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A Little Late to the Party April 30, 2020

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Me, writing at Uncommon Misconceptions on November 25, 2006:

Cold War II: Taking a look at arms sales from Russia and China to Iran

Today, in The Federalist:

We’re In A New Cold War, This Time With China

I remember attending a blogger get-together in Denver probably 10 years ago, where Deb Heine, Cathy, Ace and I were sipping on some drinks. NiceDeb was laughing at my preoccupation with China, and Ace seemed mystified by it.

But the graph-obsessed dog is always right (apologies to The Fugitive).

COVID-19 Update, 4-26-2020 April 27, 2020

Posted by geoff in COVID-19, News.
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Haven’t put up a COVID-19 chart for awhile because everybody was changing the definitions of “COVID-19 deaths” and finding old cases that they added to the total. Seems like it’s finally settling down.

So here’s how the world is doing (chart is adapted from Worldometer.com):


…and here’s how the US is doing (chart is adapted from Worldometer.com):


As you can see, in both cases the death rate is stable and possibly declining.

Christopher Steele: Lying Dirtbag April 24, 2020

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If you ever wondered if Christopher Steele (he of the infamous Trump dossier) was full of it, ponder this:

Christopher Steele says his computer records for research to write a Democratic Party-financed anti-Donald Trump dossier no longer exist.

According to a December report by Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz, Mr. Steele relied heavily on an unnamed “primary sub-source” in Russia, presumedly in Moscow close to Kremlin operations.

The Horowitz report says that the FBI located the source in January 2017 who told agents he was merely repeating Moscow gossip to Mr. Steele, not corroborated facts.

Mr. Steele responded at the time through his Washington lawyers that his source did not tell him the material was gossip. He said he kept meticulous records of their conversations.

But in the deposition, Mr. Steele said of such records, “They no longer exist.”

Now, I am not someone who traffics in classified or highly sensitive information for a living. And I am terribly unorganized. But I still have computer documents and emails going back 25 years, all of which are backed up on my 3 computers and several external hard drives.

So hearing this fellow say that his “meticulous records” were wiped, records that could possibly have meant additional revenue for him, records that could provide a legal defense for him…

Hearing that those records were wiped means that he’s a lying dirtbag who’s trying to escape culpability for trying to influence a presidential election.

Anti-Clickbait April 24, 2020

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When you see an article title like this, I don’t think anything could compel you to click on a link to it:

I probed my nasal cavity for the new coronavirus—here’s what I found

I guess we’ll find out if I’m right.

Just When You Thought You’d Heard the Worst About COVID-19 April 21, 2020

Posted by geoff in COVID-19, News.
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Can the coronavirus be spread through farts?

So Much for Preferring Land O’Lakes Butter April 16, 2020

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I’m assuming that most of my male contemporaries whiled away many a pleasant hour making boobs out of the Land O’Lakes Native American woman’s knees:





But sadly future generations won’t get to experience the thrills of adolescent consumer butter package porn:

Land O’Lakes quietly removes image of Mia, its longtime Native American maiden

The kids will just have to make do with the internet.

Give Biden Peace April 14, 2020

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Joe Rogan on Joe Biden:

In a new rant, podcast host Joe Rogan compared presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden going up against President Trump as akin to a 3-year-old trying to compete with Mike Tyson in the boxing ring.

That they wanted Biden to be their guy, that they don’t, they can’t admit that he’s in cognitive decline. I mean it’s very strange,” he added, referring to Biden’s continued odd comments and mentally slow performances in interviews.

I don’t know what the cause of Biden’s repeated lapses and malaprops is, but dementia is certainly a strong candidate. And if that’s the case, then his wife should go to jail.

Why? Because stress can accelerate cognitive decline in dementia sufferers, and there are few things more stressful than facing the nation as a candidate for the presidency.

If he is one of the unfortunates in that category, keeping him in the presidential race is harmful to the point of being criminal.

Coronasplurge April 14, 2020

Posted by geoff in COVID-19, News.
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You realize that if the United States has 100,000 COVID-19 deaths, which seems unlikely, the $2 trillion relief package will amount to $20 million/death. Economists might value the average human life at ~$10 million, but since supposed 2/3 of the casualties would likely have passed away within a year anyway, you’d have to downgrade that number to around $3.3 million.

So you’re spending $20 million for each $3.3 million death. If you consider that the economic cost of the shutdown is almost certainly larger than size of the relief package, the deal gets worse.

That’s not a great measure of the worth of the relief package, since you’d really rather count dollars spent vs. lives saved. But it’s pretty clear that we have no idea what that number is, so actual deaths is the only metric we’ve got.

But even if it saved a million lives, the relief package would be $2 million per life.

What National COVID-19 Crisis? April 13, 2020

Posted by geoff in COVID-19, News.
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Here are the casualties to date for each state (definitely click to embiggen):

Were it not for NY and NJ (both related hugely to NYC), there really wouldn’t be much of a crisis. Those two states alone account for more than 50% of COVID-19 deaths.

Wyoming, by comparison, has 0 deaths to date. Many other states have a trivial number of deaths (statistically speaking – obviously each death is a tragedy).

But every state has been declared a “major disaster area” so that they can receive federal benefits.

It’s a ridiculous, but predictable, situation.

Do Mine Eyes Deceive Me? April 13, 2020

Posted by geoff in COVID-19, News.
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…or has the growth rate of deaths worldwide finally dropped below 1?


Only 5417 deaths yesterday.

And for the US?


Yes indeedy!!

Just to remind y’all, a growth factor > 1 means more casualties every day, while < 1 means the number of casualties is shrinking.

So for the first time since we suffered our initial casualty, the death rate has started to shrink.

Coronavirus Trend Update (Thru 4-11-20) April 12, 2020

Posted by geoff in COVID-19, News.
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Thought I’d check in on the death growth rate (above 1 it’s accelerating, below 1 it’s decelerating). So here’s how the world is doing:

And here’s how the United States is faring:


We need both plots to dip below 1, but it looks like that may very well happen in a  week or so.

Food Preparation Tips April 8, 2020

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In these dark times of strapped supply chains and arbitrary lockdowns, I figured I should probably learn how to cook. I’ve been intimidated by cooking for decades, but fortunately I found this video, which makes food prep look pretty straightforward: