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Wednesday, March 25, 2020


Silverfiddle Rant!
Life is all about trade-offs. If government action causes our economy to take a trillion dollar hit, with the goal of saving one million lives, that is one million dollars per human life saved.  One trillion dollars gone, and a shriveled economy now one trillion dollars less able to power the nation back to health.

Our economic engine is our strength to power through this, with technology, scientific breakthroughs, and everyday activity that produces wealth, but government has thrown the switch and the machine is now running on two cylinders.  It would be smarter and cheaper to take extraordinary measures to isolate and protect the vulnerable, while allowing the rest of us to get on with generating wealth by working and consuming, so we can fund the medical breakthroughs to beat this and prepare for future pandemics.

Below are excerpts from the WSJ article, WSJ - Rethinking the Coronavirus Shutdown.  The article is now hidden behind a paywall, which is why I have reposted whole paragraphs.

Thank you, CDC and public health officials.  We have learned much, and we have helped slow the disease by putting your lessons into practice:
The vast social-distancing project of the last 10 days or so has been necessary and has done much good. Warnings about large gatherings of more than 10 people and limiting access to nursing homes will save lives. The public has received a crucial education in hygiene and disease prevention, and even young people may get the message. With any luck, this behavior change will reduce the coronavirus spread enough that our hospitals won’t be overwhelmed with patients. Anthony Fauci, Scott Gottlieb and other disease experts are buying crucial time for government and private industry to marshal resources against the virus.
 At what cost?
In a normal recession the U.S. loses about 5% of national output over the course of a year or so. In this case we may lose that much, or twice as much, in a month.
The initial shutdown was supposed to last two weeks.  Let's adjust and try to do things smarter...
That will surely include strict measures to isolate and protect the most vulnerable—our elderly and those with underlying medical problems. This should not become a debate over how many lives to sacrifice against how many lost jobs we can tolerate.
But no society can safeguard public health for long at the cost of its overall economic health. 
 Even America’s resources to fight a viral plague aren’t limitless—and they will become more limited by the day as individuals lose jobs, businesses close, and American prosperity gives way to poverty.
America urgently needs a pandemic strategy that is more economically and socially sustainable than the current national lockdown.


  1. I'm planning on a few months of this. Not a fan of Trump's mindless "this'll all have blown over by easter" optimism.

    1. You're entitled to your wrong opinion.
      This needs to be declared over, just as it's being declared to be on.

    2. Ed,
      You think that there's no reason for concern over Coronavirus?

    3. It's not an opinion, it's a prediction, and it's more realistic than Trump's. It needs to be declared over when the medical conditions are right, not when the impatient child-king gets bored of it.

    4. Somehow I can't recall such an egregious overreaction in years past.


    5. How should Italy have reacted?

    6. They could have started by not cozying up to the Chinese, but since the EU was doing little to bolster their economy they had to get their money from somewhere.

      It seems that they didn't react fast enough, and they have other aggravating factors such as a higher percentage of elderly, far more pollution, way too many smokers, and insufficient healthcare resources.

      Note that of every county affected so far Italy seems to have the highest mortality rate among confirmed cases. That may be a function of not knowing the denominator, but then neither do we.

    7. No one is in denial of anything related to the virus, but crippling the economy strikes many of us who didn't vote for Trump as a case of the cure being worse than the disease.

    8. We're in the position of doing what we can while maintaining a reasonably strict social distancing. Fingers crossed the economy reverts to an equilibrium in the aftermath, and the emergency conditions are temporary.

      I don't see any place for spreading false hope about how little time this is going to take though.

    9. Yes. Yes. YES! There's nothing like BOUNDLESS ... P_E_S_S_I_S_I_S_M ... to motvate the masses to give their all for a "CAUSE" whatever that cause might be.

      Rather like a group of CHEERLEADErS getting strict instructions to give GLORY, LAUD, and HONOR to the OPPOSING team, I'd say.

      A fine example of REVERSE PSYCHOLOGY at its cleverest no doubt, right?


      Always searching for an excuse –– ANY excuse, however implausible ––– to BASH President Trump.

      That's what these specious arguments based on MISQUOTING and willful MISINTERPRETATION of the President's words, –– fantastic acrimonious CONJECTURE, –– and out-and-out FALSEHOOD is really all about.

      INSULT! –– DENIGRATE! –– DEFAME!. and and then KICK Mr. Trumps LEGS out from under him,–– KICK HIM in the SLATS who he;'s DOWN, and If possble –– SMASH HIS SKULL IN, and STOMP ALL OVER HIS FACE with hobniled boots –– metaphorially speaking, of course.


      T_H_A_T is the Dream-Wish FANTASY of those who oppose our president based on th visceral revulsion and bigotry concoted, nourished seductivly packaged and presentedby the Worldwide ENEMEDIA who are bound and determuned to replace Representative Democracy, Capitalism and Christianity with some sugar-coated version of the deadly poison of MARXIAN DIALECTICS.

      Finding a SOLUTION to this predicament that has been THRUST UPON US necessarily by our DEADLY YELLOW ENEMIES and manic, scheming GLOBALISTS is entirely SECONDARY to discrediting President Trump.

    10. Thanks Viburnum. I've been busy at work.
      Of course there's room for concern. Not panic.
      Not shots at Trump, either.

    11. Franco,

      Agree. The press is blaring out everything negative and pasting worst case scenarios in their headlines.

      Damn them all

    12. Kurt, what do you think would happen if we didn't self-isolate?

    13. Franco, the choice shouldn't be limited to dumb optimism vs cynical pessimism. Adults choose realism.

    14. Jez, We should be following the CDC advice, washing our hands, keeping our distance in public, not going out unless you need to, if you are vulnerable or if you live with vulnerable people you probably want to stay home and extremely minimize your interaction with others, and of course, if you have any symptoms, self quarantine.

      I don't like police state dictates that infringe on our basic liberties.

      Granted, it is always a trade-off, but there is very little debate about all this, with the vast baaing and mooing herd heading for the barn like the regional potentates told them to.

      This time possibly for a good reason, but next time? The way it works here in America is, whatever politicians can get away with once becomes a legitimate action.

    15. SF just made a very important statement:

      The way it works here in America is, whatever politicians can get away with once becomes a legitimate action.

    16. Well, at least over here we tried the sensible voluntary application of CDC advice but too many people were being dicks about it, so we had to resort to "police state dictates".

      This is too inconvenient and costly to be acceptable on anything like a regular basis.

    17. Jez,
      This is too inconvenient and costly to be acceptable on anything like a regular basis.

      You might want to rethink that.

    18. Jez, and All:

      There is nothing STUPID [please don't succumb to "DUMB" which is no a synnym for dull-wittedness. It only means incapable of producing intelligible speech] about opting for optimism.

      Optimism is simply the "Glass Half Full" approach to life. Optimism fosters Confidence and Good Cheer, which in turn tend to hearten, energize, and strengthen resolve.

      Please let me add –– and I mean this in a FRIENDLY way, because I don't see you as either malicious or spiteful –– you probably have no idea how condescending and even conceited you sound when you refer to "adults" as though anyine who doubts your point of view could not possibly BE an adult.

      Also, I very much resent the disrespectful way you –– and far too many others –– shower calumny, disrespect and outright contempt on OUR duly-elected president.

      While I often cringe at Mr. Trump's inelegant, far-too-basic use of the language I've been able to see past that, and realized before I voted for him that he has in fact a great heart, a generous and kindly disposition, and truly cares about the fliving conditions and economic fate of the great mass of working people.

      That our president has little patience with pretentious, self-righteous Fools, self-serving Hypocrites, partisan Bigots, and Enemies of Freedom both overt and covert only further endears him to me.

      So PLEASE avoid insolence and sarcasm when referring to President Trump in future.

      I'll only add that I believe your low opinion of President Trump has been formed more by the heavily biased, frankly bigotted sources of News and Information you tend to ingest than by any innate nastiness in your character, which I have come to believe is basically every bit as pleasant and benign as mine. ];^}>

    19. Optimism has its uses, and I agree that how we feel about the quantity in the glass is important, but it is a mistake IMO to allow our Optimism to tempt us to over-estimate that quantity.
      I'm trying to avoid spite, but I'm not willing to sacrifice honesty... my point about adults applies narrowly to the fallacy that we have to choose between extremes of optimism and pessimism. I honestly consider that kind of binary thinking to be unworthy of a mature intellect. In general, I can cope with people disagreeing with me.
      We disagree about Trump. I think he's a danger both to America and the wider world, so I'm not going to pretend to respect him. I'll try not to be boring about it though.

    20. @ Jez: "I'll try not to be boring about it though."

      That's what I admire about you!

      Over here it is a constant monotone whine coming from the Democrats and the press. Could they at least put some imagination and flair into their continuous diaper rash ranting?

    21. I was very sorry to learn earlier today that Britain's boldly dynamic Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, has been infected with the Wuhan Chinese Plague.

      Whether we like or admire him or not (I do!) we should all pray for his recovery.

      "If a piece of the continent washes away,
      ___ Europe is the less.
      Ask not for whom the bell tolls.
      ___ It tolls for thee."

  2. Replies
    1. Mayor Garcetti is using that as a last resort if, after repeated attempts to talk to the owners, they refuse to come into compliance.

    2. Also in fairness... it seems just about any business can make the case they are essential. Case in point... guns, booze and weed in many states.

    3. Dave,
      it seems just about any business can make the case they are essential

      Here in Virginia, schools are closed, but liquor stores are open.

      As for firearms, 2nd Amendment, but indoor ranges here are closed.

    4. PA has apparently backed off the full closure of gun shops that I had mentioned earlier, but the liquor stores, run by the Commonwealth, are still closed. Wine and beer are available in some supermarkets and beer distributors are still open.

    5. Los Angeles said gun shops were not essential. Then backed down.

      I find it interesting because there is no rhyme or reason to what is "essential" and what is not. And no consistency between states.

      It's just cabin fever think about it fun.

    6. Ed, PA backed down after a store and a customer filed a 2A suit in Federal court. I'd imagine someone is doing that in Michigan as well.

    7. i talked to a major gun store owner yesterday who wasn't aware of it yet.
      I saw the lawsuit in PA but didn't hear they backed down.

  3. Quite a list:

    List of The Celebrities Who Have Coronavirus!

    Be sure to click on the "more" link at the bottom of the above blog post.

    1. As usual, missing from the list is severity. How many are hospitalized? How many are on ventilators? How many are dying?

      Tom Hanks and his wife, for instance, barely had symptoms at all and are feeling fine now. The fact that they were touched by this disease is not news.

      Headline: "Flash! 5,375,482 cases of Coronavirus in San Diego!!!" (Which has a population of less than 3 million.) In the story we read that 5,374,282 of them had mild symptoms, or no symptoms at all.

    2. Jayhawk,
      As usual, missing from the list is severity.

      And how many have completely recovered.

      Of all the stats I've seen, the recovery rate is the grimmest number.

  4. Farmer has rats in his barn. Hates those little buggers and is afraid they will get into his cornfield and eat his crops. Comes up with perfect solution. Sets fire to the bard. Fire spreads to the fields and burns up all his crops. Farmer is happy because he killed the rats.

    He's also bankrupt because the crops he was trying to protect are gone in the fire, but he's too stupid to notice that. Banks are so stupid they lend him money to plant another crop.

    1. That first sentence had me thinking you were insulting FJ!


    2. Jayhawk,

      Thank you for the best and most succinct summary.

    3. As close to a PERFECT ANALOGY as one could hope to get, Jayhawk –– and FUNNY to boot.

      Good SATIRE always has a strong practical point to make, or a lvaluable esson to teach, and it makes it more MEMORABLE with biting WIT and SARACASM than with a blandly, disapssionate array of Facts, Figures and pious Entreaties.


      When the "remedy" KILLS the "patient," the "doctor" has FAILED miserably.

  5. $2 Trillion Bailout...

    We're all big government Democrats now...

    If anyone thinks this is the last novel virus, they're smoking crack.

    Our nation has become a moral hazard sinkhole in an age of black swans.

    1. Yep. Once again bribing the people with the peoples money.

    2. Anyone who believes $2 Trillion = $2 Trillion I have a toll booth for sale on the NJ Turnpike.

  6. Have a laugh:

    The greatest troll in the history of mankind would be if Trump invoked the Defense Production Act and ordered New York Times & Washington Post to stop printing newspapers and start manufacturing toilet paper.


    1. Brilliant!

      Some would argue the NY Times and WaPo already are toilet paper factories.

    2. Their only OTHER proper use would be to LINE the inside of kitchen GARBAGE PAILS –– or possibly pinch hit for KITTY LITTER in times of scarcity..

  7. Speaking of unintended consequences: After several decades of the government using the banks to track our money it gets the cashless society it has been after for so long Game over....

  8. This comment has been removed by the author.


  9. Trusting this countries health and economy to that crazy women Nancy Pelousy and her band of progressive socialist democrats is like handing an arsonist a can of gasoline and a book of matches and hoping they won’t burn down the country.
    It is time to say NO MORE to the democrats and remove them from the House and from their power.


  10. A new poll from Gallup shows that President Donald Trump’s approval rating for his handling of the coronavirus is now at 60 percent.

    1. The Infotainment Media Complex is losing.

    2. If so, it's HIGH TIME they DID, SilverFiddle.

      The ENEMEDIA'S far-too-long, far-too-slow DEMISE began with Bill Buckley's MAN and GOD at YALE followed soon by the advent of RUSH LIMBAUGH's unique brand of "Talk Radio," which virtually gave birth to an UNABASHED increasingly VOCAL Conservative Element that thankfully grew increasingly powerful over the past thirty years.

      The battle, however, continues to rage at fever pitch.

      LEFTISTS are notorious for DYING ... H__A__R__D.

  11. I agree that handouts have never worked historically the way they are lauded to do.

    That said, I think that we all agree that this Coronavirus thing has tossed us into uncharted waters.

    Or maybe we don't all agree?

    1. Ed,
      What is for the old people? Social distancing? Money handouts?

    2. AOW, Ed's "It's for the old people".... is a clever riff on the tired Democrat refrain, "Its for the children"

      I love Ed!

  12. Lard in the bill passed by the Senate:

    Corporation for Public Broadcasting: $75 million

    National Endowment for the Arts: $75 million

    National Endowment for the Humanities: $75 million

    Institute of Museum and Library Services: $50 million

    The Kennedy Center: $25 million

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA): $20 million

    Legal Services Corporation: $50 million

    Internal Revenue Service: $250 million

    House of Representatives salaries and expenses: $25 million

    1. *sigh*

      These "emergency legislation" packages always become a giant hog trough...

    2. YUP! Somehow we MUST pass a "PURE ONE PURPOSE ONLY ACT" into LAW.

      "PORK" M_U_S_T be OUTAWED.

  13. This is my problem with petty potentates ordering people to stay in their homes:

    Chicago Mayor On Stay At Home Order: Citations To Be Issued, Parks Could Be Shut Down:

    Lightfoot added that spending long periods of time outdoors, anywhere, is not allowed. And neither is going into closed spaces, like playgrounds.

    “You cannot go on long bike rides. Playgrounds are shut down. You must abide by the order. Outside, is for a brief respite, not for 5Ks. I can’t emphasize enough that we abide the rules.”

    But Lightfoot reiterated that not following the stay at home order will bring serious consequences.

    “At worst, we will take you into custody.”


    So I can go outside if I live in Chicago, but only for a short time? Why can't I bicycle by myself or run a 10K by myself?

    1. What madness the Chicago mayor's orders are!

    2. CRISES very quickly spawn would-be TYRANTS and DICATORS.

      Remamber what gave us the CURSE of the PATRIOT ACT!

      The Law of Unintended Sequences is always at work. Also, we must remember "SATAN NEVER SLEEPS"

  14. The entire state of Colorado is now under house arrest. Fortunately, I have papers allowing me to travel to and from work.

    1. Here's the Colorado Governor's Decree

      Nine pages of exemptions, and the vector petri dishes known a child daycare centers stay open, as do pot dispensaries, liquor stores and gun stores.

      As a bonus, the state will allow me to go outside and ride my bicycle!

      A cynical mind would conclude this is less about public safety, and more about inculcating the population and inuring them to government dicta that violate basic universal human rights.

      "Its's not a public safety decree, its a training manual!"

    2. SF,
      the vector petri dishes known a child daycare centers stay open

      The same here!

      Such a policy will reap the whirlwind. Just watch.

    3. I also have travel papers, comrade!

    4. If ANY "exceptions" are permitted, THERE IS NO RULE –– only a farcical, thinly-disguised "rationale" for limiting Freedom of Choice for large segments of the populace.

    5. Such crooked timber as man...

  15. Situation as published by The Minnesota Department of Health yesterday: 11,000 people tested.
    287 positive = 2.6% infection rate
    35 requiring hospitalization = 12% of infected, 0.3% of population.
    1 dead = 0.3% of infected, 0.009% of population

    This was posted the same day the Minnesota governor published his "stay at home" order, closing all business and putting all employees out of work. Presumably he destroyed his state's economy to prevent 2.6% of his population from becoming sick and about 50 of them from dying. Brilliant.

    1. Jayhawk,
      Stats certainly tell us a great deal.

      But statistics don't mean a damn to a victim or the loved ones of a victim. Objectivity lost in those situations -- and I think that's the way it should be.

      It will be interesting to see how the economy recovers. Any such recovery will certainly not happen immediately.

    2. Also, today's stats aren't what we're doing this for, it's next week's stats I'm interested in.

    3. Jez,

      You said that last week. He's answering you! ;-)

    4. :) It'll take 2 weeks of social distancing before you see what if any effect it had on the death rate.

    5. My feeling is that the measures advocated by the CDC to protect ouselves from the Chinese Wuhan Plague are close to a moral equivalent of "DUCK and COVER" which was foolishly recommended as a way of protecting our children and ourselves from serious injury in case of a Nuclear Attack back in the 1950's.

      DUCK and COVER was pure poppycock –– stuff and nonsense –– bollocks!.

      IF we HAD been bombed, everyone who practiced DUCK and COVER would have –– like everyione else –– been INCINERATED or VAPORIZED like the denizens of Pompeii and Herculaneum.

      You see, Jez, I really AM a "realist" after all.


    6. Franco,
      IMO, what's happening right now is much different from "duck and cover." See this excellent documentary: 1918 Spanish Flu historical documentary.

    7. I agree with AoW. Whereas Duck and Cover was 100% ineffectual, we can definitely slow transmission if we all contact fewer people. We have to hope it makes enough of a difference.

  16. This comment has been removed by the author.

  17. If Andrew Cuomo in New York is looking for Hospital Masks and Ventilators tell him to call Nancy Pelousy....it's interesting how HER home city has plenty of them.....

  18. THIS from the W__A__P__O__! ... UNBELIEVABLE!

    Trump Understands What His Critics Don’t: The Current Lockdown is Unsustainable

    Washington Post Writers Group

    by Marc Thiessen

    President Trump enjoys 60 percent approval for his handling of the coronavirus pandemic, but that has not stopped his critics from trying to stoke public outrage at his expense.After the president expressed hope that the anti-malaria drug chloroquine was showing signs of success as a treatment for the coronavirus, news organizations tried to blame him for the death of an Arizona man who self-medicated with fish tank solvent that contained a different form of the substance. “Man dies after taking drug touted as coronavirus treatment by Trump,” CBS News declared. No, he didn’t. Trump never suggested anyone self-medicate with aquarium cleaner. . . .

    1. Franco,
      Note that it's Marc Thiessen. He often supports President Trump.

      Even the WaPo occasionally allows a contrary-to-the-narrative voice.

    2. The above said, the current lock down cannot go on forever if we're to have any viable economy at all.

  19. Replies
    1. MASSIE!

      He's from Kentucky! They use their own home-grown standards on spelling –– I guess!



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