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1 hour ago, Duke Bushido said:

We can give all the suggestions or flat-out orders we want.  Stupid will make a mockery of it every time.

 

It doesn't help that the Leader of the Free World trivialized it for SO long.  That gave Stupidity its toehold.

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2 hours ago, unclevlad said:

And let us be blunt.  There is no collective public will in the US;  there is no public trust in government.

 

Mind you, South Korea has these because for 70 years or so their only land border is with a piratical, predatory, delusional regime,  that's been shooting off missiles and nukes for the last few years.  When you have that permanent threat, there is a need to have a more united popular state apparatus.  There hasn't been a plausible threat to the US since ... well, late 1942, so we've devolved (with help) into a latter-day version of the Byzantine Empire, with the Leek Greens and the Blues all but murdering each other for the throne.

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1 minute ago, tkdguy said:

It's possible that Big Brother has been watching everyone for years.

And quite a few people have been watching Big Brother.

 

And I imagine Big Brother has actual;ly given up on watching most of us. How many times can you watch different people do the same idiotic things over and over again without collapsing from boredom?

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11 minutes ago, Michael Hopcroft said:

And I imagine Big Brother has actual;ly given up on watching most of us. How many times can you watch different people do the same idiotic things over and over again without collapsing from boredom?

 

They never get tired of it.  Like they never get tired of money.

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Sign of the times...

 

Tuesday is the local ad circulars day...you know what I mean.  Buncha local stores combine into a stack of loose stuff and dropped in every mail box.  3 markets, lumber store, a rent-to-own, yadayadayada.  Generally about 10 pieces.

 

Just came in today.  One foldover page with one insert page.   An El Paso furniture chain...that's a reach.  Dish Network, a walk-in tub offer that sends you to an 800 number...yeah right.  Home security...could be one industry doing rather well, at least where they're still allowed to work.  And we've got a Harbor Freight;  I'm not sure if they're considered essential, but they might be.  

 

They aren't entirely consistent on when they arrive;  some more might come tomorrow.  But this is the most common day.

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My trip to Target last night was just as grim.  It was bad before, but this time they were out of things like canned olives.  Soup, pasta, bread, meat all entirely gone.  Shelves completely bare.  They're just using the toilet paper aisle to store other things now. 

 

I did manage to pick up two gallons of milk, which was the main reason I went, though I did have to settle for skim instead of 1%.

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5 hours ago, unclevlad said:

Also...quite honestly, what scares me is that this will start a major schism between the states and the feds.

 

I think it's already started. The Trump administration has made it clear that we can't depend on the federal government. The states are going to have to step up to the plate themselves on important issues.

 

I don't like saying that. I think a strong, sensible federal government is necessary for a nation, but . . . the federal government we have right now is neither strong nor sensible.

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On Quora today, I was asked to answer a question of why Edgar Allen Poe's classic short story "The Masque of the Red Death" can tell us about dealing with COVID-19. It turned out that it was actually very relevant thematically, if not in relation to this particular disease (COVID-19 does not spread so suddenly and with the near-instant fatality of the Red Death) because it is the story of a callous man paying the ultimate price for his cowardice and hubris.

 

For those of you who don't remember Roger Corman's classic film, the story concerns a ruler, Prince Prospero, whose land is ravaged by a near-supernatural plague known as the Red Death.  Rather than try to make things better, he gathers his friends together in his magnificent palace and locks himself away from the plague. In the palace, which Poe describes in exquisite detail what makes the palace itself an ominous presence, the prince throws the wild party to end all wild parties, with all thinking they are absolutely safe from the Red Death and are free to do whatever they want.

 

As it turns out, they are catastrophically wrong. The Red Death does enter the palace, and in nearly an instant the party-goers are annihilated. The Red Death reigns triumphant over all the land.

 

I took a powerful warning from the story. Not that a particular virus would wipe us out, but that we must be wary of our own character flaws -- our pride, our selfishness, our lust for all we survey.

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8 minutes ago, Zeropoint said:

 

I think it's already started. The Trump administration has made it clear that we can't depend on the federal government. The states are going to have to step up to the plate themselves on important issues.

 

I don't like saying that. I think a strong, sensible federal government is necessary for a nation, but . . . the federal government we have right now is neither strong nor sensible.

Because we need a little comedy.

 

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1 minute ago, Zeropoint said:

 

I think it's already started. The Trump administration has made it clear that we can't depend on the federal government. The states are going to have to step up to the plate themselves on important issues.

 

I don't like saying that. I think a strong, sensible federal government is necessary for a nation, but . . . the federal government we have right now is neither strong nor sensible.

 

Trump was right...that's hard to say...WRT "don't wait for the feds to act for supplies" and things like that.  Here, there will be enormous policy matters, especially if Trump continues to push his rosy-eyed view that it'll be over soon.  NY Times has a story about Texas, where things are playing out in miniature...the governor has not issued a state-wide SAH order, but several cities have.  

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/24/us/coronavirus-texas-patrick-abbott.html?action=click&module=Latest&pgtype=Homepage

 

But he's also been a massive roadblock in so many ways...and ways where the states *can't* act.  They don't have the authority.

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30 minutes ago, Badger said:

Either the mailbox was far away, or that was centenarian-style walk.

 

1.2 mile round trip according to Google, so about 3.6 MPH. I can do the same route in about 15 minutes if I speed-walk. 

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14 hours ago, Michael Hopcroft said:

I want to respond to him somewhat -- he is a legitimate user and not a full-on troll, and he does raise valid points albeit points with which I disagree. It's not like that guy who responded to a comment I made on Wagner with a revolting anti-Semitic diatribe.

 

The recent studies with Hydroxychloroquin and Chloroquin combined with Azithromycin - if they ramp up in a timely fashion - make a compelling argument for the stay-at-home orders.

If we delay the initial spike just 4-6 weeks and that allows companies in Israel to donate 6 million plus tablets of life saving medicine to us then maybe when this nightmare hits the full population we lose thousands instead of a few million people.

 

I share your friend's (acquaintance's) concern that there is only so much financial damage we can incur before it gets worse than doing nothing, but the rapid testing of the pharmaceuticals is a solid pro argument.

Other pro-social-distancing arguments could be that buying 4-6 weeks for the hospitals to stock up on protective equipment for the workers and expanding bed capacity is a big deal.  The local hospital ICU flooding at 50 beds instead of 20 beds combined with the new meds could make a massive difference in the long term death toll.

 

 

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