Wednesday, July 15, 2020

New Management

​Divided and Conquered,​

Special Mask-Day Edition:
In response to mask-wars in comments on The Automatic Earth.
We have ​political ​mask-wars​ these days​.

Theory and practice are the same… in theory …, but not in practice
Viral particles are small, and they can float in the air a long time and fly through masks because of it, but they almost never do, because they are on teeny-tiny little drops of spittle people exhale and cannot get off of them They have no intentional action, either, which I like. All you have to do to catch the little electron-microscope-visible virions is to catch the microscopic drops of spittle, which are like Gilligan’s Island to them.
It’s as easy as fishing with dynamite!

I started Med School in 1982. I’ve worn masks a lot since then, lots of different masks, and now those special plastic face shields that always seem like Mandalorian armor to me (Hi , Boba Fett!)
Who remembers the huge damned constitutional controversy about requiring manufacturers to INSTALL seat belts in cars, not merely offer them as an option!
Do you recall how hot under the collar the grown-ups got about that? My grown ups were basically in favor of it, because of little me, and little Robert and Tom and Vickie. They made us pee before we got in the car, and strap-in before Dad turned the ignition key.
There was a dead-cat-bounce of that for requiring people to wear them by law, but the state had an interest in avoiding orphans and medical bills.
I may have been primed for mask-tolerance, even before mask-tolerance was inculcated into me, because I went to high school in Yokohama and rode trains about 3 hours per day. Japanese wear masks like Californians wear light jackets, anytime, whenever, especially on the trains.
I’m just not being made to lick the fresh shit off the bottom of a stiletto spike heeled boot worn by Frank-N-Furter to wear a mask as a basic public-health measure.
I wear masks all day, whenever at work, and I used to wear them in the OR when I did c-sections and deliveries and scrubbed on other surgeries.
The mask should never be your focus. It’s just there between important things, not an important thing, just a mobile filtration unit for random contagion.
Masks make the inside of my nose itch, especially when those little filtration fibers are looe and tickly up my nostrils, where the drip is trying to drip out. All that stuff only bothers me when I’m not focused on caring for a patient, when I’m clicking boxes and typing text on my computer and I want a quick snack that’s right there, but what a bother…
N-95 masks do have bit more flow resistance, and they make me itch and sweat where they seal around my face. Do you smother at night when you sleep face-down? Not unless you have sleep apnea, you don’t. Your brain has a respiratory center, which senses both oxygen and CO2 levels, and adjusts your respiratory drive, so you breathe deeper, use your chest muscles some. Things like that. Progesterone, the “hormone of pregnancy” stimulates the respiratory center, too, because breathing-for-two.
This ain’t the first rodeo for your amazing human body!
You’ll be ok.
Focus on important things you have to do today.
You don’t have to convince anybody. They’re having a hard day with cognitive-dissonance.
​I did COVID testing in the parking lot yesterday morning at clinic. I just got the last couple of test results from June 29. 15 day turnaround on test results. You are well, hospitalized or dead by then.
I had to send 3 people to hospitals from the parking lot, 2 for really low blood oxygen, and a pregnant lady, short of breath, who had just vomited blood. These are the people who sounded good enough on the phone to schedule for a drive-up swab, except one of the low oxygen guys just showed up without scheduling. I know him. He has cancer. 
I dressed back up and went out to see him. We talked. He drove to the hospital with no AC, in 105 degrees.
I printed some of his labs and notes and called ahead to the ER charge nurse.  
I didn't make him wait long in the parking lot. 
He's a nice guy.​ I'd have done the same for a jerk

​Charles Hugh Smith asks if America can have a French Style Revolution, a wholesale replacement of ruling elites and institutions. None of the elites can relinquish any privilege of ownership of free stuff, nor prerogative of command, despite obvious incompetence.​ So the drowning elites maintain their chokeholds on each other, and upon us, as we all go down.
At some point, choke holds break. When?
If the political system, including corporate ownership, oligarchy, deep criminality and deep-state-coercion cannot function, and is degrading over time, what are the potential inflection points?
People without food will not obey, and will kill those they see as their overlords before they die. 
Real overlords make them see somebody else, like privileged-white-people a couple of blocks over. 
Someday that illusion goes "POOF"!
That "POOF" will come around the time the world stops accepting dollars as dollars, and demands stuff for the dollars they have stockpiled, and Americans will not be able to afford that stuff. America exporting , instead of importing will mean about 1/3 as much new stuff for Americans. 
How can that transition be mitigated? Who can do such mitigating? Can you pre-mitigate some things yourself?
What are the options for a new system? How does it come to be? Is it forming already? Will it be imposed from abroad, grafted into "America"? What might "America" be? Is it something? Ben Hunt argues that it stopped being a "nation" some years ago, so it's basically an administrative entity.
Ben Hunt, and his pack at Epsilon Theory, step up to supply N-95 masks to medical personnel. That's modest, modest-but-competent. What's your approach? I like modest-but-competent. I've got nothing better.

 (It seems like mortgages may go away when the uncertainty is too high  to financially backstop, then there will be cash-sales at fire-sale prices, and poor people paying rent. Who will the landlord(s) be? How many will be evicted, or hopeless and nihilistic?)
It Starts: Mortgage Delinquencies Suddenly Soar at Record Pace , Wolf Richter​
​  ​OK, it’s actually worse. Mortgages that are in forbearance and have not missed a payment before going into forbearance don’t count as delinquent. They’re reported as “current.” And 8.2% of all mortgages in the US – or 4.1 million loans – are currently in forbearance, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. 

​People don't have the optimism, hope or financial security to bring children into their lives. Nihilistic.
This is a BBC whitewash with graphs.
Fertility rate: 'Jaw-dropping' global crash in children being born

US military base in Okinawa is a festering COVID cesspool. Japanese are offended and disgusted.

Engaging Cooperatively


  1. This is from long time reader who visits many of the same sites as you do. As background, I was aware (a 1978 ugrad geologist), of peak oil (peak net energy) back in 2002 before the (second) Iraq war and gave a public speech against the war. Then as a neurophysiologist from 1981 until 2006, I have had extensive experience with masks, intubation, and vents.

    Here in San Diego, where we have been locked down again, the total number of covid deaths this season is roughly the same as the flu deaths in the 2017-2018 season.

    What is your vision of a practical plan for the future? Masks for healthy people forever, throughout the world? Threat of lockdowns every few months, throughout the world, forever? New experimental vaccines every few months, under threat of employment suspension (NEJM DOI:10.1056/NEJMp2020926), forever?

    And what if a really bad bug came through?

    I find the level of 'Salem witch trial-like' fear among my educated colleagues dismaying. Now add to that a 'New Red Guard', the popping of the largest everything bubble in history, the crushing of small businesses which provide 50% of all jobs in the US, 1/3 of the working population still out of work, a tsunami of evictions, defaults, foreclosures, and commercial real estate failures on the near horizon as benefits expire over the next few months, and finally, peak net energy -- and for once, even I'm frightened.

    The dystopian future being prepared for us by the military-pharma-information-surveillance complex is frankly utterly terrifying.

    We must fight back before it's too late.

    1. Hi Brother Marty,
      I spent my first 6.5 years in and near San Diego, a different San Diego, much nicer and smaller; more beautiful. My grandparents had a very nice house on "Banker's Hill", a short walk to Balboa Park. That house left our family after Dad died on March 1 2018, few days after his 90th birthday. That was always a mark in his mind. After that, I sought out another place (better overall) to be a family homestead, so you see pictures of the Yoakum project, which we "bought" in November 2018, and may pay off next month, before banks start failing and claiming we still owe $112,000 or something.
      I was in high school in Yokohama, Japan, around February 1974, when one of our teachers spent a class session explaining The Limits To Growth to us. It seemed straightforward then, and still does now. Here is the last time I referenced it a few weeks ago
      Excuse me, what was the question again?
      Oh, "practical plan for future?"
      My leading scenario is underpinned with the Seneca's Cliff type fall in production of net fossil fuel energy, concurrent with collapse of the current western economic paradigm, and with sociopathic western power elites sword fighting on the deck of the sinking trireme, with the rest of us chained to our stations at the oars. I have secretly found a way out of my shackle, but I'm still at station on the sinking trireme.
      I think this coronavirus leaked out, either from Ft Detrick or Wuhan, so contingency plans had to be run haphazardly and cobbled together on the fly. There is some coordination of these between power factions, like US and China, and was laid out in mid October 2019
      What we can see is that this crisis is not going to waste, as one elite alliance uses it to shut down human engagement as they do a massive wealth transfer, and the economy tanks, as was inevitable. Another alliance of elites really wants to get their businesses going again. Both make lip service to the human condition of the rowers on the benches, but different lip services. Really, they are fine with culling a lot of the rowers, especially the older ones, and those with chronic medical conditions, who slow down their trireme.
      I actually think that the mode of battle has been set for this round of transition. It will not be nuclear war, which destroys infrastructure, which can't be rebuilt with depleting oul/minerals. It's PESTILENCE and FAMINE at the reins.
      I think there will be more rounds of pestilence. Pestilence took a hit from penicillin, but Pestilence is back in play. Masks? Keep them around, and practice basic public health measures, but keep your immune system well tuned with fresh vgetables, vitamin-D and productive engagement in projects, and with other humans in your "Karass",karass,fulfill%20the%20will%20of%20God
      I can't tell you what projects to work on, or where, but consider basic diversified small farming, with a cash-crop. This was working out pretty well between the Civil War and WW-2, for most people. That's my project in Yoakum. Keep your day-job, too, but give away vegetables at work sometimes. Human-capital is really important and undervalued by bureaucracy. Bureaucracy is a way to drown at the oars going forward.
      I hope this is helpful. Opportunity favors the prepared.
      Become comfortable with the non-physical aspect of your being.
      Don't be a fighting-pawn.

    2. Hi John

      Thanks for the thoughtful reply. I think your plan is a good one.

      I forgot to mention the university system (where I still work). It feels like it is being set up for a controlled demolition itself, after years of insane price inflation and insane increases in student debt -- and gradually every year a slightly higher percentage of non-academic staff. I still have tons of books, which will still work when the cloud gets ricketty :-}

      There are a large number of randomized controlled studies of masks and respiratory viruses out there that I have read. Even meta-analyses. I'll leave it at that.

      I'm already eating lower on the food chain. After changing over to a whole foods plant based diet several years ago, my LDL dropped by half and my arthritis went away. I continue to cycle to work, even after having been hit by a car in 2018. That resulted in a number of broken bones and a tension pneumothorax after being dumped off the ambulance into the emergency waiting room for 3.5 hours (no brain damage). There is a kind of reverse discrimination -- being in good shape, I wasn't even out of breath, so they took in the guys with sniffly noses before me :-} (but to be fair, as soon as they saw the xray, I had a chest tube in minutes).

    3. One more thing. Go to this website:

      scroll down a few pages until you see the US graph, then select California or Texas. This is an weekly excess mortality (total deaths per week around 60,000 for the entire US). The US total is heavily hit by NYC. CA and TX look pretty good :-}

  2. I went to a casino with my wife two weekends ago for our anniversary. She likes casinos. I like her.

    Casinos have super powerful AC airflow currents. Aerosol particles were swirling like the biggest invisible STar Wars mother of all galactic battle scenes.

    I am glad we were all wearing masks. It was far from perfect prevention, but in that insanely turbulent dried out iar, any help was good.

    Fortunately, it was in backwoods Oregon so both the number and strain opf covid are presumably much less/worse than places like your turf.

    But not for long.

    I wish I could feel that the military-pharma-information-surveillance complex were preparing any kind of future for us, but I perceive merely repeating the same old pillage and predation. I see them as incapable of doing anything but what they've been doing, which is grossly misreading/ignoring real consequences in their pursuit of greed and mindless dogma.

    Burkha-for-two table-ent dining gonna be a thing.

    1. Dining outdoors might be better than the burka-tent option, at least until Malaria comes back to Texas. Oregon is safe from Malaria.
      Thanks for commenting, Robin. I presume you yet lurk at TAE.
      Notice that Marty introduced himself above and asked for both barrels, and got it.

  3. Actually, I don't lurk at TAE any more. God bless Raul but a man has to 'splain himself or be ignored. I said goodbye and haven't looked back since. ALso, I wasn't really learning anything new there any more, and reading the same old reactionary/denial jive is bad for my bile.

    It is rational for the elites to avoid destruction of valuable infrastructure, but my reading of history says that sociopathic elites are as irrational as most human beings, and humans seem compelled to destroy the old before building the new.

    Famine and pestilence are likely to prove too destabilizing for what little rationality remains to prevent things like nuclear conflict, imo.

    Thanx for introducing me to the concept of karass. :)

    1. Kurt Vonnegut had some good ideas, and was able to present them with whimsy, as a door to insight. Cat's Cradle contained Karass. Cat's Cradle explains Bokononism, the major premise of which is: "Truth is a lie". One of the practices is touching-soles, of the feet. Pretty good, really.
      I'll just do what I can and die without regrets.
      It seems to be consistent with my wiring.
      The mask opening was a reply to "DR.D" who remains a vocal-mask-heretic, yet appeals to "SCIENCE". It also addresses others on both sides of the abyss, inviting them to meet on common-ground in the middle, or something.

  4. Dr. D... oy vey.

    For the record, your work is very much appreciated. I refer people to your blog for sound info regarding covid issues.

    You're from Texas. I just now discovered this wonder band:

    The love story 'tween Marty and Connie Smith is a gem.

  5. Buddy holly would be proud of this band. Marty Stuart has "Evangelist Hair".
    Good voice, good guitars, good band. West Texas sound.
    Thanks for the referrals. I try to be of service.


    1. Hi Robin.
      That doesn't seem to be a live link r file.

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