Timing

A friend of the blog emails:

Do I have this right? The pandemic has reduced commuter travel as employees and students work from home. The buses all say “essential travel only” and are not allowing the crowds they once had. Honestly, they probably don’t even have the crowds- fewer people are using the bus right now. I haven’t been on a bus lately, but I still get the texts about reduced service. Several times a day, buses aren’t running for all sorts of reasons.

Yet, despite all of this, Metro Transit employees were set to get a 2.5% raise and a $1500 bonus? The hospital where I work cancelled raises, eliminated CEU money, and cancelled the Holiday parties and meals because elective surgeries were cancelled for 2 months. Yet, these transit employees think their bonus and 2.5% raise are “crappy offers” and rejected the offer, voting for a strike?????

 I rarely use such language, but seriously, WTF is wrong with these people? I mean, look around- they ought to be happy with being employed, let alone a raise this year.

If Metro Transit struck now, who would know? 

Other than the people the DFL and their public employee union enablers want to keep miserable anyway? 

Great Job, Fredo

Just remember – according to the mainstream media, Andrew Cuomo is the smart governor.

Nearly 90% of New York bars and restaurants didn’t make their rent last month:

Eighty-seven percent of bars, restaurants, nightclubs and event spaces in the five boroughs could not pay their full August rent, according to data from 457 businesses surveyed between Aug. 25 and Sept. 11, in a new study released Monday by the nonprofit NYC Hospitality Alliance.

It’s a 7 percentage-point increase from June and a four-point jump from July, darkening the dire picture for eateries desperately seeking relief following six months of partial — and in some cases total — closure due to COVID-19 shutdowns.

Some 34 percent of this group said they could not pay rent at all last month, and only 12.9 percent were able to meet full payments.

With winter coming up, and an administration of Karens running things, NYC’s restaurant and night life scene may just start looking like the proverbial “cold Omaha”.

Although Omaha is faring much better these days.

Deal Or No Deal

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

I watched Family Feud last night.  Joe Biden told me he’d impose a national mask mandate to save us all from Covid, so I should vote for him.

Now, it seems he won’t. 

So . . . no reason to vote for you, then, Joe?  Might as well stick with the devil we know?

Good by me.

Joe Doakes

He’s vamping.

Well, no – the people feeling him his lines – they’re vamping.

A Hero For Our Time

British vacationer follows the “wear a mask, except when eating or drinking” rule to avoid wearing a mask throughout a four hour flight:

A British tourist has bragged about making a tube of Pringles last ‘four hours’ so he could avoid wearing a face mask on his flight to Tenerife.

Holidaymaker Michael Richards, 41, bought the tube of salt and vinegar Pringles on board the easyJet flight and nibbled on one every two-and-a-half minutes.

A man, a dream, a plan…

…a victory. 

Per Capita

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

I don’t think per-capita death rates is the correct measure.

Covid does not strike all age groups equally.  Minnesota had zero Second
Graders die of Covid under a strict lock down, Wisconsin had zero Second
Graders die of Covid under no lock down.  Does this tell us anything
about lock downs?  No, because Second Graders don’t die of Covid.  They
are not the at-risk pool. Old people are the at-risk pool.

Also, nobody retires from Florida to move to New York, it’s the other
way around.  Comparing state death rates per capita fails to take into
account that a larger percentage of the population in retirement states
are old people, which gives those states a larger at-risk pool.

A fair comparison is the result of policies in
high-death-rate-per-at-risk-pool states versus
low-death-rate-per-at-risk-pool states.  It takes a fair amount of math.

Minnesota has 5,600,000 people of whom 16% are over 65 [1].

Florida has 21,500,000 people of whom 21% are over 65. [2]

Deaths by Covid are broken into Age and Sex by State. [3]   Yes, all the
numbers are phony, but they’re equally phony.

Doing the math:

Minnesota has 695 Covid deaths in Men aged 65 and up; 816 Covid deaths
in Women aged 65 and up; total 1,511 Covid deaths in the at-risk
population.  1511 -:- 5,600,000 = .0002698.

Florida has 4,177 Covid Deaths in Men aged 65 and up; 3,701 Covid deaths
in Women aged 65 and up; total 7,878 Covid deaths in the at-risk
population.  7,878 -:- 21,500,000 = .0003664

Florida is doing worse than Minnesota, which I did not expect. That
doesn’t mean our strict lock-down made any difference, since college
kids partying on the beach generally have little contact with Grandma in
the nursing home, but the statistics don’t help our case as much as I
thought they would.

Unless I made a mistake, which is totally possible.  Check the math
yourself.

Joe Doakes

[1] https://www.census.gov/quickfacts/MN

[2] https://www.census.gov/quickfacts/fact/table/FL/PST045219

[3]
https://data.cdc.gov/NCHS/Provisional-COVID-19-Death-Counts-by-Sex-Age-and-S/9bhg-hcku/data

Fatalities per capita may not be ideal – but it’s the closest thing to a measurement that is simultaneously common enough to be a mathematical lingua franca and compares apples to apples, as it were.

Point taken.

What If We Held A State Of Emergency, And The State Of Nature Didn’t Care?

Hypothesis: neither the lockdown nor the re-opening really affected the course of the pandemic:

TrendMacro, my analytics firm, tallied the cumulative number of reported COVID-19 cases in each state and the District of Columbia as a percentage of population, based on data from state and local health departments aggregated by the Covid Tracking Project. We then compared that with the timing and intensity of the lockdown in each jurisdiction. That is measured not by the mandates put in place by government officials, but rather by observing what people in each jurisdiction actually did, along with their baseline behavior before the lockdowns. This is captured in highly detailed anonymized cellphone tracking data provided by Google and others and tabulated by the University of Maryland’s Transportation Institute into a “Social Distancing Index.”

Measuring from the start of the year to each state’s point of maximum lockdown, which range from April 5 to April 18, it turns out that lockdowns correlated with a greater spread of the virus. States with longer, stricter lockdowns also had larger outbreaks. The five places with the harshest lockdowns — DC, New York, Michigan, New Jersey and Massachusetts — had the heaviest caseloads.

It could be that strict lockdowns were imposed as a response to already severe outbreaks. But the surprising negative correlation, while statistically weak, persists even when excluding states with the heaviest caseloads. And it makes no difference if the analysis includes other potential explanatory factors, such as population density, age, ethnicity, prevalence of nursing homes, general health or temperature. The only factor that seems to make a demonstrable difference is the intensity of mass-transit use.

The whole thing is worth a read and a critical evaluation.

But as this thing progresses, it seems more and more that the public health response was largely political posturing, and that the scientifically supported response was to promote responsible personal behavior (not just wearing masks and washing hands, either – losing weight, quitting smoking, managing diabetes and blood pressure all have outsized importance), aggressively protecting the extremely vulnerable, and investigate treatments (ideally free of politically-motivated interference).

We are in times in which the conservative approach (i.e., science) is pretty radical.

The Inconvenient Response

A friend of the blog writes:

Here is the President’s press briefing from March 16. http://www.whitehouse.gov/briefings-statements/remarks-president-trump-vice-president-pence-members-coronavirus-task-force-press-briefing-3/ 

As I read it for the first time ever, I am amazed at how similar his statements are to almost every other elected leader, regardless of party. President Trump tells us here that he recommends social distancing, limit gatherings to 10 people, avoid restaurants, bars. Choose take out. Choose distance learning if possible. And he states, way back in March, that this is going to be going on for a while, maybe past August, he suggests.
These are his prepared statements. What I mainly heard reported at the time was his off the cuff responses to the media. He is a wild man with his words when he’s not reigned in. Everyone knows it.
The media is now complaining that Trump knew the whole time how dangerous this was and “minimized” it. Yet, here, on March 16, his prepared remarks do not minimize it. In fact, he even asks us Americans to make sacrifices. He reminds the young that they will have milder cases, but can easily spread it. Think about the vulnerable elderly around us.
It is all there. But, the media chose to focus on other things, chose to portray this as political- Republicans versus Democrats. 
Now, the President’s rallies in some counties in Nevada have been cancelled. The media again wants us to believe that Trump is not on the side of protecting citizens by reporting a faux conflict between the President and the Governor of Nevada. Yet, the White House guidelines recommend smaller gatherings due to current virus spread in those areas where the President would rally. As the Press Secretary said, no one is forbidding a spontaneous gatherings. But, the President cannot host a large gathering himself. These distinctions are important. It shouldn’t take research to read between the lines. When can we hold the media responsible for the public reaction to the virus?

I think we are holding them responsible.

Problem is, the people who aren’t inclined to trust the media can’t disdain them more, and the Legion of the Invincibly Ignorant who still do aren’t going to be convinced no matter what.

End Game

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Let’s assume Governor Walz’ response to Covid-19 is not part of a larger
Democrat hoax, not an attempt to frighten voters into believing
President Trump has failed them, not a coordinated attack on the
American way of life.

Let’s assume Governor Walz truly has Minnesotans’ best interests at
heart.  That’s why he declared a Peacetime Emergency.  That’s why he
implemented one of the strictest Stay Home orders in the nation.  That’s
why he implemented the mask mandate and why he refuses to relinquish his
emergency powers.  Assume that’s all true.

What’s his end game?  When does the Peacetime Emergency end – when the
virus is defeated?  How will we know when we’ve won?

Walz was on television September 3rd reminding viewers that masks are
mandatory to prevent the spread of the virus.  But his own Health
Commissioner admitted days earlier that we cannot stop the spread, we
can only hope to manage it at some unspecified level of transmission. 
Oh, and if you are sick, wearing a mask doesn’t protect the people you
interact with.

So we know the virus will continue to spread and that’s okay, just not
as fast as it’s presently spreading.  Why does that matter?  The curve
is flat.  No hospital is overwhelmed.  There was no surge.  The
refrigerated warehouse bought to store plague corpses, sits empty. 
We’re at fewer than 2,000 deaths – even crediting the phony numbers –
which is 72,000 deaths short of the computer model prediction. No child
has died, no teen, but schools are closed.  Daily deaths are in the
single digits which is indistinguishable from the normal death rate (123
Minnesotans die every day, from all causes).

“Cases” tell us that people are carrying the virus in their bodies, but
people carry around lots of viruses.  The rhinovirus causes the common
cold.  Herpes simplex virus causes cold sores. Everybody has them and
they flare up occasionally, but we don’t count “cases” of them because .
. . nobody cares.  People don’t die of a cold sore.

And they’re no longer dying of Covid-19, either.  The vulnerable
population has died off.  The hardy survived, same as every epidemic
throughout the history of humankind. We don’t need to keep fighting the
virus.  We’ve won.

Time to declare victory and move on.

Joe Doakes

All of those assumptions at the beginning of the article were for purposes of argument. I will give Governor Klink the benefit of no such doubt.

Karen Almighty

This was posted on one of those insidious neighborhood Facebook pages around which America’s newest plague, “Karen”, congeals:

So, let me get this straight: people, mostly college students, being in an age bracket that has suffered precisely zero COVID-19 deaths in the state of Minnesota, are going to a bar staffed mostly by people in their 20s and 30s (who have also experienced zero COVID-19 deaths so far), To celebrate going back to school after six months of absurd, ineffective, potentially counterproductive and onerous quarantine that has left them, like the rest of society, aching for some kind, any kind, of social contact at a time in their life when that is what they’re supposed to be doing?

What did I get wrong?

I’ll tell you what the paragraph above got wrong: They haven’t gotten into the bar yet.

Plums (a reliable, responsible-drinking source tells me) observes standard sociall distancing inside, as well as on the patio out back, notwithstanding the fact that they are nearly no confirmed cases of outdoor spread of the virus, no matter what your distance, no matter whether you’re wearing a mask or not.

I’m not saying the Karen involved is a totalitarian.

I am saying actual totalitarians need lots of people like her in society to have a chance of taking over.

A Children’s Story

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

The Story of the Little Governor Who Cried Surge, by Joe Doakes

Once there was a Governor named Timmy.  He had a fine house and many servants, but he was bored.  “I know,” he thought, “I’ll cause some excitement. That’ll be fun.”

So Timmy ran through the streets yelling “Curve! Curve! We’re all gonna die!”  People panicked and bought hand sanitizer, toilet paper and bottled water.  But they did not die.

Timmy laughed and laughed.  But then he got bored again.  He ran through the streets again, yelling “Covid! Covid! We’re all gonna die!” People panicked and worked from home.  They wore masks.  They ate take-out food. But they did not die.

Timmy laughed and laughed.  But then he got bored again.  He ran through the streets a third time, yelling “Cases! Cases! We’re all gonna die.” But the people had read the headlines.  They knew there were many new Covid cases but hospitalizations had fallen and nobody died.  The people did not panic. 

Timmy was furious.  This was no fun.  He argued with the people.  “We’re on the edge of a cliff.  As cases spread, hospitalizations will rise and people will die, in a surge!  A massive surge!  I warned you all Spring that it was coming in May, could be June, or possibly July.  We got lucky in August but now it’s September and look out!  The Surge!  The Surge!  We’re all gonna die in The Surge!”

But the people turned away.  They threw their silly masks in the rubbish bins.  They went to weddings for young people starting a new life.  They went to funerals for old people ending a long life.  They went to backyard bar-b-ques with friends to celebrate the good life.  The did not listen to Little Timmy at all.

And Little Timmy cried and cried.

The End

In much of the Metro today, it pretty much is a children’s story. More later.

Public Policy

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

If I told you that scientists had discovered a new virus which was
guaranteed to kill one guy living in Schenectady, New York unless the
entire nation went into super-strict lock-down, should we do it?

No, because public policy isn’t made for one guy, or ten, or 100, or
1,000 or even 10,000, which is more than the number of confirmed deaths
due to Covid-19, according to newly revised figures from the CDC.

Liberals are scrambling to explain that the new number doesn’t mean what
it says it means.  To them, ‘died of’ and ‘died with’ are the same.  If
Covid is listed as a ‘contributing factor,’ then it’s still a deadly
disease and we should still be in lock-down.

Nonsense.  When I die, the cause of death will be heart failure and the
contributing causes of death will be obesity, diabetes, high blood
pressure, high cholesterol and cirrhosis of the liver. But I didn’t die
of any of those contributing cases.  You don’t pick and choose which of
the underlying causes is the scariest. You pick the cause that killed me.

The existence of the virus is not a hoax.  The panic response is a
hoax.  And this is proof.

Joe Doakes

This is one of those areas where I thing both sides are putting out terrible information.

If someone who’s 100 pounds overweight and has hypertension and diabetes gets Covid and dies, what killed her? You could say all the comorbidities were at fault . You might not be wrong, per se – but if she’d have hypothetically lived another ten years but for the Covid, what then?

Medicine involves a lot of ambiguity. Politics – at least, political messaging – doesn’t.

Cowed

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

We knew the numbers were bullshit, but not why.  This article explains why – any trace of the virus counts as a “case” even if the amount is so tiny the carrier is not sick or not even contagious.

Once again, the numbers have been inflated to frighten the public into believing they are in danger and it’s all Trump’s fault so they must vote for Biden if they value their lives.

Sickening lies, all of them.

Joe Doakes

Rahm Emanuel told them never to waste a crisis.

They don’t.

Blue Fragility: Be It Resolved

Whereas the United States’s death toll per million citizens ranks as the eighth-highest among significant nations (forget about Andorra and San Marino), at 572 Covid fatalities per million…:

All graphs taken from Worldometers, September 2, 2020. Make sure you sort by the Deaths per Million column, or you won’t be any smarter or better informed than a Strib reporter.

And whereas every state with a death toll (in fatalities per million) higher than 572 per million (as of September 2, 2020) is a “blue”, Democrat-run state with the sole exception of Mississippi:

And whereas within even those states, the overwhelming concentration of the death toll in terms of fatalities per million is in those states’ “blue”, Democrat-run urban areas (Example: New York):

(Example. California):

And whereas the states about which the American left has been caterwaulilng about – Florida and Texas – have per-million fatality rates below the de factor national average of 572 per million

(and whereas even in those examples, the fatalilties are overwhelmingly concentrated in Democrat-run areas within those Republican-run states (Texas shown below),

and

Notwithstanding the fact that after months of insisting that “Red” states were going to get completely bludgeoned by the virus, any day now, every single state (with the exception of sparsely populated Vermont and Maine and isolated Hawaii) in the bottom 15 states in terms of fatalities per million is a Republican-run state, even after the resurgence of infections in July, and

Wheras the deaths among the most vulnerable, the elderly, are overwhelmingly concentrated in “Blue”, Democrat-run states from New York to Minnesota, as a result of policies that were systematically abjiured in “Red” States, and

Whereas terms like ‘Wuhan Flu” and “China Vinus” are, we are told, inaccurate not to mention racist,

Be it resolved that from now on, the Covid-19 virus shall be known as “The Blue City Democrat Plague“.

Choice

A friend of the blog writes:

Just had an online meeting with our kid’s teacher. Expectations were laid out and kid is expected to be on time and we can expect a daily schedule that has the kid doing school work live, on line from 9-3:30. (There are breaks built in as there are during in person learning). 

We are at a charter school. Compare that expectation with the public school teachers union, who wanted one hour weekly of live in person, online learning.

We need more advocacy work like what Rashad Turner is doing. here. 

These are crazy days indeed, with me being on the same side of an issue as Rashad Turner.

Some Animals

A family watches their grandmother die, through a window – if they’re lucky.

More often, they are barred from the hospital where their loved one spends their last hours.

Thousands – possibly as many as 30,000 – cancer patients die because their needed care has been, and is being, deferred due to absurd coronavirus restrictions. Nobody has even estimated the toll for other diseases.

A father is barred from his pregnant wife’s ultrasound. This isn’t just missing a cute gender-reveal or a heart-warming first-encounter; the wife has had several miscarriages; a lot of mental health is riding on this test. No dice, Dad. Wait in your car until summoned. Put a mask on, while you’re at it.

Nancy Pelosi gets a blow out.

You have just discovered the meaning of socialism.

OpTempo

Caught in passing in the coverage of the rioting in Kenosha, Wisconsin.

The Wisconsin National Guard is on the scene.

Within 24 hours.

Roughly 1/3 of the time it took Governor Klink to get effective force onto the streets of Minneapolis.

I was about to ask “what does Wisconsin know that Minnesota doesn’t“?

But given that Wisconsin’s death rate from Covid is 40% lower than in Minnesota, the answer is clearly “damn near everything“..

UPDATE: A friend of the blog points out that while it doesn’t appear either the Mayor of Kenosha nor the Governor have any military background, they were able to call in the Guard without having to write up a detailed set of plans and orders for the military to follow.

Perhaps something Minnesota might emulate.

Science!

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Went to an in-law’s birthday party at a golf course in Wisconsin.  Mask
order in effect, completely ignored by everybody except the bartender. 
A cousin said,”If I hear one more person say it’s all going to end after
the election, I’ll scream.  How can people be so ignorant?”

I didn’t engage, of course, but her comment made me think.  I don’t
believe Covid is as contagious and as deadly as politicians say,  so I
don’t believe the mask and social distancing are necessary.  Why don’t I
believe it?

The numbers are phony, the rules are arbitrary, politicians don’t act
like they believe their own stories, enforcement is inconsistent and the
media won’t admit the Emperor has no clothes.

In his first press conference announcing the Peacetime Emergency,
Governor Walz said our million-dollar computer model predicted 70,000
Minnesotans would die if we did nothing, but only 50,000 would die if we
implemented the strict lock-down.  We did and six months later, there
are barely 2,000 dead and that’s counting every death from respiratory
distress as Covid – even without a test to confirm it – and scraping the
bottom of the barrel to include 100-year-old nursing home patients.  The
justification for extreme measures – piles of dead bodies – was not true.

In later press conferences, Governor Walz announced the new-and-improved
computer model predicted – with a 95% confidence level – that we would
have a surge of Covid deaths coming in May, could be June, possibly
July, certainly by August.  The surge would be so large that local
mortuaries wouldn’t be able to handle all the corpses. To prepare, the
State spent $7 million on a refrigerated warehouse to hold up to 5,000
bodies.  But daily deaths are in the single digits.  The justification
for continuing extreme measures – the surge of deaths – was not true.

Early on, in-person worship service was outright banned but buying
lumber at Menard’s was perfectly legal.  Candy stores were non-essential
until a friend of the governor got special permission to open his
store.  There was no explanation of the medical or scientific reason
some stores could open and some could not, no double-blind peer-reviewed
studies showing why six feet was safe but five was not, no health care
professional explaining how wearing a mask of the most porous material
would still prevent the spread of the virus.  The justification for the
rules was non-existent.

If politicians actually believed Covid was deadly and that anybody could
die from it – infants to seniors – then politicians would implement
strict rules to prevent the spread of the virus and wouldn’t grant
exceptions to the rules for non-medical reasons.  We wouldn’t send
infected patients back to live in nursing homes with the most
vulnerable, at-risk population.  We wouldn’t encourage people to shout
protest slogans when church singing is banned.  We wouldn’t have
funerals for me, but not for thee.  We wouldn’t show up at ball games
without a mask; hell, we wouldn’t go to ball games at all.  No
non-essential activities would be permitted.  The exceptions prove the
virus isn’t contagious enough or deadly enough to require serious rules.

If politicians actually believed Covid was deadly, no group would be
allowed to engage in any protest – peaceful or not.  When politically
favored groups get a pass but politically disfavored groups are
aggressively prosecuted, public health and safety concerns cannot be the
motivation.

Last but definitely not least, if a Republican governor had told as many
whoppers and achieved equally poor results, the media would be all over
it.  The fact they can’t even bring themselves to ask simple questions
like, “How come Wisconsin is doing better than we are?” or “What
happened to the surge?” is proof the media knows this is all a Democrat
political tactic.

Those are the reasons I believe that if Joe Biden wins, his first act as
President will be to say “We’ve flattened the curve as much as we can. 
Now we need to move as quickly as possible to achieve herd immunity.  We
must get the economy rolling again so minorities, women and working
families can get back on their feet. All restrictions are lifted.”

Joe Doakes

I keep asking Dem politicians on social media – why are Wisconsin and both Dakotas doing so much better than Minnesota is?

The closest I get to an answer sounds more like fundamentalist ministers promising perdition to the impenitent.

Monday Morning Quarterbacking

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Democrats want me to believe 160,000 Americans died on Trump’s watch because he could have prevented the virus and didn’t; therefore. we should elect Biden to replace him

Really?

Perhaps someone could lay out the step-by-step plan by which President Trump could have prevented a virus from killing old sick people this Spring or the step-by-step-plan by which President Biden will prevent it from killing them next Winter.

A timetable and citations to statutory authority would be helpful.

Joe Doakes

They Were Expendable

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

All the people working from home because of the Democrats’ Covid-19 response think they are essential. No, their jobs were declared essential to prevent widespread unrest, but the individuals performing the function are not essential. They are largely  interchangeable personnel units.

If a job can be done from my basement in Como Park, it could be done from a warehouse in Bombay, India. Think about this Summer as a giant dry run for outsourcing your job.
 The Luddites were right, in the end.

Joe Doakes

That’s true in all too many cases – although there are quite a few jobs where that has historically worked out very badly, mine (fingers crossed) among ’em.

But is this something that’s being harnessed to pave the way for “Universal Basic Income”? Which is another term for “Universal Dependence on Government”?

Sanitizer Sabotage?

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Democrats and the media hyped Covid as the deadliest plague ever.  Citizens panicked.  Hand sanitizer flew off the shelves.  Foreign companies rushed to fill the demand.  Now, FDA warns us not to use some of those products because they’re contaminated.

Even more suffering to lay at the feet of Democrats trying to make life in America worse, so people will vote President Trump out of office, to make it stop.

Joe Doakes

I’m just mortified at all that prime beer and spirit production being diverted to sanitation products.

Unexpectedly

Dozens of businesses are expecting to leave downtown Minneapolis.

A new survey by the Downtown Council shows 45 business owners say they are considering leaving downtown – citing the lack of people working or socializing downtown – and the idea that the police department could be dismantled.

Though they won’t say which businesses are considering pulling out of downtown, the council says one of the businesses employs 600 people.

That could mean a lot of empty spaces.

On the up side, I suppose “moving” implies some intent to survive.

Wonder how many downtown businesses have closed for good without making it onto any surveys?

Badly Conceived

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

The governor’s hybrid school plan troubles me.


 I’ve been informed integrated schools are neccessary so white students get the rich diversity of Black Latino and Asian students in the classroom to share their experiences. Will students coming to school on even-numbered days be carefully selected to balance racial and gender diversity?

I’ve been informed slow students should be mainstreamed with excellent students so they get a social experience. Will the students attending class on odd numbered days be carefully selected to maintain the ratio of geniuses to dummies?

What happens to students who fall behind, perhaps because they lack Wi-Fi, their parents work, they’re unmotivated… Will we still pass them along to maintain progress through grade levels, or will we flunk them?

Troubling

Joe Doakes 

The answer: the same “cracks” into which millions of kids, including a hugely disproportionate number of Twin Cities “students of color”, fell before Covid, just turned into chasms.

The union will wash their hands of those kids (after blaming Orange Hitler and Paul Gazelka); afterwards, of them no more will be spoken.

Blue Fragility: Open Letter To Jonathan Chait

To: Johnathan “Chaitful” Chait
From: Mitch Berg – Red State Sleeper Agent
Re: This Little “Eliminationist Hatred” Problem You Have

Mr. Chait

We go way back, of course – and not in a good way. You have a bit of a history of being a horrible excuse for a human being. But you are a gift that keeps giving, for people like me, so for that I thank you, even if backhandedly.

This past week, you wrote an article in “New York Magazine” claiming that the Republican response to Covid is, in your terms, a “Death Cult”.

I won’t pullquote anything – the article is long, and never really improves over the title.

But I have two questions.

First, some background – here’s the listed Covid fatalities/million as of last Friday:

  • NY (D): 1,684
  • NJ (D): 1,790
  • US average: 474
  • FL (R): 319
  • MN (DFL): 291
  • TX (R): 241
  • ND (R): 135

So I’ve got two questions for you, Mr. Chait:

  1. Did you ever refer to Cuomo (or the governors of NJ/CT/MA) as running a “death cult?” I’ll confess, I’m an infrequent reader of yours. I only read you (or John Fugelsang) when you step on your d**k spectacularly – but I’d hate to be unfair.
  2. I wager you a shiny new quarter that as of November 3, 2020, TX and FL will be below half NY’s fatalities per million. Any action on that bet?

Thanks.

By the way – at the risk of sounding uncharitable, there are times that I think you are God’s karmic gift to me for never teasing the short-bus kids in elementary school. For this, I thank Him, and urge you to keep up the, uh, work, karmically speaking.

That is all.

Side Note: I’m making this the The George W. Bush Corollary To Berg’s Seventh Law – All of a Republican’s sins, imaginary or (for sake of argument) real, will be forgotten once the Republican can no longer hold office. 

Price

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Went to dinner at Old Mexico in Roseville, sat on the patio, a pleasant evening. Dinner for three, one drink each, no appetizer or dessert, with tip, $100.

Is it just me, or are post-covid prices significantly higher than pre-covid prices?
 This is going to cut into my dining budget, which will extend the economic harm from the governors orders. 

Joe Doakes 

Restaurants are pricing the contortions they’re going through into their menus.

Or going out of business.

My favorite BBQ joint has jacked up its prices. Still worth it, but I can feel the pain – some of it. I imagine it’s worse for them (although they are doing very well).

Not much in between.