Discussions of Book of Mormon issues and evidences, plus other topics related to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Saturday, May 02, 2020

“The Chicken Sacrifices Are Working!” A Novel Approach for Coping with COVID-19

Sacrificial victims in Hong Kong, a low-COVID-19 city.
“It’s not any lockdown that's taming the virus,” Ollie explained to me in our interview. “It’s the chicken sacrifices. This would be the worst time to stop them or we’ll have a total disaster. They are working, but we must increase our faith and the chicken body count. This is all a scientifically obvious fact and you cannot disprove that. The chicken sacrifices are working, and that’s why the curve is being fattened.”

“You mean flattened?,” I interjected.

“Fattened, flattened, who cares? What matters is the lives we are saving with science. The science shows that our chicken sacrifices are working to save human lives. We’re the ones making this happen.”

“But Ollie, what’s the evidence that it’s actually the sacrifices and not the lockdowns or other factors that are affecting the disease?”

“Can’t you see? After we called for worldwide chicken sacrifices in February, the sacrifices began and soon the expected number of COVID-19 deaths began to decline and the spread gradually slowed – because, of course, the sacrifices are working! Science is real.”

“But what about some of the spikes that we are seeing in places like Wisconsin?”

“Those correlate perfectly with a lack of faith, leading to a decline in chicken sacrifices or sacrifices that weren’t done properly. It all fits! Look at these charts! I’m warning you, if we don’t do more sacrifices more faithfully, we’ll see more spikes, even very big ones, but if we do see numbers dropping, it will show the sacrifices are working. It’s our work that’s making all the difference in every state and nation – and the hard work of many others who are following my guidance. It’s our science-based faith that’s controlling the virus.”

I was fascinated with what I was learning from the Chief Executive High Priest, Ollie Fogey, leader of a mysterious faith-based group that is sometimes called the “Cock-a-Doodle Cult,” more formally known as the Worldwide Worshippers of the Great Goat God (WWGGG), a god who apparently has a strong animosity toward chickens.

Frankly, it was hard to argue with the evidence. Every dip and rise of every curve had an explanation that fit his paradigm. Maybe we do need to offer more chicken sacrifices. All this time the rest of us were thinking that the lockdowns were doing the trick, or maybe just the social distancing and good hygiene that people were doing on their own, but the evidence for the success of chicken sacrifices might just be even better than any evidence for the success being claimed for the widespread lockdowns, and might be a little more logical, too. Frankly, I just couldn’t see the logic in the idea that shutting down gyms and small scattered businesses made us safer and healthier since the result was everyone congregating at Walmart or those "essential" liquor stores. Ollie at least had some logic and snazzy charts on his side, if you can accept the idea of an angry goat god who dislikes chickens. 

This religion, or “cult” as they prefer to be called, has a unique and allegedly scientific approach to dealing with COVID-19. I had the rare opportunity learn more through an interview their leader while he was in Wisconsin last week for their annual Spring Sacrificial Rites and Chicken Fry in the backwoods of northern Wisconsin during a beautiful full moon.

Ollie says he can neither confirm nor deny rumors that the WWGGG was given massive Federal bailout that was buried in the hundreds of pages of emergency COVID-19 legislation that was recently signed into law. Since nobody, especially our politicians, has had time to read the new laws, it’s still too early to know which special interests are getting how much. But WWGGG claims to be at the forefront of dealing with the Corona virus, and wants credit (if not cash) for what they have done for America and the world.

Though known to believers as “Grand Exalted Chief Executive High Priest and Nemesis of All Poultry,”  WWGGG Chief Executive High Priest Ollie Fogey simply goes by Ollie when dealing with non-believers. He’s a charming and passionate retired mechanical engineer turned Kansas farmer who became “enlightened” after being struck on the head by a flying shingle during a thunderstorm. When he came out of the coma two weeks later, he announced he was the spokesman for the Great Goat God. Thanks to great social media marketing, his movement has gone global and he now leads literals dozens of worshippers around the world engaged in “science-based” goat worship. He guides them through his role as Chief High Priest of WWGGG, and also advances the mission of WWGGG through many humanitarian projects through his influence as a board member of the Great Goat God Foundation.

It was still damp and cold right after the Spring Sacrificial Rites when we met. Believers huddled around the fires where the hundreds of sacrificed chickens were being deep fried. We shared a couple plates of fried chicken during the interview. Absolutely delicious, thanks to a secret revealed blend of herbs and spices. Proper social distancing was maintained for the interview. 

Q. “Ollie, what’s up with the chicken sacrifices? Why would your Great Goat God want that?”

A. “Anyone who has run a farm should know that the wisest farm animal, the goat, is terribly annoyed by chickens. They are the nemesis of all that is goatly. The Great Goat God is most pleased when chickens are sacrificed.”

Q. “And you think this has something to do with COVID-19?”

A. “Absolutely. COVID-19 is an expression of the Great Goat God’s anger toward humanity. He must be appeased by more chicken sacrifices. That’s our faith, but it’s not just faith – the science is firmly on our side.”

Q. “Science?”

A. “Certainly. The science shows a perfect correlation between our work and the progress being made in the disease. Did you not read my global pronouncement in February?  As the disease first began spreading to the US and Europe, I announced that 100 million would die from the disease – 25 million in the US alone – unless chicken sacrifices were increased significantly.”

Q. “25 million in the US? Even the most extreme computer models were only predicting 2 million deaths, and that was way off.”

A. “Those models are worthless and have never been close. Computer models can’t foretell the future, but chicken gut models can, and they consistently showed 25.2 million deaths, with a 95% confidence interval of plus or minus 0.3 million.”

Q. “Chicken gut models?”

A. “Yes, it’s a very scientific process of extracting future-oriented data from the entrails of a properly sacrificed chicken. It takes into account biomolecular metrics, climate change, geomagnetism, big data, forensic epidemiology, green energy, quantitative easing, and it's 100% organic and totally sustainable.”

Q. “That actually works? How do you know?”

A. “It works most of the time. It’s a gift. When the prediction fails, though, it means the bird wasn’t sacrificed properly.  When it comes true, it shows the sacrifice was done properly. Very reliable correlation.”

Q. “But COVID-19 is now on the decline, and there’s no way it will reach 25 million deaths here.”

A. “Yes, of course, because the chicken sacrifices are working. Don't you get it? Our faithful members, with literally dozens on every continent except one–“

Q. “No believers in Antarctica?”

A. “Wrong, we’ve got a Level 3 priest at Russia’s Vostok Station who is offering regular sacrifices as best he can – frozen chicken nuggets – and that’s clearly helping to stave off the disease in Antarctica. It’s Australia where we don’t have members yet. A troubling lack of faith.”

Q. “So you would predict Australia should be in chaos from COVID-19?”

A. “No, there are chicken sacrifices still being conducted vicariously, in a way, as the people there respond to my calls to increase their consumption of chicken.”

Q. “So the data for your success can include actual chicken sacrifices or general chicken consumption?”

A. “It’s fluid. Faith and life are complex things. But all the data conforms to my expectations and shows that sacrifices and/or chicken consumption is appeasing the Great Goat God and resulting in progress.  Or sometimes in lack of progress where the sacrifices and chicken consumption aren’t enough.”

Q. “Can you explain why New York is so hard hit, while other large states like Florida have much less trouble?”

A. “Certainly. New York has two great problems. One, there burdensome regulations make it very hard to do a chicken sacrifice properly, so fewer sacrifices per capita is a big problem there. Second, New Yorker’s don’t like chicken all that much, and they really dislike Chick-Fil-A. There’s just a handful of restaurants for the whole state. Lack of sacrifices and low chicken consumption angers the Great Goat God. But we are ramping up our efforts there, so we’ve seen some progress recently and avoided total disaster, thanks to our work. But if Cuomo or de Blasio take any credit for their recovery, it’s a lie. The science shows we deserve the credit. Also, consider South Dakota, with very few deaths and no lockdown. You know why? Because of their enlightened laws that make it easier for my followed to carry out frequent chicken sacrifices. Plus South Dakota has a lot of goats. It all fits.”

Q. “Ollie, what motivates you to do this? Some say there are conflicts of interest involved with all this chicken consumption you are calling for. Do you stand to profit?”

A. “It’s only natural that I should try to influence society where possible for the greater good of mankind. That’s why I’m on the board of Tyson Chicken, Chick-Fil-A, KFC, and a few other companies that are at the forefront of saving the world by appeasing the Great Goat God through their valiant commercial enterprises. But it's not about profit, it's about saving lives.”

Q. “I guess that’s reasonable. What’s next for your cult when this virus is tamed?”

A. “There’s always another crisis ready to hatch, waiting in the wings, so to speak. We are already devising science-based ways of applying our faith to cope with the demands of climate change. My chicken entrails modeling shows that the Great Goat God may soon express more anger with climate change, or possibly hyperinflation from excessive dollar creation, either of which will call for vast increases in chicken sacrifice. And there are other diseases yet to be tamed. Our faith and our science will both be in the right place at the right time.”

Ollie’s message may be one that humanity desperately needs. Come to think of it, the lockdowns may have forced more people to rely on high-chicken fast food rather than more expensive low-chicken restaurants, so chicken consumption probably has increased due to the lockdowns, which may be fueling WGGG’s impact. And the New York data certainly seems in Ollie’s favor. It all sort of fits. What if Ollie is right?

As we see signs of progress in fighting COVID-19, I expect that we will soon face a new round of controversy as different parties contend in claiming credit for the success. Will our victory be due to Dr. Fauci’s wise guidance, to the visionary leadership of the Democratic Party or the Republican Party, the steady influence of the Gates Foundation in moving us to a vaccinated utopia, the inspiring example of local leaders like Governor Cuoma or Mayor de Blasio, the courage of California leaders in forcing people away from sunny beaches and covering a skateboard park with sand, or the tsunami of economic and policy influence from the legendary geniuses at the Federal Reserve Bank whose next brilliancy may be negative interest rates as the sure-fire economic cure to cure all cures? Maybe it’s Ollie and his small cult of goat worshippers whose chicken sacrifices and calls for increased chicken consumption that are doing the trick by appeasing a very irritable Great Goat God.

If you have better scientific tools to identify who should get the credit for our progress in avoiding the millions of predicted deaths or for the eventual taming of COVID-19, let me know. Meanwhile, I’m off to Chick-Fil-A for a science-based meal. If it saves only one (human) life, it will be worth it.

Meanwhile, dear readers, remember, you are safer at home, so please don't go out into the dangerous sunlight, don't go out into the fresh air, don't get any outdoor exercise, don't get a haircut (unless you are a mayor or something special), and for goodness sake, please just sit around gorging yourself with chocolate, ice cream, and liquor. It could save a life, though probably not yours.


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40 comments:

Anonymous said...

This article made me smile. Think about this in comparison:

“If we only go without food for two meals or 24 hours, then donate the money we saved from those two meals to our church, we can help stop Covid 19.”

Any religious practice can be seen as ridiculous by those outside of the faith.

Anonymous said...

For those who’d like a summary of this post:

“I am a crank who can’t write satire and doesn’t understand epidemiology. Oh, and while it’s obviously ridiculous to believe in a Great Goat God who expects chicken sacrifices, it’s perfectly sensible to believe in a Heavenly Father who was once a man and lives on the planet nearest a star called Kolob.”

— OK

Anonymous said...

OMG! The deliberate blindness! ...or hypocrisy.

Anonymous said...

Satire. Interesting. I must not have the gift of discernment. I thought he was defending the position that all faiths that inspire someone to be a better person belong to the same equivalence class. If it was satire, then he was attacking the position.

If beauty is in the eye of the beholder, then how can we universally discern what is a good fruit. We can't, so beauty can't be in the eye of the holder. If we are convinced something is beautiful, and someone does not agree, then that other person must be defective in some way.

The unprecedented introduction of divinely mandated secretive polygamy to a monogamous society must be beautiful and a good fruit, even if we don't understand it, just like chicken sacrifice. We don't have to understand it, just have faith in it, and no bad fruit can come of it, because we know God said so. Right Jeff?

C T said...

Some good news on the research front:

"Monoclonal antibody used for arthritis may help severe COVID-19, study suggests"

"By binding to IL-6, the researchers said, tocilizumab effectively works to disrupt this immune response, allowing patients to recover.

"However, the authors, from China, emphasized that the findings are preliminary and need to be confirmed in a larger study.

"The drug, made from cloned antibody cells, normally is used to treat autoimmune forms of arthritis, such as rheumatoid arthritis.

"The current study looked at 21 patients with serious or critical illness from COVID-19 in Anhui Province. The study participants were between 25 and 88 years old.

"Before treatment, all patients had fever and evidence of lung lesions on CT scans, while 17 had abnormally low lymphocyte percentages and 20 had elevated levels of C-reactive protein, or CRP, an indicator of inflammation. All but one of the study participants received oxygen therapy before tocilizumab treatment.

"After treatment with tocilizumab, all patients' body temperatures returned to normal on the first day and remained stable thereafter. Within five days of treatment, 15 patients were able to reduce oxygen intake, and lung lesions were resolved in 19 patients after treatment, the study's authors wrote.

"All participants were discharged between 10 and 31 days after treatment, and no side effects were reported."

https://www.upi.com/Health_News/2020/04/30/Monoclonal-antibody-used-for-arthritis-may-help-severe-COVID-19-study-suggests/1791588189875/?ur3=1

Jeff Lindsay said...

Interesting, CT. There's also good news this week on remdesivir, which involves a different mechanism, striking at the SARS-CoV-2 replication function. Hoping for more progress in these areas. Thanks for sharing!

Jeff Lindsay said...

But the positive news Gilead is broadcasting on remdesivir may be somewhat exaggerated. It helps people heal a little more quickly, but is not quite the cure people are hoping for. Hope your monoclonal antibody is a bigger success!

Anonymous said...

Excellent overview of the many dimensions of the pandemic — and why things are so confusing — here:

https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2020/04/pandemic-confusing-uncertainty/610819/

— OK

Anonymous said...

The one thing left out of the story was the compulsion by the WWGGG high priests to force all of the people to live their religion in spite of the equal protection clause of the Constitution. Statistical Modeling is the new scripture.

On a second note, there has been a lot of talk about protecting freedom of religion these past few years, especially marriage, but when push comes to shove we brag about relief society making a million masks to support this old religion called Fear. Where is Elijah when the priests of Baal are sacrificing humans to appease their God? How long will the Lord suffer his saints to be so weak?

Anonymous said...

Oh, by the way, if we do it on a special day like a Friday instead of our normally observed Sunday, it will have even more effect.

Cubby said...

Maybe we should be doing our sacrifices during Family Home Evening as part of the ritual refreshments a practice for most families, especially those with children who need protection.

Anonymous said...

Conservatives aren't funny. This is proof positive.

Anonymous said...

This wave of the pandemic might end up killing less than 0.01% of the world's population. So far it adds up to less than two days' worth of world mortality. The worldwide death rate stands at 0.0032% at present. Hardly the black death of the 1300s, but apparently bad enough to elicit a drastic gov't response that could have long-lasting deleterious effects.

Anonymous said...

I think it's hysterical to observe what this blog now attracts. One kind of snake oil begets others. The con men know how to recognize the vulnerable and the gullible.

Anonymous said...

Time to delete some posts. I'd say delete the last seven, including this one.

Jeff Lindsay said...

Sorry, I was slow deleting some of the spambot posts that seem to show up every time I mention chicken sacrifices. Should have done that earlier, but I was too busy hovering in my darkened basement spraying Lysol everywhere (but generally NOT drinking any!), in compliance with Wisconsin's generous forced isolation guidelines, which we all hope will continue in full force for the entire foreseeable future. (I can't see the future past about 3 seconds. How about you?)

Jeff Lindsay said...

So getting to the point of the post, for you who faithfully believe that the lockdowns are needed and helpful, what evidence do you have that they are actually working, and that they are more effective than Ollie's chicken sacrifices or more effective than the social distancing, hand washing, and other defensive measures that people were already doing before the Constitution was suspended by numerous governors?

Is there any evidence that viruses spread less effectively when people are indoors versus outdoors? ("Stay at home" = "stay inside" -- is there any science showing we are safer being indoors with others versus outdoors? Because there are studies showing virus transmission is more likely when people are indoors and evidence showing that getting sunlight is healthier than being indoors all the time, and evidence that sunlight can attack many viruses including the novel Corona virus.)

Is there any evidence that shutting down small businesses and costing 30 million people their jobs has made us safer and healthier?

Is there any evidence that congregating regularly in Walmart makes us safer that walking in the woods or jogging along a beach?

Is there any evidence that closing gyms makes us healthier?

Is there any evidence that the lives saved by delaying (but perhaps not truly eliminating) the deaths that will be caused by COVID-19 are more than the deaths that will be caused by failure to get routine medical care (missed cancer screens, missed detection of hypertension, heart trouble, early signs of strokes, etc.), by increased drinking and drug abuse, by increased depression and suicide, by worsened diet and inactivity, by increased stress, etc.? Is there any science showing that OVERALL health and welfare has been increased by this unprecendented massive economic shutdown with vast unpredictable effects?

Is there any evidence that the lockdowns are not a net disaster when their widespread impact on health and wellbeing is considered?

Anonymous said...

From the start of this COVID thing, the evidence for lockdown success was the "Spanish" Flu experience. It was much discussed and the comparison of San Francisco and Philadelphia were frequently referred to. Did you miss it?

https://www.news18.com/news/world/cities-that-shut-down-to-stop-1918-spanish-flu-had-fewer-deaths-with-no-economic-trade-off-study-2567801.html

Gyms seems like an obvious vector, but nature parks and uncrowded, sunny beaches do seem like overboard to lock down. And now we learn the mortality rate of COVID is no where near the Spanish Flu, so there is obvious hindsight criticism.

I am not sure if this thread/post is just malcontent commentary finding fault with everything. Your proposal is to let individuals all calculate the risk on their own? Or is your proposal to just infect the herd and let God's will sort it all out?

Anonymous said...

https://www.stlouisfed.org/~/media/files/pdfs/community-development/research-reports/pandemic_flu_report.pdf?la=en

Anonymous said...

Partial quarantines, such as closing schools and churches but not public
transportation or restaurants (as done in
Philadelphia, St. Louis and Washington,
D.C.) would do little to stop the spread
of influenza.

• Can we rely on local, state and federal
governments to help in the case of a
modern-day pandemic? Government has
shown its inability to handle disasters in
the past (e.g., Hurricane Katrina). Local
preparedness by health departments and
hospitals, volunteer services (e.g., Red
Cross) and private businesses, and responsible actions of the population are likely
to mitigate the effects of a modern-day
influenza pandemic.

CONCLUSION:

Perhaps public education on flu mitigation, a greater reliance
on charitable and volunteer organizations, and
a dose of personal responsibility may be the
best ways to protect Americans in the event of
a future influenza pandemic.

Anonymous said...

Good ol' Jeff "Hey, I'm Just Asking the Questions Here" Lindsay.
Too bad we all didn't stock up on glucosamine back in March like you told us. This would be all gone now.

Anonymous said...

Still waiting for the big Worldwide Fast to show some results. If it would slow the rate of infections and death or produce a cure or a vaccine we could all fire up the economy again and feel safe about leaving quarantine. So? How many weeks has it been now? And 2/3 of Americans don't feel safe enough to resume normal life regardless of what governments ordain or employers force on workers.

Anonymous said...

I would guess about 1/3 of that 2/3 just doesn’t want to have to go back to work.

Joe said...

As always, no one understands Jeff like I do (not even Jeff ;)).
He's saying there's a lot of faith in science, and a lot of science in faith : ).
Ya'll will see what you want to see.
I go on evidence only.
Evidence indicates that the faithful do a lot of good : ) : )

Have a great day!

Anonymous said...

Expect those who have faith in human sacrifice? I imagine if you control the definition of good, even those who have faith in human sacrifice do a lot good.

Science merely studies nature, even the study of human nature. Science claims to be agnostic to "good" unless an objective definition of good is provided. Science can describe a sperm and egg, can describe a fetus, when the fetus has a heart beat and etc. Science never claimed it is good that the Catholic declare that every sperm is sacred or if it is good that the LDS allow abortion in the case of rape.

Jeff Lindsay said...

Thanks for reminding us of lessons from the Spanish flu. The study from the Federal Reserve bank is interesting, but let's also consider the vastly increased powers they are receiving due to our panic, with added trillions now under their control. If the Fed has a vested interest in making this crisis seem big and in making the power of government bigger than ever, that doesn't mean their conclusions are necessarily faulty, but when trillions of dollars are coming your way, it's hard for some people stay objective. Just a caveat.

There's a response to the Fed's paper already from Harvard, where 3 Ph.D. students extended the original work by considering additional factors neglected in the original study. They found that the economic differences attributed as possible benefits of stronger mitigation policies may simply be the results of trends that were already in place before the Spanish flu hit. See Andrew Lilley, Matthew Lilley, Gianluca Rinaldi, "Public Health Interventions and Economic Growth
Revisiting the 1918 Flu Evidence
" at https://almlgr.github.io/ (full paper here).

Abstract: "Using data from 43 US cities, Correia, Luck, and Verner (2020) find that the 1918 Flu pandemic had strong negative effects on economic growth, but that Non Pharmaceutical Interventions (NPIs) mitigated these adverse economic effects. Their starting point is a striking positive correlation between 1914-1919 economic growth and the extent of NPIs adopted at the city level. We collect additional data which shows that those results are driven by population growth between 1910 to 1917, before the pandemic. We also extend their difference in differences analysis to earlier periods, and find that once we account for pre-existing differential trends, the estimated effect of NPIs on economic growth are a noisy zero; we can neither rule out substantial positive nor negative effects of NPIs on employment growth."

The Fed's paper appears to only examine the economic impact of the Spanish flu and mitigations measures in terms of the manufacturing sector of the economy, which was only about 30% of the overall economy. Would results have held with a broader look? Not sure. There is some further discussion at Marginal Revolution.

Jeff Lindsay said...

Efforts to draw lessons for today from the lockdowns during that crisis need to consider the major differences at play. A key difference is that those most vulnerable to the Spanish flu were not the elderly, as we have today, but young people. Illness or death for them had a relatively larger economic impact on manufacturing. Closing schools was probably an effective mitigation measure because it reduced risk (or delayed it, at least) for more vulnerable young people. In our crisis, however, there's almost zero risk for the young (fearmongering notwithstanding). In our crisis, it makes a great deal of sense to take strong protective measures for the vulnerable -- the elderly and those with severe health issues already -- while allowing the young to continue their education, their jobs, and their lives.

One important lesson needs to be recalled from the Spanish flu. It's a lesson that only recently came to light. We have learned that the influence of Big Pharma on the US government led our top officials to recommend a course of action that may account for a big portion of the 1918 spike in mortality (a spike that may have led some to conclude that cities had loosened up too soon). What happened was that Bayer used its influence with government to have government officials recommend dangerously high doses of Bayer's product, aspirin, as a treatment for the disease, when in fact the doses that were recommended were probably the cause of death for many. I know, this sounds like crazy right-wing conspiracy theory, but it's actually the finding of peer-reviewed studies and careful investigation.

See the New York Times article, "In 1918 Pandemic, Another Possible Killer: Aspirin." In fact, one peer-reviewed study suggests that high aspirin intake, driven by the US government's irresponsible recommendation, may have been a major contributor to the high mortality rate in that dreadful pandemic. See Karen M. Starko, "Salicylates and Pandemic Influenza Mortality, 1918–1919: Pharmacology, Pathology, and Historic Evidence," Clinical Infectious Diseases, Volume 49, Issue 9 (15 November 2009): 1405–1410, DOE: doi.org/10.1086/606060.

Has the reliability of information from the US government become significantly greater over time? Or is it still improperly influenced by big money and Big Pharma? Do your own diligence, but I don't think that we can always trust what government officials say.

Unfortunately, you'll never hear the media mention the lesson that should be learned from it of doubting government officials who may have close ties to Big Pharma (and foundations owned by by billionaires heavily tied to Big Pharma). They can tell us to stay locked down until a magic vaccine comes along, something that still hasn't happened for HIV and something that still isn't highly effective for influenza and many other diseases, including the Corona-related viruses that give us the common cold.

Jeff Lindsay said...

Another review of the Fed's paper points out some further questions. See "Covid Economics: During 1918 Influenza, Severe Social Distancing Reduced Negative Impacts on American Economy."

An article at Politico reveals the conflicting lessons people are taking from the Spanish flu. See "Why We Keep Getting the Lessons of the Spanish Flu Wrong."

Anonymous said...

While you're pushing people to venture out into the public, what are your thoughts on returning to temples and chapels? Who's going to be doing the cleaning and disinfecting? How effective do you think it's going to be if it's relegated to the elderly with physical limitations and families with kids? What resources do you think member cleaning crews will be equipped with to ensure environments that are safe for them to do their cleaning and safe for others to venture into? Will the church finally break into it's embarrassing slush fund to hire some professionals to disinfect?

BTW, you seem to have entirely dismissed pediatric inflammatory multisystem syndrome. When so much is still being learned about this disease are you sure railing against epidemiologists, researchers and "Big Pharma" and urging people to discount them is the way to go?

Anonymous said...

Phildelphia with their mass graves and San Francisco without are UNDENIABLE contrasts, no matter how much we do not think so. Beyond those experiences, it seems kindaof obvious, it is hard to say one way or other. You appear to agree, because " we can neither rule out substantial positive nor negative effects of NPIs on employment growth." Which is a fancy way of saying something that makes intuitive sense, we cannot really say one way or the other. So why harp on something that we can't say is bad.

Only if every country had a magical God like the Fed. Or at least that is what the those foreign polytheist, human sacrificing heathens think when they pour money into our stock market.

The Spanish flue was previously only faintly remember to history until this happened. Roaring 20s, Great Depression, World War. Is that our the next 30 years? Also, 1918 did not have the litigious society he have now. Can you imagine the lawsuits, open the schools, when the school boards (unpaid positions) have to get new phone numbers, that is bad enough?

"stay locked down until a magic vaccine comes along" Again, where have you been? The vaccines did not take more than a month to make. Again, where have you been, plenty of media of reported on the many confidential egg factories for producing vaccine that have been part of the national defense strategy for decades.

It is the testing that takes time. Testing that the federal is soon to announce will be removed. The media is reporting 100s of millions of injections devices and vaccine are already on contract and will be ready before the election. The only controversy is if the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation will buy Chinese vaccines for the global community, which of course they will, because they will buy vaccine from everyone and favor no particular entity.

Now, do you want the vaccine? Recall the famous polio example... how many people got polio from its vaccine? Let say 5% get COVID from untested vaccines and only 0.5% of those die ... too much math? My fast rounding says the untested vaccine might make sense.

Now with the FED illegally taking on corporate debt, (they created an LLC to circumvent the law, and nobody cared, because the law only matters if people disagree, which basically means you are allowed to speed to get the mother in labor to the hospital), inflation might finally happen (which we have been waiting so patiently for). Why? Because the FED might accidentally get suckered with some really bad debt, and we all know inflation fixes that.

Anonymous said...

Reflecting ... There is strong consensus that most of FDR's policies actually made things worse, they not only did not work, they hurt. But America still got through him, and nonetheless made him monuments ... And that is the story, how American is Jeff, and like him millions, always malcontent that leaders (prophets?) are imperfect.

Anonymous said...

FDR did more good for America, and my family specifically, than you understand. I don't know who you are or who you listen to, but whatever consensus you've bought into is utter nonsense.

Anonymous said...

Well, it’s the consensus of Republicans who wish to get rid of Social Security.

— OK

Anonymous said...

With regards to the Great Depression, there is strong consensus that FDR policies actually made things worse. And yes, the retort is always for those who got WPA jobs the policies worked for them. Measured by unemployment and GDP growth FDR policies did not work, and if anything, prevented a quicker recovery from the economic crisis.

FDR did not lived to see the benefits of SS. It is good for a pay as you go program, a great away to share the burden across generations. Transferring a portion of the Federal Reserves balance sheet to SS is the best way to secure it and fix its design flaw, it is inadequately funded.

The size of the pie is fixed, when the Federal Reserve prints money it just re-cuts the pie. Warren Buffet said the Federal Reserve is the reason he missed out, the Fed stole his opportunities. However, even he said the alternative of the Fed not re-cutting the pie is worse.

All small businesses and households were suppose to have 6 months saving. Now he know we do not need to, because the Fed will just print the 6 months savings we were suppose to have for us. No gold standard and the strong dollar made this possible. Now for all the emerging economies, they are in for hurt because their central banks cannot do this as easily.

20 years ago, if you put your savings into a gold etf, you would have done way, way better than the stock market returns.

Anonymous said...

I never trust those who say, as Anon 5:01 does above, “If you’d bought X in year Y, you’d be sitting pretty now.”

The sleight of hand lies in choosing the start and end dates. The year 2000 was just before the start of a long run of rising gold prices, and right now, of course, stocks are down quite a bit. If you’d bought gold instead of stocks in, say, 2010 (when stocks were beginning a historic rise), you’d see things quite a bit differently. I encourage everyone to see for themselves by googling around and perusing charts chronicling the performance of gold and stocks.

— OK

Anonymous said...

So you distrust yourself, because that is what you just did, pick two years.

I didn't just randomly pick 20 years, Jeff and his kind, Glen Beck, have been advocating gold for 20 years. I was avoiding writing a book in a thread. Warrent Buffet bought gold 1999 and sold it without gain in 2001. He blamed himself, said his thesis has been proven right, he just jump the gun by a year of two. Which makes me think, Jeff should be thanking the Fed, because they have made him money.

Tax cuts are fine, but they fail in power compared to the Fed's ability to print money. Steve Kangas was right, the Fed has been able to do it without inflation. OK, Steve Kangas is a hero of yours, right?

http://www.huppi.com/kangaroo/L-gold.htm

With regards to SS, conservatives usually say they want a Chilean system. 20 years ago I read Steve Kangas mention that it was to soon to say what kind of returns the Chilean SS would produce and that Chilean themselves do not like their SS system. A few years ago I went to Chile and ask every Chilean I could. Steve Kangas was right, the vast majority do not like it. Why? "It is not enough" (in various Spanish forms of course), was the universal reply. The Chileans that did defend the SS system AGREED that the !0% obligatory contribution does not provide sufficient retirement income, but they argue all workers are allowed to contribute an optional additional 5% for 15% total, and if Chileans did, then it would be enough. So, the defenders said the problem with the Chilean system is workers are not FORCED to contribute 15%. Of course, all those that defended the system were higher income and could afford to contribute the full legally allowed 15%. Also, Steve Kangas was right, initial returns on the Chilean SS was very nice, but have moderated considerably since.

Americans contribute about 15% (Almost 2% goes to disability and life insurance, so really 13+%) split between employer and employee. So, contrary to popular believe, Americans have a high savings rate. It is just a savings they are FORCED against their will to do.

Now for returns on American SS. Returns had been absolutely awesome, but no more. When Reagan launched his political career (before he was Governor) his first real speech claimed a private pension fund could provide better returns than SS. NOT true at the time. My Grandma's generation received WAY more than their contributions justified. But hey, they lived through the Great Depression and World Wars, so share the pain.

We can no longer rely on a perpetual baby booms to keep the promised benefits going. It is time to make the American system fully funded, instead of pay as you go. We started in 1987 with the trust fund, but is scheduled for depletion and a default on promised benefits. Easily fixed, just transfer a large portion Federal Reserves balance sheet to SS. Congress has the power to this in any instant they desire.

Anonymous said...

They say you can’t argue with stupid, so I guess I won’t.

— OK

Anonymous said...

Interesting, a leftist that thinks Steve Kangas is stupid.

Anonymous said...

First time I have seen someone stump OK, good job anon.

Anonymous said...

Anon 12:37, you appear to be confusing Steve Kangas with Anon 8:00.

— OK