Random Thoughts

It pays to be unemployed in Oregon during the COVID-19 pandemic

This is just too funny. A company in Oregon can’t hire back their employees because they are making more now with the COVID-19 stimulus than when they were working. I wouldn’t go back to work either if the government was going to pay me to stay home.

The starting wage for a line cook in one of our restaurants is $15 an hour. These cooks receive at least $1 an hour in tips, so at a minimum they make $16 an hour, or $640 before taxes for a 40-hour week. The overwhelming majority of our laid-off cooks qualified for Oregon unemployment compensation of 1.25% of their annual gross wages weekly, or $416 in our example. The extra $224 a week provides a strong incentive to return to work.

But as of this week, that same employee receives $1,016 a week, or $376 more than he made as a full time employee. Why on earth would he want to come back to work?

The Wall Street Journal
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COVID-19 may not be the mass killer it was cracked up to be

The researchers found that the percentage of infections was indeed vastly larger than the roughly 1,000 known positive cases in the county at the time of the study. The preliminary results—the research will now undergo peer review—show that between 2.5% and 4.2% of county residents are estimated to have antibodies against the virus. That translates into 48,000 to 81,000 infections, 50 to 85 times as high as the number of known cases.

That may sound scary, but it’s great news. It suggests that the large majority of people who contract Covid-19 recover without ever knowing they were infected, and that the U.S. infection fatality rate may be more than an order of magnitude lower than authorities had assumed. Based on this seroprevalence data, the authors estimate that in Santa Clara County the true infection fatality rate is somewhere in the range of 0.12% to 0.2%—far closer to seasonal influenza than to the original, case-based estimates.

The Wall Street Journal
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Maybe I should move to Sweden

Professor Johan Giesecke, an advisor to the Swedish government and one of the world’s most senior epidemiologists is interviewed about Sweden’s non-lockdown response to COVID-19 vs. the rest of the world. I started the clip at the part that makes my point but the entire interview is informative and not fear mongering. There is no panic in Sweden over this pandemic.

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What are the mortality numbers of people dying because of delayed procedures due to COVID-19?

So called “elective” procedures have been put on hold and some treatments for cancer have been altered because of the hysteria surrounding COVID-19. Hospitals, in some areas, have too many COVID-19 patients and have halted these supposedly less necessary treatments and surgeries. At what cost? How many people have died that other wise didn’t have to? We need to see that daily death toll along side the COVID-19 numbers.

lthough canceling procedures such as elective hernia repairs and knee replacements is relatively straightforward, for many interventions the line between urgent and nonurgent can be drawn only in retrospect. As Brian Kolski, director of the structural heart disease program at St. Joseph Hospital in Orange County, California, told me, “A lot of procedures deemed ‘elective’ are not necessarily elective.” Two patients in his practice whose transthoracic aortic valvular replacements were postponed, for example, died while waiting. “These patients can’t wait 2 months,” Kolski said. “Some of them can’t wait 2 weeks.” Rather than a broad moratorium on elective procedures, Kolski believes we need a more granular approach. “What has been the actual toll on some of these patients?” he asked.

The New England Journal of Medicine

Mr. R., a 75-year-old man with advanced heart failure, is another of Kolski’s patients for whom the toll has been great. Because he had progressive volume overload and delirium, Kolski referred him to a hospital for an LVAD workup in early March. Then, as his wife, Ms. R., told me, “the world went wonky, and everything went down the toilet.” Having begun admitting patients with coronavirus, the hospital told the couple it was kicking everyone else out. “They are telling me my husband has 6 to 12 months to live without this procedure,” Ms. R. said, “and now they are canceling it on us.” They were then quarantined at home — 2 hours away from the hospital — with no plan in place. Mr. R.’s health quickly deteriorated again, but his wife had been advised to keep him out of the hospital. When they finally had a video visit on April 9, he’d become so ill that the heart failure physician didn’t recognize him. Mr. R. was promptly admitted, and the LVAD was placed. Though Ms. R. is relieved, ongoing challenges include her husband’s persistent delirium, a visitor policy that allows her to be at the bedside only intermittently, and the need for nearby lodging that they can’t afford.

The New England Journal of Medicine
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Behold your future

In the video above Bill Gates talks about digitally certifying people as COVID-19 free. This is crazy crazy talk. I’ve followed Bill Gate’s career, as many people have, and he is a great businessman but a terrible philanthropist. His dictatorial style and bare-knuckle business tactics have not worked in his philanthropic efforts. Since spending billions on do-gooder projects what has been solved? Nothing. Following his advice here will lead to discrimination beyond comprehension.

Behold our future below. Fiction is becoming fact.

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Top 10 things I learned so far during the COVID-19 Pandemic

  1. I’m going to have to vote for Donald Trump in November.
    1. One thing is crystal clear. Joe Biden is not equipped to handle much of anything. It’s not his fault he’s just not the same man he was even 4 years ago.
  2. The U.S. Dollar is nothing but funny money. How else can the government pass legislation dolling out more than $2 trillion when the nation is already deep in debt. And there’s more to come.
  3. #Lockdown2020 is a tiny taste of socialism and it’s bad.
    1. Shortages because prices are not allowed to fluctuate according to demand. That’s how stores run out of toilet paper.
    2. Government requiring stores to only sell essential items (as defined by the government). That’s how we get Target and Walmart not being able to sell garden supplies while Home Depot can. That’s how major appliance stores can remain open while your local restaurant can’t. That’s how liquor stores can remain open while your local florist can’t.
    3. Government mandating behavior. WEAR YOUR MASK SLAVE!
  4. We’re soft and ripe for conquering.
    1. 9/11 brought the security state. COVID-19 has brought the safety state. Together we have the tyranny state.
    2. The overreaction from 9/11 gave us the TSA and security theater of taking our shoes off, taking our belts off, and putting liquids into 3 oz. bottles. COVID-19 will bring us the safety theater of wearing masks in public and permanent social distancing.
    3. If we’re afraid of living how will we fight off a true invasion and take-over of our country?
  5. No one understands our federal system.
    1. The U.S. system of government is designed to be bottom up and not top down. You are responsible first and foremost for your own health, safety, and welfare. If for some reason you can’t then it gets bumped up to your town, then your state, and then the federal government.
    2. It’s like this because the founders of the country believed that individuals were best able to decide what was best for them at any given moment.
    3. If done right, and each layer is not depending on the one above it, a federated system is more robust and is able to respond to what’s best for each location. Montana doesn’t need the same rules and regulations as New York. Broadalbin, New York doesn’t need the same rules and regulations as New York, New York.
  6. There are more fascists among us than I ever imagined.
    1. Neighbors actually floating the notion to arrest children for playing.
    2. People calling the police on their fellow citizens for suspected “illegal” behavior. We used to make fun of socialist/communist nations that did this in the past.
    3. The government is using anti-terrorist laws to go after non-terroristic threats. Any excuse to use police powers.
  7. Computer models are wrong most of the time and we should stop using them to push public policy.
    1. The old term, “garbage in garbage out” holds true.
    2. The human factor cannot be accurately accounted for in computers. Humans act in relatively random ways.
    3. Models don’t change with life. Multiple scenarios can’t predict actual behavior.
  8. The public needs to wake up to the fact that doctors and scientists are human and not God.
    1. There’s a reason they call it “practicing” medicine.
    2. Sincere scientists want their theories tested and do not subscribe to consensus.
  9. The government that helped spur the obesity and Type-2 Diabetes epidemic is the same government controlling social and economic policy to stop the COVID-19 pandemic.
    1. Diabetes and obesity seem to be huge risk factors in COVID-19 morbitiy. They helped create the health condition of the people the virus is now killing.
    2. They never consider the unintended consequences of their actions.
  10. The U.S. Constitution is no longer worth the paper on which it’s printed.
    1. Emergency powers are unconstitutional and should be stripped from each executive position in the government.
      1. But Madison knew this as well when he wrote the Constitution. And he knew it four years later when he wrote the Bill of Rights. He intentionally employed language to warn those who lust to dominate that, however they employ governmental powers, the Constitution is “the Supreme Law of the Land” and all government behavior in America is subject to it.

        Even if the legislature of the State of New York ordered, as my friend Gov. Andrew Cuomo — who as the governor, cannot write laws that incur criminal punishment — has ordered, it would be invalid as prohibited by the Constitution.

        This is not a novel or an arcane argument. This is fundamental American law. Yet, it is being violated right before our eyes by the very human beings we have elected to uphold it. And each of them — every governor interfering with the freedom to make one’s own choices — has taken an express oath to comply with the Constitution.
    2. The 1st Amendment states, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” Just try freely exercising your religion or assembling peaceably… anywhere.
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I will not comply

In a race to see who can be the BEST at fighting COVID-19 the Village of Glenview just issued an executive order requiring people to wear masks in public spaces. I will not comply. This has gone far enough. If I’m refused service at any local business I simply will go somewhere else. I do not blame the business as they have to comply if they want to stay in business. But I don’t have to give my sales tax dollars to the village for their paranoid crazy behavior.

I pay a ton of money in property taxes to the Village of Glenview, Cook County, and the State of Illinois. I’ve watched them all borrow us into oblivion. Once this entire COVID-19 baloney is past I can’t wait to get the hell out of the state.

This virus has been in circulation for months. Most likely it’s been in circulation since last fall. THE VIRUS IS OUT THERE PEOPLE. You will not be able to stop its spread.

Here’s a link to the almighty Village President’s “Executive Order”

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Majority of patients not recovering after being put on ventilators

Reported yesterday by NPR. Why haven’t we seen this all over the news? I’m not quite sure what to make of this and why it’s not bigger news.

Most coronavirus patients who end up on ventilators go on to die, according to several small studies from the U.S., China and Europe.

And many of the patients who continue to live can’t be taken off the mechanical breathing machines.

“It’s very concerning to see how many patients who require ventilation do not make it out of the hospital,” says Dr. Tiffany Osborn, a critical care specialist at Washington University in St. Louis who has been caring for coronavirus patients at Barnes-Jewish Hospital.
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Influenza vs. COVID-19 vs. Abortion

All information I’m citing is from the CDC’s web site.

# of Cases39,000,00085,356
# of Deaths24,0001,246623,471 (2016)

39 million vs. 85 thousand? 24,000 vs. 1,200? What the fuck are we doing to ourselves? We’re losing our shit over NOTHING.

Why are we all of a sudden concerned about people dying from COVID-19 and we’re not concerned, AT ALL, about people dying from the flu? How does this make any sense to anyone?

Both viruses are transmitted in a similar way. What is really behind the shutting down of the world over this?

I’m also curious as to why the massive concern over old life when we have such a cavalier attitude over new life? I’m not an anti-abortionist by any means. I understand the necessity for it in some cases. But, why are we so quick to treat fetuses like an infection that needs to be eradicated instead of treating them like the human beings they are.

If we must make sacrifices to “save lives,” as so many now claim, why is there no rush to save the life of unborn babies?

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March 28th – Independence Day!

One year ago today I left the family business and I have never been happier. Sure, I rant and rave over the world’s collective stupidity over COVID-19 but I’m not really angry about it. It’s more that I’m perplexed at how people are responding to this. The lack of common sense is troubling.

Other than that the last year has been great. I got to spend as much time as possible with my new granddaughter. I wish I could see her every day. I started a side blog as a hobby that is building slowly but at least it’s building. We traveled to Paris for 2 weeks and had a great time. I went on a road trip with my dog to Salt Lake City and we went hiking in the mountains. We’re investigating leaving Chicago in order to stop paying super high property taxes. And last but not least we have a trip planned to go to Italy (providing we’re allowed to travel with all this madness).

Next year I’m sure I’ll have to get a job of some sort. But I’m enjoying this long overdue sabbatical. I should have done this years ago.

Oh, and while I’m here if you want to see how angry I was listen to the playlist I created for leaving the family company at