The General Discussion Thread

[Publish Date updated to restore to front page]

Okay as an experiment here it is. Discuss your favourite generals here!

Well perhaps… Really this is simply the place to post news-items, fun-items or whatever takes your fancy. In short just post what you want here.

It’s just another wee experiment – comments welcome.


[Image: General Sir Anthony Cecil Hogmanay Melchett (Stephen Fry)]

17,284 thoughts on “The General Discussion Thread

  1. Good Genes are a blessing and a curse Trow.

    My cardiologist said I could live for a century but I’m undecided as to that advantage. 50 years of hypertension has done little to no damage to arteries but veinous blood flow has deflated other necessary function without the blue pill, if you know what I mean.

  2. If you thought our lockdowns are bad here’s Telangana in India.

    Follow Coronavirus Lockdown Rules, Else Will Have to Give ‘Shoot-at-sight’ Order: Telangana CN

    Gyderabad: Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao said ‘shoot-at-sight’ order will be issued if people don’t follow lockdown orders that have been imposed to contain the spread of coronavirus.

    He appealed to people to cooperate with the administration and stay at home during the lockdown period.

    If police cannot control the situation, shoot-at-sight order will be given and the Army would have to be called. Let us ensure that we don’t get to that situation,” Rao, who is also known as KCR, said, adding curfew is in place in the state from 7pm to 6am.

  3. AA: India is not anomalous Can you do a compare/contrast between the worst versus best response time by country and predict the result in a rudimentary way?

    Sorry to ask but I’m asking out of respect for your perspective.

  4. Ben,

    If you use no controls at all, it looks like somewhere between 1% and 10% of the population dies. Vertova in Italy has lost 0.8% of its people in 23 days. Hopefully the very strict measures now in place can slow that down because the vast majority haven’t been infected yet it seems. Uncontrolled they were probably still a couple of weeks or more from their projected local peak – which is very concerning.

    If you use very strict lockdown then the idea is to try and keep that down below 0.1% while waiting for a vaccine and/or sufficient proven anti-virals.

  5. @Squonk: Thanks, I’d heard of those drugs, but was rather asking where Pb got the assertion from that “medications were known to exist that can effectively fight it.”

    Obviously, that statement is false.

    Concerning the treatment Trump is promoting – I’d heard a day or so back that the case for them was sketchy at best. Chinese doctors were throwing everything they had at cases, including combinations of drugs and some things _might_ have been effective, but it was hard to say anything definitive.

    There were no controls, and the patients were in very different situations when given treatment. Some were in more advanced progression of illness than others, and there were no controls for the age, prior physical condition, medical history and so on.

    It’s not like a bunch of patients in similar conditions were given a treatment and others not, in a double-blind study, to see any improvement.

    Very hopefully something will be found soon. With the resources being poured into it, surely this worldwide effort will produce treatment, I just hope it comes before the peak that we’re rapidly heading for.

    Of course, if something does get found – and manufactured in sufficient quantity by some miracle, the slowing of this outbreak is absolutely crucial. This is why a lock-down is unavoidable right now, in order to stave off mass casualties.

  6. Genes are always a good thing, Ben, if you can take advantage of them.

    My genes were hurt at birth from having constant aches in my ears, especially the left one, which were caused by an infection in the left sinus which only an operation could eliminate then.

    After that, I allegedly got polio, but it never became a paralysis, so the doctors finally claimed that I had had non-paralytic polio, apparently the first of its kind.

    Domino,a blessing, is so eager for me to take him out that i will cut short this email.

  7. Clark: thanks for the link. It would seem the overriding factor in any case is genetic, in nature.

    Why cant that resistance be duplicated using blood from donors? Is it the patience of human trials, or patent legalities?

  8. Trow: I guess gratitude for extended life is our only virtue. What can we glean at our twilight except diminishing Light?

  9. Ben, the few notably lower growth rates are mostly due to those countries’ success with containment measures I think. That’s also how South Korea levelled off so much. I think they did a lot of contact tracing and tests.

  10. Clark/AA
    Please don’t be dissuaded …. my Determinisim remains intact.

    But attachment is still a worthy opponent I fight with some passion as well.

  11. I find renewal in my dogs. Each distinctive personality creates another concentric ring of pleasure. They teach unconditional love and practical hierarchies for the pack members. A perfect society we might do well to mimic.

  12. Sq, yes existing drug regimes in adaptive, reactive and novel scenarios are proving successful, though obviously the severity of cases determines the extent of prophylaxis intervention.

    The US and China trials of novel treatments along with traditional anti-biotic / -microbials and -virals are proving effective fighting (and winning) tools. High dose loading with loading with Vit C is proving effective and who would ever have thought paracetamol is actually bringing temperatures down to allow a more conducive environment for other drugs to do their work is still being relied upon.

    You have a passion obviously for researching this its just a pity you attract individuals with profound personality disorders intent on to trashing much of the good stuff you encourage.

    I won’t be bothering you again here, there are some that just want discussion and exploration shut down with abuse, ad hominem and sneers because their own egos don’t stand a chance against genuine inquiring minds. Sad!

  13. Latest report from Greece. A group of blokes have been seen coughing in central Athens.

    They think it might be the four hoarse men of the acropolis.

  14. Thanks Ben for mentioning gratitude as an advantage of old age.

    While I have appreciated my coming to know really now what happened to my father, General Wally Ford, when he went off the rails with the Pentagon over how it had treated him. killing himself with drink, it is rather small when i think of what my most limited family is doing now, fighting the coronavirus.

    My only surviving sibling, my younger brother and his immediate family, is contributing four medical doctors to the fight, two in New York state, the current epicenter of the pandemic, and two in Saint Louis, a likely new center.

    If anything serious happens to them, I shall be fit to be tied about what to do with Trump. I am unafraid to even ask.

  15. My brother’s daughter Abigail, the medical profession’s coordinator of its local response to the coronavirus pandemic at New York University Medical School, has a better chance of making us better than the Trump White House.

    The buck, as Harry Truman alluded, stops with her.

  16. Trowbridge, People of the Lie by M Scott Peck. I don’t know how the military hurt your dad, and I haven’t read People of the Lie, but I think it may hold some comfort for you. Peck was an army psychiatrist; I have read two others of his books. People of the Lie is his study of mass delusion within the US military and government; of how most members accept and internalise the institution’s public image, and how difficult this can make it for those left holding any nuggets of unpopular truth.


    Ambulance Sirens and Death Bells: Agony in Italy’s Disaster Zone

    CASTELBUONO, Sicily (CN) – “I can’t look at all the deaths in the newspapers. I can’t do it,” he tells me in a weakened voice over the telephone from his home in Gazzaniga, a small town in the Val Seriana near Bergamo and now at the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic.

    The sound of sirens and church bells tolling for the dead: For weeks, that’s what the inhabitants of the Val Seriana and towns in the expanses of the Po River flats have been tormented by.

    “In my town, there are eight or nine deaths each day,” he tells me. I can’t believe my ears. I ask him again to make sure I heard correctly.

    “Yes, eight or nine people die each day,” he says. “When someone dies, the person is immediately put into a coffin and taken to the cemetery. There is a long line of coffins waiting to be cremated.”

    …Official data shows the virus has killed 1,267 people in Bergamo, the most of any Italian province, and infected 6,728 people. But these numbers are only a shadow of the real toll, local officials and residents say. In a way, they can be seen as a lonely tombstone atop a mass grave.

    A local newspaper, L’Eco di Bergamo, reported recently that numerous town mayors say official death tolls are inaccurate.

    “In our case, the official records say coronavirus has caused nine deaths,” Cristian Vezzoli, the mayor of Seriate, told the newspaper. “But since the beginning of the month our official records show about 60 deaths.”

    Other town mayors in the 14 miles between Seriate and Gazzaniga say the same. In Alzano Lombardo, about 62 people have died since Feb. 23, compared to nine last year in the same period. In Nembro, about 115 people have died this month compared to 14 last year in a comparable period.

    If you talk with the mayors and priests, they will tell you the number of deaths are five or 10 times as many as officially reported,” Ruggeri says. “If you take the local newspaper, L’Eco di Bergamo, a year ago, there were two pages of obituaries. Recently, there were 23 pages of obituaries

    “People are dying here who until yesterday were doing great, they didn’t have any problems,” he says. “They are dying for no particular reason except Covid. This is more than an influenza. We can’t pretend otherwise, close our eyes.”

  18. If the coronavirus crisis is a scam as many believe … (1) have the perpetrators taken advantage of a natural occurrence or engineered the situation from the outset, and (2) what could be the motive?

    (1) For most people the jury is still out.

    (2)(a) Power: For the past 20 years Western countries have been ramping up civilian control measures and eroding civil rights – plainly aspiring towards a police state. This crisis has allowed them to achieve police state powers overnight – an action which would have caused revolution under ‘normal’ circumstances.

    (2)(b) Money: The banks will gain trillions as a result of the lockdown. The assets behind mortgages and businesses will default to banks, millions will borrow billions to weather the crisis, governments will license banks to create trillions in quantitative easing.

    Bankers engineered the Great Depression and gained obscene wealth*. Are we seeing the same thing again with governments being given increased power to handle the backlash?

    * Never forgetting that for bankers, wealth is meaningless in itself. If they spent the money they already have they’d break the system. For bankers, wealth equates to control. Several more trillion means a another significant slice of the world’s assets comes under their control.

  19. Node,

    Did you even bother reading the links above from Italy?

    Go tell the mayors of towns that have lost 1% of their population already that it is a scam. Go tell the doctors.

    Pretty sure they’ll all kick fuck out of you. Hell I’m sure even the priests will join in.

  20. Did you even bother reading the links above from Italy

    Yes, I read them. So is it OK to post links here saying that the official figures are rubbish and it’s all a coverup? ‘Cos I’m getting mixed messages over that one.

  21. It’s a genuine phenomenon…this habit of selecting your reality from a cafeteria of dishes designed to appeal to your bias.

    Trump calls any info unflattering ‘fake’ as though a mere pronouncement makes it so. His enablers embrace his Hedonistic Narcissism as frogs exit his maw and applause erupts.

    The Left has the same level of Nihilism in their hero worship and delusional ‘analyses’

  22. TROW:Medical professionals are stepping up …you can make all the ventilators you want but professional people cant be mass produced.

    The personal sacrifices I’ve been hearing of is inspiring..Drs and nurses putting their devotional commitment where it counts…in behavior not just words!!

  23. There is no cover up Node as the total death counts are being accurately reported.

    Quite simply most people were never tested and confirmed before they died (many at home) so they were never in the covid-19 totals. That’s just what happens once it gets really going and health care is overwhelmed.

    Italian media has been widely reporting the true state of affairs on the ground. There is no cover-up.


    Tokyo inches toward lockdown as virus cases climb and national emergency looms

    Tokyo is on edge after Gov. Yuriko Koike called on residents Wednesday night to stay inside, work remotely and avoid nonessential outings this weekend to avoid an explosive rise in the number of novel coronavirus infections.

    The Tokyo Metropolitan Government will reportedly announce 47 new cases of infection Thursday, marking four record-breaking days in a row since 16 additional cases were reported Monday, 17 on Tuesday and 41 on Wednesday

    …”It’s likely the prime minister will declare a national emergency,” said Koji Wada, a professor of public health at the International University of Health and Welfare. “If and when he does, municipal leaders will have significantly greater authority when asking residents to stay put.”

    While prefectural governors can close office buildings, parks and other facilities that belong to the city — or even ask private businesses and transit operators to temporarily shut down — they don’t have the legal authority to compel residents to stay indoors, or punish them if they don’t comply.

    Yet Koike on Monday mentioned the possibility of a citywide lockdown for the first time earlier this week, saying it may become “the only option left” if social distancing measures fail to prevent COVID-19 from spreading further.

  25. Error: 250 dead March 20…have we peaked? Too soon to tell?

    Just trying to see the curve.

  26. Ben,

    Longini appears to be using a doubling time shorter than has been seen for widescale spread. I note that Dr. William Schaffner, also quoted in your CNN link said the US as a whole could be up to 6 weeks away from the peak.

    So I don’t really understand why Longini is using a very short doubling time then projecting that forward, when in reality the rate of increase should be coming down because of the measures taken in the worst hit areas.

    The UK hopes to see our death rates peak then come down in 2 to 3 weeks but that’s because of the lockdown not because the virus has run its course. Not sure what we do next if the numbers keep increasing.

  27. No, Ben she is an associate professor of medicine at NYU, responsible for the public health coordination across the board for the response, what Columbia’s professor Jeffrey Sacks is alluding to on the media.

    My brother may be retired from Elmira. He is in and out of a medical employment from day to day almost. I am sure he would volunteer if he retired.

    His son and his apparent wife work at the Saint Louis University Medical School in neurology.

    Hate to say it , but I was wondering (hopIng at least) that Node was suffering from the virus. Apparently not.

    Thanks Clark and Squonk for a full response to your helpful comments.

  28. Putting aside the background to the coronavirus crisis, does anybody dispute these outcomes:

    (1) The crisis has allowed governments to achieve police state powers overnight – an outcome which would have caused revolution under ‘normal’ circumstances.
    (2) The banks will gain trillions as a result of the lockdown. The assets behind mortgages and businesses will default to banks, millions will borrow billions to weather the crisis, governments will license banks to create trillions in quantitative easing.

  29. Just considered the crisis from a governmental and economic point of view, not the correct one, public health. The people of China, South Korea, India et al, have made the difference, what hasn’t here yet.

    While it gives the government full power for what the country should be doing, and my niece has the responsible of achieving, it concerns peoples’ lives primarily.

    If it isn’t achieved, we will all be dead,but it will be. I know what kind of person Abigail is, and you don’t .So just STFU, and keep thinking the banks having all that money

  30. Node; Twin Tower demolition theory, climate science denial, covid-19 denial – your chosen theories seem to have a common thread; you regard every technical community as a publishing asset of your alleged Grand Secret Conspiracy. Why?

  31. I don’t think we’re going to see a “peak” as such in the US, because it’s almost like a series of countries in itself. There will be a number of peaks – the first being in New York, of course, and then Florida and Illinois – where no restrictions are in place, and they can’t be bothered to do any testing.

    It’s going to sweep across the country. If they had any proper leadership, they would be providing resources in NY right now, then getting ready to move them on as soon as the next peak emerges. Can’t see that happening though, unfortunately.

  32. Anger and a desire for redemption drives it Clark.

    Common folks are betrayed every day in our World and the History of it is no different

  33. Node; Twin Tower demolition theory, climate science denial, covid-19 denial – your chosen theories seem to have a common thread; you regard every technical community as a publishing asset of your alleged Grand Secret Conspiracy. Why?

    Instead of trying to muddy the waters, why not answer some of my simple questions?
    (1) Did you getr your ‘expertise’ on funnel plots from Ben Goldacre’s book
    (2) have you ever read any other books?
    (3) do you dispute the outcomes I described :
    (a) The crisis has allowed governments to achieve police state powers overnight – an outcome which would have caused revolution under ‘normal’ circumstances.
    (b) The banks will gain trillions as a result of the lockdown. The assets behind mortgages and businesses will default to banks, millions will borrow billions to weather the crisis, governments will license banks to create trillions in quantitative easing.

  34. Are you, Node, going to answer my claims about this being a public heath problem. and solving that which seems to be underway negates your claims about what governments and their economies can do?

  35. Trowbridge,

    You say it’s a public health problem. I agree, but I believe it has been made into a much bigger problem than it should be. Furthermore, I believe that the measures they are taking to ‘solve’ the problem are making things much worse.

    My 86 year old neighbour was taken into hospital with heart problems just before this ‘crisis’ began. Before they could established the cause, she was sent home and into self-isolation. The initial symptoms – swollen ankles and very fast heart rate – are recurring, but she can’t go to the health centre and they can’t visit her. I am worried.

    Multiply this scenario around the country and add in the extra mortality caused by cancelled operations and routine care, hospital day visits, physiotherapists, no way to diagnose and issue new prescriptions, home care and social worker visits suspended, lack of excercise and fresh air, etc etc, then factor in the future decades when our taxes will be paying back bankers’ rather than funding medical services, and it’s beyond doubt that the ‘solution’ will kill many more old people than it saves.

    But the bankers will take trillions and claim it’s somehow for our own benefit, and you don’t even see this as a problem.

  36. If the crisis is such good news for the banks how come Lloyds share prices just nosedived?

    Because it’s owned by the UK government.

  37. “(1) The crisis has allowed governments to achieve police state powers overnight…”

    Not really. Governments have declared such powers; it is yet to be seen how fully and how long they can enforce them.

    “..achieve…” – Node, why do you assume police state powers to be the objective of all governments? And do you really think that it’s only the continual threat of revolution that prevents governments from imposing them?

    That’s not how things look to me. It seems that usually, in most places, the political-economic system puts a lot of pressure on the majority of people to work as much as possible, for long hours with low pay and minimal autonomy, and to spend as much as possible, doesn’t matter what on but the more ephemeral the better. Under Business as Usual, everyone and everything is just grist to this mill, and the faster it runs the happier governments and the advertising-funded media are, regardless of how much damage it’s doing. So yes, the covid-19 emergency looks real, serious enough that ‘they’ have actually stopped their beloved mill for it.

    Your second point; yes, disaster capitalism is just a neoliberal standard operating procedure. Maybe it’s time people started organising among themselves instead of relying upon governments to do it for them?

  38. “Because it’s owned by the UK government.”

    No it isn’t.

    Barclays fell like a lead balloon too, and Royal Bank of Scotland.

    I didn’t check the other banks but I have a feeling there may be a trend here.

  39. It’s amazing how prolific information is like White Noise on the internet.

    You need a decoder ring to filter the dross from precious metals.

    Are purveyors well-intentioned?

    I cant imagine otherwise but I’m certain some malevolence is afoot.

  40. Node, yeah, I learned from Goldacre’s Bad Science that there are many academic studies of bias in the academic journals. I also learned that I don’t have to treat science as a black box of which I can gain no understanding; if I wish I can learn the necessary expertise to assess any matter of evidence for myself.

    But your contention is that what I’d find in the scientific journals would be mostly arbitrary nonsense designed to promote some specific agenda, rather than real science, right?

  41. Clark.
    Not really. Governments have declared such powers; it is yet to be seen how fully and how long they can enforce them.

    OK, to save argument, let’s alter my number (1) outcome to “The crisis has allowed governments to declare police state powers overnight…”, although do let me know when you March on Westminster, 2 metres distant from your one non-family-member co-revolutionary.

    And you concede my outcome (2).

    So again putting aside the background to the coronavirus crisis, we are paying a devastating price for saving a few 80-year olds. Yes? And given the knock-on effects described in my comment to Trowbridge, do you honestly believe these coronavirus measures will result in a net saving of lives?

  42. But your contention is that what I’d find in the scientific journals would be mostly arbitrary nonsense designed to promote some specific agenda, rather than real science, right?

    Just stop speculating on what I might or might not think. I’ll tell you what I think. I know. You don’t.

  43. Node has a cheek demanding answers to 1/ 2/ 3/ 4/(a/b) – he never addresses any points put to him.

    Doubtless, if the lock-down is successful, that will allow idiots to crow that there was never a problem in the first place. Just as the huge effort that went into avoiding disasters with the millennium bug enabled know-nothing scoffers to sit on bar-stools afterwards saying the whole thing was … you guessed it… a hoax.

    Back to Covid-19, though – how can anyone be daft enough to believe that every country in the world is agreeing on policy (such as lock-downs, limiting movement etc.) for the first very time in history – when they never usually agree on anything – over a hoax?

    That governments, scientists, doctors, funeral services, EVERYONE – they’re ALL lying?

    Over to you Node – explain it for us please. How can anyone be so stupid? How do you manage it?

  44. Tell the woman you are worried about to call an Uber to come get her, and take her to the hospital; and call handymen to come to her residence, and take her out to the cab.

    And don’t multiply a single missed diagnosis to explain the whole crisis, as I can use my own experience to refute it. US private medical care leaves much to be desired, as Abby’s assignment shows. And how will the bankers get patients’ money when it is paid to them? How will Abby make care worse than it is now?

  45. Government Ownership of UK Banks (August 19, 2019):
    Royal Bank of Scotland Group 73% owned by government
    Lloyds Banking group 43% owned by government

    Banks are beyond the law and regulation. If they fail, like RBS, Barclays, and Lloyds did in the last banking ‘crisis’, it is because they have been set up to fail, nationalised, received huge bailout sums, then huge chunks of them are sold back to the ‘real’ bankers at a knockdown price, then some shadowy shenanigans and they’re ready to do it all over again. Like now, probably.

  46. Tell the woman you are worried about to call an Uber to come get her …

    If there was anywhere to take her, I’d take her myself, she’s my friend. I visit her 4 times a day, walk her dog, get her shopping, chat to her. She pays me in fresh-baked scones.

    Things are different here, Trowbridge. Medical care is normally supplied by the state but our entire health care system has been repurposed to ‘deal with’ the coronavirus situation. Every other emergency or routine health issue has been de-prioritised. These measures will cost more lives they they save. Definitely.

  47. So you are not even talking about the coronavirus where the USA crisis really got going.

    I quit!

    Can’t reach my brother, suspecting he and the other doctor relatives are involved in development of the software which indicates serious problems in patients’ brains. He has already gotten approval from the FDA for the software, and it is now to approve what the family neurologists have found in victims’ brains.

    Will find out, and will follow up what is happening.

  48. “Just stop speculating on what I might or might not think. I’ll tell you what I think. I know. You don’t.”

    Grief, calm down, calm down! “I’ll tell you what I think”; yes, please, please do, I’ve been asking you for I can’t remember how long. How do you, personally, pick which bits of science to believe and which to dismiss as hoaxes and mass hysteria?

  49. Bullshit.
    OK, I was wrong there.
    So, as to why its share price has fallen, I don’t know. Why did it need ‘saving’ last time? Banks don’t play by the normal rules. The big players are so vastly powerful that the little ones (eg Lloyds) can only exist on sufferance, probably aren’t really separate entities at all, just part of the illusion of competition. Pieces to manipulate other pieces.
    One of these days, try working out how much of your money goes to banks. I don’t care how simple and debt-free your life is, the people you deal with aren’t the same and they’re passing on their money-servicing costs to you. Then there’s your VAT, fuel, alcohol taxes going towards paying off your share of the national debt, PayPal fees, whatever. Then consider normal people with mortgages and cars on HP. Then credit cards, 2 or 3% commission from the seller, much more from the buyer if they don’t clear their debt immediately. Interest & bank charges. Conservatively estimate how much of the average adult’s income goes to banks. 10-20% easy. All electronically channeling into the banks, who have minimal costs. I’d’ve thought that 10% of our GDP would be in the right ballpark. Year after year for ever.
    That’s why bankers don’t accumulate money to be rich. They do it for power. And why they don’t follow laws and regulations, they make them.

  50. “So, as to why its share price has fallen, I don’t know.”

    So the evidence doesn’t support the hypothesis then.

  51. How do you, personally, pick which bits of science to believe and which to dismiss as hoaxes and mass hysteria?

    Same as you : give extra weight to the bits which are consistent with my existing knowledge; put a question mark over inconsistent bits then look for ways to corroborate or eliminate them; constantly re-evaluate the model and adjust it to accommodate new information and ideas.

    That last process is the biggie. Sometimes new data demands a major adjustment of the model. Many people can’t do that so instead invent justifications for discrediting the data.

  52. So the evidence doesn’t support the hypothesis then.

    You say the share price of Lloyds is evidence of something. I’ve explained why it probably isn’t.

  53. Nationalization means night sweats for conservatives

    Ironic that the bailouts will make Corporatism not just theoretical alliance …more like symbiosis

  54. “You say the share price of Lloyds is evidence of something. I’ve explained why it probably isn’t.”

    Personally I don’t think the government had any choice but to bring in legislation. If they hadn’t people would have legislated for themselves and enforced it themselves. People are scared, they feel threatened.

    It’s not the Capitalists I’m worried will try to take advantage, it’s the Anti-capitalists the situation suites. They are the ones who will try to make it permanent, they are the ones who don’t want things to return to normal, they are the ones who didn’t like things the way they were.

  55. “Same as you”

    Not really. I don’t think any science is hoax and mass hysteria. I think there’s a lot of bullshit in the corporate news media, but that’s a different matter.

  56. You didn’t think the capitalists were getting it too much their own way then Fred?

    With half of the Great Barrier Reef already dead, I think they got it too much their own way.

  57. You asked me “How do you, personally, pick which bits of science to believe and which to dismiss as hoaxes and mass hysteria?”

    I explained my process and assumed you would use the same process. You say you don’t. Then how do you do it?

  58. People are scared, they feel threatened.

    Yes, who wouldn’t be if they believed the media. But since we have seen over and over again how easily the media can manipulate public emotion – we can only assume that the media meant to scare the public. Are we in agreement so far?

  59. But anyroad, the missus is insisting I install some conference software to join in a virtual party tomorrow, so I’m signing off.
    See? I’m doing my bit to keep the country going.

  60. I don’t. I assume that mainstream science probably has the best picture so far. Where else would I look? Tarot cards or something?

    There’s no point me trying to judge science technicalities by what I personally already believe. The scientific community will have challenged them already, far more broadly and yet also far more relevantly, than any single person’s questioning ever could. I just have to accept that if they seem wrong to me, I probably need to learn something in that field.

  61. We blame the Media

    We blame our governments

    Maybe we should blame ourselves

    Media is our mirror image

    Government is our mirror image

    What do you see when you look into a mirror?

    Journalists, like elected representatives become what the Public wants, even though the Public rarely knows what it wants.

    Journalists and Politicos give their subscribers what they believe such wish for. Why would they risk the ire of those people?

    They risk little by catering to the masses.

  62. I notice Node is doing his best to steer Clark away from mentioning Ben Goldacre, repeatedly. Attack after attack, mocking and belittling, until any further reference looks like confirmation of Node’s whining and complaints.

    One might wonder why. I rather suspect it’s because “Bad Science” absolutely sums up Node’s game in a nutshell, and he knows it.

    “Bad science” is Node’s absolute nightmare, because it shows up his entire world view. Node does not understand science, and thinks nobody else does either.

    The lady doth protest too much, methinks.

  63. Fair doos Glenn; it was Node raised the subject of Bad Science in the first place. Conspiracy theorists in general do seem uneasy about Goldacre, but they tend to know of him from his occasional Guardian column rather than his books, and seem to think he’s just an establishment journalist attacking “alternative medicine”. Paul Barbara eventually said he’d ordered Bad Science but he hasn’t yet mentioned any issues it covers.

  64. Haven’t been able to talk to my brother yet, but hope my suggestion of his being on the way to finding the people who are getting the virus is the most patient way for dealing with the pandemic now.

    At least the worst scaremongers like Joe Scarborough seem to be joining Node, and signing off. Encouraging how rhetoric and behavior have become more rational during the last two weeks.

    See that Bozo Johnson has tested positive for the virus.

  65. OK, Glenn, I’ll talk to you. I’m interested to hear your reaction to the publication of “A Structural Reevaluation of the Collapse of World Trade Center 7 – Final Report” by Prof Hulsey of the University of Alaska Fairbanks which concludes : “The fires in WTC 7 could not have caused the observed collapse. The only way it could have fallen in the observed manner is by the near-simultaneous failure of every column.”

    The UAF team’s final report is the result of an extensive four-year computer modeling effort that was followed by a robust peer review process. The peer review included dozens of public comments as well as external review by two independent experts, Dr. Gregory Szuladzinski of Analytical Service Company, a leading expert in structural mechanics and finite element modeling, and Dr. Robert Korol, a professor emeritus of civil engineering at McMaster University and a fellow of the Canadian Society for Civil Engineering.

    Unlike the official NIST report, the UAF report is completely transparent – all input data, results data, and simulations that were used or generated during his study can be downloaded. His working process and software is described in full. Professor Hulsey urges engineers and architects with the skill to evaluate such modelling to check his work and conclusions. Indeed the first draft of the report plus data has been available for 6 months and nobody has yet found serious fault with it.

    I would be grateful if you would confine your reply to observations about the report. My personality/character/credibilty is irrelevant to the report.

  66. Yes! 9/11! I told you it was the Mother of All Conspiracy Theories. That Chandler has a lot to answer for.

  67. Node, you haven’t the faintest interest in the UAF report, or why WTC7 collapsed. You merely hope to use them as a stepping stone.

  68. Thanks Clark for passing along Peck’s claims, but shall limit my reply to my father accepting the War Department/Pentagon attempts to humiliate him which only fired up his independence, resulting in it having to assassinate him, making me suspicious of what happened to Patton and possibly 87th Division Commander Major General Frank Cullen.

    After the end of WWII inwhich Patton’s Third Army performed such an independent course in defeating the Germans in the Battle of the Bulge and the Nazi regime itself, my father was flown back to Fort Sill’s Post Field where my mother was waiting to welcome him, and crashed by experienced pilots in such a ham-handed way that one has to suspect an assassination, flying a twin-engine plane into a hanger from the apron at the kast second during a rain storm.

    Fortunately, no one was even seriously hurt. Seems that the plane was to crash earlier, and the pilot resorted to what he had been assigned to do because my father had been such an impediment to the fly boys’ ambitions.

    Reminds me of the low speed vehicle which crashed into Patton himself. Patton was writing his history of the war do deface the Air Force’s role in defeating Germany. which would not help its efforts to become an independent service from the Army. Conspiracy theorists have not taken into consideration what was attempted against my father in explaining Patton’s demise.

    Moreover General Cullen, the other Patton supporter, has disappeared without a trace

    Years later in Panama where he was serving in his own independent ways under General Matthew Ridgway, flying home from a coordinating mission in Latin America, he lost power over the most heavily wooded area in the areas, and only failed crash into them by nursing the plane along so that he could land on a Pacific beach, We all thought for days that he was dead.

    Again the Arny tried to humiliate him, making himArtillery Commander of the National Guard 45rd Divisio, and having to put up with its Commander, a General Strong that the Inspector General was called in, resulting both generals shipped to new commands. In NAT;s ad sec command in Verdun, France the French Army gave him the Legion d;Honeur for his efforts in an unpopular role, and giving hims tereal going away parade in August 1954., the American did nothing for his retirement weeks later, treating him like me, a draftee where i was also serving.

    In retirement my father became an instrucr in mathemetics after serving in the military-industrial complex as a seller of light planes for it.Thanks to pressure from my mom and me he became the leading officer opponent to the American participation in the war, ultimately running the Excutives against te=he Wa, showingb what he had internalized in opposition to tgon Soldier, adding some details about he had become a pilot, how he got the Army to `he Pentagon;s treatment.

    When the Reagan administration seemed likely to win the election, he wrote a cherry-picked autobiography,Wagon Soldier, how he was obsessed with flying, got the Artillery to establish its air training school and his service in some places, especially France, and left out his most bitter criticism of the military leadership, his fights with some of them, and his role in opposition to the Vietnam War, stressing his love for the Army.

    This plea fell on completely deaf ears, SoD Casper Weinberger providing the few metals he had received for a commenertative board driving my father to excessive drinking and ultimately Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)which he could not discuss since his wife had died in 1976. for fear that he would be suspected of being shell shocked. He actually enjoyed the war. He died from a stroke on Novenber 10,1986.

  69. Node, we’re in danger of sailing past the main point here. You pick and choose which science to believe based on your existing knowledge, right? And doing so, you find a whole load of science to be, not merely crap but deliberately deceptive, yes? Mechanical engineering projects an elaborate fiction about the Twin Towers, climate science projects elaborate fiction about global warming, and virology and epidemiology project elaborate fiction about SARS-CoV-2.

    So what is this existing knowledge then?

  70. Clark: “Blah blah blah …”

    I would be grateful if you would confine your reply to observations about the report. My personality/character/credibility is irrelevant to the report.

  71. Node, I did not mention your personality, character or credibility. I asked you about your existing knowledge, which you yourself claim to be not merely relevant but decisive, in scientific fields from mechanical engineering to epidemiology. To withhold such fundamental, world-changing knowledge would be an affront to the very spirit of science.

  72. Sorry I didn’t get time to fully correct my last post. Posters should know that if you write a long post, it jumps all around if you just change a letter.

    About Cullen’s disappearance, Patton wrote him a short note before he was apparently assassinated, complimenting his division’s “splendid” performance, comparing it to best examples of American Army, bringing to mind General Sherman’s march through Georgia to the sea at the end of 1864, breaking the back of the Confederacy.

    About my father’s career he became the Artillery Commander of the 43rd Division, going to Verdun after his showdown with its Commander where he ran NATO’s AD SEC, a support system in northern France for a popular defense if there was a Soviet invasion for which he received the military grade of the Legion d’Honour, a reward which only nine Americans have received.

    My father was certainly not a wagon soldier as he claimed in his reward seeking autobiography but a truck grasshopper one.

  73. Clark. You always want to talk about me rather than about what I post. You are constantly looking for a way to discredit the messenger rather than discuss the message.

    Do you accept the conclusions of the UAF report?

  74. Node – thank you for referencing that report. It’s 125 pages, and I am not a structural engineer, so it’s going to require more than a quick once-over. Looks interesting, though.

    There is a small misunderstanding, though. You must have thought I’d complained that you didn’t talk to me – that’s not the case at all! I was pointing out that you never answer questions.

  75. you never answer questions.
    I don’t respond to abuse. I’ll answer polite relevant questions.

  76. Google translated

    Coronavirus, a silent massacre in rest homes

    Bergamo, March 26, 2020 – “Five hundred dead in less than a month”: this is the latest shock that comes from rest homes , we are in the province of Bergamo . A tragic accounting that of Melania Cappuccio , medical director of the Cardinal Gusmini Foundation of Vertova. The unions now all over Italy speak of a silent massacre. The nursing homes for the elderly – the most fragile victims of the epidemic – have been transformed into lazaretti (quarantine zones).

    The pressing of the news in the news has a tragic rhythm. In Veneto 30 dead and 336 elderly people infected. Fifty-two deaths in a nursing home in the Milanese area of Mediglia , where a committee of family members has been formed that he wants to understand. Five out of 17 died yesterday hospitalized in Bellusco , Brianza. Going to the other end of Italy: in Villafrati , in the province of Palermo, 69 people are infected in one facility, including the elderly and staff. The union of the island warns: in Sicily there is a risk of massacre

  77. Google translated

    Voghera, family cut down by Covid-19

    It’s an entire family has been mowed down by the Coronavirus in Voghera. According to the Province of Pavia , the two sons of 54 and 46, Daniele and Claudio Bertucci, who had been admitted to the Voghera hospital died first . Yesterday it was the turn of his father à Alfredo Bertucci, 86, a historic blacksmith from the town in the province of Pavia, while his wife is hospitalized in serious conditions.

  78. Has Italy been triaging their patients, AA?

    The hidden blessing in this Pandemic is children seem spared for the most part.

  79. Natural disasters usually happen quickly but the aftermath dwarfs the initial damage.

    Adding another $2 trillion to $27 trilion shouldnt matter.

    But the next tsunami cant be dissuaded with a $1200 check.

  80. Monthly death totals for the city of Bergamo from local media. Note the March figures are not yet complete. Bergamo population 120,000.

  81. US hospital ships are a metaphor for the military’s passion for their wounded.

    Rusty, commissioned in 1975…converted from oil tanker.

    It represents our concern for caring for people.

  82. Ben,

    Yes they are triaging as is Spain now in Madrid. However the majority of deaths are occurring to people in care homes or at home following self isolate instructions based on symptoms rather than a test.

    Basically you either get better or progress very rapidly from mild to serious/critical and die without being tested or even reaching a hospital.

  83. 3 NYPD dead in last 48 hours. Approx 500 NYPD tested positive so far.

  84. Last chance to leave New York.


    I just received an email to the blog address from a Chinese supplier offering to sell me face masks. Telephone number supplied for fast air-mail delivery. Maybe I should forward it to Boris.

  85. Haven’t been able to get in contact with my brother, and neither has another niece.

    Interesting to see though that the FDA has given emergence approval to a speedily test for the virus which only takes fifteen.minutes.

    My brother’s software only takes a short time to see if a victim’s brain is starting to burn up.

    More later.

  86. Trump has made defeating coronavirus the keystone of being the Republican candidate for the presidency, and surprisingly being re-elected POTUS..

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