Raconteur Report: COVID – Lies, Damned Lies, and Statistics

Healthcare professional Aesop at Raconteur Report talks about the current COVID-19 resurgence in Lies, Damned Lies, and Statistics.

Much has been made by bloggers whom and on sites which I respect, about certain prognostications by Mssr. Briggs, statistician, regarding Kung Flu.
 
I’m not quibbling about his numbers, just what he makes of them, evidently from an utter lack of knowledge about that of which he speaks.
 
Unfortunately, Briggs’ combines his statistical skills with what he doesn’t know about science in general, and epidemiology in particular.
 
1) There are, indeed, “good” flu years, and “bad’ flu years. But it’s not a 1- or 2- variable problem set.
    a) there are always older people, some of whom are more frail, and many of whom are going to die. But surviving flu one year doesn’t, ergo, make you another year older and thus more likely to die the next year. That’s kindergarten math thinking.
 
    b) How many other conditions does any given grandpa or grandma X have?
 
    c) What is their general health condition?
 
    d) Did they get a flu shot that year, or not?
        d1) Did the flu vaccine witch doctors guess the actual flu strain mutations well, and formulate a great shot (a year with a 95% efficacy) or poorly (a year with 15% efficacy). {e.g., in 2018, IIRC, there were 635 individual strains of flu rampant in the US, and that year’s shot had about a 15% effectiveness. This is nigh on to worthless, relatively speaking.}
        d2) Was there even a flu shot at all?
(In, to my best recollection, 2010, there was no flu vaccine available at all. Whichever year it was, it was a record low flu year. Because CDC and FedGov bombarded the airwaves with PSAs telling people to “Wash your goddamned nasty hands! Stay home if you’re sick!” in so many words, and mirabile dictu, old people and parents of young children actually did it. Flu visits to the ER that year were negligible.)
 
That exact level of concern, plus masks, and distancing, is why, by all accounts, this year’s flu season cases will probably be contained in a thimble.
 
Those are just some of the 100-500 variables behind who dies, and why, from flu, Kung Flu, or any other thing, in any given year. Not just whether it was a “good” or “bad” flu year, last year.
 
Yes, it was world-record @$$holian to put known COVID+ cases into convo homes, which are the lowest form of medical care other than anything found in the Turd World, and you get a perfect storm of the most vulnerable patients, and the most execrable level of care not delivered by actual gypsies and witch doctors (and in most convo homes, there’s little difference between them. The fact that they reek of sh*t and piss the moment you walk in is what poker players call a “tell”.) Those deaths were, indeed,  low-hanging fruit.
 
That such deaths may have accounted for nearly half the initial wave is bad.
It does nothing for the next wave, unless you stop doing that. I have yet to hear that it’s no longer policy. And even if it was, that overlooks the obvious problem: Kung Flu presents asymptomatically in up to 50% of cases (which is why checking for fever temperatures at building entries is like looking for elephants in trees: asinine and pointless.)
 
If they really wanted to keep infected people out of convo homes (which are still chock full of vulnerable patients, in 50 states and 7 territories), they’d have to be rapid-testing every patient they admit, before entry, and rapid-testing every staff member, daily, and every single visitor, vendor, etc., and holding them in quarantine outside until they test negative (an hour or two later). We don’t even do that in first-class hospitals.
 
Doing so would cost a large fortune, and bankrupt everyone, everywhere.
 
So the exact same thing is going to happen, over and over and over, because you won’t pay for doing it right. No one will.
 
Own that.
 
It’s the exact asymptomatic Gilligans – the young and “healthy”,  who won’t get really sick nor die from this – who have been and will continue spreading this virus around, until it hits the susceptible victims, and makes a guaranteed percentage of them very sick, and some of them very dead.
 
Some of them, yes, will be the aged, infirm, and those with levels of disease that were killing people at age 66 in 1933. (That’s why FDR had Social Security kick in at age 65; FedGov expected you to be dead within a year. And then medicine, the same bunch that know-nothing idiots bitch about for the cost, went and started increasing everyone’s life expectancies to the 80s. See if you can guess why SS is broke.)
 
And yes, we know a little bit better what to do (and not to do) to care for those hardest hit by Kung Flu. Which will make about a 1-25% difference in fatalities in subsequent waves. Because those in the roughly 3% likely to die, are still going to die. So maybe now the death rate goes down from about 3% to 2.7%. (The death rate for flu, BTW, is about 0.1%, since ever. Don’t you feel better now, knowing this is only 27 times worse than flu, instead of 30 times?)
 
The biggest problem with those prognosticating from ignorance in general is overlooking the fact that most of the population, in this or any country, has yet to be exposed to the virus.
 
E.g. Califrutopia, last I looked, has tested about 10% of our 40M people.
The rate of those infected at some point, is running damned near 10%.
With millions tested now, rather than dozens, those numbers are statistically valid (unlike, say, Biden’s pre-election poll numbers) and thus (unlike Biden’s vote tallies) aren’t going to widely fluctuate. Right up until we throw open the floodgates, eliminate any precautions, and start spreading Kung Flu virus around like it was welfare money in a Blue State. (Or blank mail-in vote bundles at any Democrat HQ building.)
 
Then, the more people you infect, the more people will die.
 
Yes, only at that +/- 3% rate.
We’re pushing 250K dead now, with the infection rate of 10% in certain places (mostly highly populated areas), and probably less than 0.1% in most of the country denigrated as Flyoverland.
 
So, roll the dice, and tell me what happens when the infection rate goes up everywhere.
Especially if the infection rate goes up by leaps and bounds, rapidly.
And for a special bonus, in the exact places where true modern medical care is 1-4 hours away.
On a good day.
 
Then we get to the fun questions:
 
Does infection confer immunity?
I have no godd…d idea. Neither does WHO. Neither does CDC.
Neither does Pfizer, or any-effing-body else.
I have one firsthand example of repeat infection, hospitalized in front of my face.
I have dozens of cases reported anecdotally.
 
I have seen zero literature explaining this.
I have seen or heard of zero literature documenting exactly how widespread this is.
 
No one knows how much, or how widely, the original strain is mutating.
 
Thus any claims of vaccine efficacy are so much bulls…t.
Any claims of herd immunity are so much whistling past the graveyard.
Any extrapolation of how bad this is going to be, with those exact unknowns being so glaringly obvious, are nothing but Bandini Mountain, with a sewage frosting from downstream of the septic plant.
 
Do I want fiat lockdowns again?
 
HELL NO!
 
Make a case, trot out evidence, not SWAG bulls…t, and weigh the benefits and costs.
Medical, scientific, economic, everydamnedthing. Talk it over, and think it through, FIRST.
Then have the legislatures pass laws, or not, and have governors sign or veto them.
 
Y’know, like republican government has worked going back to, oh Magna Carta, or even Rome and Greece. If only for the novelty.
 
I went over a month in a SoCal ER with no likely COVID patients. I tell you, it was heaven. A crappy night with no COVID patients was like old times.
 
That ended last week. Just about 3 weeks behind the spike in cases, we just had, on my shifts alone, 3 slam-dunk sure-as-hell-got-it COVID patients. I had 2 of them personally, and one of them was the re-infection case I wrote about previously. When I left yesterday, we had a guy who literally desatted from 80% to 60% oxygen level in the two minutes it took to get him from the triage tent to an iso room inside. He was in his 50s.
 
The ICU nurse who died from my hospital got it from a patient who was uninfected, then exposed by an asymptomatic patient in a regular ward, brought it to the ICU, and infected 10 nurses there before they knew it was a COVID case. That nurse was in her early 50s, not her late 80s.
 
Times, in 25 years of my career, that happens with flu: never.
Not one godd…d time.
Not even a consideration.
 
So I’m getting pretty damned tired of ignorant @$$holes burping out pure undiluted horses…t quotes like the following:
 
Young (under 65) healthy people are not being killed by the doom—or much of anything else.
Yes, they are. On a regular basis.
Pointing out that they do so at a lesser rate does nothing to remove the lie from the quote above.
And noting that old people die more often is cold comfort to someone whose 30- or 40-year old spouse died because to pointy-headed number crucncher, they were just a rounding error, or “within the margin or error”. If you don’t have to look the survivors in the eye while their loved one’s bodies are still warm but heading for room temperature, kindly STFU about things when you don’t know what the hell you’re talking about.
 
Suppose I told you, with absolute statistical confidence, that if you ran red lights, you only had a 3% chance of getting bashed to hell, killing someone, or going to prison. 
Would you do it?
Suppose I told you that your meatloaf was 97% steak, and only 3% bullsh*t.
Would you eat it?
 
If you answered “yes”, how much shit could I put in your meatloaf before you’d turn it down??
 
You can tell me that driving is hazardous, because of drunks and idiots. I’ll still drive.
Mainly because I don’t drive 100% of the day.
But unlike bar fights, liquor store robberies, or drunk driving deaths, everybody alive on the planet breathes, non-stop, 24/7/365, without any choice in the matter.
 
So unless you can live isolated, or hold your breath for years on end, or live in a spacesuit 24/7, that makes a respiratory ailment in widespread circulation one hell of a lot bigger concern than the other causes of death which, exactly as the CDC and Briggs note, knock off about 50,000 people every year in this country.
 
Which makes statistical prognostications from someone like Briggs sound to me exactly like a fresh hot steaming pile of cows…t smells.
 
I can listen to statistical bulls…t from people who don’t know what they don’t know, or I can believe my lying eyes, backed up by medical evidence, and common sense.
 
You guess where I’ma come down on that one.
 

In one of the comments to the above post, Aesop talks a little about the issue of co-morbidities:

BTW, people don’t die because of the co-morbidities, those just make them more likely.

Just like few, if any, people die from drunk driving because they were drunk. Unless they had a BAL of 900, and fell asleep, and stopped breathing. They die because of that pole they hit at 90MPH while drunk, and because the one leads to the other.

The people who got wrapped around the axle of deaths with COVID (or co-morbidities, like diabetes, hypertension, obesity, etc.) vs. because of. People don’t die from the co-morbidities, they died because those things sapped their body’s ability to deal with things when the COVID pneumonia in both lungs, everywhere, simultaneously, taxed their ability to breathe and survive beyond what it could handle. Generally because they were too frail, fat, old, weak, and sedentary, which is how you get to be fat, diabetic, hypertensive, etc.
But when you walk around for decades fat, sedentary, diabetic, and hypertensive, then get COVID, and die in 3 weeks, it wasn’t those co-morbidities which killed you, it was the Kung Flu.

Just like if you had all those co-morbidities, and got eaten by a lion while on safari. The lion killed you, not the co-morbidities. The co-morbidities just made you easier pickings.

What they died from, in all cases was cardio-respiratory failure caused by COVID pneumonia. Everything else just piled on to decrease their survival prospects, but noting that sick people die more frequently than healthy people isn’t exactly a blazing piece of medical insight.

People who focus on the co-morbidities like it’s an “A HA!” moment are as ignorant as the idiot-savant people that actually think guns just randomly jump up and kill people, all by themselves, and they don’t seem to get that focusing on them just underlines their ignorance on the topic.

There may be some genetic component as well, but absent evidentiary research, that’s just a Hail Mary guess by some people uncomfortable with admitting that they have NFI what causes the Kung Flu to kill 3 people, hospitalize another 7, get 30 sick, and leave 60 completely untouched. I’d rather wait for the answers rather than grunt and squeeze them out of my hindquarters.

And in the meantime, wear a mask and gloves, and wash my hands, which has worked flawlessly for 10 months, to date, in close proximity to rampant cases, to leave me uninfected.

Raconteur Report: Kung Flu Still a Thing, By The Metric …Ton

Aesop, a healthcare professional dealing with Covid patients and a long time blogger of things both preparedness and liberty-related, over at Raconteur Report writes to remind people that, yes, COVID-19 is still a real thing that can kill you, and not some government conspiracy in Coronatardation Bad News: Still A Thing, By The Metric F**kton

…I told you all that to tell you this:
The tests for Kung Flu, because of the incompetent government @$$holes at the CDC (but I repeat myself again), Suck Balls. Bigly.
The swab tests report an inordinate number of false negatives, and the antibody tests (which AFAIK no one has reliably demonstrated yet are specific to COVID-19, as opposed to all coronaviruses, like the common cold) throw out false positives, like a drunk spilling pocket change staggering down the street.
This leads to undercounting those who do have it, and overcounting those who never had, both of which inexorably undersell how many people are infected who we think have it, and oversell how deeply it’s penetrated this society. The latter is a number less than 5%, and probably less than 2%, nationally, at least anywhere outside the Five Boroughs.

Which has inevitably led medical professionals, contrary to the jackassical suggestion above, to use y’know, a clinical medical approach to making a diagnosis of presumptive Kung Flu.

Like what, Aesop?”

Wee quaint little diagnostic tools like, say, X-rays, kids. (Common Core history grads, look up Marie Curie. #medicine # X-rays #actual things.)

For laymen, esp. those who didn’t pay attention in middle school science class, here’s what an average normal chest X-ray looks like:

Bog-simple, no problems. Spiffy, right?
What does it look like when you have ordinary pneumonia?

Mini-anatomy lesson: you have two lungs, R and L. You have 5 lobes; 3 on the right, 2 on the left. Upper, middle, and lower on the right, upper and lower on the left. (Your heart is part of the reason there’s no Left Middle Lobe.) So, look at the pic above. The red arrows in the original stolen (Fair Use, btw) image came with it. See that area of schmutzy stuff all over the right middle lobe? That’s RML PNA: Right Middle Lobe PNeumoniA. The opacity (the blurry part) indicates fluid in the alveoli (little air sacs) in the lung, which is why you can’t breathe: your lungs filled with water don’t work well underwater, because they’re lungs, not gills. That’s what bacterial pneumonia, the kind that antibiotics will treat well, and that a shot will help prevent, looks like. In elderly people, pneumonias of the lower lobes, from less physical activity, prolonged immobility, etc. are the most common, and nota bene: as in this illustration, only on ONE side. (Gunny Hints:You will see this material again.)

So what?
So, let’s look at a typical CXR (Chest X-Ray) of a Kung Flu patient:

WHOA!
Not typical.
Not even typical pneumonia.
There’s schmutz EVERYWHERE.
Schmutz? = “Ground glass opacity”.
Bilateral multifocal pneumonia.
Like you won’t see in bacterial pneumonia.
Like you’d expect to see in pneumonia caused by a respiratory inhaled virus, and/or virus-induced coagulopathy, and/or both. (Pathologists, chime in anytime.)
Which fits only Kung Flu.
You have fluid ALL OVER your lungS, plural, (and pleural! See what I did there?) on BOTH SIDES, which is why people who have this symptomatically can’t effing breathe.
Their lungs, as in the whole contraption, is full of fluid.
And if you’re hypoxic (too little oxygen in your blood stream) on room air, or worse, even on supplemental oxygen, like a nasal canula, or a face mask, you’re pretty f**ked.
If you have that, and a fever from the infection, and a cough, and this CXR, and your blood tests fit the pattern, neither I, nor anyone witrh MD or D.O.  after their name, needs a gorram broke-dick CDC-approved COVID test to tell you, me, Yellow Dog, or Medicare, that you have Kung Flu!
They can see it for themselves, with their own lying eyes, and they’re not going to falsify it for some pittance of chump change from Uncle Sugar.

Go back and read the AAR from the ER doc in Nawlins (like every one of the ER MDs I know and work with did, long since): clinical indications = Kung Flu. Period. A test, good, bad, or half-assed, is a nice confirmation, but the CXR and other clinical indications are diagnostic (that means a lead-pipe cinch sure thing). Testing, at that point, is a luxury, and if it comes back opposite the clinical indications, will be completely and rightfully ignored. Because the tests are all so much bullshit, courtesy of The Usual Gang Of Idiots at CDC, plus Typical Government Incompetence.

BTW, none of these are my actual patients’ X-rays, but #3 was what the CXR looked like on my guy from this past weekend. (One of six COVID-positives I cared for, BTW.) He’s in his early twenties, kids. Not 80+. Not 70-80. Not even over 40. Barely old enough to legally buy a beer. Full coronavirus bilateral multi-focal pneumonia.

What does this mean for you?

1) Temperature screenings are going to get everyone infected.

2) Getting everyone infected means you can expect orders of magnitude more sick and dead people (from Kung Flu, not with Kung Flu, if you’re that particular brand of Coronatarded) than you’ve seen so far.

3) Lockdowns largely stopped this, but
a) we cannot, and weren’t intending to, lock everyone down forever until the economy was in total flames, nor would we wish to continue the experiment
b) some of you were too smart to pay attention to what worked, because “muh paycheck!”
c) TANSTAAFL

4) You (for any value of that term) have essentially decided to throw everyone who dies from this under the bus, in order to preserve the economy.
a) You did it, are doing it, and want to. Own it.
I’m not judging which is better, but don’t try and soft-soap and sugarcoat the decision you made, and the consequences as a direct result.
b) Don’t yap and yammer about your anti-abortion creds, if you’re willing to kill people at the end of life as casually as the Governor of Virginia is willing to kill them at the beginning.
Like Esau, you’ve sold your credibility there for a mess of pottage, and there are consequences to that sale. As noted in one tale, “we’ve already established what sort of person you are; now we’re simply discussing the price”.
c) There was a right way to do this, but most of the country couldn’t wait for that.
Suture self. And tell granny and gramps you loved them, and will miss them.

5) Get used to your masks, unless you like bilateral multifocal pneumonia.
a) Unless you’re Mary Mallon.
b) And deserve her fate.

6) You have no wild idea who’s sick, and who’s healthy, never did, and probably never will.
a) You DGAF, never did, and probably never will.
b) You have not hired Helen Keller as your crossing guard on the freeway.
c) EVERYONE is Helen Keller crossing the freeway.
d) Kung Flu is the 5000 busses upstream from you.

7) Good luck with your choices, and may the odds ever be in your favor.

8) I told you before, you’re not going to get what you like, and you’re not going to like what you’ll get.

9) This is a virus. It’s real. It kills people. There’s no recognized effective treatment, and no vaccine, and neither truth will change, probably this year, at least. There’s no evidence – none, nada, zip, niente, bupkus – that getting this confers any immunity to re-infection or that any such thing as “herd immunity” will ever be achieved. Not least of which because it’s been genetically altered with SARS, Ebola, and HIV sequences in the gene. (Thanks, Dr. Frankensteins!)

Luckily for you, it “only” kills about 1-3% of people who get it. That’s 1/30th-1/90th of Ebola. It’s 20-30 times worse than the flu. But it can’t be reasoned with, it can’t be bargained with, it’ll just keep coming.

Bonus: Getting it symptomatically creates permanent damage to the lungs and other organs, even if you survive.
And as you’re seeing now, (and 30-50% of those reading this will totally ignore, no matter how many times we tell it to you) the deaths from this virus are the least of your worries in the grand scheme of things, compared to the other 5000 consequences to life in society.

10) This virus doesn’t give a flaming bag of dogsh*t what your politics are, what whackdoodle conspiracy theories you espouse, who you voted for, or for the Constitution and Bill of Rights. People on both sides politically are so full of sh*t about this crisis their eyes are brown, and stupidity is no exclusive province for either side. (No, really. And I can show you their blogs and press releases.)

11) You ain’t seen nothing yet.
You’re not crawling out of this.
You’re not even close to the crawling-out-of-this stage.
You’re still in the crawling-intoit stage.
You have no idea how deep this swamp is, and while one can only ever walk halfway into such a swamp, you had no idea how big it was when you walked into it, thus when the halfway point was will only be determined after you come out the other side, retroactively.

Hurts, don’t it?

Raconteur Report: Remember These -Clowns?

Aesop at Raconteur Report is an anesthetist currently dealing with covid-19 patients. He has been commenting on the pandemic for weeks now and has become increasingly fed up with people’s ability to believe only what they want to in regards to the virus. In Remember These —Clowns? Aesop once again tackles the ridiculously incompetent viral interview by Drs. Dan Erickson and Artin Massihi from California who foolishly estimated a fatality rate of 0.03% for the virus based on their own inability to understand statistics. As previously noted, Aesop has been fed up for a few weeks, so his articles are liberally sprinkled with colorful epithets which may well be offensive to some.

…I asked four doctors at work this week about the (now banned) video; they’d all seen it, and I got three facepalms, and one double facepalm, by way of their thoughts on the content. The latter from someone who went to medical school with them. Emergency medicine is a very small pond, as it turns out.

But it also turns out I wasn’t the only one to see through their bullsh#t in about a minute.
Besides about a hundred YouTube and Twitter takedowns of their ascientific horsesh…er, rose fertilizer, everyone not wowed by their name-imprinted scrub tops has pretty much debunked every bit of malarkey they pimped last week. To the point that even the MSM has taken official notice of what legendary internet idiots they were:

(KQED) Drs. Dan Erickson and Artin Massihi, co-owners of Accelerated Urgent Care, which offers Bakersfield’s only private walk-in COVID-19 testing site, held a press conference on April 22 to report their conclusions about COVID-19 test results. During the conference, broadcast on YouTube, the doctors said that 12% of Californians tested so far have been infected. Extrapolating that to the general population, they estimated that as many as 5 million Californians have likely contracted the virus. They then used the total number of COVID-19 deaths statewide (roughly 1,200, as of last week) to calculate a death rate of just 0.03% — similar to the average death rate from seasonal flu.

“Millions of cases, small amount of death,” Erickson stressed repeatedly during the press conference, saying fears about the virus were overblown and questioning the need for widespread quarantine measures.

But public health experts were quick to point out the major flaws in the doctors’ methodology – namely that only a tiny percentage of Californians have actually been tested, a group that is more likely to test positive and is not representative of the larger population.

They were also quick to debunk the doctors’ findings as misguided and riddled with statistical errors — and an example of the kind of misleading information they are forced to waste precious time disputing.

The doctors should never have assumed that the patients they tested — who came for walk-in COVID-19 tests or who sought urgent care for symptoms they experienced in the middle of a pandemic — are representative of the general population, said Dr. Carl Bergstrom, a University of Washington biologist who specializes in infectious disease modeling. He likened their extrapolations to “estimating the average height of Americans from the players on an NBA court.” And most credible studies of COVID-19 death rates are far higher than the ones the doctors presented.

“They’ve used methods that are ludicrous to get results that are completely implausible,” Bergstrom said.

In a rare statement late Monday, the American College of Emergency Physicians and the American Academy of Emergency Medicine declared they “emphatically condemn the recent opinions released by Dr. Daniel Erickson and Dr. Artin Messihi. These reckless and untested musings do not speak for medical societies and are inconsistent with current science and epidemiology regarding COVID-19. As owners of local urgent care clinics, it appears these two individuals are releasing biased, non-peer reviewed data to advance their personal financial interests without regard for the public’s health.”

Those who support continuing to shelter in place described the doctors as self-promoters whose chain of urgent care centers would benefit from reopening. Non-COVID medical visits have plummeted during the pandemic, they note, endangering the practices of many doctors.

“As struggling business owners, their economic frustration is understandable. But it can’t be mistaken for science. People trust doctors,” Michigan emergency room doctor Rob Davidson wrote on Twitter. “When they tell Fox viewers to ignore recommendations from real experts, many will believe them. … The impact of rejecting science-proven recommendations in exchange for these erroneous ideas would overwhelm health systems and cost lives. While re-opening the economy might be good for their Urgent Care Centers (sic), it would kill medical personnel on the actual front lines.”

Word to your mother: ACEP and AAME aren’t political organs, they’re professional organizations, representing not two urgent care doctors, but 31,000  and 37,000 (respectively) board-certified emergency room physicians, and they tend to stay apolitical. So when they tell you you’re full of sh#t, jointly, in public, in front of everyone, and make a special web page to make an example out of you and call you out as poster children for how not to do your job, it’s the equivalent of the Pope telling a priest he’d better re-think his doctrine, as the archbishops start pilling up bundles of kindling, straw, and wood around the priest’s feet.

The inside-baseball word is that these two wingnuts may have their board certifications challenged with BCEM, and have it pulled as a result of being this egregiously and publicly stupid. They’re concerned, based on video views before it was pulled, that the average person can’t tell the difference between these two jackasses, and any other ER doctor.

There are limits, it seems, to how big a jackass ACEP /AAEM will tolerate, and still allow someone to practice as a certified emergency doctor.

Which means business at those two idiots’ urgent care center is about to take an even bigger turn for the worse.

I’ve told you before, half of all doctors (nurses, veterinarians, and everyone else) graduated in the bottom half of their class. There’s no crime per se in that, but it also means their degree or license doesn’t trump everyone with more IQ points than they have, who subsequently points out their shortcomings. With a flamethrower.

But those of you desperate for anything to bolster a weak position probably shouldn’t so quickly latch onto guys willing to set themselves on fire, personally and professionally, just to tout conclusions based on something they mined from deep up their own hindquarters.
It never ends well, for anyone.

But it’s always fun to watch from the third-person perspective.

Raconteur Report: Government Involved in Johnson & Johnson Case Deserve Lynching

Aesop over at the Raconteur Report has some very strong opinions on the recent Johnson & Johnson suit in which plaintiffs were awarded $572 million in damages because people in the state of Oklahoma overdosed on opiates. While his words may be extreme, he has a valid point that this is not rule of law; this is perversion of the law that should not be allowed to happen. This is the issue that is causing people on the right and the left and the middle to become irate, even if they don’t always realize the cause — this is government run amok.

J&J Is Getting Railroaded by Morons and Why You Care

If you were paying close attention yesterday, you might have heard that some inbred robed fuckwit (and his mental incapacity and jurisprudential shortcomings with that appellation should be considered an extremely light sentence) yesterday awarded plaintiffs against Johnson & Johnson some $572M in damages (out of the $17Billion they asked for), due to opiate overdose deaths in the state of OK.

TL;DR:
This is childish magical thinking and judicial bulls#@t that should get the judge impeached, disbarred, and stoned at the city gates immediately..

…So, in short, OK  went looking for someone wholly uninvolved, with deep pockets.And found a judge with an IQ on a par with potted plants (but let’s be fair, judges come from lawyers, and the morons don’t fall far from the tree there), who looked at the contrary facts and legal doctrine, and decided none of that mattered, then spun his Magic 8-Ball and concluded half a billion dollars of shakedown cash sounded like a good round number…

Blaming the makers of a legal product, in an excruciatingly highly-regulated trade, for the misdeeds of others using completely different items, whose only similarity is a chemical class, is simply utter horseshit. Such jurisprudence is the hallmark of mental retardation and absolute professional incapacity...

This case is the equivalent of a judge finding Oneida culpable for forks causing obesity. It’s finding Ticonderoga pencils responsible for causing mistakes on SATs. And if I haven’t made the point blisteringly clear yet,
It’s finding Colt, Winchester, Remington, and Ruger guilty for murders and robberies…

 

Aesop follows up with an article Fiat Anarchy.

…J&J isn’t the issue here, A.B.

The issue is fiat anarchy under color of authority.

Setting the precedent that uninvolved innocent parties can be rounded up, sued, and financially ruined for the unrelated actions of evil people using not-their-product, as if apples were elephants and horseflies were horses, because the defendants happen to be minding their own business legally and above board, undoes all trade and commerce in anything, in about a minute.

That’s a civilizational death sentence…

Aesop: Civil War Is Bad

Aesop over at Raconteur Report has written a piece – Es Kommt – in which he writes that civil war in the US is inevitable unless something changes. Sane people should want to avoid civil war, because it will be truly horrible should it come to our land.  “Bosnia times Rwanda” as Matt Bracken would say.

Will America keep dividing and soon resort to open violence, as happened in 1861? Or will Americans reunite and bind up our wounds, as we did following the upheavals of the 1930s Great Depression or after the protests of the 1960s? 

The answer lies within each of us. 

 Every day we will either treat each other as fellow Americans, with far more uniting than dividing us, or we will continue on the present path that eventually ends in something like a hate-filled Iraq, Rwanda or the Balkans.

Hanson has correctly described a binary outcome:
Either the lunacy will stop, or the country will rend itself.

Either/or.

1, or 0.

And he described it, not to put too fine a point on it, in exactly the terms put forward by Matt Bracken years since:

Bracken:
Bosnia, times Rwanda
Hanson:
we will continue on the present path that eventually ends in something like a hate-filled Iraq, Rwanda or the Balkans.

Hanson is not an instigator, he’s a historian.
He’s showing, with painful precision, that following the edge of this straight-ruler to its logical end leads to flying off a cliff into an abyss at speed, unless people see that inevitable denouement, and decide within themselves to turn away…

…Again, Hanson is not suggesting anything; he’s stating with mathematical precision that either things will be done differently, or there will be a conflagration. He is mathematically correct and precise in this formulation.

Having laid out the consequences, I don’t think he’s in denial about the current state of affairs at all. When one guy, or five guys on the ‘net say “Civil War”, it may be just Tulipomania. When everyone is starting to sound like a chorus, including Stanford historians, there is beginning to be something to it…

…And unlike Hiroshima 73 years ago last month, it won’t go off 8000 miles away from home. It’ll be happening on your block, and mine.

So then what was suggested was adding a line about “redrawing borders”. Srsly?

How did that work in Yugoslavia? Iraq? How about Rwanda, or anywhere in Africa, in all of history, inclusive?

This isn’t a red v. blue classic set-piece battle, because your town, your block, your apartment building, and in some cases your own bedroom are purple.

That’s going to be Stalingrad, not Waterloo.
Hue, not Gettysburg.
Not Hatfields & McCoys, but rather War Of The Roses...

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