2020/03/23

Trump's Kobayashi Maru

Trump Cure

It's been ten days since President Donald Trump's coronavirus address in the Rose Garden. After stumbling out of the gate, he seemed to be rising to the occasion, with talk of more robust travel restrictions, medical guidelines, and direct aid to the American people.

But yesterday, Trump posted a tweet that many interpret as as signaling a loss of resolve on the President's part. Market-worshiping bowtieCons were ecstatic at the prospect of direct human sacrifice to Mammon. Their elation is understandable. Normally, only Moloch worshipers get that kind of action.

Trump's reticence is also easy to understand. Much like James T. Kirk, Trump is a guy who never believed in the no-win scenario. His style has always been to dive into the maelstrom and grab the best deal that bubbles to the surface--all the while keeping his options open in case a better deal emerges. He knows that chaos can be good for business.

That's why Corona-chan has him at a disadvantage. She offers no good outcomes. Trump's choices right now are:

  1. Enforce the several-week lock down urged by medical experts, and tank the economy.
  2. Loosen containment guidelines, get a Spanish Flu style multi-wave plague, and tank the economy.
New York Corona Curve
Which way, Western man?

Squaring that circle is tricky, but not impossible if your moral compass is calibrated right. You take option 1, save as many lives as possible, and brace for the consequences.

Bonus: If you want to know who is a) innumerate and b) ruled by greed, take note of who's embracing option 2.

It's not just Corona-chan who's backing Trump into a corner. The swamp critters in Congress have him outmatched, too. The fact that they're willing to expose themselves as business agents for megacorps in the process is enlightening. 

Trump is always looking to make a deal. That approach avails nothing in the face of opposition that's willing to crush the common man while throwing a trillion dollars a day into the raging inferno of the markets.

Then there's Nancy Pelosi. The old witch's spite-fueled ravaging of America is a great argument against women in government. She's done her damnedest to block every Trump agenda item since day one. Now she's doing what she does best--bogging the system down in empty politicking. Pelosi doesn't care about minority banks, unions, or turbines. She does care about denying Trump a win, and she'll gladly burn the country down just to burn him.

But the final black pill being a white pill, Corona-chan has done the American people a great service. We now know beyond a shadow of a doubt that our system is utterly ossified with corruption, wholly incapable of making decisions in a crisis, and not representative of ordinary people at all.

The US government is a machine designed to squeeze as much cash from the middle class as possible while applying pressure gradually enough that they don't feel the pinch. Corona-chan has spun the crank on the vise, and now normal people are noticing the pain.


Voting will have no effect on the outcome of this crisis, so you may as well sit back and enjoy it. Luckily, a number of top-shelf pulp authors--including yours truly--are here to bring you a figurative escape from Clown World.

Corona-chan Number One!

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41 comments:

  1. I've actually been somewhat shocked by Mammon worship from people I thought should know better. They seem to start with the position that tanking the economy is objectively the wrong move, but then posit that somehow a recession will kill more people than an outbreak, based on nothing but 'it's only killed [x] people/boomers/people who are already sick' pontificating.

    Of course, when called on their Mammon worship, they make it sound like a 3-7 week shutdown will cause mass starvation and riots, aid package or no.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. 5-7 week? Maybe not, though it will certainly be a problem for people.

      How about Cuomo's possible eight months?

      An extreme response isn't proportional to the stats. We're not getting a Spanish flu pandemic. Shut down non-essentials for two weeks, close schools for two weeks, then reevaluate to see how things are progressing. That's the correct move.

      Delete
    2. I'm not even saying it will be 3-7 weeks. These things have to be taken as they come. I'm.just saying that if it was 3-7 weeks, it wouldn't be the disaster the Mammon worshipers are predicting.

      And it's too early to say it won't be Spanish Flu 2: The Quickening. If what's going on in Italy repeats itself globally, it very much will

      Delete
    3. Okay. And we have no reason to think that.

      Delete
  2. Trump's tweet is sane and rational.

    I suggest you check out the blog of Dr. Briggs. Wmbriggs.com. Two weeks and evaluate to see if the impact is proportional to our actions is the 100% correct response.

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    1. I read Briggs back when Z-Man linked to him last week. Both he and you are falling for the heresy of proportionalism.

      Delete
    2. Arguing about deaths vs economics is a false choice. The argument is disease deaths vs economic deaths (male suicide rates increase during a recession).

      I personally worry about the disease deaths being worse, but we have imperfect information and its all very complex.

      Am I missing something else?

      Delete
    3. Only that the real calculus is disease deaths PLUS econ deaths.

      Delete
    4. That isn't even slightly true, Brian. The point isn't lesser of two evils, it's "Considering what we've seen, is the response from our leaders the right one?"

      The answer is no co sidering what we've seen.

      Delete
    5. You are correct. I was short-handing which will be greater.

      Choices:
      Quarantine: Reduced disease deaths + Greater quarantine-specific econ suicides

      Non-Quarantine: Greater disease deaths + Reduced econ suicides

      Delete
    6. Let's put it another way. You day this is the correct response:

      "Enforce the several-week lock down urged by medical experts, and tank the economy"

      Why are we listening to medical experts if the statistics we look at are telling us they're incorrect?

      It has nothing to do eith choosing evil or good and everything to do with making the right decision.

      Delete
    7. @SmockMan: It's a Trolley Problem. If we don't throw the switch, the runaway train careens over a cliff we have decent depth measurements of. If we do throw the switch, the train flattens tens of thousands of people tied to the track and will probably fall off a cliff whose depth is strictly conjectural.

      Delete
    8. As I said, I am on the side of quarantine.

      Delete
  3. Corona-chan is doing the work I thought only Vitamin D could accomplish. Sheep sorting themselves from the goats, as the goats demand greater stock performance and more socialism, for countries and for corporations.

    What a time to be alive!

    And the Corona-chan anthology? WOW! You want a sample of some of the best PulpRev authors around? Listen to ol' Ash from Housewares: "Come get some!"

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Army of Darkness references are best references.

      Delete
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  5. Brian
    You see the contrast between Quebec and Spain. In the former thevoromer on Sunday (March 22) ordered all shopping centers, restaurants and hair dressers to shut down Schools closure extended til May 1 final exams cancelled for primary and high schools

    Soain the national PM still refuses to close off the intra Spanish borders and shut all non essential work. He doesn't want to tank the economy despite catching up to Italy.

    xavier

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  6. New cases every day? Potent spread that's killed millions in less than two months? Just ignore it! Close your eyes and punch that clock.

    Should we ever have a disease worse than Fluhan we will all be dead in a week.

    This past week has been fun.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Actually, there are 16,499 deaths. We haven't hit the millions.

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    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    3. If /pol's figures based on data from Chinese cell phone carriers are correct, yes we have.

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    4. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    5. I can't seem to get my post to come out right, but my overall point is that I don't want to fuck with something we can't fight.

      We can fight economic downturn and depression. We cannot fight a disease that has no cure. All we can do is minimize the disease's impact.

      Delete
    6. In that case, I'm not going to trust the instructions and restrictions of the same health officials who are, apparently, lying about MILLIONS of deaths - that we have deduced based on cell phone data, as if that is proof of anything at all. If this is the case, their restrictions aren't even close to extreme enough, why, not even in the ballpark.

      Especially since the situation in Lombardy (and Lombardy, remember, not Italy) isn't even close to those insane numbers.

      Italy, France, Spain, and IRan are getting hit badly. And yet in a similar time frame it doesn't look at all, not even close to, a million death virus.

      I live in NJ. We are the second most infected state in the country. Since testing started the death rate has dropped to below one percent - in three days. And it isn't because people recovered.

      But sure. Cell phones. Cell phones and rumors of lots of smoke.

      Delete
  7. Oh yes -especially given that Italy's numbers are almost certainly OVERinflated, perhaps by quite a lot, considering how they count deaths.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Trump seems to be playing it about right. "What we know" is a sucker's game; right now we "know" almost nothing. So, run it tight for a bit, re-evaluate. This SHOULD have started with a strict no-travel quarantine of affected areas while it was still international.

    Eventually, the domestic economy has to resume, as it's where your food, sanitation, and medicine come from. International travel really didn't, but that horse has bolted.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. You've correctly identified Trump's first blunder: waiting too long to lock down international travel and then vacillating on it.

      The equally serious mistake he's making now is showing a lack of resolve and discipline.

      He played it right when he reversed his initial dismissive tone and came out strong for combating the pandemic. He hammered open borders and rightly blamed China. More importantly, he finally resumed the GOP's shift toward nationalist populism with student loan interest waivers and Trumpbux.

      That hard line lasted all of a week. The state-level lock downs haven't even been in effect _that_ long. Reversing himself again so soon makes Trump look weak.

      Delete
  9. I believe there are three options:

    1. A series of mass quarantines and lockdowns that will ultimately have to last until we achieve both herd immunity and a working deployable vaccine in 12-14 months. This will minimize deaths from the virus but will do enough economic damage that in the long term might cause more deaths and suffering than the virus.

    2. Lift all quarantines and push through it. This will help the economy in the short term but will likely result in a spanish flu situation, millions of deaths and the economy eventually destroyed anyways.

    3. Lift the wide overreaching quarantines in favor of smaller more directed quarantines in areas where theyll make the most difference and try to bring as much of the economy back as possible. Basically a balancing act that may or may not work.

    Many people are acting as if Trump is going to do 2, I think he is going to do 3.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I kind of agree with Bellomy. The current data suggests the mortality rate is under 1% with north of 80 percent of cases being asymptomatic. This is flu numbers. The problem with the shut down is that it has already been going on for 2 weeks at this point. Restaurants have been closed for that long and peoples hours have been cut. This is destroying small businesses and the working poor. And that damn Republican tax credit isn't going to help those people when they need to pay for rent and food in April and May.

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    1. Initially I was sympathetic toward the "just the flu" contingent. I still hope reports of the coronavirus' lethality, potential for permanent organ damage, and incidence of reinfection are overblown. But the consistent inability to get basic facts right has pretty much torpedoed the Coofers' credibility.

      There is no "lock down." International travel restrictions were implemented on March 13, and some states have issued shelter-in-place orders. CA was the first, and that was only 5 days ago.

      The flu has a mortality rate of <1% and an R0 of 1.3. The novel coronavirus has a mortality rate of 3.4% and an R0 of 2.5. There are multiple credible reports of the latter causing permanent lung damage, heart damage, and infertility. There are several well-documented cases of symptoms reappearing in recovered corona patients. It's not known if they hadn't actually recovered to being with, if they were reinfected--which would suggest that infection doesn't lead to immunity in a significant number of cases--or if this thing is like Hepatitis, Herpes, or AIDS, and if you catch it, you've got it for life.

      Any talk of relaxing containment measures until we know the long-term repercussions is effeminate cowardice.

      Delete
    2. I go with somewhere in the lower number range for lethality. Still worse than the average flu. What's scary about that is that it means there have been several outbreaks of other coronaviruses that were substantially more lethal and we simply got lucky as far as them not breaking out globally. I believe SARS and Swine Flu both had higher rates of mortality; SARS was much higher, but I'd have to find the numbers again.

      What the current crisis will drive home is that the "economic cost" of halting flights or tourism is minor, no, it's TRIVIAL compared to the cost of needing to Social Distance a virus away, let alone if universal self-quarantine were needed. The West's approach to biosecurity has been utterly suicidal.

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    3. We can all agree that one necessary casualty will be globalism.

      Delete
  11. I didn't say lock down. I said shut down and the thing about living in a Federal republic is that we have federal, state, county and city laws. Schools, daycares, bars and restaurants have been shut down in Houston for 2 weeks. Not to mention all the voluntary closures that started last week including banks and gyms.

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    1. Attributing that choice of words to you was my mistake. Corrections gladly accepted.

      My point still stands, though. Most of the folks I see calling for these mitigation measures--which they wrongly call a lock down--to be lifted or relaxed talk like Trump can just flip a switch and get everyone back to work. That's not gonna happen.

      Even two weeks is not enough time. Not when we know that the virus can survive on surfaces for 17 days at least. Medical experts say we need 3 months to flatten the curve.

      I've said that Corona-chan has revealed the dysfunction in our government's decision-making process. She's also revealed that a large number of people can't dial back their consumerist lifestyles for two weeks.

      Delete
  12. It's surprising to me how many dissidents assumed the transition from secular Liberal tyranny to what comes next could occur without interruptions in their cable service.

    Not to go all utilitarian, but a major reason we've been fighting the Swamp is that their way doesn't work. This pandemic and the bumbling response to it is exactly the kind of scenario we've been warning against. JD has said this before, and I concur: If this crisis doesn't crash the system, the next one will. Or the next one. Or the next one. Because the crises won't stop until and unless the dysfunction that enables them is fixed.

    If you really thought 2016 was the end of the fight--if you thought we'd just march from victory to victory as the green line soared ever upward, look around and think again.

    Fixing this mess is going to take a social, political, and spiritual realignment comparable to WWI, at minimum.

    The jobs, bull markets, and liberties we had before the pandemic aren't coming back--not for a generation or more. Relaxing the quarantine now won't bring them back any sooner, and tilting at that particular windmill, regardless of the consequent loss of life, is in the same moral category as importing more Muslims post-9/11.

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    1. If the West on-shores manufacturing, we'll have more jobs, if it on-shores capital we'll have more money, and if the globalists get their teeth kicked in we might actually get the traditional rights of freemen in our culture back.

      Keep the quarantine, in the medium term it is doing NOTHING but good! My only concern is the damage to actual productive infrastructure and human capital in the short term. Beyond that, the disruption is a good thing, and getting a trial run before the next Black Death is going to greatly improve preparedness.

      This disease is a mercy from God. If it had been a highly virulent, resistant Tuberculosis - quite likely to emerge soonish from Chinese industrial-scale (literally) abuse of antibiotics - we'd all be in government mandated shovel teams trying to fit all the corpses in mass graves.

      Delete
    2. @Wreckage:
      "My only concern is the damage to actual productive infrastructure and human capital in the short term."
      I share that concern. Folks like me with jobs that survive this kind of dislocation will be okay, even if our way of life is a rather odd for a little while. Folks whose personal economies have just come apart at the seams may be tempted to despair, or worse.
      Though I suspect this is chastisement, I think you are right that it is also a mercy. It is better to be corrected now, however painful it might be, than to die forever.
      Lord, have mercy on us.
      Christ, have mercy on us.
      Lord, have mercy on us.

      Delete
    3. Lord, King and Father unbegotten, True Essence of the Godhead, have mercy on us.
      Lord, Fount of light and Creator of all things, have mercy on us.
      Lord, Thou who hast signed us with the seal of Thine image, have mercy on us.
      Christ, True God and True Man, have mercy on us.
      Christ, Rising Sun, through whom are all things, have mercy on us.
      Christ, Perfection of Wisdom, have mercy on us.
      Lord, vivifying Spirit and power of life, have mercy on us.
      Lord, Breath of the Father and the Son, in Whom are all things, have mercy on us.
      Lord, Purger of sin and Almoner of grace, we beseech Thee abandon us not because of our Sins, O Consoler of the sorrowing soul, have mercy on us.

      Delete
    4. I do believe that prayers's going in journal.
      Thanks!

      Delete
  13. Ann Coulter's column today comes as no surprise, considering the shiv she pushed into medical missionaries' backs during the ebola outbreak.

    ReplyDelete