so much as change in “science,” as it was simple observation. We have now been administering the vaccine long enough, they told us, and to enough people (some 153 million), that we can now be assured that it works well enough that we can quit wearing face masks.


I don’t know why anyone would have a problem with that. We’ve been trusting these people for fifteen months or so when they are delivering bad news, why should we quit trusting them merely because they deliver some good news?


What they didn’t address is the 33 million people who have what is called “acquired immunity” due to having been infected by the virus and recovering from the resulting illness. Applying the same logic of observation to that group, we should note that an even lower number of that group has become ill a second time (effectively zero, in fact) than in the immunized group, and should acknowledge that this group’s immunity is as good, or even better, than those who have been vaccinated.


In fact, in all known viral diseases where acquired immunity exists at all, (10 out of 14) it is superior to vaccination, being essentially 100% effective, and in all those cases it is well known to last for a lifetime. Why should we assume this one is different?


Two viral diseases, the common cold and annual flu, are not a single virus in either case. Both consist of multiple viruses which combine and mutate annually, obviating any opportunity for acquired immunity. The flu vaccine is developed each year based on the best guess of what next year’s dominant flu virus will be, and in a good year is 40% effective.


The herpes virus is incurable and becomes a latent virus in the host, and since the host cannot get rid of the virus no acquired immunity can be developed.


The rabies virus has such a low survival rate that data on acquired immunity cannot be developed. Vaccines provide immunity for approximately ten years.


All the rest (smallpox, measles, mumps, rubella, chicken pox, hepatitis, polio, ebola, hantavirus, and yellow fever) provide an acquired immunity which last a lifetime. Chicken pox virus can remain latent in the host and return as shingles, but it does not cause a recurrence of chicken pox.


So, if you are going to evaluate this virus against other viruses, you cannot do so against the clod and flu because this is not multiple viruses, it is a single virus with very minor variats. If these variants are not rendering the vaccine impotent, they cannot be doing so to acquired immunity.


You cannot compare this virus to herpes, because clearly we are finding that it is possible to rid the host of the virus, that is to cure the patient.


You obviously cannot compare it to rabies. The death rate is far too low.

So you simply have to compare it to the ten other viruses, all ten of which provide lifetime acquired immunity. Why would you assume this one does not? That’s not to say the issue should not be studied, but you should start with the most likely assumption, especially when that assumption is consistent with current observation to date.


Friday, May 07, 2021

Only Biden...

Biden has another new program, assisting homeowners with their mortgage. To qualify you must owe less than $356,825 and not have missed a payment in six months.

 

?  Why the odd amount? But more to the point, if you have not missed a payment in six months, why do you need help? Weird.


Saturday, May 01, 2021

Perspective is Needed

The media is hyperventilating about the Coronavirus pandemic in India, even to the extent of speculating about social collapse of one of the world's most populous nations.


Virtually every state in this country has an infection rate of around 9.8% since the pandemic began. Oddly, regardless of the level of mask mandates, shutdowns, and other measures, 98 out of 1000 people have become infected since the beginning of the pandemic, 902 have not.

 

India, with 1.4 billion people, has incurred 17 million cases of Coronavirus infection cases. That is an infection rate of 1.2% of the population, or about 12% of the rate experienced in this country. That is not to say that 17 million cases is not a tragic problem, but using raw numbers without context can distort reality.

 

Update: Sunday, May 2, 2021

 Put another way, compare India's case count and rate above (17 million, 1.2%) to the same numbers for the Unites States. This country has experienced 33,180,441 cases since the beginning of the pandemic. With a population of 33 million people, that is 10% of our people who have become infected, compared to India's 1.2%,